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Best aero wheelsets and disc wheels

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We at Change Cycling Now are big believers in the aero wheelset. This is because we believe in aero wheels. Whether it’s in the form of one of the most aero wheelsets on the market or a disc wheelset, They allow cyclists to better push their bike to the limits.

After years of looking for the ultimate aero wheelset, I had reached an impasse. The end goal was to be the absolute fastest wheelset in the peloton. The only problem with having the fastest wheelset is that it won’t always win, whether that’s a sprint or a criterium. If you buy a wheelset and race with it, there are many factors that can influence your speed. The aerodynamics of your bike, your riding style, the wind, the local crosswinds, the road surface, and many more factors can all impact the results of a race. To be honest, I still don’t know what the ultimate aero wheelset is, but I’m

There are many wheel sets to choose from, but only a few are aero, while many are just not good. Before you start spending money, take a look at the wheel sets people have been buying and testing and see what type of aero wheelsets they have been using.. Read more about best road bike wheels 2020 and let us know what you think.

Reynolds Element T & HED Jet Disc

Reynolds Element T & HED Jet Disc Future Publishing

Zipp Sub 9, HED Stinger FR Disc & Mavic Comete

Zipp Sub 9, HED Stinger FR Disc & Mavic Comete Future Publishing

American Classic Carbon 58

Future Publishing’s American Classic Carbon 58

Shimano RS80 C50

Future Publishing Shimano RS80 C50

Reynolds Attack

Future Publishing is under attack by Reynolds.

Planet X R50 Team Edition front

Future Publishing’s Planet X R50 Team Edition

Planet X R50 Team Edition rear

Future Publishing’s Planet X R50 Team Edition is back.

Zipp Sub 9 disc

Zipp Zipp Zipp Zipp Zipp Zipp Zipp Zipp Zipp Zipp Zip

Reynolds Element disc

Disc Reynolds Element Publishing in the Future

HED Jet disc

HED HED HED HED HED HED HED HED HED H

Mavic Comete disc

Comete disc by Mavic Mavic

HED Stinger disc

HED HED stinger disc

Smart ENVE 6.7

Future Publishing with Smart ENVE 6.7

ENVE 3.4

ENVE 3.4 ENVE 3.4 ENVE 3.4 ENVE 3.4 ENVE

Zipp 303 Firecrest clinchers

Future Publishing seals the deal with Zipp 303 Firecrest.

Planet X 52mm aero carbon clinchers

Planet X aero carbon clinchers, 52mm Planet X is a fictional planet that exists in the universe

Please check 10 of the finest deep aero wheels lab tested for a more up-to-date version of this article.

Aero wheels were formerly thought to be something you only bought and utilized if you were performing time trials or participating in the physically demanding sport of triathlon.

However, you’ll find many of examples of them being utilized by road riders these days. These cyclists have realized that by decreasing total aerodynamic drag, they may profit from the same decrease in effort – or an improvement in speed for the same amount of labor.

Aside from physically shrinking (the less surface you push towards the wind, the less air you have to push out of the way), the wheels are one of the most important places on a bike when it comes to reducing drag. This is due to their rather complicated form – the spokes – and the fact that they spin rather than just travel ahead.

We selected wheelsets and disc wheels that we’ve recently tested for our Buyers Guide, but there are a few exclusions. We’ll keep it up to date as needed.

Points to Consider When Buying Aero Wheels

Aero form: Rim design is undergoing a revolution as more manufacturers follow Zipp and HED’s example in adopting larger and bulged “toroidal” rims. These have a lower drag coefficient than thin, flat profiles across a broader variety of circumstances, and they’re usually simpler to handle in windy conditions. The design must regulate the air flow over the whole wheel as it spins. It must also be long-lasting or robust enough to serve as a rim if it is structural. At the same time, it must handle side breezes while avoiding excessive steering.

