Aero Effect of Bicycle Wheels

Aero Effect of Bicycle Wheels
Aerodynamic bike wheels have long been a topic of debate and study as cyclists and triathletes find ways to go faster speeds. The rim depth (45 to 60mm) is what makes the wheels quicker through air.
 

Speed and Efficiency

With aero wheels, a rider can go the same speed with less effort. This makes the wheels popular for both cyclists and triathletes. The aero effect disappears once a rider hits a hill of a 4 percent grade or higher. Aero wheels are faster than standard wheels but are relatively the same as lightweight wheels.

 
 

Weight and Materials

Compared to standard bicycle wheels, aero wheels are much lighter (approximately 1,600 grams). Aero wheels are made of carbon fiber, a composite material that also adds a softer ride quality.

Size

Aero wheels come in a 650c or 700c size. The size you choose is based on your height and the size of your bike. 650c wheels are made for smaller bikes, although their aero affect is just the same as a 700c wheel.

 

Article Written By Courtney Johnson

Courtney Johnson is a freelance sports writer and photographer based in California. Her articles and photos appear regularly in newspapers and magazines such as "Triathlete" and "Cross Country Skier." Johnson graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in media production and minor in writing. She is studying for her copy editing certificate at the University of San Diego.