I get this question a lot: "What's the best way to make my bike faster and lighter?"
Once upon a time the answer was simple...ride more and drop weight.
That was 1976. Today we have a better answer and more choices.
The best way to lose weight and gain a huge performance advantage on your bike today is by upgrading the wheelset.
Most new bikes have a decent wheelset that performs well and stays within your original budget for the bike purchase. Those wheels are also not the lightest wheels on the market.
Since the wheels are the largest bit of rolling mass on your bike imagine how every single pedal stroke and every six feet, ( one full wheel rotation) you are pushing two heavy gyroscopes around and around and around.
The average wheelset on road bikes from $800 to $3000 weigh in at approximately 1900 grams or more. That's 4 lbs 3 oz. for a pair of wheels.
What if you could drop a pound or more in your wheelset and gain some technical advantages as well, like lower spoke count ( less turbulence), ceramic bearings, and bladed spokes?
There are many choices in wheels today and each manufacturer lays claim to the best idea in technology.
Here's the skinny. Throughout my career I have ridden several different wheels both full carbon and alloy from Shimano, Easton, Fulcrum, Corima, Mavic, Reynolds, Campagnolo, Bontrager, Zipp, and DT.
My advice for best braking performance is go with alloy, but for pure lightweight state of the art technology and aerodynamics go with full carbon.
Happy cycling !