Elitewheels 50D carbon road wheels review - lighter and half the price of even Hunt wheels

Is it really possible to buy a quality aero wheelset with carbon rims, spokes and ceramic bearings without selling a kidney? We step away from the scalpel to find out

Image shows the Elitewheels Drive 50D wheelset
Elitewheels Drive 50D wheelset - 50mm carbon rims, aluminium hubs, carbon spokes, ceramic bearings
(Image credit: Rachel Sokal)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

With prices of bikes and components continually skyrocketing, a big upgrade like wheels can be beyond most riders' budgets. Using a direct-to-consumer approach, Elitewheels has managed to buck the trend and produce a high spec wheelset for half the price of comparable wheels. The Drive 50Ds deliver all that they promise. A fast and responsive lightweight wheelset which is stable in cross-winds and reactive on climbs. With performance like this you wonder why anyone will be spending twice the money (or more) on wheels from a more well-known brand.

Reasons to buy
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  • +

    Lightweight - 1300g for set

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    Fast and stable

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Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Direct shipping takes a few weeks

  • -

    Current lack of worldwide dealers and service centres

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Changing wheels is usually one of the best ways to upgrade your bike. Often bikes come with wheels that are relatively lower spec than the frame / bike itself, in order to meet a price point. 

A wheel upgrade can give you loads of benefits like less weight, more stiffness, better aerodynamics, less rolling resistance and being more comfortable. But the best road bike wheels don’t come cheap - or do they...?

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Rachel has been writing about and reviewing bike tech for the last 10 years. Cynical by nature, Rachel never really trusts the marketing hype and prefers to give products a mighty good testing before deciding whether they're worth buying or not. 

Rachel's first riding love is mountain biking where she's been European and UK 24hr Champion on more than one occasion. She's not just confined to the trails though and regularly rides - and occasionally races - on gravel and road too.