You now have many good reasons and options to buy a road bike with disc brakes, more I’ve found than you do one with traditional rim brakes.  If you’ve recently bought or plan to buy a ‘road disc bike’, you’ll likely want to upgrade the underperforming ‘stock wheels’ that come with almost all new bikes including these and that prevent you from fully enjoying and getting all you can out of your new bike.

Last year I evaluated the range of stock, alloy and carbon wheels across the ‘road disc wheelset’ category for the first time.  This post updates how the category is developing and compares 20 of the best wheelset upgrades that are now available, highlighting three I recommend.


Click on any red statement below to go directly to that part of the post

There is little risk that developments will outdate today’s best road disc wheelsets

Most stock wheels are ones you’ll want to replace when you buy your new road disc bike

With most major companies now making an alloy upgrade model, one tops the others

Among several good ones, I recommend you buy either of two carbon road disc wheelsets

It’s become clear that roadies are moving to road disc bikes and we’ll likely buy more of these than rim brake bikes in the next few years.  There are compelling braking, speed and versatility benefits that I first wrote about describing why and when to buy a road bike with disc brakes.  If those benefits don’t convince you that these bikes are both the present and the future, take a look at the number of models of road disc endurance bikes available in 2016 in my review of some of the best.  With few exceptions, the top 25 bike manufactures are making as many if not more road disc bike models than rim brake ones for the endurance cyclist and the number of racing models is growing quickly.  You can also read about the current design, products and performance of the best disc brake components, the shifters and brakes used by these bikes, a category that is now reasonably settled.

In this post I’ve repeated some of the key background I originally laid out about road disc wheelsets in my first review last year and put the evaluations of wheels from that review along side the ones I’m reviewing for the first time here so you don’t need to click back and forth.


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Disc brake wheelsets have more spokes in the front wheel than a conventional rim brake wheel to handle the additional forces created by braking at the center rotor than at the outside rim.  Disc brake wheel hubs are also beefier both in the front and rear and the rear ones are also wider than rim bike hubs.  This gives you bigger rear wheel spoke angles between the hub and rim.

The extra front spokes, wider rear hubs, and bigger rear spoke angles create a laterally stiffer wheelset necessary for the forces disc brakes put on wheels.  At the same time, most road disc wheels tend to be more compliant or ‘comfortable’ than most rim brake wheels because, as a group, they are newer and have been built on wider rims that can run with more air volume at lower pressures on wider tires.

It’s not that road disc wheelsets are made any wider than rim brake ones.  It’s just that there are still a lot of long established and popular rim brake models from Mavic, Campagnolo, Fulcrum, Shimano, DT Swiss and others with 15mm inside and 21mm outside widths that continue to be sold on new bikes and as alloy upgrades.  On the other hand, most road disc wheelsets from stock to upgrade wheels with either alloy to carbon rims have at least 17mm inside and 23mm outside widths and are ‘tubeless ready’ (or TLR) as the chart below show.

So more spokes, wider and beefier hubs, wider rims and tires, and TLR set ups sounds like heavier, less aerodynamic and poorer accelerating wheels, right?  Well if you extrapolated from the mindset of the rim wheel world most of us have come from, that would be a natural conclusion.  However, if you design afresh from the new world of road disc wheels, you get to a different and better place.  Allow me to explain.

In my introductory post on why and when you should get a road disc bike, I wrote:

I expect road disc wheels will change and improve a good amount each year over the next few years with more aerodynamic and lighter wheels…We’re really at the earliest stages of development for road disc wheels…

Wider, more aerodynamic and lighter rims will make for quicker accelerating, faster overall, and better handling disc wheels.

Specifically, with purpose-designed and built road disc wheelsets, we are seeing the following developments:

  • Reduced rim weight.  Without the need for the rims to support braking loads, the outer section of the rim wall previously designed to handle the braking forces and perhaps other parts of the rim don’t need to be as thick, shaving some weight.

While there were only a few of road disc wheelsets I reviewed last year that are actually lighter than their rim brake siblings (ENVE SES 3.4 and DT Swiss RC 28 and 38 Spline C models), most of the ones that were converted rim brake wheels were 160-180 grams heavier (Zipp, Reynolds, Vision and others).

Most of the new disc brake wheels I’ve evaluated for the first time are still heavier than the rim model, but the gap has dropped considerably.  The shallow depth alloy upgrade Easton EA90 SL Disc and DT Swiss RR21 Dicut DB wheels are only 50g and 55g heavier respectively than the rim brake versions of the same wheels.  The deeper and wider all carbon Bontrager Aeolus 3 and 5 D3 Disc wheels are only 98g and 118g heavier, and the new 40mm deep Fulcurm Racing Quattro Carbon Disc is only 45g heavier than the same rim brake models.

Further, most of the better, newer low-profile alloy and mid-depth carbon wheels are 1450g to 1600g range, totally acceptable for all around riding that most enthusiasts do.

I don’t know how much of this difference is due to changes in rim thickness but I would expect the larger volume wheel makers will continue working hard to shed weight from their road disc wheelsets at the rim following the example of the ENVE.

  • More aerodynamic rim profiles.  When Zipp commercialized the innovative rounded or toroid shaped rim profile years ago based on the patent they and HED share, it greatly improved wheel aerodynamics, a key to better speed and acceleration and to reducing the push of crosswinds.  Not only were the inside edge, where the spokes meet the rim, rounded as opposed to the box-section or V-shaped designs of others, their maximum width exceeded the width of the rim at the brake track.  This enables the air flaring off the tire to reattach to the rim to reduce the amount of drag and also deflects the crosswinds.

Zipp and other wheel designers who use the same approach including Bontrager, ENVE, HED, and Vision continue the toroid shape, tapering the width all the way to the trailing edge of the rim to maximize the aero benefit.  To accomplish this, they use angled rather than parallel brake tracks.  For some, setting up your rim brake pads for such an angled brake track to avoid squealing and maximize performance takes a little bit of ‘feathering’ finesse.

Most of the largest wheel makers including Shimano, Campy/Fulcrum, DT Swiss and Mavic have stayed with box-section rims or those whose rims are slightly rounded but not very wide at the spoke edge and taper out toward the tire edge.  I call this a UV shape. Other wheelmakers make U-shaped rims that have a rounded yet blunt nose rim that continues at the same width from the spoke to the tire edge.  The rims on all three of these designs – box, UV and U – are parallel at the brake tracks regardless of their depth, material (alloy, carbon-alloy or carbon), rim type (clincher, tubeless, tubular) and, until recently, braking system (rim or disc).

Without the need to brake at the rim – whether they have angled or parallel brake tracks – we are seeing some of the new road disc wheels carry more aerodynamic profiles.  The DT Swiss RR 21 Dicut DB is surprising rounded on the leading edge and across its profile for a DT rim.  The Zipp 30 Course has a fully rounded shape unlike the hybrid toroid of its Zipp 30 predecessor whose rounded shape was suddenly flattened out for a parallel brake track.  The new Boardman SLR Elite Seven Disc rims are stunningly rounded, a shape that looks much like the long balloons clowns use to make animals, hats and other forms at kids birthday parties.

  • Phasing out of carbon-alloy wheelsets.  Quite simply, with road disc brakes eliminating the need for brake tracks on road disc wheels, there is no longer a need for a carbon alloy wheel.  This hybrid material wheel has served us well in the rim brake era for those wanting the extra stiffness of carbon and the braking confidence of aluminum and willing to ride a heavier wheel to get both.  There are only a couple of carbon-alloy road disc wheelsets that I’ve seen that use this design and even though they are made by Shimano (RX830) and HED (Jet 4 Disc), two brands whose wheels I normally admire, I don’t recommend either of these models.
  • Versatile hub designs.  The hubs used in most first generation road disc wheelsets were taken from the off-road cyclocross world, designed for the forces that kind of riding puts on a set of wheels, higher forces than those they would experience riding on paved roads. 

When I looked at hubs for my earlier post on road disc wheelsets, I thought we’d see leading hub makers design and build hubs for road disc wheelsets that were lighter than the ones used on CX/off road bikes and closer to those used on rim brake ones. It appears I got that one wrong.  (It happens, a lot if you ask my wife).  Instead, it looks like hubs are being designed that are an improvement on CX/off-road hubs but stiffer and more versatile than the pure road hubs.

Zipp, for example, are using their new 77/177 hubs across all models of their Fieldcrest model and 30 Course rim and disc wheelsets.  Reynolds use the same KT hubs for their rim and disc brake version of the carbon climbing Attack and all-around depth Assault wheels as well as on their cross/gravel ATR and road racing oriented 46 Aero disc brake models.

Further, most of these hubs now have built-in convertibility to fit on bike dropouts with Quick Release (QR) 10mm diameter and 100mm long front and 10/135 rear axles or Thru Axle (TA) 12mm or 15mm diameter front axles and 12/142 or 12/135 rears, and with Centerlock or 6 bolt rotors.  To do this, they are built with hub internals including by the likes of DT Swiss that are used on many top end wheelsets and are built around the wider, more robust diameter TA dimensions and come with easily replaceable end caps to adopt to the narrower QR ones.

All of this makes economic sense of course for hub and wheel makers given that we seem to have new types of cycling popping up every few years (road>mountain>cyclo-cross>gravel>alternative>?) and it’s hard to justify coming up with hubs for each discipline especially when the number of units used in some are still quite small.  It’s always good to have a stiff hub that can ride on any terrain that you can use in most any wheelset.

With these developments at various stages of maturity, should you wait to upgrade the stock wheelset that came on the your new road disc bike?  Is there a risk that developments in the next few years will make something you or I buy now outdated?

While I think disc wheels in general will get lighter and more aero, the better ones are pretty close to the weight and shape and are as wide and stiff as the best rim brake wheels are now.  Hubs are already as versatile as needed for almost all of the bike and fork designs.

But yes, they will get lighter still, though I’d expect only incrementally so (50-100g?) and some will get more aero.  There will be more available to chose from and perhaps at more competitive prices.

I also think that while some of the bigger brands have yet to put their best road disc wheelsets forward (Zipp, HED, Shimano you can do better! Campagnolo, where are you hiding?).  Others including DT Swiss, Fulcrum and Mavic at the alloy end and carbon wheel makers Bontrager, ENVE, Easton, Fulcrum and Reynolds have come out with new wheels designed for the road disc bike customer that represent some of their best work.

As you’ll read below, I feel some of these are quite good and worth spending my hard earned money on and yours to change out the stock wheels or specify on our new road disc bikes.

I’ll quickly go through the criteria I use to evaluate these wheels, summarize what wheels are coming stock on new bikes in this 2016 model year and then get into the actual reviews and recommendations on upgrade level alloy and carbon wheelsets.


When evaluating wheelsets, I consider 20 specific criteria that fall into one of four categories – performance, design, quality and cost.  You can read the descriptions of those criteria here.

While all of these criteria are important, some are more important depending on what you are intending to use the wheelset for.  Braking performance, for example, is more important on rim brake wheelsets used by riders doing climbing and descending than by time trialists or triathletes who don’t brake much and for whom aerodynamic performance is far more important.  And while design criteria like weight and rim depth are worth noting and may (or may not) deliver the intended performance, a wheelset’s actual acceleration, stiffness and comfort, for example, are far more important than many of its design specifications that we often get so hung up on.

When it comes to a road disc brake bike, most cycling enthusiasts buying one will likely be doing so for its superior braking performance, its ability to be ridden more aggressively and faster down hills and into and out of corners, and for the versatility to ride it in most any weather or road terrain on one good set of wheels.

For these reasons, a good road disc brake wheelset should be a versatile, top performing all-rounder.  Good on flats and rollers, in the mountains, on long rides, when going fast, in the endurance or club race competition, and for any day of the week, any weather, and any on-the-road purpose.  Not a dedicated or optimized climbing or aero or club racing or commuter or cruising wheelset but a wheelset that does all those things well.  That’s a tall order, especially at a good price, but it’s a good goal for wheelset designers and builders to shoot for, and for we enthusiasts to want from our disc brake wheels and for our cycling dollars.

With that as our goal, here’s my evaluation of the wheels that come with the 2016 model year road disc brake bikes, the low profile alloy upgrade wheelsets that come in disc brake models, and the all-carbon all-around disc brake wheelsets available.

NOTE: To be clear, I have not evaluated wheels whose primary purpose is for off-road, gravel, cyclo-cross or anywhere other than where a paved road surface is involved.  That’s another kettle of fish, bag of bones, set of spokes, etc.  Set up with the right tires, many of the wheelsets I’ve evaluated can be used off-road for these purposes on CX or ‘alternative’ bikes which have more space in the frame and forks for wider rubber, higher bottom brackets and other unique frame characteristics.  But, to cover all the wheelsets that could be used on those bikes for off-road purposes would go well beyond this review.


