Go-faster wheels - guide for rookies?

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Go-faster wheels - guide for rookies?

Postby kfjatek » 27 Jan 2013 23:26

So - when I was having my bike fit done a couple of months ago, I had a conversation with Mike about kit upgrades, TT bikes, etc. and the consensus was that with Sprints & Olys planned for this season the best purchase would be a set of go-faster wheels for the races. Then next season, when/if I decide to go long(er), I should think about a TT frame and a higher-end groupset to build my lean mean racing machine.

Now, I know next to nothing about wheels, so could do with some wisdom from the massive on topics such as:

- Clinchers vs. tubulars - I know how the former work, but never had the pleasure of riding (or, equally importantly, changing) the latter. Any thoughts?

- Rim depth - how "deep" should I go? 40mm? 50mm? 60mm? 80mm? Where's the best trade-off between speed and control? Also - equal depth in front and rear, or not? Why/why not?

- Any particular wheels I should look at? Caveat here: Zipps are out of the question - with the money I'll have to spend I'd be able to afford about 3/4 of one :-) And seriously - we're talking up to 1000, possibly less. At the moment I'm considering Flo's and Planet X, but worried about serviceability of the first and quality of craftsmanship of the second.. Any other brands I should think of? They should have alu braking surfaces - can't afford to buy a wheelset for sunny weather only I'm afraid.

Ideas on a postcard please!

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Re: Go-faster wheels - guide for rookies?

Postby jonathon.e » 28 Jan 2013 08:46

This is where a product review thread would work.

It is not just a trade off between speed and control, you need to factor in weight, the more Aero a wheel set, the heavier the wheels, without suggesting a wheel set, make a list, not initially of wheels, but of courses that you race on, hilly, flat, undulating, will you be doing a lot of TTs, so once you have decided on the main type of course then look at wheels, hilly courses, go for lighter wheels, but if you are like Moi, in the Clydesdale bracket, then wheel stiffness comes into play, so initially by a process of elimination, you can produce a list, price, weight, alu braking rim,looks, maintenance,etc, ask ten triathletes and you will probably get ten different replies.
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Re: Go-faster wheels - guide for rookies?

Postby Lead Balloon » 28 Jan 2013 09:39

jonathon.e wrote:ask ten triathletes and you will probably get ten different replies.


And to provide reply number 1 I like my SRAM S60s ;) Nice and stiff as well as being aero without blowing me off course too much in crosswinds. They're a little on the heavy side compared to some but they handle well with the alu braking surface you're after. More importantly though they look gucci which makes you 10% faster straight away.
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Re: Go-faster wheels - guide for rookies?

Postby CCS » 28 Jan 2013 10:02

For me, the logic went as follows:
- clinchers vs. tubs: simple - stick with what you know; hence clinchers
- rim depth: too lazy to change wheels around very often - hence wanted something OK to ride in most weathers. 50mm
- braking surface: I am a total wuss about descending at speed; hence alu.
Based on that logic, I went for Mavic Cosmic Carbones - very happy with them; though a bit scary in the wind, and have reverted to my crappy old wheels for winter. They make a lovely noise when you ride on a lane between 2 tall walls - the climb up Dunley near the bridge is a good test of whether your wheels sound good or not.

Sure that doesn't help at all.
Look out for bargains in the sales - and often, it is cheaper to import from abroad - there are some quite good German sites (whose names escape me at the moment) that it's worth considering.

As a de-rail - any recommendations for all year round hill climbing wheels?
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Re: Go-faster wheels - guide for rookies?

Postby Lead Balloon » 28 Jan 2013 10:17

The wheels MtB fitted to my Kuota when I got it from Bridgtown are pretty bombproof. Cant remember what they are offhand but they've got Hope hubs which dont let you coast with the sound they make. They feel great in all weathers and I'd use them for races as well if I hadn't already bought my S60s.

I agree with your argument about going with what you know. I've never used tubs so I'm happy to stick with clinchers.
+1 for rim depth as well. I'm a right lazy/useless git when it comes to bike mechanics so I opted for middle of the road there.

Wiggle have still got their January sale on atm so some bargains could be had there
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Re: Go-faster wheels - guide for rookies?

Postby TRIumphant » 28 Jan 2013 11:03

I recently went through the same decision during a bike fit. I was looking to get a TT bike, with better wheels, as as my races this year are Wimbleball, Challenge Vitoria and then Ironman Wales, all are hilly, and so I had decided to go with carbon wheels with aluminium braking surfaces, SRAM S80/40, Mavic Carbone or Profile Design Altair 80/50.

Currently I have cheap wheels that came with my road bike, a Boardman, and last year did get a set of Planet-X 50 carbons, with tubs, but have since sold them on. Tubs, seemed OK, couldn't notice any real difference between them and clinchers, and never had to change a tyre in anger, so no real experience of them. Carbon rims were fine, used Swisstop pads, and seemed fine, but didn't get to ride much last year, so they didn't get much use or abuse.

Anyway, during my fit, I probably spent more time debating the wheels than the bike itself. The bike choice was a no brainer, and purely based on fit and comfort, one was a clear winner. Wheels were a different choice. Explained my thoughts, and reasoning behind them, and they could see my logic. However, having explained my races, and all hilly, advised my to go for a set of Reynolds carbon clinchers. Logic behind the choice:
Clinchers - better the devil you know
Carbon rims - much lighter than alu rimmed, up to 1/2 kg lighter, and for hilly courses I would benefit
65/45 rear/front - not too deep as Tenby could be windy

Wheel choice was Reynolds Strike on rear (65) deep, and Assault on front (45 deep), full carbon clinchers, good braking surfaces with matching brake pads (Reynolds specific), and suitable for both training and racing.

