Wheelset, which would you choose?

I’m just speccing my new Factor o2, its going to be an everday day all year round disc bike so not a super lightweight. I mainly group ride in rolling terrain and on rough roads here in UK, so balance of weight and aero even though none of this bike is really aero so could go for something shallower. I will be running 28mm on them.

I have shortlisted the below based on spec and price, you will see some quite low prices as we have a govt. scheme where you can get 40% tax benefit on bikes/wheels purchased through cycletowork scheme, you have to buy from bike shop so can only get the discount on the brands your chosen shop stock.

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I think I’d be going for Hunt, a couple of people I know have them and are happy with them. Wish my work had something other than a £500 limit on the bike to work scheme, a new set of aero wheels would be lovely!


Yeah luckily my director has just got into cycling a bit so I’ve pushed the whole ctw thing through with no limit and i’m going the full hog with new bike!

Do you know what Hunts they are running? I find their range quite confusing.

I’ve heard a few more rumblings of issues and poor customer service with Hunt wheels recently. So personally, just going off what I have heard, I wouldn’t buy Hunt - that’s just me.

As for my personal experience - I really like Fulcrum/Campy wheels so would go for the Fulcrum Wind from your list.

I have the campy bora WTOs that are not on your list but would recommend.


I have to say that I have a gut feeling about the hunts that i’m just not sure about, they run too many lines, it seems an incoherent range, if you were that confident in your wheelset you wouldn’t have to have so many different ones trying to cater to everyone . I love the look of the fulcrums but are also heaviest on list, i’m edging towards zipps or hyper 38 at moment but still not sure.

I have the Hunt 33s - meh. They are noticeably worse in crosswinds than my deeper Aeolus. They are also c.100g heavier than claimed, though admittedly that figure includes tubeless rim tape.

I haven’t ridden any of the others, but the Zipps are consistently well-reviewed and the greater internal width is possibly better suited to 28mm tyres.

I assume they are not an option, but I’d recommend the Bontrager Aeolus Pro 37. They are the same kind of money as those you’re looking at, and I’ve found them a very solid all-rounder.

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I’ve owned, ridden and raced on a set of HUNT Aero 50s (appreciate they’re not on your list) with no issues, for the past two years. They’ve not had an easy life and to my mind, they’ve been faultless.

Can’t say that I’ve owned a wheelset by any of the other manufacturers on your list but I doubt you can go far wrong with a set of ZIPPs.

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I would choose either the Fulcrum Wind or Zipp 303S.

I have used various Fulcrum/Campagnolo wheels for years and have never had any issues with them. The rim is not very wide, but works perfectly with 25-28 mm tyres. I have no experience of using the Fulcrum/Campy wheels without the inner tube.

The Zipp is also a good choice. I just got myself a pair in the autumn, but have limited experience of them: it is winter here. The build quality is good and setting up the tubeless (gravel) tyres was very easy. The rim is wide so you can use them with lower pressure (see the calculator at https://axs.sram.com/guides/tire/pressure)

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Adding rim tape to the zipps would help to close the weight gap but not quite. The Zipps are a really solid option and I’m sure you would be happy with them - I dont know anything about the winspace…

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Having been faced with a similar decision recently and living in the UK too (:wave:t2:) I did some investigating on how important weight is. For my system weight of 70kg, at 250 watts up a 5% grade, an extra 100g costs you just 0.000965% in time. Pretty depressing for the WeightWeenie in me…

Have a play yourself: http://bikecalculator.com/

All this to say I would go for a decent mid depth like 45mm or 50mm. Have also heard mixed reviews of Hunts (plenty of friends happy with them but not best value maybe), Zipp 303s seem popular, no experience with the others.

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This is exactly my experience (and a UK guy here too). After a lot of thought, and a play around on bikecalculator, I confirmed that everything else being equal, weight is actually much less important than you’d think. I seem to recall calculating that 500g would cost me about 42 seconds… up Mount Ventoux! It was a key factor in my ordering a custom steel frame.

More relevantly to the OP, if speed is a real factor in the decision, the Winspace 50s are likely to be the most aerodynamically efficient and therefore the fastest.

I think Cam Nicholls has talked about Winspace on his Youtube channel iirc.

