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Track Cycling: Velodrome Racing and Training Area Looking to enter into the realm of track racing? Want to share your experiences and tactics for riding on a velodrome? The Track Cycling forums is for you! Come in and discuss training/racing, equipment, and current track cycling events.

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Old 07-18-12, 09:54 AM   #1
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Critique my wheelbuild

I want some advice on some wheels that I'm trying to build.

Background:

Track newbie here. Cat3 crit rider on the road, 145-155 lbs depending on time of year/amount of beer drinking. I'm generally hard on my equipment for a guy my size. I consider myself a decent sprinter on the road and excel in slight inclines/headwinds. Having said that I've learned through recent experience that I am not even close to a real sprinter on the track and get blown out of the water in like a flying 200 by those linebacker lookin' mofos

My intention for this wheelset is to use them as my go-to track wheels. These wheels will be ridden on the track only and will see no street use except possibly from my car to the track on the sidewalk unless I decide thats a bad idea. They will be used primarily for mass-start endurance races like points and scratch.

Idea: Low-profile, tubular, highish spoke count, nice loose ball hubs.

Rims: Velocity Escape 32H
Nipples: Brass
Spokes: Straight gauge stainless spokes
Hubs: Dura Ace high-flange 32H
Tires: ?

Please criticize my ideas and offer component suggestions. Additionally I am looking for tire suggestions as well, something that has a nice compromise between durability and speed.

Thanks

added in edit: the velodrome will mostly be the outdoor concrete san diego velodrome
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Old 07-18-12, 10:27 AM   #2
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32h might be overkill.

I'm a 240lb sprinter making a good amount of torque during standing starts and putting lots of stress on the wheels in the turns during high speed efforts. My training wheels are 32h/36h and they hold up great. I would imagine that being a smaller rider you could use a lighter setup. Maybe 24h/28h or at most 28h/32h.

Save significant amounts of weight (and cost) by using a lower spoke count.

For what it's worth, 20h Mavic Ellipse are just fine for me for all efforts and events except standing starts where they are OK, but not as stiff as my 36h training wheel.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.
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Old 07-18-12, 10:32 AM   #3
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Go with sealed hubs like Formula and others.

I have the DA hubs on two wheelsets, and they are nice, but a pain when the cone nuts start tightening from all of the wheel changing. This requires periodic checks to make sure it's not happening and cone wrenches to adjust.
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Old 07-18-12, 11:03 AM   #4
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^
good advice. thx.

maybe ill get DA hubs down the line if/when I feel like building up some race day carbon wheels
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Old 07-18-12, 12:19 PM   #5
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^
good advice. thx.

maybe ill get DA hubs down the line if/when I feel like building up some race day carbon wheels
There is no significant advantage (if any at all) to using loose ball bearing hubs.

One of the wheesets I'm speaking of is a race day carbon wheelset (DA hubs laced to Zipp 404 rims). Still a pain in the butt. If I rebuild the wheelset, I'd use sealed hubs on those, too.

Your experience may be different, but that's just what I've noticed from using my two wheelsets and servicing two others for friends. One lady, who wasn't mechanically-inclined, had low flange DA hubs. She gave me her bike to install a chain and do some other minor tweaks. When it took the wheel off and tried to spin the wheel in my fingers, it literally would not spin. The axle turned with the wheel! The cone nuts were super tight and the grease inside was all dried up to boot.

I disassembled the hub, cleaned, and repacked everything with grease. She was blown away during her next ride. "OH MY GOD!! What did you do?!! My bike is SOOO much faster now!!!" Basically, she was burning 100W (subjective number here) just to overcome the bearing friction.

This is why sealed bearings were invented. (Well, they may not have been invented for bicycle hubs, but the the technology has been adopted by bicycle hub manufacturers).

Yes, ball bearings do work just fine, but you have to maintain them.


Dura Ace axle nuts are nice, though. I buy them separately and use them on my other wheels, too.
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Old 07-18-12, 01:15 PM   #6
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Why do some people prefer loose ball hubs?

There is some loss due to friction with a sealed setup, no? Perhaps the efficiency gained with loose hubs is incremental and insignificant.

I should add that I've never owned non-sealed hubs.
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Old 07-18-12, 01:49 PM   #7
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Why do some people prefer loose ball hubs?

There is some loss due to friction with a sealed setup, no? Perhaps the efficiency gained with loose hubs is incremental and insignificant.

I should add that I've never owned non-sealed hubs.
They say it's because you can fine-tune the friction (or lack therof). But, quality (not even high quality) sealed bearings are smooth enough. They are pretty much "Set it and forget it." until it's time to replace them. Then you use a bearing extractor to remove them then press in some new ones.

I don't want to make it seem like DA hubs are bad. They aren't. They are pretty good. They just require basic maintenance. It's just that sealed bearings require much less of that.

