Road bike wheels may diversify according to our user profile, and the type of pedalling we do most often. That’s why it’s important to know what each one can offer as an advantage and a disadvantage.
Road bike wheels can be classified according to the size of the rim wall. The most common measures are:
Low profile rims (up to 25mm) – These are the most common models and provide a good level of strength, giving the rider a pleasant and comfortable ride. These are versatile wheels that can be used for almost any need. Prices may vary depending on the material used, with carbon fibre models being the most expensive as a rule and in theory.
Intermediate profile rims (from 25 to 40mm) – They are not as popular but are gradually gaining more space in the market. They are a combination of a lightweight rim with some aerodynamic gains. They are light wheels for climbing and fast enough to make the roads flatter. I’d say they’re off-road models, quite versatile.
High profile rims (from 40 to 60mm) – They produce the highest speed for riding on the road because they cut the wind with ease. They are the most suitable for flat terrain which is where aerodynamics has the most influence. However, thanks to the constant evolution of their technology, they can also be used in rougher terrain. And if you look closely, it’s no accident that in important races we still see many cyclists choosing 1 pair of 50mm wheels, or even the rear 50mm wheel and the front 35mm. Why is that? Because her aerodynamic benefits still outweigh her use.
Author: Tiago Torres, Segredos do Ciclismo