Best road bike wheels reviewed and rated: disc and rim wheelsets to supercharge your ride

Our complete guide to what to look for in the best road bike wheels, including the type of rim, the material, and the depth you should go for

Best road bike wheels Hunt Qhubeka wheels
(Image credit: Hunt)

The best road bike wheels are top of most riders' wish list for upgrades for their bike. That's because a quality set of road bike wheels can really up the performance of your bike, offering the potential for lighter weight and improved aerodynamics.

Wheels are one area where bike makers often economise to hit a price point and even the best road bikes can come specced with wheels which don't bring out the bike's full potential. It's not such an issue as a few years ago, as brands have upped their game recently and many now spec a decent wheelset, but there's still much to be gained from an upgrade.

The switch to disc brakes has allowed wheel designers to be a lot more creative too, as it removed the constraints on rim width and profile that are inherent in a wheel that has to fit within a rim brake calliper, so deep section aero wheelsets are now an attractive proposition.

Having said that, there's still room for a quality set of rim brake wheels and we've covered our pick here too. 

Clincher road bike wheels are still the main choice for most cyclists. But tubeless tyres are rapidly taking over from tyres run with inner tubes and most new wheelsets are now designed so that they can be run tubeless. 

Here, we've concentrated on wheelsets for road bikes, but if you're looking for new wheels for a gravel bike, we've also got a post with a selection of the best gravel bike wheels that we've ridden.

We'll start off with our pick of the best road bike wheels that we've reviewed here at Cycling Weekly. There's a lot to think about when buying a new set of road bike wheels, so further down the page you'll find a detailed guide explaining the choices and technologies to help you make the right choice.

The best road bike wheels for disc brakes

Hunt 50 Carbon Aero Disc

Hunt 50 Carbon Aero Disc wheels balance performance and price very well.

Best road bike wheels for value

Specifications

Weight: 1487g
Depth: 50mm
Width (internal): 21mm

Reasons to buy

+
Very good rolling speed
+
Wide internal rim width
+
Good looking
+
Good value

Reasons to avoid

-
Susceptible to cross-winds
-
Slow to accelerate

The Hunt's 50 carbon wheels are a set of great value upgrade wheels. They are a little chunky, but good looking, 50mm rim profile and while there's no getting away from the brand logo written in large on the rim in white, it is a tasteful one.

As with all of Hunt’s wheel options, these are tubeless-ready and Hunt will even send them taped and with valves and the wide, 21mm internal rim width sat our on test tubeless-ready Continental GP5000 tyres nice and flush right up to the sides. 

In general, we found they leaked about 10psi a day, which, from experience of other tubeless wheelsets, suggests a good seal between the tyre and the rim.

In their first week of testing the Hunts covered 750km of riding in Calpe, Spain where they suited the rolling roads very nicely. They're not the fastest set of wheels out the blocks, but in general they rolled along on the flat at 35kph / 21mph comfortably and any coasting was accompanied by the buzz of a very loud freehub. 

Occasionally on the long descents, their rims would catch the wind, which can knock descending confidence a little, but it's the same for any wheel depth once you get over the 40mm mark, or are running bladed spokes. 

Balancing performance and weight, tipping the scales at a mere 77g a piece heavier than the Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon tubeless disc below, at this price point is no mean feat, making us really impressed with the Hunt 50s, and a pair of the best road bike wheels on the market. 

Read more in our full review of the Hunt 50 Carbon Aero Disc wheelset.

Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon tubeless disc

Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon tubeless disc perform superbly all-round. 

(Image credit: Future)
Best road bike wheels recommended all-round

Specifications

Weight: 1410g
Depth: 50mm
Width (internal): 25mm

Reasons to buy

+
Smooth ride
+
Low overall weight
+
Handle well in most conditions and terrain
+
Impact strength especially when sprinting/ high watts
+
Easy to set up
+
Excellent off road capabilities
+
Great price for performance wheels

Reasons to avoid

-
Some noisy freehub clunk
-
Graphics can peel off after a time
-
Only works with 28mm+ tyres which are hookless compatible

Zipp's current focus is on making wheels designed to be run with wide, tubeless tyres and at lower pressures. These are hookless rims with a 25mm internal width, so need to be run with rubber over 28mm and below 72psi. 

The hookless set up does mean you are slightly limited by tyre brand, but you've got to try it before you judge it as on test we found the ride quality absolutely excellent and one of the best road bike wheels you can currently buy.