If I were building wheels from scratch, I'd use sealed. Actually, I did have a clincher training wheel built last winter and I used a Velocity "Aero" rim with an All City (re-branded Formula) hub.
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Old 07-18-12, 01:55 PM   #8
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The best track hubs I've ever used (or seen for that matter):


http://www.zipp.com/technologies/hub/track-hubs.php

One great feature of these, besides being awesome and beautiful and awesome, is that you can remove the axle when packing the wheels for travel! Most (if not all) cycling wheel cases/bags are made for road wheels and they expect you to remove the axles. Well, most track hubs do not have removable axles. But these do. Just take off the nut, grip nut, and spacer then pop the axle with a rubber mallet (or heel of your sneaker) and the axle pops out the other side.

Unfortunately, for me, the spoke counts aren't high enough for use on thin training wheel rims. They are designed for use on 404s and 808s, where you can make a strong wheel with low spoke counts because the spokes are much shorter and don't twist as much as long spokes will.
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Old 07-18-12, 02:29 PM   #9
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damn those things are purdy...

purdy expensive too
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Old 07-18-12, 07:04 PM   #10
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linebacker lookin' mofos
Hey, I resemble this remark! I also have a set of Mavic Ellipse and loved them, but my hub just loosened up on my front wheel and going into turn three of my 200, shot me out into the stayers line and it felt like I had a flat tire. But other than that, I have always loved my Ellipse's.
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Old 07-18-12, 07:10 PM   #11
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ya ive been considering ellipses...

my thought process is that if I can get a set of sweet low-profile alu tubular rims laced to decent hubs at less than or equal to the cost of ellipses than that's what I would prefer.
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Old 07-18-12, 07:12 PM   #12
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and RE: linebackers...

I have no doubt that you would school me each and every time in a sprint on the track, but at the end of of a 0.7mi lap crit with 60+ feet of elevation per lap, maybe not
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Old 07-18-12, 09:08 PM   #13
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For outdoor concrete tracks (actually all my outdoor race tires including road TT's and RR's) - I use Vitorria Evo CX tires.
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Old 07-18-12, 11:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Hey, I resemble this remark! I also have a set of Mavic Ellipse and loved them, but my hub just loosened up on my front wheel and going into turn three of my 200, shot me out into the stayers line and it felt like I had a flat tire. But other than that, I have always loved my Ellipse's.
You should have gotten a tool to adjust your bearings with your Mavic wheels. It functions the same way that a cone wrench does on old school hubs.



The improvement of the Mavic hubs over old-school DA type hubs is that installing and removing the wheel doesn't affect the hub adjustment (cone nuts). They are separate. If I remember correctly, you can even adjust the bearings without removing the wheel.
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Roadies can run tempo all year as that's what humans were designed for. If you want to be a cheetah, lay around and lick your paws more.

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Old 07-19-12, 06:28 AM   #15
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My track wheels (Ellipse, American Classic, Easton) are 20F, 24R. Interestingly doing down wind runs (road) my road wheels make a lot of whooshing noise, but the track wheels (with flat spokes) are just silent. That is what I would be aiming for (along with adequate stiffness)

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32h might be overkill.

I'm a 240lb sprinter making a good amount of torque during standing starts and putting lots of stress on the wheels in the turns during high speed efforts. My training wheels are 32h/36h and they hold up great. I would imagine that being a smaller rider you could use a lighter setup. Maybe 24h/28h or at most 28h/32h.

Save significant amounts of weight (and cost) by using a lower spoke count.

For what it's worth, 20h Mavic Ellipse are just fine for me for all efforts and events except standing starts where they are OK, but not as stiff as my 36h training wheel.
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Old 07-20-12, 05:00 PM   #16
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You should have gotten a tool to adjust your bearings with your Mavic wheels. It functions the same way that a cone wrench does on old school hubs.



The improvement of the Mavic hubs over old-school DA type hubs is that installing and removing the wheel doesn't affect the hub adjustment (cone nuts). They are separate. If I remember correctly, you can even adjust the bearings without removing the wheel.
Hmmm never got that tool.
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Old 07-20-12, 09:39 PM   #17
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so im thinking either 28/28 or 24/28h, brass nipples, regular spokes, velocity escapes, and some...

formulas? any reason why I should consider a more expensive sealed bearing hub?
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Old 07-22-12, 12:47 PM   #18
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Formulas are fine (like Carleton has said)

I would consider flat spokes. They cut a very low profile through the air. Just think, when you are running at 35mph, the top of your wheel is actually going 70mph (and the bottom 0MPH if you are not sliding). Aero of those spokes cutting through the wind is going to make a difference at those speeds. Like I said, going down wind I can hear the spokes on my commuter rims, but the spokes on the track rims are just silent at speed. That sound is turbulence and is costing you power.

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so im thinking either 28/28 or 24/28h, brass nipples, regular spokes, velocity escapes, and some...

formulas? any reason why I should consider a more expensive sealed bearing hub?
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Old 07-22-12, 01:22 PM   #19
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^
Good idea.

I used to own some road wheels with sapim cx rays. Will those be appropriate for track use?

The wheels were simple novatechs (10sp shimano freehub) laced to kinlin xr-270s w rays. Loved those things.
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