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Types of bicycle wheels


Many of my fans have been asking which types of wheels is recommended to buy. There are four distinct types:

These wheels have a shallow rim depth, typically less than 30mm. They are commonly used in road bikes and are designed to be lightweight and aerodynamic, providing a faster ride.

    • Mid Profile Wheel

These wheels have a rim depth of 30mm to 50mm and are used in both road and off-road bikes. They provide a good balance of aerodynamics, weight, and stability.

    • High Profile & Disc Wheels

These wheels have a rim depth of over 50mm and are commonly used in time trial or triathlon bikes. They are designed to be highly aerodynamic, providing a faster ride, but can be heavier and less stable in crosswinds.

I have summarised the characteristics of each wheel based on its terrain, rim depth, weight, acceleration, crosswind and aerodynamic in the table below.

Types of wheels with varying rim depth

As a cyclist, it is common to encounter questions about the bicycle. I have listed down the common questions to help you make better decisions in changing your bicycle parts. For this post, I will be focusing on bicycle wheels.

  1. I bought an entry level bicycle. The wheels looks basic. Do I need to change?
    The wheel is perfectly fine for commuting and training whether you are a weekend cyclist or amateur cyclist. Ride with it first, till your cycling improves and upgrade to better wheels.
  2. Is it true that high profile wheels (60mm – 80mm) will make me go faster?
    It is true to a certain extent when your speed is above 40km/hr. Strong leg power is needed to drive this type of wheels. If both criteria above doesn’t satisfy, the cyclist will feel that the wheel is heavy and dragging the bicycle.
  3. Do I need super light wheels at $$$ or should I stick with the existing wheelset?
    If you have unlimited budget, it’s is always good to buy the $$$ wheels. In cycling, you will pay for its lightweight and quality. However, if you have budget constraint, buy the wheels according to your budget and your needs. For instance, if you’re are using it for training, go for training wheels. Good to have a set of high end wheels for racing purposes.
  4. Aluminium wheels vs. Carbon wheels, which is better?
    Both have its Pros and Cons. Aluminium wheels are more durable and cost much cheaper than Carbon wheels. However, it is not as light as Carbon wheels. Carbon wheels are sporty looking but they are expensive and vulnerable to breakage when a cyclist crashes. It is lighter in weight compared to Aluminium wheels.


Bike Guru tips for friends: Bike is 10%, Cyclist is 90%

Train hard and you will enjoy this sport. Don’t rush into upgrading. Bike Guru has summarised the characteristics for each wheel profile in the photo below. It will help you in making sensible decision to buy the correct type of wheels to suit your riding.


If you would like wheels that are light, easy to handle, and will accelerate fast, Decathlon carries the low profile wheels at a competitive price. If you do intend to purchase anything from Decathlon, I hope you can support Bike Guru by making your purchase via my affiliate link.

Disclosure: Bike Guru will receive a commission and your kind support will help me in the cost of running this website to provide bicycling tips and advice for the cycling community.



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