Is it crazy to buy deep carbon wheels if I may sometimes run 32 or even (gasp) 35mm tires?

I need a second set of wheels for my Lynskey GR300 N=1 bike. My current wheels are HED Eroica aluminum rims/32 spokes/White Industries CLD hubs. They are bomb proof and perfect for gravel with fat tires.

I want something for more road oriented rides. The more fiscally responsible side of me says to get some nice aluminum wheels. I can get a hand built set with the same hoops and DT350 hubs for under $700.

On the other hand, the local Trek shop has these wheels in stock and they look awesome for the price. They should be pretty aero with 28’s if I’m really worried about going fast, but I do like the comfort of 32mm or even 35mm tires (yikes). That would throw any aero argument out the window, but I’m pretty sure they would look amazing on my bike haha…that’s worth some watts. There’s no weight limit which is good since I’m a bigger ride, and the crash replacement/carbon care looks pretty great.

As some background, I don’t race but I love longer rides and fast group rides (if they ever start up again near me).

Any advice is appreciated!!

With a 23mm internal width I would imagine a 28mm tire would probably measure closer to 30 or 31mm. So if these wheels will be for pure road rides then maybe consider just sticking to 28’s for the aero on fast group rides since you still have your other wheels for fat tire gravel/mixed surface rides.

32’s probably wouldn’t destroy all the gains but 35’s might.

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FWIW, 28s on my rims measure out to 32+mm. The ID measures 21mm. GP4000, which has a reputation to expand larger.

The Eroica is good for road tires too, with a good max PSI. I have them on my gravel bike.

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No its not crazy to buy deep section wheels and run big tires. A lot of people race cyclocross and gravel on deep section wheels. I have sets of the Aeolus Pro 5s and Aeolus Pro 3s and like them. The 3s are more compliant but I like both for slightly different reasons.

Plus, they look cool! And the hum you sometimes get when going fast is sweet.

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I picked up the 3V (volume), 25mm internal and 32mm external width. They are about 35mm deep.

Currently have 35c (38mm measured at 60psi) Pirelli training tires and they are fast enough for now. Will be putting 32c Conti 5000 TL tires on and comparing to my aero focused Enve 5.6 Disc wheels with 26c tires (28mm measured). Also a bigger rider and both wheels have no weight limit. About 6 weeks on a groad bike and so far I really like rolling on wider tires.


I was really looking at these, but I heard the hubs were loud. Have you found that to be the case? My local shop has the 51’s in stock so that’s swaying my decision a bit :thinking:

@Craig_G Not going to lie, the looking cool part is key!

@iamholland @mwglow15 That’s a good point too. I want to run tubeless GP5000TL, so if the 28’s are oversize on the 23mm internal width I’ll get the benefit of some more volume.

Buy what makes you happy and if that’s looks that’s way cool. We all do it with almost everything in life so why not with bikes too?

OTOH you may lose 2.468W at 36.892Km/h with a 32. OTOH, the benefit of a wider tire might reduce hysteresis by 2.469W on rougher surfaces. OTOH, you may end up with 0.95W gain in Crr on smoother surfaces. OTOH…

Point is would you buy them if the tire actually increased aero drag by 5% v. a 25 or 28c tire? Would you not run a 32c tire if you knew it increased Crr from 10 to 14W but, for the rides you do it is way more comfortable and you’re saving energy with less vibration?


Nah…it reduces it somewhat, but there are still plenty of aero gains to be had from using a deeper rim, even with a wider tire. But I don’t think you’ll need to go to 30mm or larger. A good set of 28’s should set you right.

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Its crazy too spend too much on them. You’re right that a wide tire can negate aero features on wheels, as your mounted tire gets more than 0mm wider than the widest bit of the rim, the aero bonus affect is pretty minimal. As long as the width is matched, you’re in good shape aero-wise. You get more frontal area, but he scale doesn’t offset the efficiency. Note that crosswinds are a factor as the bigger tire catches more wind.

A german magazine ( ?) did a test of basically the whole DT Swiss lineup with a 25c tire. It pretty much showed that rim shape (a good U shape on top) and tire width match mattered as much as depth, so you need to get that right first. So a DT Swiss C-series rim (26mm wide) might be a better fit for a 25mm road tire than a narrower P or E series rim marketed for road work. There are some really wide rims out there (most are marketed as gravel rims) though, but the width would be better suited for modern tires. So for aero, rim width / tire match, Rim shape, and then depth are the order of importance.

