The 8 Best Chinese Carbon Wheels for a Road Bike

Best Chinese Carbon Wheels

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Chinese carbon wheels are very attractive thanks to their price-performance ratio. But it is not very easy to find a wheelset that you can really rely on. The online markets are flooded by unbranded carbon wheels from China…

That’s why I selected the best Chinese carbon wheels for a road bike from established and reliable manufacturers who test their products. They also provide a warranty, so in case something goes wrong, you are covered.

  • The best budget Chinese carbon wheels are the ICAN 38mm. It is not the lightest pair of wheels in this selection, but they provide the best price-value ratio when you consider their price.
  • The best premium Chinese carbon wheels are the Winspace HYPER. According to independent wind tunnel testing by HambiniEngineering, they are faster than ZIPP 404, ENVE 7.8, and many other (much more expensive) wheels. Thanks to a unique carbon layering process, they also look super cool and premium.

This article also includes wheelsets for rim & disc brakes, lightweight wheels, deep-section aero wheels, and a carbon wheels buyer’s guide.

Let’s get started!

Table Of Contents


What Are the Best Chinese Carbon Wheels?

All wheels below are covered by a warranty. They were manufactured by trustworthy Chinese bicycle brands, and properly tested.

Remember, most of the wheels are shipped from China. This means that the delivery can take several weeks, and you will have to pay import fees (learn more).

Feel free to read the buyer’s guide section first if you don’t know how to choose carbon wheels.

ICAN 38mm Road Bike Wheels (Best Budget Carbon Wheels)

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ICAN 38mm Road Bike Wheels | Source: icancycling.com

Main Features

  • Brake Type: Rim
  • Tires Type: Clincher or tubular
  • Weight: 1505g (CN spokes), 1410g (Sapim spokes)
  • Rim width: 23mm (external), 16mm (internal)
  • Rim depth: 38mm
  • Rider’s weight limit: 95kg (209lb)

If you are looking for affordable carbon wheels ideal for climbing your local hills, these are a perfect choice.

ICAN also allows you to opt-for hub for Shimano/SRAM cassettes or Campagnolo cassettes and Mac Aero CN 494 or Sapim CX-Ray spokes. The first ones are ideal for aero oriented riders (they are more aero but heavier), and the second ones for climbers (the wheelset is around 100g lighter).

These wheels are available in clincher or a tubular option and are covered by 2 years warranty.

If you order directly from ICAN’s website, you can take advantage of their US, European, or JP warehouse so the delivery will be faster.

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


Winspace HYPER (Best Premium Carbon Wheels)

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Winspace HYPER | Source: winspace.cc

Main Features

  • Brake Type: Rim or disc
  • Tires Type: Clincher (tubeless-ready)
  • Weight
    • Rim brake: 38mm 1267g, 50mm 1349g, 65mm 1498g
    • Disc brake: 38mm 1343g, 50mm 1425g, 65mm 1608g
  • Rim width: 26mm (external), 19mm (internal)
  • Rim depths: 38mm, 50mm, 65mm
  • Rider’s weight limit: 135kg (300lb)

As always, I will be honest with you. These wheels are my dream wheels. I am a huge fan of their “butterfly” finish. But, their benefits only start there.

Winspace completely reinvented the way how they made these wheels. They are fast, faster than Zipp, Enve, Mavic, and wheels by other brands. According to an independent wind tunnel testing by HambiniEngineering, this was the fastest wheelset they have ever tested.(Source)

You can choose the rim or disc brakes option, and various rim depths are also available. Winspace provides free worldwide shipping.

Winspace HYPER wheels are covered by a two-year warranty. Due to high demand, they are often sold out, so make sure to be quick once they are back in stock.