The lower tyre pressure requirement does deliver a softer ride feel, not to be confused with a slower one. The smoother ride delivers an almost blood like connection with your bike, coupled with the broader rim profile, allows for impressively balanced and confidence inspiring on bike capabilities. In fact, on test, we were able to hit 85km/h and they didn't once so much as give a tiny flutter, even in some gusty wind conditions. 

A low rolling weight and 66 point engagement hub teaming, also means these pick up fast and are capable of showing a clean pair of heels in any sprint. 

Popping a set of Tangente Course G40 tyres gravel tyres on the rim the wheels really came into their own. Capable of taking up to 50mm tyres, and over a 400km, three day adventure, they only lost around 2psi. 

Read more in our full review of the Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon tubeless disc wheelset.

Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon DB Wheelset

Lightweight climbing wheelset

Specifications

Weight: 1450g
Depth: 30mm
Width (internal): 19mm
Spoke count: 21 front and rear

Reasons to buy

+
Light for climbing
+
Hold speed well on the flat

Reasons to avoid

-
None!

Proving to be every bit as good as their rim brake siblings (see rim brake wheelsets below), the Racing Zero Carbon DB have also picked up a Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice award.

The 30mm deep carbon rim disc brake boasts the brand's own two-way fit technology, which means they can be used with either clincher or tubeless tyres.

The lightweight wheels are remarkably fast, stiff and responsive, and combined with their depth makes them ideal for climbing, descending and going full gas on the flat. Without a doubt a set of Racing Zero Carbon DC will have a marked effect on any bike you ride them with.

Read more in our full review of the Fulcrum Racing Zero Carbon DB wheelset.

cero

(Image credit: Cero)
Versatile, no nonsense wheels

Specifications

Weight: 1420g
Depth: 30mm
Width: 22mm

Reasons to buy

+
Low price for a good set of wheels
+
Lightweight option
+
Simple Tubeless Setup
+
Long term durability

Reasons to avoid

-
Stiffness of alloy rim can translate to harsh ride at high tyre pressures

I managed to rack up around 2000km+ on these wheels, which was more than enough time to lead me to the conclusion that this is a very well rounded, reliable and versatile wheelset. 

These rims can effortlessly morph between road, gravel and any terrain in-between. These should be top of the wish list for anyone looking for a wheelset for their gravel bike, a pair of training wheels for their race machine, or simply someone who doesn't have the cash to go down the carbon route. 

Taking into account price point, performance, weight and durability, Cero has done it again, undercutting the big name brands with a no nonsense wheelset, built in the UK, made for any terrain you throw at them.

Read more in our full review of the Cero AR30-D wheelset.

Cadex 65

(Image credit: Future)
High spec lightweight wheels

Specifications

Weight: 1501g
Depth: 65mm
Width (internal): 22mm

Reasons to buy

+
Innovative tech
+
Impressive power transfer
+
Low weight
+
Quality build

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

The performance brand of Giant bikes, Cadex specialises in high spec components. For a 65mm deep wheelset, the Cadex 65s are impressively light at 1,502g, thanks in part to their carbon spokes and their hookless bead design. They come kitted out with their own tyres, designed to work as a system with the wheels and which you can run at really low pressures.

We were impressed by the wheels' rigidity, making for impressive power transfer and, along with the low weight, fast climbing and acceleration.

Read more in our full review of the Cadex 65 wheelset.

Parcours Ronde

(Image credit: Simon Smythe/Cycling Weekly)
Wind tunnel tested aero wheelset

Specifications

Weight: 1475g
Depth: 36/39mm
Width (internal): 23mm

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight
+
Versatile for road or gravel use
+
Wind tunnel tested aerodynamics

Reasons to avoid

-
Nothing

We couldn't find anything to mark down when we reviewed the Parcours Ronde wheelset - for a £1000 wheelset it's got an impressive combination of low weight, great ride quality, aerodynamics and adaptability to road or gravel riding.

There's a differential rim depth and profile front and rear to cope with the different needs - stability at front and power transfer at rear, with the same 23mm internal width for both. Rims are tubeless compatible, although the hooked bead means that they can be used with a wider range of tyres than a hookless design.

Parcours wind tunnel tests its wheels and says that although less aero than the deeper Parcours Strade, the Ronde wheels are still best in class for their depth. 

Read more in our full review of the Parcours Ronde wheelset.

