Triathlete’s Carbon Wheels Guide

Carbon road wheels will outdo any other wheel type every time. Two bicycle components with equivalent costs can display drastically varying abilities. It is desirable to have carbon road wheels on your bicycle.

Carbon fibre road wheels are becoming a trend

It is quite typical to see professional road bicyclists using carbon wheels. Novice riders, recreational cyclists, and everyday individuals who own bicycles are improving their setups as they learn more about bike parts and consider all of their alternatives.

Aluminium rims are rarely seen on professional racing circuits due to their lack of a podium finish, except in traditional races specifically for aluminium wheels.

Nevertheless, carbon road wheels have seen a surge in popularity amongst all riders, due primarily to the bike industry’s push in that direction, as well as the reduction in the cost of such products.

Many cyclists opt for carbon-based road wheels due to their lightweight and increased rigidity, which enhances their bicycles’ manoeuvring and speeds up acceleration.

Moreover, carbon fibre is adaptable and allows for the manufacture of wheels which are made in more advanced aerodynamic designs to benefit bicyclists in particular contests.

The Main Components of Carbon Road Wheels

Carbon Rim

The rim of a bicycle is a circular hoop that the spokes attach to. It supports the tire and sometimes a tube as well. The rim of your wheel will have a more deeply indented area in the centre, where the spokes connect, and shallower edges, creating a “U” shape.

Your wheel rim has to be firm to ensure the maximum potential of your pedalling technique is being transferred to the tire and the street, as opposed to being diverted to the side. It is not easy to produce carbon rims.


The hubs are the core element of any wheelset. The wheel rim is attached to the hub through spokes, and the axle that runs through the hub goes through the bike frame or fork.

The axle will travel through certain shafts when it moves through the hub, and for the rear hub, it will also move through an independent bearing set.


A free hub is where your cassette will sit. It’s essential to determine if your cassette requires a common Shimano freehub, an SRAM XDR driver, or a Campagnolo Ultra Drive. You must also be aware of the axle type associated with your highway hub.

Hub bearings

The bearings in your wheels and freehub are intended to decrease the amount of rubbing that takes place between the hub’s edge and its axle. Two primary types of bearings can be seen in your axle hubs.

  1. Sealed, sometimes called cartridge.
  2. Unsealed, sometimes called cup and cone or loose.

Typically, cheaper hubs have bearings that are not sealed and more expensive hubs have sealed bearings. At our economical and reasonably priced hubs, we look for and utilize pre-packed bearing hubs. It is our goal that you can take advantage of the special characteristics of sealed entities without it having to cost you too much.

Hub offerings

The hubs in question have been produced by one of the biggest hub makers from Taiwan, and you’ll likely run into them under various other brand names.

In addition to regularly sealed bearing hubs, we also offer some of the most sophisticated hubs available.

Most of the deluxe rims, particularly the new Aero selection, include DT Swiss hubs. DT Swiss hubs can be easily serviced and thanks to their Star Ratchet system, you will be able to connect to your pedals in no time.

Ceramic bearings

Standard bearings will be constructed from steel. Additionally, you can find ball bearings made of ceramic silicon nitride (Si2N4). The primary benefit of ceramic bearings is that they provide a reduced amount of rolling friction. The lower the level of resistance you experience in your hubs, the quicker your speed will be.

Bike Spokes

Tension spokes, commonly referred to as spokes, are small pieces of metal wire that attach your hubs and rims together. Spokes have 3 main tasks. If they do not perform any of the necessary tasks correctly, you will end up with an unsatisfactory wheelset.

  1. Reinforce your wheel’s rim.
  2. Transfer your power from the hub to the rim and tire.
  3. Support your weight.

Spoke Nipples

A spoke nipple will join a spoke to the edge of the wheel. It is a cylinder with grooves that allows a spoke to be wound around it. The tool can be utilized to either increase or reduce stress in the spoke.

Braking systems

For certified street bicycles, the Bike Wheel brake system is an essential component to safe braking, as it demonstrates the level of craftsmanship and quality put into the bicycle.

Wheels on a road bike are built so that either one of the two main types of brakes used on a road bike can be employed. You will discover that either rim brakes are on your bike, or it is already equipped with disc brakes. Both systems have their pros and cons.