YOELEO SAT C50|50 Pro

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YOELEO SAT C50|50 Pro | Source: yoeleobike.com

Main Features

  • Brake Type: Rim
  • Tires Type: 23mm (clincher), 25mm (clincher, tubeless), 27mm (clincher, tubeless)
  • Weight: Around 1510g depending on rims depth, width, and hubs
  • Rim widths: 23mm, 25mm, 27mm
  • Rim depths: 50mm
  • Rider’s weight limit: 105kg (231lb)

YOELEO produces UCI-approved wheels that you can use in official UCI events. SAT C50|50 Pro are one of their best-selling models.

On the YOELEO website, you can customize what hubs you want (DT Swiss), so you can use either Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo cassette.

These wheels are sold in 2 color options – black glossy or no decal, so if you are a minimalist and like matt black, go for no decal.

The packing includes titanium quick releases, ceramic brake pads, extra spokes, and valve extenders, which is a nice plus.

YOELEO wheels are covered by a 3years warranty which is above the standard of 2 years. Make sure also to check their cheaper alternative YOELEO SAT C50|50 STD.

Use the following promo code ‘cyclistshub‘ on www.yoeleobike.com to get 2% off your purchase.


Superteam Road Bike Wheels

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Main Features

  • Brake Type: Rim
  • Tires Type: Clincher
  • Weight: 1600g
  • Rim width: 23mm
  • Rim depth: 50mm
  • Rider’s weight limit: 120kg (265lb)

These Superteam wheels are perfect for people who want to try carbon wheels but don’t have a large budget.

They are pretty affordable and available in various decal options (including black, white, red, green, etc.). If you like colors – you will like these wheels too.

Please, remember, they are only compatible with Shimano or SRAM cassette. You can’t opt-for Campagnolo-compatible hubs.

This wheelset’s main downside is that it is not tubeless-ready, so you can only use them with a tire + inner tube.

Superteam carbon wheels come with 2 years warranty.


Trifox RW100 Road Bike Wheels

Trifox RW100 Road Bike Wheels | Source: trifoxbike.com

Main Features

  • Brake Type: Rim or disc
  • Tires Type: Clincher
  • Weight
    • Rim brakes: 1671g (38mm), 1672g (50mm), 1753g (60mm)
    • Disc brakes: 1610g (38mm), 1774g (50mm)
  • Rim widths: 23mm, 25mm
  • Rim depths: 38mm, 50mm, 60mm (rim brakes only)
  • Rider’s weight limit: 100kg (220lb)

Available for both rim and disc brakes, Trifox RW100 wheels are one of the most affordable carbon wheels in this selection. Yes, they are not the lightest, but if you are new to the world of carbon wheels, they are a good entry-level point.

You can choose from 3 rim depths and 2 rim widths, so depending on the tire width you prefer, choose the correct option.

The main downside is that you can’t use them with tubeless tires because the rims are not tubeless-ready.

On the other hand, you get a 3years warranty, brake pads, quick releases, a set of carbon wheels that look premium, and rim tape.

Use the following promo code ‘cyclistshub‘ on www.trifoxbike.com to get 4% off your purchase.


ICAN 50mm Clincher Road Bike Wheels

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ICAN 50mm Clincher Road Bike Wheels | icancycling.com

Main Features

  • Brake Type: Rim
  • Tires Type: Clincher
  • Weight: 1510g
  • Rim width: 23mm (external), 16mm (internal)
  • Rim depth: 50mm
  • Rider’s weight limit: 100kg (220lb)

ICANs’ 50mm clincher wheelset is pretty lightweight and still aero, so you can be sure you get a worthy update for your money.

You can opt-for hubs compatible with Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo cassette, and also for spokes type.

Get Sapim CX-Ray if you count every gram or Aero CN 494 spokes if you care about speed.

Of course, the packing includes quick-releases, brake pads, and rim tapes. Unfortunately, these wheels are not tubeless-ready, which is probably their main downside.

Also, don’t forget to take advantage of ICAN’s US, Europe, or Japanese warehouse to get shorter delivery times.

