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When are they too deep?

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When are they too deep?

Old 11-03-10, 01:36 PM
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bthomas515
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When are they too deep?

So I have slowly been getting into racing, and one thing I have noticed is that no one ever seems to race super deep carbon wheelsets. They seem to stop about 60mm, and I was wondering if there was a reason for this? I went to a tt and some wheelsets were insane and I just didn't know if there were actual disadvantages to using these wheelsets in a road race.
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Old 11-03-10, 01:40 PM
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Deeper rims are heavier and can be harder to control, especially in windy conditions. Shallower rims are more versatile and let's face it, most of us can't afford to have a spectrum of race wheels at varrying depths. I have one set of race wheels, at 46mm. Seemed like a good compromise of weight and aero, although 66s or 80s would be nice. If I did TTs my priorities might be different.
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Old 11-03-10, 01:41 PM
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Here in Florida, especially riding along the coast, the crosswinds can make things uncomfortable for smaller riders.
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Old 11-03-10, 01:42 PM
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It's harder to control the bike with deeper wheels, which could make it dangerous during a race... especially crits.

Also, once you get past a certain amount of depth the aero-benefits aren't too much anymore. There's no reason to sacrifice a bit of handling skills for the small amount of time you'd save from going deeper. Also, sprints are important and heavier (deeper) wheels take longer to accelerate.

If you're doing a time trial, you should use all you can to your advantage. Deeper wheels will let you go faster, and you probably won't have to navigate any technical parts on the course. You definitely won't have to worry about holding a line within a group of riders.
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Old 11-03-10, 01:42 PM
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As umd mentioned it is a trade-off between aerodynamics, weight, controllability, cost, and durability.
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Old 11-03-10, 04:58 PM
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Here is a good site to compare aerodynamics of wheels. Note that drag is a function of wind yaw angle. So to get a benefit of deeper rims on the road there must be direct exposure to the wind such as in a TT, off the front or in a break. HED would have everyone have a full compliment of wheels. However, note that the fastest setup is a double disk that is used for indoor tracks for pursuit and sometimes for team sprint.
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Old 11-03-10, 05:01 PM
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When you crash because of them.
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Old 11-03-10, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
... So to get a benefit of deeper rims on the road there must be direct exposure to the wind such as in a TT, off the front or in a break.
Have you ever not been able to hold a wheel?
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Old 11-03-10, 06:54 PM
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One L. Fignon has an opinion on this.
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