For carbon 700C full carbon rims, questions about rim depth are the most common among first-time buyers. What are the advantages and disadvantages of riding at what depth? The answer is not so simple, because it depends on your riding style.
To simplify your decision, we will look at the three S: stability, stiffness, and speed.
Stability: U-shaped or V-shaped profile affect rim depth
The rim depth and contour of the rim mainly affect the stability of the rim. The deeper the rim profile, the higher the aerodynamic performance of the wheel. However, the deeper the profile, the easier it is to be blown down by crosswinds. For lighter riders (under 150 pounds), this can be an obstacle.
There are two shapes of aerodynamic rims: the V shape that has been eliminated on light bicycles and the U shape that has been determined to provide better aerodynamic performance and is less affected by crosswinds.
Stiffness: efficiency or comfort?
Nothing has a greater impact on wheel stiffness than rim depth deeper the rim, the harder it is and the faster it responds to pedaling force. This makes deeper rims more effective, because as the wheel flexes, the power is less dispersed. However, shallower wheels are more comfortable to ride, especially on rough surfaces, because the rim can absorb more bumps and vibrations. If you are a commuter, driving on bumpy roads or gravel roads, then you may prefer lighter contoured rims.
For example: 30mm Carbon Tubular Rim 700C, 30mm Clincher Carbon Rims Ultralight 700C etc.
Speed: pneumatic or lightweight rims?
Lighter rims are light, but not necessarily faster. If you want to buy a faster wheel set, please consider spin weight, aerodynamic performance and system weight.
Lighter or more aerodynamic? Rims with deeper contours are more aerodynamic, but heavier. The shallower rims are lighter, more comfortable and easier to handle. That being said, the benefits of aerodynamic rims usually offset the increase in marginal weight brought about by the deeper contours. If you are a competition, it is vital to prioritize aerodynamics.
Inertial or rotating weight is also important. Generally, when the weight of two wheels is exactly the same, the wheel with a higher weight percentage (less inertia) at the hub will accelerate more easily. It feels faster than a wheel with heavier weight (more inertia) on the rim. The weight of the wheel is far less important than you imagine for road wheels.
What depth suits you?
Now consider these variables:
- The terrain you ride
- Rider weight
- Cycling experience and skills
- Types of cycling activities
Choosing the right rim depth should choose a comfortable rim as much as possible, not a rim that is as fast as possible. Experienced triathletes may choose 88 mm deep rims, because usually the triathlon riding part takes place on a relatively straight and flat track, with few (if any) group ridings.
If you have any other questions about the depth of 700C full carbon rims, please leave a comment and we will be happy to help you.