Carbon Bicycle Wheels - Why is it one of the best upgrades for your bike?

Carbon Cykelhjul - Hvorfor er det en af de bedste opgraderinger til din cykel?

Carbon bicycle wheels - Performance, Comfort and "Liren's" effect


It must be said right away: Carbon wheels are one of the absolute best upgrades you can make to your bike. When you buy a new bike, standard aluminum wheels are typically included - these can be great to start cycling on - but you will soon be able to buy Carbon wheels. By upgrading the wheels to Carbon, you can achieve lower weight, better aerodynamics, lower rolling resistance and stiffer wheels which thus ensure a much better power transfer.

Weight on wheels

The laws of physics come into play when the conversation falls on weight saving and bicycle wheels, since the wheels are in motion, which is why an increase or decrease in the weight of the wheels will have a greater effect than another weight change on the handlebars, frame, saddle, etc. The weight of the rim is especially important since here there is the greatest centrifugal force. However, the good wheel is not only light. The most important thing is to find the balance between the most important characteristics, i.e. weight, strength, rolling resistance, stiffness, etc. 


The height of the rim – also called the profile – is a highly debated topic. The profile of the rim exerts the greatest influence on aerodynamics. A natural question would therefore be: Shouldn't you just choose the highest profile to be as aerodynamic as possible? However, the answer is not so straightforward. The reason is that the higher the rim, the more the wheel weighs and, not least, the more wind-sensitive the wheel is. The key is therefore to find a wheel that suits you as a rider, which gives you the perfect balance between weight, aerodynamics, wind sensitivity, rolling resistance and the terrain you primarily have to ride on.

For the sake of ease, rims can be divided into 3 different overall profile groups: Low, Medium, High. Low profiles are typically used on MTB, Cross bikes and when riding in mountains. Medium is typically used when you have to ride in mountains but still want a slightly higher profile without becoming too wind sensitive and still reduce the weight. The higher profiles are typically used for road driving in flat to hilly terrain, including the Danish terrain, and not least when you have to run Time Trials (TT) and Triathlon. The high profile ensures a higher degree of aerodynamics, stiffness and perhaps even more important: the Lirens effect, which you as a rider must never forget. It just means something to have a bike with wheels that are eye-goofing - that effect is given by medium to high profile Carbon wheels.

Examples of the different profiles and groups they fall into can be seen below:

Low profile – These wheels are typically used on racing bikes when you first buy them, ie. standard wheels, as well as Citybikes, MTB as well as CX and Gravel bikes. They usually measure 25mm in height and down, which gives a low weight (when it's Carbon).

Medium profile – These wheels are a sensible choice when you want low weight, low wind sensitivity but still want a small aerodynamic effect. These wheels are typically used on MTB, gravel and mountain bikes. The profile is typically between 25mm and 40mm.

High profile – These wheels are undoubtedly the most popular and, not least, best suited for hilly terrain, including the Danish terrain. The profiles from 40mm and up provide the best aerodynamics and despite the fact that the weight also increases, it is fully compensated by the aerodynamics, the stiffness and the overall rolling resistance

Plate wheel – This wheel definitely offers the best aerodynamics, but the weight and wind sensitivity means that it is only a wheel used for Single Start (TT) and Triathlon.


The majority of wheels on the market – including High-End wheels – usually have standard bearings in the hubs. Ceramic bearings in the hubs, on the other hand, ensure significantly lower rolling resistance and typically last longer than traditional bearings. Wheels with ceramic bearings are therefore one of the best places to look when you are faced with buying a new set of wheels.

Summary Summary

Carbon bicycle wheels have an almost endless range of advantages, including:

  • Low weight
  • Increased stiffness = Better power transfer
  • Better durability
  • Increased comfort
  • Better aerodynamics
  • And well yes; The best "Liren's" effect money can buy for your bike

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