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  1. #1
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    Need a bit more speed to keep up

    I usually ride with friends 5 - 10 years younger and have trouble keeping up. I have a Jamis Endura, a 19# carbon bike with upright geometry with Ultegra components. Rather than buy a lighter bike, I am thinking about a new wheel set to add some speed and help with hills. I currently have Shimano RS30. This entry level wheel set seems to be my weak link. I am running 25mm Gatorskins. Any suggestions would be welcome.
    Thanks!
    Last edited by macbride; 08-02-14 at 09:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member trekmogul's Avatar
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    1AAA.jpg a set of wheels Iwas told is the biggest and most important upgrade you do on a bike. I am sure anyones budget will also take into account. here is a set of wheels i just added,,
    Trek Fuel EX9.0 Trek Fuel EX9.5 Trek Equinox 9.9SSL TTX Trek Madone 6.9 Pro Red Project One, Trek Boone 7, Trek Rumblefish Pro, Trek Remedy 9.9, Trek Carbon District

  3. #3
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Keeping up with 'the Joneses' ?.. may be your fitness and age rather than Your bike kit ..

    the Hills make the that more obvious ,

    and aerodynamic advantages are meaningless, climbing at 3MPH..


    67 , I let them studmuffins go
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-02-14 at 09:24 AM.

  4. #4
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    Wheels won't make that much of a difference. Any best you are talking a couple minutes of hard riding in an hour and that's with a light aero wheel. Instead try and build up your pace. Do at least one long slow ride a week for endurance. Then do a couple days of speed work.

    Send me a PM and I'll give you a Chris Carmichael schedule that really made me much faster.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  5. #5
    Bendo Bendopolo's Avatar
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    Just keep riding. Change out those rims when you wear them out. It is more about the motor. In the last three years, riding my SS Mountain Bike, my avg speed has crept up from 17.1 to 20.1 for the same ten mile section of road. To get faster carve yourself on climbs and push onto the wind. Find your aero position sooner. Keep hydrated and fueled. Get a bike computer and measure to your success. Come up with a mantra. Repeat it often when you are at your limit. Mine is 'Gravity is the weakest of the four fundamental forces". Thank God for that...

  6. #6
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Just a thought...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
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    Went out at 0230 today for a low HR 58 miles. Had my HD wheels with Slime tubes and rode comfortably at 17+ average. Got home and switched out wheels for aero SLRs that came with the bike. Another 57 miles with the same tires and psi but regular tubes and the 17mph was easier on the same roads. Not my imagination as some would want you to believe.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldTryGuy View Post
    Went out at 0230 today for a low HR 58 miles. Had my HD wheels with Slime tubes and rode comfortably at 17+ average. Got home and switched out wheels for aero SLRs that came with the bike. Another 57 miles with the same tires and psi but regular tubes and the 17mph was easier on the same roads. Not my imagination as some would want you to believe.
    I'm sure there was a difference, but I'd attribute most/all of it to that ^^^, not the wheels in/of themselves.

  9. #9
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    If you're struggling to stay up with the others on the flats I'm like some of the others and would suggest emphasizing the motor. However, if you riding with the group okay on the flats and dropping off on the climbs a different wheelset might give you just enough speed to hang on longer. I looked at the weight of the RS30's and in my opinion they are really heavy at 1900+ grams. There are lots of sub 1500 gram wheelsets at a good value out there so you might check those out. That will give you at least 1 lb less weight on the wheels and believe me, you will feel a difference. Where you will notice the lighter weight the most is on hills and also accelerating to close a gap or trying to get on a wheel out in front of you. I found some Easton EA90 SLX's new on ebay a while back and they are sub 1500 gram aluminum clinchers and have been rock solid. I've had great success running continental 4000's in a 23 width. If you get a wheelset that has a wider rim profile (like a 23 mm), I think you can run the 23's to save a few more grams and just run the air pressure a little lower.

    Just a thought, but if one of your riding partners has a lighter weight wheelset with a compatible grouppo to yours, you might just try those wheels on your bike so you can see for yourself. If you lived close to me I'd be happy to let you try a set of mine so you could see if it was worthwhile. I suspect if you borrowed one of my sets I might have a hard time getting them back!!!

