What’s faster DISC or 88mm

Hi people I Have a quick question,
I have a national 25km TT coming up in 1 month, going through bike setup, have a question…

I have access to a disc and 88mm wheel.

Disc is an older zipp with used conti competition TUB
88mm is a generic rim shape with ceramic bearings, latex tubes and s-works cotton clincher tyres . I ride this wheel day to day for training also

The course is undulating, and has 9 significant Turns
Any thoughts on what would be faster
Have no idea of my CDA or anything like that, just thought the TR forum might be able to help …

Thanks in advance

Generally the disc will be faster

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I believe rule of thumb is if you’re averaging over 27mph then disc is faster otherwise deep dish will be… I’m pretty sure I heard this on an older podcast not sure… I feel like @Nate_Pearson would know

That’s what enve told us, although other manufacturers say a disc is always faster:


FYI dish relates to the wheel being centered on the axle not the depth of the cross section.

I meant deep section/rim was just a bit of slang… but thank you :+1:

The difference between a disc and a deep section isn’t as great as that between different skinsuits, helmets and of course your position. Get the latter three correct and the wheel difference will be marginal in comparison.


Thanks everyone, my ski suit, helmet and position are all at the best possible point they can be
I’ve found the best balance of power out out and speed I think.
Appreciate all the input, I think I’ll just run my 88 as it will give me more price of mind as I ride it regularly

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Just throwing it out there, but NOTHING is faster than the sound of a disc wheel. The sound alone must add about 30 watts to ones ego :stuck_out_tongue:


The aero expert in the newest FLO Cycling Podcast episode (#24) says: disc wheel. I’ve heard this opinion more times than I can count. The disc can even create a net negative drag (i.e. propel you forward) when the wind speed and direction is right.

Unless of course it’s an uphill TT, or a super duper windy course with violent gusts, Kona-style.

Easiest way to save watts and go faster… just look faster :call_me_hand:t3::call_me_hand:t3::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Err. Red velotoze shoe covers and rule 28 black socks

I didn’t know if this was supposed to be a pun or not (“price of mind”) but the point is you know you’ve got all the relatively low hanging fruit (skin suit etc.)… if u have access to the disc maybe find a stretch of road and do couple 5-10min efforts in both set ups and then plug into BestBikeSplit aero analyzer to compare cda.

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Aerodynamically, the disc is the faster option in most setups . However, the tyres are an issue. Continental tubular, that’s with a butyl inner tube? I can’t speak for the rolling resistance och the conti tyre itself, but I would guess that the turbo cotton w. latex tube rolls faster than the conti tubular by a few watts. In this case, I would go with the clincher wheel.