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View Full Version : Wheel talk....trying to cut thru all bull to get to truth....


loimpact
11-19-2016, 10:04 PM
So I'm omitting the obvious advantage of TT/velodrome type full-disc rears, etc. This is just for the typical sub Cat3 roadie.

Is there any reason to go beyond a medium depth, width, quality "alloy" wheelset with appropriate spoke count?

Folks like Flo will post lots of wind tunnel testing yada yada....

Would somebody like Tom Dumoulin truly come up shorter on a set of Fulcrum 5's vs a set of Zipp 303's in a 20 minute Time Trial? And the average Fred?

Despite current tech, I find more folks admitting that wheels just don't make a difference....while others claim differences are night & day.

saab2000
11-19-2016, 10:54 PM
Short answer and long answer: no.

Don't compare yourself to Tom Dumoulin.

My aluminum wheels are, at the end of the day, not really less satisfying than my deeper carbon wheels, which cost far more.

A drag-free drivetrain probably saves more watts than a moderately aero wheel. Aero wheels are not without penalties either. They can be a drag to ride on a windy day.

Keep your chain, chainrings and pulleys clean and you'll likely save as many watts as an aero wheelset that costs thousands.

ultraman6970
11-19-2016, 11:33 PM
Since you are a cat 3 and probably over 19 y/o... honestly? probably won't make that big of a difference. Because in racing, if you dont have the legs or the talent you can have a bike made of air and wont win a race or a national tittle ever.

IMO there's a lot of misconception that is guided by marketing and many people buys onto that. In the case of Dumoulin a good set of aero wheels will make a difference because he needs that tiny difference but in the case of regular joes? 1 second probably means to end in place 150 instead of 183... but in the case of Dumoulin means to win the world tittle. between you and me if you train better probably you can end up in 150 or higher even using box profile wheels in a ITT w/o any problems.

An example, people has been doing 40 km/h TT's since back in the 30's.. same with other TT races...

Now, if the dude have the mooola to spend and anal about 1/10 of a second in races well... nobody is telling not to spend you know, is his dough and his ideas :)

oldpotatoe
11-20-2016, 05:41 AM
So I'm omitting the obvious advantage of TT/velodrome type full-disc rears, etc. This is just for the typical sub Cat3 roadie.

Is there any reason to go beyond a medium depth, width, quality "alloy" wheelset with appropriate spoke count?

Folks like Flo will post lots of wind tunnel testing yada yada....

Would somebody like Tom Dumoulin truly come up shorter on a set of Fulcrum 5's vs a set of Zipp 303's in a 20 minute Time Trial? And the average Fred?

Despite current tech, I find more folks admitting that wheels just don't make a difference....while others claim differences are night & day.

Wheels, as they approach the upper atmosphere in pricing, show diminishing returns in a big way. A $2500(which really isn't that expensive), won't be 3 times 'better' than a $800 wheelset. It will be lighter, apples to apples but 'maybe' a pound lighter(less for a carbon clincher)..400-500 grams on the typical 86,000, 90,000 gram bike and rider 'package'. Sooooo

'Worth' is a big word. maybe $2500+ for 450 grams is worth it to you but it's not going to automatically make you radically faster or better looking..

I find the $ on 'name brand' wheels just stupefying these days...websites, mags just shrug off a wheelset that pushes $3000..$2000 wheelsets are everywhere..yeegads..these are like $3700!!

IMHO, of course.

ripvanrando
11-20-2016, 06:04 AM
One can do one's own tests or choose to believe what they want to believe.

Truth, worth, and value depend upon criteria.

Sitting in a pack aerodynamics matter much less than a 60kph sprint finish or in a break with high yaw wind. The first link has some good calculators to allow you to make your own estimations. Or do I like I do. Test for yourself.

http://www.cyclingpowerlab.com/Yaw.aspx

http://www.aeroweenie.com/data.html

weisan
11-20-2016, 06:50 AM
It's not all bull but for the "average" rider and I would leave it to the individual to define what an "average" rider is to them....it won't make much of a difference in terms of performance gain or a whole lot of sense in terms of needed reliability and practicality for regular use.

nooneline
11-20-2016, 07:02 AM
Would somebody like Tom Dumoulin truly come up shorter on a set of Fulcrum 5's vs a set of Zipp 303's in a 20 minute Time Trial?

