BEST 2019 CARBON ROAD BIKE WHEELS - Trail Master Wheels


Best Road All Wheels Material,Weight,Spoke, Rim Hubs and Axle, Attachments Information

Monday, 15 April 2019


f you are looking to get a new set of carbon road bike wheels for your rim brake bike, you are going to want them to perform well on every measure. For what they will cost you, they better deliver a big improvement in performance over the carbon hoops you have now or transform your cycling experience if you’ve been riding stock or upgrade alloy wheels.
The best all-around carbon wheels are made with 40 to 50 mm deep carbon fiber rims and should give you sustained aerodynamic benefits when you ride fast and make your climbing easier when you go up long, steep ascents. You’ll expect sure handling and easy rolling on everything from smooth pavement in calm weather to rough road surfaces or strong crosswinds.
They should be stiff, accelerate well, and be responsive enough to keep you competitive in group rides or road races, comfortable enough to ride on for hours and hours in an endurance event, and stop quickly and predictably on both dry and wet roads.
That’s a long list of requirements for a high-performance rim brake carbon clincher wheelset. To help you make an informed and confident decision about which wheels and stores will deliver for you, dig into my reviews below that tell you how the latest group of carbon bike wheels perform, what they cost, and how they compare.


With each new generation of carbon bike wheels, there continue to be notable performance improvements. That’s especially the case for the all-around, rim brake, carbon clincher wheelset category that this review focuses on.
Five years ago, cyclists could make compelling arguments for and against the best carbon and best alloy wheels for all around riding. With the developments since then, however, it’s now pretty hard to put up a credible argument in favor of alloy wheels on anything other than price.
The best carbon road bike wheels are clearly superior against all the key performance criteria.
[Note that I keep referring to the “best” carbon bike wheels. Those are the ones evaluated for this review and perhaps a few others that we didn’t have the opportunity to test. Because of the sizeable price gap between the best carbon and best alloy wheels, a group of lower-priced carbon wheels has come to market priced between the two categories.
I’m continuing to sort through these lower-priced carbon road bike wheels in search of ones that offer the combination of performance, quality, and multi-region dealer or service network to see if I can put some in the “best” category to compare with those reviewed here. I am working on a separate post that describes those that don’t fit and why.]
Puncture resistance and resilience – The tubeless tires you can run on today’s best carbon bike wheels are more resistant to pinch flats than tubed tires as they don’t have the tube rubbing against the tire that causes the tube to pinch and flat in the first place. Pinch flats are a bigger risk as you run lower pressures with wider tubed tires.
Tubeless tires are also more resilient, meaning they recover more quickly when you puncture. Most punctures happen at the bottom of tires that are in contact with the pavement. The sealant in your tires will fill holes the size of most punctures while you roll along without you even getting off the bike.
Of course, larger bottom punctures or those in the side will require you to put in a new tube with either tubeless or tubed tire.
4. Braking – Big gains have been made in the dry and wet braking performance of the best carbon clincher wheelsets for rim brake bikes. At the same time, big differences remain between wheels within the best category and between the best and many lower priced carbon wheels.


For In The Know Cycling reviews, I evaluate product-specific criteria in four groups – performance, design, quality, and cost. The criteria that matter most in those categories for the best all-around, carbon wheels for rim brake bikes are:
Performance:  Versatility, aerodynamics, stiffness, acceleration, comfort, handling and braking. You can read detailed descriptions of each of these here.
Design:  Wheel weight and material, rim depth, rim internal and external widths, rim profile, hub and spoke design or selection, and wheel finish.
Quality: Durability, warranty, and service/support.
Cost:  Market price.
The Best Performer wheelset is selected independent of cost and chosen using the performance criteria mentioned above.
Design shows up (or not) in performance so I don’t judge it alone. Two products with very similar designs, for example having U-shaped rim profiles and the same weight, may perform similarly or differently. Design is an intended means to an end but not itself the basis for an evaluation or product choice.
Quality is either a go or no go in my recommendations. I won’t recommend anything that doesn’t have an acceptable level of quality but I’m not going to recommend something just because it has superior quality if it under-performs or has higher costs.
My cost evaluation is based on the wheelset’s best available price from looking at what it sells for across all the online stores that have it in stock and that meet my customer satisfaction rating requirements. This is the market price, typically much less than the full retail price, the manufacturer’s recommended price, or what it sells for at your local bike shop.
I’ve been reviewing the all-around carbon clincher category of wheels since I started this site. I wrote my first review about these wheels in 2014 by sorting through 36 models from 23 different companies that largely based on their 35mm to 45mm rim depth. 
This included carbon and carbon alloy wheels from well known and lesser established brands, wheels that varied in performance from truly outstanding to barely acceptable, and wheels that varied in price from a little more than $1,000 to as much as $3,000.