Carbon Gravel Wheels - Chinese edition

Hi all,

I looking at upgrading my Trek Checkpoint SL5 for racing next year and the only thing missing is a lightweight carbon wheelset. I have a few option in mind but would like some feedback.

  • Roval Terra C : Pros: DT Hub, 25mm inner, tubeless ready, very strong, no import fees with lbs
    good warranty
    Cons: Pricey for their weight, cheapest DT hub with low engagement point

  • Lun Grapid : Pros: Lightweight, budget friendly, tubeless with hooked bead, wide inner and
    outer rim, easy tubeless setup
    Cons: Unknown durability, low spoke count, pillar spokes, import fees, no crash
    replacement warranty

  • ICAN G24 gravel: Pros: very lightweight, can order with DT swiss hubs 240 or 350,
    sapim cx-ray spokes (easier to source replacement parts),
    hookless design for strong rim
    Cons: hookless design limits tire choice, pricey with dt hubs, 24mm inner
    slightly narrower, import fees, unknown reliability, crash
    replacement only offer 15% discount on new purchase, import fees

  • Hunt 35 Gravel X-wide: Pros: wide rim, hookless design, decent crash replacement, quick
    engagement hub
    Cons: Somewhat pricey and heavy, pillar spokes, import fees, lots
    of customer review with hub reliability issues.

So theses are the wheelset I was looking at in the 1000$ CAD range and I’m leaning towards the ICAN right now just because It can be ordered with DT Swiss 240 hubs and CX-ray spokes which all can be serviced quite easily at my lbs and are known commodity and very reliable.

If you have any other suggestion to throw into the mix please let me know and if you have any experience with the ICAN I would love to hear your experience so far with the wheels.

Thanks all!

I have the Hunt X-Wide Gravel 35s and like them a lot. You can also look at Light Bike wheels. You can custom order hubs on most of their wheels. Beware of long shipping times, though.

1 Like

Anything you mention that has questionable durability, why would you roll the dice with that? The Roval wheels are rad, DT hubs are great, low engagement? Im not sure thats really a factor on gravel routes as they are usually more steady efforts (honestly i dont think it really matters much anywhere). Id get the Rovals and have a bomber set of wheels. They set up super easy tubeless too (like the easiest ive ever seen)

+1 for LightBicycle. I have two sets of WR series complete wheels from them, both on 240 hubs and quality is really high. I just completed the GBDURO on my WR45s with no issues - the loaded bike and super low gearing was arguably too much for the 24 spoke rear wheel as I heard the spokes flexing against each other alot, but it is still running as true as the day I left (maybe 1mm wobble side to side after 2 years of riding and racing - have been to my mechanic for service once and he said they are well built. I’ve serviced the hubs twice but they didn’t actually need it the most recent time I pulled them apart).

Of course you don’t get the Roval warranty with LB, but I think as long as you have the patience to deal with China in the event of an issue then they’re incredible value for money.

Bonus is LB has just come out with some 40mm wide rims which make an aero profile on narrower 35-38mm gravel tyres (to compete with the Nextie rims that have been out for a couple years). I’d probably be looking at those rims if I was going to buy again today.

1 Like

You may not get a no-cost replacement warranty with firms like Light Bicycle. But the rims themselves are relatively inexpensive, so if you wreck one, you buy a replacement and have your LBS rebuild the wheel. The base Falcon rims are US$160-180. The more premium versions are US$260 or so. I’m not actually sure what the difference between the versions is.

1 Like

I’ve looked at Light bicycle wheels a few times and the WR35 Disc rims with a DT Hub but with UPS shipping it’s over 1500$ CAD to which you need to add taxes and duties which in the end is more or less 1800$ CAD which is no longer in the budget category if you ask me. With most other website they offer free shipping which reduces the price by 250$+.

1 Like

Pretty sure they offer a shipping option that includes taxes and duties prepaid. At least to the UK. Not sure what the score is in Canada or how much extra it really is, but last time I looked it seemed like a good option for my needs.

Also I think the way they make that option cost-effective is by undervaluing the customs declaration to or below their own manufacturing cost. But then at least they own that and not you :man_shrugging:

Check both the global and North American stores on Light Bicycle, at least in the US there are differences in prices.