Rim brakes

Braking systems that use a friction-based mechanism against the rim of a wheel to enable slowing down are known as rim brakes. The upside to them is that they are extremely simple to establish and keep up with.

They will also be lighter than using disc brakes. A downside to using them is that they can wear down the edges of your tyre and won’t be as effective stopping in wet weather.

Disc brakes

Attaching discs to your hub, disc brakes are designed to slow down through the use of a calliper clamping system. The advantages are that your brakes will remain effective no matter the weather, and you don’t have to worry about your rim deteriorating.

The drawbacks are that they are bulkier than traditional rim brakes, and some people find it intimidating to work on the hydraulic type.

This leads us to the point that disc brakes come in two forms. You have the option of mechanical disc brakes or hydraulic disc brakes. Mechanical disc brakes utilize a cable to manage the calliper, while hydraulic disc brakes utilize oil pressure to regulate the calliper.

Apart from 2 types of disc brakes, there are also two ways for attaching the rotor to the hub. They are Center Lock and 6 bolt. Six screws attach the rotor to the hub. Rotating disks that are connected to the centre of your hub are held in place with a spline attachment.

Rims profile

Carbon road wheels can be distinguished from one another by their varying rim profile – shallow, mid, and deep.

Aluminium wheels tend to have more of a standard, cuboid design, whereas carbon fibre ones have far more variety in terms of styling and shape. They can though be generally split into 3 categories. Those are shallow, mid, and deep section rims. These descriptions highlight the varying sizes of the rim and all of them are good in various aspects.

Shallow section rim

If you’re in the market for a climbing bike, shallow rims are the way to go because they provide the lightest option available. They resemble the typical rim of a road bicycle the most.

You will discover that they don’t provide as much aerodynamic benefit as other rim depths do. A carbon fibre rim will be much stiffer than an aluminium one, making it ideal for tackling steep slopes as it will help to reduce the amount of energy expended.

Midsection rim

Middlingly deep carbon rims are measured at a depth between 30mm and 50mm. These wheels will be able to provide you with both a low weight and an aerodynamic edge, as long as they have been carefully crafted. These wheels will be perfect for a cyclist who wants to be able to tackle any terrain and do it quickly.

Their weight of them will be ideal for scaling, and their speed on the level ground will allow you to stay right alongside the rest of the group with ease. The shallow-section rims will be less affected by the wind compared to deeper-section models, and the deeper rim will make your wheel more rigid.

Deep section rim

When the height of a wheel exceeds 55mm, it is referred to as a deep-section wheel. At this stage, the wheels start to become more substantial and more rigid. It will likely be best to use them on a course with fewer hill areas, like a criterium race or a time trial.

It will be like you have installed an engine on your bicycle the first time you try a wheel with a deep section. They will cut through the atmosphere, making it simpler to sustain high velocities. These wheels are not suitable for windy conditions.

The benefits of carbon wheels

Carbon fibres, referred to as carbon fibre, are highly resistant considering their lightweight properties. Carbon fibre-reinforced plastic can also be used to create bicycle wheels, in addition to making bicycle frames.

To be exact, a complete carbon wheel consists of rims and brake brackets constructed out of carbon fibre. Carbon wheels are said to have some good properties. This is why they are a hit among both bicyclists who compete and those who mountain bike.

A carbon wheelset is typically lighter than those made out of aluminium. The lighter construction typically has fewer spokes attached, in addition to the other material. The stiffness of the wheels makes this possible.

Low weight is particularly noticeable in acceleration phases. Going uphill requires less exertion. The low weight makes for more agile steering behaviour. Carbon wheels provide a more enjoyable ride due to their rigidity.

Since the wheel twists less, it is evident that most of the energy put forth by the body is being used to move forward. It is possible to travel at higher speeds while using less energy when using wheels made of aluminium. The greater the height and width of the rim, the more rigid it will be laterally.

Carbon can be used to build rims that are not only more rigid but also more aerodynamic. The rim height is decisive here. Higher rims can be designed without becoming too heavy. Braking air turbulence can thus be reduced.

