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rim depth - wheel advice

  • 09-03-2022 3:33pm
    Registered Users Posts: 675 ✭✭✭

    Hi All

    I've a 2014 canyon roadlite.. looking to upgrade the stock wheels which are mavic aksiums. I'd like to try carbon wheels and wondering about rim depth. I'm a leisure rider and like the hills. Chain reaction have a set of Prime Carbon 50s Rims for just under €600. Should I be looking for something shallower? Like a 32 / 40mm depth? Better for climbing?

    Also if anoyone has any suggestions on decent entry carbon rim wheelsets out there shoot.




  • Moderators, Politics Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 24,266 Mod ✭✭✭✭Chips Lovell

    If you're a leisure rider who likes the hills, then carbon wheels aren't the most suitable option.

    The advantage of carbon as a material is that it allows you to create a deep, aerodynamic rim that isn't too heavy. Drag is exponential, so you only really gain appreciable benefits at high speeds, i.e. 40kph+.

    The downside to deep section rims is poor handling in windy conditions, and you'll notice that more up in the mountains. They can be a handful in gusty crosswinds.

    As a leisure rider, if you buy deep section carbon rims, you're getting the cons but none of the pros. There's no denying that there's heaps of leisure riders out there on 50mm Zipps and what not but they've made their purchasing decisions based on aesthetics, not functionality.

    If you're really set on carbon rims I'd buy something low profile, 20mm or less from a manufacturer that has a reputation for durability and availability of spare parts.

    Post edited by Chips Lovell on

  • Registered Users Posts: 848 ✭✭✭gn3dr

    Have to agree. I picked up a set of 2nd hand Mavic Cosmic Carbons last year, because let's face it deep section rims can look cool. But on a windy day they are not great, especially when descending. Found them quite unstable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,207 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    I'd echo the above but it is especially true on rim brakes as you are adding in the disadvantages of potentially worse braking performance particularly in the wet, and increased rim wear. I have 45mm carbon rims on my disc braked bike and to be honest only because it looks cool. I have a winter bike with the cheapest DT Swiss wheels that I take out whenever the wind gets a bit stronger

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,812 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Just to give you an alternative take. Modern 50mm carbon wheels are lovely and light, are very pleasurable to ride and in my opinion aren't as unrideable in windy conditions as the other lads have said. So if you'd like a pair, go buy them. 600 is a great deal on those primes. They're lovely wheels.

    In many ways it's easier buy carbon wheels these days than aluminium cos there's so much choice out there.

    I've been riding 50mm Bontragers on an aero frame all winter with no issue except for one crazy windy day there a few weeks back.

    Weight wise, most medium cost carbon wheels seem to weigh in around the 1500 g ish mark which compares very favourably to similarly priced shallower aluminium wheels.

    I wouldn't be afraid to buy second hand carbon wheels either, especially from a reputable Boardsie.

  • Registered Users Posts: 921 ✭✭✭nicksnikita

    38mm carbon rims are a good compromise if you want carbons without getting blown around on windy days.

    They're my preferred depth anyway and I ride on windy, hilly roads.

    They would be an improvement over the stock Aksiums.

    But a set of mid-range alloy rims such as Ksyriums or Zondas would also be a step up.

    The Primes are decent in my experience. I’ve had a set of the 38mms in the past

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,182 ✭✭✭DaveyDave

    I'd say if you like climbing keep it light. I replaced my Mavic Aksiums with Zondas and they transformed the bike. The Aksium is 1,840g and Zonda is 1,590g. Acceleration is light and snappy and the wheels are stiff out of the saddle.

    The Vision Trimax 35 KB is 1,530g and 35mm rim. Lighter if you go with their 25mm or 20mm wheels, if you can find them.

    Personally I'd take the weight penalty and go for the Prime wheels. At 1,630g they aren't much heavier than a standard aluminium wheel at a similar price so you won't be hurting pushing them uphill but you also have the benefit of carbon and a 50mm profile so it's a bit of an all rounder. If I didn't have to spend €600 on misc things last week I'd probably have picked up a set myself.

    Post edited by DaveyDave on

  • Registered Users Posts: 921 ✭✭✭nicksnikita

    But what is the benefit of carbon and 50mm profile?

  • Registered Users Posts: 675 ✭✭✭ILIKEFOOD

    Hi all

    Thanks for the great input - I suppose it's unlikely that I'd benefit greatly from what the deep rims offer if I'm not flaking it around the place, they would look cool though. Im also not a fantastic decender and I'd be concerned about blowing the braking people lay off the brakes for this reason??

