Can’t afford new bike - so opting for new wheels - recommendations?

Will be racing Crits next year and goal is to level up from Cat4 to Cat3

Will have done SSB LV 1 and 2 plus general build then an appropriate speciality by the time of the first races

My bike is a Cannondale synapse and has OK wheels for general riding. I wanted to buy a bike that was considerably more aero but can’t afford to / justify the cost

So am opting to get some good quality aero wheels that I can use for the Crit racing and also fast road riding, keeping for ‘best’ and good weather

I’ve been doing a bit of on line research and have narrowed my choice to something carbon with between 35 and 48mm depth - budget is circa £1100 ($1250?) Brand possibly by DT Swiss or Zipp - I will be seeking a deal in the sales in January

Objective is to have a set of wheels that are much more aerodynamic, have much improved hubs for better (less) friction losses and also fit a pair of decent tyres (continental GP5000 are what I have my eye on) without adding any appreciable weight if possible.

Note: I am heavy and big (6’3” and 95+kg) so need a set that can take some punishment

Aim is to be faster as a result - which combined with expected (hopefully) fitness gains form TR will allow me to get into the top 10 in some races and get the points I need over the course of the season

Any recommendations from those of you who have actually made a purchase of this type of wheel and transitioned to them from ‘regular’ wheels - any pointers to look out for?

Gday, Im 86kg and been using fulcrum quattro racing for the past 18months and they have been a great wheel. 40mm deep they are just a tad over 1k so a great entry level wheel

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Thanks - I’ll take a look :+1:

Try zed bike wheels! I got a set from Lee. Very good!

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I’m 96kg and have been riding FLO carbon wheels the last 2 years, this past year with 5000 TL tires, they have been fantastic and reliable wheels so far.


Get yourself on Ebay. I picked up a set of tubeless-ready Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SLs for about £700 (RRP £1800). Put GP5000TL on them, perfect.


Good idea - thanks :grin:

Facebook marketplace and bike selling groups are also a good place to look.

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88kg here. Using Bontrager Aelous 5 TLR and Zipp 302 both are highly recommended

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Thanks for the multiple recommendations guys :+1::+1:

Don’t be afraid to look into “Chinese carbon” wheels! I have a set of Yoeleo wheels that have been faultless, and I know people who have had similar experiences with Farsports or Light Bicycle. I’m sure there are terrible Chinese carbon wheels out there from less reputable brands, but the legit companies make some great wheels.


I’d not even considered that as an option to be honest, thanks for the suggestion.

I presume you just order direct from China on their own websites as opposed to via a UK based intermediary?

@dsirrom my recommendation is join the FB group “Online Swap Meet For Cycling and Triathlon”. There is a huge surplus of high end wheels for a great price these days and most right at your price point! The ENVE 4.5 with DT240 hubs would be high on my recommendation list. I think you could find a set close to $1250 with a little patience. I own a set of 7.8’swith 240’s for full disclosure. Super amazing wheels, however, for a fraction of the price my Mercury M5s might be just as good. The braking isn’t as good but, indistinguishable from other smooth brake track wheels.

One sweeping recommendation is pay attention to the internal rim width. Wider will allow for a rounder tire=better cornering and faster straight line.

Also, for extra reading, here is a informative blog from Fairwheel Bikes in Tucson Arizona about hubs. Cheers

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I recently picked up a set of Zipp 404 nsw wheels that I found for sell on a Facebook page. Im pretty much the same height / weight as you and those wheels made a huge difference for me. MUCH faster than the tubular HED wheels with gatorskins I was running.

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Fantastic info - many thanks for this

Been super happy with my 2015 era Aeolus 5 that I got used. The Aeolus Pro are a cheaper alternative. I’ve put over 10,000mi on my Aeolus and they rock, never need truing, no issues braking with Black Prince pads

Aeolus - Made in USA, DT Hubs, higher grade carbon so lighter, no weight limit
Aeolus Pro - Made in Taiwan, Bontrager hubs, heavier carbon, no weight limit

Both are solid choices, aero wise on par with ZIPP, Enve, etc. Used sets can be found on eBay for under $1,000. The Aeolus XXX2/4/6 are the current generation and are even wider

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Cheers :+1:

I’ve no experience on a set, but I know we had a set come through for a customer at the bike shop. Wheelscience wheels seem to fit your price range and are wonderful looking wheels, so you may wish to look into them.

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I’ve used a pair of Rovals for 3 plus years, they’ve never missed a beat, spin up quickly and hold their speed well. I’m not known for being light handed either so chapeau to the build quality and design.

1 Like has Hed Jet 5+ wheels for $800. It’s a 50mm rim depth with 21mm inside width. Fantastic wheelset for the price.