If you want to change the wheels on your disc brake road bike, here are 20 pairs of the best disc brake wheels from under £300 to over £2,000.
Aluminium or carbon fibre? That's your basic choice of rim material, and with carbon-rimmed wheels now starting at just £350 it's no longer a cut-and-dried decision based on cost
All the wheels here are tubeless-ready, though some have limitations on exactly which tyres you can use; it pays to read the small print
In theory rims of disc brake wheels could be lighter than rims that have a braking surface; in practice wheel makers seem to have used the 'spare' material to make rims more robust
You'll have to choose between the two major disc rotor attachment systems, six-bolt, which attaches the rotor with, er, six bolts, and Shimano's Center Lock which uses a lockring
Your stock wheels might have worn out, perhaps you want a second pair of wheels/tyres setup for a different kind of road surface, or maybe you just fancy an upgrade. The wheels shown here are the ones that have impressed road.cc reviewers most over the past couple of years. They've all scored either 4.5 out of 5 overall in testing or 9/10 for performance so you can be sure that they're the real deal.
If you're interested in any particular disc brake wheelset, we've included a link to our original review where you'll find all the details you need to make your buying decision. We've also included a link to help you find a local dealer for each brand, while clicking on the product name will take you direct to an online retailer.
Most rim brake wheels attach to your bike with quick release skewers, but things are more complicated in the disc brake world. Some disc brake bikes use quick releases and traditional-style open-ended dropouts, but others use thru axles. This is where the dropouts are closed, an axle passing into a hole on one side of the frame/fork, through the wheel hub and screwing into a threaded hole (usually) on the other side of the frame/fork.
Most of today's road bikes that use thru axles take 12x100mm at the front (the diameter is 12mm, the distance between the dropouts is 100mm) and 12x142mm at the rear. However, some disc brake bikes take 15mm thru axles (or even 9mm thru axles) and some have a 135mm rear spacing, although this is uncommon.
The same wheels can usually be made to fit different bikes through the use of axle adapters. The Hunt Superdura Dynamo Disc Wheelset (below), for example, will work with both quick release skewers and 12mm thru axles (and less common configurations).
Just make sure that you get the right adapters in order to replace like with like.
There are two different standards for fixing disc brake rotors to wheels: Shimano's Center Lock and 6-bolt. If you have a preference for one system, make sure the wheels are compatible (or be prepared to buy an adapter).
Let's dive in.
Roval's Alpinist CLX wheels are light, stiff and perfect for the climbers. The low rim height still offers good rolling speed on the flat and the profile of the rim mates well to 26mm tyres. However, the lack of tubeless compatibility will be a massive issue for some.
As you might expect, this 33mm-deep carbon wheelset is light, tipping our scales at a scant 1,250g with the rim tape installed. I used the Alpinist CLX on my S-Works Venge and the Merida Reacto that I've been testing. Both times, the bikes were noticeably faster to accelerate, and the Merida in particular became a great climber.
Climbing is where the wheels really excel and I have been loving (possibly not the best word) smashing some of my local climbs. The wheels are stiff enough to transfer the power when you really want to kick on the steeper pitches, and I found them perfect for these high-powered efforts, with no discernible flex.
The Pacenti Picco 46mm Disc Clincher wheelset doesn't just focus on weight or aerodynamics – it delivers on those, but without sacrificing stiffness and, above all else, durability. These are proper all-rounders, quick on the flat, no slouch on the hills, and should you find yourself off the beaten track they'll take plenty of abuse.
The 46mm-deep rounded profile rim has been optimised to work with 28mm road tyres, thanks to its 24mm internal width and the fact that it is 29.6mm at its widest external point – which is about a third of the way down the rim for better aerodynamics.
Out on the road there are some noticeable aero benefits – for a wheel that isn't massively deep it still flies along once you are travelling along in the low to mid-20s mph, a real sweet spot that you can find on the best wheels and frames, where you just don't feel as though you need to put in much more effort than you were at 17-18mph.