Wide rims also make those tires look proportional visually. Anything more than 3-4mm wider than the rim and the “ice cream cone” shape is not a good look with the deep rim.

Those particular Bontrager “Pro” series wheels are a decent value $1300 for branded, off-the-shelf wheelsets, but I wouldn’t go larger than 30c tires on them (for aero reasons). A 30c will be about 31mm on those - depending. Maybe go 28c-30c front, 32c rear as you wouldn’t have a compromise with that. Will it be as aero as a matched 25c tire and rim, - you’d be giving up some points, but not much. 3t and DT Swiss (GRC) have some wheels in this space too, but at the wrong price.

One thing you might consider… ‘generic’ carbon rims for about $900 (THat just went up $200 - ouch). A quality AL wheelset is going to be about the same as a DT Swiss 350/Pillar spoke/ CN carbon rim setup and will be a lot stronger and aero. Lightbicycle has their WR series at 33.5 mm wide, which come 1:1 with my g-One Speed 30c tires. The AR (22mm int) measure that same tire at 30.5mm. The Vittoria Corsas 30c measure 2mm smaller.

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4 years ago I picked up mid aero wheels (Enve 5.6 disc), and they can be a little scary on fast (35+mph) descents in crosswinds. So I wanted to get shallow carbon aero wheelset that was optimized for wider tires (gravel and road). My local shop had the Pro 3V hanging up and gave me a small discount to steer me away from another set of Enve, so it was an easy decision. Surely the 38mm as measured tires are giving up some aero gains but my groad bike has oversized aero downtube and surprisingly I’m still finding plenty of road speed at 25+mph on 38mm width tires on 32mm aero rims. Anyways for the money I think Bontrager has done a really good job although the lifetime warranty on Enve is something to consider. I’ll sell the Enve’s if I don’t see much real world difference between the two.

The hubs are like Chris King hubs - sound like angry bees. Really not an issue (always be pedaling!), and in fact I actually use that sound as a “bell” when returning home along creekside paved trail to warn walkers I’m coming up from behind.

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I’ve been able to podium in some 50+ 1-3 races on 30mm alloy wheels, because I was too lazy to change out brake pads for my carbon “racing” set.

I know we’re all about marginal gains on this forum, but positioning can mean a lot more than 20mm of rim depth. If you just want to buy some bling wheels, go for it. But, for fast group rides, there are probably other areas in which to improve before buying some (marginal) speed.


Running wider tires is so awesome that I’m pretty much convinced the Enve wheels will be sold, despite looking at this tire size (width as measured “WAM”) vs terrain/speed chart for my groad bike:


Without even having tried rolling with the 28mm wide tires on my Enve wheels. Because rolling on wider rubber is so awesome I have almost zero motivation to put the Enve on the new bike. I’m actually more interested in trying 32x622 Conti 5000 TL on these Pro 3V than seeing how the new bike rolls on the Enve. Did I mention how rolling on wider tires is awesome? :sunglasses:

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This is a cool chart :sunglasses: but you’re not making it easy for me to go the economical route…might have to call the Trek shop…

Right now with 35 tires I’m giving up some momentum at speed but either 28 or 32 tires should close the gap.

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Thanks again everyone for the tips. My local Trek store had the wheels in stock and I couldn’t resist!!

I’m going to try some GP5000 TL 32’s if they ever come back in stock, but I threw some Specialized Roubaix 32 2bliss on the new wheels for now. Here she is in beast mode and road mode!!! Going to give the new wheels a proper test ride this weekend.



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Fresh bike pjorn…get your fresh bike pjorn here!!!

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As soon as all the pieces get here, I will be putting 35c Gravelking SKs on on a set of 40mm deep Superteams (21mm internal) for my primary groading wheels and my Novatec Jetflys (32 deep x 17 internal) with the same tire will go on another groad bike.

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FWIW - here’s a whole bunch of different tires mounts on different rims. The wider the rim, the less odd big tires look on a road bike. The AR rims are 28mm wide (29.5 widest) ; WR are 32mm wide (33.5 at widest) Imgur: The magic of the Internet Imgur: The magic of the Internet

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Funny, I was having this debate with myself over the last few weeks. I’m tempted with the Challenge Paris Roubaix…

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