Types of Road Bike Wheels

Nowadays, road bikes are used more and more widely. Correspondingly, there are various types of road bike wheels.

Generally, we divide them into climbing wheels, gravel/cyclocross wheels and aero wheels. When we are clear about our riding conditions, its easy to know what types of road bike wheels we need.

Climbing Wheels

Types of Road Bike Wheels Climbing Wheels

The climbing wheel is also called the shallow section wheel. Its most obvious features are shallow section and light weight rim.

It is characterized by fast acceleration response, but poor cruise performance. The wind resistance of climbing wheels is relatively large and the high-speed stability is relatively low.

Generally, the rim’s depth of the climbing wheels is below 30mm. Pursuing ultimate lightweight and required stiffness, a pair of super-light climbing wheels can weigh even less than 1kg.

The shallow section wheel is more suitable for climbing long and steep hills, and it will be helpful for riders who don’t have much leg strength to climb to the top.

Due to the lack of cruise and stability, it is generally recommended to consider the climbing wheels as a second set of wheels, unless the purpose of your cycling is to climb.

Gravel/Cyclocross Wheels

Types of Road Bike Wheels Gravel Cyclocross Wheels

The Gravel/cyclocross wheel, also known as mid-section wheel, is a product between the aero wheels and climbing wheels. Its feature can be described as harmony.

It can not only maintain a good aerodynamic performance, but also be excellent in lightweight. Usually the depth of rims is between 30mm and 50mm.

Due to the design and positioning of all aspects, the performance of gravel/cyclocross wheels is also between the aero wheels and climbing wheels. It is very suitable for riding on the undulating roads with small slopes. At the same time, its performance will not be too poor in the aerodynamic, stability, climbing and other aspects.

We can say that the mid-section wheel is a wheelset for almost everyone. For riders who are only going to buy a pair of wheels, the gravel/cyclocross wheel is the best choice, as you may and are able to ride a variety of routes.

Aero Wheels

Types of Road Bike Wheels Aero Wheels

The aero wheel, also called deep section wheelset, is featured with cool look of deep rims or even full disc wheels.

Its characteristics are low wind resistance, good cruising performance, and outstanding stability. But because of the heavy weight, the acceleration and climbing performance are relatively weak.

Under the same conditions, the deeper the rim height of the wheels, the shorter the length of the spokes, and the stiffness of wheelset will be higher.

In addition, the area of the spokes cutting through wind will be smaller during the riding, then we will achieve better aerodynamic performance.

At the same time, due to the design of the deep section rims, the displacement of airflow passing through the rims is farther, making the air flow on the surface of the rim faster, lower pressure, and smaller wind resistance.

And the carbon fiber material of manufacturing aero wheels is increased, the weight is heavier, the inertia is greater, it is easier to maintain speed when riding and the stability is better.

However, when climbing and acceleration, it also means that it is harder to change the speed of the wheelset and feels that the response is inactive. The impact of the crosswind is also obvious because of large side wind area and our handling skills of the deep section wheels shall be excellent.

Generally, the rims’ depth of aero wheel is above 50mm, and it has certain requirements to leg strength, so it is not suitable for long and steep climbs.

The depth of road bike wheels specially for flat roads ranges from 50mm to 65mm. If you occasionally ride the climbs, it is recommended to choose a wheelset with a height of about 50mm. Triathlon, time trial or track riders usually use the height of wheels more than 60mm, or even disc wheels.

Upgrading a pair of excellent road bike wheels will improve your cycling experience greatly, which can allow you to achieve faster average speed, more sensitive handling, lighter weight and quick acceleration response.

When buying NEW road bike wheelset, we can choose the appropriate types of road bike wheels according to our riding conditions and budget. Please view our products to see if we have a product that meets your needs. If your preferred specs are not listed, you can leave us a message through hello@bestwheelset.com

Road Bike Wheelset/Rim
Gravel Bike Wheelset/Rim
MTB Wheelset/Rim
BMX Wheelset/Rim
Tri/TT/Track Wheelset

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