Cyclocross - Lighter Wheels - will they make a difference?
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Hi - I am a CAT 4 racer who races on clinchers. I currently run an FSA RD 60 clincher wheelset which is about 2000g without skewers or tires.
I'm debating the benefits of getting a lighter pair (say 1600 grams). Will shaving off nearly a pound in rotational mass give a noticeable difference in races?
According to some online calculators - the weight difference would not make that much difference if it was, say - a time trial, since there's very little extra inertia needed to keep the bike moving, once it's going. But, with Cyclocross - with all that stop and go action and climbing hills - what do you think?
Also - any good clincher recommendations would be appreciated as well.
Thanks in advance.
The biggest difference that I notices in all of my upgrades in the past few years was getting lighter tubular wheels. Hands down the best money upgrade I spent for cross racing.
Edit- Train on your older wheelset and race on tubulars. You won't reget it.
05-10-10, 07:41 PM
If you wanna spend money, your wheels are a good place to start.
05-10-10, 07:41 PM
Thanks for confirming that. I just bought some tubular Mavic Heliums for this season.
05-10-10, 07:42 PM
It would make more of a difference if you switched to tubulars and ran them at 30psi. Here's a sub-1700g tubular wheelset for $370:
05-10-10, 11:30 PM
Do you think clincher heliums are tough enough for cross use? flowing single track use?
I just got a set, no tubulars for me but these are nice and light. I'm trying to decide if I should relegate them to road use or go ahead and use them for offroad.
05-11-10, 12:14 AM
That would really depend on your style of riding and your weight. I'm going to race mine and tubs tend to be stronger. I'm also not hard on wheels. Give them a shot.
05-11-10, 01:15 AM
180lb and beginner so I don't bomb down or do jumps but I occasionally go over rocks instead of around due to lack of skills
05-11-10, 10:22 AM
The larger tires will protect the wheels but if you hit something big with low pressure, you can dent a rim. I've been training and racing on Equipes for the last 2 years with only one small issue (got a large stick stuck in the front wheel and bent a spoke,) so far they have been great.
05-11-10, 10:39 AM
yeah, so far I'm on 35 knobbies and might try some 40s for trails and the baby mtb effect
05-13-10, 10:59 AM
I think that lighter wheels make a good difference, especially in cross. That is less inertia you have to overcome every time you accelerate, which happens a ton in some switchbacking cross races. And then you have to shoulder the bike often too, often while going uphill. I think it makes a difference. Will it make you win races? Probably not. But I think its definitely a good upgrade.
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