Rim brake carbon wheelset

What’s the current views on the best carbon wheelsets for rim brakes?

I’ve got the following criteria:

  • need to weigh c.1500g
  • some aero advantage but still be capable all-rounders
  • have at least fairly good wet weather braking performance

I’m looking at the Bora 45 WTOs, and love them, but they are more than I can likely afford to spend. Others on the radar are the Scribe aero wide 3850, the Borg 50C, and the Deda SL38. Hunts also an option.

Any recommendations or views on those on this list would be appreciated.

I got some ENVEs with CK hubs this year and don’t know if they fit your criteria but I use them in the mountains and love them. I got the ones with a textured rim surface which is much better for braking. I would not buy carbon wheels that have a smooth carbon braking surface. I had some before and they were horrible for braking. Sorry I’m not sure of the model. I think 3.5 or something like that. They are the wheels for mountainous riding.

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Thanks bud. I’d be grateful if you could check the model. I suspect ENVEs are out of my budget, but you never know…

They are ENVE SES 3.4 rim brakes.

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Appreciate it, thank you

I had the prior model before and the braking was absolutely horrible especially in wet weather. I do a lot of long descents and have been happy with these. I wanted to get a new bike but couldn’t afford it so got new wheels instead and these have performed well. They were above my budget too but it’s going to keep me from wanting a new bike for a while haha.

Not sure what your budget is but this thread has several suggestions that I wasn’t familiar with.


I have the Enve’s without the textured rim brake surface. Pretty sure they are the 3.4 model; mine are definitely an older version. They are amazing wheels and I highly recommend them - for flat riding or for rolling terrain. That said, as mentioned above, they are terrible in wet weather and I would not feel comfortable on them on any prolonged descents.

There is a 10km climb that we have around here and they do the job well, but I’m always a bit sketchy on the descent using the Enve 3.4’s. I generally sit up to catch as much resistance as possible going down and definitely do not try for an PRs going down.

I’ve also ridden them in wet weather on the flats before and the braking speed is far too slow - especially in a bunch.

So the conclusion on my end is that the Enve 3.4 are a great set of wheels but only for dry and flat/rolling roads.

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Thanks - that absolutely rules out the non-textured ones!

There is a lot positive feedback about boyd wheels. The prices are also in the budget. If you want aluminium brake track - HED.

You should check out the 25 and 55s from November. They will build you a killer set of wheels

If I were you, I’d check the used market. More and more people are switching from rim to disc brake bikes, so I expect you could find some great deals on used wheelsets. I would not buy new if I were you.

A wee bit more in weight than your request (1660g), but you’ll never notice the difference. Plus you’ll get alloy rims for better braking.

I had the Jet 5’s and they were awesome…the 6’s are better w/ bladed spokes. Used them on a couple of trips to NC has had zero issues with them on long climbing days.

Check out the Fulcrum wheels. Fulcrum is basically Campagnolo in disguise.

Build what you want to your budget and weight desires.

Edit: also found this very comprehensive review of the different sellers and wheels (not rim brake specific) https://intheknowcycling.com/the-best-carbon-wheelset-for-the-money-2/

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Bontrager makes some really solid carbon wheels