Single Speeders: Weightweenie vs Aero wheelset- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Single Speeders: Weightweenie vs Aero wheelset

    I'm putting together a SS gravel bike and stuck on the wheelset. My existing bikes are steel but this one is carbon and I'm in a semi-weightweenie mode.

    I'm trying to make a decision on which rim to go with for a custom wheel build. Tires will be tubeless of course and between 33-40c. I'll be riding mostly paved roads, some gravel and hilly but tame singletrack.

    My first reaction is to go with the light 280g rims. But I just started reading about aero wheels so now I'm thinking the 390g wheelset would be a nice middle ground. I'm concerned about going with the full aero wheels thinking they will get damaged offroad (these rims are rated for gravel). But I really don't know if any of this matters, I'm just riding for fun!

    Would love to get your thoughts as singlespeeders!

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    280g


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    390g


    Name:  NXT45GR-小[1].png
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    460g

  2. #2
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    I am skeptical of "aero" rims because of
    1. cross-winds
    2. the extra weight of aero doesn't mean anything until you reach a certain speed, right? unless you can maintain that speed on a SS bike, it's just dead weight, if I understand aero stuff correctly.

  3. #3
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    Always post your weight when asking weight weenie wheel questions.

    On a SS the only place you'll benefit from an aero rim is on a DH when your coasting.

    As a SSer I choose durability over weight every time.

    Riding for fun? Go with the middle rim.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I am skeptical of "aero" rims because of
    1. cross-winds
    2. the extra weight of aero doesn't mean anything until you reach a certain speed, right? unless you can maintain that speed on a SS bike, it's just dead weight, if I understand aero stuff correctly.
    Modern aero rims are better (faster) in cross winds than low profile rims.

    And, any time you hit 14mph or so, you can attain some benefits from aero considerations.

    That said, unless this is a SS CX or gravel bike, the wide MTB tires are going to throw everything for a loop.

    Youd be better off with an S-Works Evade, a skin suit and shaving your legs.


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  5. #5
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    OP said this is a gravel bike with 33-40mm tires in mind.

  6. #6
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    Single Speeders: Weightweenie vs Aero wheelset

    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    OP said this is a gravel bike with 33-40mm tires in mind.
    And I completely skimmed past that.

    My apologies. Im a fool.

    What brand are the 46mm rims, OP?


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  7. #7
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    There's more to this than weight and rim depth. I'd be curious to know the model and manufacturers of the rims.

    That said, the only time I'd consider anything 'aero' would be on my road bike, and even then I'm not at a level of riding where I believe I'd feel the benefits

  8. #8
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    Modern aero rims on road bikes have been designed to produce a smooth flow from leading to trailing edge of the tire and rim. Tires as wide as you wish to run would defeat this purpose. Go with a strong shallow section rim as light as you can afford.

  9. #9
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    The rims are Nextie. The first rim listed is their Premium carbon T800/T700. The second and third rims are their T700 gravel rims. They will be laced with CX Ray spokes and DT Swiss 240 hubs.

    WAvery makes a good point. To benefit from an aero rim design, do the tires have to be as narrow as the rim?

  10. #10
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    ...
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shinkers View Post
    There's more to this than weight and rim depth. I'd be curious to know the model and manufacturers of the rims.
    Can you elaborate on this? Why does the brand matter?

    The more important question to me is how much the OP weighs. If it's more than 150lbs I'd be weary of riding a 280g rim. If it's a race day wheelset, you've already maxed out your fitness, and your not concerned with long term durability, fine. But if this is a fun bike (not a race bike) and this will be your only wheelset, I'd want more durable wheels.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  12. #12
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    200lbs kitted up.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerLex View Post
    200lbs kitted up.
    Rider + bike weighs 102058 grams.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Rider + bike weighs 102058 grams.
    Ok?

  15. #15
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    It's not my bike, but saving 200g at the expense of durability is not a trade off I'm willing to make on my personal equipment. (FYI I'm 215 lbs with gear)

    At our size I don't think your going to gain anything from the lighter rims, and the aero thing is silly IMO. Those belong on a TT bike.

    I think the middle rim you posted is an excellent rim for your application. Those wheels will be sweet and durable.
    Rigid SS 29er
    SS 29+
    Fat Lefty
    SS cyclocross
    Full Sus 29er (Yuck)

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  16. #16
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    I'd go with the 390 rims. You may end up smacking them pretty good at some point on single track or even gravel and why worry about riding too weak of a rim when you do or having to really baby the bike because of the rims?
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  17. #17
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    How do you determine rim strength/durability?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerLex View Post
    How do you determine rim strength/durability?
    I just went to the Nextie site and checked out that rim. The weight rating is 242lbs, much higher than I would have expected. Maybe it's not as fragile as the 280g suggest. They just sound too light to be that strong, but I'm not an engineer.