Yes.

And the average Fred?

Yes.

stephenmarklay
11-20-2016, 07:06 AM
Aerodynamics can’t be ignored but wheels are one part of the overall aero drag equation. They also happen to be one of the more expensive ways to get a bit more speed.

The most important part of being aero is you. The rider is like 80% (the number thrown around) of the equation. But even with that trying to be so low that you are not comfortable may be slower.

For me the wheels are the second to last thing and the last being the frame when looking at where to put my money. Wheels and frames can be a big advantage in a TT but like others side riding in a pack that advantage is diminished.

Maybe just ride behind the guys on the 808’s until you score the big sponsorship :cool:

ripvanrando
11-20-2016, 07:12 AM
The way I look at it optimization. My best tires and wheel combination save 3-8 watts at my modest cruising speed but more at faster speed. How hard is it to gain 8 watts CP? What value if any do you place on that? I rarely put the good wheels and tires on but am undoubtably faster when they are on. Measurable? Yes. Huge difference compared to 30-40 mm rims and GP4K tires? No. Would this get me a place in 55+ event? No, I'd still be pack fodder. Will it matter on a really long ride? Yes. YMMV

Disclaimer.....I am way to cheap to spend $2k let alone $4k on wheels although the 790 gram AX Lightness are tempting.

My skinsuit is probably my best speed investment

Tandem Rider
11-20-2016, 08:00 AM
It all depends on what type of racer you are and how deep your pockets are. I firmly believe in optimizing the "motor" first, and then working on the bike. I'm not sure what % of the bike's drag comes from the wheels, but I can guarantee that 100% of the horsepower comes from the rider. :eek:

shovelhd
11-20-2016, 08:20 AM
If you are continually losing races by a few seconds or less, then they might be a good investment. If you really love racing and can afford the best equipment, then why deny yourself? Worth and value are individually defined metrics.

carpediemracing
11-20-2016, 09:10 AM
I'm a wheel believer, but it's relative to oneself, not relative to others. Aero wheels won't fix major problems overall (lack of power, poor positioning, poor tactics) but they will generally extract a bit more performance from you at a given moment.

My engine is pretty pathetic, even when I'm on fire. I've basically almost never averaged 20 mph solo on training rides, even my hardest/fastest ones. I've been in very similar situations on the same course with different wheels and was amazed at the difference in effort required to hang onto wheels. Yes, wind, etc, but strung out, 35+ mph, with pretty consistent wind direction, on a course that I've raced maybe 120 weeks (maybe 200+ races), Bethel of course.

For me my racing is all about the last 30 seconds of a race. At that point wheels can make a difference. Yes, I try to optimize my efforts by being an astute tactician.

But in the end I've won races by very little margins at the end of a 15-20 second sprint. 1 mph is 1.5 feet per second, and if I do even a short sprint going 1 mph faster I'll gain 15 feet on my "other" self.

I've also done back to back sprints on a slew of different wheels, albeit before powermeter days. I found a massive difference in top speeds. This in a cross tailwind scenario so the best situation for aero wheels. My favorite wheels faired poorly in my test so I reserved them for particular courses. Wheels I didn't think highly of did well and I ended up using them more for the next 5 or 8 years.

Remember that aero wheels basically do zero when going head on into the wind. They do more at slight angles, head or tailwind. Direct crosswind, not much help. At speed, even in a field, they help, like if you're trying to move up just before the sprint and the field is going 35-38 mph.

Front wheels help more than rears. For many years I trained on a TriSpoke front clincher and raced on a pair of TriSpokes or just the front tubular TriSpoke. They were the fastest wheels in my "sprint off" test.

