What depth of road bike wheel should I choose? This is a common question that new buyers ask.
In general, rim depth represents a compromise between speed and weight.
Shallow Rims (22 to 39mm) are lighter and easier to climb and handle.
– Middle Rims (40 – 59mm) are fairly all-round, not too weighty for climbing, but still quick on flat roads.
– Deep Rims (60mm+), are more difficult to climb and heavier than flat roads.
You should consider other factors when choosing the right rims.
* Comfortability or efficiency?
The rim depth of carbon road bike wheels is an important factor.
Because of the less power dispersed from wheel flex, rims that are deeper are generally stiffer and more efficient in power transmission.
Because of the dispersion of vibration and bumps, shallow rims offer better comfortability on bumpy roads.
* Speed-light or aero?
Although a shallower rim may be lighter, it is not necessarily faster. You should also consider aerodynamics and inertia.
Two wheels of the same weight will make you go faster if they have a higher rim weight than the hub.
You can accelerate more quickly in the beginning stages but have less inertia when you cruise.
Although they are heavier, deeper rims provide greater aerodynamics and inertia on the cruise stage.
Road racing is more about riders choosing deeper rims that are aerodynamic and faster. This is because of the increased inertia gained during the cruise.
* Choose the depth you want
As we have already mentioned, rim depth is a compromise between speed and weight.
You need to decide which aspect is most important for your riding style when choosing the right rim depth.
Triathlon racing and time trial use 88mm thick carbon rims.
You might prefer a shallower rim if you plan to use the wheel on steep roads that require a lot of climbing.
Let’s sum it up:
– The most suitable terrain (hilly or smooth roads)
– Main use for a specific wheel (casual riding, racing).
– The weight, skill, and style of the rider