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wheels - internal width?

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wheels - internal width?

Old 04-07-21, 03:42 PM
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tedder987
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wheels - internal width?

I am looking around for new wheels to put on my 2017 Roubaix Comp. Unfortunately I can't swing anything expensive (i.e. carbon, or over $700) so getting the 'ideal' wheel isn't really an option. Since I am on the bigger side (95kg/210lbs) and run wide tires (GP5000 28 front, 32 rear) I was thinking about grabbing gravel wheels on the assumption that they will e stronger and might better support the wide rubber. But I am not sure how wide is too wide.

My stock (DT swiss R470) were 18 internal and 22 external. Since I am on such wide rubber, I definitely want to go to ~21 internal at least but a lot of the gravel wheels now seem to be 25 wide internal. Not sure if this would make my 32 blow up too big to fit on the bike (which is rated for 32mm tires but there is still a fair bit of space there with the 32mm GP5000 on my stock skinny wheels).

So who has experience with wide gravel wheels on a road bike, or knows of a site with measurements for tires on various rims they can point me to?

p.s. almost bought some Reynolds AR41 (41 deep, 21 internal, 30 external) which looked near ideal from the pro's closet but moved too slow
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Old 04-07-21, 03:56 PM
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I ride wheels, 25 mm internal, on a different bike than you own so I can't say what might fit yours. What I can say is my tires say 28 mm on the packaging and measure out to 33.something on those wheels.

You want a few mm clearance on either side of the wheel, vs the frame. Even if you never ride gravel, there's crap in the road, sometimes wet crap, that can stick to your tires. Also, you said you're a Clydesdale; the wheels might flex a little under you during hard efforts like standing to climb, and it'll be wobbly if you break a spoke.
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Old 04-07-21, 04:31 PM
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Are you concerned with aerodynamics or something? Otherwise if that isn't your concern, then the existing wheels on your Roubaix should be able to handle any width tire you are able to fit in that frame.

I really don't feel you'll get better support. Though if you are running super low pressures and feeling them roll sideways under you, then you might need to put more air in them.

If you are looking for aero or maybe even aesthetic reasons, then is your Roubaix disc brake or rim brake?
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Old 04-07-21, 05:27 PM
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Many non-gravel rims are good for your weight, just check the manufacturer website. I think that is what you want to do, to me it sounds like the gravel-wide rims are going to be too wide for your bike.

I think "32c" is the max rated tire on that bike so I would not go wider than 21mm internal on the rims. 25mm rims can make the tire sit a lot wider, e.g. the 28-to-33 mentioned above. Of course it depends on where the close spots are, if it is the seat post the tire will not get any taller with a wide rim so there is no problem. But if it is the chain stay the 32c might rub there on a 25mm rim.

A 28c tire also could be problematic on a 25mm internal rim, both in terms of seating and in terms of potential rim damage due to the edges not being protected by tire.

So 32c tire could well be too wide and 28c could well be too small.. pinched on both sides, not sounding like good odds!
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Old 04-07-21, 05:58 PM
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Tire sizing is kind of a moving target right now, primarily because of the increase in internal rim widths. In general, tires are getting narrower compared to previous generations with the assumption that they'll be mounted on these wider rims.

One thing that might help is to seek out tire manufacturers that are supplying WAM and RAM figures for their tires on various width rims. If the manufacturer of your tire of choice doesn't provide these figures, you might be able to interpolate if you can find out how your tires compare to others with those WAM/RAM figures.
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Old 04-07-21, 06:10 PM
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Sheldon Brown was the go-to for rim/tire compatibility for years, but I don't know if that is valid in these days of wide/gravel/tubeless. Probably yes; Sheldon knows all, even from the grave.

Nonetheless...

WTB has a chart. So does Stans, for their rims.