I used to buy/build wheels like mad. Now it's pretty simple. 90mm U shaped rear (Stinger 9). 75mm U shaped front (Stinger 7). 45 mm U shaped front for windy days (Stinger 4). All bought used. I don't remember what I paid but with a good tire glued on well, with skewers, I think they were $500, 600, 300 respectively.

After saying all that.... if someone has exponentially more power available at hand then no wheels will make a difference. I've sat on a guy's wheel who had non-aero wheels, non-aero everything, big poofy winter hat under helmet (looked like he had dreads under his helmet, his helmet probably sat 5 inches above his ears), etc, and he's put down 500w for a 4 or 5 minutes. After groveling on his wheel for about 2-3 minutes I exploded. He got 3rd at the Elite RR early when pros were allowed to do it (before it was just amateurs). He has an engine. I do not. I can always outsprint him if we're together but he can always drop me long before the line if he so chooses. Wheels won't make me a 400w rider.

loimpact
11-20-2016, 09:23 AM
Lots of good feedback/insight! I tend to be of the "insignificant difference" thought but heard something the other day.

a husband/wife team who had been on Ksyriums went to some Mercury M5's and said in comparison.....it was like the brakes were on, on the Ksyriums compared to the Mercs. I smiled kindly, all the while thinking...."ya, sure".

Difference I noticed between my Aksiums & Boyd Altamonts with 32spoke rear is twofold.......

1.) When I stand out of the saddle the Aksiums squish much more than the Altamonts. Do I think a Merc M5 will make even more difference? Dunno

2.) The Aksiums are much narrower and flex more which actually translates into a rather comfortable wheel. The Altamonts, not so much and thus a little more harsh......HOWEVER.....no difference felt in overall speed and surprisingly.......no difference in how hard I can take a corner. (19mm vs 24mm rim width)

(shrug)

bigbill
11-20-2016, 09:41 AM
My fastest 40K was in the 90's when I was in peak shape and I used a radially laced front wheel with a Sun rim (probably 19mm tall) and a standard 32 spoke rear wheel with 20mm tires. I think the key was my positioning on the bike, I was younger and more flexible so I was low on the bike but still had good leverage while pedaling.

I think there's an apple/oranges discussion about all this. If you're road or crit racing where you're working a pack trying to position for a sprint, aerodynamics aren't that big of a deal, it's more about smart tactics and a strong sprint. If you want to break away with a small group or solo, you'll be putting your nose in the wind more and aerodynamics will matter. If you want to win time trials, fix your position on the bike first, get fast in that position, and the aero wheels will be icing on the cake.

Pros will always have the newest and coolest wheels because they are rolling billboards and are looking for every advantage they can find. A .5% increase in speed wins an event when everyone is a gifted and well trained athlete.

Tony
11-20-2016, 10:02 AM
Lots of good feedback/insight! I tend to be of the "insignificant difference" thought but heard something the other day.

a husband/wife team who had been on Ksyriums went to some Mercury M5's and said in comparison.....it was like the brakes were on, on the Ksyriums compared to the Mercs. I smiled kindly, all the while thinking...."ya, sure".

Difference I noticed between my Aksiums & Boyd Altamonts with 32spoke rear is twofold.......

1.) When I stand out of the saddle the Aksiums squish much more than the Altamonts. Do I think a Merc M5 will make even more difference? Dunno

2.) The Aksiums are much narrower and flex more which actually translates into a rather comfortable wheel. The Altamonts, not so much and thus a little more harsh......HOWEVER.....no difference felt in overall speed and surprisingly.......no difference in how hard I can take a corner. (19mm vs 24mm rim width)

(shrug)

I experience a difference in corners with wider rims, for sure. Regardless if I'm using 23 or 25 tires.

regularguy412
11-20-2016, 10:15 AM
Lots of good feedback/insight! I tend to be of the "insignificant difference" thought but heard something the other day.

a husband/wife team who had been on Ksyriums went to some Mercury M5's and said in comparison.....it was like the brakes were on, on the Ksyriums compared to the Mercs. I smiled kindly, all the while thinking...."ya, sure".

