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Thread: Wheel questions

  1. #1
    Junior Member sakkakth's Avatar
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    Wheel questions

    So awhile back you all were kind enough to give me some advice about my bike (Tk3) and other things I should look into:

    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Dude, your bike is just fine. It's actually very nice and something that you can definitely "grow into". I strongly recommend that you do not buy a carbon frame. Here are things you will need/want far sooner than another frame:

    (I don't know what you have already, so forgive me if you have these)

    - Chainwhip and lockring tool
    - A complete kit of chainrings and cogs
    - Speedometer
    - Skinsuit
    - Aero helmet
    - A chain that won't stretch (stretched chains eat up your chainrings and cogs)
    - Annual pass to the velodrome

    Then the big money stuff:
    - Coach
    - Aero front wheel
    - Read Disc
    After a brief hiatus from track and discovering that I hate road racing (lol) the first section of that list is acquired and I also have a cool coach.

    Now for wheels. As I was looking through the posts about different wheels I started to wonder which is the right choice for me. Several of the posts refer to stiffness needed for weight and torque and several of the riders mention they are bigger guys.

    I'm still a newb so I doubt there's any massive torquing happening and I'm in the 120-130lb range so I'm guessing I'm not as worried about those kind of limitations...

    I got to borrow a disc and a deep sectioned wheel last year for racing.. I didn't like the disc because I felt like I was getting knocked around on it (does that make sense?). I felt much more stable on the loaner Cane Creeks.

    So right now I am looking at the Zipp 808s...

    Since I only rode a disc once, am I not giving it a fair shot? Would it be better to go for a disc in the long run and just get used to it or is not having a disc totally ok?

    And are the Zipps even good wheels to get? I'm guessing yes since see several of them on bikes in the "show off your track bike" post.. But I'm open to anything (except the super expensive Mavics )

    I'd appreciate any input!

    -cat

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakkakth View Post
    So awhile back you all were kind enough to give me some advice about my bike (Tk3) and other things I should look into:



    After a brief hiatus from track and discovering that I hate road racing (lol) the first section of that list is acquired and I also have a cool coach.

    Now for wheels. As I was looking through the posts about different wheels I started to wonder which is the right choice for me. Several of the posts refer to stiffness needed for weight and torque and several of the riders mention they are bigger guys.

    I'm still a newb so I doubt there's any massive torquing happening and I'm in the 120-130lb range so I'm guessing I'm not as worried about those kind of limitations...

    I got to borrow a disc and a deep sectioned wheel last year for racing.. I didn't like the disc because I felt like I was getting knocked around on it (does that make sense?). I felt much more stable on the loaner Cane Creeks.

    So right now I am looking at the Zipp 808s...

    Since I only rode a disc once, am I not giving it a fair shot? Would it be better to go for a disc in the long run and just get used to it or is not having a disc totally ok?

    And are the Zipps even good wheels to get? I'm guessing yes since see several of them on bikes in the "show off your track bike" post.. But I'm open to anything (except the super expensive Mavics )

    I'd appreciate any input!

    -cat
    If you are a lighter rider, you will certainly feel being pushed about using deep dish wheels and discs.

    I raced with a 120lb girl who borrowed my disc and 808 front one windy day for a big event. She did one lap on the track and came off and said, "H*ll no." and raced on her training wheels for the event.

    You will feel blown around on 808s. Go for Zipp 404s (front and rear) or something similarly deep. Cane Creek Endurance or Sprint 50s for example. You don't need a disc.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    San Diego seems to have a pretty stiff breeze off the ocean much of the time, too. So I'd second the recommendation for the 404s. They, or the Cane Creek 50s or Eastons (TK0 or something like that) are all about the minimum depth to have good aerodynamics, but aren't so deep that you'll feel like you're riding a sail. You'll notice a big difference with any of them vs a box rim spoked wheel. I've ridden all of them, and they're all pretty nice, and after I got the Eastons I often wouldn't bother putting on the disc, even indoors.

    If you start racing up in LA regularly you might want to add a disc to your wheel collection-- HDC has no wind, and Encino is often pretty calm. But for SD you'll be fine on moderate depth spoked aero wheels.

