Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rims Produce 18% Less Rolling Resistance

So the other week I took off with the family on a quick trip to Alberta. The bike was on the roof rack and on a whim I decided to use my Thule wheel carrier. Despite double checking the tightness of the skewer, the wheel flew off my roof within 20 minutes of home, never to be seen again. I scoured the ditch where it likely landed up, but the 6ft reeds swallowed that wheel whole.

Anyway, I got a used set of HED Ardennes SL's that use a 23mm wide rim instead of a 19mm. Evidently the advantages are numerous.

  • larger contact patch
  • better cornering
  • run lower pressures
  • better aerodynamics
  • and the kicker for me? Continental's testing lab calculated that there's 18% less rolling resistance with the fatties.
I was pretty interested to see how they performed, as I figure an 18% decrease in rolling resistance would be huge! I was halfway through my application for Team SKY when I figured I should maybe ride them to see just how crazy fast my bike had become. Well, after riding them I figured team SKY might not be needing me after all. The cornering and bump absorption was noticeably better, but I experienced very little increase in speed due to any perceptible change in rolling resistance. Maybe it's a matter of dialing in the tire pressures to maximize the smoothing properties of the tires?

Links to info


  1. I recently bought a set of the EA90 RT (road tubeless) wheels from CRC for less than $450. They have a rim width of 22mm.

    The rims make a 23mm tire feel more like 25mm. I've since put on 28mm Hutchinson Sector 28 tires (built for Paris-Roubaix for the FDJ Team).

    I don't know if I'm any faster, but I'm experimenting somewhat with pressures. I can say the ride is more plush on MB's rough roads.

    I plan on using these for CX and will experiment with going tubeless.

  2. Thanks, that was a really cool read! rims

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