Once again this model year, DT Swiss appears to have their wheels on far more new road disc bikes than any other manufacturer.  Shimano and Mavic are on fewer models while Fulcrum is on a few more than last year.

We are also continuing to see some bike companies put their own branded wheels on their bikes even though many or these are made by others.  For example Trek uses Bontrager wheels and Specialized runs Rovals, both of which are designed are made by these wheel divisions of the parent company.

But DT Swiss makes Axis brand wheels only for Specialized, Syncros brand wheels only for Scott, Concept wheels only for Focus, Maddux wheels used on a few Cannondale bikes and the Giant branded wheels used on their bikes.  How different these wheels are than the ones that actually say DT Swiss on them that you’ll see on smaller bike brands like BH, Bianchi, BMC, Cube, KTM, Merida, Rose, Ridley, Wilier and others is debatable and likely immaterial to their performance.

With very few exceptions, the alloy stock wheels are shallow – 30mm or less and most in the 22 to 27mm range.  They are also heavy – typically 1750g and up with just a couple with claimed weights around 1650g.

And, for road disc wheelsets, these are narrow – 17 to 18mm wide at the inside bead hook and no more than 23mm wide at the outside where the brake track used to be, though they are still wider than many of the stock wheels that continue to go on rim brake bikes.

Yes, you can put 25mm wide tires on these stock road disc wheelsets to add some compliance/comfort but I wouldn’t if you want any kind of performance out of them.  In my humble opinion, none of these alloy stock wheels are worth riding for long and if you can avoid buying them either by building your bike starting from the frame or getting a credit for them toward a better wheelset when you buy the bike, you’d be far better off.

Here’s the line up of road disc brake wheels used on new bikes this year.


Most of these are true stock wheel performance while the ones in the shaded rows near the bottom are upgrade level alloy or carbon wheels that come on new, very expensive bikes this year.

Cannondale, for example put Hollowgram branded carbon wheels that are somewhat wider (19mm inside, 25mm outside) and deeper (35mm) on their top-of-the-line Synapse Hi-Mod $9500 Dura Ace and $7500 Red 22 builds. (Don’t know whether Cannondale makes these and their branded Czero wheels or someone like FSA make them for Cannondale.)

HED’s wider but still shallow Ardennes Plus alloy upgrade wheels (21mm/25mm wide, 25mm deep) will be found on the new $9000 and $7000 Cervelo C5 road disc bike builds.  And Shimano’s deeper but not wider and heavy RX830 alloy upgrade wheels (18mm/23mm wide, 33mm deep, 1850g) will be on the $7200 Ultegra Di2 build of the Bianchi Infinito CV Disc bike.

Frankly, for the lofty prices of these bikes, you should get far better wheels.  With Cervelo and Bianchi dealers, I expect you’ll be able to trade up for better wheels if you buy the bikes.  Not likely dealing with Cannondale.

Last year we saw bikes with top shelf Zipp 202 and Vision Metron 40 road disc wheelsets on them but those have gone by the boards along with the many Dura Ace Di2 builds that accompanied them.  This year only the new, top of the line £8000 Boardman SLR Endurance Signature disc bike has a marque brand wheelset, the Zipp’s Firecrest 303 Disc Brake, and it’s a wheelset I don’t rank as highly as its rim brake sibling.

Instead, most road disc bikes this year are Ultegra mechanical or UDi2 level builds and there are slightly more carbon frame, enthusiast priced bikes ($2500, £2000, €2750 and up) with 105 series hydraulic disc shifters and brakes than there are those with Dura Ace mechanical, DA Di2 or Red 22 components.

The bike companies are undoubtedly trying to make road disc bikes more accessible to more enthusiasts by offering them at lower prices than last year.  The quality of wheels that goes on them has to be in line with those lower bike prices.  This is the same approach we’ve seen in the rim brake bike world for as long as one can remember.

There’s only a few new road disc bikes that come with wheels that look like they might be worth keeping speced on your new road disc bike and not because the wheels are necessarily better than the Hollowgram, HED and Shimano mentioned above.  Instead, it’s because these wheels are on bikes that are lower priced so it will sting less in the pocketbook to keep and use them as backups without paying much of a price to do so while still upgrading to a better set.

Specifically, the Fulcrum Racing Quatro Carbon Disc comes on the £3300 ($4500 est.) top-of-the-line Cube C:62 SLT Disc racing bike.  It’s an all carbon, 40mm deep, average width (17mm/24mm) new wheelset that’s a great value and good performer that I’ll have more to say about in the review section below.  It’s also on the new Eddy Merckx em-525 disc bike that I expect will come in at 2x the price of the Cube – so not such a great deal.

I also think the P-SLR0 that comes on the $3700 Liv Avail Advanced Pro is a keeper.  It’s carbon, 30mm deep and 17mm/23mm wide.  Nothing special but a carbon wheelset on a bike priced like that is a nice throw in.  I wouldn’t go for it on the $4600 Giant Defy Advanced SL1.  You can buy the same Ultegra level build with their stock alloy for $1400 less.  You don’t have a lower priced build option on the Avail Advanced Pro.

Finally, the Roval CLX40 SCS (short chain stay) disc wheelset comes with the higher end Specialized Tarmac, Roubaix and Ruby bikes and you should plan on keeping it.  While no wider (16mm inner/23mm) than the stock alloy wheels, it is a 40mm carbon wheelset and its unique hub and the chainstay spacing of the Specialized wheels that initially required this SCS hub is a design that has found no other wheelset maker willing build to.  So you are stuck with it.

Staying on the subject of these alloy upgrade and carbon wheels that come with new bikes for a minute, please know that you can’t buy some of them other than with the original bikes.  Giant and Cannondale don’t readily sell their wheels in the aftermarket.  I haven’t reviewed any of their wheels primarily for this reason.  You can buy a non SCS version of the 40mm deep Roval and I’ve evaluated it as well as the Bontrager Aeolus disc wheelsets which interestingly aren’t on even the most expensive builds of the parent Trek’s road disc bikes.

That’s likely more than you wanted to know about stock wheels but I think it’s important to have as a starting point for what follows.  With that out of the way, let’s move on to reviewing the alloy upgrade and carbon road disc wheelsets you can buy to improve the performance of your ride.


Of course, getting a better performing set of wheels comes at a cost.  Whereas stock wheels would typically cost $400 (£320, €430, A$560) or less to replace, you’ll pay from $700 (£550, €750, $A1000) to as much as $1300 (£1050, €1400, A$1800) at competitive market prices (rather than MSRP or RRP ones) for current alloy upgrade road disc wheelsets.  Good all-carbon road disc wheelsets will cost from around $1500 (£1200, €1600, A$2100) to as much as $3000 (£2400, €3200, A$4200).

[By the way, if the numbers above suggest I’ve got my exchange rates wrong, please appreciate that market demand, pricing strategies, delivery costs, and taxes in and to different countries or regions combine to create different total delivered consumer prices for bike gear than would be suggested by mere currency exchanges.]

Since my last review, there are three new alloy upgrade road disc wheelset options to consider – one from DT Swiss, Easton and Zipp.  This nearly doubles the number of choices over last year from widely distributed wheel makers adding to those introduced by HED, Mavic, Reynolds and Shimano and reviewed in my earlier post.  Among the leading players only Campagnolo and Fulcrum are missing in the alloy upgrade category though Fulcrum is making three alloy stock and one carbon road disc wheelset this year.

So while the number of alloy upgrade road disc wheelset models is still less than half those in the rim brake category, it’s not really that different when you look more closely.  Some companies sell several rim brake models of essentially the same wheel with the same rim but somewhat different hub shells, spokes, brake track coatings, brand and cosmetic changes that alter performance little.  For example, Campagnolo makes alloy upgrades Zonda, Eurus, Shamal, Shamal Mille and Fulcrum branded Racing 3, Racing 1 (discontinued), Racing Zero, and Racing Zero Nite which are more or less the same wheelset.  Until recently, Mavic used to make a handful of Ksyrium rim models that performed pretty much the same.  Shimano makes the Dura Ace C24 wheels in clincher, tubeless and tubular rim versions.  Etc.

While we may see some of this kind of “variations on a rim” proliferation among alloy upgrade road disc wheelset models from the same company, I think it will be limited.  Almost all of the alloy upgrade wheelsets are tubeless ready and are using recently designed or upgraded hubs so don’t have to hassle with different brake track coatings or treatments.  While most have made the choice of TA or QR axles and Centerlock or 6-bolt rotor attachment, most also come with convertible end caps and the axle parts to go in either TA or QR.  Third party adapter kits also help fill the void in some cases.

Now, it looks like just about everyone has come to play.  While most of these alloy upgrade wheels don’t have a much wider outside rim width than the stock wheels, the inside widths are big enough to allow you to run 25mm tires for comfortable cruising.  If you want to race on 25mm tires on one of these alloy upgrade wheels, you only have a couple alloy choices whose rims are wide and round enough.  I’d still recommend racing on 23mm tires with these wheels for best aero performance.  There are many more with better aero profiles among the carbon road disc wheels.

Unfortunately, I still don’t think any of these alloy upgrade wheelsets fully meet the goals of a versatile, top performing all-rounder I established earlier in this post.  With the new additions, some are getting close but they are still best suited for endurance rather than competitive riding.

I also said in my post last year that “perhaps I’m setting the bar too high.  Even at $1000 (£800, €1100, A$1400) plus or minus a few hundred, these are priced at roughly half that of the best all-carbon road disc wheelsets; it seems too much to pay considering their current limitations.”

After evaluating the new alloy upgrade road disc models, there are more options and perhaps less limitations but the prices still seem high.  I guess I’m spoiled by having alloy upgrade rim brake models at 2/3 to 1/2 the price of these to chose from all these years.  None of the rim brake alloy upgrade wheelets do all that I’m asking from the road disc ones either but since they are less expensive, we tend to have a few pair or rim brake wheelsets between alloy and carbon ones for different riding situations (training, climbing, racing, wet/winter weather…).

Alloy upgrade chart

With road disc brake technology, a carbon wheelset can ride in any weather and downhill at any speed.  This has been the knock against carbon clincher rim brake wheels.  If not for price then, and I readily acknowledge that it’s a big “if not for”, I would go straight to the even more expensive carbon road disc wheelset section below of this post to find that one-wheel-that-does-it-all wheelset, probably at less than the cost of several rim brake sets you may have accumulated.

For those of you who aren’t going to skip ahead to the carbon road disc wheelsets and are holding firmly onto your wallets or purses with one hand while you scroll through this post with the other, here’s my take on the current crop of alloy upgrade road disc wheels.

The new Zipp 30 Course gets my vote as the best alloy upgrade wheelset for your road disc bike.  It’s a good all-around performer with nearly all the design benefits from coming late to the party at a competitive market price ($900, £700, €1000, A$1200).

Zipp 30 Course Disc Side

What you’ll notice most about the Zipp is its strength and responsiveness.  It’s laterally quite stiff, a bit on the heavy side but still quite responsive to your acceleration efforts.  Good acceleration depends as much and probably more on rim aerodynamics and hub performance as low weight (see here for a recent discussion of this).  Drawing from the Zipp-patented round aero profile and the new 77/177 hubs on the 30 Course that Zipp puts on their more expensive 202, 303 and 404 Firecrest carbon wheels offsets this ones’ slight weight disadvantage when compared to most others in this category.

The Zipp 30 Course is quite comfortable to ride.  The rims are wide (21mm inside/25mm outside), wide enough to enable you to ride 25mm, 28mm or even wider tires if you want to maximize comfort on rough paved or gravel roads.  The wheels are set up at the factory with rim tape to run tubeless.  According to multiple sources I trust, it is one of the easier wheelsets to mount a variety of tubeless tires on so if you’ve thought about taking the leap into tubeless, this would be a good wheelset to go with for that reason as well.

Like many of the best road disc wheelsets it comes with all the hardware to easily convert from quick release to thru axle of the range of sizes your bike might might need (12x100mm or 15x100mm for the front and 12x135mm or 12x142mm for the rear dropouts).  Unfortunately, the wheelset hub only comes in a 6-bolt option which means you would need to use 160mm rotors rather than the more popular 140mm ones sufficient for all but the heaviest riders unless you were to modify the hubs with an adapter kit.

Here are the page links for this wheelset at the stores I’ve found have them at the best prices, have them in stock and have top shelf customer satisfaction records as of March 24, 2017: ebay, UK/EU Wiggle, Tweeks CyclesProBikeKit UK front and rear code ITK10, Chain Reaction Cycles.