The Roval Rapide CLX sets out to be the fastest wheelset in the real world, and is so committed to weight and aero optimisation it forgoes tubeless compatibility. That will certainly divide opinion, but there's little doubt the result is a stupidly fast wheelset that balances the aero benefits of deep rims and the weight savings and improved handling of far shallower wheels.
Roval has pedigree in fast wheels: their CLX 64 has dominated time trials, the CLX 32s took Alaphillippe to a Polka Dot jersey and the CLX 50 is frequently found on stage-winning bikes. The new Rapide CLX wheelset aims to squash all their best traits into one wheelset to do everything fast, and combines a 51mm deep front with a 60mm rear for the aero of a deep wheelset without losing controllability when the wind picks up.
The front rim is a whopping 35mm wide. Roval says the width makes the Rapides to be more stable, and claims a 25% improvement in gusting wind over the old CLX 50. As the CLX 50 has been my wheelset of choice for the past two years, I was eager to test these claims. I didn't have to wait long to find out, as even my first ride was positively blustery and yet I'm not having to write this from a ditch. The Rapides aren't just impressive for their depth, but impressive full stop.
The Strade is the first wheelset from Parcours that has been designed fully in-house, and it's a very impressive one. They handle well in all conditions, the aero data seems to stack up, and they're bang on trend by being disc brake only, tubeless-ready and optimised for 28mm tyres. For their sub-£1,000 price tag, I couldn't really have asked for more from them over the test period.
While many carbon wheels you'll find for under a grand will use a rim profile that is widely available for any company to use and badge up as their own (known as open mould), Parcours says the Strade was the result of a year-long research and development project in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, involving CFD analysis and extensive wind tunnel testing.
Out on the road, the stability was evident straight away and I was really impressed with their performance in crosswinds. It seems like we've had a particularly blustery spring and summer this year, and I felt completely confident running the Strade wheels no matter what the weather was doing, not once sensing that handling was compromised.
Hunt says its 48 Limitless Aero Disc wheels are the fastest disc brake-compatible road wheels up to and including 50mm deep, thanks to its patented Limitless technology. Going wide is the key apparently, and going by the way they perform out in the real world, Hunt could really be on to something. These wheels are quick!
Compared with a lot of 40mm to 50mm-deep wheels I've used, the Hunts make the bike feel like it doesn't need as much power to maintain a given speed, especially when that speed is around 20-25mph.
They roll very nicely, and the rounded profile of the rim doesn't get battered around by crosswinds or when being passed by large vehicles at speed. The only time I got a bit of a twitch was when passing an exposed gateway on a blustery day.
The Scribe Race-D wheelset proves that aluminium still has a place in cycling components; weighing in at just 1479g, it could easily be mistaken for a much more expensive wheelset. The wheels feature a 'modern' 19mm internal width and are tubeless-ready out the box, which happens to include tubeless valves, spare spokes and all the adaptors you could ever need. Overall, it's a very impressive package from Scribe and a great set of wheels for upgrading heavy stock wheels or for year-round training.
Out on the road the Scribes feel stiff and spin up nicely, and after accidentally finding myself plummeting into several caverns – sorry, potholes – it's nice to see them still spinning true, and that stiffness or durability hasn't been sacrificed in the name of weight saving.
I've been asked multiple times if the wheels are carbon and it's an easy mistake to make especially if you pick up the bike they're on. Their 1,479g claimed weight (1,546g on our scales, with tape) is really competitive at this price point, and the lack of braking surfaces makes them look deeper than they actually are.
The new Scribe Aero Wide+ 50-D Carbon Disc wheelset offers pretty much everything you could require from a fast road wheelset: impressive aerodynamics, low weight, lots of stiffness and plenty of durability, all while coming in way under the £1,000 mark.
I tested the Aero Wide 50-D wheelset about a year ago and was very impressed, but things don't stand still for long, especially in the world of aerodynamics. The Wide 50-Ds are still available, but if you really want to go Wider then this Wide+ option increases the internal rim width by 2mm to 21mm, and the external by 4mm up to 30mm.
