Bike

Spring 2021 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide: Wheels

Check out Triathlete's complete 2021 cycling wheel guide for expert-tested reviews on a wide range of the latest carbon hoops.

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DT Swiss wheels

DT Swiss ARC 1400 62mm | $2,480

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ | Weight: 1753 grams (pair)

Basics

A partnership between Swiss engineering powerhouses DT Swiss and Swiss Side, this wheelset features a redesigned, smooth-rolling DT Swiss 240 hub and aero features galore.

Pros

  • Built on some of the nicest hubs available
  • Smooth rolling
  • Near-instant engagement
  • Perform well in crosswinds
  • No-fuss tubeless setup

Cons

  • Difficult to find
  • Price
Hed Jet RC wheel

Hed Jet RC 60mm | $1,500

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ | Weight: 1,740 grams (pair)

Basics

These rim brake wheels have an aluminum rim with a carbon aero fairing that might not be the most high-tech way to build a wheel, but works well. The textured aluminum braking surface provides better stopping power in all conditions than virtually any other rim brake wheel out there.

Pros

  • Turbine braking surface provides great stopping power
  • Wide 21mm inner rim width, 28mm outer rim width is optimized for wider tires
  • Robust, thanks to the aluminum underlying rim
  • Updated version includes a reinforced fairing to aid in tubeless installation and improve longevity
  • Good value

Cons

  • Braking surface is sharp, and can damage the tire or your hands during installation
Flo 49 disc

FLO 49 AS Disc | $1,400

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ | Weight: 1,730 grams (pair)

Basics

This is a wide wheelset optimized for tubeless riding, boasting details like a hollow carbon tube that has been bonded into the hub to allow a tubeless valve to be tightened without risking damage to the rim. For $1,400, this wheel has the aerodynamics and tech of far more expensive wheels.

Pros

  • 21mm inner width provides a smooth ride, better traction, and low rolling resistance
  • Comprehensive online chart helps you select the best tire pressure
  • Valve stem area details appear to be industry firsts, and eases tubeless setup
  • Wide range of custom colors

Cons

  • Slightly on the heavy side for the size and construction
Black Roval disc

Roval 321 Disc | $2,500

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ | Weight: 1,003 grams (rear wheel only)

Basics

This wheel is a beautifully constructed, hollow, lightweight, and aero-shaped piece of carbon fiber with an asymmetrical profile. The drive side does not have quite as much shaping, due to the drivetrain.

Pros

  • Stunning aesthetics and design quality
  • Slippery and extremely light weight for a disc
  • Includes CeramicSpeed bearings and built-in DT Swiss hubs
  • Plenty of room to attach an ordinary pump, no right-angle adapter required

Cons

  • High price
Enve Foundation 45 wheels

Enve Foundation 45 | $1,600

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ | Weight: 1,541 grams (pair)

Basics

Slight aero penalty and different hubs/spokes bring Enve’s price down to earth.

Pros

  • Great amount of tech for the money
  • Relatively low weight for depth

Cons

  • Super tight tire fit

MEMBERS: Read the extended review of the Enve Foundation wheels