If you want some traditional-looking hoops for your classic road bike or Sunday tourer, then you can get some handbuilt wheels but there's not many off-the-shelf options. The Halo Retro wheelset is one such wheelset, and they're good too: stiff, not too heavy and, maybe most importantly here, good looking.
The Gipiemme Carbon H6.0 tubular wheels are a good aero option suitable for most conditions, and they come in at a reasonable price for this kind of wheel.
Gipiemme make these wheels in Italy using 100% carbon fibre monocoque rims that are 60mm deep and 20mm wide. The hubs are Gipiemme's own GPMClights, made from forged aluminium, and they spin on sealed bearings – although you can get DT Swiss 240 hubs for £100-£150 more. When I say Gipiemme make these wheels in Italy, they make both the hubs and the rims in their own factory.
With a RRP of £700 (but easily found in the sales online for around £550), the FSA Team Issue wheelset straddles the middle ground between your everyday do-it-all wheels on one side, and more exotic carbon creations on the other.
Though not one of the big names in wheel manufacturing, FSA's wheel range is deep and, combined with its spin-off company Vision, has all the bases covered from entry-level, right up to race-day carbon tubular.
A lot of wheel for not a lot of money is the first thought that springs to mind when it comes to Fulcrum's new Racing Quattro wheels, the latest addition to the Italian wheel manufacturers line-up.
The Kinesis Crosslight CXDisc wheels are an excellent value wheelset for disc-equipped road/cross bikes. Most disc-compatible CX wheels currently available are towards the higher-priced end of the spectrum; while the Crosslights might be a little heavier than this exotica, they are a lively, tough and well-built wheelset at a great price.
Bontrager's shallowest Aeolus D3 wheels combine impressive aerodynamics with a reasonable weight and predictable handling, making them an excellent all-conditions option.
As you'll probably know, over the last few years many manufacturers have begun to concentrate on the aerodynamics in the section of the wheel where the rim is leading as well as the section where the tyre is leading. Zipp, for example, have focused on this with their Firecrest designs. Bontrager have done so too; D3 means Dual Direction Design.
My relationship with these Spin Speed Metal 30 wheels didn't get off to a good start. The valve holes in the 30mm deep semi-aero Niobium alloy rims are a little small which makes it hard to get some valve extenders through, actually, make that impossible.
The Cole Rollen Lites are marketed as an 'all purpose wheels for racing and training' and occupy the lowest price rung in Cole's extensive wheel range. At a portly 1920g for the wheelset, the racing claim may be a tad optimistic, but they perform just fine for everyday duties.
Both wheels use identical 20mm wide and 19mm deep rims, laced with 28 straight gauge spokes (radial in front and 2 cross at rear) to the hubs. Pretty standard stuff. The hubs themselves run on sealed cartridge bearings with Shimano and Campagnolo compatible freehubs available.
The Vision Trimax T42 is a versatile alloy/carbon wheelset that's suitable for everyday use as well as racing.
Okay, first the essential info... when Vision describe these as 'carbon alloy clinchers' they mean that they're alloy with a carbon surface on the deep section of the welded rim. They call this Carbon Structural Integration, or CSI for short, and explain it like this:
The new Reynolds RZR 92 time trial/triathlon wheels are stunningly light and fast – they're so quick you'll be amazed.
We've reviewed a set of RZR – pronounced 'razor' – wheels before and they blew us away with their performance. That was the RZR 46T wheelset.