Brake track: When braking hard or for a long time, a lot of heat is exchanged (brakes turn kinetic energy into heat). The rim, including any glue or resins used to bind carbon to aluminum alloy, or carbon plus resin if it’s a complete carbon rim, must be able to handle it.

A fair rule of thumb is that fewer spokes equals a more aerodynamic wheel, but there must be enough to keep the wheel sturdy and rigid. And they don’t have to be aerodynamically shaped: round section spokes aren’t as bad as some people believe. Straight-pull spokes provide more tension, but conventional J-bend spokes are simple to replace. Spokes fixed into the rim’s outside edge provide security, while spokes attached to the inner edge make truing simpler.

Rim depth: When it comes to optimum aero rim diameters, anything between 45 and 60mm is a good compromise between aerodynamics and handling, but this isn’t a hard and fast rule. Shallower rims (30mm deep) may also provide significant advantages over normal wheels, since they are less affected by side winds.

Wheels for clincher and tubular tyres: We evaluated wheels for both clincher and tubular tyres. Clinchers are the most convenient to fix using an inner tube and are ideal for all-day riding. Tubulars need gluing to the rim, although they are less likely to pinch flats. Rolling resistance varies depending on the tyre, but there’s enough of evidence suggesting the finest clinchers perform similarly to the best tubulars in this area.

Hubs: What matters is what’s going on inside the hub. If these will only be sunny-day specials, sealing doesn’t matter as much as if you’re going to be using them whatever the weather. The pick-up speed of the freehub and how much noise it makes, and whether you get fancy skewers, can also be a ‘make or break’ aspect for some riders.

The best under-£1,000 aero wheelsets

(£499.99) Planet X 52mm aero carbon clinchers

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Planet X 52mm aero carbon clinchers: Planet X 52mm aero carbon clinchers: Planet X 52mm aero carbon clinchers: Planet

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These Planet X aero carbon clinchers were on the lower end of the spectrum, but they performed a fantastic job for us. Our set weighed exactly 1,796g, as claimed by Planet X. The 20-spoke front and 24-spoke rear wheels include aluminum hubs and brake tracks, as well as a V-shaped 52mm deep carbon rim. The rim design doesn’t have any fancy profiles, but there’s no denying that they are a quick set of wheels. They ride well, are rigid and confident when driven, and stop swiftly as well. In sidewinds, they also outperform some more costly wheels.

Source: Planet X

Carbon 58 clinchers by American Classic (£879.99 / $1,429)

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Future Publishing’s carbon 58 is an American classic.

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The Carbon 58 provides a little boost in aerodynamics over the competition without sacrificing weight or handling. While an extra 8mm of rim depth may not seem like much, when coupled with a slightly hourglass profile, these American Classic wheels will certainly earn you a few seconds when the wind is against you. In windy circumstances, the profile makes them no more dangerous than other 50s. The white spoke is aligned with the (included) no-leak valve extensions, making set-up and maintenance somewhat simpler. J-bend, bladed spokes are threaded into the rim edge to make truing easy if required. Steel inserts on the freehub splines and wide flange rear hubs to manage driving torque are other excellent additions. Despite their greater depth, they have a manageable total weight, and the alloy rim ensures consistent braking. When pressed, frontwheel tracking may be a little shaky. They’re not quite as tight and accurate as the Hed Jet 6s, and they fall short in terms of all-out speed, but they’re smooth and rigid enough when pushed hard.

www.eurobike.uk.com

RS80 C50 clinchers from Shimano (£849.98 / $1,299)

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Future Publishing: Shimano rs80 c50

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These wheels feature the same 50mm alloy edged rims and spokes as the Dura-Ace 7900 C50 wheels, but with Ultegra hubs. While it isn’t the most fashionable fat form, it is rounded enough to be predictable and controllable in crosswinds and on windier days. The good news is that they cost £450 less and weigh just 176g more than Dura-Ace. Even better, they ride like nothing else. They’re stiff (despite our best efforts), feel energetic in a race, and climb nicely as well. The handling is excellent, and the brakes on the alloy rim are reassuringly consistent. They aren’t the greatest in severe cross winds, but they manage to get by. Only if you know how to maintain the old-school adjustable bearings will you get the most life and value out of them.

www.madison.co.uk

Reynolds Attack ($1,450 / £999)

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Future Publishing is under assault by Reynolds.

