Designed to cut through the wind and shave time off the bike leg, triathlon wheels are all about aerodynamics. When looking to upgrade or replace the wheels on your triathlon bike, there are a few considerations to keep in mind such as rim depth, the materials used and your budget.
The depth and width of a triathlon wheel are responsible for the aerodynamic drag, or how efficiently the wheel slices through the air when in motion. Typically speaking, the deeper the wheelset, the faster they should roll.
However, it is worth noting that deeper section wheels are more susceptible to crosswinds and often carry a weight penalty so finding a happy medium is the goal.
Due to the emphasis on aerodynamics, triathlon wheels will often be more expensive at the entry level than equivalent road bike wheels. Entry level options will typically be constructed from varying levels of aluminum with a rim depth of 35mm and up.
More expensive options will see high-end aluminum and/or carbon fiber construction with higher quality sealed bearings, all of which combining to carry the benefits of reduced weight, increased stiffness and speed. If you’re on a budget, listings by private sellers are a great way to get a high-quality pre-loved wheelset, at a great price.
In most cases, Triathlon wheels overlap with those intended for road bikes. For more information on the matter, head on over to the BikeExchange Blog for a comprehensive guide to road bike wheels.