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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 06-02-11, 05:28 PM   #1
SkylarG
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Aerospoke front, personal experiences?

I'm looking for insight / personal experience of running a front aerospoke for city riding.

Here's what I've seen/heard thus far about Aerospokes:
PROS
+Super durable / low maintance
+Aerodynamics that pay off at higher speeds
+Sexy for certain crowds

CONS
-Super heavy / when broken, it's shot or you send Aerospoke another $200 for a replacement
-Aerodynamics when going forward, cross-winds not so friendly.
-Silly for certain crowds.

I've also read the same aerospoke & hipsters discussion a lot. Vanity is totally part of my interest in them, whatever. I can be vain with any wheel in some way or another. So I'm just hoping to find a discussion that is more based in personal experience and/or some physics of why/when/where aerospoke is better or worse and less about whether they are cool or not. So, have you or a friend rode with a front aerospoke? Where'd ya do it? How did it compare +/- to other wheel setups you've tried? Handling? Speed? etc.

Here's what I'm considering if it helps:
Wabi GX 410: http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/revi...lset/index.htm
Eighthinch Julian: http://www.cyclingcloseouts.com/Prod...V2_Silver.aspx
Aerospoke (front only): http://cgi.ebay.com/Aerospoke-Track-...ht_2131wt_1139

Vanity is at play. So the setups would be:
(1) Rear Wabi, Front Aero
(2) Rear Julian, Front Aero
(3) Wabi set
(4) Julian set
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Old 06-02-11, 05:49 PM   #2
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No personal experience but I'll post anyways.

You'll most likely be more negatively affected by the fail qualities of the wheel than benefit from any aero-ness. If you like the way it looks and you have the money to blow on a heavy and inferior wheel, then just get it. Otherwise, no brainer @ Wabi set for value, reputation, and weight.

I'd ride an Aerojoke if I happened upon an excellent deal. Cross winds would suck major where I live, though.
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Old 06-02-11, 06:01 PM   #3
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Old 06-02-11, 06:10 PM   #4
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No one has ever claimed than Aerospokes were actually aerodynamic. So, I'd mark "Aerodynamics that pay off at higher speeds" off your list. And unless you are cruising at 25-30+ MPH for significant periods of time, aerodynamics shouldn't be a concern anyway.

However, you *will* feel the wheel's weight 100% of the time when climbing hills. You will also feel the wheels high moment of inertia every time you start and slow the bike. The former for any bike (SS or FG), the latter only applies to FG bikes.

In my experience, there is no practical reason to get one. But, if it makes you happy and makes you get off the couch and ride your bike...those are really good reasons, too.
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Old 06-02-11, 06:29 PM   #5
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Actually, as I recently posted in another thread, I accidentally put my front Aerospoke on backwards after cleaning my bike (a lot of people don't realize the spokes have an asymmetrical shape and wider in the front). I realized my error after about a half hour of riding, stopped to flip it and definitely noticed a difference when riding fast. It almost seemed like running it backwards created some sort of strange drag and made the front of my bike feel sluggish.

Aside from the way it looks, I really like mine. Paired with my carbon fork, it does a really good job of dampening road vibration compared to a regular wheel and it's only slightly heavier than a typical Veep/Formula. Crosswinds definitely aren't very friendly though.

Oh - and just for ****s and giggles, here's a pic of my whip:

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Old 06-02-11, 06:35 PM   #6
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I'm with carleton on this one. I was in the same situation a few months ago. I wanted to buy some bling for my bike and I got my mind set on the aerospoke. A couple posts on the forum later and the discussion got me thinking about how "sensationalistic" the aerospoke's appeal is. I ended up upgrading my crankset and saddle instead, which made a noticable difference
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Old 06-02-11, 07:31 PM   #7
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get tubes with a longer valve stem, brofessor.

Just messing around, the paint looks really really good. Murderedout is over.
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Old 06-02-11, 07:58 PM   #8
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^^^ Love the cf bar end plugs. Here's more cf lust:
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Old 06-02-11, 09:26 PM   #9
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Aerospokes aren't even cool anymore! They are several wheels ago.

First it was aerospokes, then it was HED 3s. Then it was Zipp 404/other expensive spoked wheel.

The latest is Campy Shamals or any other deep-chrome wheel.

Actually not sure about that last bit, those may be played out already too. . .

JW- do they make aerospokes with NMSW?
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Old 06-02-11, 09:36 PM   #10
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**** trends, I'm singlehandedly making them cool again.

The raw version (like mine) is the only one with a silver sidewall and even then it's not really "machined", it's just raw aluminum.
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Old 06-02-11, 09:44 PM   #11
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I'm all about the Zipps d00d.
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Old 06-02-11, 09:47 PM   #12
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No lie Shamals look so good...