I'd say look at the rim manufacturer's recommendations for tire width compatibility, and go from there.
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Old 04-08-21, 09:08 AM
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Thanks for all the replies. The Roubaix is disc brake. It does seem as if the 25 wide gravels would be a step too far. With the current wheels I have ~1cm sides & top at the forks. At the back the tightest is 3.2mm to the chainstay (digital vernier calipers) with 9mm to the bottom bracket in the middle and more space yet at the seat stays.

As for the "why new wheels", the current set I have 19.5k miles on the front and ~12k at the back. The rear is a replacement for stock 3 years ago using a DT Suiss RR511 30mm deep rim, 350 hub and 32 butted spokes (don't remember their brand). Both wheels been retensioned twice (last about 2500 miles ago). The rear has a big dent in the rim from a pothole hit at speed that I roughly bent back into shape (9k miles back) and it holds the tire fine but on smooth roads I do feel a wee thump that I think is coming from that.

The main reason though is that both wheels now flex annoyingly on climbs. Right after the retensioning they are ok for 1k miles, but in SoCal near me my flattest rides always include at least a 250' hill at 8-10% grade (I live on top so I can't escape it in any direction). The rear flex is noisy from the spokes flexing against each other (and it has taken thousands of miles to be certain its wheel flex and not pedals, shoes, seatpost, seat, BB or anything else) but recently the front started to flex when I am out of the saddle with the front disc touching the pads as the crank comes down on the right side. It stays quiet when seated.

Since the number one upgrade people recommend is always wheels, I think that after 4 years and 19.5/12 k miles the ones I have are pretty worn out. I would love to get some mid-depth carbon wheels but its just not in the budget with 2 kids in college. What I do want is something that will be reliable and flex-free for 10k+ miles that weighs less than the stock wheels (1800g for stock but my 32 spoke rear probably added another 100g to that), is tubeless compatible, and that will work well with my preferred 28/32 F/R tire sizes.

I think the best bets with reputations for reliability that I can find at the moment look like a Mavic Kysrium S (~$800, 1670 g, 19mm internal) or Boyd Altamounts ($725, 21mm internal, 1500 g with 24/24 spokes but can be built with 28/32 which would likely add 50-100g). These are both right at the edge of my budget though, and I figured if gravel wheels were built to be stronger they might be a better bet at my weight. Something aero would be a bonus, but I don't think my budget lets that happen.

FWIW I looked at cheap carbon (light bicycle) options, but to get over a 24 spoke count I have to go to a DT swiss 350 hub and the price gets north of $900 with delivery so thats out. As an aside, I am going to try to rebuild (DIY with a borrowed stand and spoke tensiometer) my current 32-hole DT swiss 350 hub with a cheap carbon rim, but first I need something else to ride on first.
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Old 04-08-21, 11:01 PM
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Originally Posted by tedder987 View Post
FWIW I looked at cheap carbon (light bicycle) options, but to get over a 24 spoke count I have to go to a DT swiss 350 hub and the price gets north of $900 with delivery so thats out. As an aside, I am going to try to rebuild (DIY with a borrowed stand and spoke tensiometer) my current 32-hole DT swiss 350 hub with a cheap carbon rim, but first I need something else to ride on first.
Email Light Bicycle. They can probably special order a Bitex or Novatec hub with more spokes if that is what you want.
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Old 04-09-21, 01:21 AM
  #9  
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Prowheelbuilder.com has a search function where you can search by internal width for rims. That's a handy way to look at a bunch of rim options. You will probably find that their prices for custom wheels in that price range is very competitive, and you can get advice on the components for the wheels.

You can find charts for rim width vs tire size by searching for that. Look at a few, you'll see some trends/consistency. What I've found recently that seems to be within the range of recommendations is a 21 mm internal width should be ok for ~25-45 mm tires. A 25 internal width, probably minimum tire size of 30-32, and maximum ~50?