EDIT: I re-ran the calculator - it’s 46 seconds :rofl:


My limited experience of the brands, my summer Hunt aero wide have been excellent. My previous fulcrum wheels were very robust. My mates Zipps (I can’t remember if they’re 303 or 404) have had no end of hub problems and he’s not a heavy rider.

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Just as a note, I saw that you have the Zipp’s listed as “TL Only”… If you’re not sold on running tubeless, any tubeless tire can be run with a latex tube and you get just as low of a rolling resistance, without the “hassle” that some try to avoid.

And my two cents, of all those options on the list, I’d probably go Zipp for that price. If I were paying full retail, I’d maybe open my options to others not on the list.

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I wouldn’t price Zipp 303/Enve (lower level)/Bontragers/Campy/Fulcrum, etc against Hunts and Winspace. They are on a completely different resale level as the Winspace/Hunts.

Winspace Hyper - these are probably fine, but I’d say these aren’t proven. They provided wheels to a bunch of youtube guys and spamming web forums to generate buzz, which is why they are on the map. I’d let them simmer for a bit before ordering from them. Being disc brake, they are probably fine mechanically, but ability to deliver consistently might be something to watch. LightBicycle (and a few others) is similar, has more options, and a much more proven track record - strongly recommended instead of these.

Hunt- Generally these are pretty common parts put together with a reasonable markup and a shit-load of BS on their website. For example this Hunt 44 is a CN carbon rim, with Pillar Spokes , and Novatech hubs (all fine)… but you can probably get that exact same build for $500gbp (+Brexit??) vs $930GBP (https://www.lightbicycle.com/700C-Gravel-Optimized-Aero-Shape-46mm-depth-hand-built-carbon-road-disc-wheels---28mm-wide-and-tubeless-compatible.html )

Carbon Spokes… generally avoid. Performance vs compromise isn’t there. Spokes are flexy and resin isn’t. You can’t tread carbon fiber either. These are effectively bling. 1) As a system, they aren’t much lighter (the hunt wheelset is 120g lighter; ~40gr of that comes from eliminating excess steel spokes/nipples (4.6gr/sp+nipple), hub flange; 80gr from the spoke itself; and they should be saving 10-20gr rim with the fulfillment wound rim - so like for like, they don’t save much real weight) 2) They’re too stiff - the wheel should only be stiff enough. 3) They don’t take kindly to being overloaded after a few fail as they are very inelastic (unlike steel). When multiple fail, things go bad. 4) They don’t take kindly to non-tension load (rotation during install; sideways hits) 5) They’re only as strong as the end (looks like they install an end knob thing during production, which looks pretty slick). 6) Aero is a question. I doubt they are as thin (Sapim make 3x 1.9mm thick ones in 2015) or well profiled as a CX-Ray (2.2 x .9 elliptical) ( basically, they’ll leave 4x the wake, probably only a 1-2w at worst though) - this isn’t something to be an “early adopter” on (non-oem non-wheelset specific CF spokes - cf spokes you can put into most hubs/rims).

You’re listing weight there a few things 1) It doesn’t really matter as this level. You’ve got a 220gr spread on very different wheels. The Zipps /Fulcrums have stout hubs… thats’ not a lot to worry about unless you’re weighing your bike for fun. 2) If someone convinces you wheel is more important than general weight (and they’re wrong), rim weight would be more important than wheel-general weight due to their inertia argument (which is wrong). You want less moment of inertia for acceleration, so weight toward the hub is not as bad as it is closer to the tire. All those wheels would have about the same rim weight. The tall rim at the same weight-ish would have less moment of inertia, since a decent chunk of the weight (the spoke bed) is more inboard. Anyway, the weight difference between the Hunt 33 and 44 is all rim, but you’re getting a deeper rim which moves all that extra 55gr of weight ~15mm inboard (using ERD), probably offsetting all of it. Here- http://www.rouesartisanales.com/article-15988284.html - a Shimano C24 only saves .2w (2 joules) on a hard/long acceleration over a C50 rim thats 250gr (measured) heavier - similar wheel aero or rolling resistance concerns would negate this.


Thanks for all your comments, the weight thing is interesting, basically it doesn’t make a real difference, another thing I have come to realise whilst researching is really aero doesn’t matter. If you are going for a TT win then yes, but if you are running disc brakes, 28mm tyres have the frontal area of a normal 80kg human, ride in group rides behind other people it all really doesn’t make a difference. I saw a calculation that showed how much time you save with a watt increase compared to weight and aero and watts makes much more difference.