Or maybe thats just me...
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Old 06-02-11, 09:54 PM   #13
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I feel people hate on aerospokes because they can, There isnt anything really wrong with them. maybe aside the fact that hipsters want them and they cant pay for them.

Aerospokes look cool, Probably feel great to have a different style wheelset that some people are used to seeing.
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Old 06-02-11, 10:11 PM   #14
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I will have to honestly admit that I could never own an Aerospoke solely from fear of ridicule and the general public's perception.

However, I'm not too fond of the look anyway, and I am more inclined to get a deep-dished spoked aero wheel.
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Old 06-02-11, 10:24 PM   #15
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Guys. The only reason Scod rocks a spoke is cuz he got it hella cheap.
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Old 06-02-11, 10:26 PM   #16
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Truth. I never would have paid anywhere even close to retail for it.
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Old 06-02-11, 10:30 PM   #17
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You got it for [Insert money here] huh?
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Old 06-02-11, 10:36 PM   #18
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You got it for [75 bucks] huh?
Yup.
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Old 06-02-11, 10:42 PM   #19
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Id say go for the jullians. the aerospokes arent nearly as cool looking as spins were back in the day. but then Im also a campy guy
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Old 06-02-11, 10:52 PM   #20
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No lie Shamals look so good...

Or maybe thats just me...
They sure do!
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Old 06-02-11, 11:27 PM   #21
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Crosswinds are beast with deep carbon or hed trispokes. Not sure about the aerospokes.
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Old 06-03-11, 12:16 AM   #22
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if you don't care about how the **** rides and wanna get bling blang, just buy a ****ing tri spoke.

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Old 06-03-11, 12:51 AM   #23
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does any have a picture of an all black bike with white aerospokes. or atleast the front? I cant find any,
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Old 06-03-11, 12:57 AM   #24
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if you don't care about how the **** rides and wanna get bling blang, just buy a ****ing tri spoke.

/thread
Speaking of which:

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Old 06-03-11, 01:12 AM   #25
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Thanks Scrod, that's the sort of reply I was looking for. Nice bike by the way . 725? You think the crosswinds are due mostly to the Aero? Have ya tried swapping out that H+Son(?) for a shorter rim?

Redpear, I tend to assume the general public doesn't really know (or care) too much about this debate. I can deal with some cyclists thinking I'm just another hipster (and that secretly behind the stigma a lot of people probably like this look ).

Erpdat, the point is that I care about BOTH.

So, by coincidence, one of my team-members (messenger service in Montreal) was able to let me try out their aerospoke today for a ride. Today also happened to be nice and windy, so we tried it out in as many circumstances as time allowed: uphill, downhill, leisure, speed on flat ground, fast turns (not enough traffic to have more fun). Honestly, I think the hate is undeserved. I totally think you're paying for the look, but the ride was also super nice, not crap like so many people on forums have told me (who I'm getting the impression haven't tried one). Was -definitely- way better than the Vuelta I had been using.

SO:
Uphill: Definitely felt the weight and an extra push needed. Con.
Downhill + speed on flat ground: Definitely felt some 'aero' quality to the wheel. Downhill felt smoother and more controlled than with Vuelta. Flat ground was just a small, but noticeable bit easier to keep up higher speeds. Pro.
Leisure: Neutral. Felt weight, but not in a bad way. Kind of like some of the nicer aspects of riding a cruiser, stable and comfortable.
Fast turns: Need more riding to tell, but definitely not negative.
Crosswinds: I found the aerospoke to feel crosswinds for sure, but it was slightly less than my 30mm medium-V Vueltas. Maybe it's just the weight of the wheel, but I definitely was not fighting the wind as badly as I had been on the ride to my friends and earlier in the day.

I think there's something to be said for the 'aero' quality of the wheel after a brief a trial. I'm convinced to ditch the Veeps which are about the same weight (the only account I have of Aerospoke front weight is actually less than the Julians and B43s) and presumably catch even more crosswinds than my 30mm Vueltas do. Veeps and Aerospokes both seem to have a reputation for their durability, but since I'm just lazy (I ****ing hate truing wheels) and not jumping two flights of stairs, the Aeros seem better for my needs (and vanity obviously). That said, I'm not totally convinced that the Aerospoke is better than the Wabi GX 410s which are lighter than my Vueltas by about 400g, are only 20mm deep (less affected by crosswinds), and pretty inexpensive.

Just ordered an Aerospoke to experiment with more. Will order GX 410s and a carbon fork to replace my hefty 2lb steel one. Figure I'll pair the Aero front + new fork (to compensate and even reduce weight from current setup) with the Wabi rear. Beauty is, I'm getting the Aerospoke brought to Montreal by family from the US, but in Canada the thing sells for $550+ in LBS after tax. So you know, craigslist FTW in case I change my mind
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