Without the Zipp to compare to in my review last year, I picked the HED Ardennes Plus SL Disc (available at Competitive Cyclist).  It’s only about 80 grams heavier than it’s rim brake sibling, rides as comfortably as its rim width would suggest (20.6mm inner, 25mm outer) and handles extremely well.

The disc brake version of this wheel is stiffer than the rim brake model, which was a concern I expressed about the latter in my rim brake upgrade wheelset review.  While similar in profile to the rounded Zipps, it’s tires inflated to the right pressure.

Like most in this category, it’s tubeless ready.  Its hubs are convertible between quick release and through axle and you can choose between CenterLock and 6 bolt.  This gives you lots of options to use this set on different bikes over time.

Taken all together, this wheelset will be a better climber, handler, more comfortable and convertible than most of the other alloy upgrades road disc wheels.  It’s about 75g lighter than the Zipp and has the CenterLock option that Zipp doesn’t.  Normally it’s a good deal more expensive than the Zipp and everything else in this category though it did sell below the best Zipp price I’ve seen for several months last year.  Other than that, they perform pretty similarly and have nearly identical rim dimensions and rounded rim profiles (they share the original toroid patent).  If the price is right and you prefer a Centerlock rotor attachment, I’d go with the HED over the Zipp.  Price and availability favors the Zipp

If you do a lot of climbing, you should consider the DT Swiss RR 21 Dicut DB (Bike24). This is the lightest and shallowest of the alloy upgrade wheels and has the very smooth and responsive DT Swiss 240 hub usually seen on much more expensive all carbon wheelsets.

The RR 21’s rim combination of wide 18mm inner and narrow, 21.5mm outer width is a perplexing mix.  Because of the wide inner, you can use a 25mm tire in either the tubeless or tube and tire set up possible with these wheels.  While a 25mm tire gives you a compliant ride, it will be an aerodynamic disaster with the amount of rubber extending either side of the rim.  So, yeah, good for alpine riding where aero doesn’t matter, at least going uphill.  Just make sure to position your upper body low and flat going down the mountain to try to make up for the poorer aerodynamics of 25mm wide tires on these rims.

These wheels are also quite laterally stiff, important when you are cranking hard watts in or out of the saddle going uphill.  While the stiffness helps cornering as well, the combination of relatively narrow rims and wide tires on this DT Swiss wheelset make for less precise and confident handling than the Zipp and HED wheels described above.

Easton has introduced entirely new versions of its alloy wheels and added the Easton EA90 SL Disc (Wiggle) to the mix.  They have similar specs to the HED and Zipp wheels above – a little narrower (19.5mm/24mm), a little taller (27mm), a little lighter (1540g) and a similar in price to the Zipp 30 Course but the hardware to go from QR to TA axles isn’t included.  I wish I could say more but I haven’t been on these yet nor have any trusted sources who have.  I did find the road brake version stiff and responsive but with a hub that didn’t roll very well. (More on that here.)

The Shimano WH-RX830 (ProBikeKit UK ITK10) was one of the first wheels designed from scratch a few years ago to be a road disc wheelset and to be an upgrade over the entry-level RX31 stock set.  Its alloy rims are carbon wrapped, similar to the Shimano C24 and C35 rim brake wheelsets, but the carbon on these extends all the way to the trailing edge since there is no need to expose an alloy brake track.

At a measured 32.5mm deep, it has the deepest profile of any of the alloy upgrades and its 17.9mm inner and 23mm outer width brings Shimano alloy wheels less than 50mm deep into the modern wheelset width world, enabling you to comfortably use 25mm wide rubber on one of their road clinchers for the first time.  It’s also tubeless compatible whereas the rim brake C24 and C35 wheelsets come in separate clincher (CL) and tubeless (TL) versions, the later being more expensive.  It is encouraging to see Shimano follow its road disc brakeset leadership with a road disc wheelset line.

Unfortunately, the RX830 is a heavy wheelset (1860g measured weight) with a boxy rim profile, uses an Ultegra level hub, and carries a nearly $900 (£750, €1000, A$1300) market price.  I haven’t ridden them yet and at that weight and price, I’m not anxious to compare them to some of the wheelsets I’ve written about above.  I don’t expect these wheels would climb well, be very aero, or roll any better than other alloy upgrades.  I’ve recommended Shimano’s Dura Ace C24 and C35 rim brake wheelsets but I think their disc brake models have missed the mark.  The RX830 is their top road disc wheelset, the RX31 and newest model RX010 being stock grade wheels.  I expect much better from Shimano in the future, especially since they are leading the way in disc brake components.

Unlike Shimano’s development of unique stock and alloy upgrade wheels for road disc bikes, the Mavic Ksyrium Pro Disc (Competitive Cyclist, ProBikeKit UK code ITK10, Chain Reaction Cycles) is essentially a road disc version of its Ksyrium SLS alloy upgrade rim brake wheelset.  It’s light (1535g) for a road disc wheelset but that is in part due to its narrow rims (measured 14.4mm inner, 19.4 outer widths), shallow depth (26mm) and mix of carbon (front) and alloy (rear) hub shells.  Like most of Mavic’s higher priced wheels, it is sold with a Yksion tire but you need to do your own conversion on the sealed rims if you want to make them tubeless.

Ksyrium’s are typically stiff and responsive but not very comfortable and the Pro Disc rides much the same even with a 25mm wide version of the Yksion tires that come with these wheels.  They do move out well and give you good road feel.  If you wanted an alloy race wheel for your road disc bike, this would be one to consider.  But it’s expensive, harsh for lighter riders, narrow, and still has a boxy rim profile, shown to be amongst the least aerodynamic shapes.  Mavic seems to have one foot in the past and one in the future with this wheelset and while there are some things to like, there are other wheels you can do better with if you’ve made the decision to ride a road disc bike.

Like the Mavic, the Reynolds Stratus Pro Disc Brake (ProBikeKit UK code ITK10, Westbrook Cycles) is a road disc version of its alloy upgrade rim brake wheelset of the same name. It’s nearly 200g heavier and uses the same rim (17mm inner, 21 mm outer width, tubeless ready) of its rim brake sibling, the only two alloy road wheels that carry the Reynolds name.  While I’m a fan of Reynolds Performance line of carbon wheels (Attack, Assault SLG and Strike SLG), there’s nothing about this wheel that stands out.  Reynolds introduced the ATR (All Terrain Road) wheelset this year for off-road riding which is far wider and lighter with the same depth.  Reynolds would be better of designing an on-road alloy disc wheelset from scratch to replace the Stratus.

American Classic has two alloy upgrade wheel models, each coming in a rim brake and disc brake format.  Both the Argent Disc Tubeless (ProBikeKit UK code ITK10) and Hurricane Tubeless Disc (ProBikeKit UK code ITK10) and their rim brake siblings have bead hooks designed to run tubeless tires first and foremost.  While traditional tube and tire clinchers work, you aren’t getting what these wheelsets were designed for and do best unless you run tubeless.

Certain tubeless tires however, like the popular Schwalbe One are recommended for these rims while those with carbon beads, like the well established Hutchinson Fusion don’t fit easily or well and the company recommends against using them.  Both American Classic wheelset models keep their weight down by using rims on both their rim and disc brake wheels that are thinner than most wheelsets from other companies.  They are moderately wide, similar to the Shimano RX830 but not as wide as the HED Ardennes Plus.  Coming standard with thru-axle hubs and 6 bolt brake rotor interfaces, they need to (and can) be retrofitted to work with most road disc bikes today that are set up for quick release and CenterLock interfaces.

The Argent wheels are amongst the most expensive alloy upgrade road disc wheels available but are also on the deeper (30mm) and lighter (1531 grams claimed) end of alloy road disc wheelsets.  They have a nicely rounded leading edge but don’t feel any more aero or quick than shallower or less rounded rims.  Perhaps there’s only so much you can do to make 30mm of depth more aero.  Because this disc brake wheelset shares the same rim with the rim brake model, the rounded rim profile changes to a flat one for the parallel brake track used on the rim brake wheels.  The Argents handle well and ride comfortably but at this price, they really serve a distinct (read: narrow) customer taste.

The Hurricane is designed for heavy, rough riders on any type of road surface.  With 32 spokes front and back, they are very stiff and will take whatever you are willing to dish out.  Going for about half the price of the Argent, they are ideal for someone who wants to ride off-road probably as much as they do on it.  So if you have a cyclocross bike and want to do some gravel riding on your road bike, these wheels would work in both set-ups.


Fortunately, for those who want that versatile, do everything well, road disc all-around wheelset, there are several good choices amongst the all-carbon road disc wheels.

Unfortunately, it’s going to cost you.  So, depending on what you are willing (or able) to pay, I’ll offer you recommendations for a best performer (price be damned) and a best value (that still performs well).  I’ll also give you my evaluations of the others, some of which are quite good alternatives and some that aren’t there yet.


ENVE has introduced an updated model of the SES 3.4 Disc Clincher which I have not yet evaluated.  I hope to do so in Spring 2017 and will update this review when I do.  Meanwhile, the original model is reviewed below and remains on sale and is being discounted at some stores noted below until the new model ships.

The ENVE SES 3.4 Disc Clincher gets my nod for best performing road disc wheelset again this year.  While ENVE’s rim brake wheels are on most people’s short list of carbon wheelsets alongside those from Zipp, Reynolds, HED and Bontrager, their road disc set stands alone atop this new category.

They are the first of this top-tier of carbon wheel makers to eliminate material no longer needed in the rim’s brake track, reducing rim weight by about 100 grams.  And, despite adding beefier versions of DT 240 hubs front and back and extra spokes to the front wheels to handle the braking forces on the centers of the wheels, this road disc brake wheelsets’ claimed weight is actually about 20 grams less than its rim brake sibling.


When you compare the 1515 grams measured weight of ENVE SES 3.4 Disc wheelset to the weight of similar depth and widht wheels like Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3 Disc (1565g), Fulcrum Racing Quattro Carbon Disc (1590g), Reynolds Assault SLG Disc Brake (1597g), Reynolds 46 Aero Disc Brake (1665g claimed), Vision Metro 40 Clincher Disc (1675g claimed), and Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Disc Brake (1678g), you can see one of the advantages that ENVE’s disc wheel-specific brings over the others.  Even the shallower Bontrager and Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Disc Brake (1550g) are heavier than the ENVE and far narrower DT Swiss RC 38 Spine C DB (1455g) wheelsets aren’t much lighter.

Hopefully you weight weenies are now satiated.  Bottom line, it’s clear that ENVE has pulled off a lighter disc brake wheelset than its rim brake one and done it at the rim where it matters most.

One caution is that wheel weight is just one of many criteria in selecting a wheelset (see mine here), but unfortunately the one that many of us put way too much emphasis on.  (I know, I’m doing it now in the process of trying to get you to not do it.)  Rim weight is more important, since rotating mass matters more than static mass, but that measurement is often hard to find unless the rims are sold separately.  Some companies offer a line of wheels with the same rims using different hub bodies, flanges and spokes of increasingly lighter material (going from steel to aluminum to carbon) to justify price increases with each 30 to 50 grams of less weight.  (See Campagnolo and Mavic alloy wheels, for examples.)

Also recognize that most cycling enthusiasts can’t tell wheel weight differences until the get to around 150 grams.  You can’t.  Not even going up a hill.  Not even you weight weenies.  So note the weight, yes, but don’t obsess over it.  Performance matters more than weight.

In terms of performance, these wheels are fast on the straights, climb with ease and handle extremely well in and out of corners.  They are stiff and responsive yet comfortable.  The DT 240 hubs spin well, a known and easy hub to service that is used on many top-shelf wheels.  There’s the option to get a Chris King R45 hub if you want  a more distinctive and colorful look and sound.  (They will add about 50 grams and a couple hundred dollars.)

I’m not a rocket scientist, but several comparative wind tunnel tests show these rims to be as aerodynamic as any of their competition.  Once you get them up to speed they just keep on going, a truly wonderful feeling.  Their performance in crosswinds is also well-behaved.  You’ll feel the wind, but with the ENVEs it seems less forceful and the wheelset’s reaction is more predictable than with most others this deep.

Unique amongst carbon wheelsets, ENVE pairs a 35mm deep, 26mm wide (outside width) front rim for handling with a 45mm deep, 24 mm wide rear one for aerodynamics.  This answers a question I get a lot – should I get the 32mm deep Zipp 202 for the mountains or the 45mm deep 303s for the rollers, flats, club races and everything else?  The answer is … get the ENVE 3.4 as they will do both well.  The hubs are also convertible from the Shimano brake system-compatible and currently dominant CenterLock and quick release standard to the less common but Trek preferred thru-axle hubs and 6 bolt rotor systems.

So this is the versatile, do everything well, road disc all-around wheelset that I set as a target.  There is so much to like.  They appear to be a year or two in front of the others in road disc wheelsets yet thoroughly tested and future-proofed with their hub compatibility.

