What rim for handuilt road race wheels?


New Member
Jan 17, 2006
alienator said:
Uhm, where is the proof? An Aerohead is only 21mm tall. That's hardly an aero rim. Until the road grade gets very steep--on the order of 10%ish--aero dominates weight And there are more than a few rims that are at least as light and more aero.
Oh wow!! Please do tell!

alienator said:
Actually, the above comments were inspired by the backgrounds in engineering and science of the people who made the comments.
Thank you for the article included above. These materials applies very well to rear wheels and rear tires. Yes, it is indeed true.

Rubber does indeed put drag into the drivetrain, and any spoke does conduct about the same amount of power eventually except for some waste heat created by the smaller spokes that is normally too little to mention.
My concern with the smaller spokes in the drive is that their springy effects may be felt as exhausting or "delaying" to the cyclist.

These ideas do not apply exactly to un-powered wheels.
At the front, a bit of cushy or a tubular or a smaller rim or a flexy spoke is better equipped to remove the negative force from road abberation.
Not everybody races on laboratory surfaces. So, to debate that, please show cyclists actually comparing real-life results.

Yes, it is true that the weight of the wheels (a hard wheel and not a heavy tire) may have some benefits with little cost on hills; however, the heavier rims do not facilitate a popular racing manuever as seen in both intense climbs and finish line sprinting.

Yes, the heavy do both take longer to accelerate and longer to slow down, which should have no negative effect. However, this doesn't support the very sudden accelerations that actually win races. Good math though.

I had not mentioned the following because it is certain to be controversial, but a large rear rim with a similar, but smaller front rim can make a nice combo set. Some Zipp are made this way.

The large rim will do no harm in the drivetrain (rear wheel) and it does have advantage if it is stiff enough to do its job. That is true, yet it still does not "suddenly blast forth" like the little Velocity Areohead's performance in this common racing maneuver.

In trying to be more concise, I did omit the fact that a large areo rim is workable on the rear end of the bike and still be able to climb with it.

Sorry for the omission.
And the reason to use the big rim is that it establishes a baseline speed with its stored momentum, allowing you to add yet more speed on top of that. Yet, not really a serious difference in areodynamic advantages despite the serious difference in top speed on flat ground that probably isn't useful halfway up the alps.
I believe that conserving the cyclist is more useful.

Another good reason for the failure to mention large areo rim is that it would be ever so nice to arrive at the finish line with a wheel that will sprint easily, and most large rims are at disadvantage there. So, why not use a small areo rim with a very similar wheel structure, yet easy to sprint?

This all seems to be a matter of personal preferance and/or facilitation. I assumed that both hills and outdoor road surfaces were needing support. Was that an error?

Please illustrate a wheelset that will outperform my suggestion. I'd love to hear of it.


New Member
Apr 18, 2004
I have DT 240 hubs laced to Mavic Open Pros. I have had zero problems with them, would recommend them.