There were carbon bicycle wheels over twenty years ago, don’t get me wrong. However, very few of them were considered durable enough to be everyday riding equipment. That has all changed today.
Many carbon wheel offerings in the ’90’s and early ’00’s were deep and aero, but could also be terrifying for many riders when the wind was blowing. While we haven’t totally solved side wind, a modern rim with its wide profile and blunt nose and a set of wider tires is a lot more predictable and stable feeling than older aero wheels with narrow and sharp rims and hard, narrow tires. Likewise, carbon wheels are no longer just for aerodynamics. Carbon wheels are available in a wide range of rim depths to suit all types of riding (MTB, gravel, road, tri…) and all types of riders.
Thankfully, as rim design improved, so did many hubs. There were fast and low friction hubs on some of the most popular carbon wheels of twenty years ago, but they were often also maintenance intense and not very well sealed against the elements. With advances in bearing technology and application as well as improvements in basic hub construction, today’s performance oriented hubs often provide a smooth and fast ride with minimal maintenance.
In 2023, carbon wheels are commonplace on many enthusiast level bikes. They often offer stronger warranty and equal (or lower) failure rates to aluminum rims. Carbon wheels are no longer “race day only”; you can enjoy the benefits of a nice set of wheels with each and every ride.
Contact us to discuss a new set of wheels!
View the full list of the biggest road bicycle innovations since year 2000.