I have 6000 miles on my Light Bicycle WR45s with DT350 hubs on my gravel bike and they’ve awesome wheels, still perfectly true and in great shape and easy to setup tires tubeless

Have been looking at the same for my alloy Norco Search XR, use it for commuting, CX and gravel. Have 2 sets of wheels, stock alloys probably ~1850g and got some DT Swiss CR 1600s 1709g that I have 32c Roubaixs on for commuting and winter road riding.
Would like to get a faster wheel for gravel/CX so have been looking at similar wheelsets,

Here are the ones that I put at the top of my list:
ENVE AG25 1528g int 25mm, ext 33.5mm $2400 CAD

DT Swiss GRC1400 with DT240 1611g 24mm int, 32mm ext >3k CAD

Light Bicycle WR35 with DT350 1511g 25mm int, 32mm ext $1050 CAD

LUN Grapid twenty nine 1482g 25mm int, 32mm ext $1050 CAD

9Velo GV35 Gravel 1302g 26mm int, 32mm ext $1120 CAD

I’ve seen these on sale everywhere lately. $750 in the US.

I’ve had ok service and support from Light Bicycle. My first carbon wheels were from LB (rim brake). After refreshing sealant and inflating the tire, I heard a cracking noise and subsequently found a soft spot on the side of the wheel where I presume the layup had separated under the pressure due to a manufacturing defect (I inflated it well below both the tire and rim max pressures). After an email describing the problem and sending them some video, they sent a replacement rim. My only gripe is that they did not pay to have my LBS build up the wheel re-using the hub and spokes, but I took the opportunity to learn to do it myself. A completely built wheel (rim, spokes, hub) would have been top notch, but there’s a lot of expense in the spokes and hub and them replacing only the rim was clearly in their warranty policy. There’s goodness and badness in my experience, so take it for what it’s worth.

My only other comment about the LB wheels is that I found my set twitchy in cross winds. Now, that was on a set of rim brake wheels 55 mm deep on a bike that was one size too large for me, compared to Zipp 303s (45 mm deep) on a bike that is the proper size. Again, n=1 here but want to be fully transparent. Not sure if that is a function of the rim shape, rim depth, or both. If you’re looking at gravel wheels 45 mm deep or less, then I think it is less of a concern.

Finally, I guess you could consider Winspace. I have no personal experience with them but GCN beat the $&*# out of a set of their gravel wheels. 38 mm deep, 32 mm wide, 25 mm inner width. No option to customize hub or spokes, though. $800USD. Free shipping to the US, not sure about Canada.

Cheap fix :slight_smile:

Bad hubs and gravel doesn’t go well together.

I’d go with Rivals :slight_smile: Especially if you upgrade the ratchet and have the warranty!

I bought a pair of WR50 disc rims from the North America Light Bicycle shop. I wanted 28 spoke hubs with J-bend spokes so I bought dt350s from Germany, they came with a 36T ratchet but I’d be fine with the 18T. The rims alone were ~950C$, well with valve stems, tax and the shipping. If you bought hubs elsewhere you can ship them to the LB warehouse in B.C. and they’ll build your wheels here.

So I don’t know if this will help you at all, but an LBS near me sells Lun wheels. I’ve talked to the owner a bit about them and he seemed fairly confident in them. They sponsor a local junior triathlon team and he said he has a bunch of people on them and hasn’t heard any complaints.

Obviously that’s hear say and he’s trying to sell them. But I think if they had a bunch of issues he’d know about it.

1 Like

They look like a good cheapish option for sure but I’m not sure about their hub quality and sourcing Pillar spokes seems problematic. I’m no sure if there is a lbs in eastern Canada that sells Lun wheels.

I’m kind of annoyed how expensive good Chinese wheels have become. When I price out Farsports or Light Bicycle wheels, they are as much as big name brand mid-tier wheels on sale. I’d rather have the mid-tier wheels with the better warranty and support.


I dunno I think I could find 303 fc’s for the same money as most of these wheelsets. I’m not saying they’re somehow better because not Chinese, just that the warranty support will be worth the change.

Not sure how it is in the US but in Canada the 303s are at least 1700 CAD for the pair. For some reason the Terra C wheelset is no longer listed on the Canadian website so perhaps they’re no longer going to be offered next year.

Those are higher end Zipp wheels. I’m talking about the newer budget offerings from Zipp, Enve, Roval, Bontrager, etc.

At this price point I think it’s now about aftersales support vs customisation. The Chinese brands let you pick every component, spoke count, drainage holes, drilled or solid rim bed, hooked or hookless, etc etc. I think most of us are buying them for that reason more than for budget these days.