Triathlon - Wheels go Lighter or Aero???
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11-08-03, 02:32 PM
I have some money put aside to dumb into my bike... Wheels should I go lighter or aero? I want to compete in more triathlons and I've heard that the aero wheels add mph but also add weight... Not sure what to do any suggestions?
Keep in mind I train in East Tenn many hills and mountains...
11-08-03, 03:13 PM
weight doesn't really matter too much on flats, which most triathlon courses are. aero does matter though
11-13-03, 08:43 AM
With all but 10,000 or so people in the world, the engine is more important than what's underneath it. There is a compelling case for aero wheels when it comes to drag caused by the spokes, especially the rear wheel. But, if you're not riding in the 20+ mph range, aero wheels probably aren't worth the money.
When I did a lot of Tris, I rode a Specialized Allez with 32 spoke wheels. I would pass a lot of people riding Zipps, Heds and Tri-spokes that were in their small chainring.
(full disclosure: I'm not one of the 10,000, but I still ride a Litespeed Ultimate with a Zipp 440 rear and a light 20 spoke front)
Hey waltermi, I live in East TN also. Have you raced in any of tri's around here? I'd say the majority of them are not too hilly. My guess would be to go with the more aero wheel.
11-18-03, 09:10 AM
Wheel weight makes a difference upon accleration, when you leave T1 and at the turnaround mostly. I copied this from the web for you, cause it was eaiser than typing it all out. check out www.analyticcycling.com for more math.
"Let's do a comparison: Mr. Lightwheels weighs 165 pounds, and rides a bike weighing 17.6 pounds. His twin brother, Aero, is exactly the same. Both can maintain 250 watts of power output in a 40K bike leg, and both face identical wind drag, except for their wheels.
Mr. Lightwheels has conventional wheels ? lightweight box-section rims with 32 round spokes. Aero has something like Tri-Spokes. (Pick your choice of aerodynamically optimized wheel; I'm using typical numbers.) Standard wheels aren't much lighter, if at all, than aero wheels, but just for fun let's say the conventional wheels are ultralights weighing 200 grams less per wheel.
In a flat 40K time trial, who will win ? the rider who is lighter, or the rider who is more aero? The answer is the rider with aero wheels will finish more than 28 seconds ahead of his lighter brother.
This includes the effects of the startup acceleration. Even if the bike leg goes steadily up a 3 percent grade, the rider with more aero wheels will win. Only when the grade exceeds 3.7 percent does the bike with lighter wheels have the advantage. And that's 3.7 percent over the whole race, not just the uphill half of a rolling course.
Other analyses have shown aerodynamically efficient wheels are always better, even in bike racing events like criteriums, with the exception of hill-climb events. Even when they weigh more, they are better.
In a flat 40K time trial, the aero wheels would have to weigh many pounds more before their weight soaked up their aero advantage"
Other analyses have shown aerodynamically efficient wheels are always better, even in bike racing events like criteriums, with the exception of hill-climb events.
... and with the exception of cross winds. :D
11-18-03, 12:24 PM
You're absolutely correct, but you seem to have missed my point - it wasn't that you can be fatter and catch skinny guys if you have aerowheels. IT was that a guy spinning his 39 with aero wheels isn't going to beat a guy who can push the 53. So, be the guy who can push the 53. It might also help to have some aero wheels.
11-19-03, 12:10 PM
You can have the best of both worlds nowadays really. Ritchey has come out with their new carbon clincher aerowheels for instance. You may want to give them a serious look. My search for a new wheelset is over. I've already started my slush fund.
11-19-03, 11:23 PM
Superchivo, I agree with you 110%, see my post in roadcycling entitled.
It's not about the bike.... or the camping equipment.
11-20-03, 07:30 AM
Hey I made a mistake on those wheels, they're the new Reynolds composites, not Ritchey. The great thing about them is there is no weight limit on them - good news for toads like me.
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