Budget Carbon Mountain Bike Wheels

I really want to try some carbon wheels. I can probably nab a pair at wholesale but the brand options are most likely limited. All my frames are currently 27.5".
What are some good ‘cheap’ carbon wheels for mountain biking? That’s probably an oxymoron but money is my great limiter right now.
Do you risk it and go with those cheap no-names off of eBay or what would you choose? I don’t really want to spend more than $600 wholesale.

Cheapest I would go is Lightbicycle. They offer the most cost effective reliable wheel I know of.


Head over to the MTBR forums where this is discussed at length.

A new brand getting good reviews there is BTLOS, but a bit more than $600/wheelset.

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Keith Bontragers famous quote comes to mind: “Strong. Cheap. Light… Pick two”.

Don’t have recommendations for specific wheels, but just my thought that it’s always worth spending a little extra if you can on wheels and treat them as transferable between bikes / a long term investment.


Look up Tru Wheels. He can build a set for as low as 800$ all quality parts. I have a set over a year old no problems. I should also add that I ride my Mach 4 like an enduro bike so they do take a beating.

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There have been new DT Swiss XMC 1200s at very reasonable prices on Ebay recently, so you may want to take a look there.

I’ve never ridden them, but a lot of favorable reviews of Nox wheels. They aren’t super cheap but definitely less than some of the premium brands.

Finally, there have been some really good deals on discontinued models. I’ve seen new Enve’s that are one generation old being sold off at less than half of their original retail.

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Not quite budget carbon but not quite Enve cost is the new Stan’s crest CB7 wheels. With a shop team discount I picked up a pair for $1200. I rode them all summer with no issues. You can get wider rim Arch in carbon as well. I believe they have a limited lifetime warranty too.

I was an early adopter from light bicycle buying mine in 2012 and 2013. In my case though i just bought rims from them since i bought a pair of ss specific king hubs on ebay and rebuilt an alloy rim i had dinged up from my stumpjumper. I would recommend them in an instant. I still have my ss wheels and have never had and issue. I rode my bike rigid for a period of time on our local trail system that is really gnarly. Still as true as ever, but that can also be due to my spoke choices and the build at my local shop.


I have light bike 650bs on a set of Stan’s hubs that I took from my iron cross. I ride them mostly on singletrack, and all rigid since its on my cross/gravel bike. They’ve been flawless. Built up with CX-Rays and not so much as a hiccup. If you can get your hands on a good set of hubs, you could build them up for about what your target is and have a nice wheelset, I think MSRP on the rims is 225 each. That varies but most of their 27.5s come in around that price.

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Not carbon but check these out: