The 6 Best Chinese Carbon Mountain Bike Wheels (2021)

MTB Wheels Rim during assembly

CyclistsHub is supported by its readers. If you buy products using our links, we may receive a commission (learn more).

This is a selection of the best Chinese wheels mountain bike wheels. I selected them based on reviews and experiences of riders worldwide to provide you with the best recommendation possible.

Please, keep in mind that if you are a demanding rider who pushes his (or her) mountain bike to its limits, carbon rims are probably not the best option for your riding style (learn more).

In this article, you also learn how to identify established and reliable Chinese carbon manufacturers, what to be aware of when buying Chinese carbon wheels, and much more.


Before You Buy Chinese Carbon MTB Wheels

Before you decide to buy Chinese mountain bike wheels (or Chinese carbon products in general), make sure that the brand meets the following criteria:

  • Has an effective quality control process, eventually certified products.
  • Has positive customer reviews.
  • Provide responsive and helpful customer support.
  • Covers its products with a warranty and has a transparent refund policy.
  • Offers reliable shipping and packs its products in protective packaging.

If the manufacturer meets these criteria, you greatly increase the chance of spending your money wisely and avoiding the potential hassle.

Learn more about Chinese bicycle brands and brands that are worth your attention.


What Are the Best Chinese Carbon MTB Wheels?

I selected only wheels covered by a warranty (eventually a crash replacement program) to this selection. The following wheels were also properly stress tested and passed quality control processes.

MTB 27.5er wheelset.jpg
Rinasclta 27.5″ MTB Tubeless Wheels

Read More

826ee8fd5c
Farsports Asymmetric 29″

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub50‘ at www.wheelsfar.com at the end of the checkout page to get 50 USD off your purchase.

Read More

e017172edc
Farsports Ultralight 29″

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub50‘ at www.wheelsfar.com at the end of the checkout page to get 50 USD off your purchase.

Read More

If you don’t know where to begin choosing Chinese carbon MTB wheels, I recommend reading the buyer’s guide first.

Rinasclta 27.5″ & 29″ MTB Tubeless Wheels

MTB 27.5er wheelset.jpg
Rinasclta 27.5″ MTB Tubeless Wheels (also available in 29″ size) | Source: rinasclta.com

Technical Specifications

  • Wheel size: 27.5″ or 29″
  • Rim width: Optionable (from 28 to 35mm)
  • Rim depth: Optionable (from 24 to 35mm)
  • Tires type: Clincher (tubeless-ready)
  • Weight: Depends on the setup
  • Hubs: Optionable (Novatec, DT Swiss, Powerway)
  • Axle
    • QR: F 9*100mm / R 9*135mm
    • Thru-axle: F 15*100mm / R 12*142mm
  • Rider’s weight limit: n/a

Rinasclta is known for its ability to customize products. For their mountain bikes, you can choose:

  • Symmetrical or asymmetrical rim’s geometry
  • Hubs (Novatec, DT Swiss, or Powerway)
  • Spokes (Chinese CN spokes, Pillar, Sapim)
  • Rim size
  • Decals (including your own decals)
  • Rim finish (matte or glossy)
  • And Carbon weave type (UD Black, 1K, and 3K)

So if you know what you expect from the new carbon wheels and are familiar with various types of hubs, spokes, etc., Rinasclta wheels may be an interesting choice for you.

Keep in mind that these features affect the final price of the wheelset as you spec it up.

Of course, you can choose from two sizes, 27.5″ and 29″, according to your preferences.

In case of any questions, you can get in touch with Rinasclta’s customer support which is very responsive and helpful.

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub10‘ at www.rinascltabike.com at the end of the checkout page to get 10 USD off your purchase.


