The wheels on a road bike do all the hard work – they propel you forward, and absorb most of the shocks from imperfect roads. The overall performance of your bike largely depends on how reliable your wheelset is.
There’s no point spending hundreds of dollars on a frame and fork if it won’t be able to handle the stresses that come with riding fast over bumpy surfaces. We have discussed our top picks of the best road bike wheels under $300 in this article.
At a Glance:
- What To Look For In Road Bike Wheels
- Rim Depth:
- Rim Width:
- Superteam Road Bike Wheels 700c
- Vuelta ZeroLite Road Camp 10sp Wheelset
- Aeromax Alloy Wheelset 700c
- Shimano WH-RS11 Aluminum Clincher Wheelset
- Hunt Race Aero Wheelset 700
- Prime Baraoudeur Wheelset
- Fulcrum Racing 6 Wheelset
- CXD Road Bike Wheels 700
- Vision Team 35 Comp SL Wheelset
- What To Look For In A Wheelset
- What Size Rim Do I Need?
- What Spoke Count Is Most Effective?
- What Are Disc Wheels?
- How Much Do Wheels Cost?
- How Long Will My Wheels Last?
- How Often Should I Change My Tires?
- How Do I Choose the Right Tires?
- Best Road Bike Wheels under 300 – Final Verdict
What To Look For In Road Bike Wheels
This is one area where expensive carbon fiber wheels have an advantage – generally speaking, they’re designed to be lighter than aluminum alternatives. But don’t dismiss aluminum rims out of hand – you can get some very high-quality models that offer outstanding performance for the price.
Weight is significant because it affects your overall riding experience. The faster and harder you’re going, the bigger difference a couple of hundred grams makes to your overall effort. That’s why carbon fiber wheels are so popular with racers and other serious riders: they look amazing but they do make a noticeable difference on climbs and fast descents.
Going fast means moving as much air as possible out of the way. If there’s one word to describe aerodynamic wheel design, it’s “round”. This is why we see such pointy-looking things at professional races – those cyclists will do anything to gain an aerodynamic advantage.
Fortunately, there are plenty of rims designed with aerodynamics in mind that don’t look like they belong on a concept car. But if you want to go fast, it’s worth putting your money towards models that have been wind-tunnel tested and proven to be smooth and efficient.
An aluminum rim will bend under pressure rather than stainless steel spokes – but we’re not talking about your tires here (unless you’re carrying a lot of excess weight). The pressure put on the wheel by braking systems is massive – and can flex both carbon fiber and aluminum alike. If you do lots of downhill riding or ‘flat out’ sprints, make sure those wheels aren’t going to buckle when you squeeze hard on the levers.
This is another area where carbon fiber shines. The material itself is stiffer than aluminum, so it’s possible to build hubs with very tight ball bearings that let you ride over bumps without wasting any energy. But most alloy rim wheels use normal radial-contact bearings – these do wear out eventually, but they’re simple and affordable enough to replace when needed. In general, the more expensive the wheel, the better sealed its bearings are likely to be.
You want offset spoke beds that is clean, strong, and true. You don’t have to worry about this if you’re buying carbon fiber rims – the material itself is so stiff that there’s no chance of it buckling out under pressure. But alloy wheels come with a risk of spoke breakage when you ride over bumps or potholes too hard.
This is the distance between the rim and outer tire. Generally speaking, a deeper rim will provide a more aerodynamic ride – but they’re also heavier because of those extra materials.
As with road bike tires, there’s not much point of internal rim width as well – they won’t provide any more power to your pedals or speed.
|Design||Parts & Accessories||Retailer|
Superteam Road Bike Wheels 700cBest Pick
|Color||3D Red and White|
|Bike Type||Road Bike|
|Item Weight||1565 Grams|
Superteam road bike wheels are top-quality carbon rims that stand out for their high strength and rigidity. The rims provide unparalleled performance and they are lighter than ever, making them ideal for road racing.
Superteam carbon wheels use high-end technology to ensure excellent responsiveness. All this while being lightweight, strong, and durable, allowing you to have a pleasant time on the road.
The wheels are made up of fiber-Toray T700. It is lightweight without compromising sturdiness. The cassette body is fit for Shimano sets of speeds 8,9,10,11. There are 4 sizes available including 38mm, 50mm, 60mm, and 88mm.
