Why you should upgrade your wheels.

When looking to purchase your new Ribble bike, one area that should never be overlooked is the wheels. Aside from the frameset, no other component is as important in contributing to your ride enjoyment as the wheels. Let’s take a look at why you should upgrade your wheels.

Wheels

There’s a school of thought in cycling circles that after the frameset the wheels are just as important a factor in maximising your ride enjoyment. But, what advantages does upgrading said set of hoops offer?

  • Weight – You can reasonably expect an entry-level set of alloy wheels to weigh somewhere in the region of approximately 2kg. Upgrading to a pair of lightweight alloy or carbon wheels can save you as much as half a kilo or more!
  • Stiffness – Premium quality wheels will utilise more advanced construction techniques and higher-grade materials to produce wheels with greater structural rigidity. This increased stiffness enhances the bikes handling and agility. Especially when cornering, where the forces on the wheels are at their most extreme. It also enables the power to be laid down much more efficiently. This will have a dramatic effect when giving your all on those out of the saddle efforts (climbing and sprinting).
  • Aerodynamics – Wheels with a deeper rim profile carve through the air more efficiently, which translates into less drag and more speed.
  • Durability – As wheels increase in price, they gain higher quality hub internals. High-end wheelsets will usually include high-grade stainless steel bearings. Towards the top end of the spectrum, ceramic bearings may also be employed to reduce friction and improve longevity. The better the quality of the bearings, the less maintenance is required to keep them in tip-top condition.

LEVEL WHEELSETS

LEVEL is a brand that we have designed, developed and tested in-house to complement our range of performance bikes. Each model listed below is an available upgrade in Bike Builder. These wheels have been subjected to extensive wind tunnel testing as well as being ridden in real-world conditions by our team of testers and developers. To simplify identification, rim brake compatible wheels have been assigned the designation ‘RB’ and disc brake wheels ‘DB’.

Most models within the LEVEL wheelset range are available in a Sport or PRO variant.

Sport Carbon

LEVEL Sport wheels are built using traditional j-bend spokes and include sealed cartridge bearings which deliver outstanding year-round reliability and durability.

PRO Carbon

All PRO carbon wheels are equipped with the finest quality sealed Japanese Stainless Steel bearings which offer an unparalleled level of performance and durability. Similarly to the sport version, they are designed to roll smoothly throughout the seasons and in the very worst of conditions. Upgrading to straight-pull spokes results in a wheel with enhanced structural rigidity. The stiffer the wheel, the more advantageous they are for those out of the saddle efforts when sprinting or climbing.

LEVEL DB40 PRO Carbon

Available for disc brakes only, the shallow 40mm rim profile results in our lightest LEVEL carbon wheelset available in Bike Builder. A generous internal rim diameter has been aerodynamically optimised for 25mm tyres and offer seamless integration with tubeless tyre systems. Providing access to the many advantages of a tubeless system. This includes improved aerodynamic efficiency, a reduction in rolling resistance, better cornering grip, extra shock absorption and enhanced puncture protection.

The semi-aero profile of the rim offers a significant improvement in drag reduction when compared to standard rim profiles. It also provides additional stability in mixed wind conditions. Thanks to their lightweight construction and reduced rim profile, the LEVEL40 wheelset is the perfect option for aspiring climbers.

  • Rim Material: HI-TG UD Carbon, UD Finish.
  • Rim Profile: 40mm depth, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal.
  • Tubeless Ready: Yes.
  • Spokes: Straight pull, Pillar PSR 1423 Aero.
  • Spoke Count: 24H Front/24H Rear.
  • Weight: 1610g pair – Front 750g/860g Rear.

LEVEL DB/RB56 PRO Carbon

Available in a rim brake or disc brake variant, LEVEL 56 wheels represent the next step up in aerodynamic optimisation. They should appeal to road racers and mixed terrain riders seeking that extra performance advantage. With a deeper rim depth providing further aero gains, the DB/RB 56 wheels carve through the air with incredible efficiency. Super-stable in mixed wind conditions and on technical descents, LEVEL 56 wheels will help you climb, sprint and accelerate for less effort. The wheelset of choice for riders from the Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team.

  • Rim Material: HI-TG UD Carbon Fibre. UD Finish.
  • Rim Profile: 56mm, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal.
  • Tubeless Ready: Yes.
  • Spokes: Straight pull, Pillar PSR 1423 Aero Blade.
  • Spoke Count: 24H Front/24H Rear (Disc) – 20H Front/24H Rear (Rim).
  • Weight: RB40 1580g, Front 720g/Rear 860g (Rim) – DB56 1660g, Front 770g/Rear 890g.