Farsports Asymmetric 29″

826ee8fd5c
Farsports Asymmetric 29″ | Source: wheelsfar.com

Technical Specifications

  • Wheel size: 29″
  • Rim width: Optionable (from 28 to 36mm)
  • Rim depth: Optionable
  • Tires: Clincher (tubeless-ready), hookless
  • Optionable finish
  • Weight: Depending on wheels (1280-1460g)
  • Hubs: Optionable (DT Swiss)
  • Axle:
    • F 15*100mm / R 12*142mm
    • F 15*110mm / R 12*148mm
  • Rider’s weight limit: 120kg

Farsports is an established carbon wheels manufacturer from China. They were established in 2004, and since then, they develop and manufacture carbon wheels for all types of bikes, including MTBs.

Their offer Ultralight series includes Asymmetric 29er MTB wheels—their asymmetry results in better durability and stiffness. Make sure to also check out the Ultralight (non asymmetric).

These wheels meet the ISO 4210 standard, and according to Farsports, their internal impact tests are even stricter.

You can choose the rim finish (UD matte or satin finish), hub spec depending on your axle, hub (Shimano, XD, or XTR), and also nipples (black alloy, black brass, red alloy).

The rim depth and width vary depending on the specific option. You can choose it as well.

Farsports wheels are covered by a 2-year warranty.

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub50‘ at www.wheelsfar.com at the end of the checkout page to get 50 USD off your purchase.


Farsports Ultralight 29″

e017172edc
Farsports Ultralight 29″ | Source: wheelsfar.com

Technical Specifications

  • Wheel size: 29″
  • Rim width: Optionable (from 27 to 35mm)
  • Rim depth: Optionable
  • Tires: Clincher (tubeless-ready), hookless
  • Optionable finish
  • Weight: Depending on wheels (1215-1375g)
  • Hubs: Optionable (DT Swiss)
  • Axle:
    • F 15*100mm / R 12*142mm
    • F 15*110mm / R 12*148mm
  • Rider’s weight limit: 120kg

Farsports Ultralight MTB wheels (non asymmetric) are lighter than the asymmetric wheels. So, if you are a weight weenie, these should catch your attention.

The main differences are the hubs (DT Swiss 350 on asymmetric and DT Swiss 240 on non-asymmetric version). Other specs like the rim depths and widths are more or less the same.

Even these Ultralight wheels meet the ISO 4210 standard, and you can choose hub type, finish, and nipples.

The warranty is also the same. You get a 2-year warranty.

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub50‘ at www.wheelsfar.com at the end of the checkout page to get 50 USD off your purchase.


ICAN Trail F935 & Enduro F935E

29er MTBframe F935 NOV902 791 1
ICAN Trail F935 & Enduro F935E Wheels | Source: icancycling.com

Technical Specifications

  • Wheel size: 29″
  • Rim width: 40mm (external), 34mm (internal)
  • Rim depth: 32mm
  • Tires: Clincher (tubeless-ready)
  • Weight
    • Trail: F 876g / R 1083g
    • Enduro: F 960g / R 1174g
  • Hubs: F Novatec 791 / R Novatec 902
  • Axle: F 15*110mm / R 12*148mm
  • Rider’s weight limit: n/a

ICAN produces not only carbon road bike wheels but also a few MTB-specific wheelsets. Their Enduro F935E and Trail F935 are very similar.

The only difference between these two is that the Enduro F935E wheels are slightly heavier due to the larger number of spokes (32) for increased durability. It is expected that enduro riders will ride in more challenging terrain. The Trail F935 version weighs 1959g and has 28 spokes.

You can choose hub body type (Shimano 10/11 speed, Shimano 12 speed, or SRAM XD Driver) to ensure compatibility with your groupset.

Both these wheelsets are very affordable, so if you have a tight budget, but you want to upgrade to carbon rims, ICAN wheels are worth buying.

Use the following code ‘cyclistshub‘ on www.icancycling.com to get 5% off your purchase.


If you are interested in building a whole new mountain bike, make sure to check out these Chinese carbon MTB frames.


Light Bicycle MTB Wheels (Recon Pro Series)

asymmetric bike wheels paintless
Light Bicycle Recon Pro Wheelset XC725 | Source: lightbicycle.com

Technical Specifications

  • Wheel size: 27.5″ or 29″
  • Rim width: Optionable (from 22 to 50mm)
  • Rim depth: Optionable
  • Tires: Clincher (tubeless-ready)
  • Weight: Depending on wheels
  • Hubs: Optionable (DT Swiss, Chris King, Industry Nine, Hope, etc.)
  • Axle: Optionable (mostly 12*148mm BOOST)
  • Rider’s weight limit: Depending on wheels

Light Bicycle, like Rinasclta, offers the possibility of customizing wheelsets. They take it to a whole new level, though. You can choose almost everything during the order. From rims width, rims depth, through spokes, spokes count, to hubs, hubs color, etc.

Thanks to investments in R&D and many years of experience in carbon processing (Light Bicycle has been on the market since 2011), you can be sure that their bikes are high quality and reliable.

Currently, Light Bicycle produces 2 main series of MTB bikes – Recon and Recon Pro. These differ in that Recon Pro models are manufactured using an innovative process, ensuring the wheels don’t need paint or polish when removed from the mold. They are also 3-5% stronger than equivalent Recon rims and are covered by a five-year warranty (Recons have a 3-year warranty).

The disadvantage of Recon Pro rims is that they are more expensive, available in only two sizes (27.5″ and 29″), and come in the paintless finish.

Depending on what types of wheels you are looking for, I recommend using filters on their website to help you choose the right wheels for your riding style.


My Verdict

Some online markets are flooded with unbranded Chinese wheels. I don’t recommend buying them because you don’t know where they come from, and eventual claims may be a hassle.

Get branded Chinese carbon wheels from established manufacturers instead. This article includes only properly tested MTB wheels covered by a warranty. And in case of any issues, you can always contact the brand’s customer support for assistance.

Read the following guide to find out how to choose Chinese carbon MTB wheels and avoid beginner’s mistakes.


How to Choose the Best Chinese Carbon MTB Wheels?

Before you buy a set of carbon mountain bike wheels, you should answer the following question that can save you hundreds of dollars.

Are you a very demanding and aggressive rider who pushes your bike to its limits?

If the answer is yes and you bent some aluminum wheels already, carbon wheels (and it doesn’t matter if they are from a mainstream brand or China) are probably not the best choice for you. They tend to crack more easily and are harder to repair than aluminum rims.

Jeff Cayley from Worldwide Cyclery did a great video on this topic.

Carbon MTB wheels are great for riders who don’t push their bikes to their limits but not for highly demanding riders.

Wheels Size

Today’s mountain bikes usually come with 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. 26″ were more common in the past.

Depending on the frame you use (some frames are designed specifically for certain wheel sizes) and your personal preference, I recommend getting 27.5″ or 29″ wheels.

27.5″ wheels are better for shorter people or riders who like a more agile bike (smaller wheels accelerate faster).

29″ wheels are suitable for taller riders, but I have a friend who measures 5’ 1½″ (156 cm) and uses them too. Thanks to their bigger inertia, 29inch wheels can maintain speed better and are more stable than 27.5inch wheels. Their larger contact area also ensures better traction.

26" vs 27.5" vs 29" wheels
Comparison of 26″, 27.5″, and 29″ mountain bike wheels

Rim Width

The wider the rims, the wider and higher-volume tires can accommodate. Depending on the terrain you want to ride in, don’t forget to consider the appropriate rim width.

Rim inner & outer width
Rim inner & outer width

Matt Miller from Singletracks.com did a great job at explaining this topic in-depth. So if you want to learn more, don’t miss his guide on mountain bike rim widths.

Internal Rim WidthRecommended Tire WidthDiscipline
20-25mm2-2.25″Cross-country
23-27mm2.25-2.5″Trail riding
27-35mm2.3-2.6″Enduro
All-mountain
DH
Freeride
32-50mm2.8-3.8″Plus-size tires
49-100mm3.5-5.2″Fatbike

Source: singletracks.com

Clincher vs. Tubular vs. Tubeless

Should you get clincher, tubular, or tubeless wheels? Well, that’s a good question that I answer below.

clincher tubular tubeless
Clincher vs. Tubular vs. Tubeless Tires

Clincher

Clinchers are pretty popular thanks to their user-friendliness. Replacing the inner tube after a puncture is much easier than replacing tubular tires, for example.

