Wider Carbon Rims Do Better?
In recent years, professional racers have gone from 23C tyres to 30mm. Given that they are grippier, comfier, and safer. Many road bikes now come with 28-32C tyres as standard. Even for dedicated racers, 28mm is becoming the new normal.
To accommodate these wider tyres it’s a good idea to look for an internal rim width of around 20-24mm. Matched a carbon rim with an exterior a couple of millimeters wider than the tyre itself, this should provide the best aerodynamic profile without adding excessive weight. Resulting in a smoother and faster ride, you’ll be happy you made the switch.
More and more road cyclists have realized that although pumping your tyres rock hard might feel fast, the inability of high-pressure tyres to absorb vibration actually makes you slower. This reduction in average tyre pressures has also accelerated the switch to wider rims. You can dig into the science with our in-depth feature on how wider tyres and lower pressures can make you faster.
Unfortunately, narrow tyres like the 23mm models formerly found on most bikes don’t like to be run too soft due to their low volume. Instead, if you want to run lower pressures on your road bike, you’re better swapping to tyres in the 25-32C range. This trend for wider rubber means even basic wheelsets have generally increased a few millimeters in width over the past decade to better accommodate broader tyres.