Nobody wrote:Not wanting to get in the middle of this "discussion", I'll just post a couple of links with some evidence and opinion (although from the manufacturers) as to why they believe wider rims are better.
http://www.hedcycling.com/ardennes/defa ... content=FR (Select "Aero Data")
http://www.velocitywheels.com/store/pro ... 18&c=14051
I think the title of this thread is a bit confusing since I consider racing wheels to be different to commuter wheels.
For me a propper racing wheel is Tubular but the Bracciano is a perfect club-race wheel that will do everything admirably.
Since we are talking about Aero - You need to compare the entire package, rim width is just one item.
Take the HED Ardennes CL $850 for the set, 1642g, 24/28 spoke - based on HED's data at a 15 degree yaw angle the difference in the aerodynamics was nothing. The biggest gain on their data was almost directly into a head wind, how often are you at like a 0-7.5 degree head wind angle?
The wheels are more than double the price of the Bracciano. They are heavier 1642g vs 1482g and you are pushing 8x more spokes through the air, Bracciano is 20/24 spokes with almost the same rider weight recommendation.
Once you offset the drag from the extra spokes and the increased weight I bet there wouldn't be much in it, except the $450 the Bracciano left in your wallet.