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During my first season of CX racing I used 622x17mm Alex Ace 19 clincher rims with Specialized Hoffalize 32mm tires.


I’ve seen recommendations for what tire widths to run on what size rims:

622x15mm rims take 23 to 32mm tires,


622X17mm rims take 25 to 37mm tires,


622x19mm rims take 28 to 44mm tires.


And I’ve heard that wider rims reduce pinch flats.


I’m curious about the tradeoff between rim weight (estimated at -100g for 15mm and +100g for 19mm) which affects acceleration, and tire pressure (estimated at +5lbs for 15mm and -5lbs for 19mm) which effects rolling
resistance. I assume tire choice also effect rim width selection; I’ll probably
use  the very supple Challenge Grifo Open 32mm next season.

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Hey Mark,
We get this question a lot at Echappe. The HED wheels are often called into question for their weight versus the performance benefits of the wider rim. We also have a good relationship with Challenge and have tried out a few combinations of HED wheels (23mm rim) and Shimano wheelsets (19mm) and Challenge clinchers. The short end of the story is that a wider rim does in fact reduce the "pinch" at the bottom of the tire and allows you to run a slightly lower pressure on a clincher. Obviously you have to try out a lot of different courses and scenarios to best match your own riding style and preferred "feel", but you can roll around with less pressure and therefore a little more grip from a wider rim.

I think this performance benefit out weighs any sort of weight difference between 19mm wheels. If you can grab more dirt through a turn, you'll carry more speed overall. And really, if you want to shed weight, ride tubulars.

Hope that helps.
Thanks for sharing your experience with various rim widths.
Mark

Sorry to dredge up an older thread, but would the Alex DH19's behave similarly to the Velocitys?  http://www.alexrims.com/product_detail.asp?btn=4&cat=4&id=95 and other than weight would Shimano MTB (Deore type) hubs work out OK vs an Ultegra or 105 hub?

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