    Note---most of the lighter weight wheelsets run a lower spoke count. That doesn't bother me but just know if you break a spoke some times with the lower spoke count wheels they get so much out of true you can't ride them back to the start. I've put thousands of miles on my sets without an issue..........
    Ride your Ride!!

  10. #10
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    If you ride with two water bottles, leave one home and see if you can keep up. That will tell you if a lighter wheelset will make the difference for you.

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    There have been quite a few threads about wheel weight where some maintain that they don't make much difference. Going from the stock wheels that came with my Jamis Xenith to Mavic Ksyriums with carbon spokes in the front, bladed in the rear (850g lighter all up) I noticed a big difference. Train on your stock wheels, ride the light ones with the young'ns.

  12. #12
    LET'S ROLL 1nterceptor's Avatar
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    1. Aero position, are you drafting each other in a paceline?
    If there are big gaps between riders, tucking in will help.

    2. Lighter wheels and tires will help since they are rotating
    bits. One pound off your frame won't help as much as one
    pound off of your wheel set.

  13. #13
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    When the Gatorskins wear out, invest in some Conti Grand Prix 4000 S II with the black chili rubber. Stay with the 25s though. You might pick up a few seconds here and there with them. They are a little lighter; certainly ride and handle better; and are almost as puncture proof.

    If the
    Jamis Endura has an upright frame, you may need something more boy-racer and lower to keep up. Lighter might help a little on the hills; however, better aerodynamics works better nearly all the times. If buying a new bike isn't an option, ride more in the drops and maybe flip over the stem to get it lower.

    Of course the engine is the biggest difference makers. However there are a few tricks to try.

    If you are being passed on hills, try to get in the front of the group right before things get going up. Then the other riders will need to expend energy to pass you.

    Don't be the lead mule taking massive pulls while on the flats. That will wear you out. Do your fair share and maybe a little less if you can get away with it. Conserve energy when you can.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe View Post
    If you're struggling to stay up with the others on the flats I'm like some of the others and would suggest emphasizing the motor. However, if you riding with the group okay on the flats and dropping off on the climbs a different wheelset might give you just enough speed to hang on longer. I looked at the weight of the RS30's and in my opinion they are really heavy at 1900+ grams. There are lots of sub 1500 gram wheelsets at a good value out there so you might check those out. That will give you at least 1 lb less weight on the wheels and believe me, you will feel a difference. Where you will notice the lighter weight the most is on hills and also accelerating to close a gap or trying to get on a wheel out in front of you. I found some Easton EA90 SLX's new on ebay a while back and they are sub 1500 gram aluminum clinchers and have been rock solid. I've had great success running continental 4000's in a 23 width. If you get a wheelset that has a wider rim profile (like a 23 mm), I think you can run the 23's to save a few more grams and just run the air pressure a little lower.

    Just a thought, but if one of your riding partners has a lighter weight wheelset with a compatible grouppo to yours, you might just try those wheels on your bike so you can see for yourself. If you lived close to me I'd be happy to let you try a set of mine so you could see if it was worthwhile. I suspect if you borrowed one of my sets I might have a hard time getting them back!!!

    Note---most of the lighter weight wheelsets run a lower spoke count. That doesn't bother me but just know if you break a spoke some times with the lower spoke count wheels they get so much out of true you can't ride them back to the start. I've put thousands of miles on my sets without an issue..........
    jppe,
    Thanks for the advice. I can keep up on the flats but struggle on the hills. I am pretty fit but as StanSeven has suggested I'm sure some extra training (Carmichael) would help alot.
    My bike is about 20# loaded with one water bottle and other gear.

    JerryStl (Go Cards!),
    Great idea on the tires. I noticed the Gatorskins ride really well but they are sluggish. I will consider the Conti Grand Prix 4000 S II. Unfortunately, low back problems prohibit more racer like geometry.
    Thanks to all (especially Bruce19)

  15. #15
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    I guess we're talking about weekend rides? How many times/week do you ride? How many miles/ week? Spiffy wheels can help a little, but almost all of the game is fitnessfitness

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
    I guess we're talking about weekend rides? How many times/week do you ride? How many miles/ week? Spiffy wheels can help a little, but almost all of the game is fitnessfitness
    2-3x per week
    60-100 miles per week
    At age 64. it seems some is age, some is fitness, some is the bike.