Ah, but the price.  It’s steep and not discounted.  Is it too much?  Well that’s for each of us to decide.  But, I don’t think it’s too far out of proportion for the 30-40% of a bike’s total cost that I set aside for wheels and what you see some of the new top-of-the-line road disc bikes going for.  Remember, when you go road disc, you won’t need to buy 3 sets of wheels like you do with a rim brake bike – 1) an all-carbon mid-depth wheelset for dry, all-round group or event type riding, 2) a lower profile set with alloy brake tracks for the mountains and wet weather and 3) that n+1 set for whatever reason you thought you had to have it.

ENVE wheels also have a 5-year warranty and lifetime crash replacement – unheard of in the carbon wheel game and probably worth a tidy sum not having to shell out for another wheelset that craps out in year three of its life.

Here are the page links for this wheelset at the stores I’ve found have them at the best prices, have them in stock and have top shelf customer satisfaction records as of March 24, 2017: Competitive Cyclist, Westbrook Cycles


The Fulcrum Racing Quattro Carbon Disc represents just what I mean by Best Value – a good performer at a great price.  It also represents a performance and price bridge between the best alloy upgrade and the best carbon road disc wheelsets.

Here’s what I mean by all of that.  With a carbon rimmed wheel, you get a generally stiffer, lighter, more compliant, and more responsive wheelset than an alloy wheel.  This is the case with this Fulcrum compared to the alloy upgrade road disc wheelsets I reviewed earlier.  It’s basically a function of what you can do with carbon versus alloy.  Of course, the hub, flanges, spokes and lacing all matters too and these are executed well with this Fulcrum but the rim material you start with determines how much performance you can get out of a wheelset.

The Quattro Carbon Disc is laterally stiff, gives you a good feel for the road yet is compliant and not buzzy or harsh underneath you. The hubs ride very smoothly.  The feel (but not the performance) is more like a ready-to-go racing wheelset than a ready-to-cruise endurance one.  Fulcrum Racing Quattro Carbon Disc

This wheel does many things well and some less so than the best.  It accelerates well on the flats but hesitates a beat when you try to increase your speed going uphill.  At  about 1600g (1605 claimed, 1590 measured), it’s +/- 50 grams of every other carbon road disc wheelset with a similar depth (40mm) except for the ENVE SES 3.4 Disc which is nearly 100g lighter.

The Quattro Carbon Disc is plenty comfortable but at its width (17mm/24mm) and with its overall good responsiveness and good handling, it’s at its best on the road with nothing wider than a 25mm tire and not with an oversized tire off road.  It’s not made for tubeless tire use, though because the spokes screw into the top of the rims rather than through them, you can set them up yourself if you want to run them that way.  You can run it with QR or TA axles and Centerlock or 6-Bolt rotors.

While you can disregard everything I just wrote and set them up tubeless, run 28mm or wider tires on them, deflate and run them off road or for cyclocross races (as a fellow reviewer has proven), I believe you get the best out of these wheels riding them aggressively and fast with 23mm tires on a flat or somewhat hilly road route.

While they are 40mm deep, their profile once again proves that wheels of a similar depth do not produce the same aerodynamic results.  It doesn’t hold your speed like other wheels of this depth and is pushed around by crosswinds a bit more more.  The Quattro Carbon Disc’s rim profile may explain some of this.  It is what I’ll generously call a UV profile – mostly flat but slightly rounded and narrow at the inner spoke edge and widening linearly toward the tire edge until it hits the brake track where it flattens out.  It appears to share the same rim profile as the rim brake version of this wheelset, lacking the brake track treatment of course.

The price for these wheels is certainly right, especially if you want the performance benefits of a carbon wheelset.  Depending on the day and store (see below), they are several hundred $, £, € less and more available than the Reynolds Assault SLG Disc wheelset I had picked as best value last year and several hundred more than the Zipp 30 Course Disc alloy upgrade wheels I recommended above.  Used in a way that gets the most out of them, the Fulcrum Racing Quattro Disc wheelset provides the combination of good performance and great price that equates to the best value in this category.

Here are the page links for this wheelset at the stores I’ve found have them at the best prices, have them in stock and have top shelf customer satisfaction records as of March 24, 2017: Wiggle, ProBikeKit UK code ITK10

Other Carbon Disc Brake Wheelsets


Zipp 303 disc brake - ZippZipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Disc-brake (US/CA Competitive Cyclist, EU/UK Westbrook) Zipp has introduced an updated model of this wheelset which I have not yet evaluated.  I hope to do so in Spring 2017 and will update this review when I do.  Meanwhile, the earlier model is reviewed below.

I’m a huge fan of the rim brake version of the Zipp 303 Firecrest, recommending it as the best performer in my review of all-around rim brake road wheels.  It has been the leader and standard setter in speed/aerodynamics, stiffness, responsiveness, comfort, braking, and crosswind management.  The Firecrest rim brake wheelsets have also been a price leader but, if you are patient and follow my store recommendations, it’s possible to pick them up at 20-30% below the manufacturer’s price (MSRP or RRP).

The disc brake version of this wheelset causes me to pause however, in part because of what the recommended ENVE wheelset has done to jump out front in the road disc category and in part for what Zipp hasn’t done to keep up.   Zipp didn’t change anything about the rims used on the disc wheels other than to stop treating the brake track.  The result is the 303s weigh about 150 grams more than the ENVE 3.4, an amount at which the road cycling enthusiast will feel a difference.

Yes, Zipp did introduce new 77/177 hubs for these wheelsets (and the 202 Firecrest reviewed below).  They got rid of the pre-load adjustment ability and went back to cartridge bearings to reduce the exposure to and effects of dirt and moisture on bearing wear, something particularly troublesome for those who run these or any wheels through the muck of a cyclocross course.  Zipp’s new hubs are a bit smoother and quicker to engage than the DT Swiss 240s used on the ENVE road disc wheels.

The hubs also are convertible between quick release and thru-axle standards.  Much of this hub change was targeted to the off-road rider whose environment and frame options will benefit most from these changes.  Zipp still doen’t offer a Centerlock hub option, staying with the 6-bolt hub attachment standard that fits with their parent SRAM’s disc brakes but forces you to go to 160mm rotors if you use competitor Shimano’s.

If this frustrates you like it does me, see Apple, Google, Microsoft and other companies strategies that try to wall out all others.  Unfortunately, SRAM’s road disc components badly lag Shimanos in terms of acceptance but SRAM/Zipp are not relenting.

Zipp introduced their disc brake 303 clincher in July 2013 for the 2014 model year.  While that’s not too long ago, it was a period when road disc was still dawning and cyclocross was the on the rise, especially with the success of Zipp and SRAM sponsored athletes on the cyclocross race circuit.  When the 303 disc brake model was introduced, Zipp’s representative told Cyclocross Magazine that rather than thinning it, they “kept the rim the same… because the same amount of material was needed to retain the rim’s aerodynamics and stiffness.”  OK…

Judging from what Zipp has done to rim design over the years (see Firecrest and NSW), I have no doubt that they’ll be able to figure out how to reduce the amount of material, improve the aerodynamics and maintain the stiffness in a future version of this wheelset, once the market establishes the demand is there.  With SRAM investing so heavily in hydraulic disc brake components for CX and road bikes, I think it will only be a matter of time before their SRAM-owned brand Zipp follows with a similar investment in their road disc wheels.  And hopefully, they’ll relent and provide a Centerlock solution too.  One can only hope.

Zipp 202 disc brake - ZippZipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Disc-brake (US/CA Competitive Cyclist, UK/EU WiggleTweeks Cycles ) – While I think it’s a splendid wheel, I’ve never really understood why one would buy the 202 Firecrest clincher rim brake wheelset with the 303 in the same product line.  Why go for an all-carbon, all-round clincher wheel that is only 32mm deep (the 202) when you can have one that is 45m deep, wider and faster/more aero for the same price (the 303)?

True, the 202 is lighter than the 303, but not by enough to make a difference in the mountains for all but serious racers and they would go with the still lighter and better/safer braking 202 tubular anyway.  And at this depth, you can find much lighter carbon clincher wheels for climbing and much cheaper (and lighter) alloy wheels that are shallower but probably not much different aerodynamically.

Compared to the recommended ENVE 3.4, the Firecrest 303 weighs about 175g more (185g claimed, 163 measured). The 202 is still about 50g more (70g claimed, 35g measured) than the 3.4 which is a deeper and slightly wider wheelset.

Does it handle better than the 303?  Is it more responsive?  Better in crosswinds?  Better in crits or club races?  I don’t think the road cycling enthusiast would notice any difference.  Perhaps Zipp just feels it’s important to have something in that depth to fill out its product line.  Adding it last to the Firecrest line as they did suggests to me that this may have been one of their motivations.

Reynolds Assault SLG Disc Brake (ProBikeKit UK 6-bolt version, use code ITKRW for orders in $USD and code ITK10, Westbrook Cycles TA or QR, centerlock version) – Last year, I recommended this wheelset as the Best Value, that combination of a good performer and a great value at about $1200 less than the ENVEs in the market.  While the wheelset hasn’t changed, they have been in short supply throughout the year, the price of the Zipp 303 has come into the high end of the Assault’s neighborhood, and the Fulcrum Racing Quattro Carbon Disc has moved in at a better priceReynolds Assault SLG Disc Carbon Wheelset - Tubeless with good performance while also being more available.

When you can find it and at near the same price, I still like what the Assault has to offer more than the Fulcrum.

Reynolds has created a very nice line of value-priced all-carbon wheelsets – the Attack (29mm deep), Assault SLG (41mm) and Strike SLG (62mm) – to sit below with its top priced line of 46mm and deeper, higher priced Aero and RZR wheels.  The Attack and Assault SLGs now come in a disc brake versions and it’s the latter that I’m writing about here.

On-the-road comfort, handling and acceleration are all very good.  They are stiff and responsive.  They handle cross-winds without a problem.  They climb well, coming in at a weight (claimed 1565g, measured 1597g) that is less than 100 grams more for the disc brake version over the rim brake one.

They are wide (17mm inner, 25 mm out), mid depth (41mm), and have a toroid shaped rim profile for great aerodynamics.  They are also tubeless ready, use DT Swiss spokes that you can find most places, and have external nipples if you need to true them.  The latest version hubs are set up for CenterLock rotor attachment and wheelsets are shipped with both TA and QR axles for compatibility with most road disc bikes.

If all of this sounds modern and up-to-date, well it’s probably because the rims were introduced in 2014 and the disc brake model for 2015 season.  They’ve incorporated the latest rim designs though not road disc-specific and made some reasonable bets on dominant standards.  I think the design choices will stand up well for several years.  I know these wheels will provide great, versatile, all-round performance on the road without you having to pay top of the market prices.

Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3 Disc (Trek Store and dealers) – Bontrager’s 35mm deep Aeolus disc wheelset, one I’m evaluating for the first time this year, is comparable in many regards with my Best Performer pick, the ENVE SES 3.4 Disc.  It accelerates well on the flats and holds its speed very well.  It’s claimed weight is within grams of the ENVE’s; it’s measured weight is about 50g more.  Not a big or noticeable difference.

Bontrager Aeolus 3 TLR Disc D3 Clincher Road Wheel

The Aeolus 3 D3 Disc corners precisely, holding very firmly through the turns.  Its acceleration and handling is no doubt due in part to its excellent stiffness.  It also feels unaffected by crosswinds, uses the same DT Swiss 240 hub and spoke configuration, and has the same wheel depth as the front wheel of the ENVE.  It costs essentially the same, high priced amount to call your own.

So what’s different?  Why not go with the Bontrager for your one road disc wheelset now and forever more?

Two differences, enough to sway me but maybe not deal breakers if you like something else about them matters more to you.  First, they don’t climb as well as other carbon disc brake wheels.  I can’t explain why but several people I trust who have ridden them had this reaction.

Second, they don’t feel quite as compliant/comfortable if you are running these wheels against others with the tire widths they are designed to use for road cycling (no wider than 25mm).

Bontrager designed the D3’s rims with an inside width of 19.5mm and an outside of 27mm for better aerodynamics rather than improved comfort.  Their tests have shown (if I understand and can explain it correctly) that a tire that’s narrower than the rim will catch the air flaring off it to reattach to the wider rim and give the wheel-tire combination less drag.  And a tire whose shape is squarer because it hooks to a rim with a wider inside bead width will both direct the air coming off the tire at a better angle to the rim than a tire that’s made rounder because it is wider.  A squarer tire shape will also reduce the length and increase the width of the tire’s contact patch to lower rolling resistance and improve handling.  Zipp, Reynolds and others hold similar views.

