I've been looking some days for different wheel options and it looks like it is really hard to find rims that fulfill the following:

  • Deep rims (40mm or more)
  • At least 32-36 spokes
  • Durable (reliable for touring)
  • Reasonably priced (range 400-600€ both)
  • Don´t have to be ultralight but not much more than 1kg.

I really like riding with deep rims but I found only pre-built wheels in the following two categories:

  • Entry level: Wheels have the aero form just for aesthetics and usually are pretty bad, low number of spokes, crap hubs... Around 100-300€ per set.
  • Really expensive wheels of carbon fiber starting at around 1000€ per set.

Why is not there something in between? Is not there enough interest for such wheels? I think I have just seen 2 o 3 models which could fit and one of them is hard to get from Europe.

  • 3
    One answer is: strong, light, cheap; choose any two. Commented May 15, 2018 at 21:23
  • 2
    Higher spoke counts are probably found on wheels made for higher weight bearing but slower riding - such as touring, where there isn't really much need for aero rims. Commented May 15, 2018 at 21:30
  • Velocity Deep-V rims may meet your requirements of high spoke counts. Although they are heavy and the design is old so the rim width is a little narrow for touring (i.e., wide tires)
    – Rider_X
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 21:31
  • 1
    @mattnz I'm not seeing how answers that haven't even been posted could be a reason for closing a question. Commented May 16, 2018 at 14:56
  • 1
    @mattnz Questions are closed because there's something that's wrong with the question. A shopping question can be closed because that's off-topic, regardless of any answers that may or may not be posted. Bad answers should be dealt with by downvoting and flagging. Hypothetical bad answers that haven't even been posted yet should be dealt with if and when they happen. If too many of them are happening, the question can be protected. Commented May 17, 2018 at 11:00

3 Answers 3


Very deep aero rims exist for one reason: To minimise drag. The difference, however, between, say, 20mm and 40mm deep rims, is not that big. So if you are concerned about drag, loosing a few spokes gives another few points in air resistance (as does using aero (blade) spokes).

To phrase it differently: You would not use the (much rarer) very deep rims unless you also save on drag by using less spokes.

I figure you are in fact not that concerned about drag. You did not speak highly of aesthetics either. That lets me assume you believe that deep rims are more durable. This has been discussed on this site here.

My recommendation would be a good, proven, durable rim with 36 spokes (they are in fact not that expensive) and, considering your budget, have your wheels build to your liking.

Edit (based on your comment):

You say you want your bike to be "fast during the week" for commuting. Bear in mind, though, that the clothing you would be most likely to wear or even panniers add considerable drag as well. The weight you will be carrying further limits the effectiveness. I can still recommend not being overly focussed on drag. If you fancy deep rims, go for them. But, unless you have a particularly long and exciting way to work, I am pretty sure you would be quite hard pressed to feel a difference between box rims with 36 spokes and very deep ones with 24 spokes, commuting.

Any usual number of spokes is fine to carry you (at 80kg). However, if you plan to carry loads (eg. doing groceries regularly), I would err on the safe side.

  • I use my bike for commuting during the week and toruing in the weekends or holidays. My top priority is having a reliable bike therefore something with low maintenance and strong to handle my weight around 80kg. During the week I like it to be fast therefore I,d love the aero design as I already have in some cheap wheels. Weight is not a priority for me as I almost don't climb, but I don't want to go over 1,5kg per wheel neither
    – nck
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 6:34
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    Does your commute really have sustained stretches where you can go fast? Stop-start riding is very common when commuting
    – Chris H
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 9:06
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    @ChrisH No, luckly I can ride 8km non stop in a road without cars.
    – nck
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 12:21
  • @nck that's nice. The only way I can do that is to commute the whole 70km by bike instead of my usual bike-train-BSO journey.
    – Chris H
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 14:26
  • @nck - a second wheel set is probably your best bet. Light/fast for commute and robust with tougher tires for touring. I always keep a second wheel set for my commuter, works great.
    – Rider_X
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 15:17

Deep section rims were primarily developed for aerodynamic gains for TT (time trial) and now road racing in general. In this application low weight and a low spoke count are the design priorities.

These design priorities are at odds with the touring application, where speeds are slower, aerodynamics at generally ignored (panniers hanging off the bike are essentially parachutes), and robustness is the top priority.

As such, few if any manufacturer have developed a deep section touring rim as the functional use case makes little sense.

In the last couple decades deep section rims have also been cooped as a fashion statement by urban hipsters, so there may be the odd manufacturer who made something to fill this cross-over (e.g., Velocity Deep-V) but now you are heading into boutique custom wheel builds.

  • That is a good poit against touring. But.. commuting wheels should be similar: bulletproof to don't be destroyed inside the city with crappy bike lanes or dedtroyed roads and still be fast without the drowback of carrying a lot of weight like touring, and not being so expensive that they get stolen in a 2 minutes stop in a shop.
    – nck
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 20:35
  • 1
    @nck - Most commuters do not care about speed as most have shorter trips (majority of bike commuters travel a distance <= 5km). On short distances (i.e., < 15 km) you are going to be really hard pressed to see any noticeable time gains in a fast setup. Commuting more than 20 km each way, then I would start optimizing the setup. This is a small niche market, it is not worth it to manufacturers to make a fast, robust thief proof bike for people cycling 20+ km each way. Those of us who do, typically opt for a race bike and store it inside at work.
    – Rider_X
    Commented May 16, 2018 at 20:49

Like you I run one bike for a range of things - commuting, touring, audax and the occasional faster ride. It's a tourer. When I want to spend the money I'll get a second wheel set: narrower (and narrower tyres), fewer spokes, lighter, deeper. Then I'll have one wheelset for fast, another for tough. Swapping wheels is quick enough to be not worth worrying about especially as I could commute on either set.

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