Why you should upgrade your wheels.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Whether you’re looking to give your existing bike a new lease of life for those spring and summer rides or you are in the market for a new bike. A key area that should never be overlooked is the wheels. In the never-ending search for marginal gains, nothing offers a bigger impact on performance than the wheelset. In addition to the effects on your ride enjoyment, of course. Let’s take a look at why you should upgrade your wheels.

Wheels – The Lowdown

With an industry-wide switch to disc brakes, there’s no longer an onus on wheel manufacturers to produce rims that are both load-bearing and include heat friction brake surfaces. Like all things in cycling, wheel design is in a constant of evolution. With new technologies and techniques being sought to seek the ultimate advantage over the opposition. But, what advantages are there to upgrading a set of hoops?

  • Weight – You can reasonably expect an entry-level set of alloy wheels to weigh somewhere in the region of approximately 2kg. Therefore, upgrading to a pair of lightweight alloy or carbon wheels can save you as much as half a kilo or more! As a result of this weight reduction acceleration is improved.
  • Stiffness – Premium quality wheels make use of more advanced construction techniques and higher-grade materials to produce wheels with greater structural rigidity. Increasing their stiffness also results n a bike with better handling and agility. This is especially true when cornering, when the forces applied to the wheels are at their most extreme. 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 the 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 a general rule of thumb, the higher the cost of a wheelset, the better the quality of materials. High-end wheelsets will usually include high-grade stainless steel bearings. Towards the top end of the spectrum, ceramic bearings may also be employed for their ability to reduce friction and improve longevity. The better the quality of the bearings, the less maintenance is required to keep them in tip-top condition.

As a novice or seasoned veteran, the potential to ride faster, for less effort and reduce fatigue over long distances seems too good an opportunity to refuse. And rightly so. After all, who doesn’t want free speed? In conclusion, wheels are the best single-component performance upgrade you could ever possibly apply to your bike.


LEVEL is a brand that has been designed, developed and tested in-house to complement our range of performance bikes. Each model listed below is an available upgrade option in Bike Builder. LEVEL wheels are subject to extensive wind tunnel and real-world testing by our team of testers, developers and bike addicts. To simplify identification, rim brake compatible wheelsets carry the designation ‘RB’ and disc brake wheels ‘DB’.

LEVEL Sport and Pro Carbon Wheels Explained

Most models of carbon wheels within the lEVEL range are available in a Sport or PRO variant.

Sport Carbon

LEVEL Sport wheels are built using traditional j-bend spokes and include sealed cartridge bearings which deliver outstanding year-round reliability and durability.

Pro Carbon

Pro carbon wheels are built using straight-pull spokes rather than the traditional J-Bend. As a result, the wheels are stiffer for enhanced structural rigidity. Stiffer wheels are more efficient at laying the power down making pro wheels more advantageous for those out of the saddle efforts of sprinting or climbing. The hub internals includes the finest quality sealed Japanese Stainless Steel bearings offering an unparalleled level of performance and durability. Similarly to the sport version, they are designed to deliver a ride smoothing quality, no matter the season and in the very worst of conditions.


Available for disc brakes only, the shallow 40mm rim profile results in the lightest LEVEL carbon wheelset available in Bike Builder. A generous internal rim diameter has been aerodynamically optimised for 25mm tyres and offers seamless integration with tubeless tyres. Providing access to the many advantages that tubeless tyres deliver. Including improved aerodynamic efficiency, less rolling resistance, improved cornering grip, extra shock absorption and enhanced puncture protection.

The semi-aero profile of the rim offers a significant improvement in drag reduction when compared to standard rim profiles. Providing additional stability in mixed wind conditions. Thanks to their lightweight construction and reduced rim profile, the LEVEL40 wheels are the perfect option for aspiring climbers.

  • Rim Material: HI-TG UD Carbon, UD Finish.
  • Rim Profile: 40mm depth, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal.
  • Tubeless Ready: Yes.
  • Spokes: Straight pull, Pillar PSR 1423 Aero.
  • Spoke Count: 24H Front/24H Rear.
  • Weight: 1610g pair – Front 750g/860g Rear.


Available in a rim brake or disc brake variant, LEVEL 56 wheels represent the next level in aerodynamic optimisation. They should appeal to road racers and mixed terrain riders seeking that extra performance advantage. With a deeper rim depth providing further aero gains, the DB/RB 56 wheels carve through the air with incredible efficiency. Super-stable in mixed wind conditions and on technical descents, LEVEL 56 wheels will help you climb, sprint and accelerate for less effort.