Overall, the Aero Wide+ 50-D wheelset brings a noticeable difference to aerodynamics over many narrower carbon fibre wheels, and, more importantly, at the speeds you are likely to find yourself riding in the real world. The fact that this has been achieved while keeping the weight and price down but the stiffness up, is great news.
The Campagnolo Bora WTO 60 Disc wheels are superfast, superb to ride and superbly expensive. Despite the rim depth, they handle very well and are well behaved in windy conditions. An exceptionally good race wheelset.
If you've got two grand to spend on fancy deep-section wheels then these are well worth considering. They're as fast as they look, have Campagnolo's excellent 2-way fit technology, keep the weight down and are predictable in the wind.
The majority of my time on the WTO 60s has been spent on my Specialized Venge, an aero race bike. These wheels are a perfect fit and while it's not all about the looks, they do also look brilliant.
Thankfully, the performance is more than skin deep. The WTO 60s accelerate brilliantly and are perfectly happy to sit above 40kph. Racing is currently off, so the hardest that I've ridden them has been on some socially-distanced group rides and when chasing KOMs. The wheels have been excellent for this fast-paced riding and I'm confident that when racing starts again they'll be perfect for some flat circuits.
The Hunt 4050 Carbon Aero Disca are great all-round performance wheels. They deliver a bit of an aerodynamic boost, they're very low weight and durability seems very good, all for what is a very good price. Their width also makes them compatible with a wide range of tyres.
The 4050 wheels have a 40mm-deep front rim and a 50mm rear. If your main goal is speed then going deeper gives you better aerodynamics, but the downside can be added weight and twitchy handling in blustery winds. These wheels provide more of a balance across a load of disciplines. When tyres are fitted, even the 40mm front does enough to cheat the air, but riding past a farm gateway won't see the handlebar snatched out of your hands on windy days.
Overall, Hunt has delivered a wheelset that works for pretty much every road discipline, but especially for those rides where you want a blend of speed and also a lack of weight for when you take to the hills. The build quality is top notch, and with all of those things taken into account I can't do anything else other than recommend them.
Prime's Baroudeur Road Disc Wheels provide exceptional value with great performance matching a solid build quality that makes these brilliant everyday wheels. They're easy to set up tubeless, come with everything to get you going and can be used for road, cyclo-cross and gravel riding. They're a brilliant upgrade if you've got cheap stock wheels.
The DT Swiss G 1800 Spline 25 is a bargain gravel wheelset with decent performance and premium looks. The hub has a slow pick up and the set is not especially light, but £350 for a disc-compatible, aero-spoked, thru-axle set of wheels with rims good for 42mm tyres is pretty compelling.
Zipp was an early pioneer of the carbon cycling wheelset, and in launching the 303S wheelset has shaken up the road and all-road wheel market with new technologies, high performance, a lifetime warranty and a price that you wouldn't expect.
The 303S wheelset uses some firsts for Zipp, including tubeless compatibility using straight-sided rim walls, also known as hookless. These might be a one-off, but are more likely a first step with more wheelsets within the Zipp range to follow with similar technology over the coming months.
Prime has created a tough yet lightweight package with its Kanza 650B Carbon Gravel wheels. The wide rims make fitting larger tyres a breeze and they stand up to a lot of abuse on the trails. At under 1,600g they are responsive too, and you certainly can't complain about the price.
A lot of gravel bikes are coming with the smaller diameter 650B wheels these days, over the more standard 700C, or at least have framesets designed to work with them, and if you are looking for an upgrade then these Kanza wheels are a great place to start.
The Just Riding Along Mahi Mahi 40 carbon disc wheels aim to be a do-it-all choice. They're very light and stiff, with a 40mm rim depth to help make them fast as well. You would expect this to come at a cost, and while the £850 rrp certainly doesn't make them cheap, they're more affordable than most of the competition, and offer extra customisation as well.
