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.

Last updated 07/05/2021

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 increase in stiffness leads to an increase in the bikes handling and agility. 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 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 be fitted with high-grade stainless steel bearings. Towards the top end of the spectrum, ceramic bearings may be employed to reduce friction and improve longevity. The better 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 intensive wind tunnel testing as well as being ridden in real-world riding conditions by our team of testers and developers. Each wheel uses the same lightweight precision-machined alloy hubs with a 3 Multi-Point Pawl & 30T ratchet with 10° engagement. They have sealed Japanese Steel internals which are more than capable of handling anything that the worst of the elements can throw at them and still roll smoothly.

LEVEL 40DB/RB Elite Carbon

At only 40mm in depth the LEVEL 40 wheels are the lightest of the LEVEL carbon wheelsets available in Bike Builder. With a generous internal rim diameter that is aerodynamically optimised for 25mm tyres, they provide seamless integration with tubeless tyre systems. Allowing you to benefit from the advantages of the tubeless system which includes improved aerodynamic efficiency, rolling resistance and cornering grip.

The semi-aero profile of the rim offers significantly improved drag reduction over standard rim profiles and also offers additional stability when in mixed wind conditions. Thanks to their lightweight construction and reduced rim profile, the LEVEL40 wheelset is the perfect climber’s wheel.

  • Rim Material- HI-TG UD Carbon, UD Finish.
  • Rim Profile – 40mm, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal.
  • Tubeless Compatible – Yes.
  • Spokes – Pillar PSR XTRA Butted Aero Blade.
  • Spoke Count – 20H Front/24H Rear.
  • Weight – 1590g, Front 710g, Rear 880g / Disc – 1638g, Front 740g, Rear 898g.

LEVEL 56DB/RB Elite Carbon

The next step up is the LEVEL 56 wheels, another that should appeal to road racers and mixed terrain riders seeking that extra performance advantage. The deeper rim depth of 56mm enables the wheels to better carve through the air for even further significant improvement in drag reduction. Super-stable in mixed wind conditions and on technical descents, LEVEL 56 wheels will help you climb, sprint and accelerate with 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 Compatible – Yes.
  • Spokes – Pillar PSR XTRA Butted Aero Blade.
  • Spoke Count – 20H Front/24H Rear.
  • Weight – 1613g, Front 715g, Rear 898g / Disc – 1660g, Front 755g, Rear 905g.

LEVEL 86DB/RB Carbon

LEVEL 86 wheels are the most aerodynamically advanced carbon 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 can appreciate the pure speed and aerodynamic advantages of this wheelset. Ribble Weldtite Pro Cycling team riders will race on these or the 56mm as per their personal preference and prevailing weather conditions.

  • Rim Material- HI-TG UD Carbon, UD Finish.
  • Rim Profile – 86mm, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal.
  • Tubeless Compatible – Yes.
  • Spokes – Pillar PSR XTRA Butted Aero Blade.
  • Spoke Count – 20H Front/24H Rear.
  • Weight – 1950g, Front 890g, Rear 1060g / Disc – 2080g, Front 975g, Rear 1105g.

LEVEL 88/56

The LEVEL 88/56 mm wheelset is only 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 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 for 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 of 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 this wheelset is incompatible with tubeless tyre systems

  • Rim Material – Hi-TG carbon Fibre. UF Finish.
  • Rim Profile – 88mm/56mm Depth. 25.5mm External. 17.5mm Internal.
  • Tubeless Compatible – Front: Yes. Rear: No.
  • Spokes – J-Bend. Pillar PSR Aero 1432.
  • Spoke Count – 24H/24H.
  • Weight – Front 790g / Rear 1060g.

LEVEL Pro Carbon Disc/Tri-Spoke

Currently available as an upgrade on the Ultra Tri Disc only is this 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.

LEVEL 650b Gravel DB Sport Carbon

Designed to enhance the all-terrain attributes of any gravel machine, LEVEL’s DB Sport Carbon wheelset is built for the most extreme of gravel adventures. A wide rim profile is ideal for gravel, mud, or bikepacking adventures into the unknown and offers seamless integration with tubeless tyre systems.
Building wheels around a Hi-TG carbon fibre rim 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 Compatible – Yes.
  • Spokes – J Bend. Pillar PSR Aero 1432.
  • Spoke Count – 28H/28H.
  • Weight – Front: 710g / Rear 820g. Total: 1530g.

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.


9 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

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