I am in constant debate with my colleague regarding the use of aero tt/triathlon wheels (82/101) for normal/general road use (fear of buckling etc?). I was wondering what peoples thoughts were on this?

any thoughts to help me settle this would be appreciated!


  • Welcome to Bicycles! It's a bit unclear what you're really trying to ask here. As it's written, this looks like a request for an open-ended discussion, which we discourage on Stack Exchange sites. Is something like "What are the disadvantages of tt wheels?" be what you're after?
    – freiheit
    Oct 5, 2012 at 22:07
  • 1
    Question could use an edit, but it sounds like a legit one if I'm reading it correctly: "Is there reason not to use TT wheels as your primary road bike wheel?"
    – Ken Hiatt
    Oct 6, 2012 at 6:08
  • 1
    I vote for editing, specially the title, not closing. Oct 7, 2012 at 1:59

2 Answers 2


With the exception of a very few wheels that have a low maximum rider weight, the only real reasons not to use your TT wheels all the time are:

  1. Cost - do you want the daily road grime all over your $2,500 carbon wheels?
  2. Surface area - cross winds when your rolling >80mm dishes can become interesting
  3. Braking surface - related to (1)...you will eventually wear down the braking surface.
  4. Flats - these days a lot of TT wheels are clinchers, but if yours are tubular, carrying a spare tire all the time may not be ideal. For more than a race, you'll need to really protect the glue.

I might add a (5) that some people will think you are a poser with more money than talent...but I personally think rolling around in some deep carbon is cool.

The few wheels that have the low max weight could fall apart as they get beaten on the bumps and dips of daily riding, the vast majority are probably just about as strong as (or possibly stronger than) the wheels you are rolling right now.

Happy Riding.

  • I use a pair of two-inches-deep cheapo aluminum rims with 23c tyres in my commuter, and it is unbelievable how many harsh bumps they endure without a single issue, even comparing with some non-aero mountain bike rims with much wider tires. Oct 7, 2012 at 2:02

I'm assuming that what you're actually asking about are the pros and cons of various rim depths, so will answer based on that.

I would highlight Pt 2 of Ken's answer - dealing with crosswinds. The amount of resistance deep-rimmed wheels can offer could quite literally blow you across (off?) the road if you're not careful. Under those circumstances the shallower the rims, the more control you'll have over the bike.

Conversely, when there is no wind to speak of, my own experience (I just bought some 6cm rims not so long ago) is that I feel I'm cutting through the air. (Actually its not just a feeling, my speed increase bears this out.) Beautiful.

I have to say though that if I was looking for an all-purpose set of rims for "general use", I'd go for shallower rims - the all-purpose here being key. On the other hand if I were prepared to chop and change the wheels before every ride (depending on wind conditions), then under the right conditions a nice deep rim will feel amazing.

One other thing worth mentioning - I've found the front rim depth to be more critical than the rear - this is probably obvious when you think about it. I haven't done it yet but I could imagine experimenting with my 6cm rim on the rear, but my 2cm rim on the front.

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