LEVEL DB/RB88 PRO Carbon

LEVEL DB/RB86 wheels (rim brake version pictured) are the most aerodynamically advanced carbon road racing wheelset that we have ever produced. An 86mm rim profile in combination with a super-wide 26.5mm external rim profile has proven to be the fastest in a straight line and at a 10° YAW angle. The 17.5mm internal rim diameter provides optimal aerodynamic integration with a 25mm tyre offering improved comfort, grip, and rolling resistance, without sacrificing speed.

Triathletes, time triallists and road racers will appreciate the pure speed and aerodynamic advantages offered by this advanced wheelset. Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team riders will compete with either 86mm or 56mm profile wheels. Dependant upon their personal preference and prevailing weather conditions.

  • Rim Material: HI-TG UD Carbon, UD Finish. 3K heat-resistance braking surface (rim brake)
  • Rim Profile: 88mm, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal.
  • Tubeless Ready: No.
  • Spokes: Pillar PSR 1423 Aero Blade.
  • Spoke Count: Rim Brake 20H Front/24H Rear – Disc 24H Front/24H Rear.
  • Weight: RB88 1930g – Front 900g/1030g Rear – DB88 2010g – Front 950g/1060g Rear

LEVEL DB88/DB56 PRO carbon

The LEVEL 88/56 mm wheelset has been developed for triathletes looking for the ultimate performance advantage when racing against the clock. As such, it is only currently available as an upgrade option on the Ultra Tri Disc. Precision engineered, with disc brake compatible technology, the LEVEL 56/88 wheelset is the perfect choice for non-UCI time trials and triathlons, where every second counts. The dissimilar rim profiles of a 56mm front and 88mm rear carbon wheelset greatly improves airflow making this our highest performing wheelset when it comes to aero efficiency and crosswind stability.  

Ultralight hubs with Japanese steel internals, laced into a Hi-TG carbon rim creates a wheelset with exceptional structural rigidity and strength. The rims 26.mm external and 17.5mm internal diameters are optimised for wider tyres run at lower air pressures. Allowing you to take advantage of the improved aerodynamic efficiency, rolling resistance, and cornering grip, that this setup offers. Please note that the rear wheels extreme depth makes it currently incompatible with tubeless tyre systems. Valve stems simply aren’t long enough to provide enough purchase to attach a pump to inflate the tyre.

  • Rim Material: Hi-TG carbon fibre. UD Finish.
  • Rim Profile: 88mm/56mm Depth. 25.5mm External. 17.5mm Internal.
  • Tubeless Ready: Front: Yes. Rear: No.
  • Spokes: Straight Pull, Pillar PSR 1423 Aero.
  • Spoke Count: 24H/24H.
  • Weight: Total 1860g, Front 790g/1060g Rear.

LEVEL DB Pro Carbon Tri-Spoke/Disc

Currently available as an upgrade on the Ultra Tri Disc only is this ultra-fast Tri-Spoke/Disc combo. The culmination of extensive research and development has resulted in this, our fastest wheelset ever. Lightweight and durable, with high lateral rigidity, in the race against the clock this wheelset has no equal.  At the rear, is a LEVEL DB Pro Carbon Disc wheel and upfront a DB Pro Carbon Tri Spoke. This combination offers class-leading aerodynamics, rolling resistance, and ride quality. Ensuring optimal drag reduction for maximum aerodynamic efficiency. Take your triathlon or time trialling performance to the next level.

  • Material: Hi-Tg carbon fibre, 3K finish
  • Rim Profile: 50mm depth (tri-spoke), 24mm external diameter (both)
  • Tubeless Ready: No
  • Weight: Disc 1220g, Tri-Spoke 880g

LEVEL DB40 Sport Carbon

Light, strong, and versatile DB40 Sport wheels are perfect for crits, cross, climbing, and more. They combine innovative disc brake compatible technology with stable rim profiles and smooth-rolling hubs to provide a fast-rolling ride, wherever your travels may take.

  • Rim Material: Hi-TG carbon fibre
  • Rim Profile: 40mm depth, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal diameter
  • Tubeless Ready: Yes
  • Spokes: J-bend, Pillar PSR 1432 Aero
  • Spoke Count: 24h/24h
  • Weight: Total 1620g, Front 750g/870g Rear

LEVEL DB/RB56 Sport Carbon

Offering an optimised blend of aero efficiency, weight, and durability, the DB/RB56 sport carbon wheels are as strong they are versatile. A proven rim shape offers superior handling characteristics and crosswind stability, making it a sure-fire choice for a multitude of terrains and surfaces.

