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Old 10-16-10, 09:46 PM   #1
loonydude
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Front Wheel

So I am wondering why people usually have their nicer wheel to be the front wheel. (people with aerospoke for front wheel). Is there something about the rear that may negate the benefits of a good rear wheel?
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Old 10-16-10, 11:25 PM   #2
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Maybe cost? I had a better rear than front until just yesterday, when my matching front arrived. An Easton Orion front to match my Easton Ascent rear. Both have 24 spokes, whereas the Ascent front has 18 or 20. The rear was rebuilt with a generic Velocity rim so they don't really match. A nice pair of wheels for about $200. That's almost as good a deal as my Velomax Tempest wheels for $150.
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Old 10-16-10, 11:37 PM   #3
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for the aerospoke example, the front end cuts through the air first, while the rear end is tucked in behind the frame. What that means is...

as an extreme point, it's how the first car in a high speed train is aerodynamic, while the middle section is not. The front does the most work of cutting through and expensive aerodynamic wheels offer a better aerodynamics.

Now, you might question how the rear end of a high speed train is also aerodynamic, but on a bike, the cutting through is more important than the rear end. The reason for that is, because the rider is the biggest source of aerodynamic drag, compared to the bike.
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Old 10-16-10, 11:51 PM   #4
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The riders who just have a front aerospoke are just copying track racers (aerospokes are not particularly aerodynamic). Track racers only use aero wheels on the front because there is very little benifit for a rear aero wheel.
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Old 10-16-10, 11:52 PM   #5
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if money were no objective, and I was riding on the track, I'd use disc wheels, front and rear.
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Old 10-17-10, 01:23 AM   #6
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"people" [overbroad generalization] buy hubs in pairs,
new bikes always use hubs from same groups, so I wonder where you get your sample.

people with stolen wheels?

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-17-10 at 11:24 AM.
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Old 10-17-10, 09:02 AM   #7
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I have a motobecane messenger with all stock parts. I wanted to upgrade my wheels and my friend said to do the front wheel first and so I got a mavic ksyrium elite.
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Old 10-17-10, 09:44 AM   #8
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Why do you want to upgrade ?
Peer pressure?
That doesn't sound like a well reasoned argument to me.
The Fixie set have strange tastes,
for a bike one rides around on to be seen riding around on expensive pro level stuff,
just to be seen doing so is one of those reasons that really puzzles me.


Myself I changed my front wheel to one that had a generator as part of the hub, because I wanted the Light.
relaced the spokes with out replacing the perfectly good rim. then sold the old hub cheap.

If you lock your bike up on the street, not buying fancy wheels makes more sense.
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Old 10-17-10, 09:52 AM   #9
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Why do you want to upgrade ?
Peer pressure?
That doesn't sound like a well reasoned argument to me.
The Fixie set have strange tastes,
for a bike one rides around on to be seen riding around on expensive pro level stuff,
just to be seen doing so is one of those reasons that really puzzles me.


Myself I changed my front wheel to one that had a generator as part of the hub, because I wanted the Light.
relaced the spokes with out replacing the perfectly good rim. then sold the old hub cheap.

If you lock your bike up on the street, not buying fancy wheels makes more sense.

i wanted a stronger front wheel.
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Old 10-17-10, 09:53 AM   #10
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As noted, new bikes and wheels bought in pairs use the same hubs and rims but may have different spoke counts with the rear wheel being the higher since it carries much more of the total weight. My Shimano R560 wheel have 16 front spokes and 20 rear spokes but otherwise both look nearly the same.

Now, since a rear wheel does carry more weight and the drive forces and gets sprayed with crud from the front wheel, it usually fails first from a cracked rim, broken spokes, impact damage, etc. So, the owner now needs to replace the rear wheel and is confronted with the cost so s/he looks for a bargain. The front wheel is still fine so the bike now has a mis-match.
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Old 10-17-10, 11:19 AM   #11
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Stronger to do what? for front wheel stands? , banked track matched Sprints?
you want more spokes rather than less .. 36 .3 cross , is tried time tested and fine..
Quality normal rim...
NB, they race Paris - Roubaix on 32 spoke tubulars .
same wheels get re used just for that days racing over Basaltic farm road cobble stones
that are now a French National Park.

the build quality , builders skill makes wheels strong, more than the logo on the parts.
I'm riding on 25 year old 14 gage plain gage 36 spoke wheels, that I haven't touched re truing for a Long time..