Roval CLX 64 disc wheelset

Best for matching your Specialized bike (and versatility)

Specifications

Weight: 1580g
Depth: 50mm
Width (internal): 20.7mm

Reasons to buy

+
Very fast
+
Light weight
+
Fast to accelerate
+
Tubeless ready
+
Versatile despite their depth

Reasons to avoid

-
Twitchy handling

We rated the Roval CLX 50 Disc wheelset when we first saw it a couple of years ago, and we are happy to report the Roval CLX 64 disc wheels are equally as impressive.

On straight-line speed alone the wheels would have won plaudits, but the fact that even at 64mm deep they were capable of climbing just as well gave them space in Cycling Weekly Editor's Choice.

Deeper than the CLX50 obviously makes them slightly heavier, but at 1580g they are still exceptionally light.

Stiff and responsive meant that these are a dream to climb on, and an absolute rocket in a straight line, just be aware of their depth making them slightly twitchy compared to the shallower 50mm version.

Read more in our full review of the Roval CLX 64 Disc wheelset.

Enve SES 3.4

(Image credit: Future)
Light, fast quality wheels

Specifications

Weight: 1370g
Depth: 38/642mm
Width (internal): 21mm

Reasons to buy

+
Hold speed well
+
Quality build

Reasons to avoid

-
The price tag

Enve wheels come at a premium and with their Chris King hubs, the SES 3.4 Discs reflect that. They're light at under 1400g and come with the differential rim heights common to all Enve SES wheels, along with a 21mm internal rim width.

The wheels feel very stable and the wide tyre stance gives a feeling of control, while they hold their speed well. They may be expensive, but the Enve SES 3.4 wheels may just be the ultimate dream upgrade. 

Read more in our full review of the Enve SES 3.4 Disc wheelset.

Enve: best road bike wheels

Best for attracting admiring glances

Specifications

Weight: 1568g
Depth: 54/63
Width (internal): 19mm

Reasons to buy

+
Feel fast and are fast
+
Tubeless ready
+
New hubs promise improved durability
+
Cheaper than their predecessor

Reasons to avoid

-
Don't come taped
-
Expensive

Enve has an enviable record for its premium carbon wheelsets. A pioneer of deep-section carbon rims, the brand has been a feature of the pro circuit for years.

Enve's SES 5.6 have received an updated hubset that offers better durability. The front rim is 54mm deep whilst the rear is 63mm which is more aerodynamic and the wheels are available for tubular tyres or clinchers/tubeless-ready. We tested the latter and found them to be particularly tubeless friendly, setting up with no hassle at all.

Read more in our full review of the Enve SES 5.6 Disc wheelset.

Parcours Strade wheelset

(Image credit: Future)
Stable, with aerodynamics tuned for 28mm tyres

Specifications

Weight: 1520g
Depth: 49/54mm
Width (internal): 23mm

Reasons to buy

+
Real world and wind tunnel tested
+
Differential rim heights for different forces acting front and rear
+
Competitively priced

Reasons to avoid

-
A smidgen heavier than the competition

Designed for cornering stability, not just straight line speed, the Parcours Strade wheelset has been both wind tunnel optimised and real world tested on instrumented bikes to give you the best of both. They're tuned for the 28mm tyres that are becoming the norm on disc brake road bikes.

The result is differential front and rear rim profiles and depths to reflect the different forces acting on the front and rear wheels. They're impressively stable in crosswinds and gusty conditions and proved resilient during our testing too.

Read more in our full review of the Parcours Strade wheelset.

zipp 303S

(Image credit: Future)
Budget Zipp wheelset that's still very aero

Specifications

Weight: 1544g
Depth: 45mm
Width (internal): 23mm

Reasons to buy

+
Zipp wheels for the budget-minded
+
Wide rim and tyre contact patch add confidence
+
Almost as fast as Zipp 303 NSW wheels

Reasons to avoid

-
Hookless bead limits tyre choice and pressure

Zipp wheels are expensive, so the sub-£1,000 Zipp 303S wheelset was a pleasant surprise. Like Zipp's other latest wheelsets, they have a wide internal rim bed and hookless bead. That lets you run lower pressures, but limits you to compatible tubeless tyres of 25mm or wider only and a maximum of 72psi. You also need to look out for tyre clearance if you've got a tight frame.

Zipp says that aerodynamically the 303S wheels are almost the match of its much more expensive 303NSW and they feel fast, while the wide contact patch from the 23mm wide rims inspires cornering confidence.

Read more in our full review of the Zipp 303S wheelset.

