What carbon wheels for 55kg rider?

Hello everyone. I am looking for recommendations for new wheels to upgrade my bike. I am 163cm and currently 55kg. I am looking for something with high profile rims as appearnace of the wheels is very important for me. But my question is how deep can I go. I am afraid that if I go too deep I will not enjoy the upgrade in crosswinds (it may also be dangerous on open roads) . I live in Ireland so the winds here are very common. I usually do not go out if the wind is more than 30km/h. I know that it not only about a depth but also a shape.

I weigh the same as you do and I use 55mm most of the time. You’ll learn how to handle them and it’s not that difficult. If you know the weather report says a lot of wind, do some planning or put on another set of wheels that day.

I’m 58-59kg and whilst the rear is retired and the front confined to the TT bike, I used to have my 62.5mm Swisside Hadron wheels on my road bike, used them all the time and didn’t feel it handled any worse than 25-35mm rims in the wind. Ive been all over the place with shallow rims. The Hadrons claim to have a rim that’s shaped to handle cross winds. Whether it’s psychological or actual science :thinking:

Thanks for the answer. Can I ask what wheels do you have now and have you noticed a lot of difference when you switched from alloy rims to carbon. I have Mavic Aksium at the moment.

I do think there’s something to the tech when it comes to handling cross winds; the 42mm deep OEM wheels I had on my TCR were pretty twitchy in cross winds, where as the 37mm Bontragers I have now are very well behaved. In fact, they are noticeably better in that respect than the 33mm Hunts I had before them. So there is IMO more to it than just depth.

There are plenty of detailed reviews out there, so I’d do some research if cross-wind performance is a real priority/worry.

1 Like

I’m 61kg and 170cm tall I ride a disc on my TT bike with either a 100/85/60mm front depending on the wind …but as mentioned even on the tri bars it’s experience that matters - you will get use to them if you ride any wheel enough. That said I do swap out the 100 front when the windspeed is above 15mph :grinning:

I’m not a small rider but the campy Bora WTO 60s are extremely good in crosswinds - I assume the 45s are even better.

I have Giant SLR and the SL version. These are the only sets of deep carbon wheels I have used, but I like them a lot.

Deep wheels have come a long way. I tried a demo bike, a Trek Domane SL6 Disc in 2016 and the wheels were frighteningly sensitive to cross winds. Two years ago I tried a 3T Strada with 3T’s 60 mm wheels for a short while, and I didn’t feel anything. I tried another 3T with 35 mm deep 3T wheels and I felt nothing. Today I’ll be placing my order for a Strada with 45 mm deep 3T wheels. 45-55 mm seems to be the goldilocks depth for modern wheels, where you marry aero gains, weight and crosswind stability.

I am 56kg 168cm. I ride the 60 mm Reynold Strike that came with my Canyon Aeroad and the 62 mm DT Swiss ARC DICUT that came with my Cervelo P5 disc TT bike. There is a 3 year gap in the wheel generations (2016 vs 2019) but handles fine in wind.

Can feel a slight nudge at 25+ km/h. I remember thinking it was a bit sketchy the first time. But I think you will get very used to it, by compensating with a gentle leaning into the wind. :slight_smile:

Get the deepest aero-wheel you can tolerate. The aero improvement from ~40 mm to ~ 60 mm is very substantial, even at 30 km/h. You can follow up on the Hambini comparison charts here.

1 Like

So I bought Zipp 303S. The tires are sorted (Schwalbe Pro One TLE 28mm). But I need some help with the rotors. At the moment I have 6 bolt rotors 160mm. My new Zipps are centerlock. Can I just buy any centerlock 160mm rotors (for example these beautiful Shimano Ultegra ones) ? Or I need to stick to the groupset? I will just add that the brakes are Shimano BR-RS505 (as part of the Shimano 105 groupset) .

1 Like

whats the purpose of the wheels? Looks (its ok, it matters!). How much flat(ish) terrain do you ride on?

I live in Northern Ireland so we do not have big mountains. Usually flat rides. But I mentiined Ultegra rotors because I like how they look like. And I needed general advise about copatibility. I was afraid I can not put ultegra rotors to bike with 105 groupset. I know I just need to pick the right brake pads after the swap (resin, metalic).

rotors do not need to match the groupset. Just pick based on looks (and price as needed)…

Thank you, I will

I’d go for a set of Enve foundations either 45 or 65 depending on your preference. All of the Enve’s are designed to be stable in cross winds.

I got Zipp 303 S (45mm deep) should be ok.

I built up a set of Light Bicycle wheels for my Colnago. Had to go with slightly more narrow rim (18mm internal vs 21 or wider) as it is an older bike (2012) and couldn’t accomodate the latest widths. They are 35mm deep and super light weight (1300g). total cost was under 1,000 US. I’m about 53kg. We get a lot of cross winds in central Texas (typically 10-15mph). I can feel a tugging, but nothing sketchy unless it’s cross wind on a 35mph descent. I don’t think I’d be comfortable with anything deeper. Overall I’m very pleased with the setup. link is https://www.lightbicycle.com/U-shape-35mm-depth-Hand-built-700C-carbon-25mm-wide-clincher-road-bicycle-wheels-for-tubeless-compatible.html

Any Shimano rotor of the right size will work. I believe Shimano rotors work with SRAM calipers but not the reverse (I think SRAM rotors are a bit thicker, so you’ll get a lot of break rub). Plenty of aftermarket options too.