So I might just go for what I like the look of best, which is the fulcrums!

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Full marks imo.

Tbh I think unless you’re racing quite seriously (which rules out 98% of cyclists, and probably 60-70% even on a forum like this), that’s as good a criterion as any. The time difference on a hilly 60k loop between my (heavy and non-aero) winter bike and my (light and aero) summer bike is 3-4 minutes. Given I’m usually riding alone (especially these days), even that is probably an irrelevance. My buying criteria these days is increasingly it needs to fit, to look good, to be durable, and be fast/light enough.so as not to spoil my enjoyment.


This. Absolutely. :slight_smile:

-eeeeee… if you’re in a group ride, it doesn’t matter. Unless there is crosswind…where you’ll see a huge difference.
-28mm tires can be aero with wide rims. 23c with the right rim will be faster, and 23c with the wrong rim will be slower.
-Disc brakes - on a traditional setup the disc version will be slower. Newer setups leverage hydraulics cable routing capabilities and fork design freedom. With the cables better hidden and fork blades moved away from the tire, disc is neutral or better than rim. If you think about it, a rim brake is an awful shape for controlling air. .
-Ironically, the slower you are, the more time you save with aero. You’re looking at 4-5% energy savings with the right wheels. The (.5) right bars, helmet, outfit, and (.5) frame net your about the same.

The fact of the matter is that a fancy aero wheelset from the right vendor costs about the same as a non-aero wheelset. You have to think about the incremental cost, not the cost if you’re buying wheels.
$250 DT Swiss 350 hubs + $50 spokes + $100 Swiss pinned rims = $400
Aftermarket alloy 32mm deep wheelset = $400 (469gbp shipped - $220gbp if you settle for the noisy hubs and ugly graphics - e1800) (Swiss ER1600 https://www.merlincycles.com/dt-swiss-er-1600-spline-32-disc-road-wheelset-700c-112361.html )
Proper “aero” wheelset - for $700 ($523 gbp shipped) you can have proper “aero” wheelset that’s a lot more durable and looks cool
…so the delta is about $300 if you’re buying aftermarket wheels anyway.

Have a look here if you can read German or data… these are all iterations of basically the same family (with a few odd balls) - an ‘ugly’ (to the air), well shaped bad dimensions, medium, through “perfect as it gets” with the same tire, the same-ish spokes, three versions of the same hub family (or similar), and rim types (shallow ugly, shallow well shaped, mid-ugly, mid-well mid-shape, mid-nicely shaped, nicely shaped wide rim)

So 4w @ 21.5mph (single wheel, that includes wind, so this is a LOW speed) best to worst (inc the 65mm deep wheel) on wheels that were hampered by the rim brake width for the tire they had on there.

**Note that none of these had round spokes, so that’s another 1-3w over generally good wheels to perfect.

These are all $500+ wheels (street), a $250 Fulcrum 7 (a very basic quality realistic wheelset) has been shown to be about 2w slower than the Mavic in the wind, supporting the spoke thing. You’re looking at 7w difference (F&R) for fancy wheels v fancy or 10w fancy v basic. That’s $250 for the first 3w, $250 for the second 3w, and ~$250-1500 for the remaining 1-2w. The helmet is $300 for 5w. Narrower aero road bars $200 for 15w ( http://www.aeroweenie.com/assets/img/data/tour-road-bars.png ) . If you go full TT, you can buy 25% savings (2-4mph https://www.bikeradar.com/advice/fitness-and-training/how-aero-is-aero/ ).

Consider you’re on a 200w avg budget for your group ride - that’s about .75mph or so. You’re probably getting a wider rim with that, so you’ll get another 1w or so out of rolling resistance.

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OP - are you able to try any of the wheels? might be worth an ask. For what it is worth I have always liked the feel of the Zipps and the functional benefit of external nipples. I have ridden 7 different carbon wheels and always come back to the Zipps, they feel right to me.

Not can’t really ride them, I’ve only ever had in carbon, mavics which I found soft and then I had zipp 302 which I actually found extremely stiff and harsh, but I was running 25mm at 100psi on rough roads which I now know is a mistake.