Best 5 Road Bike Wheels for Climbing


If you want a new pair of wheels and they have to be a light pair for his hill climbing, which you maybe are doing a lot of! We run through our choice of wheel sets and hope you have the money to afford them!

Cyclists in the backlight

As I’m sure you all know light wheels are a must for climbing hills, you are fighting gravity so weight is very important and aerodynamics are of secondary consideration.

You don’t say if you are using Campagnolo, Shimano or SRAM? So we will have a look at a few different options to cover most eventualities. Here there comes the Top 5 for us…. enjoy

Shimano Dura-Ace 7850 Review

Shimano: If you are using Shimano you could do no worse than consider the Shimano Dura-Ace 7850 wheel set that we reviewed a while back, they weigh in at 1380 grams, the pair we had where slightly lighter, but this is around the weight you should be looking at.

Shimano Dura-Ace WH-7850
Photo Via BikeRadar

Shimano Dura-Ace WH-7850-C24-TL Clincher wheels review

Fulcrum Racing Light XLR  Wheels

Fulcrum: The Fulcrum wheels are made by Campagnolo and have all the technology and performance you need. The best pair for climbing (I would say) would be the Fulcrum Racing Light XLR, the weigh in at 1280 grams; they have carbon hubs and a low profile rim. If you want a deeper rim then there are the 50 millimetre deep rimed Racing Speed XLR, they weigh 1325 grams. The deep rims are not necessary for climbing and they add weight to carry upwards. Fulcrum wheels are compatible with Campagnolo, Shimano and SRAM.

Fulcrum Racing One Wheelset Pro Review
Photo Via

Fulcrum Racing One Wheelset Pro Review

Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra Two

Campagnolo: Here you should be looking at the Hyperon Ultra Two clincher which has a low profile carbon rim for clincher tires (and tubs); the pair weighs 1350 grams and has carbon hubs the same as the Fulcrum Racing Light XLR’s. In the medium depth rimed wheel sets the Shamal Ultra are 1395 grams are very interesting, but the very deep carbon Bora Ultra (for tubs) are the sexiest wheels you can lay your hands on, they weigh 1305 grams.

Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra

Photo: © James Huang/Future Publishing

Hutchinson tubulars and Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra


Mavic: The best pair for climbing has to be the R-Sys Premium, weight is saved with the use of titanium bolts and carbon spokes and hub caps, and they weigh 1360 grams.

Mavic's R-Sys SLR and Ksyrium SLR

Photo: © Matt Pacocha,


The Others: Above are the main wheel sets from the most well know manufacturers, there are many more, which includes Pro Lite, FSA, Fast Forward, Easton, Corima and others, but if you have the money the best pair of wheels available are the Lightweight Obermayer III for tubulars, there are three versions the lightest coming in at 960 grams, the problem is the price, don’t ask!


Lightweight Mielenstein Obermayer Carbon Fiber Wheelset

Here it’s another source to find the best climber wheels, written by By Caley Fretz at, here’s a look at what pros picked…

Tour Tech: Climbing wheels for the queen stage of the Tour de France

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  1. Jason

    Hi Samuel,I am pretty new to cycling but am thouroughly enjoying the experience on my 09 giant tcr advanced 2 running shimano 105 and mavic aksiums. I am currently doing 200km per week and am looking to upgrade to shimano dura ace wh7850 or similar on a budget of $1000. What is the difference between clincher and tubular wheels and what are better / lighter?ThanksJason Ps. Thanks for the great articles!!!

  2. Ronny

    I use Fulcrum Zero’s , very light at 1425gms and look great too.

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