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How deep is the front wheel on your all-around fast road bike?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
View Poll Results: How deep is the FRONT rim on your speedy all-around road bike?
Less than 26mm
20.00%
27mm to 35mm
20.00%
36mm to 45mm
22.22%
46mm to 58mm
24.44%
58mm to 65mm
12.22%
Deeper than 65mm (on the front)
1.11%
Voters: 90. You may not vote on this poll

How deep is the front wheel on your all-around fast road bike?

Old 09-16-19, 10:09 AM
  #1  
FlashBazbo
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How deep is the front wheel on your all-around fast road bike?

People seem to love deep aero road wheels, but I wonder how many actually put their money up to buy and ride a set. For purposes of this question, I'm asking about the FRONT wheel because lots of wheelsets these days come in two different depths. Also, I'm asking about all-around road bikes where paved road speed is part of your goal for the bike. (No offense meant, but to make the responses comparable to each other, I'm not including gravel bikes, cyclocross bikes, commuters, triathlon or TT bikes, mountain bikes, comfort bikes, hybrid bikes, unicycles, recumbents or tricycles.)

Now that we've got that out of the way . . . how deep is the rim on the front wheel of your speedy all-around paved road bike?

Last edited by FlashBazbo; 09-16-19 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 09-16-19, 10:18 AM
  #2  
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56mm deep front and rear Light Bicycle wheels

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Old 09-16-19, 10:31 AM
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Road bike - 58mm because "I know a guy". Been on 50-60 for over 10 years. Really don't need it though and if I was building a new set I would be at 30-40mm. Lighter and handle better.
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Old 09-16-19, 10:33 AM
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60/60 replaced 50/58. No big side wind here on my rides but they never give me pause.
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Old 09-16-19, 10:39 AM
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If a particular road bike is just for pavement, what do the words "all-around" contribute?
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Old 09-16-19, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
If a particular road bike is just for pavement, what do the words "all-around" contribute?
In the event you really meant that as a question . . . a bike used primarily for climbing in the mountains would not necessarily be considered an "all-around" bike. Dedicated climbing bikes generally have extremely shallow wheels.
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Old 09-16-19, 11:03 AM
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Had 46mm on the Fuji, great all around size, imo. Zero handling issues, and held speed well. To be honest tho, I didn't notice any difference in speed between the 46mm carbons, and the 32mm alloys. Lil more comfort with the 46s because they were wider and I had wider tires on them. And they looked better, I'm not afraid to admit that aesthetics matter.




Building a Tarmac, will go with 30-32mm wheels to save some weight, plus aesthetics (I don't like the look of deep wheels on frames with smaller tubes, they look fantastic on an aero bike tho).

Not building an S-Works (I wish!!), just using this pic for visual reference. IMO, the 32mm wheels look much better on this frame.

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Old 09-16-19, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
In the event you really meant that as a question . . . a bike used primarily for climbing in the mountains would not necessarily be considered an "all-around" bike. Dedicated climbing bikes generally have extremely shallow wheels.
I'm used to hearing "all-around" as a synonym for "versatile" so it was confusing.
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Old 09-16-19, 11:34 AM
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38mm 2015 Propel
58mm 2017 Propel
50mm 2008 TCR
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Old 09-16-19, 11:49 AM
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With old sharp-edged vee shaped hoops, handling was greatly effected by crosswinds. The modern rounded edge vee and U-shaped wheels are far better handling in windy conditions
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Old 09-16-19, 11:57 AM
  #11  
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Williams 58s. Great all-around wheels.
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Old 09-16-19, 12:09 PM
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I've run several that ranged from 35-62mm, and think that 45-50mm is the perfect depth for an allrounder...the aero benefit with the hassle of worrying about crosswinds

I'm currently running the Hunt Aero 50.
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Old 09-16-19, 12:13 PM
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Zipp 404 firecrest. Front and rear.
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Old 09-16-19, 12:14 PM
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30mm alloy FTW!
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Old 09-16-19, 12:25 PM
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The "best" answer depends on your weight, along with riding conditions (hills? crosswinds?).

So like most questions, the answer is "it depends."
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Old 09-16-19, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
The "best" answer depends on your weight, along with riding conditions (hills? crosswinds?).

So like most questions, the answer is "it depends."
The question doesn't ask about the "best." It asks what YOU have.
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Old 09-16-19, 12:50 PM
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40/40 because they came on the bike (2017 Domane SL6 Disc)...I like the looks of 40/60. I'm probably not really fast enough to worry about it in any case. No handling issues except on bigger gusts if I've let my mind wander.
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Old 09-16-19, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
The question doesn't ask about the "best." It asks what YOU have.
Good point, but that's like taking a survey on what size bibs you wear or what shoe size you wear. It really is a personal decision.

Carry on.
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Old 09-16-19, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Good point, but that's like taking a survey on what size bibs you wear or what shoe size you wear. It really is a personal decision.

Carry on.
Exactly. It's a survey about personal decisions. Nothing deeper than that.
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Old 09-16-19, 01:51 PM
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I haven't the slightest idea.
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Old 09-16-19, 01:52 PM
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48 mm. Rear is 56 mm.

Love them. Fast pavement, gravel, you name it.



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Old 09-16-19, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
Good point, but that's like taking a survey on what size bibs you wear or what shoe size you wear. It really is a personal decision.

Carry on.
It's like coming up with unhelpful answers is a competitive sport here.
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Old 09-16-19, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
It's like coming up with unhelpful answers is a competitive sport here.
No good deed goes unpunished.
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Old 09-16-19, 01:59 PM
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Hmm, I'm not sure what specific bicycle my all-round fast road bike is. The bike I've used the most in such a capacity is probably my '79 Fuji America, and the rims on that are 14mm deep. My Emonda would be the next most obvious answer... it's presently stuck with its shallow stock wheels, although I've been considering a deeper set.
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Old 09-16-19, 02:02 PM
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Just got a chance to try an "old" set of Bontrager Race Lite Aero wheels, 16 spokes on both wheels, from maybe 10 years ago? Came off a Trek Equinox, an okay beginner aero/tri bike. Dunno. I think the rims are 31mm.

Anyway, my 7-speed road bikes have old school Araya and Wolber standard rims, pretty much all I've ever ridden. The 10-speed cassette rear from the Bontrager wouldn't work without swapping a bunch of other components and I was impatient to try a wheel so I just swapped in the Bontrager front.

Wasn't expecting much but could immediately feel a difference on climbs, and saw a significant difference on a couple of test rides of 15-40 miles. Checking my Strava log from the weekend and I was churning out speed I've never done before without a tailwind. These are pretty modest wheels but the slight aero rims with bladed spokes, slightly lighter weight with skinnier, higher pressure tire all added up to some noticeable differences. And wind was low to neutral so no problems on the longer ride that covered every compass point. No handling problems despite the mismatched wheels and tires, even on some rough and rippled bits of rural highways, although most of the route was pretty smooth.

Gotta admit, I'm impressed. I think I'll swap that aero wheelset over to a donor Diamondback Podium frame and cannibalize components from the heavy-ish aluminum frame Trek aero bike to build up another toy to play with. Can't see myself ever riding a tri bike with aero bars due to an old neck injury. But a lighter weight carbon bike with sorta-aero wheels will be fun for some rides.
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