Can You Ride Aero Wheels In Crosswinds?

Many people worry about using deep section wheels in cross winds and often with good reason as it can feel a bit scary when the handlebars twist in your hands. But just how bad a problem is it? In this video Ollie looks at deep section wheels vs crosswinds.

In association with Zipp.

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We’re using some of Zipp’s range of wheels to illustrate this because they are one of our sponsors, and because they have poured a load of resources into actually trying to make deeper wheels easier to handle in windy conditions, but many of the points apply to other wheel brands too. The reason we’re tackling the subject is because disc brakes are encouraging more people to use deep section wheels year around. In poor conditions, rim brakes trash your rims, but when you eliminate that wear, there is no disincentive to carbon other than the initial outlay.

It’s first important to understand what causes deep wheels to feel unstable. So here’s some science. The tyre is the leading edge and splits the air. Behind the tyre, the rim controls the airflow helping it come together smoothly at the trailing edge… This reduces drag and makes you faster for the same effort. This tends to work fine when the wind is at 0-1 degrees of yaw, which means head on. But as soon as the yaw angles increase such as with cross winds, problems arise. This is caused by the air flow suddenly detaching from the rim, causing a drop in pressure and turbulence forms an area of low pressure behind the rim. An area of low pressure behind the rim, effectively sucks it backwards. This aerodynamic stall is a similar concept to that on aeroplane wings.

Do you ride deep section wheels if it’s windy? Let us know in the comments. 👇

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Watch more on GCN…
Aero Wheels – What Difference? 📹

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