New Road Wheels, how do they feel?

I ride a 2021 Canyon Endurace CF. I love it. It is my baby.

The OEM wheels are a set of Fulcrum Racing 900 alumium wheels which is an OEM only option and would be in their lower tier. I am about 100kg and won’t likely get too much lighter than that. I usually run 28mm tires.

I am considering upgrading my wheels over the winter.

I would expect upgrading to better aluminum wheels, (Mavic Ksyrium range, DT Swiss Spline) or affordable carbon wheels (Elite Marvel or BWT some Giant models) would bring better performace but how would it change the feel of riding?

At my age and size the feel and experience is much more important to me. If I upgraded, would it feel different? Could I tell the difference between stock wheels and the upgrades? Do better aluminum wheels feel different to carbon wheels?

I understand that what I am asking is very subjective. What has been your experience?

Thanks for sharing.

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I was about to write a long story but short answer is yes more expensive wheels feel better.

Also, expensive aluminum>cheap carbon

A couple of points here: be wary of the weight limits on wheelsets. At 100kg you might be getting close depending on brand / model.

Also I would suggest that some high end wheels are overpriced given the performance they deliver. Hambini (love him or loath him) does some pretty interesting science on the aerodynamics of wheels and it is often not the most expensive ones that come out on top.

Personally, I have experience with a few sets of light bicycle wheels ( that is the company name). They are very customizable ( and will build a stronger wheel for a heavier rider which might be useful). Not horribly expensive either.

In terms of feel, light wheels subjectively feel faster and seem quicker to accelerate. Stock wheels tend to be quite heavy so even a cheaper set which are light will feel faster. Deeper section wheels will make you actually faster but if you care about feel then lightness is probably more important.

Also consider getting quality lighter tires too which also helps with weight and is a cheap upgrade compared to wheels.


A lot will depend on your budget. In my opinion it’s better to save longer and buy a really good quality wheelset. Something strong and carbon. It’ll last for years, be very aero and serviceable.

The newer Zipp 303 FC disc are strong, light wheels designed to be aero with wide tires.

DT Swiss also make an excellent wheel with 240 hubs and the newer versions are also aero with wider tires. .

Mid depth ~50mm is a great wheel for both flats and climbing.

Good luck with your search!


Being lucky to be able to ride three different sets of wheels on the track where there are less other variables to confound things…(no wind!)

Pay more attention to the hubs/bearings.

I am amazed at the improvement I feel on relatively the same weight and carbon height wheels that have substantially different quality hubs/bearings.
I actually have a set of aluminum Mavic wheels that have better bearings than one of my carbon wheel sets and I can definitely tell the difference.

My personal opinion/advice…
If it means riding aluminum but getting top quality bearings…go that route.

But…top quality bearings are usually found paired with top quality rims so…

Can’t wait to hearing about what you get! :grinning:

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Thanks. I bet the story would have been an interesting read :wink:

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Thanks for all the advice/suggestions so far. Don’t be shy keepin them coming.

To give you a bit more information, my bike uses rim brakes so that will narrow the field. The oem tires were Continental Grand Prix’s that are pretty good but the 25mm width was a bit harsh and skitish for me. I first went to Vittoria Rubino Pro’s in 28mm then to their Corsa’s in the same size. The past few months I have been riding on Pirelli P Zero Race tires in 28mm. The Corsa’s were very comfortable and looked great (when clean) but I think I like the Pirelli’s better. Great road feel and great grip :+1:


At 100kg daily riding aluminum is best bet. Carbon braking surface is weaker than aluminum especially in wet conditions (different carbon rims will perform better than others, more price = better brake). Also don’t have to worry about overheating with aluminum.

I recently got Falcrum Racing 0 and they feel better than a lot of carbon rims I’ve had. They may not look tour de france or make woosh woosh sound but they are strong and responsive

If you get carbon wheels, don’t forget to upgrade your rim brake pads to match. SwissStop black prince came up as the most frequent recommendation when I was looking into it. Some companies offer their own brand of pads to match their rims.

Budget would certainly help here with recommendations :slight_smile:

Some further thoughts: if you do go carbon and get the carbon specific pads you will need to swap pads back if you want to use your old wheels as bad weather wheels.

It looks like the stock wheels you have are about 1900 grams so not complete boat anchors. Fulcrum make solid wheels as you have found so @Bike of suggestion of Racing Zeros is a good one (similar wheel just better in every way and lighter). Campagnolo actually makes Fulcrum wheels and they have a selection of solid wheels too. Zonda’s are a classic wheels which are and pretty light (under 1500 grams) and about half the price of the Zero’s. Campagnolo Zonda C17 Wheelset | Wheel Sets | Wiggle

Something else to consider if if you are thinking of going tubeless. Not all wheelsets are tubeless compatible so might be worth paying a little extra if that is something you want to experiment with later.

If you do want to go carbon, you might have to push the budget quite a bit more than the Zonda’s. The ones I would suggest on a budget have a lower weight limit than will work.