There's variability in the recommendations if course and you may be able to exceed these. You'll also find that some wheel specs come with tire ranges. But if you're in the middle, I don't think you'll have any problem or have any meaningful disappointment in performance. Some riders are really perceptive and demand performance nuance that most of us don't. Most of us just want to feel comfortable that we're not being way off base.

Last edited by Camilo; 04-09-21 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 04-09-21, 06:31 AM
  #10  
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The $699 Spinergy Z32 may be worth looking at tedder987 . The fiber spokes and 32mm deep section rim are super strong, and the internal width is 19mm, with the pair weighing in at 1635g. These also use their wide, aero section spokes, which should be more slippery and look cool as well. You can even pick a single spoke color to add flair. Tubeless ready as well.

They have the wider (24mm inner), shallower (24mm), lighter (1475g) GX wheel which is also available at $699. I think a 30c tire would be boss on those for road work, but that’s a weird size to get hemmed into. I run 35c rubber on my GX, which is primarily for gravel.
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Old 04-09-21, 09:49 AM
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I have looked at the Z32 a couple of times, but there just are not any long-term reviews that I can find and the low spoke count (16/20) worries me (I know they are not normal spokes). Also one review of their GX gravel version (24/24 spokes) talked about the wheel "winding up" under power during accelerations. Not sure I want that.

The prowheelbuilder site does look like its pretty price competitive with anything else I have seen.
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Old 04-09-21, 10:27 AM
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I have Spinergy PBO spoke wheels that I got from House of Tandems on our tandem. I have cracked an alloy rim, but have had no issues with spoke tension or wheel straightness until I hit something very big (thanks Google Maps). And the two of us plus all of our gear for touring on the tandem weigh around 500 lbs.
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Old 04-09-21, 11:31 AM
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DangerousDan, how many (spinergy) spokes does your tandem have?
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Old 04-11-21, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by tedder987 View Post
I am looking around for new wheels to put on my 2017 Roubaix Comp. Unfortunately I can't swing anything expensive (i.e. carbon, or over $700) so getting the 'ideal' wheel isn't really an option. Since I am on the bigger side (95kg/210lbs) and run wide tires (GP5000 28 front, 32 rear) I was thinking about grabbing gravel wheels on the assumption that they will e stronger and might better support the wide rubber. But I am not sure how wide is too wide.

My stock (DT swiss R470) were 18 internal and 22 external. Since I am on such wide rubber, I definitely want to go to ~21 internal at least but a lot of the gravel wheels now seem to be 25 wide internal. Not sure if this would make my 32 blow up too big to fit on the bike (which is rated for 32mm tires but there is still a fair bit of space there with the 32mm GP5000 on my stock skinny wheels).

So who has experience with wide gravel wheels on a road bike, or knows of a site with measurements for tires on various rims they can point me to?

p.s. almost bought some Reynolds AR41 (41 deep, 21 internal, 30 external) which looked near ideal from the pro's closet but moved too slow
Take a look at these HED Emporia

700$ 25mm internal / 30mm external

Solid set of wheels made in the US and you wont be dissapointed. HED makes good wheels and their support is fantastic. Hubs spin forever and the build quality is second to none.

As far as the 24/24 spokes there is no negative unless you are consistently putting out 1500+ watts on sprints. I have the older GP+ version of these and they are a great wheel for training. I swap tires to go road / gravel and they do great at both. I beat the crap out of them and they have held up just fine. Plus an aluminum pair of rims at 1600g is pretty good for a gravel set of wheels.
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Old 04-12-21, 10:47 AM
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@Wilmingtech that brings me full circle back to the initial question. Is a wheel with a 25mm internal width going to work OK on a road disc bike (Spz Roubaix) that nominally is rated for 32mm tires, or is it going to let a 32 get too wide for the bike, while being too wide to comfortably run a (nominal) 28mm tire which will fit the frame? With the current wheels (28/32 GP5000) I have ~1cm sides & top at the forks. At the back the tightest is at the side, 3.2mm to the chainstay (digital vernier calipers) with 9mm to the bottom bracket in the middle and more space yet at the seat stays.

