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The Best Aftermarket Wheels For Triathletes (Updated 2022)

We review the newest carbon triathlon wheels and compare them with an exhaustive five-point rating system along with specs, takeaways, and our hand-on testing notes.

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Whether you’re getting a new pair of carbon wheels to replace the stock ones that came on your bike, you’re thinking about upgrading your entire setup to disc brakes, or you want something on the cutting edge, Triathlete‘s complete guide to wheels has got you covered.

Scroll down below for our expert-tested guide with ratings and at-a-glance information you won’t find anywhere else: from overall value, ride quality, handling, aero tech, hub quality, and all of the measurements you need to make sure you’re as fast as you can be.

But if you’re not sure exactly what you’re looking for, first check out our guide on wheel width—why wider wheels matter for more than just speed—and our handy wheel depth chart to help you pick out which depth wheel to use and when. After you’ve learned a bit more about today’s wheels, check out the latest and greatest wheels we’ve reviewed below.

It’s clear that the carbon wheel market trend is full steam ahead in two directions: disc brakes and tubeless. Now, it’s more apparent than ever that “bigger is better” when it comes to tire size, as multiple wheelsets are now being optimized for 28mm or even 30mm tires.

We’ve seen a lot of action with updated technology across multiple wheelsets this summer – all disc brake (many no longer even offer a rim brake option), all tubeless. Take a look at the tech you may want to add to your race arsenal sooner than later to keep up with the (aero) times.

RELATED: Should All Triathletes Be Running 28mm Tires?

The best carbon triathlon wheels

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Cadex Ultra 50 Disc

cadex-cycling.com / $3,500

The cadex 50 ultra disc, one of the best wheels for triathletes
Weight (Pair) 1349g
TL; DR A snappy-yet-stable and incredibly aero wheelset that is responsive and affords any rider free speed
Overall Value o o o o
Ride Quality o o o o
Handling o o o o
Aero Tech o o o o o
Hub Quality o o o o o
Wheel Depth (mm) 50
Inner Rim Width (mm) 22.4
Outer Rim Width (mm) 30
Suggested Tire Size (mm) 25 front and rear
Rim Type Tubeless ready
Terrain Rolling hills and steep hills as well as high-power efforts in flats
Conditions Great in most conditions
This is for... The triathlete who is devoted to saving watts and "being more aero" whenever possible

These wheels are the definition of snappy. Their upgraded hub and integrated spoke design mean that as much power per pedal stroke as possible is transferred directly into pushing the wheel forward. The Ultra 50s are stable without being stiff and hold their line while under the torque of a steep climb or the winds of a downhill. There’s a lot to like here, and we expect more great things from the Cadex wheel and bike lineup in the future. 

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Zipp 858 NSW

zipp.com / $4,400

The zipp 858 nsw, one of the best wheels for triathlon
Weight (Pair) 1530g
TL; DR A triathlon staple goes tubeless and optimizes for bigger tires while addressing a past deep-dish difficulty: handling in crosswinds
Overall Value o o o
Ride Quality o o o o o o
Handling o o o o o
Aero Tech o o o o
Hub Quality o o o o o
Wheel Depth (mm) 82
Inner Rim Width (mm) 23
Outer Rim Width (mm) Optimized for 28 (both front and rear) but Zipp suggests using 30
Suggested Tire Size (mm) 25 front / 28 rear
Rim Type Tubeless ready
Terrain Flats
Conditions Little-to-no crosswinds are ideal for making the most of this wheelset, even after updated tech makes some improvements in windy conditions
This is for... The triathlete who is “all in” on lower psi and bigger tires for maximum ground contact time and will spare no expense to get there

Our notes:

Zipps will always hold legendary status in triathlon as they were among the first carbon deep-dish wheels, gaining notoriety for their golf ball-esque aerodynamic dimpling on the rim. The new 858s have stripes of dimpling on the rim (instead of the entire rim being dimpled) and have gone so aero as to print the Zipp logo right onto the wheel instead of using a decal. The 858s leverage an undulating carbon design at the spokes’ connection point to the rim which is designed to help air flow through and around the wheels better as well as provide more stabilization in crosswinds (we found this to be true), which has been the biggest enemy of previous Zipp 808 models. 

RELATED: Why It’s Time To Look At Wide Wheels

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Hunt 7387

us.huntbikewheels.com / $1,469 

The Hunt 8387, one of the best wheels for triathletes
Weight (Pair) 1776g
TL; DR A lesser-known manufacturer takes lessons learned from the dynamics of Kona’s wind and hills to optimize for aerodynamics and stability within a deep-dish wheel
Overall Value o o o o o
Ride Quality o o o o
Handling o o o o o
Aero Tech o o o o
Hub Quality o o o o
Wheel Depth (mm) 73 (front) and 87 (rear)
Inner Rim Width (mm) 20 (front and rear)
Outer Rim Width (mm) 34 (front) and 30 (rear)
Suggested Tire Size (mm) Optimized for 25 and 28 tires
Rim Type Tubeless ready
Terrain Flats
Conditions Flats and courses with few hills; optimized for windy conditions
This is for... The budget-conscious triathlete who prefers flatter courses prone to wind while still wanting all the benefits of a deep-dish carbon wheel