Whether the Bontrager is more aerodynamic than the ENVE, because its front wheel (the one that matters most in the aerodynamic equation) is a mm wider both on the inside and out is something I can’t tell.  There are other variables – the ENVE’s rim profile is a little rounder than the Bontrager for example – that would make for a fun discussion with a road cycling enthusiast that’s also a physicist or rocket scientist.  If you are one of those, please get in touch and let me know if this all real or hooey.  I’ve already likely droned on too long here myself.

A final difference, and one that’s difficult to know which side to come down on, is the tubeless consideration.  The Bontrager is designed to run tubeless but doesn’t do it easily (it can also be run tube and tire).  Different tires, even Bontrager’s own, are awfully hard to get on the rim, but seal up well once they are.  The ENVE is not made for tubeless, but can be run that way over with some rim tape.  If you don’t plan to run your wheels tubeless, it’s of little consequence.

Because the ENVEs climb a bit better and are a bit more comfortable, and because they lightened the weight of the disc rims rather than use the same hoops on their rim and disc brake wheels, I go with the ENVEs over the Bontrager for best performer.

AERO46_Disc_ClincherReynolds 46 Aero Disc Brake (ProBikeKit UK code ITK10, JensonUSA) – This is a very good wheelset but compared to its 100 gram lighter and nearly $1000 less expensive Assault SLG Disc Brake cousin or the similarly performing, depth and weight but $500 or so less expensive Zipp 303 Firecrest Clincher Disc competitor, it’s hard to get my head wrapped around the reasons why a road cycling enthusiast should go for this Reynolds model.

It really comes down to which aerodynamic theory or experience you buy into.  The Reynolds 46 takes an updated old-school approach to getting aerodynamic lift from their rims while fighting off the crosswinds.  Unlike the modern rounded leading edge and toroid profile of Zipp, Enve, HED and others (including Reynolds own Assault SLG wheelsets), the Reynolds Aero series use a traditional V-shaped leading edge and profile that flattens out to a parallel profile about half back to the trailing edge.

Greg Kopecky, the technical guru who used to write for the triathlon site Slowtwitch, did a good piece here on Reynolds V-shaped approach and the rounded leading edge alternatives.  Frankly, it’s too much for me (and perhaps some of you) to fully get through without a few reads but the link to it is there if you want to give it a go.  I guess triathletes are just smarter than roadies, or at least this roadie.  Suffice it to say, Reynolds design also works for reasons Greg has relayed.

Regardless of theory, these wheels perform well – stiff, responsive to acceleration, controlled in the corners, though slightly less comfortable than others even with a 25mm tire they easily take on.  You will get a little nudge in crosswinds on these, a bit unsettling but something you can get used to.

RC_38_Spline_C_db_15_100_FW-(1)DT Swiss RC 38 Spline C DB (Wiggle) and DT Swiss RC 28 Spline C DB (Wiggle) – DT Swiss is a major spoke, hub and wheelset maker.  Their spokes and hubs are pretty well-known and show up on mid to higher priced wheelsets assembled by others.  DT’s complete wheelsets are made for and branded by others at the stock wheel level (e.g. Axis for Specialized) and under their own brand name for road and mountain bikes from shallow alloy up to deep profile carbon.

These RC (which stands for road carbon) 38 and 28 (mm depth) Spline (hub model) C (clincher) DB (disc brake) wheels were new for 2015 season and represent the top of DT’s road disc line.  At claimed weights of 1455g and 1325g they are among the lightest of the all-carbon road disc wheels out there.  But, at 15mm internal and 21mm external width, they are also the narrowest, a width that most major wheel manufacturers have moved past both for new low profile alloy and deeper carbon rims.

The results on the road are consistent with what you might expect from this design.  They accelerate well and roll smoothly.  They handle well though get pushed around by crosswinds more than most and don’t feel as fast as wider, deeper wheels with more rounded leading edges.  Running them tubeless would make them roll a bit more comfortably.

The hubs mount to the Shimano CenterLock standard and come set up with 15/100mm front and 12/142mm thru-axles with adaptors of 6 bolt and quick release endcaps included.

At their market price, these could be considered a relative ‘value’ compared to other carbon wheelsets however their rim widths, aero performance and thru-axle limitations make them less desirable.

Prime RP-28 Carbon Clincher Disc Road (Chain Reaction Cycles) – Prime Components, the house wheelset and component brand for UK online retailer Chain Reaction Cycles, introduced the RP-28 Carbon Clincher Disc Road Wheelset in the summer of 2016.  Their USD$950, £730, €930, AUD$1225 market price is equal to that of most of the alloy road disc wheelsets but hundreds to over a thousand less than other carbon hoops from name brand wheel makers.

Bottom line, for the kind of rider whose preferences align well with where this wheelset performs best, the RP-28 road disc wheels can be a good solution.  They are not as versatile as some of the better alloy or carbon wheelsets but if you like to climb, prefer tubeless wheels, aren’t looking for the speed of an all-around wheelset or the cushy comfort a wider set can bring you and are happy having your shop work on your bike, these wheels will likely be a good fit for you at a great price.

prime-rp-28-store-photoThe Prime rims are set-up for tubeless and, if you are interested in these wheels, it’s the only way to go.  I first rode them with my benchmark, low rolling resistance 25C Continental Grand Prix II S tires that use tubes and I didn’t find the wheels comfortable, even down at 80-85 psi.  With 25C Schwalbe Pro One tubeless down at about 70psi however, they were comfortable, though certainly not plush.

While I’m typically able to install tubeless tires using a floor pump, I had to take these wheels to my shop where they have a high volume, pneumatic air pump.  Even for them, it took a little bit of doing to get these all sealed up.  It also took a few rides before the sealant stopped weeping out of some of the spoke holes in the front wheel and spraying back on my legs.  The tires do come off the rims easily though, so you don’t need to worry about not being able to get a tube in if you ever flat on the road.

They aren’t well suited for off road riding, which some of the wider alloy wheels can do quite well.  Dropping the pressure down to 50 psi on a gravel and dirt path still made for an uncomfortable ride.  These kind of trails are left to still wider tires and rims filled with less air.

They do climb well, feeling stiff but not overly so going up and track well in the turns going downhill at speed.  The acceleration you get out of them is good, the rear hub engaging soon after you start turning the cranks.  They also coast smoothly with the hub keeping relatively quiet.

For those of you who use Shimano disc brakes and prefer their rotors, know that the RP-28 hubs only come with 6-bolt hubs.  That means you’ll need to pick up and install or have installed for you a set of 160mm rotors and adaptors as most Shimano road disc components are set up with 140mm rotors and attach using the CenterLock standard.  The wheels do come with both quick release and thru axles and the end caps to support both.

* * * * *

Thank you for reading.  Please let me know what you think of anything I’ve written or ask any questions you might have in the comment section below.

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Thanks and enjoy the ride!


  • Steve, your thoughts on the updated 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Tubeless Disc Brake model that was announced in August and just now becoming available? Using your table above, its gone from 26.4 outer width to 29.9, and 17.25 inner to 21, and is now tubeless compatible (don’t care for me). They don’t list aero optimized tire size in specs, seems like that would be 25mm tire (music to my ears), the only statement I see is “the new 303 Firecrest delivers lower drag than the outgoing version when used with 25c or wider tires.”

    My short list is down to Enve 5.6, the new 303 Firecrest, and Stan’s Avion Disc Pro. Hoping to pull the trigger soon and be riding before our club’s first 2017 “Train for the Tour” century ride on Jan 7.

  • Good Morning Steve,
    I’m ready to purchase the Enve 4.5 wheel set that you recommend to me. In fact almost purchased 5 minutes ago but wanted your clarity and opinion that I value so much. I would be buying the Enves through Merlin in the UK for $2900. My main concern is because of some of the threads I have read regarding “gray marketing” it appears Merlin, Probikekit and Chainreaction are the heavy hitters in this practice. Yes, gray marketing is legal in Europe , but my concern is getting wheels without a serial number or registration authentication. Do you strongly endorse Merlin for delivering me real wheels vs counterfeit? I understand you have a relationship with them as you have rated them. As always I appreciate you awesome well constructed opinions. Happy Holiday, Rivak

    • Rivak, Happy Holidays to you as well. Sounds like you are treating yourself to a nice present.

      A few things. First, I recommend you buy your gear at any of the 35 or so stores that make my Best Online Bike Store Ratings list. To make this list, stores need to have a “very satisfied” or “outstanding” rating (which is 4* or 5* rating) from one of the independent customer satisfaction services that get feedback from fellow enthusiasts who are their validated customers. Another 65 online stores I follow don’t meet this standard. If a store is selling wheels without a serial number or registration, etc. or shipping slowly or the wrong product or not handling returns well or anything that makes customers less than “very satisfied”, customers are going to get wise to that real quick and they will get rated poorly and wont make my list of recommended stores. Customer feedback is wonderful, cleansing thing. You can read more about how the stores make the list in that post. Price, customer service, selection and whether or not they support the site’s readers – in that order – affects their ranking on the list but they only can get on the list in the first place if they have 4* or better customer satisfaction rankings from independent reviewers that I have vetted.

      Second, I regularly update and provide links to the stores at which you can get the best prices and that have the gear in stock from one of the recommended stores. For the gear I’ve recommended, you can find that in the sidebar of every page of the site. For those and the other products I’ve reviewed but not recommended, you can get the store links in the posts where those products are reviewed.

      In the case of the ENVE SES 4.5, the three stores you mentioned do not have the SES 4.5. Further, ENVE restricts the sale of their products through online stores to customers in the same region or country as the store. So, if you live in the US, you can’t buy an ENVE from a store outside the US. Not sure where you are from, but if you live in the US (you mentioned a price in $) the store I currently recommend and the link to get the 4.5 at is Competitive Cyclist, in the UK/EU Westbrook Cycles, and in AU/NZ Pushys.

      ENVE and most brands these days run a very tight ship when it comes to distribution through online stores. The kind of things you fear, to my knowledge, don’t happen anymore with good brands and stores with good customer satisfaction ratings. That’s why I try to steer my fellow enthusiasts to those stores on my recommended list and recommend brands and products that are proven.


      • Hello Steve,
        I live in Arizona. Merlin , the UK site that I was focusing on does sell Enve. 4.5 SES NBT cliched with Chris King Hubs. $2891.25
        I spoke to Matt via email on 3 occasions. He said ” We warranty our products not our vendors. I specifically asked if they provided Certilogo authenticity. He said no. I am concerned as I always look for this. And all my Campy and SRAM products have been authenticated.

        You may want to investigate this. So in summary I can get Enves through Merlin but without an Enve warranty. Only through Merlin.

        Merlin is #6 on your list.

        • Rivak, Well that’s interesting, to say the least. I’d not heard of Certilogo before but know that Merlin has one of the highest customer satisfaction ratings. I will investigate. I don’t know the specifics of Merlin’s agreement with ENVE but my understanding is that there are geo restrictions on ENVE products. That is my bigger concern with you buying ENVE from Merlin if you live in Arizona.

          I’d avoid them for now and get the wheels through Competitive Cyclist. Price is the same, service is first rate. Their headquarters are within a stone’s throw of ENVE as well. And they are one of my two favorite stores. Steve

        • Rivak, have you contacted Competitive Cyclist about your pricing target?

          • Not yet. They are more expensive and want to see if they will price match. I have spent thousands with them do I m hoping they will flex.

            Thanks for your idea Steve!


        • Rivak & Steve – Under UK law and the Consumer Rights Act 2015, your contract is with the vendor and not the manufacturer. All warranty claims should go through the retailer and it is their duty to follow up with the manufacturer so Merlin is technically correct. The law may be different in the US.

          • US warranty law is different, and a manufacturer can limit warranty coverage based on where you purchased (e.g. only authorized resellers), who provides the service (mfg or reseller), etc., etc. Some info here – and I’ve seen this issue come up a lot with friends that bought a Fitbit as the company only provides warranty coverage if you purchase direct or an authorized reseller.

  • Hey Steve,

    Super informative site. Spent way to much time here,. I like to ride long hours and brevet type events and distances. Terrain where I live is hilly. Not a particularly fast rider about 24-26 kph average and about 200 lb although working on lowering that. Is there a benefit of upgrading to an aero wheel set such as a assault or zipp 303. Right now I have a custom built alloy wheelset that’s about 28 deep 25 external coming in at about 1700g for the set. Is it worth upgrading or should I save my money.

    Thanks again and Happy Holidays !!!

