Upgrading your wheels is arguably the single most effective way to improve your bike. Here’s 13 options...

If the frame is the heart of a bike, then the wheels are surely the soul — a good set will make you feel like you are flying.

Here we have a dozen sets of wheels, each of which we have given a proper hammering. Our aim was to see just how they would perform in the long term, and in turn to help you decide if they are worthy of your cash.

To cover the requirements of different riders, we’ve tried to include something for everyone. We’ve tested some budget options, carbon exotica and everything in between, including some that include a power meter in the hub and even a set of deep-section track wheels, plus several sets that are capable of running the latest tubeless tyres.



FFWD F9T Track

On looks alone, it is easy to see why these 90mm deep-section carbon wheels are the mainstay of European six-day…

Score 10


Shimano RS81 C35

Typically pitched as Ultegra-level, the RS81 is a ‘non-series’ wheel, meaning it’s of a similar quality but doesn’t carry the…

Score 8


Cole Rollen Lite

When we first spotted these wheels, they had been reduced to £142.99. Now, at the time of writing, they’re down…

Score 10


Fulcrum Racing 5 long term test

Fulcrum has updated the Racing 5's spec, but we've been riding the previous version for over three years. Our only…

Score 9


Swiss Side Gotthard

“Designed to take on rough roads or the heavier rider,” so goes the sales blurb. Well, with much of my…

Score 9


Zipp Firecrest 202

Updated for 2014, the 202 is the same 32mm shallow-section carbon clincher rim that we’ve had great experiences with in…

Score 8


Rolf Prima Alpha

Handbuilt in Oregon USA, Rolf claims the Vigor Alpha is the fastest alloy wheelset on the market. The 33mm-deep Delta…

Score 9


CycleOps PowerTap G3 Enve 4

CycleOps has offered power meter wheels for over a decade and was the first to offer a meter that didn’t…

Score 7


Dymag 38mm carbon

Already an established name in the highest echelons of motorcycle racing, Dymag’s first foray into the world of cycling came…

Score 3


3T Accelero 40 Team

On paper, 3T’s Accelero wheelset looks perfect for those wishing to use their ‘best’ wheels throughout the summer months and…

Score 6


Reynolds Stratus Pro

Stratus Pros are the top aluminium-rimmed road wheels on offer from Reynolds. At a claimed 1,445g, they are light and…

Score 7


Enve 3.4 SES

When it comes to technical info, Enve definitely goes for a ‘more is more’ approach. And when you’re asking £2,500…

Score 9