Zipp 404 Firecrest

(Image credit: Future)
Wide, hookless rim wheelset with fast pickup hub

Specifications

Weight: 1528g
Depth: 58mm
Width (internal): 23mm

Reasons to buy

+
Fast on the flat, climbing and accelerating
+
Good crosswind stability
+
Wide rims help type stability

Reasons to avoid

-
Tubeless-only compatibility
-
Hookless bead means lower pressures

With a wide 23mm internal width hookless rim, the Zipp 404 Firecrest wheels support 25mm tyres well, with a flat-sided profile that helps provide a smooth, aerodynamic interface between the tyre and the rim. It also means that you can drop tyre pressure for a smoother, faster, more comfortable ride, although it makes the rims tubeless-only.

It also drops the weight of the 58mm deep rim by around 350g to 1,528g and the price by around £800 from its predecessor. Zipp has also improved the seal design, while the freehub has a low 5 degree engagement angle for fast pickup.

Crosswind stability is good and the Zipps feel fast on the flat, while their weight is low enough for speedy acceleration and climbing. 

 Read more in our full review of the Zipp 404 Firecrest wheelset.

The best road bike wheels for rim brakes

Best road bike wheels: Borg26 2.1 wheels

(Image credit: Paul Grele)
Fast, well built wheelset on a budget

Specifications

Weight: 1625g
Depth: 26mm
Width (internal): 20mm

Reasons to buy

+
Reasonable weight
+
Responsive

Reasons to avoid

-
Awkward to fit tubeless tyres

The spec sheet sounds positively retro now: aluminium, lower section, rim brakes, but we reckon that these handbuilt wheels from Borg still tick a lot of boxes for many cyclists and that their performance outplays their modest price tag.

At 26mm deep, they're not going to please the aero crowd but at just over 1,600 grams they're reasonably lightweight and their 2:1 spoke ratio in the rear wheel helps even out pedalling forces. 

Borg has its own hubs too, which can come with either standard black seals or red seals with extra weather protection. There's a choice of Shimano, SRAM XDR or Campagnolo hubs with a 36 tooth, four pawl ratchet.

We liked the Borgs' fast acceleration and free-rolling road feel and there was little flex under out of saddle acceleration. Mounting a tyre was a tight fit though, as is often the case on tubeless-ready rims.

Read our full review of the Borg 26 2:1 700c rim-brake for more.

Hunt 50 Carbon Wide Aero wheelset

Wide, speed increasing wheels

Specifications

Weight: 1537g
Depth: 50mm
Width (internal): 19mm

Reasons to buy

+
Tubeless ready
+
Wide width
+
Hold their pace superbly
+
Reasonable price

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow to accelerate

At a sniff under £800 / $1000, this performance wheelset is particularly important at what is probably the most competitive price point on the market. They're not the fastest to accelerate because they're 50mm deep, but once the Hunt 50 Carbon Wide Aero wheels are up to speed they're unstoppable and on our tests, these instantly increased our average ride speed.

As ever with Hunt wheels, they're tubeless-ready and have a very wide rim width because of it. Whichever tyres you put on it will sit far wider than their stated widths.

Read more in our full review of the Hunt 50 Carbon Wide Aero wheelset.

Black Inc Black Thirty wheelset

(Image credit: Studio)
Lightweight wheels for the climber

Specifications

Weight: 1390g
Width: 30mm
Depth: 17mm

Reasons to buy

+
Light
+
Stiff
+
Compliant

Reasons to avoid

-
None

Black Inc has designed its ‘Black Thirty’ to be a climbing wheel, and at a claimed weight of 1390g (1230g if you go tubular), it is certainly a lightweight option. It’s undeniable that it’s on the climbs where the wheels really shine, giving the rider a real sense of advantage.

Their racing credentials really shone through in the local crit races too, with no flexing through corners and they even rolled our tester to victory on one occasion.

The use of a 17mm internal rim and 26.5mm outer, maxing out at 27mm at the widest part certainly matches up with current thinking which determines this to be the most wind-cheating approach when paired with a compatible tyre. A wider rim also allows you to run thicker, bump-sucking-up and better-handling rubber without an aerodynamic fall out – I teamed these with Pirelli PZero 25mm.

Read more in our full review of the Black Inc Black Thirty wheelset.