    Interesting that the Zondas have had a few mentions, I have been thinking about those too. They also look kinda cool and I think they've been rejigged to take a wider tyre, mine are 25s I'll have to check if my frame can take a 28mms..

    If the primes come back into stock with the shallower rims maybe Id go for them.. otherwise I think I might go for the Zondas soon and think about a new bike in time and keep the current for winter use...

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,741 ✭✭✭brownian

    I would suggest that 'blowing' the rims is not very likely with modern carbon rims...seems to have been an issue back in the day, but not any more, at least with reputable wheels.

    None the less, FWIW, I had a lovely pair of carbon rim-brake BikeBeat Uberfliegers (light, cool-looking, stiff, braked well in the wet), but I sold them on (they live here on Boards), as I wasn't a massive fan of worrying about cross-winds (even if it never happened, the idea of being chucked is not a lovely one).

    I'd seriously look at light alloys, like, say, Duke Road Racer 22s on Carbon-Ti hubs or Tunes. I have a pair from WheelTec in Holland, and I find them great. Or indeed Shamals, Neutrons, Zondas. A low rim-height does make for less-worrying riding on windy day coming down Sally Gap into Glencree, say....

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,812 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Don't worry lad, you're not going to blow up any carbon rims!!

    As for benefits of 50mm, it's a proven 65% more "whomp whomp" when you're out of the saddle. Which is the only reason anyone really rides deep section wheels :D

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,812 ✭✭✭fat bloke

  • Registered Users Posts: 474 ✭✭sin_26

    Go Zondas and dont look back. Learn how to service hub and enjoy lovely stiff wheelset. Carbon rims are overhyped. I know as I have few and believe me you will get no advantage by going carbon unless is deep and wide and you're racing (every second counts) and even then it's not a given

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,282 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    are mavics still really hard to get? best pair of wheels i've cycled on is my zondas, and i've never had any reason to think i need to upgrade (though that could obviously be borne of ignorance), but i'm no racer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,578 ✭✭✭Trekker09

    +1 for the Zondas. My favourite carbon wheels are Fulcrum Racing Zero. They roll forever, are light, and look amazing too. They are shallow rim but just do everything sublimely. Perfect for hills. These are the last set I had.


    They're expensive but have seen them heavily discounted in the past. Fulcrum also do a alu version which are fantastic, especially the Nite version. Campag.

    I personally don't like the look of deep rim wheels unless on an aero bike. I did get a set of Cosmics for a Colnago I had. Purely for the looks but they were replaced by the Zeros.


  • Registered Users Posts: 398 ✭✭GandhiwasfromBallyfermot

    Hunt race aero wide rim brake wheelset, best wheels I've ever bought and great value too. I bought them for winter but now use them all year round instead of my 38mm carbon rims and race on them too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 675 ✭✭✭ILIKEFOOD

    Hi All

    I'm still looking..

    Any thoughts on

    Mavic Ksyrium SL 2021 @ €529 - 22mm rim height, UST, 1480g together

    DT Swiss PR1400 DiCut OxiC @ €719 - 32mm rim (als available in 21mm), 1630g together... ceramic rims (any thoughts?) also the stated axel size is 5 x 100/130.. seems like a short axel?? most are 9 x 100/130 as far as I can tell...

    Mavic Cosmic Pro UST 2020 model @ €1049 - 40mm carbon wheels, 1650g... I like the rim height, I don't like the price - also lots of stories about how it's hard to pair a tubless tyre with these unless it's the mavic specific one


    I think it will be one of these 3. I probably won't see any of the benefit from the cosmis truth be told, I really like the look of the DTs and the Ksyrium seem all round solid and light.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,912 ✭✭✭G1032

    Funny how opinions can differ. I bought Zondas before after so many recommendations from here but the rear wheel was nothing but trouble. It was some pile of rubbish. The front on the other hand never gave as much as a second of trouble. Original bearings still in it but I don't really use it much anymore. Rim a little worn but I have another winter out of it yet.

    I have Kysrium Elite UST from 2019. What a set of wheels. Absolutely bomb proof. They've been out in every sort of weather over the last few winters and still perfect. There was a scraping noise recently from the front but when I checked the bearings they were 100% perfect. Must have been some tiny bit of dust or dirt. Used them racing too. Could not recommend them highly enough.

    I am a fan of Mavic though. Have Cosmic Carbon Pro also and I love them. They're sitting out in the garage cos not racing this year but no doubt they'll make a few outings over the summer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,207 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    I was probably the one complaining about fitting tubeless tires to those Mavics. I had a pair that never even went on a bike and sold them on again for that reason.