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


YOELEO SAT C50|50 STD

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YOELEO SAT C50|50 STD | Source: yoeleobike.com

Main Features

  • Brake Type: Rim
  • Tires Type: 23mm (clincher), 25mm (clincher, tubeless), 27mm (clincher, tubeless)
  • Weight: Around 1550g depending on rims depth, width, and hubs
  • Rim widths: 23mm, 25mm, 27mm
  • Rim depths: 50mm
  • Rider’s weight limit: 105kg (231lb)

YOELEO SAT C50|50 STD wheelset is a cheaper alternative to SAT C50|50 Pro. STD wheels come with cheaper (Novatec) hubs and spokes.

To be honest, I don’t know if you will be able to notice the speed difference, but if your budget is tight and you want UCI-approved Chinese carbon wheels, YOELEO SAT C50|50 STD are worth your attention.

You get the same three-years warranty, and the packing includes quick releases, 2 extra spokes, valve extenders, and 2 pairs of brake pads. Their weight is +- the same as the weight of SAT C50|50 Pro

Use the following promo code ‘cyclistshub‘ on www.yoeleobike.com to get 2% off your purchase.


Rinasclta Carbon Wheels

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Rinasclta Carbon Wheels | Source: rinascltabike.com

Main Features

  • Brake Type: Rim or disc
  • Tires Type: Clincher (tubeless-ready)
  • Weights: Depending on your configuration, around 1500g
  • Rim widths: 25mm
  • Rim depths: 30mm, 38mm, 50mm, 55mm, 60mm, 65mm
  • Rider’s weight limit: 105kg (231lb)

If you are a more experienced rider who knows what he wants, I can recommend these wheels by Rinasclta. They are the most configurable wheels in this selection.

You can choose brake and spoke type, rim depth, hubs (DT Swiss, Novatec), number of spokes, customize painting, finish.

Rinascltas’ wheels are covered by a standard, two-year warranty, and come with standard accessories like brake pads, quick-releases, etc.


My Verdict

There are plenty of unbranded, cheap carbon wheelsets from China out there. Online markets are full of them. But not all are the same quality, and sometimes you can buy a really bad set of wheels that may not be safe to ride.

To avoid this, make sure to always buy carbon products from established manufacturers that have strict quality assurance policies, test their products, and cover them with a warranty.

The selection above includes all types of wheels, but the following two wheelsets are the best in my opinion:

ICAN 38mm is the best budget Chinese carbon wheelset. Their price-value ratio is excellent. They weigh just around 1505g. You can opt-for aero or lightweight spokes and Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo compatible hubs. And they are available in a clincher or tubular option.

Winspace HYPER is the best premium Chinese carbon wheelset. It is fast, aerodynamic, lightweight, stiff, and looks unique. It’s my dream wheelset. Period.


How to Choose the Best Chinese Carbon Wheels?

Feel free to read this buyer’s guide, where you find out more useful info that will help you make a wise and thoughtful decision before you spend hundreds of dollars on a new wheelset.

Wheels for Disc or Rim Brakes

Today’s bikes use rim or disc brakes. Obviously, you can’t buy wheels for disc brakes and use them on a bike with rim brakes.

These two types of wheels differ from each other. Wheels for rim brakes use quick release, and wheels for disc brakes a through-axle (also called thru-axle).

quick release vs through
Quick release vs. through axle (thru-axle)

Clincher vs. Tubular vs. Tubeless

Wheels or their rims respectively exist in 3 types – clincher, tubular, and tubeless. Below, I explain what types of tires they are compatible with and their advantages and disadvantages.

clincher tubular tubeless
Clincher vs. Tubular vs. Tubeless Tires

Clincher

Clinchers are the most widespread type of wheels/tires. The tire is supported by an inner tube that can be made of rubber or latex.

This type of wheel is “user-friendly” in terms of maintenance. It is much easier to replace the inner tube or tire with clincher wheels than tubular or tubeless tires.

The downside is that they are more 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 weight overall weight.

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

Tubular

Tubular tires are more common among professionals. But, some hobby riders use tubular tires as well because they allow you to inflate lower pressures. This means they are more puncture-resistant and more comfortable.

