We are now well in to the new year and it’s always tough time. The festivities of Christmas seem a distant memory for another year, and Winter continues to suffocate with it’s endless wet and grey days.
As we enter February we start to tease ourselves a bit with the thought of Spring being just around the corner. You’re looking for any positive sign, and notice that it is now still light after 5pm. It doesn’t sound like much, but you grasp at these small things to keep you going at this time of year.
So how does all this relate to wheels? Well now is the time to plan some upgrades for the coming season. By now a lot of people will be starting to plan their cycling year, whether it be booking sportives, setting personal goals, or looking at cycling abroad. And whilst there is no substitute for putting hard miles in on the bike, there’s nothing like some new rolling stock for your bike to give you some added motivation and to shed some rotating mass.
With so many different brands available now it’s difficult to know where to start, but ideally you want to look at the type of riding you do. If you like hilly/mountain rides, then go for something shallow and light. If you like to ride mixed terrain, then a nominally aero 40mm deep rim should do the trick, and if you are more in to time trials and triathlons, then go deep, as this type of riding is more about aerodynamics than weight.
Here are some of our favourites for different disciplines and budgets
Hunt Race Season Aero Road | 1420g | £329
Great for all round use wheel for mixed terrain and climbing.
New to the scene, these wheels offer amazing value and performance. They come with a super light weight, and price that should be easy enough to justify to your non-cycling partner without too much explanation.
They are subtle in appearance and come complete ready to be set up with your favourite tubeless tyres if you so wish.
Shimano Dura-Ace C24 | 1387g | £799
Great for climbing
These have been around for a couple of years now and are just simply amazing. It’s hard to argue with their super light weight, clincher versatility (they’re tubeless compatible as well), and the inherent quality that comes with “Dura-Ace” stamped on the side.
They offer a pretty subtle look, but these will have you flying up the French Alps this Sumer.
Hunt 38Carbon Wide Aero Road | 1,483g | £899
Great for mixed terrain
At 38mm deep these carbon clinchers from Hunt will get you on the carbon bandwagon for a reasonable outlay. Don’t let the price fool you however, as they bad boys still give you the full fat experience, delivering light weight, great braking, super wide rim for bigger tyres, and they’re tubeless compatible to boot!
They’re also classy in appearance and will give your bike a whole new look.
Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbone | 1,695g | £759
Great for flat to mixed terrain.
If you want maximum visual appeal for as little money as possible, then Mavic’s Pro Carbone with its 58mm deep rim is the ticket. Not only do they look fast, they are fast. They’re also pretty damn comfortable too, so it’s wins all ’round!
Thrown in to the price, you get Mavic’s bullet proof reputation and easy servicing to keep you rolling faster, longer.
Vision Metron 55 | 1,595g | £1,599
Great for flat to mixed terrain – Go for the 80s for ultimate flat road speed
The Metron range is available with either a 40, 55, or 80mm deep rim (or you can mix and match to go deeper at the back if you wish), but for now we’ll look at the 55s.
At this depth we’re pretty much as deep as you would really want to go for an all-round wheelset. You will feel the occasional tug at the front wheel from side winds (no matter what the marketing gurus try and tell you), but just look at them. They will make any bike faster in almost any situation, so long as you’re not doing an extended climb at over 10 degrees.
They’re also on tend with their wide 24mm rim profile and they’re tubeless compatible. They’re also ridden by Team Cofidis.
Lightweight Meilenstein | 1,100g | £3,699
Great for pretty much anything
The Meilensteins are pretty much the benchmark clincher wheelset. They are ridiculously light, crazy stiff, and super reliable. So much so, Lightweight even says you can use them for cyclocross if you wish!
The trade off is that they do come with a 100kg weight limit, and I guess the price is slightly off-putting. Lightweight do offer a crash replacement policy to take the sting out of the initial purchase price