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The complete carbon rims are just 32mm deep, yet they cut through the air like butter. When you combine this with low weight, tight DT Revolution spokes, and high-quality Reynolds hubs, you have a set of wheels that will perform in every riding situation. The Attacks are like a set of wheels with twice the price tag. They’re fast right out of the gate, handle well, and the open-honeycomblike CTg brake track covering performs admirably in all weather. The only disadvantage is that when it’s windy, they become a bit jittery. www.upgradebikes.co.uk

(£699.95) Vision Trimax T42 clincher wheels

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Rear vision trimax t42:

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Front view of the Vision Trimax T42:

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For the money, FSA’s mid-section wheels are a tight, clean, easy-handling semi-aero setup. Although the 42mm section rim does not cut the wind as effectively as deeper sets, it is less prone to be blown about in stronger winds. While the weight is typical, the smaller rims let them to light up quickly under power and ascend better than most deeper wheels. Overall, the hand-built straight-pull bladed spoke construction provides a very tight and precise feel, with consistent braking. In terms of course profile, wind conditions, and bike compatibility, they are more flexible than most deeper section wheels. FSA wheels are known for their long-term smoothness, and they have performed well after extensive testing. Quick-release levers are also of excellent quality, and tyre covers are included.

www.windwave.co.uk

Tubular wheels Planet X R50 Team Edition (£599.99)

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Front: Future Publishing’s Planet X r50 team edition

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Future Publishing, Planet X r50 team edition

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With their well-proven, superlight Team Edition carbon wheels, the South Yorkshire price-cutting experts have come up trumps once again. Because the models tested here are Guru special editions (£499.99 special deal), don’t anticipate large flowers on the regular variants. The basic rim is a full-carbon, 50mm deep-tub rim with an elliptical shape and inner edge anchoring spokes. Despite having a sturdy rim and an established track record ranging from amateur to World Cup level, they are very light wheels, regardless of price. This gives them a lot of versatility when it comes to hillier courses or tight stop-and-go short course races. If you really push the wheels hard, the thin, bladed spokes and ultra-narrow hubs that assist reduce bulk allow some twang and flex into the wheels, and aerodynamics and wind behavior are just mediocre. The R50s, on the other hand, are a great bargain at £600.

www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk

Above £1,000, the best aero wheelsets

Wheels Smart ENVE System 6.7 (£2,100 / $3,045)

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Future Publishing with Smart enve 6.7

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These were co-developed with aero guru Simon Smart and a lot of work has gone into making them suitable for all-round use. As a set they consists of a 60mm-deep front and 70mm rear built with 20 front and 24 rear Sapim CX Ray spokes on DT Swiss 240s hubs. We found the wheels stiff enough both for accelerating fast and for not rubbing against the brake blocks, and despite this they’re not harsh on rough roads and you get a smooth, almost stealthy ride quality. When it comes to climbing, they suffer slightly on weight (1415g a pair, claimed) compared with pure climbing wheelsets, but make up for that with their superior aero and handling properties. At £2100 they’re high end but not overpriced for what is a fantastic all-round wheelset.

www.saddleback.co.uk

clinchers Zipp 303 Firecrest (£2,300 / $3,350)

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Future Publishing Zipp 303 firecrest clinchers

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Zipp’s Firecrest rim design features a wider tyre bed than normal, resulting in a more rounded tyre profile that fits the curvature of the carbon rim’s spoke bed, resulting in better aerodynamics. The front wheel is virtually resistant to the effects of the wind, thus it performs better in windy circumstances. To read our complete evaluation of the Zipp 303 Firecrest clinchers, click here.