The downside of tubular tires is that they are more difficult to maintain – you have to glue them on wheels. This can be messy and difficult work for beginners.

Tubeless

Tubeless tires are the most modern ones. Tubeless-ready wheels allow you to use a tube-free tire because they use sealant instead of the inner tube.

The main benefit of tubeless tires is their self-repairing feature – the sealant fills out small holes. These tires also allow you to inflate lower pressures, so they are more comfortable and less prone to puncture.

Their downside is that they are a little bit more expensive than clincher tires and more difficult to replace.

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)
• Allows very low tire pressure
• Difficult to replace
• Difficult to repair
• More expensive than clincher

Sources: theproscloset.com, cyclingtips.com

Rim Depth

The shape and the depth of the rim influence the aerodynamics. The general rule of thumb is that the deeper rims, the more aerodynamic and faster wheels. Of course, other factors like spokes, wind direction, etc., also affect wheel efficiency.

Rim depth vs aerodynamics
Rim depth vs aerodynamics

If you are a techie and want to find out more about wheel aerodynamics, I recommend watching the following video by Hambini.

Rim Width

The rim width also affects, among other things, how wide the tires you will be able to fit on the bike. In general, wider, high-volume tires are more comfortable. In the past, riders used narrow, 19mm, or 20mm tires on their road bikes. But over time, studies have shown that wider rims and tires (25mm and 28mm) are faster, more comfortable, and more efficient.

Rim inner & outer width
Rim inner & outer width

The rim width is given as the inner rim width. However, the outer width is also important for road cycling because aerodynamics plays an important role. Based on the ‘Rule of 105’, you should choose the tire width.

The Rule of 105 states that the rim must be at least 105% the width of the tire if you have any chance of re-capturing airflow from the tire and controlling it or smoothing it.(Source)

In other words, if the outer rim width is 29.4mm, you should use 28mm tires to maximize aerodynamic benefits. However, if you don’t ride on a professional level, you probably won’t even notice the differences.

Tire WidthMinimum Rim Width
20 mm21 mm
21 mm22.05 mm
23 mm24.15 mm
25 mm26.25 mm
28 mm29.4 mm
Tire and minimum rim width based on the Rule of 105

Weight

Carbon wheels are lighter than aluminum wheels. There is no doubt about that. But how much should pair of good Chinese carbon wheels weigh?

The short answer is around 1500g.

The wheelset weight, of course, also depends on the rim depth, rim type, hubs, etc. I made a comparison of different wheels and wheel types in the table below.

Hubs

High-quality hubs are often overlooked features of wheels. But, they are as important as quality spokes, rims, etc. In the end – hubs are the thing that spins. And as my friend says, “what spins on the bike has to be high-quality.”

Hubs differ from each other by weight and bearings. Most Chinese wheelsets come with certain hubs, so you can’t choose hubs from a different brand, for example.

Yet, some Chinese brands allow you to customize your wheelset, so you can choose more expensive over cheaper hubs if you can spend extra money.

The question is if you will be able to notice the difference in riding speed. For some riders, the “hub sound” that comes with premium hubs is more important than the riding characteristics, and they are willing to pay the premium price for it.

Stiffness

Stiffness is one of the most abstract features of wheels. Yes, it can be quantified, but how do you know if the wheels are stiff or 5% stiffer?

When it comes to stiffness, if you ride on a super smooth racing circuit-like surface, the stiffer, the better, but most of us are unlucky, and our local roads are bumpy and full of potholes.

In that case, it’s good if the wheels aren’t too stiff. They can better absorb vibrations, and the ride is then more comfortable.

Other Features to Consider

Weight limit – wheels have their weight limits. If you are a heavier rider (no offense), make sure you don’t buy wheels with a low weight limit. You could damage them, and in the worst-case scenario, they can fail, and you can crash.

Cassette compatibility – Shimano and SRAM cassettes are interchengeable. But if you plan to use Campagnolo groupset, make sure the hub is Campagnolo compatible.

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 Wheels FAQ


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

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