For quality, elegance, and lightweight design, the Superteam carbon wheelset is a smart go!
Vuelta ZeroLite Road Camp 10sp WheelsetBudget Pick
|Bike Type||Road Bike|
|Item Weight||4.49 Pounds|
Vuelta Wheels is committed to making lightweight wheels that give you superior performance. You can’t get wrong with this Vuelta ZeroLite Road Camp 10sp Wheelset because it’s lighter than ever, without sacrificing strength.
The thin rims of Vuelta ZeroLite are made of high-quality carbon fiber and aluminum which is very durable for all types of riding conditions. The wheels are a black-spoke design in 700c size, with sealed bearing hubs. Weight (rear-wheel ) 1185g and ( front wheel ) 873g
Besides the aerodynamic features, The Vuelta Wheel rims are made of high-quality carbon fiber and aluminum rims which are very durable for any type of riding conditions. This lightweight wheelset is available in a black-spoke design with sealed bearing hubs. This provides a comfortable and durable ride for any type of rider.
Aeromax Alloy Wheelset 700cStaff Pick
|Brake Style||Rim Brakes|
|Bike Type||Road Bike, Mountain Bike|
Aeromax Alloy Wheelset 700c is one of the finest wheels sets available in the market. Aeromax makes the wheels on which we ship our goods and we make sure they offer high quality and performance to customers at a cheaper price. The diameter of this wheel is 700 mm and the width of the rim is 30 mm.
This rear bike wheel has a 3 ball/cone construction and a black finish. The spokes are made of Stainless Steel with a 3.0mm diameter and an aerodynamic 3.0mm spoke pattern, which is patented. Drilled for Presta valves With front wheels that measure 100 mm in the front and 130 mm in the back.
Its spokes ensure that the rider remains secure throughout the ride. Additionally, these wheels are ideal for daily commutes as well as for racing purposes, thus providing both a comfortable and smooth ride.
Shimano WH-RS11 Aluminum Clincher Wheelset
This Shimano WH-RS11 Aluminum Clincher Wheelset is one of the finest Shimano WH-RS11 Aluminum Clincher Wheelsets. This wheelset features a durable and lightweight design for all types of biking activities.
The 25mm high profile alloy rims and ceramic ball bearings offer smooth, speedy rides. Its aluminum hubs provide efficient power transfer, quick acceleration, and lesser overall pedaling power. Shimano WH-RS11 Aluminum Clincher Wheelset also has strong braking performance.
The weight distribution of Shimano WH-RS11 ( 1745g ) is efficient. They can be carried easily while mounted to your bicycle. This wheelset is also compatible with 8, 9, 10, and 11 speeds.
Hunt Race Aero Wheelset 700
In terms of weight, the Hunt Race Aero Clincher Wheelset is extremely lightweight, robust, and responsive. The Hunt Race Aero Clincher Wheelset provides a fantastic balance of price and performance. This allows you to enjoy the same speed and handling as professional riders without breaking the bank.
Hunt Race Aero Wheelset weighs about 1440g for the pair. It implies that each wheel weighs 700g, which is extremely light.
The 27mm deep rims enhance efficiency, but they also keep the front end responsive for tighter turning and enhanced control at higher speeds. This means you’ll be riding faster than ever when you’re navigating through the peloton or tackling plenty of switchbacks.
Another area where Hunt has blown everyone away is with its 6061-T6 aluminum alloy hubs, which have been forged and CNC machined. You can race through a wide range of terrains without having to worry about their longevity.
Even the quick releases have been improved to stay durable and light, weighing 33g for the front and 37g.
Prime Baraoudeur Wheelset
|Internal Rim Width||19mm|
|External Rim Width||23mm|
|Rider Weight Limit||100kg|
The Prime Baraoudeur Wheelset is strong and durable. These 700c alloy wheels have been designed with aero carbon-bladed lightweight spokes. These offer an advantage over regular straight-spoke wheels because they generate less drag while riding at high speeds.
The Baroudeur Discs aren’t anything fancy, but they’re fantastic. The branding is understated, and because the price is so cheap, you might mistake them for low-quality. But this aluminum disc wheelset delivers above and beyond its price tag.
