Best Budget Lightweight Road Bike Wheels [Review] in 2020
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This guide has been written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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Every time I decide to go on a bike riding adventure with my friends, they tell me to upgrade my wheels to a lighter version of them. Does it really matter that much to have a lighter set of wheels on your bike? What happens is that the top of your wheels are moving at twice the speed of the bike, and likewise it requires a lot more effort to get them to those speeds. Normally, bicycle wheels are made out of steel which adds heft to them, and hence to the overall bike. Steel makes it harder to accelerate to those speeds with the added weight. So upgrading to a lighter set of wheels can improve your riding experience significantly. But, rest assured, I’ve got your back. I have done some research and found the best budget lightweight road bike wheels to ensure you’re not busting the bank. Let’s jump in, gang.
We've spent the time so you don't have to:
The selection of budget lightweight road bike wheels
Queen Bike Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels 50mm Clincher Wheelset
Top Choice Item
Ever wanted lightweight carbon fiber on your bike? You can do that with Queen’s new 50mm clincher wheel set. The wheels are made out of 100% plain carbon fiber which reduces heft from the tyres significantly. The tyres are also in a black weave matte finish with red accents. The design goes great with the color scheme and speaks to a lot of minimalists. Advantage of having a 700c wheel size is that it offers less rolling resistance, gathers more momentum and has better rollover capability than a 650b wheel. Pricing on these wheels is fair, provided the features you get with the wheels.
Basalt braking surface helps with improved braking efficiency
Carbon fiber makes the wheel lightweight and strong
Wheel passed SGS and EN quality standard test
Shim/Sram 8, 9, 10, 11 speeds available
May develop a tic sound around 3000 miles
Latest deal: Queen Carbon Fiber Wheels
Superteam Carbon Fiber Road Bike Wheels
Best Value Item
Superteam brings you a 23 width, carbon fiber wheel which has a slim profile and complements the bike in a majestic way with its glossy black look. But it also comes in a bunch of other colors as well like red and white, blue and white, fluorescent yellow, green and white, silver, transparent decal, white decal and white lines decal. The array of options you have when it comes to colors, is massive. The wheels are 700c which provides you with a smooth and resistance-free bike riding experience. The slim factor of the wheels allow for a more in-control ride and most of all, it’s not too heavy on your pocket meaning that for a budget road bike wheel it really does make for the perfect fit on your bike.
Full carbon fiber
Powerway r13 j bend spokes
Shim/Sram 8, 9, 10, 11 speeds available
Passed SGS and EN quality test
On the higher end of pricing
Latest deal: Superteam Wheelset
SunRise Bike Carbon Road Wheels
Prime Picked Item
SunRise brings you a carbon fiber wheel set which has 50mm clincher. The wheels come in a 700c configuration which makes it smooth and resistance-free while riding. The wheels are super lightweight to reach those high speeds quickly. The wheels have a red accent which speaks to minimalists. The matte finish gives it an understated vibe. The wheels also pass all EN quality tests. The material used in making the wheel is very durable and increases the longevity of the product. The pricing is also competitive for the quality of wheels you get. The weight is around 1630g/pair which allows for a featherweight experience.
Carbon fiber design
Passes all EN quality tests
Lightweight and durable wheel frame
Comes with a 2 year warranty
Rear wheel may flutter under heavy braking
Latest deal: Sunrise Wheelset
ICAN 700C Light Weight Road Bike Carbon Wheelset Clincher
ICAN brings a 38mm clincher to the table with an extremely lightweight design rounding off at about 1420g/pair. The wheel set comes in an all-black color scheme with basalt braking which enables good grip and quick braking when it comes to quick stops. The whole package also ship with 2 brake pads and 1 rim tape. The manufacturer provides you with a 2 year warranty and a lifetime crash replacement with a discount on new wheels. Resistance-free and smooth wheels help the bike reach great speeds in little time and with minor effort. The pricing makes up for the features you get with ICAN wheels.
Carbon fiber build
Lightweight and durable
700c; smooth and resistance-free
Little on the pricey side
Latest deal: ICAN Carbon Fiber Wheels
Types of lightweight road bike wheels:
There are 2 types when it comes to lightweight road bike wheels. One is made of aluminium while the other is made entirely of carbon fiber. While aluminium wheels are inexpensive as compared to carbon fiber wheels, they are also durable and rust-free. Carbon wheels on the other hand also offer high durability and an even lighter weight than aluminium wheels. Most supercar spoilers and bodies are made with carbon fiber as it helps reduce the weight element significantly. Hence it certainly helps when it comes to road bike wheels also.
What to look for when buying budget lightweight wheels:
First thing to look at when buying a set of bike wheels is the price. Most of these lightweight wheel sets are expensive and choosing what fits your needs in the best way is important. First thing to look at, after pricing, is the set of features it comes with. 700c is the preferred wheel size as it is better than 650b when it comes to smooth riding and a resistance-free experience. Also basalt braking is a must have since it helps provide a good grips by the breaking pads to enable quick braking in difficult situations. Last thing is to look whether the wheels are SGS and EN quality tested. These standards help generate a certain level of trust in the brand and adds to the overall durability and longevity of the wheels as they are an important investment for your riding adventures.
Does wheel weight matter?
Wheel weight is an important factor as the wheel top rotates at twice the speed as compared to the bike frame. In order to reach those speeds easily, it’s important that the wheels are lightweight. To achieve that, lightweight materials are used like aluminium and carbon fiber.
Is EN and SGS quality control important?
Quality control of any sort helps you generate a certain level of trust in the durability and longevity of the product. Hence these quality controls are important.
What is basalt breaking?
Basalt fiber is bonded into the breaking surface to minimize heat build-up and also improves braking in extreme situations.
Carbon fiber wheels or aluminium wheels?
Even though aluminium wheels are durable lightweight and inexpensive, carbon fiber wheels are better as they are even more lightweight and durable. They provide high strength as many riot shields are also made with carbon fiber and fiber glass.
All of the companies we looked at today kept one very important factor in mind while designing these wheels and that is price. It is not easy to get a good deal on lightweight wheels for your bike, but these manufacturers made a point to provide as much as they could at a comfortable price. Secondly, most to all of them were made with carbon fiber to bring that lightweight and durability factor into play. The wheels were EN and SGS tested for quality assurance and some of them even came with basalt braking which allowed for an improvement in braking. Overall, no matter what wheel set you go for, from the bunch, you will not be disappointed and the wheels will complement your bike in a great way.
Alex Bristol - Cycle sport content expert
Alex is London Cycle Sports Head of Content and specialises in road bike accessories and general cycling. Alex scours the internet finding the latest product that matches the needs of cyclists across the world. Alex looks at the best bike set ups and sources the newest tech in the cycle industry. Whether its a buyer guide, product review or a general post about bikes, Alex is a trusted source for everything cycle sport.
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