Difference I noticed between my Aksiums & Boyd Altamonts with 32spoke rear is twofold.......

1.) When I stand out of the saddle the Aksiums squish much more than the Altamonts. Do I think a Merc M5 will make even more difference? Dunno

2.) The Aksiums are much narrower and flex more which actually translates into a rather comfortable wheel. The Altamonts, not so much and thus a little more harsh......HOWEVER.....no difference felt in overall speed and surprisingly.......no difference in how hard I can take a corner. (19mm vs 24mm rim width)

(shrug)

I pretty much came to your same conclusions.

I started racing back when 32 hole rims were 'the new hot item'. Pros hadn't had them for that many years and Look clipless pedals were just becoming available to the masses.

My lightest/best wheel set in my racing years was Campy Victory Chrono tubs laced to Shim hubs with double butted DT spokes 3x. These were primarily for road races and time trials. I did use them for crits occasionally, but the 19 mm conti comp gp's didn't have quite the contact patch I felt comfortable with for hard cornering. For crits I mostly used my training wheels which were standard 32 hole Mavic or Wolber hard ano clinchers with 23 mm Michelin Super Comp HD's. I could definitely tell the difference between spin up and comfort between those wheel sets.

Fast forward to today--

I have a set of Mavic Open Pro's laced 3x to 32 hole rims and some Vredestein 23 mm clinchers. I also have Easton EC90SL tubs with Conti Comp GP 19's and a set of Mercury M5 carbon clinchers with Rubino Pro 23's.

I can DEFINITELY tell the difference between the OP's and the carbon sets.

The main difference, to me, is that the combination of the higher rigidity of the carbon hoops, higher tension/lower spoke count and aero rim shapes don't feel 'heavy' as I go up thru the gears- increasing speed. The OP's seem to get a lot heavier at around 23 mph.

Also, about half the time I'm doing rides alone, so any energy savings from aero and low spoke count are appreciated. Carbon isn't 'lost' on racing, alone.

Lastly, the most I spent on either of my carbon sets is $1,045.00 shipped for the Eastons -- no where near any $2,000.00 + amount. Also managed to catch the M5's on sale for $809.00 and free shipping.

I'm not anti-aluminum rims,, I still ride them. But I prefer to ride carbon hoops.

Mike in AR:beer:

Gummee
11-20-2016, 06:57 PM
IME wheels of an appropriately aero dimension will let you go a skotch faster with the same effort. For me, that was typically one gear harder for the same effort.

It helped me hold on to the back of the pack while grovelling in the gutter where if I'd been on 'regular' wheels, I'd probably had popped.

Having said that, lower hanging fruit would be aero clothing (skinsuit/speedsuit), and an aero helmet are going to help as much and cost pennies on the dollar compared to a wheelset.

Now, having said THAT: buy used wheels and you can go aero for less. Last year's model of someone's garage queen wheels will also be pennies on the dollar. As the guy that buys this year's wheels that are guaranteed to make him X mph faster, you get his old, barely used stuff.

HTH

M

Patb095
11-20-2016, 07:22 PM
I would say that it make a big difference even bigger in real world than in simulation ( wind tunnel). And I would also say that it work even more on windy days.

I'm a roller and not a good climber and this serve me well.

My average speed went 1mph faster. And I can hold on flat 2mph faster.

Now. Is this going to translate into better performance in race, not sure.

If you ride most of the time inside the peloton... there, it doesn't make any difference.

I would say this would probably serve better the guys that are pulling the peloton or the escapees.... may be good in the classic ( for the pros )...

If you want to invest in wheel, make a small addition and also by an aero hat as well to make it worth.




Envoyé de mon iPhone en utilisant Tapatalk

jlwdm
11-20-2016, 08:31 PM
...

