Since I weigh quite a lot (~115kg), and ride on bad roads with many holes and cracks, I am looking for rims that would be able to cope with bad conditions without getting out of true or breaking. My tires are 37x622, maybe I will go to one size wider in the winter.

My first instinct is that deeper rims should be more durable. Am I right? Are there some down sides to deep rims? Are they equally easy to true and put tires on?

For instance, which one would be better choice in my situation, DXT 337 or DXT 221

  • There is a lot more to a wheel than just rims. Hub selection and the number/type/quality of the spokes is also important - as is the construction of the wheel. If you're a heavy dude, you'll want the advice and skill of a professional wheel builder so you don't have to keep replacing wheels. (Also, Mavic and Velocity are, in my opinion, the best value-for-durability out there.)
    – WTHarper
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 13:31
  • I understand that there are many other important factors, but I would like to know how does a geometry of the rim influence durability. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 14:44
  • 1
    Deep section rims are less compliant vertically (i.e. they don't squish when you hit a bump or pedal hard.) This is ideal-when combined with the aero profile-in time trials and other hard pedaling on asphalt. Deep section rims also shed mud easier than shallow section rims which is why many use them in cross. The drawback is that, because they don't flex, they are more likely to crack/bend. However, I don't think that the profile of the rim would be a sort of "night and day" comparison if it is built well.
    – WTHarper
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 14:57
  • Though product specific, there is relevant content: bikeradar.com/news/article/…
    – OMG Ponies
    Commented Feb 5, 2013 at 1:12
  • Please note that the many near duplicates of this question have additional information in the answers.
    – Móż
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 4:17

3 Answers 3


I'd actually lean toward a shallower rim, but the important bits are going with a high spoke count and either 3x or 4x pattern (both drive and non-drive sides). With a deeper rim, you are changing the angle in the cross patterns and reducing the length. This means that the spoke has to deflect more to handle the cross.

This is more noticeable with really deep rims, with the slight differences in depth for the rims you listed, the difference would not be that much.

I've built some race wheels and training wheels for a customer that's on the heavier side and competes in Ironmans. I've built the fronts with 3x both sides and the rears with either 3x both or 4x drive with 3x non-drive and haven't had any problems.

With your size and the road conditions, you will still need/want to true your wheels on a fairly regular basis, they will go out of true. If you get in the habit of giving them a quick check and true on the bike, you'll soon get where you are comfortable maintaining them.

Happy Riding!

  • Yep, a spoke count of at least 32, and preferably 36. (40 would probably be overkill.) Generally this will be a 3-cross lacing pattern. Some people like to have radially laced fronts, but, while the jury is out on whether this is technically as strong as a crossed pattern, IMO radial will not provide as much "spring" and will be more apt to lead to broken spokes, sprung wheels, etc. Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 17:06
  • 3
    Another thing to look for is butted spokes (single, double, or triple) which will flex more than comparable straight gauge.
    – WTHarper
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 20:23

To elaborate on Ken Hiatts answer: look at tandem wheelsets.

A tandem team can easily be 150-200+kg. However, tandem wheels will typically have rim profiles similar to regular bikes. However, they'll have much beefier hubs, and more spokes, which is what you'll want to do too for an optimum wheelset.


Since you asked about deep section rims in particular, I'd like to address why deep section rims are more durable in general and tend to stay true. When a wheel rolls, the part directly directly above the riding surface is deflected inward (toward the hub) slightly. If it is deflected enough, the spokes in the deflected section may become slack. When a spoke becomes slack, it can loosen - and that's the most common way wheels go out of true. The reason a deep section wheel is helpful is that the deeper cross section is much stiffer, i.e. harder to deflect, than a rim with a shallow depth.

The strongest, most durable wheels have deep section rims, lots of spokes (think 32 and up) along with a well designed hub. Their butted spokes are uniformly tight and have quite a bit of tension. The spokes also need to be stress relieved during the building process. Lastly, all else being equal, smaller wheels will be stronger than larger wheels, so if it's an option and makes sense for your riding goals, you may want to consider MTB wheels.

If I were you, I'd look at Velocity deep V rims with at least 32 spokes, brass nipples, and something like DT Swiss Competition spokes. I hear Wheelsmith and Sapim also make some excellent spokes. Find a really good, experience wheel builder. Peter White Cycles makes wheels that he guarantees.

My answer is based on 1) my 30 years of riding bikes included loaded touring tandems and lots of commuting/utility riding 2) building a number of wheels over the years and never having to true any of them even once 3) the advice and analysis given by Jobst Brandt (an engineer) in his excellent book "The Bicycle Wheel" and, for what it's worth, 4) I was a mechanical engineer myself for a number of years.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.