Caveat, this is theory, yet to pick up the bike and ride it.
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Re: Go-faster wheels - guide for rookies?

Postby Bopomofo » 28 Jan 2013 19:18

My thought process: can't be bothered changing brake pads every time I change wheels = alu rims please.

Tubs seemed to be about £50 each, I'd need a spare (or two) and I wouldn't be ableto use them on my training wheels = clinchers please.

I will only be getting a single set of wheels. I can't justify buying different wheels for different conditions = a compromise aero profile, say 50-60mm.

Carbon weave must be on display. That's just the way it is.

So, alu rim clinchers with 50-60mm carbon fairings. As light possible, too.

I bought the same wheels as CCS and I am very very happy with them. Not much (any) difference at lower speeds, but when you are really pushing on I reckon they're worth an extra gear... 8-)

Also note some advice Jibby gave me: full-carbon clinchers are hard to make because of the stress the tyre puts on the rims (trying to blow the rims apart). Hence cheap ones are heavy. You have to pay a lot for a properly designed one. OTOH a tub needs far less strength in the rim, so cheaper ones are lighter. If you REALLY want a carbon rim but don't want to spend £2k then get tubs.

Re climbing wheels: I'm getting on very well by using the wheels I already have and losing some weight. I've already lost more than an entire wheel-set, so unless somebody can point me to a wheel-set that weighs less than nothing then I'm onto a winner.
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Re: Go-faster wheels - guide for rookies?

Postby Jack Hughes » 28 Jan 2013 19:40

You have to consider the rider as an integral part of the machine. (see bopo's comments about weight saving and jon.e's comments about strength/rigidity.

Power to weight is important. E.g. Jon.e puts out a _lot_ of power - that, together with weight, puts a lot of interesting forces on the wheels. Compared with [rider 2] who doesn't put out that much power, accellerates fairly slowly, but drifts up the hills owing to light weight.

Then you have Chappers, who puts out loads of watts, but weighs nothing, so blasts up the hills. And along the flats.

All these benefit from wheels with different characteristics.

Then there is terrain and wind conditions.

Anything with a deep rim is affected by cross winds. On descents this can be quite alarming. A light rider will move sideways a lot.

Performance wise (we've covered this in other threads) threre is less difference between tubs and clinchers than there used to be.

The unpalatable truth is that you need a range of wheels.

Some bullet proof training wheels
Some light weight all round sportive wheels (see mavic open pros)
Some medium depth race wheels (eg mavic cosmic Carbone)
Then some TT wheels - disk and something deeper on the front. (campy ghibli for example)

I have
2 sets of winter/training wheels.
2 sets of cosmic Carbone.

At some point I will get a disk wheel etc. will probably have to shave my legs first.
And some nice all day wheels (when I get a better road bike)

Then the tandem wheels are a completely different story.
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Re: Go-faster wheels - guide for rookies?

Postby kfjatek » 28 Jan 2013 20:54

Thanks for the replies everyone, really appreciated.

jonathon.e wrote:if you are like Moi, in the Clydesdale bracket, then wheel stiffness comes into play


Most definitely - and that's a factor I wasn't really taking into consideration till now Jon. Will need to add it to the list.

Lead Balloon wrote:And to provide reply number 1 I like my SRAM S60s ;) .......... More importantly though they look gucci which makes you 10% faster straight away.


Exactly the type of speed I'm after. S60 officially added to the pondering list. Thanks!

CCS wrote:Based on that logic, I went for Mavic Cosmic Carbones - very happy with them; though a bit scary in the wind, and have reverted to my crappy old wheels for winter. They make a lovely noise when you ride on a lane between 2 tall walls - the climb up Dunley near the bridge is a good test of whether your wheels sound good or not.


Added to the list - thank you! And, my Fulcrums make a lovely noise too, so I'm very much on board with that argument. :-)

TRIumphant wrote:Wheel choice was Reynolds Strike on rear (65) deep, and Assault on front (45 deep), full carbon clinchers, good braking surfaces with matching brake pads (Reynolds specific), and suitable for both training and racing.

Caveat, this is theory, yet to pick up the bike and ride it.


Let me know what noises they make :-) Also, why the different rim depth?

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Re: Go-faster wheels - guide for rookies?

Postby IanM » 28 Jan 2013 22:08

kfjatek wrote:
TRIumphant wrote:Wheel choice was Reynolds Strike on rear (65) deep, and Assault on front (45 deep), full carbon clinchers, good braking surfaces with matching brake pads (Reynolds specific), and suitable for both training and racing.

Caveat, this is theory, yet to pick up the bike and ride it.


Let me know what noises they make :-) Also, why the different rim depth?

:ugeek:


You can have a deeper rim on the back because that's where the weight is, so it's less likely to be pushed around by sidewinds. 60ish-mm front and rear can get... interesting :oops:

RE climbing wheels, I *love* my Bontrager RXLs. Scandium aluminium, white, super light, and the rear hub clicks when I freewheel. Which Will hates when I'm drafting off him :lol:
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