    • Hi Paul, Glad to hear you’re spending a lot of time getting informed before you spend a lot of money. At your speeds and on hilly terrain, you aren’t going fast enough or likely long enough to get much aero benefit from a deeper wheel. You would likely notice and benefit from a 150-200g lighter and stiffer wheelset than your current one. A carbon wheelset like the two you mentioned would do that and make you faster up hill and down hill. The added stiffness of carbon over alloy will transfer more of your power through your wheels, the lighter weight would get you uphill easier and the deeper rims would make you faster downhill. They are also likely to handle more precisely. So for a lot of reasons, you’d be better off with the assault or 303.

      Merry/Happy/Peace out,

  • Hi Steve,

    this is an incredible article. An amazing amount of work and knowledge has gone into it I’m sure. Thanks a lot.

    Like Paul above, I’m after some advice.

    I currently have DT Swiss R24 Spline Disc Break wheels ( that came with my 2015 Focus Cayo, which to my knowledge, appear to be a basic, all round, lower level disc wheel. They seem to be pretty strong which I need here on rough Australian roads, but they’re also slow (1775g, and I reckon I had some Fulcrum 3’s that were faster). I especially notice the resistance when riding at speeds above 40km/25mile/hr.

    However most of the riding I do is not racing but climbing and rolling hills. Of course like everyone, I also like to go as fast I can where possible (both descending and on the flats). I weight about 83kg/183lbs.

    I don’t want to spend that much money on the ENVE SES 3.4 Disc Clincher. More around the $2-2.5K mark.

    I also require a centre lock disc attachment.

    Are you able to advise?

    Much thanks on advance for whatever you can offer.

  • Steve, thanks for all the help and feedback. Sent you a donation to support the site 🙂 Yesterday I received my Enve 5.6 wheels from Lisa was great to work with and I decided on heavy duty DT aero comp spokes paired to DT 240 hubs. LBS installed rotors and made minor adjust to front brake. Waiting for the 2-day storm to pass so I can finally squeeze in a ride before this weekend’s rainout.

    • 2, Thanks for supporting the site. Enjoy the new wheelset. Steve

      • Finally got to ride and wow these are fun and fast! Wasn’t my first choice in rides to test out the new wheels, but in between storms our club had 16 riders able to make Friday’s “plan B” of the 2017 train for the tour series of century rides. It was a chilly 27 degrees at ride start, and below 30 for the first 30 miles, but eventually warmed up to 45. Can’t wait to get more time in, these spin up so much faster than the stock alloy wheels and it was a lot of fun hitting the rollers in last 15 miles of the ride. Went off the front a few times with a couple guys and it seemed effortless to hit and maintain speeds in mid twenties.

        • Did a 51 mile ride yesterday with 5000′ of climbing. Definitely easier climbing with these wheels versus stock. Did a long 3 mile pull on gradual descent at 30mph with a crosswind and cars driving by at 60mph (on a state 2 lane highway) The Enve 5.6 wheels were very well behaved at speed, and only felt small tugs when getting passed by trucks.

          • Last set of comments on Enve SES 5.6 Disc. Rode a century in Napa last weekend and we had a 2.6 mile descent down Highway 29 into Calistoga (-6% average grade). Last year I rode it on a nice day with stock wheels at 35mph average, this year with cross winds I started out at 49mph in first quarter mile and didn’t enjoy the counter-steering so ended up riding it at 31mph average and guys on shallow climbing wheels blew by me. I now completely understand why mid-aero wheels are not what you want in highly variable conditions in the mountains 😉

            On the other hand we had a 1.6 mile descent on another road with -7% grade and because of wet roads I rode that at 30mph without problems (same feedback as my Jan 8 comment above).

            Next time we have a strong wind on the weekend, I’m going to swap my front aero wheel for the alloy one, drive over to foothills and try a 1 mile descent where in the past with alloy wheels I’ve ridden at 35-45mph. It certainly seems like the front wheel is the primary reason for feeling uneasy.

            In summary, no problem in cross winds on long gradual or controlled descents up to 30mph, however steeper descents in cross winds and my feeling is “I’m too old for this” and wanted my stock alloy wheels or a chance to try shallow climbing wheels like the Enve 3.4.

  • Hi Steve, Thanks for all the invaluable advice and testing, which has helped me make quite a few decisions in the last while. I’m relatively new to road cycling, but after about 2 years on a hybrid, i bought myself a Giant Defy Advanced Pro 2 last year for my 50th birthday. I put up about 3000 km on it and added a Stages power meter to it recently. Love the bike and cycling and plan to do a few more sportive events in the coming year. Im now looking at upgrading the stock alloy wheels, which are fine, but i’m looking to improve performance, handling, even comfort and i’m seriously tempted by the Fulcrum Racing Quattro Carbon Discs. My question is, would it make any significant difference to the ride by changing from the stocks to the Fulcrums and would there be any noticeable between the Fulcrums and say Zipp 303’s, which are heavier but considerably dearer. Would it be worth saving a bit longer and going for the Zipps ? Many thanks

    • James, It depends on what performance you are looking to achieve, what speed and surface you ride, whether you ride competitively, what you weigh, how much of your riding is on flat vs hills vs in the mountains, whether you insist on putting a certain tire width on or inflation in your tires, etc. Let me know and I can answer more specifically as to your situation. Generally the Fulcrum and Zipp will both be upgrades but the Zipp may be a better performer which you may or may not notice depending on your answers. Steve

      • Thanks Steve for the prompt reply. My post Xmas weight is currently 78kg but it will be down to 72 or less within the next few months. I live in Ireland and ride the best roads I can find, not snooker tables, but, most are pretty decent, i average about 150-200km per week and average speed is about 26kph. I would love to increase this and have been working on a trainer indoors for the last few months. None of the events I have entered had roads that would damage a bike. I have no preference for tyres but was probably going to get Continental Grand Prix 4000S II next. Thanks again for your help.

        • James, I’d suggest the Zipp 30 Course or, if you are doing a lot of hills, the HED Ardennes. These are both shallower alloy wheels than the Fulcrum but are wider and will be more comfortable than the Fulcrum with plenty of stiffness. They lack the depth of the Fulcrum and other carbon wheels but you need to be going about 30kph to really get any aero benefit from them. Steve

  • Steve, Specialized Roval just came out with another new wheel. CLX 50. Light, wide and aero. Any chance you will review this soon as well as the CLX 32.

  • Steve, Thank you so much for this comprehensive review. It is by far the most informative and educated review of disc brake wheels I’ve found. I’m a 190 lbs. rider on a 56 cm Caad12 disc looking to upgrade the stock Mavic Aksiums. I avg. around 85 miles or so a week at 22 to 25 mph on relatively flat/gently rolling and decently paved roads. I ride a BMC GF01 with a set of Assualt SLG disc wheels for any ride over 60 miles and I love those wheels. Your review of them is spot on in my opinion. I bought the Caad12 disc for a punchier and more spirited ride. I’m looking for a wheel set that compliments the intended use. I’m considering the Reynolds Aero 46 or Stan’s No Tubes Avion Disc Pro. Any recommendations on those two or others that come to mind would be much appreciated. I really value your opinion.

    • Aaron, Many thanks for your kind comments. I’m reviewing some wheels now and later this spring that might suit what you are looking for. Tell me specifically what you mean by “punchier and more spirited ride” and what kind of terrain you are planning to ride. Doing 22-25mph on flat, well paved roads calls for deeper aero wheels than the two you’ve mentioned and ones where you get up to speed just go. But punchier, etc. suggests crit or road racing where terrain, pace, etc. will vary and accelerations and handling requirements needed might eliminate some deeper ones. Steve

      • Steve, Thanks for the fast response. I don’t race crits. I just wanted a disc brake bike that got up to speed faster than my BMC. The GF01 and Assault SLGs hold speed very well, but the frame isn’t the stiffest and you feel it on quick acceleration. That’s what I meant by wanting something punchier. I’m not taking hard turns on my rides. The group I ride with like to sprint a few times per ride and some do race. Our elevation gain over a 35 to 45 mi. ride is under 1000 ft. The roads are all decently paved and we very rarely encounter gravel. Thanks again!

        • Aaron, Got it. While the Assault disc isn’t a light wheelset, I find the the DT240 hub is one of the more responsive ones. Have you tried the Assault on the CAAD12? To notice a big difference in acceleration, I think you’ll need to move to a deeper, more aero wheelset or a shallower, lighter one. I’d suggest the former given the speeds you are doing and the fact that you aren’t doing any elevation. Something in the 55-60+ range. I’ve got a few I’m scheduled to ride and I’m hoping to have an aero road disc wheelset review out later this year with a comparison of a half dozen in that range for you and others to consider. Steve

          • Awesome! Thanks for the advice. I’ll look forward to your review and swap out the assaults in the meantime.

  • Hi Steve, what a fantastic article, so much information and detail. As a fellow cyclist enthusiast thank you for your work and effort, lots of people like myself really appreciate your site!!! Have been reading and researching lots on wheel-sets, talking with sales guys in different shops but still can’t make my mind. I ride a BMC GF01 105, commute on a daily basis making 165km from Monday to Friday, go out at least once on the weekend to the hills and will make between 120km to 180km. Ride sportive’s and long distances in spring and summer time. Not a fast rider, average of 28km on long ride on rolling roads, love climbing and mountains. My short list (driven by budget) is between Zipp 30 Course and Fulcrum Racing Quattro, alloy or carbon, that’s my dilemma. What would you recommend?
    Thanks in advance for your valuable assistance.

    • Pablo, Thanks very kindly and welcome to the comment section. If you are doing a lot of climbing and aren’t going fast enough to benefit from deeper section wheels, I’d probably go with the Prime RP28, a lighter and less expensive wheelset than either of the two you mentioned. You’d need to get a new set of 6 bolt 140mm rotors or 160mm rotors and adaptors (depending on your weight) to go with your 105 brakes but that’s something you or your shop could inexpensively put on. Steve

  • Hi Steve, really informative website – love the way you put articles together.
    My Fulcrum racing 5 DBs have recently failed at the hub and I’m looking for a replacement. Have you got any opinions on the new Mavic Cosmic Pros?
    These are the same price, weight and depth as the Fulcrum Racing Quattros, so am a little torn.

    Again, thanks for the informative article.


    • Rob, The description with the link you sent me from Evans is wrong. I have taken it down from your comment so others won’t also get tripped up. Perhaps a simple mistake on Evans’ part but a big difference between the wheel they list (Cosmic Pro Carbon Disc) and the one they describe in that listing (Comic Pro Carbon SL C Disc). The former is the older, 200g heavier, deeper wheelset with alloy rims wrapped with carbon. The later is the new, all carbon rims which runs about 2X the market price of the older. See the Mavic site here for more or just look at the description of the Centerlock version of the same wheel on Evans’ site for correct description. That said, I wouldn’t go with the older Mavic version vs. the Fulcrum I recommend in this article. Steve

      • Thanks for the quick reply Steve – I did spot that when doing a bit of further research and messaged Evans to clarify. I’ll skip the Mavics for now.
        On the subject of the Fulcrums – I’m a lightish rider (65kg) and my local roads are pretty flat, so I tend to ride around 32-35km/h or 28km/h on more rolling terrain. I’m a bit worried that the Fulcrums don’t have the aerodynamic performance of some of the other wheels. Is my next best option going to be the Zipp 303s (which are nearly £1000 more expensive currently!).
        Thanks again,


        • Rob, Yes but if you are on a Fulcrum budget, the Assaults are a good option too. Steve

          • I just wanted to add my 2 cents… I bought Assault SLG Disc last year following Steve’s recommendation and haven’t looked back. Great wheels!
            Fast on flats, did a few group flat century rides (about 2,5K feet elevation gain) average 25mph, stiff and light on ascends – climbed a little over 1million feet in 2016.
            Almost a year later wheels still true, fast and responsive!!

          • Thanks Steve and Vitaliy, they do look like good wheels, although I’d have to get new rotors too as my current ones are SRAM 6 bolt.
            Is it maybe worth holding off on them for a while though? It looks like the new Canyon road disk range are running a newer version that appears on Reynolds’ website but doesn’t seem to be available to buy anywhere just yet…

          • private labeled version, nothing new about them.

          • Specifically talking about these –

  • Hi Steve, is the 2017 version out soon?

  • As per many of the other comments – many thanks in advance for your ‘ard. graft in keeping the site live, interesting and informative. It really is a great library of cycling wisdom …

    If you get moment, a few thoughts for a fellow cyclist on the other side of the watery divide.

    I’m a 90kg slimish rider that road bikes on a mix of hills (I live in the UK peak district) and flat with a few short & fast risers (UK Cheshire – and many of the audax and sportives i go on). I’ve a Storck aernario (disc brakes) with DT RC28s. On the flatfish rides on my own I average around 31-34km/hr over 60-150 miles and on faster sportives nearer 35-40km/hr over 60-100miles (if I can find others to help share the load). I’m generally happy with the RC28s (run tubeless) on the hills but am thinking of some deep section wheels for the flatter stuff. I’ve also recently bought a Mason Definition for more winter riding – but it is still a lovely bike (beautifully put together) and again with disc brakes – so the replacement wheels would also be used on that when the UK winter weather is kinder and the salt gritters haven’t been out.

