Energy-lab Sports VC90
$1,700 Used by Andrew Yorke at the Olympics (after he crashed, his bike was wrecked, but the wheels were undamaged), these deep-dish wheels offer excellent durability and ride performance, all while helping you to a faster bike split this season. Specially designed to be predictable in winds despite the deeper dish, the VC90S are extremely stiff so all your energy will go into moving you forward.
Bontrager Aeolus 9 TLR D3 Clincher
$1,650 FRONT; $1,900 REAR With an inner width of just 19.5 mm (the outer rim width is 27 mm for an optimal wind-cheating profile), the D3 Dual Directional Design profile of these rims cuts through the wind to ensure you’ll go faster this season. These rims are also tubeless ready, so you can enjoy the latest technology to reduce flats and weight. The stacked lacing alignment is designed to ensure the wheel is stiff enough to provide excellent power transfer. Quick and smooth DT Swiss hubs round out this speedy package.
Zipp 454 NSW Carbon Clincher
US$1,800 FRONT; US$2,200 REAR Using biomimicry to reduce aerodynamic drag and side forces, the 454 NSW Sawtooth rim design varies in width from 53 to 58 mm. The end result is the best performing Zipp wheel ever in terms drag and stability in cross winds. As with all the high-end NSW products, the Zipp engineers pulled out all the stops to ensure the 454 will rocket you to a PB – the Portuguese-made cognition hubs are combined with Belgian Sapim CX-RAY spokes to round out the super-fast package.
Shimano Dura Ace C60
$2,150 Thanks to the wider rim you get the best of aerodynamics and stability in Shimano’s speedy clincher wheelset that uses the company’s proprietary carbon construction process and spoke system to ensure you get a smooth ride. There’s an aluminum braking surface for optimal braking no matter what the conditions, while low maintenance, durable and smooth hubs keep you rolling (very quickly) whether you’re training or racing. Whenever we’ve tested a set of Dura-ace wheels we’ve been amazed at just how durable they are, all while providing outstanding aerodynamic performance.
Reynolds Strike Disc
$2,549 DISC BRAKE VERSION; $2,299 RIM BRAKE VERSION With many manufacturers developing bikes that use disc brakes (Cervélo P5X, Diamondback Andean, etc.) Reynolds offers up a stylish new set of wheels that will fit the bill. With a rim profile that’s optimized for wider tires (the de rigueur aero approach to aerodynamics these days) and the ability to go tubeless if you want, this durable, lightweight wheel becomes a great option for both training and racing. Waterslide graphics contribute to the stealth look while an increased front spoke count adds rotational stiffness.
Campagnolo Bora 80
$4,165 The Bora 50 was a dream wheel for roadies looking for the ultimate in aero, lightweight performance with it’s unpainted carbon rim and smooth hubs. Now Campy has a TT and triathlete version: the Bora 80. Each wheel is hand assembled by Campagnolo techs to ensure that you get maximal performance and reliability.
Powertap G3 SES 4.5
$4,320 The SES wheels use different rim geometries for the front and back to give you excellent aerodynamic performance in a variety of conditions. The G3 hub provides power measurement accurate to within 1.5 per cent, all on lightweight Enve rims to give you a wheelset that will perform on everything from a monstrous hill climb to highspeed rollers. This clincher wheelset is great for training and racing and, even with the power-measuring hub, weighs in at just 1,669 g.
Pro Disc Wheel Clincher
$2,400 When you want the ultimate in rearwheel aero performance you need to run a disc and Pro’s clincher disc is plenty fast and light. The 3K carbon material is sandwiched together in a special process to provide outstanding lateral stiffness and performance, while the smooth-spinning Ultegra hub finishes out the speedy package. Pro has included an oval cut-out that’s suitable for longer tube valves, too.
Profile Design 58/Twentyfour DB CL
$2,100 Another disc brake option for those investing in some of the new disc-only super-bikes, the 58-mm deep and 24-mm wide 58/Twentyfour DB CL is a clincher-rimmed aero speedster. Stainless steel Sapim Cx-raybladed spokes provide a smooth, aero ride and lots of lateral stiffness to ensure solid power transfer in this wheelset that weighs in at 1,740 g. The regular 58/ Twentyfour rims provide excellent braking characteristics, now braking is even sharper with this disc option.—km