Wheels: Smart ENVE 3.4 (£2,300 / $3,100)

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ENVE 3.4: ENVE 3.4: ENVE 3.4: ENVE 3.4: EN

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4.5stars

The unique front and rear designs, according to ENVE, make these wheels more linear in their response to crosswinds for greater stability. The front is 35mm deep and 26mm wide; the rear is 45mm deep and 24mm wide. We’re happy to report that their research and development paid off, since the 6.7s seem to be even more stable than normal aluminum rims during wind gusts. Superlight Chris King R45 hubs are named after the 45 pawls on the freehub ratchet, which eliminates slack while accelerating out of tight bends. Braking performance is great in the dry but just mediocre in the wet, and because to the excessive width, you’ll have to re-calibrate your brakes when you install these. Although there are cheaper and lighter carbon wheels with comparable rim depths and aero characteristics as the 6.7s, Enves wheels are known for their bombproof strength. Overall, they are among the finest wheels we’ve ever rode.

www.saddleback.co.uk

ALSO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT:

  • Jet 6 clinchers from HED (£1,149 / $1,600)
  • Corima Aero+ ($3,039.41 / £1,470)
  • Tubulars HED Stinger S6 (£1,500/ $2,099)
  • Easton EA90 ($2,100 / £1,675)
  • Clinchers Cole C58 Lite (£1,099.99 / $1,784)
  • Reynolds Assault C (£1,049.99 / $1,499.99) is a pistol designed by Reynolds.
  • Zipp 303 tubular wheels ($2,299.95 / £1,900)
  • Carbon clinchers Easton EC90 Aero (£1,675 / $2,100)
  • Clenchers with Mad Fiber (£2,500 / $2,899)
  • Ritchey Apex WCS (£1,175 / $1,899.99) Ritchey Apex WCS (£1,175 / $1,899.99)
  • (£1,250 / $1,600) Giant P-SLR1 Aero
  • HED Jet 5 Express ($1,550/£1,099/£1,099/£1,099/£1,099/£1,099/£1,099/
  • Carbon clinchers Zipp 404 Firecrest (£2,300 / $2,700)
  • Gavia P55 clinchers by Pro-Lite (£1,449.99 / $1,732.48)
  • Edco Furka Competition (£1,549.99 / $2,508.35) Edco Furka Competition (£1,549.99 / $2,508.35) Edco Furka Competition (£
  • (£1,100 / $1,300) Zipp 101

Wheels with the best discs

Zipp Sub 9 ($2,075) (£1,850) (£1,850) (£1,850) (£1,850) (£1,850) (£

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Zipp sub 9 disc: Zipp sub 9 disc: Zipp sub 9 disc: Zipp sub 9 disc

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As long as it fits your bike, Zipp’s newest wheel is the ideal lightweight speed-boosting wheel. The complete carbon structure has a dimpled skin and the newest toroidal section design, which smooths airflow over the Zipp Tangente tubular tyre. At certain wind angles, according to Zipp, it literally sucks the bike forward. It definitely seems to be quite fast. It’s the lightest wheel here, weighing just over 1kg with a titanium rear skewer, and direct power delivery means it feels as snappy as most deep-dish wheels in terms of acceleration and climbing. It’s also helpful for longer journeys since it’s comfy. There are PowerTap and custom sticker variants. However, big riders may create flex, and Zipp warns that certain Cervélo, Ridley, Scott, Giant, and Argon bikes have tight clearances.

1,001g in weight

www.fisheroutdoor.co.uk

Stinger FR Disc from HED (£1,149/ $1,449)

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HED stinger disc: HED HED HED HED HED HED HED HED HED

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Stinger Flamme Rouge is the top-end, tubular tyre disc from aero gurus HED, with a smooth, responsive, full-feature performance to match, at a surprisingly affordable price. Again, it’s a metal spoked wheel underneath, but the super-broad 28mm outer rim is carbon, and the Flamme Rouge also gets flexible high modulus carbon-fibre skins to form the toroidal shape, although they’re still flexible covers rather than structural. Ceramic bearings and ti skewer drop weight further. You can get some brake rub, and they’re soft if you really crank the pedals hard, but the ride is outstandingly smooth for a disc. Low weight spins up to speed and climbs quickly too, and in performance terms, it’s a real bargain.