With a rim brake wheel nothing beats HED jet plus for the value. Super aero, reliable hubs, excellent braking and reasonable weight.

I’d look at a stallion build set of Jet Plus 4s or 6’s.

They are also tubeless compatible. I ran those on my previous Cervelo S5, my wife uses them on her S3 and we both run them on our rim brake TT bikes.

Excellent wheels.

Like you I am a 100kg plus and have had issues with rims. Not long ago I was fortunate to receive a set of Zipp 404 rim brake wheels. Yes they are older, but in excellent condition. One thing I really like about them is they have an aluminum rim brake track. For years I have been using Shimano R500. The first ride with the 404 was very different. The R500 where a good set of wheels, but I found the rims would flex when I put out spring or climbing efforts. Also, on descents it felt like I had an anchor dragging behind, even on the steepest longest decent I was maxing speed around 55km/hr., same with sprint efforts (50km/hr.). Yes, I am a larger fella and not very aero so I did think that had a lot to do with the lack of speed; however, with the Zipps I am up around 60-65km/hr. on the same descents and sprints are faster by a few km/hr. I do find my average speed on a 50km ride increased by 2-3 km/hr. as I was not putting out the same effort to maintain the same speed. Also easier to climb with the Zipps. I also was very fortunate to get a set of Alto CC40 carbon rims. Now there was a HUGE difference in ride! I love the Zipps, but oh man! The Alto are something else! I wish they were still in business. I put a little pressure on the peddle and my bike feels like its shooting out from under me! I actually get a little concerned on descents as the speed just keeps coming. Climbing is always a chore, but the Alto’s are stiff and responsive and feels just that little bit better. Long rides (65-70km is long for me) are comfortable and speed is so much easier to maintain. Crosswinds don’t bother me at all. I have seen Zipp 404 of the same generation as the ones I have for about $700 on Facebook and Kijiji.
All this to say, that even at my level of riding, which is pretty low, I feel a difference with better quality. A youtuber I like Norcall actually did a comparison between low and high price carbon rims it may be informative for you: Are Expensive Carbon Wheels Worth it? - YouTube
This is another Canadian channel I like with “Chines” Carbon review: INSANE Performance/Value Carbon Wheels : The *new* HYPER 2023 from LUN / Winspace - YouTube

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@Bopper …hey Kevin…what are the wheels you bought last year? They sound like they might be perfect for @HappyOne

Just remembered… :slight_smile:

Check these out…you can even customize them with better hubs/bearings! :wink:

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Yes, I purchased a set of Hunt Super Dura Aero wheels last year. They are the best wheels I could find for my size. Like you I am on the heavier side – 110+ kg and in looking for new wheels, I noticed that almost exclusively most wheel builders have a max weight limit of 100kg - including bike and rider. Hunt were the only builder that made wheels built for larger riders. These wheels are laced with 28/32 spokes and rates to 130kg… The hubs I purchased were stock, but they are super smooth and roll very fast. I have been very impressed with these wheels. The most impressive feature, they are nearly bomb proof…I’ve already put 3000+km and they are still perfectly true.
The price was reasonable as well…and the service was second to none. There were delays due to supply chain issues, but they kept me informed constantly…and in the end threw in a free cap, water bottles and the nicest sweat shirt I have.
You can’t go wrong dealing with Hunt… their wheels can be built with upgraded hubs and spokes…and you will never regret it.
I hope this helps.


Thanks for all the suggestions, folks. I am still undecided.

I would love to see some of these wheels in person over the coming weeks/months. I will PM you and see if we can arrange for me to have a look.

So I thought of this thread Saturday while going for my first road ride in a couple of weeks. I’ve either been indoors or on my gravel Wheelset.

I have some LightBicycle WR, 45mm deep front, 65mm deep read, 32mm wide, 25 internal.
A few of the things I notice are:

  1. They look really cool, not going to lie, just seeing my bike with the deep rims, and the hex-comb pattern looks cool.
  2. Cross wind stability, I’ve found my deep rims are more stable in crosswinds than my factory rims. My best guess is because with my old rims the tire was quite a bit wider than the rim, where with these the rim is wider.
  3. Weight, overall the built Wheelset weighs ~600g less, but honestly I feel it way more when picking up my bike than riding.
  4. They do feel faster, particularly in cross winds, and I have some potential data to suggest they are between 1-2kmh faster, but there are also a lot of variables with that.

Overall, I really do recommend LightBicycle, good prices, and lots of customization options. I weigh 85kg, and if I was 100kg I would just go with the stiffer CX Sprint spokes.

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This is good timing. I have been looking at different wheels sets lately myself. Interesting that Sean mentioned light bicycle, they seem to be making great wheels these days. Also looking at windspace hypers. Peak torque put out an interesting video on the windspace hypers not long ago, as well as hambini. Winspace Hyper 2023 review - Carbon spoked wheels, refined. - YouTube

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Thanks for sharing, David.