There is a certain altitude at which the drag created by the air is decreased, rather than rising, as the angle of attack increases. These are so-called aero rims. Cyclists are exposed to various resistances.

A great deal of energy is consumed by air resistance, the resistance from the incline, rolling resistance and the resistance encountered when accelerating. The design of carbon wheels makes them more efficient and requires less energy to propel the vehicle.

The deeper profile of the rim height can improve aerodynamics but also leaves the wheel more vulnerable to crosswinds. The back wheel is not affected by sideways winds, so a larger rim can be chosen compared to the one on the front wheel.

Carbo wheels speed

Weight and aerodynamics are considered factors for high speed. The amount of mass that needs to be shifted is decreased when the weight is reduced. This is the reason why cycling races favour particularly lightweight bikes. Less energy is used to create propulsion.

Noting the meagre weight of the wheels stands out, especially when accelerating. Aerodynamics can also contribute to speed. Only if you go fast enough to utilize it.

The greater speed you travel at, the more advantages you find from aerodynamics. A difference in aerodynamics only becomes apparent when travelling at an average rate of speed. 30 km/h.

You need to be experienced to make the most of your vehicle. Beginners will hardly be able to maintain this performance. It’s all about improvement in nuances. Good equipment maximizes one’s ability. In bike races or triathlons, this could be a game changer.

Carbon wheels worthiness

Anyone who takes up cycling as a hobby will quickly be enticed to spend a significant amount of money on it. It is not recommended, particularly for novices, to instantly switch to carbon rims. It is difficult to predict how long the current excitement for cycling will continue.

The advantages of the carbon wheelset can only be seen when a certain level of training is achieved. The effects of aerodynamics become noticeable only when the average speeds are high.

Riding high cuts is rarely possible for a beginner. A carbon wheelset can be beneficial if you participate in either racing or triathlons. A thorough review should be done before buying carbon wheels, as they come at a high price. Durability is just as important to mountain bike riders as stiffness and weight.

Aluminium rims are prone to dents, whereas carbon rims only incur minimal scratches. Generally speaking, they are more resilient to shocks. Before carbon rims become damaged to the point where they develop dents, they are already broken and beyond repair.

Therefore, they are more durable, but then eventually they cease to function properly. Rims made from aluminium tend to be more vulnerable to damage, but can still be fixed. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of each person to purchase costly bike components.

No matter the type of bicycle, whether it’s an enduro, a road bike, or a gravel bike, it doesn’t make a difference. In addition to things like aerodynamics and weight, the appearance can be inspiring in and of itself. The conversion itself is also fun. If you like to make modifications to your bike and you have the money to do it, you should consider getting carbon wheels.

Carbon wheel’s brake performance

People frequently point out that one drawback of carbon wheels is their braking performance. If you use your carbon wheels along with rim brakes, be aware that they are vulnerable to heat.

Carbon fibres are bonded together by resin. It can become soft when exposed to heat. The quality of the resin also plays a role. Braking friction, therefore, puts extreme stress on the material. Oftentimes, braking is necessary, particularly on trips that involve a significant drop in elevation.

The edge of the wheel is subject to deterioration due to fibres coming apart from one another. So-called delamination can severely damage carbon rims. By using carbon wheels alongside disc brakes, you can avoid any issues with heat impacting performance.

The rim is not exposed to the high temperature, however, the brake discs and hub are. This braking system has become widespread in use on bicycles designed for both pavement and off-road riding. Though they are heavier, disc brakes greatly reduce the rate at which car wheels deteriorate.

Carbon wheels affordability

Carbon wheels used to be very rare and only seen by professional athletes. This was mainly due to the excessively high price. Currently, more and more folks are enthusiastically biking and are eager to put a substantial amount of money into their love of the activity.

Currently, carbon wheelsets have become more cost-effective than they have been in the past few years. On the other side of the coin, this is attributed to the fabrication of carbon fibre.

They don’t need to manually take care of their processing anymore. In contrast, the method of stopping has been altered. The disc brake was introduced. In the past, rim brakes were used. Because of the heat susceptibility of the material, high-grade resin and brake pads had to be employed to avert coming apart.


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