Fast forward to today--

I have a set of Mavic Open Pro's laced 3x to 32 hole rims and some Vredestein 23 mm clinchers. I also have Easton EC90SL tubs with Conti Comp GP 19's and a set of Mercury M5 carbon clinchers with Rubino Pro 23's.

I can DEFINITELY tell the difference between the OP's and the carbon sets.


Mike in AR:beer:

Hardly a fair comparison using the 32 OPs as the aluminum wheel.

Jeff

MattTuck
11-20-2016, 08:41 PM
A watt is a watt. If you are riding consistently at a high enough speed that you're saving a handful of watts with a set of wheels, that is very real.

However, you must balance that with the fact that wheel companies have an interest in selling you wheels, and 'aero' advantages are a great selling point. So, you have to have a healthy skepticism when you hear claims of x watts saved.

I realize that is not a definitive answer.

loimpact
11-20-2016, 09:19 PM
Hardly a fair comparison using the 32 OPs as the aluminum wheel.

Jeff

I was thinking the same... :p Although something interesting here....

https://youtu.be/bFdG2NgIc7s?t=19m33s

Keep in mind the "all things being equal" part. (Obviously Mercury M5's *should* be stiffer than Mav OP's, imho)

regularguy412
11-20-2016, 09:38 PM
Hardly a fair comparison using the 32 OPs as the aluminum wheel.

Jeff

True that.

I also have (or had until my 'intersection' with a mini van trashed the rear wheel and my TG but that's another story) a set of 2007 model Mavic Ksyriums that are about 28's in section. So I have had 'some' experience with moderately aero aluminum rims that have a low-ish spoke count. Those were an improvement over the OP's, but seemed heavy as lead when trying to spin them up. Once up to speed , the low spoke count helped me hold a speed. I could also tell they were stiff as heck. Great wheel set to train on-- and I did ride them about 2 days per week. The front is still in use on one of my backup bikes paired with an old GP4 32 hole on the back.

I think the huge, gaudy, weird-shaped external nipples on the Ksyriums probably negated any true aero benefit that the rim section provided. Only real saving grace was the low spoke count and the indestructibility.

Mike in AR:beer:

John H.
11-20-2016, 09:49 PM
Buy the fastest wheels and tires that you can afford- but also heed the proverb "only race what you can afford to replace."

You also need to consider:
1.) your personal strengths as a rider
2.) the courses that you race on. Amount of vertical, corners, quality of pavement, etc.
3.) your weight
4.) your budget

Patb095
11-21-2016, 04:25 AM
If you want to try a good wheel set without ruined yourself I suggest 3Sixty5 cycling . You can have one set for 825 CAD ( 500-600 usd) Yes they are Chinese but built in North America.


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sailorboy
11-21-2016, 04:55 AM
Why not look into whether a local bike shop near you has some demo wheels you can sign out? That is a great way to do your own real-world testing with your current non-aero wheels back to back with some deep section rims.

superbowlpats
11-21-2016, 06:05 AM
Buy high-end wheels used. Typically 50% less than MSRP. Win-win. :hello:

chiasticon
11-21-2016, 06:43 AM
had a bit of a revelation this past summer with carbon wheels. picked up some zipp 202's here and was literally blown away by them. swapping them in place of a set of super nice alloy wheels (hed C2's laced to king hubs with cx-rays, built by a very reputable builder) was quite a noticeable difference. they only felt *slightly* more aero, but a hell of a lot stiffer and more responsive. climbing felt better, getting up to "cruising speed" felt better, staying at that speed felt better, and closing gaps to others wheels felt better. it was a similar feeling I've had in the past with much deeper carbon wheels, only slightly less so, and without the downside of added weight and having to work hard to get them up to speed. the difference was enough to convince me to sell my various cross tubular wheelsets and invest in mid-depth carbon versions. that stiffness is quite something for accelerating, and you do tons of that in cross. of course, I bought used though; new prices are just insane.

so to answer your question: yes, it's noticeable. whether it's worth it to you or not is your decision. and try and buy the wheels used, just be wary of damaged carbon coming your way (so maybe just buy here, not eBay).

mattwla
11-21-2016, 07:19 AM
I heard an interesting point regarding upgrading drive trains once.

