Good wheel upgrade for $500-600 a pair?

Hi everyone,

So I bought my first carbon road bike last year, a Giant TCR Advanced 1 KOM Edition. It came with Giant PR2 aluminum wheels which seem awfully heavy. Looking to upgrade but my budget doesn’t allow for carbon wheels quite yet. I have my eye on a set of Zipp carbon wheels in the future ($1100 range), but, does it make any sense to upgrade to some better wheels now at the $500-600 price range? I don’t know if aluminum wheels would be a nice option for the next year until I decide to go carbon, or, if I should just wait it out and go all in on carbon when the time is right.

DT Swiss E1800 I think are in that price range. Might be able to get them 32mm deep, too, if you can find both a front a rear wheel.

I’d probably just wait vs spending 500 to 600 now and buying something better and more expensive in the future.

Have you gone online to They have HED disc wheels that are in the 800 to 850 range. I think they also have demo pairs that are cheaper.

Local bike shop is recommending ER 1600 at 700 a pair, looks pretty sweet coming from the PR2’s. Both are in stock for my thru axel type too. Thoughts?

I have no first hand experience with DT Swiss wheels but am a huge fan of their hubs - bullet proof. I don’t think you’ll go wrong with them.

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For that price range I would check out something like Hunts.

But I would probably also just save up and buy the carbons later rather than pushing that off until you recoup the $500 you spent on the alloy wheels that you don’t really want anyway.


Realized due to the chip shortage the Sony a6600 mirrorless camera I have is worth more than I paid for it, so, I think I might part ways with that and go full carbon. This thread took a turn haha, how about entry level carbon options? Zipp or giant wheels? New price range is $1400

Zipp has a full warranty, even for crashes. I’ve never bought zipps, but that is tempting. Are you on any other forums? has classifieds (triathlon site) and bike doctor posts with deals for members.

Check them out.

What about rovals 38mm pair, around 1k. There’s also HEDs 45 and 55 deep rims, that are usually priced well, but might be a little heavier.

How deep are you looking?

More race aero than endurance if by depth your referring to the cut of the wheels.

You can get some good wheels from If custom, just be prepared for 8-10 weeks for them to make and ship.

The e1800 / ER1600 etc won’t be worth the effort. It’s basically the same wheel. It’s a bite deeper, but it’s the same as you have now (Giant PR2 30mm deep x 23mm wide and 2200 grams. You can get something a bit lighter, but it’s not going to move the needle. It’s not wide enough to be aero with a 25c tire, they are durable though. DT Swiss ER 1600 Spline 32 Disc Road Wheelset - 700c | Merlin Cycles

Alloy around your budget: There’s not much! Everything is going to be more of the same. The weight doesn’t really matter. For aero, you want something 25mm+ wide for a 25c tires or the depth won’t really matter. If it isn’t 25mm+ external, put it back; don’t be afraid of “gravel” wheels as long as the internal width isn’t too wide. These are worth looking at

Carbon light / aero wheels - for about $700 you can get something from Lightcycle. I’ve had good luck here, as have a whole lot of folks.

For off-the-shelf… these are basically the cheapest carbon wheels possible Prime RR-50 V3 Carbon Clincher Disc Wheelset | Chain Reaction
OEM takeoffs are a good idea too if the specs are right - Giant SLR 1 Disc Wheelset | eBay

Managed to grab a set of Giant SLR 1 Carbons with an upgraded DT Swiss hub that they highly recommended. I have a great local shop that has always done great work on my bikes. Don’t think I will regret my choice skipping aluminum and going for carbon. They should be here next week, thanks everyone!


Do you get Fulcrum in the States (rebadged Campagnolo for selling to Sram/Shimano users) ? They offer a good range of wheels to suit budgets and the ones I have had have performed well.

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Don’t know if it’s still the case, but Giant wheels used to be pretty decent. I doubt that for that budget you’ll get much of an upgrade. Stick with what you have until you can afford a proper upgrade.