1,153g in weight

www.hedwheels.com

Reynolds Element T ($1,529.99 / £1,149)

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Future Publishing’s Reynolds element CD

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Reynolds’ disc is a simple, reliable performer with exceptional braking. It’s a complete carbon wheel with dead flat sides and a wide, squared rim edge that gives the tyre and wheel a distinct edge. Its mid-weight means it accelerates quickly and rolls smoothly, with a solid but not unpleasant ride and just little brake rub if you really fling it around a curve or hammer a climb. However, the recessed valve cup makes inflating a breeze, and the ultra-light skewer and cushioned wheel bag are welcome extras for the price. The outstanding braking reaction provided by the rim surface treatment and Cryo Blue brake pads instills confidence, and a ‘try before you buy’ program is also available. 1,203g in weight

www.upgradebikes.co.uk

£799/ $1,049.95 HED Jet Disc

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HED HED HED HED HED HED HED HED HED HED H

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Stars

The cheapest disc here comes from the one of the most experienced aero cycling component makers. The result is a reliably cost-effective, conventional tyre rear end for any bike. HED save money by essentially carbon skinning a standard spoked rear wheel. The ‘substrate wheel’ is hand built using their top C2 aluminium clincher rim with a broad 23mm tyre-fattening profile that matches the bulged toroidal section created by the carbon-fibre skins. These flexible ultra-thin skins keep the aerodynamics clean, but allow the rear wheel to suck up bumps more smoothly than solid discs, making this a very comfortable long-haul wheel. It handles well through turns and blustery conditions and, despite the drumskin sides, it’s not as noisy as the full carbon sets. High weight and soft feel mean it is slow to accelerate though.

1,353g in weight

www.hedwheels.com

Comete Mavic (£1,900 / $2,899)

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Mavic comete disc: Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic

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Stars

Mavic’s extremely firm, improved brake disc isn’t cheap, but it’s a rock-solid boost for demanding riders. The Comete’s rims are made of aluminum to enable for the newest anchoring and life-boosting Exalith rim treatment, which may be a genuine control benefit in the UK’s changing weather. However, the completely carbon wheel design keeps the total weight low, and the power delivery is very direct, with minimal flex in corners.

At certain wind angles, the asymmetric design is said to produce negative drag, and the wheels definitely seem quick. Mavic’s steel freehubs are well-known, and the company’s own tub tyre, wheelbags, and brake blocks are included, as well as a £147 damage-insurance package.

1,160g in weight

www.mavic.com

The products in this Buyers Guide were featured in pieces from Cycling Plus and Triathlon Plus magazines.

I was lucky enough to test a number of aero wheelsets over the years and I have to say that the most aero wheelsets are the ones that are cheap and have no spokes.. Read more about best carbon wheelset for the money and let us know what you think.

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I am not sure if aero wheels are worth it, but they can be helpful for some people.”}},{“@type”:”Question”,”name”:”Are aero wheels good for climbing?”,”acceptedAnswer”:{“@type”:”Answer”,”text”:”
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Frequently Asked Questions

Are aero wheels worth it?

I am not sure if aero wheels are worth it, but they can be helpful for some people.

Are aero wheels good for climbing?

Aero wheels are not good for climbing. They dont provide the traction needed to climb effectively.

Are Campagnolo wheels good?

Yes, they are a good brand of bike wheels.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • best carbon wheelset for the money
  • best road bike wheels under 300
  • best road bike wheels for climbing
  • best aero wheels for the money
  • best road bike wheels 2019
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