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Hi,

Looking into getting some Mavic Cosmic Carbone Premiums. I've read differing views on front-wheel handling in crosswinds. Some say that deep-rim wheels are scary in the front, others say that they haven't had a problem.

My question is--and maybe this is one for Kerry Irons?--Do bladed spokes, such as on the Carbones, make it scarier, or is it something inherent to deeper rims? (The Carbones are 52mm, by the way.)

I have some average-depth (~ 27mm) Ritchey Protocol Ltds, with thin, slightly aero spokes that handle decently/easily in crosswinds, but an older set of Neuvations (27mm) with flat spokes caught noticeably more air. Maybe a difference in the rims' profile or shape/angle?

Please weigh in. If anyone has something scientific (or builds wheels and has that type of experience), that'd be super.

Cheers,
Nige
 

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I think the biggest chance for wind to jerk your wheel is when the leading edge acts like an airfoil and you get lift. Unfortunately, this is also what makes aero wheels fast. People have reported such differing experiences with wheels (even the same wheels) in the wind, that I doubt it has much to do with the properties of the wheels... except that the deepest rims will be more likely to experience "lift".

I live in NM and it gets very windy here in the spring... 50mph gusts are common. The only time I got really scared was on a 50+mph descent when I got caught in a whirlwind... ie the direction of the wind shifted 180 degrees very suddenly. Otherwise I just hang loose and put a little extra pressure on the bars towards the wind. I ride wheels with aero spokes (CX-Rays) and 30mm rims.
 

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I have Neuvation M28 Aeros on a bike that I ride often, and I can't say I've ever had problems with sidewind. I did borrow a friend's deep carbon rimmed Vueltas once and I could immediately notice wind influence from the sides, so I'd suggest that the rim would be more problematic than the shape of the spoke.

Of course, handling will also vary greatly depending on your (& your bike's) overall mass. I'm a solid 195-200, and wind doesn't affect me much ever. Smaller, lighter riders & bikes get blown around a lot more by gusts.
 

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Both

GiantNigel said:
Do bladed spokes, such as on the Carbones, make it scarier, or is it something inherent to deeper rims? (The Carbones are 52mm, by the way.)
The sensitivity of a wheel to crosswinds is a combination of the spokes AND the rims. You can think of the wheel as having an "aero drag profile" and both the rims and spokes contribute to that. On top of the direct wheel factors, heavier riders will have less problem with crosswinds, all else equal, and obviously different frame geometries will be more or less stable.
 
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