  • Rim Material: HI-TG UD Carbon Fibre. UD Finish.
  • Rim Profile: 56mm, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal.
  • Tubeless Ready: Yes.
  • Spokes: Straight pull, Pillar PSR 1423 Aero Blade.
  • Spoke Count: 24H Front/24H Rear (Disc) – 20H Front/24H Rear (Rim).
  • Weight: RB40 1580g, Front 720g/Rear 860g (Rim) – DB56 1660g, Front 770g/Rear 890g.


LEVEL DB/RB86 wheels (rim brake version pictured) are the most aerodynamically advanced carbon road racing 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 will appreciate the pure speed and aerodynamic advantages offered by this advanced wheelset.

  • Rim Material: HI-TG UD Carbon, UD Finish. 3K heat-resistance braking surface (rim brake)
  • Rim Profile: 88mm, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal.
  • Tubeless Ready: No.
  • Spokes: Pillar PSR 1423 Aero Blade.
  • Spoke Count: Rim Brake 20H Front/24H Rear – Disc 24H Front/24H Rear.
  • Weight: RB88 1930g – Front 900g/1030g Rear – DB88 2010g – Front 950g/1060g Rear

LEVEL DB88/DB56 PRO carbon

The LEVEL 88/56 mm wheelset has been developed for triathletes looking for the ultimate performance advantage when racing against the clock. As such, it is only currently 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 non-UCI 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 when it comes to aero efficiency and crosswind stability.  

Ultralight hubs with Japanese steel internals, laced into a Hi-TG carbon rim create a wheelset with exceptional structural rigidity and strength. The rims 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 the rear wheels extreme depth makes it currently incompatible with tubeless tyre systems. Valve stems simply aren’t long enough to provide enough purchase to attach a pump to inflate the tyre.

  • Rim Material: Hi-TG carbon fibre. UD Finish.
  • Rim Profile: 88mm/56mm Depth. 25.5mm External. 17.5mm Internal.
  • Tubeless Ready: Front: Yes. Rear: No.
  • Spokes: Straight Pull, Pillar PSR 1423 Aero.
  • Spoke Count: 24H/24H.
  • Weight: Total 1860g, Front 790g/1060g Rear.

LEVEL DB Pro Carbon Tri-Spoke/Disc

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

  • Material: Hi-Tg carbon fibre, 3K finish
  • Rim Profile: 50mm depth (tri-spoke), 24mm external diameter (both)
  • Tubeless Ready: No
  • Weight: Disc 1220g, Tri-Spoke 880g

LEVEL DB40 Sport Carbon

Light, strong, and versatile DB40 Sport wheels are perfect for crits, cross, climbing, and more. They combine innovative disc brake compatible technology with stable rim profiles and smooth-rolling hubs to provide a fast-rolling ride, wherever your travels may take.

  • Rim Material: Hi-TG carbon fibre
  • Rim Profile: 40mm depth, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal diameter
  • Tubeless Ready: Yes
  • Spokes: J-bend, Pillar PSR 1432 Aero
  • Spoke Count: 24h/24h
  • Weight: Total 1620g, Front 750g/870g Rear
Click here to buy the LEVEL DB40 Sport Carbon wheels.

LEVEL DB/RB56 Sport Carbon

Offering an optimised blend of aero efficiency, weight, and durability, the DB/RB56 sport carbon wheels are as strong they are versatile. A proven rim shape offers superior handling characteristics and crosswind stability, making it a sure-fire choice for a multitude of terrains and surfaces.

  • Rim Material: Hi-Tg carbon fibre with UD finish, 3K braking surface (RB56 only)
  • Rim Profile: 56mm depth, 26.5mm external, 17.5mm internal
  • Tubeless Ready: Yes
  • Spokes: J-bend, Pillar PSR 1432 Aero
  • Spoke Count: 24h/24h
  • Weight: RB56 1580g, Front 720g/860g Rear – DB56 Total 1710g , Front 790g/920g Rear
Click here to buy the RB56 Carbon wheels.