The wheel’s centerline runs down the middle of the disc brake track and is 19mm wide internally, 22mm wide externally, and 30mm deep.
It’s a rounded design with a good balance of low weight for climbing, stability in strong winds, and some aero performance to assist you to keep your speed on the flats.
Fulcrum Racing 6 Wheelset
|RIM Height||Front: 24,5 mm and rear: 27,5 mm|
The Fulcrum Racing 6 Wheel Set is the finest bike wheelset you can buy for your riding style. This set is manufactured by Fulcrum Wheels Wheels, which are based in Italy. The company offers high-end quality products with an efficient price tag. These lightweight alloy wheels are made of aluminum and titanium alloys which allow lighter weight, greater strength, and high performance.
The wheels have good stiffness which is apparent during acceleration and deceleration. This stiffness increases the responsiveness of the wheel and reduces fatigue on the body and the bike. Besides, it looks great.
This wheelset is about 1760g, which is lighter than most alloy wheels in the market.
The Fulcrum Racing 6 Wheelset offers superior performance for racing or training, whether you’re looking for that extra edge on your rivals or trying to keep up with them.
CXD Road Bike Wheels 700
CXD carbon wheels are built with high-end technology to ensure excellent responsiveness. The wheels provide unmatched performance and they weigh less than ever, making them ideal for road racing. 700c wheels on the front and back give you a performance edge with disk brakes.
CXD is a unique wheel that comes with the same wheels on the front and rear, unlike most bikes where they are different sizes. This allows you to accelerate faster than others. The fusion of carbon fiber and aluminum has allowed us to reduce weight while increasing performance.
Apart from racing, it has been put to test on various terrains such as off-road, muddy conditions, and steep incline hills.
Vision Team 35 Comp SL Wheelset
|Drivetrain Compatibility||Shimano 10/11S, Sram 10/11S, FSA 11S|
Due to the black color throughout, their looks are quite stealthy at first. However, expect them to wear down over time, resulting in a less organized appearance. If you want some depth and don’t mind not being able to use tubeless tires, this is a decent choice.
Weight-wise, these tires weigh about 1780g and 1770g, which is lighter than most alloy wheels. It has a 35mm depth and weighs 1,780g, yet they are not overly bulky. The front end is radially built and uses an asymmetric 2:1 lacing pattern at the back, while the rear end employs aero-bladed spokes.
The Vision Team 35 Comp SL wheels are suitable for both training and those just getting started on-road cycling. The Team 35 SL wheelset includes many of the same characteristics as Vision’s top-end wheels.
What To Look For In A Wheelset
What Size Rim Do I Need?
Road bike rims should be no larger than 25mm wide at their widest point (this is called ‘internal width’). You can get away with a bit more for touring bikes because of how much extra weight they’re built to carry.
Don’t let your rims go too narrow, either – you’ll need at least 17mm of internal width for traditional tires with the sidewalls rolled up tightly. If you want to use wider tires, make sure your rims are around 18mm wide internally.
This is where carbon fiber wheels have an advantage over alloy models. This is because they’re stiffer and lighter than their aluminum counterparts. It’s possible to build them so narrow that they only take skinny tires.
What Spoke Count Is Most Effective?
Once again, we see price influencing choice here – but this time it’s more about quality than affordability.
Most alloy road bike wheels use 18 or 20 medium-width spokes front and rear (these should be straight-pull). The rear wheel does most of the work, so it requires more spokes than the front.
It’s worth spending a little extra on high-quality straight-pull spokes because they’re easier to replace in case of an accident or serious crash.
You want lightweight alloys for rims and sturdy, reliable steel straight-pulls for hubs. What Are Fat Rims?
Tubeless tires are becoming more popular than inner tubes with cyclists these days – especially when you consider how much energy is wasted every time you need to put air in your tires (the difference is surprising). That’s why some rims are built specifically for wider tire widths like 28mm (sometimes called ‘fat bike’ wheels) and above.
A wider rim means a flatter tire profile that’s not giving you any little bulges on the side. This lets you move faster without risking pinch flats when the roads are covered in debris.
What Are Disc Wheels?
Once upon a time, disc-style wheels were considered ‘cross-over’ items – designed for riding on mixed terrain at different speeds. These days, they’re road bike staples because of how much more effective they are at stopping your bike in an emergency.