The overwhelming initial impression is how responsive and laterally stiff the wheelset feels under acceleration, making starts at traffic lights and junctions all the more enjoyable. The stiffness on offer is particularly impressive given the low weight.
If you ride a lot on gravel tracks and trails you want a wheelset that can take plenty of abuse, and these Hunt 4 Season Gravel Disc X-Wide wheels fit that bill brilliantly. They're solid, dependable and lovely wheels to ride, and with their wide rim bed they work perfectly with wider gravel tyres.
You might have read Mike's glowing review of the Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide wheels and thought, 'I wonder if they do something a bit cheaper to suit my budget?' Well, the wheels you see here are pretty much an aluminium alloy version.
Think carbon fibre wheels and it's highly likely Enve is one of the first brand names that springs to mind. The US company knows carbon wheels and has put all its expertise into its first dedicated gravel design, these G23 wheels. They provide phenomenal performance, low weight and impressive durability, but you'll max out your credit card to purchase them.
The performance of these disc brake wheels is highly impressive. They're ridiculously light, bloody tough and with a hint of damping that makes them ride like a dream.
But the price makes them the stuff of dreams, too. It does reflect the US production and investment by Enve, and the lifetime warranty, but there is no shortage of good wheels on the market at much cheaper prices.
The 33 Carbon Aero Disc wheelset from UK brand Hunt is unbelievably light, which really benefits climbing and acceleration, especially because achieving that weight hasn't meant any loss in lateral stiffness. These are seriously good wheels at a very good price.
At just 1,347g they feel light and responsive whatever the terrain, but it's most notable when you are in the hills. Attack a climb out of the saddle and they'll make the whole bike surge forward as if it weighs nothing, also helped by the instant engagement of the multi-point pawls in as little as 7.5 degrees.
Back in 2015 Stu rated the Mason Resolution featuring the first 17mm-internal-width incarnation of the collaboratively designed Mason x Hunt 4 Season Disc wheelset. He found that 'stiffness is high, you can really notice that when sprinting or climbing out of the saddle yet they don't feel harsh in any conditions'. The second incarnation is also a cracking buy.
At launch in 2015, the Mason X Hunt 4 Season wheels were £349. The 2019 update brings the width out to 19mm, allowing wider tyres and the multiple benefits thereof, for a price of £329. That's about a £55 reduction allowing for 2015-2019 inflation – not bad for a product that's only improved technically.
The Hunt 35 Carbon Gravel Disc X-Wide are the UK brand's flagship gravel wheelset. The step up to 23mm internal rim width sets them up for the new breed of mega-wide-clearance allroad bikes – and the adaptable hubs mean your investment now is almost guaranteed to fit any future bike purchase.
The main reason for getting the X-Wides is the super-wide 23mm rim bed, backed up by a few square acres of carbon chunkiness to keep things in one piece. There's a great deal of comfort to be had from the rim profile when you're bombing about taking drop bars where no sane person would consider sensible or even possible. Everything about the X-Wides murmurs 'Find Your Limits', and it didn't take long to trust that they were more than up to the job.
The Scribe Aero Wide 50-D carbon disc wheels are all about speed according to the manufacturer, and they don't disappoint. Matching a wind-cheating 50mm-deep rim to smooth-running hubs, an instantaneous freehub engagement and plenty of stiffness makes for a set of wheels that delivers for those who want to put the hammer down. The impressive weight and a sensible price finalise the deal.
A wheel weight of 1,449g (1,438g claimed) is impressive full stop, but when you consider that's including a wide and deep carbon fibre rim, plus the extra spokes needed for a disc build, it is truly awesome and something you really notice when fitting them to your bike.
The Pacenti Forza-C 30mm Disc Clincher wheels are a new design from the ground up and they are absolutely lovely. You can feel the quality of the build as soon as you start riding, and their stiffness is impressive considering their very svelte 1,378g weight. Pacenti hasn't even stung you on the price either.