What bike and tires do you run your emporia's on for reference btw? Is it a road bike or gravel with wider clearances?
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Old 04-12-21, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by tedder987 View Post
@Wilmingtech that brings me full circle back to the initial question. Is a wheel with a 25mm internal width going to work OK on a road disc bike (Spz Roubaix) that nominally is rated for 32mm tires,
With the 25mm internal width, typically you'll add about 2-3 mm to the marketed tire size. So a 28 would inflate to 30mm. This is dependent on tire manufacturer but 2-3mm is typical.

or is it going to let a 32 get too wide for the bike, while being too wide to comfortably run a (nominal) 28mm tire which will fit the frame?
You wont wont to run a 32 on a rim with 25mm internal width if 32mm is the max specd tire size for the bike. Stick with a 28mm. It will inflate to 30mm and match the width of the rim. A 25mm would inflate close to 28 for a slight aero benefit.

With the current wheels (28/32 GP5000) I have ~1cm sides & top at the forks. At the back the tightest is at the side, 3.2mm to the chainstay (digital vernier calipers) with 9mm to the bottom bracket in the middle and more space yet at the seat stays.
In the front, 1cm is plenty of space. You can leave the 28 on there and it will inflate to 30-31mm and you'll get a cush ride and it will be within spec. Drop to 25mm if your on smooth tarmac for the day.

On the rear drop to 30 and you should be fine. Itll round out to about a 32mm width. You might be better off going 25/28 on tarmac and 28/30 on gravel with the wider rims. The rim at its widest point is 30mm so as long as you have 36mm of clearance between the chain stays at the top ot the rim in the back you should be fine. You can shoot an email to Andy andy@hedcycling.com
and ask him about the fit on a Roubaix. They are pretty quick to reply or call them at 888-246-3639.

What bike and tires do you run your emporia's on for reference btw? Is it a road bike or gravel with wider clearances?
They are currently on a Blue Prosecco which is more of a disc brake endurance bike than a true gravel bike. With 32mm Vittoria Terreno tires on the HEDs they inflate to 35mm and theres not much room for more than that.


I'll take some measurements tomorrow if you like. I am currently running conti sport 28 road tires on these rims and Im pretty sure they measure out to 30mm.

Last edited by Wilmingtech; 04-12-21 at 10:43 PM.
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Old 04-13-21, 07:38 AM
  #17  
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Check out fulcrum wheels. https://www.fulcrumwheels.com/it/ruo...rapid-red-5-db
It's interesting that fulcrum included the 19mm internal width racing zero wheels, but not the 19mm internal width racing 3 under the gravel category. I have the racing 3 DB wheels on two road bikes. I chose them because the have better bearings than the 5 series and they require no rim tape to use tubeless tires. They can easily handle up to a 42mm tire.

https://www.fulcrumwheels.com/it/ruo...sa/racing-3-db

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Old 04-13-21, 05:14 PM
  #18  
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OK Folks, I am closing in on a set. Bear in mind my ideal budget was capped at $700 and the Boyd's were just close enough to that to step over a few $. However the PWB prices are really good too and I can get a set with Boyd rims for about $100 less using Bitex hubs instead of the Boyd hub. Or, for just a hair more than the Boyd's with the DT350. PWB doesn't have tha altamont rims in yet but they are getting them soon so there is a slight fudge factor in converting from a CCC build on their site to an estimated altamont build.