Disc wheels can be made out of either carbon fiber or alloy metals. However, they’re only suitable for use with special brake systems that have rotors mounted to them instead of traditional calipers at the center of the wheel.
The here is that it’s possible to have much larger rotors without worrying about how stiff the wheel is. Therefore, you can use alloy materials to build them and achieve higher speeds using disc brakes.
The problem with this, of course, is that it’s very difficult (and expensive) to find a decent subset that’s suitable for road bikes. You’ll need to look for one with sealed bearings and the right specifications if you want it to last as long as possible.
If your rear hub goes bad after a few months, we strongly recommend upgrading it out of your pocket. This is because replacing it halfway through the season will only make things more expensive in the long run.
How Much Do Wheels Cost?
The more you spend on a new wheelset, the lighter they’re likely to be and the more durable they’re going to be. Alloy wheels are usually cheaper than carbon fiber models because the materials involved in making them (especially the rims) are relatively cheap in comparison.
However, it’s wise not to make cost a top priority when you’re shopping for a new wheelset.
Some manufacturers use alloy metals in their spokes and other crucial areas where durability is paramount. This makes lightweight aluminum alloy wheels less likely to break on you over time. However, they still have all of the performance advantages of carbon composites.
How Long Will My Wheels Last?
This question will get different answers depending on which manufacturer you ask – so take everything with a pinch of salt! The most common estimates seem to hover around 3,000 to 5,000 miles before you need to replace them entirely.
The problem is that the rate at which alloy wheels wear down depends on several factors including weight, terrain, and weather conditions.
A simple rule of thumb is to measure the level of the dish on your rear wheel after 1,000 miles. Then inspect it for cracks and other damage every 500 miles after that.
If you hit a pothole or something else while riding and hear a metallic clang in your spokes, stop immediately and check it for damage (especially if your rim looks bent).
How Often Should I Change My Tires?
If you want to get the maximum life out of your road bike tires, we recommend upgrading them when they’re worn down to around 2mm in thickness.
This usually happens after you’ve managed 4,000 miles on them. Therefore, it’s not a very frequent schedule – but you should be able to get at least another 1,000 out of your tires before they become completely worn out.
You don’t have to replace your whole wheelset if one part is damaged or worn beyond repair. Instead, swap over the tire and continue using the rest of the rim.
This will save you money and mean that you’ll never have to turn around halfway through an important ride because of a flat tire! If there’s any kind of debris lodged in your tire or tube, carefully remove it with a penknife then patch up the puncture neatly as possible (avoiding any small rubber fragments).
How Do I Choose the Right Tires?
The first thing you need to do is decide if you want a clincher, tubular, or tubeless tire – and we’ll look over your options in more detail below. Once you make this decision, it’s time to move on to sizing.
Since tires are usually purchased by the “inch” this means that you should measure your old ones (without inflating them) and then pick out one with an equivalent width.
It’s advisable not to exceed the maximum width of each rim type because it can cause problems when installing your brand-new tires/tubes.
Overall width – For clincher tires, choose between 20mm or 23mm depending on how “squishy” you want the rubber to feel when you press down on it. If you have deep-section rims, choose 23mm to reduce rolling resistance and wind drag so that your bike will be faster in races.
Width of tires – You should always go for wider tires if they’ll fit because it gives you more grip and cushioning in addition to making up for any imperfections on the road with thicker sidewalls.
If you’re using 25C width tires, try switching them out for 28C ones instead. These tires are usually 30% wider but still roll smoothly because of their smaller inner rim widths.
Best Road Bike Wheels under 300 – Final Verdict
After reviewing all the best road bike wheels under 300, we have come to the conclusion that:
The Vision Team 35 Comp SL Wheelset is the most versatile of all, as you can use it for road racing and training with amazing speed and responsiveness.
But if you’re looking for a dedicated pair of track wheels then I’d recommend going with the Hunt Race Aero Clincher Wheelset. It’s light, durable, and provides smooth control and handling at high speeds.
If you’re not riding on the track, then my final recommendation is the Fulcrum Racing 6 Wheelset. It’s the most affordable option for training or racing because it has an efficient price tag that won’t hurt your wallet.