One of the best ways to upgrade your bike is to change the wheels. In respect of mountain biking, most new bikes are supplied with a fairly heavy wheelset and to quickest way to shave lbs off your bike weight is through the wheels and tyre for that matter. This also improves acceleration and deceleration as this weight is what is spinning.
The same is true for road bikes. Lighter alloy rims and higher quality spokes and hubs can reduce the weight dramatically and can spin more freely wasting less energy. Lightweight carbon fibre rims and deep section aero wheels are used for more aerodynamic purposes for long rides and speed events like time trials.
Mavic are probably the best known wheel brand along with others like Fulcrum and Hope. These brands offer full wheel builds at great prices.
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