Criticism wanted gravel wheel upgrade

I’m putting myself out there to take flack from yall
I’m thinking of upgrading my gravel wheels to save 600-700 grams
Am I ridiculous? I know I know I could take 2 lbs off the spare tire – But would I notice a difference w/ lighter wheels?
I ride a budget aluminum gravel bike that feels and records much slower speeds than my road bike.
Criticism, thoughts wanted – have some fun at my expense-- cheers

1 Like

I don’t think thats a crazy idea at all nor do I think a lot of people on here.

1 Like

What are you looking at getting? Rim or disc?

Not crazy at all. Have you looked at swapping out tires too? I saved almost 500 grams putting Maxxis Ramblers on my Aspero and taking off the Donnelley tires that came stock. Way better feel to the bike now! Wheels and tires are the best upgrade you can do.

1 Like

I believe I have 135 mm rear disc spacing, seemingly harder to find ?
Any suggestions out there are welcome? First few replies suggest I may notice a ifference ?

I feel like it totally sounds crazy when someone else pursues this… but when I’m thinking of doing it for myself it sounds totally reasonable :metal:

1 Like

Dude, wheels always. Absolutely the best place to spend money.

1 Like

I don’t think it is ridiculous, especially if you are looking at wide carbon wheel. There is some comfort their, but also it make you feel faster. :joy:

My thoughts are on bikes and equipment, the question I ask myself, “Am I the fastest I can be?” and the answer is usually not the equipment holding me back.

I would say wheels are a great place to spend your money. You can take them with you bike to bike to bike, and they have a dramatic influence on ride quality. Good wheels spin up faster, ride smoother, and can be spec’d out to fit you and your riding. Not to mention the maintenance improvements… what if I told you that you might never have to take your wheels in for truing again?

Full disclosure: I own a wheel-building business. But I’m always keen to help people better understand their wheels since they’re really at the core of what we do.

1 Like

To echo what all the others have said: Upgrading wheels is one of the best ways to upgrade your equipment. “If you have the means” ;-), go for it!

That said, I considered upgrading my aluminium wheels on my gravel bike as well but for now have decided against it. My thinking was that the relatively wide and heavy tires would offset the ~500g I would have saved in total with the new wheels I had in mind.
I totally see myself reversing that decision in a few weeks and buying those carbon wheels anyway though. :laughing:

1 Like

If none of us upgraded our bikes until we’d optimised our body composition and fitness, we’d all be riding around on entry level bikes from Decathlon/Walmart/Halfords and every LBS would go out of business…

Spend the money, enjoy the wheels, don’t feel guilty!


Solid perspective.

If you have 135 QR disc wheels on your current bike, make sure the new wheels have hubs that can be adapted to thru axle. That will help insure that they are an investment that can move to your next bike.


1 Like

So much of this depends on your budget and what the alternative destinations for that money would be

Given unlimited money - yes, absolutely, upgrade your wheels, your frame, everything

With every upgrade decision I’d recommend looking at what the alternatives are and consider that opportunity cost. Do your theoretical new wheels cost as much as a fully built out new bike? As much as a nice aero lid and some new tires for the existing wheels? As much as a adding a power meter to the bike?

In general, new wheels are a great place to spend money, but as to whether or not they are the right place for you to spend money right now…more information is needed

1 Like

Some reasoning to consider…

Saving weight always feels good when you are on the bike. Will you “feel” it when you are riding? For wheels, the answer is almost always “yes”. Will it actually make you faster? Welllllll…probably not.

HOWEVER, will it make a significant difference in ride quality? Almost certainly and that IS something worth spending the money on. Get wider rims, go tubeless and get some good tires and you will almost certainly be faster due to lower rolling resistance and better ride quality.

Plus, most people “feel” they are faster with lighter wheels and that often means they push harder, so they end up being faster…but it is all in the head, not the wheels.

So if you have the budget, go for it,new wheels are always fun!!

1 Like

my last set of wheels that I built, I made sure to buy DT Swiss hubs, as they seemingly have end caps for everything.

Those wheels I built primarily reside on my gravel bike (135mm QR disc rear), but I use them for Belgian Waffle Ride on my road bike (142mm thru axle rear) all with the easy switch of $40 end caps. I’ve used them for pit wheels in criteriums as well. If I was in a pinch, I could get boost adapter kits for them and use it on my mountain bike.

Yup - DT Swiss is a great example of an adaptable hub that can move from bike to bike.


Did you replace it with a 38 or a 40?

  1. Where I live I wouldn’t go any lower than a 40. I’d say what we call “gravel” in my area is really just single track/mountain bike trails.

Cool, just wasn’t sure if some of the weight drop was because of a narrower tire. I just picked up an Aspero this past weekend and already looking to tinker :rofl: .