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Old 06-13-07, 11:40 AM   #1
stonecrd
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Wheel Question?

So looking at wheels the options are for lighter standard wheel (ex. Ksyrium Elite =1535g/set) or more aero wheels that are heavier (ex. Cosmic Elite = 1900g/set). I have read that there is a speed crossover point where the aerodynamic advantage overcomes the weight difference. Anyone have a feel for what that speed is, I have heard around 20mph. I like the look of aero wheels, more aggressive looking in my opinion but I don't want to do more work just because it looks better to me.
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Old 06-13-07, 12:18 PM   #2
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Here is the tale of the tape...

(testing on a velodrome)

http://www.xentis.net/pics/Laufradte...zember2005.pdf

Watt savings over a 32 round-spoked Ambrosio Nemesis at 45kmh/28mph
Vuelta carbon pro -38 Watt
Xentis mark 1 -37 Watt
Zipp 808 -36 Watt
Bontrager Aeolus -34 Watt
Zipp 999 -29 Watt
Ritchey carbon -28 Watt
Easton Tempest II carbon -29 Watt
Lightweight TT -27 Watt
Mavic Cosmic Carbone -22 Watt
Corima 3 spoke+Disc -20 Watt
Corima 3 spoke -20 Watt
Lightweight 12/20 -19 Watt
Corima Aero -19 Watt
Tune Olympic Gold -16 Watt
Nimble Crosswind -5 Watt

I am a member of the bike tech review forum which focuses on TT racing, wind tunnels and fast wheels. The Nimble on wheels created quite a stir that is still buzzing. In effect, Nimble feels deep dish wheels only offer advantages head on and degrade performance in cross winds. In triathelons and TTs, there is usually cross winds. There is a LOT of technical stuff in this thread. Probably more confusing than clarifying.

I went through the Zipps v Reynolds V Bontrager V Cosmic and test rode some deep dish wheels on the road in the cross winds. They are not as stable and you should check it out. They may be faster or slower but when the gusts come, you take a hit to the side. I bought the Bontrager Race XXX lite carbon clinchers 1350 gms and figured that I need more juice on the hills for my training / club rides and it is better handling in the cross winds. Next season, i am going to Time Trial as an individual and will buy a TT bike with a disc rear wheel and maybe Nimble front. Good luck.

http://biketechreview.com/phpBB2/vie...t=cosmic+wheel
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Old 06-13-07, 12:30 PM   #3
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I did not answer you question about cross over point. Somewhere in Bike tech review, that question is answered. However, another way to get to the answer is to look at the pro peloton. Most of the pros are racing deep dish wheels even in the mountain stages. Also, they are all carbon and weigh less than Cosmics. My gut says if you ride primarily flat terrain with some climbing and light winds, go with the Cosmics. If you have a lot of cross wind, then test some deep dish wheels out and see how you like them.
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Old 06-13-07, 12:55 PM   #4
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Final point...they do look great on the road. You will definitely scare the Freds but offer them the opportunity to post when they drop the guy with the fast wheels.
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Old 06-14-07, 05:08 AM   #5
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In this months Road Bike Action Rick Hjertberg from Wheelsmith comments that if you are riding below a 20mph avg aero is a non issue. So I am probably right on the edge of getting any real benefit from the aero wheels. Probably better off looking at the weight.
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Old 06-14-07, 07:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stonecrd
In this months Road Bike Action Rick Hjertberg from Wheelsmith comments that if you are riding below a 20mph avg aero is a non issue. So I am probably right on the edge of getting any real benefit from the aero wheels. Probably better off looking at the weight.
If you get Versus, check out Cyclism Sundays. The Daufine race is this week. Check out the wheels. In the Giro d'Italia, they rode aero wheels in the steepest parts and were putting 29 tooth gears on their cassettes shocking. They were really going slow. It will be interesting to see what they ride in the Alpes this year in the Tour de France especially Alpe d'Huez.
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Old 06-14-07, 08:09 AM   #7
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Stonecrd, I just happened to be reading this old archived thread from Road Cycling a few days ago, as I was considering some new wheels for my time trials. Lots of good info above. Here is another discussion of the topic: Wheels: Aerodynamic vs lightweight

Edit: This is actually the thread to which I meant to link, but I'm leaving the other in place: Aero wheels vs. regular wheels for non-race riding?

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Old 06-14-07, 08:40 AM   #8
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As a practical consideration, those [deep] rims can catch a lot of wind when its blowing across the road, and that can get a little scary if its gusting pretty good. Then again, ya gotta look good...
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Old 06-14-07, 09:41 AM   #9
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VV thanks, Good info. I am basically looking at the Cosmic Elites which are not all that deep such as the Zipps or Carbones. Those are way too expensive for me since I don't race and with all of the wind I have to deal would probably cause me some grief as jazzy mentions. I see a lot of bikes riding around here and for whatever reason the wheels seem to attract my attention more than the frame.
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Old 06-14-07, 10:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzy_cyclist
As a practical consideration, those [deep] rims can catch a lot of wind when its blowing across the road, and that can get a little scary if its gusting pretty good. Then again, ya gotta look good...
True statement. What is your intended purpose for the wheels? Even something like a FSA 600 can catch a lot of cross wind and make your day more work than it is worth.
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