    Of the wheels you’ve tested, what would be your recommendation at ‘moderate’ price levels? Also, since the article have you tried the Rolf Ares4 (gorgeous looking – tho’ not really a performance criteria) and have you come across Hunt wheels – in particular their 50 deep carbon – coming in at under 1450g and £1100 (Road CC did a review of them)? Where possible I prefer to buy from smaller firms (hence the Storck and Mason) – provided the products are still good.

    Many thanks in advance


    • Kevin, In the post, I recommend the Fulcrum as the Best Value and Reynolds when it is at the same price as Fulcrum. Have not tried the others. Steve

  • 83kg 6ft flat land and windy (Ohio) solo and group rider. I’m on a Ultegra Di2 Synapse and want to dump those wheels. Reynolds or Fulcrum? I don’t have any desire to run tubeless.

    • Tristan, I’d go with the Reynolds if you can find it at price similar to the Fulcrum. If the Reynolds several hundred more as it often is, the Fulcrum is a better value. Steve

  • Hi Steve, great article.

    I’m riding a 2016 Giant Defy Advanced Disc and am conisdering either the Mavic Ksyrium Pro Disc or the Fulcrum Racing Quattro Carbon Disc wheelsets.

    I’m quite an aggressive rider, am over 6ft and I have more of a sprinters build so and my main aim is to shed the weight to help with the hills. I’m not into racing but enjoy 40-50mile rides and sportives.

    Would you recommend one wheelset over the other? In Evans Cycles at the moment there’s only around £100 between them.

    Thanks in advance


  • Hi Steve,
    Great articles on wheels! Any thoughts on the Bontrager Affinity Comp Tubeless Ready Discwheels that come with the 2017 Trek Domane SLR 6 model or the Bontrager Paradigm elite wheelset ? I’m a weekend warrior ( 45 y/o, 6’1″, 205 lbs) that rides weekly on group road rides and several fondos a year, not a racer. I live in a hilly area and paved roads are mediocre at best. I value comfort most, but also want a balance of speed to keep up with the younger, faster riders. I am planning on purchasing a Domane this year and struggling between buying the SLR with stock wheels or an SL model with a wheel upgrade due to my budget. I like the upgrades on the SLR frame, but undertand the importance of wheels for the overall riding experience. I was considering the Bontrager paradigm elite wheels as a minor upgrade to the the SLR, but could probably afford a better upgrade with the SL model frame. I know that i can always upgrade later, but not sure when/ if that will happen. Your insight is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance also to anyone else reading this if you have any thoughts.


    • BTW- I was also just considering the SL 6 model which comes with the Vision Metron 40 Disc LTD wheelset. Thanks!

    • Tony, The Comp is your basic stock wheelset. The Paradigm Elite is an upgrade over that for sure, not a bad option if you aren’t paying a lot extra (<$500) to get it. It can be comfortable but not terribly speedy or stiff at your weight. The Vision Metron 40 is a further upgrade but, again, not worth paying a lot more for since it's not the wheelset I would choose for if you value comfort most. My take is to get the frame and groupset you want with the least expensive wheelset option and then get a wheelset that delivers the comfort and speed you want and that's stiff enough for your weight and strength. Steve

    • Hi Tony,

      I’m same height/weight and have been riding a 58cm 2015 Domane 6.2 Disc for 14 months. I tested several bikes – Trek Emonda, Giant Defy Advanced Pro, Specialized Roubaix, and Trek Domane – before settling on this because in side-by-side testing on a 2.5 mile hill route it was the fastest (at same perceived level effort) and most comfortable bike. Versus my 2015 Domane, the front IsoSpeed on both SL6 and SLR are a big improvement on reducing road vibration transmitted thru handlebars. I did see some improvement in vibration reduction when upgrading to carbon wheels about 6 weeks ago, and that was reinforced yesterday during a century in Napa Valley on some really rough roads.

      If I had to buy again I would choose the Domane SL 6 Disc over the SLR 6 Disc for the following reasons: price/value, SL6 has better carbon aero wheels and 11-32 cassette for climbing, the 500 series carbon is almost equivalent to 600 series (except for vertical compliance). Personally I wouldn’t bother using the adjustable rear IsoSpeed, I’d set it once and leave it. The manager at my local bike shop (Trek/Giant dealer) bought the SL 6 for those reasons, and the aero wheels have already resulted in him getting PRs and a few KOMs 28+mph sprints) on Strava segments in our area. My new Enve SES 5.6 Disc wheels have proven that its easier to hammer out long stretches above 22mph, so I’m sold on the benefits of carbon aero wheels.

      Hope that helps.

      • 2nfinite- Yes, that helps greatly! I’ve been leaning towards the SL 6 for price as well as hope the wheels were a bit better, but worried about missing out on the of the extra SLR features. Today i was trying to imagine scenarios where i would use the adjustemt and cant think of many days during the year that it might be useful. I’d probably set and leave it too. For $1k extra, it’s probably not worth it for my needs. I think you just helped me make up my mind on the SL 6 and will consider a wheel upgrade in the future, if these dont work for me, based on some of the great recommendations on this site.
        Thanks for taking the time to comment.

        • The wheels will very likely be just fine. The Vision Metron 40 is optimized for 23 or 25mm tires, it seems odd that Trek puts 32mm tires on the SL 6 because Trek puts 25mm tires on the Madone with non-disc version of same wheels. Very few choices for carbon aero disc wheels optimized for 28 or 32mm tires, AFAIK only Enve 4.5 AR Disc and you need to run tubeless tires which limits tire choices. Our Wed night ride leader is running Hutchinson Sector 28s on his 2015 Domane 6.9 Disc with stock wheels and he loves them and noted that all potential flats have sealed up so he has been flat free for almost a year!

          • Good to know. I was also wondering about the 32 mm tires based on the info from this site. Tomorrow night i will be going to a Rep night event hosted by my local bike shop…Trek reps and Fabian Cancellara will be there too. I can ask them both 🙂 . Worse case I will decrease size tire size to 28mm.

          • My concern with the vision metron disc wheel set  is it appears to have a rim brake track.  Please advise otherwise.

          • Jason, you are correct. The Metron 40 is a rim brake wheel adopted for disc brake use. It is also being replaced this year by the Metron 40 SL, essentially the same wheel with a different lay-up. I rode the Metron 40 rim brake wheelset a couple years ago and wasn’t a fan. Sluggish compared to the Zipp 303 FC and ENVE SES 3.4 at that time. Also not as comfortable. This is why I suggested to Tony he get the frame and groupset of his choice and not pay much extra for the wheelset. Steve

          • Very sloppy Trek. Thanks Steve.

          • With respect to Tony, once you decide on:
            – Trek Domane
            – Ultegra drivetrain
            – Disc brakes

            then there are 3 “entry-level” choices, well, only 2 choices if you want:
            – front -and- rear IsoSpeed (excellent upgrade for comfort)
            – ability to run up to 32mm tires (great upgrade for comfort)

            Those 2 Domane choices are:
            – SL 6 Disc
            – SLR 6 Disc

            (yes there are higher end Domane, ignoring those as they are pricey and include goodies like Di2)

            The SL is $1000 cheaper and here are *my* plus/minus/draw (+/-/~) versus the more expensive SLR, ranking from a practical point-of-view (if money is no object then I would rank differently):
            ~ doesn’t have *adjustable* rear IsoSpeed (minus only if you routinely switch between gravel and road)
            + oddly the SL has Vision Metron 40 carbon wheels which are a significant upgrade over the SLR’s Bontrager Affinity Comp alloy wheels
            – the SL has alloy handlebars, while the SLR has upgraded carbon handlebars (not sure about comfort)
            ~ Shimano flat mount RS685 vs RS805 disc brakes (minus technically, not practically)
            ~ the SLR has upgraded saddle with Ti rails, (personal preference – love my Selle SMP saddle)
            ~ frame uses 500 series carbon, very similar to 600 series carbon (in a perfect world 600 is better than 500)
            ~ forks appear to be the same, but SLR description uses the term “full carbon” instead of “carbon”
            ~ weighs ~0.25lbs more (18.2 vs 18.5, no practical difference)

            In summary, the SL6 is $1000 cheaper with a major wheel upgrade and practically speaking no downside. Even if you didn’t like the Vision Metron 40s, sell for $700-$1000 and with bike savings you’ve got a $1700-$2000 wheel budget.

          • Thanks everyone. As 2nfinite stated above, the Metron 40 disc LTD and 32 mm tires come stock on the Domane SL 6 ( not sure what “LTD” stands for or if there is any difference from prior year’s sets that you may have tried). I would not be paying extra for that upgrade. I did a quick back of envelope calculation on buying the SL 6 frame alone $2359 and building the bike as Steve suggested and believe i would wind up spending more than the stock $4500 SL 6. However, I have learned a lot from this site and your comments, and will be better prepared with questions at the rep night event this evening about building around a frame, wheel width vs the 32mm tires, etc.

            If buying the frame and building the bike is somewhat comparable (within budget) and i can get a better wheel set, then I will certainly do that. If not, I might go with the SL 6 stock and decide to keep or sell the Metron 40’s after i ride them myself.

            One other consideration for me is supporting my local bike shop in return for all that they do for the community (getting town bike lanes, high school cycling team, organizing NJ Grand fondo, local charity support, etc.) Trek is their lead bike brand. I might be able to find some better deals on components at different websites, but I do feel compelled to support a local business owner and the people in large part responsible for me getting out there every weekend and my riding enjoyment…even at the risk of not getting the best deal. 🙂

            I appreciate everyone taking time to comment and I’ll let you all know if I learn anything new this evening. This has been all very helpful!

          • Tony, You asked me and I responded to your question about wheels in your first comment but as it looks like the discussion has trended to which bike to buy, I feel the need to weigh in here as I have reviewed these as well (here). Frankly, I’m not a fan of either of the Domanes. With all due respects to 2infinite, I found the older model’s stiffness was rather imbalanced – soft tail and stiff front – no matter what the rear setting. The stiffness is more balanced in the new models but it rides kind of like a limousine – very cushy all around to the extent you lose a lot of road feel. I get that you may prefer a more comfortable ride but I think you can do this with your wheel and tire set-up without losing road feel. Recall that the Domane was built for the cobbles where Fabian liked to crush people and perhaps for those of us who just want to just cruise on the roads. But if you like to do the collegially competitive group ride from time to time as I read you do, you might consider something a little more responsive and with more feel for the action.

            If you haven’t already, I’d also suggest you make sure the geometry, specifically the stack and reach is right for you and spend an hour riding it and something else that fits you as well. Use the same wheels. If your LBS isn’t willing to set you up to do that then I’d defer until you find one that can. Regarding supporting your bike shop, I’m all for that as long as doing so doesn’t disadvantage the choice you have or comes at a huge cost. If you get some value from this site or others you may have checked along the way, I’d also encourage you to find a way to support us/them. It’s not a zero sum game.


  • Steve, I wasn’t trying to steer convo towards which bike to buy, rather, pointing out the the less expensive Domane SL6 is a surprisingly good value (due to carbon aero wheels) if you’ve narrowed it down to the Trek SL vs SLR like Tony stated.

    Bike fit and feel is highly personal, like choosing a saddle or finding clothes that fit well. Steve isn’t the only one that isn’t partial to the Domane, however others like the bike, it was top endurance bike in more than one review when I was doing research the summer of 2015. One in particular – – was a roundup conducted by 5+ testers (triathlete, Cat 1 racers, and weekend warriors) on 7 bikes ridden on various types of terrain. I’m sure testing on Boulder Roubaix course helped the Domane in rankings, although they also did climbing and country roads. Domane was fastest and best fitting bike *for me* than the others in my own personal shoot-out on rollers, despite others being more responsive like the Tarmac I rented for a day (and quickly took off short-list) or the Giant Defy Advanced that made it to the final round. I like to ‘cruise’ at 20+mph and even with stock wheels the Domane is excellent performer on rough roads, flats, and rollers, and I have no problem keeping up in a spirited short sprint with (stronger) ex-racers that will eventually outrun my fitness level on a long ride, so *for me* its been the perfect combo of comfort and performance.