Their main downside is that they are prone to puncture because they won’t allow you to inflate lower pressures (as tubular or tubeless do), and they also may feel slower due to higher overall weight.

NOTE: If the wheels are ‘clincher tubeless-ready,’ you can use them with tubeless tires (read more).

Tubeless

Tubeless tires are also very popular among mountain bikers because they have a self-repairing ability. The sealant can fill out small holes, so you will still be most likely able to continue on your ride if you puncture in terrain.

This type of tire will also allow you to inflate lower pressures, so they are more comfortable and less prone to puncture to standard clinchers.

The main downside of tubeless tires is their higher price and difficulty when replacing them.

Tubular

Yes, there are also MTB tubular tires. They are not very common among mountain bikers because they don’t bring many benefits to mountain biking. Replacing them is more difficult, and the gluing process can be messy for newbies.

The table below summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of individual types of wheels.

Wheel/TireProsCons
Clincher• Easy to replace
• Easy to repair
• More prone to puncture
• Heavier than tubular or tubeless
Tubular• Allows very low and high tire pressure
• Less prone to puncture
• Lightweight
• Difficult to replace
• Difficult to repair
• More expensive than clincher
Tubeless• Allows lower tire pressure
• Self-repairing capability (sealant fills out small holes)
• Difficult to replace
• Difficult to repair
• More expensive than clincher

Sources: theproscloset.com, cyclingtips.com

Weight

The truth is that high-end aluminum mountain bike wheels can be as light as a pair of carbon wheels. So, what weight should you aim for?

Well, it depends. MTB wheels come in many more options than road bike wheels. The weight is affected mainly by the wheel size, rims, hubs, and spokes.

The best way to compare the weight of the wheels is to find a wheelset from a mainstream manufacturer in the same price range and make your own decision.

Hubs

“What spins on a bike has to be high-quality,” says my friend. And hubs are no exception. High-quality hubs are important to ensure the best performance possible.

Some Chinese manufacturers allow you to customize the hubs. There are also Chinese brands that develop their own hubs.

So, how do you find out whether or not the hubs are good? That’s a good question. You have to either rely on the hubs manufacturer’s reputation or customer reviews.

Axle Standard

Quick-releases are not as common anymore as through-axles that are, according to Bikeradar, more secure and also stiffer.

When buying new wheels, you have to be aware of the axle standard. Otherwise, you may not be able to fit your new wheels into your frame.

Luckily, most new bikes are compatible with a Boost axle (110×15mm front axle and 148×12mm rear axle).

Other Features to Consider

Engagement angleAccording to DT Swiss, engagement angle is the maximum degree that the freehub body can rotate until the teeth of the freehub system engage and accelerate the hub. This angle is calculated by dividing 360º by the number of engagement points of the freehub system.

What does this mean?

The more engagement points, the faster acceleration. However, more engagement points require a larger hub and also increase its weight. As DT Swiss explains, there is always a tradeoff between the weight, points of engagement, and reliability.

Feel free to read more about the engagement angle in the in-depth DT Swiss guide.

Spokes – the number of spokes influences the overall stiffness, durability, and weight of the wheels. More spokes often ensure better durability but increase the weight. So it depends on your riding style (and weight) whether to go for lighter, less durable wheels or heavier, more durable wheels.

Weight limit – remember that wheels come with the rider’s weight limit. If you are a heavy rider 220 lb and more (100 kg+), make sure you get wheels designed for your weight.

Rim depth – although aerodynamics is not as important on mountain bikes as on road bikes, some wheels are deeper or shallower than others. The general rule of thumb is that the deeper the wheels, the more aero they are but their weight increases.

What is included in the package – Carbon wheels often come with rim tape, valve extender, brake pads, extra spokes, etc. These small “things” are a nice detail that will save you time and money because you don’t have to order them separately.


Chinese Carbon Mountain Bike Wheels FAQ


This post is regularly updated to provide you with the most up-to-date tips on products. If you find a product that is not up to date, please, contact me.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top