Need Advise on wheels


New Member
Dec 11, 2010
Hey guys, I have an Orbea Aqua and wanted to put it on a diet for summer racing and was looking for some advise on wheels. I was looking at just doing a carbon rear wheel and leave the front wheel alone. Or should I go with both wheels and just do aluminum wheels. So I guess my question is which would be a better choice? I'm trying to minimize my cost obviously.
Thanks guys


Well-Known Member
Oct 3, 2006
I wouldn't mix and match full carbon with aluminum rims, carbon rims with alloy brake tracks sure but not full carbon with aluminum. The braking characteristics are different between full carbon rims (with carbon/basalt brake tracks) vs. alloy braking surfaces especially if you get caught out in the rain.

I'd personally go with an affordable set of wheels that's reasonably aero as well as reasonably light for race wheels and unless you plan to have both dry race day and wet race day wheels (or never race/train fast in the rain) then I'd go with something aluminum. My favorites in this class of wheel are the Rolf Vigors or American Classic 420s. Both use the same rim, Rolf just laces them up a bit differently with fewer spokes but either set comes in really light at around 1500 grams for a 34mm deep aero rim. You can find good deals on them new and often used in great shape on ebay or craigslist or you can often find good deals especially on new old stock AC 420s around the web like here:

If you don't want to spend quite that much the Reynolds Solitude is a nice fairly deep and fairly light wheelset:

And if you've got the cash it's hard to go wrong with one of the carbon/alloy offerings from Hed or Zipp but you're paying a premium for those names if you go that route.

Good luck,


Active Member
Jul 31, 2003
You haven't really defined what it is that you want from these wheels, or what you are riding at the moment.

Assuming you are after aerodynamics (a much larger contributor to performance than weight), then the budget beating step would be to buy a deep dish front wheel. It is the front wheel that has the greater effect on aerodynamics and front wheels just happen to be cheaper than rears too. As mentioned above remaining with aluminium brake tracks ensures that you get consistent feel and power front to rear.

In any case I've seen too many carbon brake tracks with molding/joining problems (causing severe shudder) or which just don't stop well enough, to bother with full carbon wheels. Only the most expensive (and i mean EXPENSIVE) jobs have ever been able to provide consistent braking, and they still need specialised brake pads to get anywhere near the power..

I would add FFWD wheels to the above list. I have a set of their F6R-C wheels which have 58mm depth, aluminium clincher rims and spin on the gold standard DT 240 hubs. They are hand build in The Netherlands and use J-bend spokes which are easy to find and replace when repairs are needed. Can be found on-line at very decent prices and the quality is very good. FFWD also do various other rim depths as well as discs and track wheels. full carbon tubular only jobs for all forms of road, TT or track racing.

Another worth considering is Citec from Germany. They do clincher and tubular versions, but interestingly their tubulars, despite having a full carbon rim structure, feature bonded and machined aluminium brake tracks so you don't have to change pads. Nifty.


New Member
Apr 2, 2009
Some more information about you would definitely be helpful. Weight, riding style/preferences, and price range.