    Be sure to find a couple of bikes that fit well, and then test ride more than once (rent for a day if you can!). In my own limited experience on 23/25/28mm tires and two sets of wheels, a bike has a basic character and everything else is fine tuning the ride so don’t overthink it. Make a short list, ride back-to-back, and go with what feels best.

    p.s. I support Steve and suggest buying from links or sending $, this site is an awesome resource for the cycling enthusiast IMHO

  • Hi Steve, regarding rotors, I currently have 160mm on my Defy. The new Fulcrum Quattros Disc Brake wheels are arriving next week, would you recommend keeping 160mm, or switching to 140mm (which I find more aesthetically pleasing). There shouldn’t be any issues fitting them so I’m more interested on the performance aspect. Thanks, Alex

    • Alex, if you weigh more than 180lbs you might consider keeping the 160mm. If you are more than 200lbs, you definitely should stay with the 160mm. Steve

      • Thanks Steve, I’ve stuck with the 160mm, the new Fulcrum Quattros will arrive next week. I’ll send you a photo once they’ve been installed.

  • Love your efforts with these articles, Steve. Thank you!

    I’ve had my eyes on the Enve 3.4 disc for a couple years. Received an email from Enve notifying me of their NEW 3.4 wheelset. Design is completely different. Front: 29.75/21mm (external/internal), 38mm deep. Rear: 29/21mm, 42mm deep. What are your initial thoughts on this new design based on specs?

    Also the new Zipp 303 are updated with no rim brake track. Would this make a difference in how you would rate the 303. in your recomendation you mentioned the 303’s were down graded because of the wheels are just a “re-branded” rim brake wheel.

    I have my short list the New Enve 3.4, Zipp 303, and Cosmic Pro Carbon SL C Disc. I live near the canyons in Utah so there is a lot of climbing on my rides with long rides on flatter roads when I’m not on the mountain roads. I’m 180 lbs, riding a Bianchi Infanito. I’m kind of partial to centerlock rotors. Currently using HED Ardennes FR (predecessor to the SL). My preferred tire size is 25mm. Seems like the NEW 3.4’s with their 29mm rim would be wider than the tire. Thoughts and recommendations, please. Thanks! -Darren

    • Rowley, Thank you for your kind words. Yes, a lot of new product to evaluate here that’s just come out in the last few weeks. I’ve put a request in for the new ENVE. I’ve ridden the rim brake versions of the Mavic and Zipp though the Zipp disc brake version is dimensionally different. Zipp is 6 bolt of course and it’s over 150 g more than the shallower ENVE which you would likely notice in the mountains. You could ride 25C tire on the Zipp and ENVE without an aero penalty. Tubeless tire like Schwalbe Pro One would come with no rolling resistance loss to Conti GP 4K. I’m working on updating this review after testing some mre of these and other wheels but of the three you ask about, based on what I know, I’d give the ENVE a close look for the riding you describe. Steve

      • Dropping the kind of cash for these wheels is no easy discussion. I’ve been going round and round in my head to the point of losing sleep. Now I’m looking at the Enve 4.5 AR Disc. What are your thoughts on that wheelset? They got your your best pick in your Aero review. What advantages/disadvantages are there to the disc version. Would the depth limit their climbing characteristics? Thanks!

        • Rowley, I hear you. Lots of considerations before making a decision. Let me back up and ask if you can share a little more about the kind of terrain you ride, what speeds you average, what bike you ride, what wheelset you have now and why you are looking at a buying a new wheelset. I ask because if you are into climbing, an aero wheel wouldn’t be the place I would start looking. I wrote about my experience with the 4.5 rim brake wheel and climbing – it works but wouldn’t be my first choice for a lot of >7% pitch climbing. Steve

          • I like to ride the hills. One of the canyons is considered the Alpe d’Huez of the US (mainly by the ego of the local riders); Little Cottonwood Canyon. It averages 9% over 6 miles. It is an hour of grueling climbing, with 10 minutes of screaming downhill. On days I’m not in the canyons I’m on relatively flat, if not completely flat. With a few few rides with rollers thrown into the mix. I average 16-18 mph. Rides are 3-4 times a week with 3-4 hr rides on the weekend. Long rides may or may not always include a climb. I ride a Bianchi Infanito disc with HED Ardennes FR Plus. The bike has a pretty heavy back side (junk in the truck so to speak). So I’m looking for ways to lighten the load. Lighter wheels, lighter cassette etc. Something a little more aero would be nice too.

            I was able to get eyes and hands on the Enve 4.5 AR Disc. Holy wide! Are those road or Mtn Bike wheels? So those are off the list. I also had my hands on the new Zipp 303 Disc. They looked really nice. The previous re-purposed rim brake 303’s are horribly ugly. The new ones have best price of all the wheels I’m considering. But Zipp has 6-bolt. My head game is stuck wanting centerlock rotors. I would go for the older Enve 3.4, but I want the wider internal rim of the new 3.4’s because the Ardennes has 21mm internal and I like that. Regardless, I can’t get my head around the price of any of the Enve’s. Then there are the Roval Wheels. I like the specs of the Roval CLX 32 and 50 and the price isn’t too horrible. But the Roval creates another head game; my head says having Roval isn’t really an upgrade, and I’m not sure how nice they would look an a Bianchi. Lots of mental road blocks makes this tough. Thanks for the input, Steve. it is greatly valued.

          • Rowley, Coincidentally, I was skiing out at Alta and Snowbird a couple weeks ago and stayed at a condo at the base of the Little Cottonwood Canyon. A couple of bluebird days with temps in the 40s with hero snow but going up the canyon road I was kicking myself for not bringing my bike. That’s a great ride and I get the rest of the SLC area is pretty flat.

            So you’ve got it about right. The 4.5 AR is for both road and cross/gravel riding but not quite mountain biking :). It’s wide for sure but it’s closer to the new normal. The 303 Disc and new SES 3.4 disc aren’t a whole lot narrower. Your HEDs and the Aeolus has been near there for a few years, Easton’s new wheels likewise. Same with new Rovals. I’m not sure how they ride just yet. The marketing hype behind them is over-the-top.

            You could ride the 303 or 3.4 up the Canyon road and they would also give you some aero benefits on the flats. You could also stay with the lower profile/lower weight Ardennes for your rides up Little Cottonwood Canyon and get something deeper for the flatter rides but at 16-18mph average speed, you aren’t going fast enough to get any aero benefit from a 303 or deeper wheelset. You really need to be going 18-20 mph average to start seeing some aero benefits from deeper wheels. Going with the 303 or 3.4 would give you something to “speed” into as you get fitter/faster.

            I can’t help you with the looks and head games. That’s a personal choice. I will say that I’ve used both 6-bolt and centerlock and I don’t see much performance difference. yes you will need to add adapters if your bike is set up for centerlock to use 6 bolt but if you are under 175-180lbs you could use a 140mm 6-bolt rotor without an issue. You wouldn’t need to go 160mm which I agree is a little bit conspicuous.

            By the way, I’m partial to Competitive Cyclist which of course is also in your area. They’ve got most of the wheelsets you are considering and they provide first rate service. Working with an LBS that doesn’t may sway your choice to what they have.


          • Love the skiing up Little Cottonwood Canyon 🙂 I’ve got about 1000 miles on Enve 5.6 Disc, and IMHO given what you ride I’d be more concerned about the screaming downhills in crosswinds – see my Feb 21 comment above re: 2.6 mile -6% descent in Napa. The wheels are awesome climbing and in flats when compared to the stock alloy wheels. Just not fun on 35+mph descents in crosswinds.

            I have a bunch of upcoming rides in the Sierras and need to do something, as crosswinds are the rule descending the canyons out West when it heats up. Late last year I looked long and hard at the Enve 4.5 AR Disc, in the end it was the ‘tubeless clincher only’ that stopped me from buying. The new 2017 Enve 3.4 look interesting – optimized for 25mm like the 5.6 Disc and 4.5. Thinking about giving them a try as my front wheel on mtn rides, will try swapping in my front alloy wheel on next ride with fast descents.

          • p.s. for Zipp centerlock, Wheelbuilder will use hubs of your choice. Before settling on Enve I considered going with the Dec 2016 updated Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Disc (21mm internal).

          • Thanks for the input Steve and 2nfinite. I feel pretty fortunate living this close to the many canyons and mountains. Skiing within 20-30 minutes. A nice canyon climb on the bike, and/or amazing hikes right out the door. Since you two have been here, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Also, I practically live at Competitive Cycle/Backcountry. My brother-in-law used to working there. They have a retail store attached to the warehouse, as you have probably seen if you have been there, Steve. While you can’t browse the warehouse, they will bring just about anything to you to look at. I have returned/exchanged things that I thought I would have to go to battle with them to return. Nope, no argument; no questions asked.

            So after many hours on this and many other sites (and many sleepless nights), what started out at a journey to get dream wheels, has resulted in a whole new bike. I sold off my two old bikes, a 2010 S-Works Tarmac, and the Bianchi. I now have the Cervelo R3 Disc. Loved the specs on that bike, with the thru-axel, disc breaks of course, and I love the subtle unassuming paint job. Swapped out the components to Di2. Now since this topic is about wheels; the R3d comes stock with HED Ardennes Plus GP. Good wheels, but I decided to continue with the original objective of this journey and also get new wheels. I now have the New Enve 3.4 on order. Arriving mid-April.

            So I will have a Cervelo R3d with Enve 3.4. Thoughts on that setup? Also, I’ve thinking of going to a 28mm tire after the 25mm tires the bike comes with are worn. Do you think that will that be a good combination?

          • Wow… really moving up and spending some money! Congrats. Hope you bought the 3.4s through one of the links on this site to Competitive Cyclist to support our ability to buy the gear to do independent reviews and respond to comments. If so, thanks.

            Regarding the tires… would stay with the 25s. That’s what those wheels are designed for. You’ll see that once installed and inflated, the 25C will measure a mm or two less than the outside rim width, ideal for aero purposes. The 28s would be wider than the rims, messing up your aero performance and providing a mere watt of rolling resistance benefit and no more comfort. Wrote a post about that too here . Also some pre-ride comments on the new 3.4 rim wheelset here.


          • Rowley, both and have posted “first ride” reviews on the new ENVE 3.4. Looks like another winner from ENVE. Good reads until Steve comes out with his review.

  • Hello again Steve! I love this site and the practical information you provide.

    I’m awaiting the arrival of my SLGs but in the past, people have scared me about carbon wheels as if they are fragile.

    In your opinion, what is the greatest danger to carbon wheels? Why do they fail?

  • I have a Specialized Project Rubaeux Pro 4 di2 disc with Roval cl40 carbon wheels. I weigh 85KGs and have suffered fro regular rear wheel spoke breakages. Six on one wheel following which Specialized replaced my rear wheel only to break another spoke 3 months later. I ride about 250 km a week and have never had this problem in 40 years of riding. Any suggestions for replacment short chain stay disc wheels that may stay together?

    • Wayne, I’m not aware of anyone making a wheel with an SCS hub other than Roval and the stock wheel that Specialized had made for bikes. I’d continue to press Specialized to get you a wheelset that isn’t defective. Steve

  • I have a Giant Defect Advanced 1 with the Giant PR-2 Disc wheelset. I am 6,1 and weigh 75kgs and mostly ride in mountains.Could you please suggest a decent wheel set to upgrade which will handle well in the mountains and also be quite aerodynamic.

    • vivekrbs – The recommended ENVE SES 3.4 disc would do all you ask for. Steve

      • Hi Steve.Thanks for your response.The ENVE SES 3.4 disc costs close to 3 grand.I was wondering if there is a good cheaper alternative which has been tested.Do you have any comments on the tires to use?

  • Hello, my DT Swisswheels have bit the dust with the rims cracking at the nipple, after reading your brilliant article I was looking to get the Reynolds Assault SLG (2016) for my Rose Xenon (2014) will the rear through axle fit? I’m not sure if it is a 12mm or 10mm

    Rose seems to say 10mm but DT swiss say 12mm

    Thanks in advance

    • Ryan, most of the disc wheels come with different end caps that work with different axle sizes. Worse case, you could use the through axle you have now that you know fits the bike. Note, of the two stores I have listed, Westbrook has the through axle and quick release version with centerlock hubs while PBK has the quick release one with 6-bolt hubs. I’m going to note that on the review now. Steve

      • My Reynolds Assaults I orderd off PBK last year were QR/Centrelock but came with endcaps for through axle

  • Archie Robertson

    Hi Steve,
    I was just wondering what you thought of the hunt 4seasons gravel disc wheels. I’ve been thinking of getting then as an upgrade to the giant sr-2 wheels that came with my bike. I am only 67kg but I commonly ride on gravel and poor quality roads. If there’s anything in that sort of price range that you would recommend over the hunts could you also let me know please.

  • Steve, do you plan on testing Campagnolo Zonda C17 Disc Brake Wheelset (QR Center Lock)
    My wife’s bike has the non disk version and they have held up well.


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