Our notes:

The Hunt 7387 wheelset was designed based on the principle that air flows over the front and back wheels differently. As such, the rim width of the front is wider than on other wheelsets to better allow the front to cut through crosswinds while the rear wheel retains a more common rim width (30mm) to provide the stiffness riders have come to expect from a deep-dish carbon rear wheel. For nearly $2,000 less than its competitors listed here, the Hunt wheels provide a solid race wheel experience. The cost savings come at the expense of a fancier hub (Cadex, for example, completely redesigned and upgraded their hub as part of the Ultra 50 R&D process) and stiffness that verges on being just a bit too stiff, but is still a weapon on a flat, windy course.

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Swiss Side HADRON2 Classic 500

swissside.com / $1,650

Swiss Side Wheel
Weight (Pair) 1642g
TL; DR An aero, lightweight wheelset that handles well and works in a wide variety of conditions
Overall Value o o o o
Ride Quality o o o o
Handling o o o o o
Aero Tech o o o o
Hub Quality o o o
Wheel Depth (mm) 50
Inner Rim Width (mm) 20
Outer Rim Width (mm) 27
Suggested Tire Size (mm) 25 front / 28 rear
Rim Type Tubeless ready
Terrain Rolling hills and steep hills
Conditions Great in most conditions except high wind
This is for... The triathlete who also dabbles in gravel or road racing and wants to use the same wheel
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Vision Metron 81 SL DISC

visiontechusa.com / $1,834Swiss Side Wheel
Weight (Pair) 1850g
TL; DR A pro-tour proven wheelset, available at non pro-tour prices
Overall Value o o o
Ride Quality o o o o
Handling o o o
Aero Tech o o o o
Hub Quality o o o o
Wheel Depth (mm) 81
Inner Rim Width (mm) 19
Outer Rim Width (mm) 26.8
Suggested Tire Size (mm) N/A
Rim Type Tubeless ready
Terrain Flat
Conditions Low wind
This is for... A bigger rider who favors flat courses and wants a stiff wheelset
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Campagnolo Bora Ultra WTO 60

campagnolo.com / $3,802Campagnolo Wheel
Weight (Pair) 1530g
TL; DR An engineering masterpiece, truly beautiful to look at and to ride
Overall Value o o o o
Ride Quality o o o o
Handling o o o o o
Aero Tech o o o o o
Hub Quality o o o o o
Wheel Depth (mm) 60
Inner Rim Width (mm) 19
Outer Rim Width (mm) 26.1
Suggested Tire Size (mm) 25
Rim Type Tubeless ready
Terrain Flat/rolling
Conditions Low/moderate wind
This is for... The triathlete with bucks to burn who wants an incredibly well-constructed and very capable wheelset with a Euro heritage
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Fulcrum Wind 75 DB

fulcrumwheels.com $1,581Fulcrum Wheel
Weight (Pair) 1820g
TL; DR A great wheelset for the money, with great looks, albeit a bit on the heavy side
Overall Value o o o o
Ride Quality o o o
Handling o o o o
Aero Tech o o o o
Hub Quality o o o
Wheel Depth (mm) 75
Inner Rim Width (mm) 19
Outer Rim Width (mm) 27
Suggested Tire Size (mm) 25
Rim Type Tubeless compatible
Terrain Flat
Conditions Low wind
This is for... Great for a rider on a budget who favors flat courses
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Princeton GRIT 4540

princetoncarbon.com / $2,800-$3,750Princeton Wheel
Weight (Pair) 1530g—varies based on hub
TL; DR A bit of everything, great aero tech, great quality, and great custom build options
Overall Value o o o o ½
Ride Quality o o o o o
Handling o o o o o
Aero Tech o o o o o
Hub Quality o o o o o
Wheel Depth (mm) 40 to 45 (Variable)
Inner Rim Width (mm) 21
Outer Rim Width (mm) 29.9
Suggested Tire Size (mm) 25 on road/28 off road
Rim Type Tubeless ready
Terrain Hilly, gravel
Conditions All wind conditions, rough roads
This is for... The person who wants one wheelset that can do it all
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Bontrager Aeolus RSL 75 TLR Disc Road 

trekbikes.com / $2,400Bontrager Wheel
Weight (Pair) 1645g
TL; DR A very high-quality wheelset which boasts pretty much everything
Overall Value o o o o ½
Ride Quality o o o o o
Handling o o o o
Aero Tech o o o o o
Hub Quality o o o o o
Wheel Depth (mm) 75
Inner Rim Width (mm) 23
Outer Rim Width (mm) 31
Suggested Tire Size (mm) 25
Rim Type Tubeless ready
Terrain Flat or rolling hills
Conditions Low wind, rough roads
This is for... The savvy speed demon who wants great value and performance

RELATED: Ask A Gear Guru: What Are the Best Tires for Triathletes?