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Carbon vs aluminum wheels: which are to be preferred?


The topic whether is better purchasing a carbon fiber or aluminium wheels is a very debated one as both these 2 materials have advantages and some drawbacks as well. The majority of bikes are equipped with aluminium wheels. Carbon wheels are more difficult and rarer to find, the reason behind this is the difference in term of price. Aluminium wheels are cheaper compared to carbon ones. It is not easy to estimate the real cost of a pair of carbon wheels as thanks to technology development, the manufacturing costs of a pair of wheels is increasing day after day. However 700 USD is considered to be a potential price for a standard pair of aluminium wheels. Beside the price, there are other differences between carbon and aluminium wheels.


The first one is the visuals. Normally, the majority if aluminium wheels have un unpainted brake track. This is because the braking of the surface cause the paint to chip off. Disk brakes are becoming more and more popular on road bikes and more affordable. If you have an aluminium disk brake, there is the possibility for it to be painted with many colours as the braking is done at the disk and it will not disappear out of the paint of the rim.

Carbon rims can also be made lighter compared to alloy rims. They are also more aerodynamic, due to the fact that the depth of the rim can be made much deeper. Moving on with more difference between alloy and carbon wheels, we should mention weight as well. Normally an entry level aluminium wheel set weights approximately 2 kg for pair tires excluded. On the other hand a carbon wheel has a weight of 1500 grams and therefore opting for a pair of carbon wheels will result in saving. A top range light weight carbon wheels can weight only a kilogram per pair. This is an important advantage as if one chooses between riding a bike whose wheel weight only 1 kg and another whose weight exceeds 2kg, the difference in term of speed is very noticeable.

Carbon vs alluminum wheels

Look is also an important advantage that the carbon has over the aluminium.  The multiple techniques which are part of the manufacturing process of carbon fibre will make the carbon wheels looking better compared to aluminium wheels. When it comes to speed, as carbon is lighter compared to aluminium, this will result in spin to be faster. And therefore the entire bike speed will be faster as well.

Another important difference concerns aerodynamics. Many studies were conducted based on the positive advantages of riding a light weight carbon wheel. It was found out that by riding this road bike equipped with carbon wheel it is indeed possible to save around 30 seconds over 40 kilometres at 40 per hour. Moving on with the differences between carbon and aluminium wheels. If one is running rim brakes, aluminium wheels have a better braking performance compared to carbon rims.

Aluminium rims offer much better heat dissipation compared to a carbon remitter heat dissipation compared to a carbon rim. Toi sum up, we can conclude that in spite pricing, using carbon wheels seems to really outbenefit the usage of aluminium wheels.

ITM wheels offerings

At ITM we are know for more than 50 years on the market for the design and production of high end carbon and alloy components including as well wheels. All of our wheels differ in terms of length, diameters and weight.

The VOLO 3.8 wheelset is the right choice for those who love climbing, the set is versatile and light is a brilliant and easy to handle. The VOLO wheelset is produced in high modulus carbon, with unidirectional. matte finishing. Lightness and stiffness make the VOLO wheel the best solution for the “disc brake” type.  Maximum comfort is achieved by a combined 25mm wide rim with a 4-bearing hub and spoke crossing, profile height 38 mm.  The VOLO wheelset is a comfortable and dynamic set suitable for both ride on the road or Triathlon and cycle touring. The cyclists more attentive to the style and details of their bicycle can combine the VOLO wheelset with the VOLO road handlebar, the VOLO Gravel handlebar, the VOLO handlebar stem, the VOLO seat post.

Click here to find more about our VOLO 3.8 wheels



ITM50 is the new category of high-profile carbon wheels, easy to handle, light and dynamic. It is the ideal choice for the most competitive cyclists searching for a very high-performance wheelset. ITM 50 rims are made of unidirectional high modulus carbon. This wheel category has a height of 50 mm rim profile. It is prepared for tubular. The perfect smoothness of the wheels is completed with a hub of the highest range. That makes the ITM 50 wheel a comfortable and dynamic set suitable for both fast competitions on the road or on the circuit and Triathlon.

ITM50 wheels are prepared for tubular, front wheel mounting at 18 radial spokes and 24 spokes for the rear wheel with cross spokes on the side of the free wheel. For a unique style, there is the possibility to combine the ITM50 wheel with ITM 50 integrated handlebar. Which is ITM 50 high-quality and most exclusive product, the VOLO seat-post and also the ITM 50 bottle cage.

Click here to find more about ITM50 carbon wheel

Pathom 5.0 and Aero 2.5 MTB 27.5″/29″ Wheel

The Pathom 5.0 wheel is another high end carbon wheel. Aerodynamic and designed for tubular tyres, this wheel type feature 18 radial spoke front wheel assembly and 24 spoke for rear with cross-spokes on the sprocket side.

Click here to discover more about Pathom 5.0 wheels

Lastly, our products range includes as well Aero 2.5 MTB 27.5″/29″ Wheel. This wheel type features a  profile of the circle 25 mm, compatible for disc brakes STD (Standard International). Both front and rear wheel cross spokes assembled. 27,5” version is providing both QR9, QR15 axle and rear 142/12.

Click here to discover more about our Aero 2.5 MTB 27.5″/29″ Wheel


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