|Total Weight||Spoke Count||Item Weight||Size|
|2151 grams (set)||Rear – 24, Front – 24||8.65 pounds||700c|
|1763 grams (set)||Rear – 20, Front – 18||9.8 pounds||700c|
|1725 grams (set)||Rear – 21, Front – 16||4 pounds||700c|
|1640 grams (set)||Rear – 20 straight pull, Front – 16 straight pull||9.5 pounds||700c|
|2200 grams (set)||Read – 24, Front – 24||7 pounds||700c|
Last Update September 8th, 2016 Whether you’ve been riding for a few weeks or for many years, just about every bike enthusiast knows how important the wheels are to their safety, comfort, and speed when riding. A simple wheel upgrade can do wonders to your riding experience, but there are many factors to consider when comparing road bike wheels, especially when you’re aiming to stay under a certain price. We know that you don’t want to spend countless hours searching the internet for various product specifications, comparisons, and prices, so we’ve done the bulk of the work for you. Whether you want to upgrade your current commuter bike, increase the comfort of your ride, or simply log more miles with ease, you need the best road bike wheels, and we’ve compiled five of the best road bike wheels under $500, made to help you stick to your budget and compare all the important specs and details of all of your options.
Total Weight: 2151 grams (set)
Spoke Count: Rear – 24, Front – 24
Item Weight: 8.65 pounds
The ZeroLite Comp Clincher wheels are hand built and have sealed bearing hubs and aero stainless steel spokes. This wheelset comes with rims, spokes, hubs, and quick release, so they simply need to be mounted with tires, tubes, and gear, and then they’ll be ready to ride. The traditional spoke heads used on these wheels offer optimal strength and durability, further proving the manufacturer’s commitment to top-of-the-line engineering and state-of-the-art application technology. While these wheels are a bit on the heavier side, the ZeroLite Comp Clincher Wheels are an excellent choice for someone looking for training or commuting wheels but not wishing to spend a ton of money. They are also a great option for casual riders or beginners, or for those seasoned riders who wish to save a great deal of money on an extra set of wheels.
Total Weight: 2200 grams (set)
Spoke Count: Read – 24, Front – 24
Item Weight: 7 pounds
This wheelset is hand built, and every wheel is stressed three times and tried to a tolerance of 0.3. The wheels come with rim strips and skewers, and they have normal quick-release skewered hubs. These wheels are comparable to wheelsets that cost three times as much, particularly when comparing durability, look, and overall quality. Some riders who have used these wheels have put well over 1000 miles on them with no problems whatsoever and are still thrilled with the way they remain true and spin perfectly. These Aeromax Alloy Wheels are a great option for upgrading from stock wheels for riders of any level—whether casually riding, commuting, training, racing, or more, these wheels will get the job done and leave you with a faster, more responsive, and overall better ride.
Total Weight: 1763 grams (set)
Spoke Count: Rear – 20, Front – 18
Item Weight: 9.8 pounds
The Fulcrum name is synonymous with quality, and these entry-level wheels are no different. They boast an oversized flange and state-of-the-art Spoke Dynamic Balance technology. The different rim height (24 mm at the front and 27.5 mm at the rear) allows easy handling and proper power placement on your bike. The asymmetric rear rim profile offers better balance, better reactivity, and more efficiency. While the Fulcrum Racing 7 Road wheels are technically considered entry-level and are primarily for beginners, a seasoned rider is sure to enjoy these high-quality wheels for the low price. They are an excellent value and are sure to make any riders’ wheel upgrade a pleasant and exciting one.
Total Weight: 1725 grams (set)
Spoke Count: Rear – 21, Front – 16
Item Weight: 4 pounds
The newer Scirocco wheelset is unique due to its 35 mm high profile. With an aluminum braking rim, Mega G3 spoking on the rear wheel, and quick release skewers, this wheelset is great for a rider looking for an upgrade to a great set of wheels for an affordable price. They are lightweight, but not so much so that you have to pay an arm and a leg to shave off a few seconds from your riding time. These wheels are suitable for any riding surface, offer aerodynamic rides, and are incredibly responsive. If you’re looking for a solid investment into some great wheels but still don’t want to break the bank, the Campagnolo Scirocco H35s are a great buy.
Total Weight: 1640 grams (set)
Spoke Count: Rear – 20 straight pull, Front – 16 straight pull
Item Weight: 9.5 pounds
It’s hard to beat the quality of Shimano products, and this wheelset is no different, especially at the great price! This tubeless-ready design has a new freehub with a new cone digital adjustment system, which is made to diffuse quick release tension. This lessens the load on the bearings, therefore enabling smoother spinning and improved durability. The Shimano Ultegra WH-6800 wheelset has a wide flange hub and was hand-assembled, which improves reliability. For anyone looking for a significant upgrade from stock or very inexpensive wheels, these are a fantastic option. They are sturdy and stiff, fairly lightweight, and very aerodynamic. And for the price, you just can’t go wrong.
If you still doubt about the importance of the wheels in a bicycle, watch this video: