Just wondering. Yes/no? Pros/cons?
Just wondering. Yes/no? Pros/cons?
On the local level (not world class level like Perkins), I'm sure all of those wheels are being raced. For example, the B43, as heavy as they are, are being raced by my buddy TwoTone:
(That's not him in the photo. He's behind the camera.)
With a steel frame, steel bars, leather saddle, double toe straps, B43s...it's not the lightest bike on the track.
I love that Perkins video. "I'll kick my arse today so I can kick your arse tomorrow"
Seriously man, 2 lbs in wheel weight will make a big difference.
Sure, you can ride track and have fun. You won't have a problem keeping up with the pace line with wheels that weigh over 5.5lbs (B43).
But, it depends how competitive you want to be, you won't be able to keep up with the sprints or jumps against strong riders who have wheels that weigh half as much.
People ride with Weinneman, Velocity, or IRO wheels. I don't see them placing very often in races, but they have fun. I've never seen anyone ride something as heavy as a B43. an Inexpensive IRO wheel (22mm deep) is going to be a lot lighter than a B43 (43mm deep0. Equal, or near equal riders, the guy on the wheelset that weighs half as much is going to be significantly faster.
(and yeah, like I have said, it can be fun to beat someone while riding inexpensive equipment, but of course it is a lot more work! ;-) )
You are right - the motor is more important than the equipment (to a point). You can go out there, place well, and have fun.
It all comes down to how competitive the group you are riding with is. If it is a tight race, yeah an extra two pounds on your wheels is going to make a difference. If it is not a tight race – well the bike isn’t going to turn you into a superstar.
I would avoid the really heavy wheels though. If you are looking for track wheels, B43 is too heavy. If you already have them, give them a try (realizing their weakness for the track)
Its kinda funny though – reading a lot of the posts here you get the impression you shouldn’t be racing unless you are on 20mm tubulars. ;-)
Ride what you got. Have fun. If have a lot of races under your belt, and your equipment is holding you back, you’ll know.
I'm using B43s with Origin8 hubs. I have two sets for track so that I basically have 4 cog choices (and a spare set of wheels). I run them with Tufo tubular clinchers - and I've used them indoors on a very short track and outdoors on a 333.
They work for me, but I race cat 5. For that, it is competitive enough. :)
I picked them because I love the bombproof velocity rims on my cross bike, and my OEM wheels were junk. I love these and I'm not sweating a little bit of weight at 6'5" and almost 200lbs. My wife did give me the all clear on a set of Zipp 808s, and I'll buy them if I can get a category bump. :)
Lots of good responses in this thread, some of which I can now attest to after spending some time at the track over the last few weeks. Overall my track bike could stand to lose a few lbs, but I am not competitive enough to justify investing any more money into track racing. I'll head out to the velodrome to have fun and get some exercise but the best wheels in the world are not going to win me any races. I've since gotten rid of the 42mm wheels (too heavy, harsh on the street) and put on a Weinmann DP18 rear (still heavy, but I can live with it).
hmm. Riding a heavier bike will require more effort. Expending more effort/work will make you a stronger/faster rider? After training on a heavy bike for a while then switching to a lighter bike/wheels you will be faster on the lighter bike. What do you think Carleton?
Many track racers are like The Princess and the Pea when it comes to equipment and gearing. So, training on a significantly heavier bike then switching to a lighter bike might throw off gearing selection. For example, if you train on a 49/14 with the heavy bike then race the 49/14 with the race bike, the ratio might feel too light and you'd feel undergeared and spun out. You'd probably benefit from going up to the 50t but may not realize that until the middle of the race day. That's 2 more inches traveled per pedal stroke for the same effort. That's a big deal. So, it goes back to the adage of "Train how you race." This is why sometimes you see some guys at the track training their high speed days with full race helmets, skinsuits, and expensive wheels.
Seems I owe myself some wheels. :) Hopefully over winter.
That said, I'm still not convinced my heavy wheels are holding me back too much. What I've learned is I still make some serious strategic errors on occasion.
Gear inches is the diameter wheel you would have if you had a single wheel with pedals attached (like a penny farthing). To get the distance traveled per pedal stroke you have to multiply the diameter by pi.
You are probably right. It depends where your riding is at. If you have maxed out and plateaued, faster gear can make a difference. But, training and tactics are going to make a much greater difference than what you are riding on the track.
Lighter wheels are going to help you jump faster and make it a little less likely to blow up. For instance, if you jump to catch a wheel, catch it, and then can’t hold on to it, a faster bike can make the difference between sticking to the wheel and being dropped. If you are sprinting to the finish, but missing by ½ a bike length – the faster bike may make a difference.
They are going to make a difference in a Madison, where you are accelerating hard every 60 seconds for 20 minutes, but less so in a race where you are in a pace line most of the time, just waiting for the final laps.
Still, not everyone wants to spend $1,000+ on a set of track wheels.
There is also the fun of a good sprint wheel isnt nessisarily a good distance wheel, plus TT and persuit wheels, indoor vs outdoor, and all other toys.