A simple question, perhaps without a simple answer: what’s the best all-round road (disc) wheelset for under £1500 (c.$1800)? I could maybe stretch to 10% over this, but that would be the absolute maximum.
For context, the wheels will see long solo rides, some fast-ish (c.32kph average) group rides, and the odd semi-competitive sportive. They won’t see road racing and they won’t see gravel. I’m 70kg so weight limit isn’t an issue.
I’m based in the Chilterns in the south of England; it’s quite hilly (lots of short and steep climbs, but nothing >2k) and can be windy, so I’d be reluctant to go deeper than 50mm max or heavier than 1500g. Hookless isn’t a dealbreaker but I’d prefer not, all things being equal. Tubeless is essential. The roads around me are mixed but sometimes not great, so the ability to run 28s without destroying any aero gains is likewise essential (so 21 internal/28 external minimum widths, really).
The current thought process:
My 2 front runners are the Zipp 303 Firecrest (light, sensible depth, wide, but hookless and I’ve heard mixed stories about hub reliability) and the Hunt 44UD (well inside budget, width looks ok, supposedly fast, but unsure about build quality).
I’ve also looked at the Mavic Cosmic SLR 45s (widely discounted to put them within budget), but they’re pretty narrow. The Bontrager RSLs would be first choice but are out of budget. I have Roval CL50 on my rim brake bike and I’ve been impressed with them, and I can get the Rapide CLX heavily discounted, but it’s a bit deep (60/50) and tube type only.
What have I missed, and what would people recommend?
Can you get the Firecrest within your budget? I have not seen them that low in the US.
Yes, under £1500 at Sigma.
Have you checked out Parcours? Their Strade wheels are well under your budget, only a smidgen over your desired weight, at 1,520g but 50mm deep. Designed for use with 28mm tyres (22.5 ID, 32.0OD). They also have a 1,400g option if you want to go don’t want something so deep.
Have you taken a look at Edco Wheels UK| Home Page| Performance Cycling Components (edco-wheels.co.uk)
I’ve got the All Road and an old pair of Furka Lights (58mm) and I love them, Edco don’t seem to get a lot of love but they are excellent wheel sets.
Check out November wheels.
November Wheels Cafe Racer
I’ve been intrigued by these, I have to say. They don’t have the brand cachet of some of the others, but if they are good and reliable, that doesn’t matter too much. Do you own them? Thanks
I know! Not loving the hookless aspect, but otherwise…
I picked up a set two weeks ago. Not put loads of miles on them yet (punctured out of my first road race ) but did a 300km ride on them at the weekend and doing a crit tonight.
First impressions are good. Seem stiff enough for me (and I’ve had issues with some wheels in the past). I haven’t done anything too technical with them yet, but doubt they’ll struggle with it when I do. I’ve used Zipp, Campag, Fulcrum, Reynolds and many more over the years and these Parcours seem great so far (my favourite wheels are my Campag Bora WTOs but they are on my rim brake bike)
I’d get 40mm or under. I’m 70kg and have 50mm wheels and they’re not good for crosswinds or fast descents.
I’ll throw Scribe wheels into the hat, I run a set of the 42 aero wide wheels. Light, fast, solid. Customer Service is outstanding, I cracked a rim (my fault entirely), they sent me a new rim f.o.c!
What about the roval wheels? Are they an option for you?
Here are a few obvious choices:
Zipp 303S: well within your budget, 1,550 g light, wide inner rim, tubeless compatible and come in the goldilocks depth of about 45 mm.
Enve 45: same as above, although more expensive. Weight is virtually identical to Zipp 303S (depending on your choice of freehub about 10 g heavier or lighter). Optimized for 28 mm wide tires.
I know they are 50 g heavier than you’d want, but seriously, these 50 g don’t really matter.
I haven’t ridden those wheels specifically, but I have 3T carbon wheels of similar depth and design. Stability in cross winds is excellent, you do not need to go with shallower wheels. I live near the coast in Japan and we can have very strong winds. Modern wheels up until about 40–50 mm handle these fine.
Nah, modern 40-50 mm deep wheels will be fine. I have had big problems when I tried deep carbon wheels on a loaner the first time, but the modern 45ish mm deep wheels perform very well in crosswinds and on fast descents.