Someone might have an old Tiagra, upgrade to new 105, and have their mind blown about the difference.

But if they recabled the Tiagra and cleaned all the pulleys, that might have blown their mind too.

When it comes to wheels, I wonder how much of the faster feel from a new upgrade comes down to swapping an old poorly adjusted and lubed hub to a new proper adjusted hub (with nicer tires likely as well)

This discussion is relevant to me because I'm eyeing some upgrades to my Fulcrum 7s, but I'm getting a lot of mixed feedback on whether or not it would be worth it.

El Chaba
11-21-2016, 08:10 AM
The benefits of aero wheels are real and can be measured....but the same benefits are greatly exaggerated by the people who are making a buck by selling them and perpetuated by the people who bought in. From all of the info that I have seen, my unscientific educated guess at the savings provided by something like a Zipp 404 or a Mavic Cosmic Carbone over a 32 spoke box section wheel or a Ksyrium/Fulcrum Racing 5 would be on the order of 10 watts at 25 mph (40 kmph) when you are at the front of the group or alone....The savings go down from there. You can get a similar benefit by having nice supple tires if you don't already....When you ride an aero carbon wheel for the first time, it definitely feels different. I think as cyclists we tend to immediately attribute that different feel to being faster to validate our investment, and that attribution is not completely accurate.

saab2000
11-21-2016, 08:26 AM
A 'big picture' issue for me is whether or not a ride is satisfying. I don't race anymore. I do like to ride on 'spirited' rides sometimes and there I think it makes sense for me to have nice equipment.

But mostly I ride alone or with a friend or two over the border in Wisconsin. On these rides aero is meaningless and since wind is ever present, I'd rather not be buffeted around with aero wheels.

My most satisfying rides this year were rides where I didn't have aero stuff but was geared properly and had no issues with the bike. It disappears under me.

Fast-in-a-wind tunnel equipment doesn't necessarily make a ride more satisfying. But having really nice tires and a drag-free drivetrain does make a ride more satisfying, to me at least.

Patb095
11-21-2016, 08:38 AM
The benefits of aero wheels are real and can be measured....but the same benefits are greatly exaggerated by the people who are making a buck by selling them and perpetuated by the people who bought in. From all of the info that I have seen, my unscientific educated guess at the savings provided by something like a Zipp 404 or a Mavic Cosmic Carbone over a 32 spoke box section wheel or a Ksyrium/Fulcrum Racing 5 would be on the order of 10 watts at 25 mph (40 kmph) when you are at the front of the group or alone....The savings go down from there. You can get a similar benefit by having nice supple tires if you don't already....When you ride an aero carbon wheel for the first time, it definitely feels different. I think as cyclists we tend to immediately attribute that different feel to being faster to validate our investment, and that attribution is not completely accurate.


I like your comments and the opposite is true as well from the guys that have not experienced the aero wheel yet and are blown away with the price of them :)

They tend to be negative about it and have some kind of self defence reflex by refusing to believe:)

Not long time ago people were trying to shave 10 grams off their bottle cage...


... I don't think cosmic make good aero wheel yet as they are too thin 19mm ... you need the toroidal shape and 23mm and wider..

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El Chaba
11-21-2016, 08:44 AM
Fast-in-a-wind tunnel equipment doesn't necessarily make a ride more satisfying. But having really nice tires and a drag-free drivetrain does make a ride more satisfying, to me at least.

This resonates with me. As the manufacturers of cycling equipment are increasingly detached from those participating, we have more and more "improved products" with laboratory data, etc....lighter...stiffer....more aerodynamic...What has been lost are the Wright Brothers/ Ugo DeRosa/ Bruno Gormand/ Lucien Juy/ Tullio Campagnolo type tinkerers whose guidance was a seat of the pants hunch reinforced by the feedback of trusted and accomplished riders of the highest level.... I doubt that we will ever go back.

ergott
11-21-2016, 09:05 AM
Not sure about that. I got a S-Works Tarmac recently and that bike feels like the culmination of a lot of pro saddle time. Doesn't feel detached or clinical at all.

sparky33
11-21-2016, 09:24 AM
they will generally extract a bit more performance from you at a given moment....
For me my racing is all about the last 30 seconds of a race. At that point wheels can make a difference.