Symmetrically spoked the front wheel is already stronger than the dished rear of a multi speed derailleur wheel.

save money for buying books.

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-17-10 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 10-18-10, 07:12 PM   #12
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As noted, new bikes and wheels bought in pairs use the same hubs and rims but may have different spoke counts with the rear wheel being the higher since it carries much more of the total weight. My Shimano R560 wheel have 16 front spokes and 20 rear spokes but otherwise both look nearly the same.

Now, since a rear wheel does carry more weight and the drive forces and gets sprayed with crud from the front wheel, it usually fails first from a cracked rim, broken spokes, impact damage, etc. So, the owner now needs to replace the rear wheel and is confronted with the cost so s/he looks for a bargain. The front wheel is still fine so the bike now has a mis-match.
This agrees with my thinking. It happened to me, the rear aero wheel failed first, I did replace it but at more cost than it was worth. I know of other cases where the rear wheel failed first and either the rider continued using the front or sold the front at a bargain price.
I think expensive aerodynamic wheels are best saved for special events, like time trials.
I don't believe an aerodynamic wheel is any better in the front as in the back.

Last edited by Al1943; 10-18-10 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 10-18-10, 07:45 PM   #13
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looneydude, With only two wheels I don't understand the concept of one "nicer" wheel. They both better be nice when I'm 50 miles away from where I've got to return to.

Brad
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Old 10-18-10, 08:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by loonydude View Post
So I am wondering why people usually have their nicer wheel to be the front wheel. (people with aerospoke for front wheel). Is there something about the rear that may negate the benefits of a good rear wheel?
The front wheel makes a bigger aerodynamic difference since it's not hiding behind a seat tube and in the turbulent airflow from the rider's legs.
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Old 10-18-10, 08:53 PM   #15
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Loonydude, to some extent you did get sucked in by the fashion tastes of your buddy. You wanted a stronger front wheel. Fine, nothing wrong with that. But the wheels that come with the Messanger are fine other than being machine built. As such they would benefit from some knowledgeable hand tuning by a good wheel builder. With that done to both ends the wheels would be as strong as you could wish for and BOTH ends would be done instead of just one. As it is I'm seeing Ksyrium Elite wheelsets on sale at Jenson's for $279. So if you get both you'll have spent as much or more on the wheels as on the bike in the first place. If that makes sense to you then fine. It sort of makes my own grey cell sit up and look puzzled though.
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Old 10-18-10, 09:03 PM   #16
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Loonydude, to some extent you did get sucked in by the fashion tastes of your buddy. You wanted a stronger front wheel. Fine, nothing wrong with that. But the wheels that come with the Messanger are fine other than being machine built. As such they would benefit from some knowledgeable hand tuning by a good wheel builder. With that done to both ends the wheels would be as strong as you could wish for and BOTH ends would be done instead of just one. As it is I'm seeing Ksyrium Elite wheelsets on sale at Jenson's for $279. So if you get both you'll have spent as much or more on the wheels as on the bike in the first place. If that makes sense to you then fine. It sort of makes my own grey cell sit up and look puzzled though.
You made my heart skip. I just checked Jensons and it is listed for $624. If it was $279, I'd buy two sets. Are we talking about the same wheel? Mavic Ksyrium Elite around 1550grams. Not the Mavic Aksium, right?
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Old 10-19-10, 11:39 AM   #17
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Um, perhaps it was a very old ad that is still on their site or I didn't notice that it was per wheel? I've seen that before where the store just removes the link to the item from the main page but with google or other search engines you can still "back door" directly to the page even if it isn't a valid deal anymore. I just googled for "mavic ksyrium" and it was the second or third hit and the picture showed the pair of wheels. I didn't look to see if it was current or a per wheel deal.

Sorry if I made your shoulder dislocate as you reached for your wallet....

EDIT- Just checked my history to see if I could find it. First off I'm apparently dislexic side to side and vertically as well. Price was $329 (reg'$399) for the "Mavic Ksyrium Equipe Wheelset '10" but stock shows "unavailable" just as you'd expect from an old item that was on a hot deal limited time sale at some point in the past. Again I'm sorry for making you have to put that heat pack on your strained shoulder....

Edit to the Edit- Looks like it is a current deal but it's not the Elite which is up over 6 bills just as you said.

Last edited by BCRider; 10-19-10 at 11:47 AM.
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