What are the current options for wide internal width aero wheels?

wheels

#1

I’ve been looking for a wheelset specifically for Gravel Worlds (my A race for 2019). It’s on gravel roads, but is basically a glorified road race. Not really anything super gnarly and average speed could be somewhere in the 19-20mph range. I want something fast.

Going to play around with a couple options, but I think I’ll end up with a tubeless tire in the 30-32ish range, so I’m hoping to find a wider wheel so I don’t get absolutely killed on aerodynamics and handling. My stupid cx bike has a 15x100 front axle, so that’s important to keep in mind.

I don’t have a super strict budget, but would like to keep it under $2k at least.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • Enve 4.5 AR (I could find a used set for under $2k)
  • Zipp 303 (I think these retail for slightly more than $2k, but you can get them for cheaper)
  • HED Jet 4/6+ Disc (I think this would work for my purposes?)
  • Mavic and Reynolds have both released new all-road wheels recently. Not sure how they performed aerodynamically.
  • Random Chinese carbon, etc.

What else am I missing?


#2

I think Hunt might have your axle covered if you’re willing to accept their lead time and import: “Bolt thru 12/15”: https://www.huntbikewheels.com/collections/gravel-wheels


#3

Thanks. I should mention that the race is not until August, so I’m not in a huge rush.


#4

Take a look at Spin on These . Modern profiles/depths, same or better quality than the big names and you Drew (the owner) is one of the most knowledgable people on the planet when it comes to cycling, wheels and the dynamic within. Plus you are not paying for the logo and the value to money is outstanding. On your 2k budget you simply won’t find a better wheel set (new) than the options Spin offers.

Honestly getting access to Drew and his knowledge is worth the price of admission.

I’ve been riding a set of DB8 58SLs as my primary wheel set (i.e. go anywhere) and have nothing but good to say.

I’ve never had a positive experience with Zipp anything ever, especially their wheels. I’ve no experience with HED at all. I dig Enve but the cost can be prohibitive. Mavic has no modern profiles except in their super high end (out of your budget).

Oddly I have no issue with China carbon frames (I own one)… but wheels, I wouldn’t go near with a stick.


#5

I’ll throw what I’ve used into the ring:

Roval CL 50 ($1750) - External 29.3mm, Internal 20.7mm
DT Swiss internals, so you can upgrade the star ratchet, tubeless ready, aero (50mm deep), and with a competitive weight of 1,515g.

I actually bought them secondhand from a friend that raced Dirty Kanza, Barry Roubaix 100, and Michigan’s Coast to Coast race on them with 38mm Specialized trigger tires. I currently use them on the road bike with 28’s, but am considering using them for gravel events in the spring.


#6

Good call. I forgot to mention the Rovals.


#7

I’ve got the Zipp 303’s and they are great. They’ve had some real abuse, including being crashed with no issues at all. A mate has had the Enve’s and whilst really cool, he’s had no end of problems. For the price, I wouldn’t go for them.

Have you though about Roval CLX50s? I have the CLX32 and CLX64. They are the best wheels I’ve had.


#8

Great minds!!


#9

I’m sort of leaning towards the 303s just because I know that they’ll work and be reasonably fast. They’ll also satisfy my need for bling.


#10

I have a set of Nox. I think these can meet your criteria. The warranty is something to take into account and these have to be close to or at the top:

http://noxcomposites.com/citico

edit: I realize not very deep. Just posting for additional options/info


#11

If you are in US then checkout Wheelbuilder.com - I purchased Enve 5.6 disc and was very happy with service and price. Here is the gravel page which includes Enve, HED, Zipp, etc.:
http://www.wheelbuilder.com/home.php?cat=894&sort=orderby&sort_direction=0&objects_per_page=50

Price on Enve is better than retail, although still above your target. Another thing to consider is warranty. I had a rear tire blowout at speed on a downhill, was able to safely control the stop and had some questionable marks on the rim. Reported to Enve with pics, and they promptly replaced under 5 year warranty including paying for shipping costs both ways.


#12

I’ve got a set of the Enve ARs and am extremely happy with them. I’m running 28 mm Schwalbe Pro-Ones on them. My favorite bike purchase in recent memory. But I don’t ride them on gravel.

Devil’s Advocate: I’m not sure you will get the full aero benefit out of any of these wheel sets if you are running size 32mm tires (esp if they sit at ~35mm, as is likely on wide rims). As you probably know, the tire/rim interface is critical. My understanding is that even a few mm of difference in width can cause enough turbulence that the you lose much of the upside of the deep rims, while still getting the downside (weight, crosswinds). It always cracks me up to see riders on deep rims with a wide pair of Gravel Kings or something on there–not that that’s what you’re talking about. When I was researching the Enve ARs, I spoke with the guys at Enve and they were pretty particular that I should not run anything wider than an 28 on there if I want to get the full aero benefit.