Great wheel upgrades
A new wheelset can have a massive bearing on the ride quality and performance of your bike. Whether it’s lighter weight, or more aerodynamic design, or simply taking advantage of improved technology such as tubeless tyres, a wheel upgrade is probably the quickest way to improve a stock bike.
It needn’t cost the earth, either, with even £200 wheelsets offering significant benefits over the kind of wheels that come fitted as standard to entry or mid-range bikes.
The range of upgrade wheelsets below — from £150 to just under £1,500 — show the variety of what is available. The prices quoted below are for the complete wheelset, front and rear wheel. And to understand what factors you need to take into account before buying a new wheelset, check out Evans’s replacement wheel guide…
Fulcrum Racing 7 LG £144.49
As a brand, Fulcrum has been picked by a huge range of manufacturers as their stock wheelset of choice on many high-mid to upper-range bikes. These Racing 7s will take a 25c tyre with ease and are available to work with either Campagnolo, SRAM or Shimano. A really practical wheelset.
Shimano RS31 £171.60
What these RS31s from Shimano lose out on in terms of lightweight they more than make up for in strength and longevity. With a host of features to make them great weatherproof, year-round wheels, this is one set you can fit and forget.
Mavic Aksium Elite £180
The Mavic name is well-known in road cycling — in fact, it’s trusted enough to supply the neutral service cars at the Tour de France. This Aksium wheelset is reliable, relatively lightweight, and even comes with a set of Mavic Yksion Elite Guard tyres fitted.
Shimano Ultegra 6800 tubeless ready £319.98
Coming with the option of using either inner tubes or tubeless tyres, these Ultegra wheels from Shimano have many of the features of the range-topping Dura-Ace wheelset, just in a more affordable package.
Specialized Roval Fusse SLX 23 £500
Here’s something a little different: a handbuilt set of hoops from bike trade titans Specialized, using a low-profile aluminium rim and an ultra-reliable Roval Fusse hub. It might not have the recognition of the Mavics and Fulcrums of the wheel world, but as a top-quality all-use alloy wheelset it’s hard to beat.
Campagnolo Shamal Mille £751.20
One only for riders who use Campagnolo groupsets, but we have to include some Campag wheels here because they are arguably some of the sexiest hoops available. These feature a special ceramic treatment to the rim for improved braking.
Fast Forward F4R-C Clincher £960.50
Designed for the keen enthusiast and competitive rider, these carbon wonders from Fast Forward come with a host of tech innovations, such as a 45mm deep section rim that aid aero efficiency without leaving you at the mercy of crosswinds; and a Double Arc rim design that compresses the passing air to reduce drag.
Mavic Cosmic Carbone 40 £1,440
With 40mm deep carbon rims and a carbon centre tube at the hubs, the Cosmic Carbone 40 is unmistakably a performance-oriented wheelset. It also comes supplied with 23c Mavic Yksion Pro Griplink / PowerLink tyres and carbon brake pads.