Option 1: $725, Boyd altamont in 28/32. Boyd Quest hub, Pillar bladed spokes, brass nipples. ~1548 (1500g 24/28)
Option 2: $637, Altamont rim 32/32 3-cross. Bitex 106 hubs, Sapim lazer spokes, alloy locking nipples. ~1535g (CCC+10g)
Option 3: $743, Altamont rim, 32/32 3-cross, DT 350 hubs, Sapim lazer spokes, alloy locking nipples. ~1553g (CCC+10g)
Option 4: $466, Kinlin XR31 rim, 28/32 3-cross, Bitex 106, Sapim lazer spokes, alloy locking nipples. ~1681g

Of course I want the most expensive ones (option 3) since the DT hubs have a great reputation, and my old rear hub is a 32 spoke DT350 which i can try to rebuild (my first DIY wheel) into a similar spare. But saving $100 is also appealing and I am not certain the Bitex hub is any step down from the Boyd hub (feel free to correct me). I am over budget with #3 but only by $43. With option 4 I am way under budget (but will have to pay shipping) but that knocks out about 1/3 of the weight savings over my current set (~1950g est).

So folks, are Bitex hubs plenty good (go with #2), or should I save maintenance $ down the line (go with #3) or am I just over thinking it given I don't race and should just save the money and go for #4?
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Old 04-18-21, 12:32 PM
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Coming back full circle, here are a couple of resources for others in the future that I have found since I started the thread;

1. The Pro's closet blog post about wheel width
2. Bicyclerollingresistance.com rim width test
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Old 04-18-21, 02:21 PM
  #20  
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I like to use the DT Swiss chart as a go by for tire and rim dims.

DT Swiss Tire Pressure and Dimension
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Old 04-18-21, 03:29 PM
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Glad to see you bailed on the idea of 25mm ID rims for road.

I just got some Light Bicycle WR50’s for my gravel setup (25mm internal 32mm external), they are perfect for 36-40mm tires. For road I have 20-21mm ID rims and currently am running 30mm tires.

I am chewing on this issue myself as I really like wide tires for ride comfort on the road. But I don’t think I will try my WR50s with road tires.
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Old 04-18-21, 04:05 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by tedder987 View Post
OK Folks, I am closing in on a set. Bear in mind my ideal budget was capped at $700 and the Boyd's were just close enough to that to step over a few $. However the PWB prices are really good too and I can get a set with Boyd rims for about $100 less using Bitex hubs instead of the Boyd hub. Or, for just a hair more than the Boyd's with the DT350. PWB doesn't have tha altamont rims in yet but they are getting them soon so there is a slight fudge factor in converting from a CCC build on their site to an estimated altamont build.

Option 1: $725, Boyd altamont in 28/32. Boyd Quest hub, Pillar bladed spokes, brass nipples. ~1548 (1500g 24/28)
Option 2: $637, Altamont rim 32/32 3-cross. Bitex 106 hubs, Sapim lazer spokes, alloy locking nipples. ~1535g (CCC+10g)
Option 3: $743, Altamont rim, 32/32 3-cross, DT 350 hubs, Sapim lazer spokes, alloy locking nipples. ~1553g (CCC+10g)
Option 4: $466, Kinlin XR31 rim, 28/32 3-cross, Bitex 106, Sapim lazer spokes, alloy locking nipples. ~1681g

Of course I want the most expensive ones (option 3) since the DT hubs have a great reputation, and my old rear hub is a 32 spoke DT350 which i can try to rebuild (my first DIY wheel) into a similar spare. But saving $100 is also appealing and I am not certain the Bitex hub is any step down from the Boyd hub (feel free to correct me). I am over budget with #3 but only by $43. With option 4 I am way under budget (but will have to pay shipping) but that knocks out about 1/3 of the weight savings over my current set (~1950g est).

So folks, are Bitex hubs plenty good (go with #2), or should I save maintenance $ down the line (go with #3) or am I just over thinking it given I don't race and should just save the money and go for #4?