    I also raced several years at all 3 socal tracks on old specialized tri-spokes, which are about the least stiff aero wheels you can get. I'm a 180 lb endurance rider, and the only time the noodliness of the trispokes ever bothered me was riding madison at Colorado Springs, where the side loading during a bad exchange could make things get a little hairy.
    Last edited by bitingduck; 02-03-12 at 04:49 PM.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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    L-time Cat4 & proud of it
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    I'll second or third the breezes at the Sandy Eggo track. I'm a little (ok a lot) heavier than you and raced 404s there for years. Recommended. That track is a LONG way around!

    Now, there's no denying that a disc is faster, but if you don't like it, you won't ride it. An 808 rear isn't going to be *much* different than a disc AFA you're concerned.

    I useta train on GL330s and race on 404s. Both worked well for doing what I needed to do with em.

    Hey guys: did they ever fix the banking issue at Encino? AFA remember, you had to countersteer to stay at the bottom of the track up there.

    M

  5. #5
    Junior Member sakkakth's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for the responses! I'll definitely shift my shopping towards wheels less deep. Just looking online 404s seem much easier to acquire than some of the other wheels mentioned but I'll keep checking around over the next few weeks and see what I can find in that range.


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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakkakth View Post
    Thank you very much for the responses! I'll definitely shift my shopping towards wheels less deep. Just looking online 404s seem much easier to acquire than some of the other wheels mentioned but I'll keep checking around over the next few weeks and see what I can find in that range.

    No problem.

    I'm sure that you know that the front wheel does the majority of the aero work between the two wheels. So, if money is tight, just get that. PLUS you can use a road front wheel, no problem. Just use a skewer with an allen bolt:



    That will open up your front wheel options immensely. A used road 404 at a great price is probably a lot easier to find than a track version. Of course, you'll need a standard track hub on the rear wheel.

    I've seen several guys who race with an aero front wheel. Especially in local racing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    As far as I know they haven't done anything to adjust the banking at Encino in the 15 years I've been in SoCal. They resurfaced it 5-6 years back with a thin skim coat that was put down badly and added some ripple to it. First time I followed Gil Hatton through a turn at full speed it felt pretty weird.

    Some time after that they also filled in the infield nearly up to the old blue line (they were supposed to then build an outdoor wood track over it, but that never happened), so the track is now narrower than it used to be and has no blue band. Makes madison interesting when you're coming off the bottom and have to avoid the transition to the flat apron with a potential tire eating crack in between. The top of the banking in both turns is folded down, so you have to be extra careful up there at speed. A friend of mine was injured pretty badly this summer at the start of a madison kilo when her rear wheel slipped up over the banking change.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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    Junior Member sakkakth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    I'm sure that you know that the front wheel does the majority of the aero work between the two wheels. So, if money is tight, just get that. PLUS you can use a road front wheel, no problem. Just use a skewer with an allen bolt:
    I did not know that but I do now! I guess I never much thought about it, I've only been looking at wheelsets but that definitely opens up a ton of options! I'm selling a road bike off so I will probably be able to grab both a front and rear.

    For road, I had been scared to buy tubulars in the past because they just didn't seem practical... but for track the upkeep seems a little more controlled. Do you have a recommendation on clincher or tubular?

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    For san diego you'll want something reasonably durable (i.e. not EVO pistas). Tufo S3 Pro (there are a lot of different tires called S3, you have to sort through a long list) aren't bad. Also something like a Conti Steher. I didn't like the vittoria pistas (without the evo)- they ride like a truck tire and started to unstitch on their own, and aren't any cheaper than a steher. For clinchers, the Conti Supersonics are nice, and they'll ride well on any track.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sakkakth View Post
    I did not know that but I do now! I guess I never much thought about it, I've only been looking at wheelsets but that definitely opens up a ton of options! I'm selling a road bike off so I will probably be able to grab both a front and rear.

    For road, I had been scared to buy tubulars in the past because they just didn't seem practical... but for track the upkeep seems a little more controlled. Do you have a recommendation on clincher or tubular?
    Clincher vs Tubular has lots of pros and cons. It will come down to individual choice. I hope the other guys chime in with thoughts.

    Tubular:
    Pros:
    - Very high pressure for low rolling resistance (this is debatable). Pressures up to 180-200 psi.
    - Nice feel
    - Generally sit wider on the rim. Great for rolling slow on the banking.

    Cons:
    - Harder to change than clinchers. Time consuming.
    - Roughly 24 hour wait time till you can use them after a new glue job
    - Difficult to find. You'll likely have to special order your favorite make/model.
    - Cleaning glue off of rims is a pain.
    - Expensive if you pay someone to do it ($30-60/wheel)
    - A flat disables that wheel for the day.

    Clincher:
    Pros:
    - Easy to find
    - Easy to change
    - Lots of options that are easily available
    - If you have a flat you can install a new tire/tube within minutes and get back to work.

    Cons:
    - Not very many high pressure tire options. Most top out at 120 psi. But, there are some that go much higher like Supersonics (140) and Vredsteins (160).
    - High pressure also depends on the rim
    - Sort of sit tall on the rim. Not as comforting when riding slow. But, this isn't a big issue.



    That being said, I like tubulars for the track as punctures at the track are less common than on the road.

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    Clincher vs Tubular has lots of pros and cons....

    ...That being said, I like tubulars for the track as punctures at the track are less common than on the road.
    I somehow read it as the OP wanted recommendations on kinds of clinchers and tubulars, but I think you answered the correct question. I second your response-- on the track I much prefer tubulars, though I occasionally will ride clinchers.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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    Junior Member sakkakth's Avatar
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    I wasn't thinking clincher/tubular first, just type of wheel. When it was mentioned I could get a road 404 and convert it to track that kind of opened up the clincher/tubular question.

    So I think I will be looking for 404 tubulars (or similar)!

    Thank you very much for the inputs.

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    Senior Member joshpants's Avatar
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    Tufo's tubular-clinchers have most of the pros mentioned above and fewer of the cons. I've used a couple of their models (have an indoor and outdoor favorite), and I really like them. $0.02

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    Interesting the suggestions above recommending Tufo's. According to AFM Rolling Resistance test results revV9 document - the first Tufo is down on page three of three in order of increased rolling resistance...

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalai View Post
    Interesting the suggestions above recommending Tufo's. According to AFM Rolling Resistance test results revV9 document - the first Tufo is down on page three of three in order of increased rolling resistance...
    I hadn't seen that set of test data before (I just googled it-- it's pretty interesting), but a few comments:
    - Clinchers in general will have lower rolling resistance than tubulars, unless you're using shellac to glue them on (and almost nobody does that), but you'll find few people racing them on the track. People ride tubulars mostly for the handling. Jobst Brandt claimed that all clinchers at normal operating pressure (120 psi) would have lower RR than all tubulars (even at 180 psi), mainly because of the glue, but his testing was based on a smaller set of data. They're pretty mixed in the AFM data.
    - Characteristics that give a tire low RR (e.g. harder rubber, silica instead of carbon black) also generally make them slippery on a wood track (though the OP is riding on a concrete track, I generally use my tubulars on both wood and concrete, and the OP is about an hours drive from a steep wood track). Some low RR tires are absolutely awful on a steep wood track (e.g Conti Tempo). The EVO pistas are an exception to that, but they're $$ and won't last long on a concrete track. When I was using mostly EVO Pistas, I'd easily go through 3 sets in a season (worn down to the threads), riding them mostly on wood and occasionally on concrete, and training on Stehers or plain old Pistas.
    - Most of the track tubulars were tested underinflated (including the EVOs that show up at the top of the chart). EVO pistas at 120 psi feel *flat*. Typical track tubular inflation pressures are closer to 160-180 psi (or more), and the Tufo Race Lites tested at those pressures showed lower RR than at 120, more in line with other low RR tires.
    - I can get an S3 Pro for less than half of what an EVO Pista costs (getting both at discount prices from England shipped to SoCal) and they'll last way longer than the EVOs.
    - The Conti Steher is one of my favorite tires *because* it's sticky (relatively high RR). You can ride relief in a madison *really* slow with them, and they last forever.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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    Senior Member joshpants's Avatar
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    ..and I must confess that the tires I was using before the tufo were bontrager, vittorias, and contis right around on that same document. I still use a set of bontrager with bontrager rims on the rollers - that set-up feels lighter, but much "spongier."

    One of the local coaches got me on these, and what I like is the indoor S3s just stick like crazy to the wood. Might be placebo, but anecdotally my "minimum stick" is several mph lower - but now I can't seem to get them and have been using the S33s.

