So, in brief .
I have a Basso Palta with Ekar, its uses are as both a gravel/rigid-MTB and a road bike and I’m very happy with it for both. However, I currently only have one set of wheels and I want to move to two.
It is currently on Shamals (35mm front, 40mm rear) and I plan to continue using these as the mixed road/off-road/trails setup paired with Pathfinder Pro/S-Works tyres.
I want a set of dedicated road wheels running 25/28s and I’m pretty much set on either Hunt Limitless or Swiss Side Hadron2 Ultimates.
Basically, anything around the 50mm mark is as much aero as I need, but both are supposed to be quite well behaved in cross-winds, so there is of course the aesthetics issue and that is where I’m stuck. Logic says Limitless 48 / Hadron 50, but deeper often looks prettier.
The Hunts come as only 48s or 60s, the Hadrons have the option to mix and match depths.
I’ve mocked up some photos for the various rim depths (on Pathfinders, bear in mind they’d be on likely GP5000s and lose a tiny bit of tire depth). I’d really appreciate people’s thoughts.
Be prepared for photo overload…
The current Shamals
Hunt Limitless 48 / Hadron2 50 pair
Hunt Limitless 60 / Hadron 62 pair
Hadron 50 / 62 split pair
Hadron 50 / 80 split pair (the “keep it rideable while getting maximum aero” option)
Hadron 62 / 80 split pair (the “yeah, matched 80s starts looking truly wacky but this is deep” option)
Have at it! (And don’t criticise my Photoshopping, this was done in Paint! )
It depends on the sort of riding that you are doing and also weight (for crosswinds and their effect on the wheels). A good solid all round options is anywhere between 40-60mm. Personally I run 25-35s for my ‘fun day’ wheels as they make the bike feel lively. For racing, never less than 60mm unless its a summit finish stage
I’m more worried about the aesthetics, honestly.
I’m ~73kg and fairly happy in regards to cross-wind control. I cycle for enjoyment more than anything, but I also like seeing those Strava PBs pop up.
The bike is already fast compared to most things on the Pathfinders, I never have a problem keeping up on group rides where everyone else is on road wheels anyway, so this set is about just unlocking the remaining speed from the bike.
That said, I’m going to be racing friends to street signs, not 40-100 mile races.
The benefit of this setup is that I have the freedom to choose based mostly on aesthetics, because on a particularly blustery day I’d just drop the Shamal/Pathfinder combo on and enjoy the ride because I’m not racing anyone.
Anything above the 48/50s is really, really marginal gains territory for the riding I’d be doing, to the point of irrelevance probably, but at the same time I also have the freedom to see the trees moving in the wind and think “yeah, not today”. So, literally any of these wheel sets would likely work for my riding and I think I’m free to make the decision based on aesthetics alone.
Just an opinion based solely on looks is that whatever you choose keep them close to the same depth.
For my eye, I find the off balance distracting.
If it’s aesthetics only, I can chip in: I like the 48-50 sizing most. After that it turns too Pro for my liking.
Ha, the 50/80 mix is quite the visual… Not bad if you were looking at performance though, far less steering moment in cross winds while retaining most of the aero benefits of a really deep set.
I think I’ve become accustomed to slight offsets due to the 35/40 blend already on, I don’t mind the 50/62.5 pairing, but I’m terrible at personal purchase decision making, a marketers dream, I’d end up buying all of them as options for different days!
The 48/50 pair probably would give you the best ‘bang’ for the buck. 80s can be a handful in a serious crosswind. If you are doing Time Trials, you might want to go for a bolt on rear disc and see how that handles rather than have those impossible deep dishes.
Indeed, that’s why I’ve started at 48/50, I think that is the point where all the core aero gain ends and the rest is just marginal.
Everything above that I’ve mostly thrown in for the aesthetic. I quite like the look of deeper wheels, but then you’ve got rideability.
The realistic options are 48/50, 60s or the 50/62 combo.
48/50 makes sense for the best all-round setup as it’s almost all of the aero and the most rideable. 50/62 might be the sweet point for look.
As far as money goes, they’re all near as dammit the same price.
I would look at riding the 48/50 and the 50/62 setup in ‘normal’ weather. Around here we have mainly East/West winds around 10kph/6 MPH. However, this is not true for two months of the year where winds can get up to 50kph steady with gusts up to 80kph. And rain is sparse…