    I know how much stuff I break on my own bikes. Frames, rear hubs, BB's, tires, you name it. It sucks so I error on the side of durability.

    Like I said before, even if that rim is strong enough for you I don't think you have much to gain from an ultra light rim. Maybe as a compromise you could use the stronger rim in the back and the lightweight rim in the front?
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  19. #19
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    At your weight I wouldn't worry about an extra 100g per wheel. For gravel riding I'm not convinced there is a big enough aero advantage, especially once you put some 40c tires on the wheel and throw in the added drag from knobs and less smooth road surfaces. This article https://silca.cc/blogs/journal/part-...d-aerodynamics might help you make a decision as well.

    If it were me, I think I'd go with the 390g rims.

  20. #20
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    Aero rims aren't even effective unless the rim is at least as wide as the tire.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerLex View Post
    To benefit from an aero rim design, do the tires have to be as narrow as the rim?

    There is a range of rim widths within which certain tires will work to provide aero benefits. If you're running ~33 to 35mm tires on that 30mm aero rim there'll be a benefit.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    Can you elaborate on this? Why does the brand matter?

    The more important question to me is how much the OP weighs. If it's more than 150lbs I'd be weary of riding a 280g rim. If it's a race day wheelset, you've already maxed out your fitness, and your not concerned with long term durability, fine. But if this is a fun bike (not a race bike) and this will be your only wheelset, I'd want more durable wheels.
    Sure. There's a lot of companies out there selling carbon rims. If they've been around a while and have a good reputation, I'd probably trust their lighter wheels, but I'd also take some stock in rims that they market specifically for gravel. If it's a reputable manufacturer, I'm going assume that they've done some testing and added some material to a rim that they are selling as a gravel wheel.

    Nextie seems to be fairly reputable so I'd probably assume that their gravel wheels had some development that went into them. Therefore, that' probably what I'd choose. As stated, I don't really see the need for aero on a gravel bike, so I'd opt for the shorter profile gravel rim.

    I don't know though, that's just how I look at it.

  23. #23
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    Appreciate the input. Surprised that most everyone suggested the 390g Gravel rim given that aero doesn't seem to be a factor. Why not just go with the 280g MTB rim instead? It's rated to 60psi and within my weight, not sure what I'm missing??

  24. #24
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    I don't know why, but I thought the light rim was a road rim.

    If it's an mtb rim I'd say go with it.

  25. #25
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    Light rim.
    The 2nd rim would be better if it was also hookless, but it doesn't look like it.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by RacerLex View Post
    Appreciate the input. Surprised that most everyone suggested the 390g Gravel rim given that aero doesn't seem to be a factor. Why not just go with the 280g MTB rim instead? It's rated to 60psi and within my weight, not sure what I'm missing??
    I'll admit I'm anti weight weenie for 90% of people that ask these questions. It's stupid IMO. It won't make you faster, it won't improve your riding experience in any measurable way. All it will do is potentially cause expensive repairs, down time while your waiting on parts and a rebuild, or worst case an injury from a crash.

    At your weight there's nothing to be gained. Your not racing so why go extreme weight weenie???

    280g is ultra light. Think about it, the aero road rim you posted weighs 460g.

    Honestly I don't care what the rim is rated for, if I was building wheels with that rim I would fully expect it to break, just a matter of time.

    All that said, if you want to use the light rims (and clearly you do) then just do it. It will probably be fine if you take it easy and don't plow into things on a bike with "skinny" tires and no suspension. If you ride like me, those rims are a bad idea. I use my cross bike offroad a good amount of the time and am not afraid of rocks, roots, small drops, etc.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  27. #27
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    I've got zero experience breaking parts due to weight. My other two bikes are steel: a 29+ and a monstercross. While they have decent components, I don't think weightweenie would ever be used to describe them at over 25+lbs each. What I'm putting together now would be my first sub-20lbs bike, a gravel/road bike, so very possible. Having not owned one before, the excitement of a light bike brought out a bit of weightweenie in me. Could I pull off a 17lbs build (for less than 4k) at my weight?

    When I started to Google wheelsets the search results included aero wheels. I did a bit of reading and watched some videos and aero seemed legit, but these were exclusively road bikes with the riders in full aero kits. So I posted here and what I've learned is aero benefits don't apply if the tires are 40c and the rim is 30c. So why go with the heavier gravel rim over a lighter MTB rim? If a heavier rim weight=durability, I get it. Just unsure in this case because the mfg is rating one rim for gravel use and the other for MTB.

    I don't take myself riding bikes too seriously, I'm just out for fun and fitness. I know that I won't be gaining any super powers because my wheelset is 200g lighter. Or even if I pull off the 17lbs build, I'm not all of a sudden going to beat my buddies that are faster than me now. It's all about the motor and I need to spend more time improving that. :-\

  28. #28
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    Ah, I thought the 280s were road rims. Now that I know they are mtb rims, I'm changing my vote to the 280s!
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