Pacenti builds these wheels by hand in the UK and it shows – not necessarily the UK bit, but definitely the handbuilt part. The wheels feel tight and stiff, but the spoke tension allows enough comfort through to take out any harshness.
The Parcours Grimpeur Disc wheels are light enough to excel on the tarmac while being so tough that you can smash them over rocks and tree roots with little concern for their wellbeing. They won't break the bank either.
With a 40mm-deep U-shaped carbon rim they weigh in at just 1,406g with the tubeless rim tape fitted, which ties in well with Parcours' claimed weight of 1,390g bare.
Fitted to the Flanders Forte cyclo-cross frameset that we had in for testing, the wheels offered snappy acceleration, and their low weight helped the whole bike feel flickable at the front and rear for hopping over potholes, rocks and other obstacles.
Being fitted to a cyclo-cross bike they spent most of their time off-road and they took the knocks and bumps from the gravel tracks and tree roots of the local singletrack without issue.
The CXD4 is a mid-level alloy disc wheelset that weighs a reasonable 1,580g for its price. The rim is a tubeless-ready 23mm-deep alloy extrusion, sleeve-jointed for extra strength. Its 19mm width means you really want to be running at least a 28mm tyre, with anything up to a 50mm okay if it'll fit in your frame. The hubs have an alloy body and axle and sealed cartridge bearings: two in the front and four in the rear.
On the road, the wheels feel stiff and solid and the bearings run smoothly. They can take a battering on rougher surfaces and still run true. They can handle a cyclocross race or a gravel event fine.
The BORG22 wheelset features 22mm-deep aluminium tubular rims and triple butted Sapim Force spokes laced onto Miche Syntium DX hubs. It's not a flashy package, but it bats well above its price tag – it's tough, fast and will suit riders looking for a brilliant road or cyclo-cross wheelset.
Although not light, these wheels are responsive while the aluminium rim and higher spoke count mean these put up a strong and robust performance. The hubs are unfussy and last very well.
These disc brake wheels are built up to order in the UK so you can have the spoke tension tuned to suit your weight and riding requirements.
If you're looking at a dynamo system for your road bike then the SONdelux hub dynamo is pretty much the best out there for low resistance and weight, and it's renowned for great build quality which is matched by the rest of the components on these excellent Hunt tubeless ready wheels. Considering how much the dynamo costs on its own, the price is excellent too. They might be a bit much for the odd night ride, but if you rack up the miles after dark they're an investment worth considering.
These disc brake wheels put in a near-faultless performance. They're a must for your list if you're looking into dynamo power.
Just Riding Along's Gecko Carbon Wheels are impressive hoops that take on the constant knocks and vibrations the roughest gravel tracks can throw at them, while still being so light that they won't hamper your performance on the road. With a 1,400g weight (with the tubeless rim tape and valves fitted) and all the strength you could need, it's also pretty amazing that they come in at well under a grand.
This is an excellent full-carbon clincher wheelset. The build quality is high, they look great, perform really well and are pretty good value too.
Smooth and quiet, they gain speed quickly and continue at pace whatever the gradient. The buttery bearings and stiff construction make for controlled descending, but the Tokens are at their best on flatter, faster rides when the aero profile helps you bowl along at a good speed. Rough sections of tarmac are dealt with easily too, the wheels absorbing a reasonable amount of buzz and feeling composed,
Tubeless rim tape is already installed if you want to run them with the appropriate tyres.
Fast, light and wide, these tubeless carbon wheels offer excellent performance. They're superbly fast in a straight line and maintain excellent momentum when you're really pushing hard on the pedals. The rounded rim profile provides exceptionally good stability with little sign of buffeting even in the strongest gusts.
They're also tough and dependable, easily shrugging off bad road surfaces. We smashed into potholes and rode them along gravel tracks during testing and they took all the punishment with no sign of loose spokes or going out of true.
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The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.
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Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.