If you are looking to improve the performance of your bike, the easiest place to start is with the wheels. Chances are if you're thinking about upgrading your wheelset you probably are considering carbon. There's no doubt that carbon wheels are lush—they are strong, stiff, light and rad. However, carbon wheels are not the cheapest option and buying a set of aftermarket carbon wheels can feel a bit intimidating.
And that is why we felt compelled to put this list together—not to be a comprehensive list of carbon wheel manufacturers but to be a start point for you on your decision making process. In this list we tried to include a solid range of makers and producers from all over the world. Some are huge mega-corps and some are smaller makers hand-laying fiber in-house. We won't tell you what to buy, but we will always favor the small, local makers. Let us know in the comments who else we could have included.
The BGDB Team ✊
|Chris King 🇺🇲||Jump|
|Crank Brothers 🇺🇲||Jump|
|Curve Cycling 🇦🇺||Jump|
|DT Swiss 🇨🇭||Jump|
|Easton Cycling 🇺🇲||Jump|
|Industry 9 🇺🇲||Jump|
|Knight Composites 🇺🇲||Jump|
|Light Bicycle 🇨🇦||Jump|
|Race Face 🇨🇦||Jump|
|Reserve Wheels 🇺🇲||Jump|
|Rolf Prima 🇺🇲||Jump|
|Scribe Cycling 🇮🇪||Jump|
|Syncros 🇨🇦 → 🇺🇲||Jump|
|We Are One Composites 🇨🇦||Jump|
|Wheel Science 🇦🇺||Jump|
|Whisky Parts Co. 🇺🇲||Jump|
Since 1995, Bontrager has been a sub brand of Trek that produces pretty much any biking product you could imagine. They have a full line-up of pretty much any carbon wheelset you would ever need from road, to gravel and mtb. The sheer size of Trek / Brontrager pretty much guarantees that you will be able to easily find these wheels at affordable prices and with a solid warranty.
Since 2009, Boyd Cycling has been handbuilding wheelsets in Greenville, South Carolina. Boyd offers a full-range and for you off-roaders they specialize in gravel, CX and MTB. Boyd wheels are quality koit for very fair prices. Good for the trail and on the bank account. What's not to love?
From Texas, Cantu is a family-run business that specializes in custom wheels, components and apparel. Cantu wheels are pretty slick with a full range of gavel, CX and MTB sets. You can even customize the color of the Cantu logo to match your setup. We like it.
From Vilnius, Lithuania, Cenos is a team of riders who also happen to build custom carbon wheels. Cenos uses Japanese Toray carbon and the highest quality resins throughout their manufacturing and also have a full range of road, gravel and off-road sets. They also offer a 30 day free trial and free shipping. Sounds like a sweet deal to us.
Admittedly, starting this list we didn't know that Chris King made wheels! It turns out they started producing high-end carbon wheels only this year and you just know they're awesome. Having a set of Chris King wheels and hubs would be a dream. This is a no brainer.
Since 1997, Crank Brothers (founded by Carl Winefordner and Frank Hermansen... Carl + Frank = Crank) has been cranking out awesome tools, pedals and components. They also offer a solid range of carbon wheels for every mountain discipline out there. Woof.
Curve offers something they call their Dirt Hoops that come pre-built or as a rim for you to get your spoke on. The wheels come in 29” or 27.5 in the wide 35 or a “wider” 40. These are lush.
Since 2009, Duke has been building custom XC, trail, enduro and gravel wheels from its headquarters in Western France. Alongside the wheelsets Duke also manufactures some serious lightweight hubs to match. Love it.
Founded in 1994 in Biel, Switzerland, DT Swiss is one of the global top dogs in the carbon wheel game. Apart from wheels they also manufacture solid forks, dropper posts and shocks. DT Swiss offers a full range of carbon XC, gravel and MTB wheelsets at pretty much every price point you can imagine. Get some.
Currently owned by Fox Factory, Easton Cycling has a solid line-up of gravel and off-road carbon sweeties for decent prices. We currently run a set of EC90 AX's on our gravel bike and couldn't be happier. These are slick wheels.
ENVE's name isn't an exaggeration. If there is anything to make you covet your neighbor's bike it's a set of wheels from ENVE. ENVE has a wide range of wheels for anything you want to do in the dirt. If you want the best, these are damn near the best you'll get.
