Recently I have been pondering the choice of rims and tires for the track. On the road, the recent trend has been gravitating towards 25c tires and 28mm wide rims. The zipp firecrest "toroidal "shape is an example of this. The arguments are summarized by one of the designers at Reynolds here and zipp here
The conventional roadie wisdom:
1) less rolling resistance w/wider tires
2) more crosswind stability with fatter rims
Obviously for indoor tracks, I think a 160psi tire and lack of crosswinds kinda nullify those two points. However, for less than perfect outdoor tracks, I am wondering if roadie conventional wisdom applies.
Do (outdoor) track riders benefit from wider tires (21c vs 23c) and toroidal rims?
Regarding rim depth, according to the zipp PDF and FlO wheels, it appears that at low yaw angles (<5deg), 30mm-60mm wheels all have about the same drag. The exception seems to be the full disc.
Indoor tracks should have almost zero yaw angle since there are no crosswinds. Does this mean that the rim depth does not matter as much? It seems to be validated by the mavic IO has which has a "shallow" ~60mm rim depth, as opposed to something more extreme like a 90mm depth.
And finally more general, how much aero testing is done on track bikes and equipment? The road market is much larger compared to track with many more sponsors, consumers, and media attention. So it makes sense for large companies to invest in aero testing for the road. Sure the top track riders have their riding positions tested with varying existing equipment, but how much of the effort is spent designing new equipment?
Take for example, the ubiquitous Mavic IO and Comete have been around for more than 10 years. I wouldn't really consider Mavic at the forefront of aero technology. Wouldn't modern materials and technology contribute to a better (or at least different) design?