Aero Wheel Upgrade

These are clinchers, right? What tyres/tubes are you using? A relatively cheap and effective upgrade would be to try S-Works turbo cotton tyres and latex tubes. Depending on what you’re using it might reduce rolling resistance…


Yes, clinchers. I use Continental GP Attack (front wheel) and Continental GP4000 (rear wheel), both with latex tubes. Do you think worth to try S-Work? Thanks!!

Andy is spot on with this advice, getting a disc will give you way more gain than swapping wheels as HEDs are considered pretty good from an aerodynamics standpoint. Also, with getting a disc you can throw the 9 on the front if there is little wind.

As for upgrading your tires check out the following website.

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In general, the biggest determining factor of aero wheels is the depth of the rim regardless of profile/shape. The shape can marginally help with crosswind stability up to a certain point and there are other quality of life factors you should consider (such as ride comfort, stiffness, braking performance for rim-brakes, quality of hubs used, warranty, etc), but depth is king in aero. Do not buy into marketing hype when it comes to some of these outrageously priced rims.

The one exception of this is FLO wheels which actually test really slowly for their given depth in real-world scenarios. They are inherently flawed in design–their data is based on ideal, stead-state wind tunnel analysis which is inapplicable in the majority of real life scenarios. In fact, most manufacturers and marketing data are designed around this solely because there are only a few wind tunnels in the world that can actually test with transient analysis (recording the effect of ramping yaw angles rather than a constant single angle at a time). Even in ideal conditions (indoors), what isn’t accounted for is that a rider naturally induces yaw into the system by subtly rocking the bike as they pedal, so you can see how this is a fundamental problem when a wheel is designed to be fast at “0 degrees” and nothing else.

You can read more about this independent study and see their wheel comparisons/testings here, it’s caused quite a stir recently:

FLO has acknowledged these findings but haven’t really been able to counter it. It will be interesting to see if they try to address this in their next generation of rim designs.


Yoeleos. Who knew.

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Well they only have data on the 88mm one and the 50mm one, the 88mm naturally is quite fast in comparison to most because it’s much deeper–interestingly it falls away slightly in the 50km/h test compared to the other rims in that 80mm+ class. The 50mm one is inline with the other 50mm rims. Hambini commented on why some of these cheap Chinese wheels perform so admirably and he reiterated that it’s pretty hard to mess up aero when it comes to rims since depth alone makes the biggest difference. I also suspect that some of these companies are using the same open molds used by the some of the bigger companies anyway so the design is already sound, you’re just not getting the quality testing and premium materials the big companies provide (also some of the more technical things like textured brake tracks).

At 30km/h all the rims deeper than ~40mm are pretty comparable (only ~5w between 80mm Reynolds and 45mm Cosmics). Looking at the 30km/h results AND the 50km/h results, the sweetspot seems to imply that ~60mm rims are ideal as an all-rounder set. For TTs you want to go as deep as you can handle on the day.


This is a really interesting read. Thanks for sharing it. Seems somewhat scathing on Hunt and FLO. Would be interesting to see more tests like these being performed for verification.

@Halley…When I moved from a 66mm depth Reynold to the ENVE 7.8 SES the difference in control at speed during cross winds was nothing short of amazing. The internal width was a further revelation. The textured brake track a third. Control speed and braking all superior. In fact the 7.8’s outperformed my old (now sold) ENVE classic 45’s in control and obviously blew them away in speed and braking.

Further, I own a set of Knight 35’s. I’d choose those in an ITT before the Reynolds or the ENVE classic 45 which are obviously both deeper but both more of a narrow-v shape. They are simply faster. I attribute this to the wider internal and external width of the rim and how that affects tire shape/performance.

Last anecdote…I briefly owned a set of ZIPP 808 Firecrest set just prior to the ENVE 7.8. Their hubs while arguably “fast” I find a PITA. The 7.8’s are laced to DT Swiss 240’s which are bombproof, easy to work on and roll nearly as well as anything IMO/E.

Jim Manton said some interesting points in a recent “Faster Podcast by Flo” about shape and how it contributes more to speed and control than depth of rim.


Just the kind of information I was looking for. Thanks

I’ve been riding the Bontrager Aeolus 5s for a couple years now and I agree that it does well in gusty crosswinds. Even better than a standard Zipp 303, which has a lower profile.

For me the downside of the Aeolus is hub friction. I did a spindown test with the three carbon front wheels I have available and was careful to use the exact same protocol for each run. Here are my results:

  • Bontrager Aeolus 5 D3 (50mm): 0m 54s
  • Oval Concepts 946 (46mm): 4m 28s
  • Zipp 303 pre-Firecrest (45mm): 4m 52s

Make of it what you want, but my Bontragers seem to have an inordinate amount of hub friction so I’ve relegated them to training only and race on the Zipps.

I have aelous 5 D3 tubulars. They are so damn light and aero. It’s ridiculous. ill test the hub friction tonight


FYI, this is how I tested it:

  1. Pumped each wheel up to 90 PSI
  2. Placed wheel in Park truing stand with light and consistent drop out tension
  3. Set my DeWalt cordless drill to high speed setting
  4. Placed the drill’s chuck collar—which conveniently has a knurled surface—onto the tire
  5. Turned on drill to highest speed (full trigger)
  6. Pulled drill away from wheel AND started the timer at the same time
  7. Timed to when the wheel stopped rotating in the initial direction. IOW, I ignored the swinging back and forth that happens at the end due to valve/wheel imbalance.

I know, not super rigorous, but with that big of a difference, it definitely wasn’t the protocol’s fault!? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Hi all

I’m in the market for some new aero wheels. They’re primarily for my TT bike but I’ll probably use them for events on my road bike as well so no discs. I also don’t want to take out a small mortgage so I’m looking up to about £1k (bonus if I can get them on a cycle scheme!) Any recommendations?

Some non-obvious options I’ve stumbled across:

The LBS also have a good deal on a pair of Giant SLR 0, and Flo also look good, though I’m not too keen on paying shipping/import tax to the UK. Of course, there’s always some good ol’ Chinese death rims!

For everyone’s info, SwissSide has cut their prices on their HADRON wheels by 15%. Their classics are now roughly in line with Flo wheels at full retail, a bit over $1400. The ultimates with the ceramic bearing DT Swiss 240s are still running ~$2000 before shipping.

They were on sale a lot more than that last month. I’m still bummed I didn’t pull the trigger!

Ugh, well… now I’m going to wait!

Hi guys, I’m aslo in the market for a new carbon wheelset.
According to Hambini’s work I have short listed some candidates that I found suitable for me.
I only do non drafting triathlon, half and long distance, mostly rolling, and I live in windy area but I don’t go outside when the weather is bad since I rely on TR now(!!). FTP 3.4W/Kg
Having said that I need some advice on the following sets :
-mavic cxr 60 (a bit heavy but aero is awesome)
-mavic cosmic pro carbon exalith (shallow but rather aero, good deal at 800€ at the moment)
-zipp 404 (seems versatile and a safe choice, no discount or so found)
-reynolds AR58, not on hambini’s study but very good to handle side winds

Any advice welcome

Bontrager aeolus XXX are absolutely fantastic set of wheels

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Aeolus XXX, yes but quite expensive and nothing available in second hand.
By the way, I will have to go for second hand one’s for the zipp 404 , cxr 60 and anything new above 1000€ unless a great deal.
With the Reynolds ar58 you can expect people buying Canyon bikes to dismount and sell them and reasonable price.

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