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    Senior Member joshpants's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    - I can get an S3 Pro....
    I haven't looked really hard for them...but if you come across them in the tubular-clincher format online in the US, I'd love to know.
    Tubular ones I can get easy enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    I hadn't seen that set of test data before (I just googled it-- it's pretty interesting), but a few comments:
    - Clinchers in general will have lower rolling resistance than tubulars, unless you're using shellac to glue them on (and almost nobody does that), but you'll find few people racing them on the track. People ride tubulars mostly for the handling. Jobst Brandt claimed that all clinchers at normal operating pressure (120 psi) would have lower RR than all tubulars (even at 180 psi), mainly because of the glue, but his testing was based on a smaller set of data. They're pretty mixed in the AFM data.
    Tubular results may be a little up and down as he changed his gluing to 3 coats Vittoria Mastik One on the rim and two on the base tape vastly reduced RR...

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dalai View Post
    Tubular results may be a little up and down as he changed his gluing to 3 coats Vittoria Mastik One on the rim and two on the base tape vastly reduced RR...
    I looked at that as well-- he noted how things were glued and it seems all over the map. 5 coats of glue seems like a lot-- I generally use 3 (2 rim, 1 base tape, 1 tube of Mastik 1) and it's easier to just cut the tires off sometimes because you can't peel them.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshpants View Post
    One of the local coaches got me on these, and what I like is the indoor S3s just stick like crazy to the wood. Might be placebo, but anecdotally my "minimum stick" is several mph lower - but now I can't seem to get them and have been using the S33s.
    Minimum stick speed does vary a lot with tires-- red tufos will slide in the straights here... People also report differences in the various S3 models-- a couple of the super light ones are good (but expensive) and the S3 pro are good, as well. I think stehers stick even better than the S3 at low speed.
    Track - the other off-road
    http://www.lavelodrome.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    I looked at that as well-- he noted how things were glued and it seems all over the map. 5 coats of glue seems like a lot-- I generally use 3 (2 rim, 1 base tape, 1 tube of Mastik 1) and it's easier to just cut the tires off sometimes because you can't peel them.
    I've been running with the three coats rim, two base tape for a while now. Base tape glue doesn't really count to the total as it soaks up pretty quickly. Definitely won't roll a tire though...

    Also agree with your comment in regards to tire pressure. Would have been better that he run the tests with the tires inflated to each tires max pressure to compare rather than the one pressure which will be closer to ideal with some tires than others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carleton View Post
    No problem.

    I'm sure that you know that the front wheel does the majority of the aero work between the two wheels. So, if money is tight, just get that. PLUS you can use a road front wheel, no problem. Just use a skewer with an allen bolt:



    That will open up your front wheel options immensely. A used road 404 at a great price is probably a lot easier to find than a track version. Of course, you'll need a standard track hub on the rear wheel.

    I've seen several guys who race with an aero front wheel. Especially in local racing.
    Hi I'm looking to get into riding track, so I know pretty much nothing about track bikes. First question, why do you not use a QR skewer for track bikes? Aerodynamics?

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    Senior Member tony2v's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdgrannygear View Post
    Hi I'm looking to get into riding track, so I know pretty much nothing about track bikes. First question, why do you not use a QR skewer for track bikes? Aerodynamics?
    It's in the rules:
    1M3. Bicycle Types
    (a) For track races, only a bicycle with a single cog fixed wheel and without derailleurs, brakes or quick releases may be used; However, in pursuit and time trial events that are not championships or selection events, brakes, freewheels, quick releases, and derailleurs may be installed on the bicycle so long as only one gear is functional.
    Also with the rear wheel I didn't think a QR could be tightened down enough to keep the wheel from slipping due to the torque.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    The reasoning behind the rule:

    Track racing is generally done in much closer bunches than is road racing, and your feet are constantly moving. So it becomes much easier for another racer to come by and clip your QR and release the wheel.

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    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayce View Post
    The reasoning behind the rule:

    Track racing is generally done in much closer bunches than is road racing, and your feet are constantly moving. So it becomes much easier for another racer to come by and clip your QR and release the wheel.
    +1

    Bingo.

    It's not uncommon for wheels to rub in track races. If a wheel rubbed your QR and it came open it would wreak havoc.

    Quick Relases solve no problems on the track while creating a significant one.

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