Edco Four-8 wheelset

(Image credit: Edco)
Comfortable and versatile wheelset

Specifications

Weight: 1548g
Depth: 48mm
Width: 21mm

Reasons to buy

+
Comfortable for the depth
+
Good handling
+
Quality finishing

Reasons to avoid

-
Nothing stands out

Edco's Four-8 wheels are a fast and versatile set of performance carbon wheels, with the wide oval rim profile providing a comfortable ride on rougher roads. 

The complete package is good, there's really nothing to criticise these over, they're a solid investment, although they don't sit head and shoulders above the competitors in terms of weight and price.

Read more in our full review of the Edco Four-8 wheelset.

scribe wheels

(Image credit: Future)
Stiff wheels with customisable build options

Specifications

Weight: 1451g
Depth: 38/50
Width (internal): 19mm

Reasons to buy

+
Sturdy (crash tested!)
+
Lightweight for the rim depth
+
Longevity
+
Plenty of customisation

Reasons to avoid

-
Lack compliance 
-
Noisy hub

Scribe has put a lot of thought into creating a wheelset that promises longevity and durability, with plenty of nods to consumer satisfaction - such as customisable bearing options and extra spokes and nipples supplied as standard. The rims themselves proved to be durable - though their bombproof quality comes at the loss of some compliance. You won't find any flex here, though, so if stiff is on your shopping list then these value for money hoops could be the perfect upgrade for you. 

Read more in our full review of the Scribe 3850 wheelset.

How to choose the best road bike wheels 

The thing is, if you want a wheel that is light and aerodynamic, while also being stiff to cope with the power you put out when sprinting, and hardy enough to stay straight and true when faced with rough roads, you’re going to notice a sizeable dent in your bank account. So before buying, it's important to know exactly what you want from your wheelset.

best road bike wheels

The questions below are a general guide to the things to consider when choosing between the types of wheels that are available, but fortunately for us cyclists most wheels are spread across all three types, and in general it is possible to get a very good set of do-it-all wheels.

How important is durability to you?

If you know you live somewhere with rough roads or mixed terrain then you'll probably put a great emphasis on durability and strength, and having a set of wheels that will stand the test of time. Typically, "bombproof" wheels are shallow, with a box design and an aluminium rim. That doesn't mean they're slow though, and we've been very impressed with box aluminium rims from the likes of Hunt, Mavic and DT Swiss. Similarly, though, that's not to suggest carbon isn't strong, and many pros run carbon wheels at the toughest cobbled classics, but it can offer a harsh ride on rough ground — the pros also aren't paying for or maintaining those wheels.

How important are aerodynamics to you?

If you've just bought yourself a new aero bike, then you'll probably want a wheelset with an aerodynamic edge. These are wheels that have extra material extending down from the rim, which helps the rim cut through the wind. They can give a real advantage if you're racing, or if you want to improve your average speed on your rides. It's worth bearing in mind, though, that to get the most aerodynamic benefits you need to be consistently travelling above 32kph. Of course, if you want a deep section wheel with a carbon build you're going to be spending a fair whack. You can get cheaper, aluminium builds but these tend to be a bit heavier.

How important is a lightweight set of wheels to you?

The lightest wheels are reserved for those who do a lot of climbing or live somewhere very hilly. The weight reduction is possible because of carbon fibre builds, and other neat features like lightweight spokes, carbon fibre hubs and the general removing of any excess material – hence why they tend to have a shallower rim. As you might expect, you'll need deep pockets to buy these lightweight hoops.

Different types of road bike wheels

What are clincher road bike wheels?

Your bike probably came complete with clincher wheels and this is for good reason. Clinchers are the most common type of bike wheel currently available and are defined by the type of tyre they use.

best road bike wheels: clincher rims

Clinchers utilise an open cross-section tyre with a bead that holds it in place on the inside of the rim and uses an inner tube. This offers a great deal of convenience as it is easy to repair when you get punctures.

Carbon clincher wheels are significantly heavier than the equivalent tubulars because the rim needs to be stronger to cope with the demands of braking pressure and force from the rim. Some deep section wheels feature a carbon fairing placed over an aluminium rim. These are heavier, but are cheaper than a complete carbon rim, owing to lower manufacturing and development costs, while the aluminium brake track can lead to more consistent braking with rim brakes than many carbon rims.

What are the pros and cons of clincher wheels?

