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Thread: aero wheels

  1. #1
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    aero wheels

    I use my road bike for triathlons and am wondering if aero wheels would make much difference in speed. I currently have bontrager race light wheels and am looking at getting bontrager race x light aero. They are $800 and I was wondering it would be worth the money. Thanks

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    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    No- they are barely aero at 31mm. You'd need something deeper- probably carbon- and if you aren't a contender, you'll receive more benefit from a great aero position.

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    Hmm $800 is a lot of money. If you spent it wisely you could probably end up with more benefit than you would recieve than from the wheels you've chosen. There are various things that will gain you times say over 40k tt...

    A good aero position (most likely need a tri bike to achieve) will save around 4-5 minutes over your average drops position

    A good set of wheels is around 1.5 minutes gain over a 23mm deep rim

    An extremely aero frame is around 45 seconds over standard round tubing

    To be honest it is a personal thing, I don't know how into triathlons you are. Maybe you just want wheels for riding on the road too, if so get the wheels. However, if this is purely a time gain thing I suggest looking at a new position. By the way if you want to spend $800 on fast wheels I suggest these

    Hed Jets($700) or Alps($900) both of which are very aerodynamic and clinchers for convenience

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    ???What??? barleyrocket's Avatar
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    a set of areo rims probably won't get you much off of your time, or move up very many spots. Take the $800 and upgrade the engine by getting a coach or just save the money.

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    Scroll down this webpage for a chart on time saved per device.
    http://damonrinard.com/aero/aerodynamics.htm

    Whether its worth it or not depends on things like length of race, whether you trying to qualify for something, how windy it is that day. Barleyrocket had it right. A good coach can help you shave a lot more time off than expensive bike components (I know, they are so much fun).

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    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barleyrocket
    a set of areo rims probably won't get you much off of your time, or move up very many spots. Take the $800 and upgrade the engine by getting a coach or just save the money.
    I disagree with this chap. Throw on my set of Zipp 999's and run a time trial and tell me they didn't make a hell of a difference. You get those babies humming at about 30, and they just don't want to slow back down!
    www.brokennecktobrokenrecords.com

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    MHR
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim wallace
    I use my road bike for triathlons and am wondering if aero wheels would make much difference in speed. I currently have bontrager race light wheels and am looking at getting bontrager race x light aero. They are $800 and I was wondering it would be worth the money. Thanks
    $800 would buy you a pretty good set of Road wheels, but you will need to spend at least $1,400 for Zipp 404's which are pretty much the standard for Triathletes. I use my 404's in training, and use my new Z series 999's in races depending on the wind conditions. I would like to add an 808 rear and a 303 front to give me more options.

    But do Aero wheels make a difference? Depends on the distance - the longer the better. if your doing sprints it's overkill - Olympic, yes you will be faster. In a 1/2 IM ya baby now your talking. In Hawaii disc wheels are not allowed due to the winds...even using my 404's there was scary at times.
    Last edited by MHR; 07-23-05 at 09:39 AM.

  8. #8
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    Race X areos... hmmm...

    They are very good wheels... but not very aero at all. I run a set for training on my road bike, very strong and light and if you want a strong set of wheels they are great... not worth 800 IMO... a paid 600 for mine. I use a set of cosmic carbones (05 carbon model) and I would not go less than that if you want a true aero wheel.

    Expect to spend 1200+ for a good set of wheels for tri/tt, even if you go with HED tri spoke (around 1100 retail).
    Just your average club rider... :)

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    I disagree that you need to spend over 1200 for an aerodynamic set of wheels. Wheels that give a significatn benefit genrally start around 40mm in depth and the deeper the faster. As I pointed out above the Hed Jet series can come in depths even more aero than your Mavics, and are around $700, they aren't the lightest but that becomes a fairly moot point when you are running 65mm deep and 90mm deep wheels. A Renn disc comes in at $450, throw that with a Hed Jet 60, or any 40mm deep front and the speed is equivalent if not surpassing anything else out there for a mere $800. Speed can be had for as cheap or as expensive as a person wants,

  10. #10
    Meow! my58vw's Avatar
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    That is true, I was not thinking about the RENN disc which is an increadable bargain. I guess it is a combination of weight and aero benefit and in a Tri weight is not much of an issue...

    Shoot you can get one of those wheel covers and make a disc wheel for about 150 dollars...
    Just your average club rider... :)

  11. #11
    ???What??? barleyrocket's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    I disagree with this chap. Throw on my set of Zipp 999's and run a time trial and tell me they didn't make a hell of a difference. You get those babies humming at about 30, and they just don't want to slow back down!
    How much time did they save off a time without them? Without imperical data its tough to say. I don't think it was the wheels however....its the skin suit that saved you all that time. Nice....
    ???Huh???

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