  17. #17
    Senior Member MinnMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macbride View Post
    2-3x per week
    60-100 miles per week
    At age 64. it seems some is age, some is fitness, some is the bike.
    Yeah, a combination. But I'd venture that if you could up your weekly miles to 125-150 or so, you'd see lots of improvement. They don't all have to be hard rides (in fact, they shouldn't be), but a combination of challenging rides (sounds like you're already doing those), and some base mile rides, might help a lot.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by macbride View Post
    2-3x per week
    60-100 miles per week
    At age 64. it seems some is age, some is fitness, some is the bike.
    Mostly fitness and non-aero position I suspect. The younger guys are likely riding closer to 10-15 hrs/wk. Shaving a pound off your wheels unfortunately isn't going to help much. For reference if you weighed 165 shaving a pound off your wheels or bike will save you 7 seconds on a 20 minute climb or 1.7 Secs on a 5 min climb. I suspect you're further behind than that.
    Last edited by gregf83; 08-02-14 at 07:23 PM.

  19. #19
    <riding now> BigAura's Avatar
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    If it turns out that a new bike that is 2-3 pounds less makes you 5-10 years younger I'd be impressed. Here's what I'd try.
    Last edited by BigAura; 08-02-14 at 05:42 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    Try practicing by taking the opposite tack; put on panniers and pack it with stuff for the extra weight, then do all your rides with the extra weight and worse aerodynamics. After a few months, when you take off the weight and ride with your friends, it will be as if someone added a turbocharger to your bike!

  21. #21
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    Lots of good advice here. Joined a group in April as turned 69 and kept getting dropped. Also got Cervelo R5 with Zipp 202s. Faster bike and wheels definitely helped however agree it's mostly the engine.

    Have hired a trainer to get stronger and kept riding. Due to hard work didn't get dropped by fifth time and now more able to keep up. Most group riders are in their 40s and 50s with some in 30s and a few of us in our 60s. Group goal is 21-23 MPH although at times slower and faster.

    Biggest trouble was yo yo's where group speeds up after a light, stop sign or even a turn. Also learned not to catch up ASAP as group usually slows down and then have to break. You can also ease up as get close to wheel in front as you'll be caught up in the draft. Knowing all this helps optimize your effort.

    Riding very well means doing lots of things right, including bike fit, hydration, fueling, sleeping, efficient strokes, strong legs and aerobics/heart condition....

    Keep up the hard work, check on what you need to do based on above posts and voila it will happen!

  22. #22
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Good info here!

    I have increased ("grown into") cruising speeds each year by 1.5mph or more. Keep in mind I have snow from late October until I get back out sometime early March. If I can improve with a 5mo layoff imagine what you could do in warmer southern climates.

    Typically I concentrate on riding with intensity using hilly courses and longer sprints each week with a 40-50mi thrown in here and there. This summer I increased weekend rides into the endurance realm and had to choose between 4-5hr rides vs speed as my focus. Speed won.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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  23. #23
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macbride View Post
    jppe,
    Thanks for the advice. I can keep up on the flats but struggle on the hills. I am pretty fit but as StanSeven has suggested I'm sure some extra training (Carmichael) would help alot.
    My bike is about 20# loaded with one water bottle and other.
    I think you'd really notice some lighter wheels then.......
    Ride your Ride!!

  24. #24
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Keep training, but the low-hanging fruit is the aero. Considering you've got an upright position now, try to get lower. Lower is always faster, just ask the guys here who have seen me on my cruise missile. If you've got flat bars, get a drop-bar bike. Ride the drops. Draft. Remember, old age and stealth beats youthful exuberance every time.

  25. #25
    Senior Member JerrySTL's Avatar
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    Find some new riding friends 5-10 years older.....

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