The 3 Best Gravel Bike Wheelsets in 2021

Jan Poshenko
Written by
Last update:

Gravel bikes are a true hybrid category that let you experience a variety of bike disciplines from pavement to dirt with minimal adaptations.

They can be lighter in weight than standard road bikes, while sporting wider handlebars for more control on dirt trails.

They even have fat tires that can glide over soft surfaces.

However, not all gravel bikes use the same sized wheels.

For that reason, we’ve created this guide to help you select the most appropriate wheelset for your next gravel bike.

NameCategoryProduct
PUB Gravel Cyclocross Asym Carbon Bike WheelsetBest OverallPUB Gravel Cyclocross Asym Carbon Bike Wheelset
Ryde XS19 Rims 700c Gravel CX Bike WheelsetBudget PickRyde XS19 Rims 700c Gravel CX Bike Wheelset
Spinergy Gravel/CX Bike Wheel SetUpgrade PickSpinergy Gravel/CX Bike Wheel Set

1. PUB Gravel Cyclocross Asym Carbon Bike Wheelset

Our rating: 9 / 10

PUB Gravel Cyclocross Asym Carbon Bike Wheelset

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Free wheel bag included
  • Tubeless compatible
  • Front hub is pub hub 100x15mm
  • Rear hub is 142x12mm
  • 700c gravel rims

Cons:

  • Expensive

The all-new Pub Gravel wheelset series delivers a new level of value, quality, and outright fun to your gravel bike. The carbon layup and construction method perfectly balance weight savings, compliance, and durability.

Able to accommodate a wide range of gravel tire sizes, these wheelsets can accept the tire of your choice to tackle everything from rough gravel to smooth tarmac.

2. Spinergy Gravel/CX Bike Wheel Set

Our rating: 9 / 10

Spinergy Gravel/CX Bike Wheel Set

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • Tubeless-ready with 12 mm hub
  • Center lock disc compatibility for the front wheel
  • Center Lock Disc compatible options are available for Shimano, SRAM XD, or XDR AXS drivers for the rear wheel
  • Improved "44" hub design
  • Excellent vibration dampening effects
  • Each PBO spoke is made of 30,000 strands of polyphenylene benzobisoxazole fiber
  • PBO spokes are three times stronger than steel spokes
  • Exclusive CNC machined design for durability and endurance

Cons:

  • Only suitable for Centerlock brake type
  • Expensive

All new Spinergy Gravel 2021 GX32 wheelset come with beefed up "44" hubs with 108 points of engagement, with more torque and power transfer options. Upgraded 44mm ratchet offers compatibility with Shimano Micro Spline 12-speed and Campagnolo Ekar 13-speed groupset.

PBO fibers feature exceptional resistance to chemicals, water, and UV, making these wheels highly durable in harsh and varying outdoor weather conditions. The 32 mm deep wheel is built to stand up to varying conditions of roads and dirt tracks.

3. Ryde XS19 Rims 700c Gravel CX Bike Wheelset

Our rating: 9 / 10

Ryde XS19 Rims 700c Gravel CX Bike Wheelset

Check Price on Amazon

Pros:

  • 6 Bolt Disc Hubs on clincher rims
  • Clincher only
  • 36 spokes
  • Quick release skewers
  • Wheel Size is 29"

Cons:

  • Tire type is a tube only

Ryde XS19 Rims 700c Gravel CX Bike Wheelset is clincher only with quick-release skewers. They are available in black color, having 36 spokes. They are an affordable wheelset option for gravel bikes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a good weight for a gravel bike?

Weight is a pretty subjective factor these days. Manufacturers have been playing with positioning, hydroforming, and various forms of carbon fiber to push weights past what were previously considered acceptable numbers.

The exact weight will depend on which gravel bike you choose,, but the average gravel bike weighs in at just over 11kg, that's approximately 2kg heavier than the average road bike.

A gravel bike frame is about 15-20% heavier than a racing bike frame. When dealing with raw bicycle frame materials, a cyclocross or gravel bike carbon frame may weigh less than one kilogram, while the same type of frame in steel may weigh less than 1.5 kg.

What is the best gravel bike to buy?

For finding the best gravel bike you need to answer these questions first: Are you looking for something simple and economical? Or something with more oomph and a bit of muscle on the side? Or could you do something in the middle? How much do you want to spend?

All these questions are not easy to answer. There is no straight and easy manual on finding the best gravel bike for you. Instead, there are more than a handful of variables that need to be considered before you make that big purchase.

Finding a good gravel bike isn’t hard, and sometimes the line between a road bike and a gravel bike is a fine one. Still, there are some things we like to see in any gravel bike: look for disc brakes, relaxed posture with higher handlebars, comfortable riding position, road capability, and wider tires with wider tire clearance.

Canyon Grail AL 7.0 SL is the best gravel bike, in our opinion.

Are gravel bikes good on the road?

Not necessarily. There are certainly some gravel bikes that excel on-road, but some of them are a bit cumbersome.

In the interest of speed and comfort, many bikers elect to use wheels with a more narrow and aerodynamic profile. These wheels are often stiff and light, and they slow you down on gravel roads.

A wider wheel enables you to hit rough terrain at higher speeds. They also are sometimes built with a wider tire profile – ensuring plenty of contact area with the road and making for a smoother ride.

Dealing with the weight of a wider tire is often a problem, but modern tubeless road bike tires can be made relatively thin to lower that weight to tolerable levels.

Can gravel bikes really do it all?

When we say even roads with the smoothest asphalt can often rival a cyclocross course, we mean it. Gravel bikes are fine-tuned for the roughest of surfaces, so you can expect the elite riders you see on YouTube competing in Paris-Brest-Paris to have a set of gravel bike wheels.

Gravel bikes basically take everything a cyclocross bike does and make it better. Namely, they make wider tires and more clearance possible, and they do it with the hardware and geometry that is more typical of a road bike.

Now, there is a big difference when you get into the performance of different bikes, so we suggest that you decide which groupset you would like to run before committing to your gravel bike.

Conclusion

Many cyclists are buying gravel bikes because they have the versatility to be set up as road bikes, mountain bikes, or commuters. They are good on unpaved trails and cyclocross bikes with good-quality tires. The best gravel bike wheelsets will enhance your riding experience by providing speed, comfort, and power. They are light, durable, and strong wheels that are the most affordable among road, mountain, and touring bike wheels.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
PUB Gravel Cyclocross Asym Carbon Bike WheelsetBest OverallPUB Gravel Cyclocross Asym Carbon Bike Wheelset
Ryde XS19 Rims 700c Gravel CX Bike WheelsetBudget PickRyde XS19 Rims 700c Gravel CX Bike Wheelset
Spinergy Gravel/CX Bike Wheel SetUpgrade PickSpinergy Gravel/CX Bike Wheel Set