Agree here. Riding some mid-depth carbon wheels definitely makes things go a tic faster when I ordinarily would have reached the limit. They make that extra bit a little easier to reach and maintain, a subtle but meaningful benefit.

sparky33
11-21-2016, 09:25 AM
.

saab2000
11-21-2016, 09:28 AM
Not sure about that. I got a S-Works Tarmac recently and that bike feels like the culmination of a lot of pro saddle time. Doesn't feel detached or clinical at all.

My Giant is the same way. It's an amazing race bike. But a race bike it is. I use it on my hard group rides and some solo rides. I'm torn about the aero ENVE wheels. They're crazy light and reasonably aero, though aero in a 5-year old way. They're the V-shaped 45s and stiff and strong. But they are a true handful on a windy day and the speed increase, while likely detectable in a wind tunnel or time trial time, is not noticeable on the bike, at least not below 25mph, which is not my cruising speed!

It's the go-to bike for hard group rides. But my solo riding is dominated by a couple other bikes, specifically my Look 585 and my Pacenti.

Gummee
11-21-2016, 09:33 AM
My CX race wheels these days are a 303 tubular front and a D/A C24 rear. The only reason I'm not riding both 303s is that the rear's 10sp only and I haven't gotten an account with White Ind to order up the rear hub.

Is it making me faster? Nope. I'm about as slow as I was on lower profile wheels.

Do I enjoy riding em? Yup

I got both big $$ wheelsets for pennies on the dollar by buying em used so I don't have an issue racing them.

M

Dead Man
11-21-2016, 09:52 AM
Op.... Good luck getting a consensus from other cyclists.

I moved away from aero wheels when I got tired of getting knocked around by wind.. I raced a short road season this summer on box section alloys, then went to a 32mm/24mm back/front carbon wheelset that's kinda? aero shaped, but not really. To me, the bike and rider are already so inaero I'm not willing to add weight or crosswind harassment to try to make my wheels more aero.

Just one more opinion though.. And you know what they say about opinions. You kinda have to just do it and come to a conclusion for yourself

bostondrunk
11-21-2016, 10:24 AM
This is probably the wrong forum to ask this sort of question on....
You probably would have been netter off asking over on slowtwitch..
But.....

As others have said, there are better areas to improve on speed-wise, like the latest skinsuits, aero helmets (for both road and TT), good fit/positioning session, etc. BUT, you didn't ask about that stuff, so...

There is absolutely a difference, but just know what to realistically expect. Flo's latest data is IMHO some of the most realistic due to the way they gathered it. And by their best estimation, if you were doing a individual TT on a set of say 60mm rims with a good matching tire (23mm Conti GP4000SII in their case), you would gain -roughly- a minute over 40km. They tested at 30mph. Speedwise, it works out to -roughly- a difference of .5 mph. That speed difference will be less at a slower test speed.

NOW....if you are doing a ITT, or a TT in a triathlon, that is going to add up to some time saved, which depending on your goals, may matter.

For example, in a sprint triathlon, which has a 20km bike TT, if my wheels save me even 10 seconds, that matters to me. I've been on the podium at local races where the top 5 guys were less than a minute apart. On the other hand, when I race Ironman distances, I'm like 2 hours off the podium, so while I do use aero wheels, I know they won't make a meaningful diff in my placing.

If you are talking road racing, and you are sitting in a pack rolling along at 25mph (40km/hr), and your wheels are saving you whatever the small amount of watts are to go like .3 mph faster, that is real, but is it meaningful? Will those few watts saved really make any difference in how fresh your legs will be on a final sprint? I seriously doubt it.

