Will I notice upgraded gravel wheels?

I have Roval Terra C wheels with a 54t rachet upgrade. They’re 25mm internal and 1600g. I run either Terra Speed and Pathfinder tubeless tires. I ride 70 percent pavement because I always ride to my local gravel trails. All my riding is non-competitive and for fun.

Will I notice much if I upgrade to something fancier like 303 Firecrest wheels or some 1150g Light Bicycle shallower depth carbon wheels? I’d probably need to pony up $600-$1000 after selling my Terra C wheelset.

Depends on what you mean by “notice”….will they “feel” lighter when you are riding? Most likely yes. Will they make you noticeably “faster”? Probably not.


Feel faster ≠ be faster.
The lighter, shallower wheels will feel faster, but especially on the road, you will leave some aero gains on the table. Your current wheels sound great and you need to go for something quite different (deeper in my opinion) to see some gains.

If you have money to spare, I would get a dedicated road wheel set that is deeper, 45–50 mm at least. But probably a tad deeper. Keep gravel tires on the Rovals. Exchange when needed.


If you have the money to burn you can go for it, they will probably feel more responsive and may save you a few seconds on step gravel climbs ( if they are long). But you will not gain much from upgrading to 300g lighter wheels when it comes to overall performance.


I wouldn’t go near 1150g wheels personally. 1600g seems plenty light for gravel and not at the pointy end of a race. I really value not breaking parts and getting home!

Also, any change will be noticed immediately and then by the next ride you’ll stop noticing. The thrill of new wheels will be short lived.


You have a great set of wheels there. If you wanted to upgrade, I would consider getting better hubs and spokes for the rims you have. As far as I know they are the same rim across the C, CL, and CLX?

I have both the CL and CLX and they are very very nice. I only prefer the CLX because the hub is prettier.

And he won’t notice those upgrades at all while riding!


Hi is considering selling these for a lighter set of similar depth wheels from lightbicycle.

Whats the difference? sell and buy lighter, or make lighter.

Terra CLX is nearly a 400g saving over the Terra C. I would notice that.

If he is looking for performance gains, he’s better off with something like the Reserve 40/44.

Define “notice”……again, it would “feel” lighter / livelier but it would not be “faster” in a meaningful way.


I didn’t say It would be noticeably faster, I said you would notice it, and a reduction in weight is a noticeable improvement when accelerating, climbing, and slow speed stuff commonly seen in cx/gravel.

OP is not just looking for faster, as he is suggesting going to a lightweight shallow gravel wheel, which he could achieve by dumping his heavy hubs for lighter ones.

What are you arguing? it’s not all about aero or speed mate.

Which is why I asked you to define “notice”…it may “feel” like it accelerates faster, etc. but the reality is that there is almost no difference in terms of actual performance.

Don’t get me wrong…none of us are immune to the draw of how lighter stuff “feels”. I love the feel of a lightweight wheelset. But I also know there is little performance gain there.

The internet seems to think that the Terra CL is more like 100 grams heavier than the CLX. Also, the rims are the same but the Terra CL uses a heavier DT350 hub.

Taking apart a nice set of wheels to upgrade the hubs to save 100g is probably some of the worst upgrade advice ever. You’ll probably exceed the value of the existing wheelset with the cost of hubs, spokes, and labor.

Back in the day, my race wheelset were Ambrosio Crono rims and Vittoria tubulars. The rim + tire combo alone there was about 150 grams lighter per wheel. You can really feel 150 grams of rotating weight on a road bike. I doubt one can feel a 50 gram hub/spoke difference.

Thanks for the criticism, but OP has the C’s, which are 3-400g heavier than the CLX.

he was already talking about upgrading to lighter wheels. I just provided an alternative to replacing the entire units with just upgrading what you’ve got. he was already talking about dropping 1k on top of selling his wheels.

The C’s use 370 hubs, which are a bit shit.

I have those 1150g 45mm depth lightbicycle hoops laced to dt240s and I love them. I had the LUN Grapid 45mm (1650g) and the lightbicycle was a huge change in ride feel. They have that wavy pattern that mimics those princeton wake’s and they handle crosswinds INCREDIBLY well. Did a race last week with 20-30mph wind and didnt even notice them.

As far as aero gains…meh. I run nothing smaller than a 42mm tire for pretty much all races so the aero benefit is debatable. Those Lightbicycles are pretty wide though. 25mm internal and 31 (measured) external. Im sure I’d get some aero benefit running 35s but nothing I race gravel wise will ever require something that small. If I need aero I lay on my handlebars anyways.

47mm tufo thunderos

42mm bokens (training tire)

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Interesting, I have been looking at the Grapid 29s (1482g) as an upgrade for the stock alloy wheels that came on my bike (unsure but probably ~1800g). Now I’m looking at the Light Bicycle AR25 instead which with DT350s is <$1600 CAD before shipping and <1200g…

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Grapids are a decent wheel. My only issue with them is they are a 16h spoke count on the front wheel. Disc brake wheels are a minimum 20h spoke count for a reason. I was going to tear the grapids apart and throw some dt hubs (or any other hubs) but they dont exist. Proprietary hub and too much flexion on the front wheel during braking is worrisome.

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@Flamingo Which LB rims do you have? I didn’t know any of their 45mm depth wheels could get to a 1150g wheelset.

I had mine built by my team shop. Its the only way to get the “extra light” hoop. Its the falconpro wr40 I believe. I think if you purchase from their pre-built setups the wr40 with dt240 is 1400g.

Edit: I said ar465 but meant wr40

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Hard “no” here. You’d have to remove about 400gr per end to notice anything- and you’d only notice that when you’re standing, moving the bike around at a stoplight. This would be a side-grade at best. You’d have to go from the worst stock wheels to the best aero wheels to really notice anything.

For gravel, you’re just going to hit rocks and roots with those wheels, just let them get banged up. If you put the 18T or 36t ratchet on those wheels, you might notice the hub being quieter.

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