  • Rim Material: Hi-Tg carbon fibre with UD finish, 3K braking surface (RB56 only)
  • Rim Profile: 56mm depth, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal
  • Tubeless Ready: Yes
  • Spokes: J-bend, Pillar PSR 1432 Aero
  • Spoke Count: 24h/24h
  • Weight: RB56 1580g, Front 720g/860g Rear – DB56 Total 1710g , Front 790g/920g Rear

LEVEL Gravel DB Sport Carbon 650B

Designed to enhance the all-terrain attributes of any gravel machine, LEVEL’s Gravel DB Sport Carbon wheelset is built for the most extreme of gravel adventures. The wide rim profile is ideal for gravel, mud, or bikepacking adventures into the unknown and offers seamless integration with tubeless tyre systems. Opening up all of the advantages of tubeless tyres; reduced rolling resistance for more speed plus enhanced shock absorption to increase comfort and improve traction over the most extreme terrains.


Building the wheels around Hi-TG carbon fibre rims with sealed steel internals creates a heavy-duty wheelset that weighs just 1530g! Find undiscovered routes, seek out new adventures or simply have a blast in the knowledge that you have a set of wheels that won’t let you down.

  • Rim Material: Hi-TG Carbon Fibre. UD Finish.
  • Rim Profile: 23.5mm Depth, 32mm External Diameter, 24mm Internal.
  • Tubeless Ready: Yes.
  • Spokes: J Bend. Pillar PSR 1432 Aero.
  • Spoke Count: 28H/28H.
  • Weight: Total 1530g – Front 710g/820g Rear.

Meet our digital guru, fair-weather cyclist and Zwifter Matt Lawson; AKA the King of Bling. Read about Matt here.


Jamie was a jumper obsessed rider but has now fallen in love with his HT Ti. Read his story here.


11 Comments
  1. Are 36 spoke wheels available from Ribble?
    I’m looking at your CGR725 and for a gravel bike I would have thought that maxing out on the spoke count that matches my current road bike would be essential.

  2. @ Paul Brookwell :- Extract below form the recent E-Mail shot.

    Our range of Level carbon wheels have been comprehensively wind tunnel tested to ensure that they offer a proven performance advantage across a variety of wind conditions. You can select them as an upgrade in BikeBuilder, with prices starting at £700. Read our latest blog for more information on what each individual wheel upgrade option offers.

  3. Are the level 56DBs compatible with the Aero 883? Do you have any forecast as to when you will have stock again?

    Many thanks

  4. Hi James,
    Thanks for getting in touch, if you have a product inquiry I would definitely recommend contacting our customer service team via live chat, product questions facility or use one of the social channels, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook and we will come back to you ASAP. The blog comments are not monitored as closely and responses may be slower. These are disc brake wheels so will be compatible with the Aero 883 disc and further stocks of the wheel are scheduled to arrive approximately mid-December. I hope this helps. Best Regards [email protected] Ribble

  5. Hi, I recent purchased the SL with the Mavic Ksyrium Elite rims. Is it possible to purchase a set of carbon wheels from you or can you only do this when you purchase a bike?
    Many thanks,

    Kevin Smith

  6. Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for getting in touch, unfortunately, our deal with Mavic precludes us from being able to retail their wheels separately. We are only permitted to sell their wheels as part of a bike build. The only carbon wheels that are available to purchase from us is our own range of LEVEL wheels but these are in high demand and short supply at the moment due to worldwide shortages in materials caused by the 2020 bike boom. Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  7. Hello
    Your TI endurance is definitely on my potential shopping list, but I need a dynamo set-up, and see no reference to them on the site. Can you supply a
    dynamo built wheel ? Thanks – Alistair

  8. Hi Alistair,
    Many thanks for getting in touch, regrettably we don’t offer any dynamo options as a build option on any of our bikes builds.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

  9. Hello
    Can you buy these wheels on their own or only through the bike builder ?
    Thanks

  10. Hi Oliver,
    Thanks for getting in touch,
    With the demand for bikes being as high as it is currently, most of our stock is pre-allocated to customer bike builds. We do have a limited stock of wheels available for sale through the website. Further stock will be added as and when they become available.
    Best Regards
    Team Ribble

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.