    I don't have direct experience but what about Scribe? Someone in my club has them although not long enough to give a long term review. Very similar to Hunt but a bit cheaper (recent price increase aside)

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,912 ✭✭✭G1032

    Oh I got a puncture the tubeless one day near home. Just a thorn. The sealant just kept oozing out. Just got me home. Put a tube in then but could I get the tire back on. I nearly went bananas. The Hutchinson tire that came with the Mavics. So hung that tire up and put a Vittoria on. I have absolutely no idea what I'd have done if I was 50 or 60km from home and had to put a tube in with those Hutchinson tires. Nightmare

  • Registered Users Posts: 848 ✭✭✭gn3dr

    Interesting given the positive feedback they get on here. What kind of problems did the rear wheel have?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,182 ✭✭✭DaveyDave

    Regarding the Zonda wheel being rubbish, Campagnolo apparently have fantastic customer support or at least they did a few years ago. When I was buying mine I saw a load of people online saying they got a complete replacement wheel if theirs was slightly out of true or had a broken spoke.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,198 ✭✭✭ratracer

    I have the Ksyrium Elite’s also and I have to say that for me, the Hutchinson Fusion is the most suitable tire I’ve tried. I find it pretty ok to get on/off and decent value for money. As previously noted, the wheels themselves are bombproof!

    I had the cosmic’s but sold them on here, I would have been a Mavic fan but now they don’t do rim brake wheels anymore afaik.

    I went with the Prime RR50’s and so far couldn’t fault them.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 48,282 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i don't have tubless, but run hutchinson fusions on my zondas and are very happy with them. not much fuss at all removing or fitting.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 19,812 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    They do both rim and disc. They stopped doing 6 bolt disc though

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,161 ✭✭✭JMcL

    I have a pair if DT Swiss PR 1600 Spline 32s on the new bike, and can't fault them at all, though haven't racked up huge distance on them yet

    I purposely avoided Ksyriums as I've had bad experiences with them over the past few years. Spoke pulled nipple through the rim of one set (roughly 12000km on them), and with the replacement set I could never get the back wheel to stay true. The mechanic in my LBS who builds wheels almost came to regard it as a challenge, but was defeated despite his best efforts - he also had quite a few interesting words to say about Mavics quality control over the last decade. Now, I know they've had their problems, and are under new management, but they've lost me

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,912 ✭✭✭G1032

    Hub issues. Started after a few months with this kind of clicking noise. Strange kind of sound I hadn't heard before or since in any other wheel. Brought to LBS and in fairness he got rid of the clicking without having to replace anything. Forget what was wrong. Back again a few months later because some play developed in the cassette. Avoided a free hub replacement but bearings had to be replaced again and again. Eventually after more roughness developed in the hub the mechanic I go to for wheel work just said to forget about them. Was gonna require a freehub replacement and at about 80 euro for the freehub alone at the time they were more trouble than they were worth. Him and another mechanic local to me both said that Campy/Fulcrum rear hubs are definitely not built with the west of Ireland in mind. Never again. Front wheel was a pure dream though in fairness. Smooth as silk and never an issue.

  • Registered Users Posts: 474 ✭✭sin_26

    I like these anecdotes that someone had a problem with these wheels or those. My friend, after my recommendation, bought a Zondas and the bearings died after 6 months of systematic use. I forgot to add that his mechanic told him that the slack in the hub is not a big deal and he can keep cycling 😂. To this day, he has a grudge against me that I recommended him a rubbish wheels.


    My zondas are already 30k km long and the bearings are turning nice.

    It turns out that not everyone can have wheels in which you have to do something more than inflate the tires from time to time 😁

    Zondas are great wheels but not for bad mechanics or clueless owners.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,912 ✭✭✭G1032

    Jesus Christ. I just posted about my experience with the Zondas. Not every set of Zondas made have been absolutely perfect. Absolutely no need for your last sentence. I'm far from clueless and brought the wheel to two mechanics, both highly respected and excellent mechanics.

  • Registered Users Posts: 474 ✭✭sin_26

    Sorry but I've related to my friend and his pseudo mechanic. All the rest... 100% agree.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,812 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    I've had mixed zonda experiences as well. A spate of spoke breakages with one pair and another pair the freehub went completely fairly early on in my ownership from new. Was stranded on a club spin with no drive.

    3rd set were fine while I had them but sold them on with a bike then.