LEVEL 650b Gravel DB Sport Carbon

Designed to enhance the all-terrain attributes of any gravel machine, LEVEL’s Gravel DB Sport Carbon wheelset is built for the most extreme of gravel adventures. The wide rim profile is ideal for gravel, mud, or pave and offers seamless integration with tubeless tyre systems. Opening up all of the advantages of tubeless tyres; reduced rolling resistance for more speed plus enhanced shock absorption to increase comfort and improve traction over the most extreme terrains.

Building the wheels around Hi-TG carbon fibre rims 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 Ready: Yes.
  • Spokes: J Bend. Pillar PSR 1432 Aero.
  • Spoke Count: 28H/28H.
  • Weight: Total 1530g – Front 710g/820g Rear.
Click here to buy the Gravel 650b Sport Carbon wheels.

Meet our digital guru, fair-weather cyclist and dedicated 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.


Darren Stevens says:

We have the following wheels coming with our order
DB40 PRO Carbon Tubular Front Wheel
1 x Level DB40 PRO Carbon Tubular Front Wheel LEOEWHFR3700000FRONT
DB40 PRO Carbon Tubular Rear Wheel M11
1 x Level DB40 PRO Carbon Tubular Rear Wheel M11 LEOEWHFR3700000REARM

Can I run these with a tubeless set up?

Are they Tubless Ready?

Friday, March 4, 2022

Alan Gray says:

Hi Darren,
Thanks for getting in touch. The product SKU’s that you have listed are for the TUBULAR version of the LEVEL 40 wheels, this means that they are only compatible with tubular tyres. If you want to run a tubeless set up you would need the standard non-tubular version of the wheels which are currently out of stock. If you need to amend your order based on this information, please let us know ASAP.
Best Regards
[email protected]

Monday, March 7, 2022

Mark says:

I’m looking at buying a TI Endurance to run with 28 and 32 width tyres but I see that the wheelsets I was looking at, LEVEL DB40 Pro / Sport Carbon, are optimised for size 25 tyres. It looks like non of the wheels available for the TI Endurance are optimised for the tyre width I want to use. Can I purchase a bike without wheels?

Friday, December 31, 2021

Alan Gray says:

Hi Mark,
Thanks for getting in touch,
When it states that a certain wheelset has been optimised for a specific tyre width it is simply referring to aerodynamic optimisation. It is not possible to purchase wheels that are optimised for each individual tyre size. For instance, a wheel that has an inner diameter of 19mm can easily accommodate tyre widths up to 40-50mm. It is not possible to purchase a bike without wheels, unfortunately, as they are all priced as a complete package and it makes shipping them safely extremely difficult.
We hope this helps
[email protected]

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Mike Farrington says:

Hi. I have a bike on order with DB56 Pro wheels. I notice that their internal rim width is 17.5mm, which is rather small by today’s standards – especially since 28 seem to be the new standard. Are there any plans to upgrade them to a wider internal rim width? Also I notice that their external rim width is 26.5mm, which means that each rim is 4.5mm thick, which seems unnecessarily excessive. Are these dimensions correct? Thanks. Mike

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Alan Gray says:

Hi Mike,
Thanks for getting in touch, the internal rim width of the wheels is actually 18.2mm which is optimised for 28mm tyres. There are no immediate plans to redesign the range of LEVEL wheels currently. When quoting the internal and external rim diameters it is important to note that there is a hook that overlaps the inside of the rim slightly and needs to be factored into the difference between the dimensions. This is much easier to explain with an image, check out the image at the top of this page. https://www.sheldonbrown.com/rim-sizing.html
Best Regards
Team Ribble

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Davide says:

Hi Alan,
I’m interested in 3spoke-disc wheelset. Price (incl shopping and taxes) and lead time? I’m from Italy
Thanks a lot

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Alan Gray says:

Hi Davide,
Thanks for getting in touch, currently the wheels are only available as an upgrade on our range of bikes. I have however spoken to the Head of Sales and he has stated that they will shortly be made available for sale separately. The cost including delivery to Italy will be approximately €1665.
Best Regards
Team Ribble

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Darren Kerry says:

Am I able to purchase the Level Rb56 Pro wheel set from you to upgrade my current set?

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Alan Gray says:

Hi Darren,
Thanks for getting in touch, The wheels are unfortunately out of stock at the moment and due to the many disruptions with the supply chain particularly at the factories, we may not have sufficient stock for sale until towards the end of the year. All of the stock is assigned to bike builds first and foremost before it will be available for sale on the website.
Best Regards
Team Ribble

Friday, August 20, 2021

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