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Wheels - 30mm or 50mm?

crossedcrossed Posts: 237
edited January 2017 in Road buying advice
I'm looking at a set of carbon disc clinchers for my road bike and after being impressed with their alloy rimmed wheelsets I plan on getting a set of the Hunt carbon wheels.

If you had a choice between the 30mm carbon disc wheels and 50mm ones, which would be the better wheel?
They'll be running tubeless Schwalbe Pro One tyres, probably 25's.
The wheels will be used for whatever road riding I normally do along with the odd Alps trip and possibly Revolve 24h at Brands Hatch later in the year.

Any advice?


  • I have 30mm and 45mm so nearly the same. If I chose just one set it would be the deeper wheels. You get the aero benefit at speed and they may be slightly stiffer as well. The general argument is that shallower rims are better all around wheels and more suited to climbing but IME the deeper rims I have don't sacrifice antything compared to the 30mm in either of these aspects. You may get a slight weight saving with the 30mm but it will be negligible and you won't benefit from any improved performance in all likelihood.
  • crossedcrossed Posts: 237
    As you say, the weight saving is negligible at 100g for the set which isn't really a big deal.
    My main concern with the deeper wheels would be the issues with crosswinds as I've heard from friends that they can cause some "moments" with the deeper section.
    I'd imagine that any gains would be more noticeable on longer rides like the Revolve event rather than normal day to day road rides.
  • keezxkeezx Posts: 1,322
    My guess is that you won't notice ant gain unless it's a time trial.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    go deeper if you can. shallower wheels are not not better at climbing.

    Stability in cross winds depends on the profile. Some rim profiles are better than others so to say deeper wheels means more of a battle on windy days is not always true. Some shallower rims perform less well in crosswinds than some deeper rims. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • As cycleclinic says, depends on rim profile. I have 22mm deep box section rims that catch the wind easily and have been blown 2-3 feet across the road on a couple of occasions. My 45mm have been no problem even in strong (30mph+) winds, they don't budge. I suspect more modern wider rims such as mine are probably less susceptible although that is just a hunch!
  • Go deep! Unless you weigh 50kg or live somewhere that is consistently super windy.

    As for catching cross-winds it varies between wheelsets depending on design. I've got two sets of rims around 50mm deep and one set is noticeably more stable in gusty conditions than the other.

    Deeper rims also look more awesome so it's a double win for deeper rims!
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