Advantages of clincher wheels

  • Easy to repair punctures, just by carrying spare inner tubes
  • Easy to change tyres, can be done in minutes
  • Clincher tyres are typically cheaper than tubulars

Disadvantages of clincher wheels

  • Typically heavier than a tubular rim
  • Higher rotational weight than a tubular
  • Braking surface encounters higher stress, having to withstand outward pressure of the bead and inward pressure of heat from the brakes

What are tubeless road bike wheels?

Tubeless wheels have become very popular over the last few years, with more and more brands fitting them as standard on their bikes. Instead of having an inner tube inside a tyre, the tyre itself creates an airtight seal against the rim, so all you have to do is inject some sealant and pump some air into the tyre.

A consequence of making the rim airtight can be that it is slightly heavier, but this is somewhat offset by the lack of an inner tube. The sealant is designed to seal holes and punctures as they happen. It is still possible to get a flat on a tubeless wheel, at which point an inner tube can be placed inside, but the risk is considerably less, making them ideal for those wanting to avoid punctures. Plus, the general consensus is that these are faster than other types of wheel and tyre combinations.

What are the pros and cons of tubeless wheels?

Advantages

  • Much lower risk of flat tyres
  • Low rolling resistance

Disadvantages

  • Fiddly to set up
  • More weight at the rim
  • Generally more expensive

What are hookless tubeless road bike wheels?

The latest type of rim dispenses with the hooks that were originally designed to stop the tyre from blowing off. With a hookless rim and compatible tubeless tyre there's no need for the hooks anymore. Once the tyre moves out of the tyre bed cavity that characterises a tubeless rim and up onto the bead 'shelf', it's not going anywhere.

Not all tubeless-ready tyres are compatible with all hookless rims yet – that's the only obvious drawback – but according to Zipp that will soon be a non-issue.

What are the pros and cons of hookless tubeless wheels?

Advantages

  • No hooks means cleaner transition between the rim and the tyre – more aero
  • Wider internal rim with no hooks means a more stable tyre with no 'lightbulbing'
  • Straight rim walls can be made more accurately with tighter tolerances creating a better tyre interface and a lower risk of the tyre blowing off of the rim
  • Better carbon compaction thanks to simpler manufacturing means a stronger rim
  • Better resin distribution thanks to simpler manufacturing means the rim can be moulded with less resin – lighter rim
  • Less manufacturing waste means a reduction of the costs and a lower price for the end user

Disadvantages

  • Not all tubeless tyres are compatible with tubeless rims so tyre choice is limited
  • Risk of tyre blowing off rim with the wrong combination or overinflation

What are tubular road bike wheels?

Prior to the invention of clincher tyres, tubular wheels were the only option available. Today they’re a rare sight away from racing (where teams have support) as they are an enclosed tyre, with an inner tube sealed or sewn inside. 

The tubular tyre (or "tub") is glued or taped to the rim, making them fiddly to set up very inconvenient if you have to change a tyre. Tubular tyres are difficult or impossible to repair if you have a flat and a lot more expensive than clinchers.

best road bike wheels: a tubular tyre on a rim

Tubular wheels are usually lighter than the clincher alternative. This is because the rim does not need to be as strong in order to hold the bead of the tyre. 

Bonding of the tyre to the rim is crucial, in order to avoid rolling the tyre off the rim while cornering. Glueing is the most traditional way and considered the most reliable, but it typically takes a couple of days to set, whereas tape is much quicker. The solvent in the glue is also harmful, whereas tape is inert.

If you are racing, riding a sportive or Gran Fondo, or training on a tubular tyre and you get a puncture there are a couple of options. Sealant, such as Vittoria Pit Stop can be injected into the tyre to seal the hole, but this may not work if the hole is too big.

Alternatively, a spare tub can be placed on the rim, but this will not be bonded as strongly. If you are racing, or riding with a support vehicle, tubulars can be a joy to ride, but for training rides and everyday use, even professionals use clinchers.

What are the pros and cons of tubular tyres?

Advantages

  • Lighter wheels
  • Lighter rim is better for acceleration
  • Tubular tyres roll very nicely
  • Can ride a short distance on a flat tyre

Disadvantages

  • Less easy to fit than clinchers
  • Repairing a puncture is not as straightforward as a clincher

What is the anatomy of a road bike wheel?

Rims

The rims are usually the first thing you notice on a pair of wheels. Deeper section wheels are more aerodynamic, but are generally heavier than their shallow rim counterparts. In addition, crosswinds can catch the deeper section like a sail, which can make keeping the bike in a straight line a handful. A lower profile is much easier to control and is often lighter in weight – meaning it will accelerate faster.