HED has been one of the best names in wheel innovation since the late 80s. HED may have their roots on the road and in triathlon but nowadays they offer a solid lineup of gravel and fatbike wheels. HED always has been and will always be one of the OGs of cool wheels.
Since 2015, Hunt has been creating some lovely wheels from the UK. In 2020, they opened a US operation in Boulder, CO. Hunt has a set of wheels for pretty much anything you want to do including road, CX and MTB. They are the only company on this list that mentions bikepacking specific wheels and they specialize in Dynamo hibs too. A lot to love here.
This is what you've been looking for. Industry 9 is without a doubt one of the coolest brands out there and what they are doing blows us away. Their hubs have a sound you won't soon forget and some of the build / spoke color combos we see coming out of I9 make us drool all over our phones. Put these very high on your list.
Knight Composites from Boulder, CO, have a proprietary manufacturing system they call FusionFiber which apparently builds custom wheels stronger and with zero emissions. They have a range of options in sizes and width depending on your style of riding and also come with solid hub choices like DT Swiss, Industry 9 and Chris King.
Light Bicycle is a bit different from all the other companies on this list. Light Bicycle is headquartered here on Vancouver Island but they also have their own factory in China. Because they own the factory their process for creating and prototyping new wheels is vastly different. Light Bicycle believes in transparency and innovation and we likey.
Only in Europe can you find a cycling company with the history of Mavic. Since the early 1900s Mavic has been one of the world's premier bike components and apparel manufacturers. They offer a full range of carbon wheels for any serious rider. Legit.
By poking around this site, you may notice that we are fans of NOBL from Courtenay, Vancouver Island. Not only do NOBL have a wide range of carbon wheels for pretty much any two-wheel endeavor, they are also some of the nicest people we have dealt with in the cycling industry. NOBL are gold standard.
Born and raised in the mountains of Vancouver's North Shore, Race Face is one of Canada's premier MTB stories. They are now owned by Fox Factory also but continue to put out solid wheels, components and apparel. They only offer one carbon wheelset called the Next SL but you can guarantee they are lush and ready to ride.
A subsidiary of Santa Cruz Bikes, Reserve makes some of the best engineered wheels and valves on the planet. With a decent range of road, mountain and gravel wheelsets, Reserve has everything you need to get rolling at a performance level. These are classy.
Rolf Prima from Eugene, OR is an independent manufacturer that has been creating composite wheels and components for all disciplines of cycling since the late 90s. Rolf Prima uses a wheel build technique that pairs up spokes to make for a super clean, sharp and fast look. These are rad.
From Belfast, Ireland, Scribe cycling was originally a triathlon and road focused company that now produces gravel rims and wheels. Their gravel carbon series comes in a variety of widths for 700c and 650b wheels. Personally, I appreciate the subtle logo on the wheels and always stop to take a gander when I find them in photos. Nice stuff.
Syncros started in 1986 as a niche gravity components company in Vancouver, British Columbia. Since then, the brand was acquired by GT, then Ritchey in 2003 and finally Scott Sports in 2012. Their flagship carbon wheel named the Silverton is a 29” dream with carbon spokes and an integrated composite hub. What?! Wowza. Serious riders only.
From Kamloops, British Columbia, We Are One are among the top dogs of carbon MTB wheels. Over the past few years, We Are One has been branching into other composite components and even released a stellar full-suspension bike called the Arrival. All of We Are One's wheels are hand laid and built right here in B.C. It doesn't get any better than this.
Since 2013, Wheel Science has been building some high-end composite wheels for road, time trial, gravel and mtb from Brisbane, Australia. For off-roaders they offer three distinct product lines called Cloud, Explorer and Adrenaline each intended for various levels of chonk. Wheel Science also offers their own brand hubs to build your new wheels around. Get some.
We aren't sure there is a radder company in the composite components game than Whisky. Their carbon wheel offering is super comprehensive with 5 models covering 700c/29” and 650b/27.5”. All Whisky wheels are laced in Minnesota and we have a huge crush on them and their products. If you get a set of Whisky wheels, You will be very happy.
For over 40 years, Wilderness Trail Bikes has been making pretty much everything a bike needs minus the frame. They currently offer two composite wheelsets that will get going off-road pretty much anywhere.