All that said, aero wheels look a lot nicer than old style shallow wheels. If they are within your budget, why not. And I agree that unless you are looking for bling bragging rights, there is very little reason to spend over 1K US on a good wheelset. HED Jet 6's are fantastic wheels. Flo's are good too, but they are a bit on the porky side.

OH, and lastly, if you want to gain an extra free 3+ watts, use a latex tube. Don't believe the BS about them being fragile, or more difficult to use. I've been racing on them for 4 years now on a set of Zipps (Super 9 and 808) with 23mm GP4000SII's and have never had a single flat.

Oh, and lastly again... :)......I'm assuming that you realize that all these free watts you gain on nice wheels are pretty much cancelled out if you roll around on tires that are worn out. If the top of your tires have a flattened cross section, the watts lost to rolling resistance are going to be more than the watts gained from the aero rim...

Cheers

Mark McM
11-21-2016, 10:42 AM
There is absolutely a difference, but just know what to realistically expect. Flo's latest data is IMHO some of the most realistic due to the way they gathered it. And by their best estimation, if you were doing a individual TT on a set of say 60mm rims with a good matching tire (23mm Conti GP4000SII in their case), you would gain -roughly- a minute over 40km. They tested at 30mph. Speedwise, it works out to -roughly- a difference of .5 mph. That speed difference will be less at a slower test speed.

NOW....if you are doing a ITT, or a TT in a triathlon, that is going to add up to some time saved, which depending on your goals, may matter.

... and this is the crux of it. If you are doing a 40K TT in highly competitive field, saving a minute can be HUGE. It could be difference between 1st and 20th place.*

But if you are out riding for fun, do you think you'd even notice if you finished a ride 1 minute sooner? I know I wouldn't.


*Of course, in a highly competitive field, the odds are that the other competitors are also using good aero wheels. In which case, picking the best wheels may only give you a few seconds advantage over another competitor on the next best aero wheels.

franswa
11-21-2016, 10:48 AM
Placebo effect is a real thing.

bostondrunk
11-21-2016, 10:52 AM
Placebo effect is a real thing.

I've actually heard at least one rider at a local club say he can go 30% faster on his aero wheels....lol.....so yes, there is some placebo too.... :p

chiasticon
11-21-2016, 11:01 AM
Just one more opinion though.. And you know what they say about opinions. You kinda have to just do it and come to a conclusion for yourselfthat's really the only way to form your own opinion on them. most likely, everyone can agree that they're worth at least experiencing. so maybe try to borrow a set from a friend, get a loaner pair from a shop, or similar? or just keep an eye out for a good deal here (there's actually quite a few right now) and sell 'em if you aren't feelin' 'em.

sandyrs
11-21-2016, 11:05 AM
I've actually heard at least one rider at a local club say he can go 30% faster on his aero wheels....lol.....so yes, there is some placebo too.... :p

Lol

Gummee
11-21-2016, 11:35 AM
If you're talking racing, the speed's never constant. ...and it seems to my 'seat of the pants aka chamois' dyno that the faster you go on aero wheels, the easier it is to go faster.

S'why I was racing a disc at the track most nights

I'm not one of those guys that can sit on the front in the mid-30s mph and ride box-section rims. I just don't have the HP. I'm not quite that guy on aero wheels. Still not enough HP, but it's easier to ride the wheels.

just remember: only race what you can afford to replace

YMMV

M

FlashUNC
11-21-2016, 11:43 AM
Aero doesn't matter until it does.

Gummee
11-21-2016, 01:27 PM
Aero doesn't matter until it does.

Very true

I put the aero wheels away in the fall. I'll ride 32/32 wheels all winter. After all... I'm not trying to go 'all out' again till spring

M

saab2000
11-21-2016, 01:34 PM
Aero doesn't matter until it does.

It mostly doesn't matter on my solo training/exercise rides. It probably matters somewhat on the group rides I do, some of which get very fast and race-like at times.

It doesn't make nearly as much difference as me losing 15 lbs would make!!