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Inject more speed into your bike with an aero wheel upgrade

Nothing says speed like deep section aero wheels.

They can make a big difference to your ride performance but there are plenty of options out there, so to help you make the right choice we've picked six of the best deep section aero wheels for you to consider from the road.cc review archive - these are wheels we've tested and can happily recommend.

Not only do aero wheels look the business, they are also proven to be fast. Dave recently took to the wind tunnel to find out just what a difference they can make.

Read more: 24 of the best 2017 road bike wheels — reduce bike weight or get aero gains with new hoop.

But do you really need carbon fibre wheels on your bicycle? We explore the pros and cons in this feature.

Our pick of the best aero wheels


Weight Market price Review
Swiss Side Hadron 625 Classic
1,748g
£1,331.33 Read our review
Knight Composites 65 DT 240
1,610g
£2,000.00
Read our review
Vision Team 35
1,820g
£193.30
Read our review
Reynolds Aero 58
1,601g
£2,099.99
Read our review
Lightweight Meilenstein tubular
£1,120
£3,549.00 Read our review
DT Swiss RRC 65 Dicut
1,630g
£1,320.10
Read our review

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

11 comments

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Disfunctional_T... [339 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The performance difference between an aero 30 mm aluminum rim and a 60 mm carbon fiber rim is *ridiculously small*, approximately 2 seconds over the course of a 40 km time trial. 

You are better off saving money on wheels and spending it on form-fitting kit (including an aero helmet.)

Boyd Cycling's aluminum Altamont rims are really nice.  30 mm depth with a very nice rounded profile, 19.4 mm internal width, an ample width brake track, and tubeless compatibility. I had a complete wheelset built up with Bitex hubs and Sapim CX-Ray spokes for under 350 pounds.

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macrophotofly [321 posts] 1 year ago
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Does anyone have some links to genuine studies of the effect of rim depth on time saved at real world speeds (30km/hr)? And ideally not something sponsored by Zipp

I was under the impression aero gains on the person riding (e.g. more aggressive position, non-baggy clothing, aero helmet) are more worthwhile than on the bike , but I was also under the impression aero gains are worthwhile over weight reductions (provided the incline was less than 6%) and that aero wheels would save you more than 2 seconds over 40km (see above post claims)?

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check12 [243 posts] 1 year ago
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No hed or flo wheels tested? Shame as they seemed to lead the aero wheel charge. 

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alexn [43 posts] 1 year ago
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Wouldn't call the Lightweight wheels particulary aero....

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ChrisB200SX [861 posts] 1 year ago
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check12 wrote:

No hed or flo wheels tested? Shame as they seemed to lead the aero wheel charge. 

Should be included rather than the un-aero Mielenstein and Vision 35

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Disfunctional_T... [339 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
macrophotofly wrote:

Does anyone have some links to genuine studies of the effect of rim depth on time saved at real world speeds (30km/hr)? And ideally not something sponsored by Zipp

The Flo Cycling website has a lot of data for their products.  I think it's buried in old blog posts there.  The times savings for the deep section wheels are miniscule.  They also do sophisticated analysis of the weight vs. aero tradeoff.   Although aero gains are minimal, they are more worthwhile than focusing on weight savings unless the grade is very steep.

The November Bicycles website has wind tunnel test data in their blog.   Again it confirms how small the power savings are.

The German magazine Tour has a huge test of aero bikes vs. regular bikes.  The time savings of an aero frame are miniscule...  like a few seconds over the course of 5 hours.  You can find the results table online if you look around.

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Huw Watkins [157 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The German magazine, Tour, has done a load of empirical wheel tests. 

http://www.tour-magazin.de/komponenten/laufraeder/test-2016-aerodynamisc...

In 2016 they covered:

• Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra Two
• Campa/Fulcrum Racing Quattro
• Campagnolo Bora One 50
• DT Swiss RC 28 Spline C Mon Chasseral
• DT Swiss RC 38 Spline C
• DT Swiss RRC 65 Dicut C
• Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith SL
• Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL C
• Mavic CXR Ultimate 60 C
• Shimano Dura-Ace C24 CL
• Shimano Dura-Ace C35
• Shimano Dura-Ace C50
• Zipp 202 Firecrest
• Zipp 303 Firecrest
• Zipp 404 Firecrest
• Reynolds 58 Aero
• Selbstbau: Kinlin XC 279/Bitex
• Lambda Racing CC 50/60
• Slowbuild Wheels CC 38

You can buy the report for two euros

They measure stiffness, durability and braking as well as aerodynamics.

The Campagnolo Bora One 50 was their best overall wheel.  The difference between a good 40mm and a good 60mm wheel was just a couple of watts.

I ended up buying a pair of Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SL Cs after reading the report.

I would have gone for the Boras but getting replacement rims and spokes for Campag wheels in the UK has proven to be a nightmare over the last few years, and I swore I'd never buy another pair of their wheels.

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BehindTheBikesheds [2608 posts] 1 year ago
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As the owner of a pair of the Bora One in 50mm I'm very pleased to read my  wheels are the best of the bunch tested, especially as they only cost £750 new!

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ReHMn [2 posts] 1 year ago
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I have a Mavic Cosmic SLS on my triathlon bike and I am thinking about upgrade...

The two adepts are:

Shimano WH-RS81-C50-CL (Alu braking profile, clincher) for 890EUR, or

Shimano Dura Ace WH-R9100-C60-CL for 1500 EUR.

Questions:

1. Is it worth the additional 600EUR for the Dura Ace?

2. Any suggestions for clincher, Alu braking profiled carbon wheels under 900EUR?

3. Any suggestions for clincher, Alu braking profiled carbon wheels under 1500EUR?

 

The weakest point of the Mavic is the hub/freehub and the bearings. Seriously. My 29" MTB wheel with SunRingle hub and heavy 2.25 wide Nobby Nic tires rolls better then the Mavic...

Thanks

Edit: in that 24 best of 2017 article only the Hadron has Alu braking surface, so not a big help in terms of my criteria...

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ChrisB200SX [861 posts] 1 year ago
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I suggest FLO or Swiss Side.

I think HED and/or Zipp so aluminium brake-rimmed, carbon-fared wheels.

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fukawitribe [2625 posts] 1 year ago
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ReHMn wrote:

Edit: in that 24 best of 2017 article only the Hadron has Alu braking surface, so not a big help in terms of my criteria...

 

SwissSide still have their sale on, so a Hadron 485F/625R set would be about € 1100 at the moment.