I hav 2 sets of the Altamonts, one rim brake and one disc....fantastic wheels. Both were the original version. I bought in 2015~ and the Disc a year later.
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Old 04-19-21, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by tedder987 View Post
So folks, are Bitex hubs plenty good (go with #2), or should I save maintenance $ down the line (go with #3) or am I just over thinking it given I don't race and should just save the money and go for #4?
- You are 210 pounds, that isnt exactly excessivly heavy. You dont need overly built wheels for road cycling at that weight.
- A handbuilt 28hole wheelset with j-bend butted spokes and brass nipples will last for years and years under normal use.

- I have bitex hubs on my main road bike and my gravel bike. I love em. They are light and work perfectly for multiple years now...which is about all I need hubs to do. I have RA12 hubs on my main road bike and 106 hubs on my gravel bike. They came from prowheelbuilder.com on some handbuilt wheels.

- Maybe call prowheelbuilder.com and talk with them? They have countless combinations for hubs, rims, spokes, and nipples. Maybe your bitex wheelset options are from there, not sure. I have no idea about the kinlin rim, but I do have HplusSon Hydra rims on my disc wheelset and those are 20internal 25 external while weighing 62g less than the kinlin rim. Those have been perfectly fine for me so far(at 215# and more). 28h front and 32h rear.
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Old 04-19-21, 02:40 PM
  #24  
dmanthree
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Originally Posted by tedder987 View Post
I am looking around for new wheels to put on my 2017 Roubaix Comp. Unfortunately I can't swing anything expensive (i.e. carbon, or over $700) so getting the 'ideal' wheel isn't really an option. Since I am on the bigger side (95kg/210lbs) and run wide tires (GP5000 28 front, 32 rear) I was thinking about grabbing gravel wheels on the assumption that they will e stronger and might better support the wide rubber. But I am not sure how wide is too wide.

My stock (DT swiss R470) were 18 internal and 22 external. Since I am on such wide rubber, I definitely want to go to ~21 internal at least but a lot of the gravel wheels now seem to be 25 wide internal. Not sure if this would make my 32 blow up too big to fit on the bike (which is rated for 32mm tires but there is still a fair bit of space there with the 32mm GP5000 on my stock skinny wheels).

So who has experience with wide gravel wheels on a road bike, or knows of a site with measurements for tires on various rims they can point me to?

p.s. almost bought some Reynolds AR41 (41 deep, 21 internal, 30 external) which looked near ideal from the pro's closet but moved too slow
I'm riding a 2017 Roubaix with Roval SLX 24 wheels. I really like them! They're a bit over your budget, but will easily handle the wider tires you like and so far have proven bulletproof for me.
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Old 04-22-21, 04:08 PM
  #25  
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Thanks for saying I am not excessively heavy (though my wife might disagree)!. Yes the numbers I posted (except for the boyd stock wheel) were all from the prowheelbuilder.com configurator. I am just waiting for them to get the altamont rims in stock (any day now they say... actually they have them in house but just haven't got them onto the website yet).

I am thinking about going with aluminum nipples (not brass) though. Sapim "claim" they are stronger and don't corrode and since I am in Southern California they will see little moisture and less salt so it does not seem to be too big of a risk to forgo brass and save another 50g.


Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
- You are 210 pounds, that isnt exactly excessivly heavy. You dont need overly built wheels for road cycling at that weight.
- A handbuilt 28hole wheelset with j-bend butted spokes and brass nipples will last for years and years under normal use.

- I have bitex hubs on my main road bike and my gravel bike. I love em. They are light and work perfectly for multiple years now...which is about all I need hubs to do. I have RA12 hubs on my main road bike and 106 hubs on my gravel bike. They came from prowheelbuilder.com on some handbuilt wheels.

- Maybe call prowheelbuilder.com and talk with them? They have countless combinations for hubs, rims, spokes, and nipples. Maybe your bitex wheelset options are from there, not sure. I have no idea about the kinlin rim, but I do have HplusSon Hydra rims on my disc wheelset and those are 20internal 25 external while weighing 62g less than the kinlin rim. Those have been perfectly fine for me so far(at 215# and more). 28h front and 32h rear.
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