RIM HEIGHT
for Road Bikes

What impact does rim height have?

In cycling, rim height significantly impacts the aerodynamics, agility and weight of the wheel. The general principle is the higher the profile of the rim, the greater the aerodynamic advantage; the lower the profile of the rim, the greater the response and better the handling when cornering and changing speed. Medium-depth rim profiles offer compromises with regard to aerodynamics, response and agility.

 

HIGH PROFILE RIMS (> 45 mm)

Field of application:
•    Ideal for flat to slightly hilly courses
•    Ideal for time trials and triathlons

Advantage

•    Modern, aerodynamically optimized rim profiles can create what is known as the sailing effect in certain side wind conditions. The sailing effect means that less energy is required for forward propulsion.
•    Aerodynamic advantage: The higher profile shape makes it possible to optimize the interaction in such a way that stalling occurs later in the event of lateral incident flow. This in turn makes it possible to make greater use of the aerodynamic advantage.

 

Disadvantage

•    Greater weight due to additional rim material.
•    Reduced acceleration due to greater rim weight: more energy must be expended.
•    Susceptible to wind (especially strong or gusting side winds) due to the large contact surface.
 

 

LOW PROFILE RIMS (< 45 mm)

Field of application:
•    Ideal for hilly courses
•    Ideal for races with frequent changes in speed

Advantage

•    Lower weight due to less rim material.
•    Controllable and less susceptible to wind due to reduced contact surface.
•    Agile turning on tight corners.
•    Quick, direct acceleration due to lower rim weight.

 

Disadvantage

•    Reduced aerodynamic advantage due to early stalling on the deep rim (reduced ability to use sailing effect).