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Rim Widths 2013

Written by: Greg Kopecky
Date: Thu Apr 18 2013

Last year, we published a technical article all about bicycle rim widths. You can find it HERE.

Part of that article included a large table of rim information (for 2012 product) – including rim depth, width, brake track style, and material. The reason behind this was to assist those triathletes who wish to find training and racing wheels of the same or similar width. Due to many modern bikes’ complicated brake designs, swapping between training and racing wheels can be a very labor intensive venture if the rim width or material varies between the two.

As we all know, products evolve constantly, so we thought it prudent to offer a 2013 update for our rim width database. Below we’ll point out the notable changes for each brand.


3T

-Added 43 and 63mm Accelero hybrid clincher wheels
-Added width of Mercurio disc wheel

Bontrager

-Aeolus 6.5 and 9.0 (21mm wide versions) discontinued
-Aeolus 3 tubular and carbon clincher are born
-Aeolus 7 and 9 get carbon clincher options
-Race, Race Lite, and RXL training wheels completely overhauled to 23mm width and tubeless compatibility

The biggest change for Bontrager is a very unique measurement system. Almost every other brand measures their wheels in the middle of the braking surface (regardless of whether that surface is straight or angled). In 2012, Bontrager provided these middle measurements. For 2013, Bontrager chooses to measure at the bottom of the braking surface (closer to the inside of the wheel). They say that this is the best place to measure the rim for most accurate brake adjustments on rims with angled brake tracks. While I understand the thought process, I feel that a little bit of their intent gets lost simply because everyone else measures differently, and not every consumer is going to own only one brand of wheel.

Campagnolo and Fulcrum

-No width changes
-Note that the Shamal/Eurus/Zonda wheels are what Campy calls “2-way Fit” – offering compatibility with standard and tubeless clinchers

DT Swiss

You may notice that our DT Swiss information grew by leaps and bounds for 2013. This typically mountain-focused brand is taking more steps in to the road market. The key differentiator between their models – models which may have an identical rim – is the type of hub. Dicut, Spline, traditional; these may not mean much to you on the surface, but refer to the type of hub flange, spoke, and subsequent price. We also included a few of their common rims for those who may train on a custom handbuilt aluminum wheel set.
Easton

-Added EC70SL hybrid clincher
-Added EA90 RT tubeless clincher wheel

Enve

-All SES wheels now available in carbon clincher
-Note: SES rims differ in width between front and rear rims

FLO Cycling

-New to our chart this year

FSA/Vision

-New to our chart this year

Hed Cycling

-Added Jet 7 Express
-Added Jet 650c wheels; 60mm went wide; 90mm to be updated later this year
-Numbers on Vanquish carbon clincher not yet available
-Added new Ardennes+

Lightweight

-New to our chart this year
-My calipers measured the Fernweg braking surface at 20.4mm; the numbers in our chart are from the Lightweight staff

Mavic

-Added new ‘Cosmic Carbone 40 C’ carbon clincher wheel
-Older Cosmic Carbone 80 (24.8mm wide) is being phased out in favor of the wider CXR80
-Comete clincher disc has been discontinued

Profile-Design

-New to our chart this year
-Older Altair wheels are being discontinued

Renn Multisport

-New to our chart this year

Reynolds

-Added new wider Aero line
-32, 46, 66, and 81 drop the Swirl Lip Generator moniker
-RZR 92 now listed at 27.5mm instead of 28mm (per Reynolds staff)

The most noticeably thing about Reynolds has nothing to do with Reynolds-branded product, but rather the huge increase we’ve seen in their private-label business. Some companies don’t hide this (i.e. CycleOps 46mm Reynolds-equipped wheel set), but others choose to sell under their own name – effectively treating Reynolds as a materials supplier. In the past, we saw much of this business being done by Zipp, who now appear to be focusing on their proprietary carbon clincher technology (and not selling it to anyone else). If you see carbon clincher rims on our chart with dimensions that look curiously similar to Reynolds rims, we’ll let you put two and two together.
Rolf

-New to our chart this year

Saris CycleOps

-Alloy training wheel reduced from 23mm to 21mm
-Updated carbon rim options from Enve and Reynolds

Shimano

-Updated new wide C50 tubular/clincher
-Added new wide C75 tubular, which is now being distributed in the USA


Zipp

-Added 650c 404 Firecrest
-404 and 808 hybrid carbon/alloy clinchers discontinued
-Added new 30 and 60 models
-900 clincher disc discontinued

The biggest change for Zipp is their measuring system. Last year, they were the only company that listed rim width measurements at the top and bottom of the braking surface. Since then, they’ve opted to fall in line with the industry standard of measuring at the center of the braking surface. Perhaps ironically, this market-leading brand fell in line, while two others (FLO and Profile) opted to list some of their rims with the top-and-bottom measurements.

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Here it is, your 2013 guide to bicycle rim widths. If this document continues to be useful, we will keep it alive and updated for 2014.



  

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