Carbon WheelsetsNew bike day! Shiny new bike! Best day ever!

Purchasing a new (or new to you) bike is a great catalyst for your health and fitness. A new bike can renew your commitment to cycling. It can give you a reason for registering for that organized ride. How about a race at the end of the season? Anything is possible with a new bike.

I remember the first day I got my last new bike. I felt so powerful going up hills. My body felt like a transformed engine that could gracefully move through any stretch of road. I was inspired to make the ride I was on into the best ride of my life.

I felt like I was better on my new bike. And once I got used to my new ride, I began to imagine how I could make my bike better.

There are so many different ways to upgrade your bike. Upgrading specific components can shave grams if not pounds off your bike.

Most of us could stand to lose a pound or two. This is the cheapest and most effective way to “upgrade” our ride. This performance gain is unparalleled at every level and ability.

Every bike upgrade is centered around saving weight. Every bike upgrade is measured in grams. Not only is the material the component is made from identified, but the proprietary process that goes into manufacturing the material is highlighted, too.

Titanium, ceramic, and aluminum are some of the materials utilized in many upgrades. The multitude of carbon fiber processes and materials requires a Ph.D. in astrophysics to begin to understand the features and benefits.

It can all get very confusing very quickly. Will a titanium seat post really make a difference? Do I need carbon rails on my saddle? How much do ceramic bearings cost for my rear derailleur? Can I really feel $400 worth of difference?

Depending on your experience level and how many different bikes you have ridden, yes, you may be able to feel the difference between stock handlebars and carbon fiber bars wrapped in lightweight bar tape.

The one upgrade any cyclist can appreciate and feel no matter their level of experience is a new performance wheelset. Here’s why.

Without going into the physics of the upgrade, weight savings at the wheel is the most significant performance gain you can make on the bike. Add in the benefit of overcoming the frictional forces of air, there can be even greater performance gains.

All this means is that not only will a new performance wheelset make your bike lighter, it will feel lighter with every pedal stroke.

Here is a list of 10 wheelsets that can make an immediate and dramatic difference to your next ride.

Reynolds Stratus Elite Road Bike Wheelset

This wheelset may save you a few grams of rotational weight. Plus, they have a definite cool factor that every new wheelset provides.

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Mavic Aksium Wheelset 2017

This is a tried and true favorite. Low on technology and low on price. High on value. This will most likely save you a few grams at 1880 grams a set. While adding a classic look to any ride.

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Shimano Ultegra WH-RS500 Road Wheelset

Shimano is the most popular brand of components in the world. Ultegra is the penultimate line in their wide range of components. Weighing in at 1649 grams for the set, this wheelset is a great first upgrade.

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HED Ardenne Plus LT Wheelset

This high-performance wheelset combines the strength and reliability of aluminum and adds a deeper aerodynamic shape. At a light 1535 grams, you will feel faster on the bike. This wheelset delivers incredible value!

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Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clincher v3 Road Wheel

Zipp is a leading carbon fiber wheel manufacturer located here in the United States. These wheels utilize the latest technology in regards to design and manufacturing process. At 1690 grams per set, their aerodynamic advantage is second to none.

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Easton EC90 Aero 700c Carbon Road Clincher

Easton is another US manufacturer of wheels. Lighter than the Zipp at 1580 grams, you will be hard-pressed to find a lighter more aero wheel in this category.

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Zipp 202 Firecrest Carbon Clincher Wheelset

What this wheel lacks in aerodynamics, it makes up for in versatility. Constructed to be used in any conditions especially high winds, it is the ultimate wheel for climbers. At 1450 grams, you will not find a lighter or more durable wheelset.

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Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 C24 Carbon Laminate Road Wheelset

Another climbers companion comes from Shimano’s top of the line racing group. Carbon fiber for lightness and stiffness. And an aluminum braking surface for reliable stopping power.

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PowerTap GS ENVE SES 3.4 Carbon Clincher Wheelset

This is a premium lightweight and versatile wheelset. Offset rim depths allow these wheels to be ridden in varying wind conditions. Both lightweight at 1593 grams and aerodynamic.

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Zipp 808 NSW Carbon Clincher Road Wheel

Go Deep! This wheel provides the ultimate aero advantage. There is a lot of carbon fiber built into this 1885 gram wheelset. These deep rims will give you the greatest performance gains on your next solo endurance ride.

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