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  1. #1
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    Wheels or better bike?

    I am still trying to figure out if to get a tri bike or road bike but with all my researching it seems like a big part or maybe just a expensive part is the wheels. Is the better investment going to be a higher end bike with average wheels or an average bike with higher end wheels? where will you see better results? Or is there something else that I should be looking at also? i have a 3000 budget that i want to stay in. Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I think Zipp has about 60% of the market share at the Kona Iron Man. If you're on a budget, try the psimet guy.

    Deep carbon clincher http://www.psimet.com/carbon-wheels.html

    And then go for the Cervelo S1

  3. #3
    Body by Guinness cjbruin's Avatar
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    What bike do you have now?
    Fredo, you're my older brother and I love you...but don't ever take sides, with anyone, against the family again...ever.

  4. #4
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    Hi,
    in my opinion assuming that your bike main parts(botom bracket,headset,shifters,crankset )roll/funtion properly, well from this poin it is up to the positioning of yourself on the bike and the wheels. If you have aerodinamicly good and stiff wheels, that can help a lot. My assumption is around 2-3% in terms of time.That means that you can improve 2-3 mins on a 40 km Olympic distance.

  5. #5
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    what bike you have now is very relevant to this thread

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    Look at Cervelo P2 with a set of Flash Point 60's. The wheels will give you about a 5 minute advantage in an Iornman distnace.

  7. #7
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    I'd get a better bike and then just rent a set of race wheels for your big race.

  8. #8
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    i dont have a bike til the next couple weeks....dont want to start off with something entry either ill just want to upgrade instantly, i am in this for the long run but also dont want to fork over 6 grand

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    Quote Originally Posted by fossy09 View Post
    i dont have a bike til the next couple weeks....dont want to start off with something entry either ill just want to upgrade instantly, i am in this for the long run but also dont want to fork over 6 grand
    If you don't have a bike now, ease into it. Are you doing tri's now? If so, what kind of bike?

    Wheels are an expensive investment with marginal returns and are cost/benefical only after you max out on a lot of other things. What's your tri experience so far?
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

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    In that case, you have to ask yourself if you would ever consider road racing. If you would, then a tri bike would not be a great option. If you are sure you are doing tris, i would say pick up a tri bike in the 2500 range, and then wait until you get another 1500-2000 for nice wheels.

  11. #11
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    a reaonable bike with half decent components will become a very good bike with some decent wheels .
    Ceramic bearings and deep rims will make a a radical difference .
    Great tyres on great rims are going to make a much bigger difference than the difference between dura ace and utegra or Campag record or centaur.As long as your components are working correctly and set up right I defy most people in a blind test to tell the difference between groupsets( other than weight )
    spend a grand on a second hand bike and the other two on a zipp 900 disc and an 808 front !

  12. #12
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    Ceramic bearings don't make that radical of a difference. I spoke with a shimano rep a couple days ago about them. There is a reason their products don't come standard with them.

    An aero helmet will be more beneficial than aero wheels. You can also get one for a tenth of the price.

    I'd say look into an aero road frame, maybe a cervelo if they fit you well, and consider getting that. It will be way more functional than a tri specific bike.

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    Ceramic bearings provide a negligible gain. Sorry to any other ideas companies have put in to your head. In general the amount of watts to spin a wheel is very small compared to the aerodynamics.

    Quite frankly, there is about a hundred different ideas on "bang for the buck". But if you're getting in to the sport, the first thing should be deciding if you need a road or a tri bike. After that, you should take your budget and go out an buy everything but the bike (goggles, tri suit, helmet to train in, shoes, pedals, etc.) then look at your budget for a bike. Get a good bike that fits well. If you really want to go fast, cover the speed basics(aero helmet, tight clothing, fast tires and latex tubes). I don't know, thats how I'd go about things.

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    I agree with triguy. Gear gets expensive without you realizing it. It happened to me when I was piecing together everything.

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    just to clarify I am notinfering that ceramic bearing will make that big a difference I am just saying that chances are if you drop a couple of grand on zipp or corima then they will be in there anyhow . They will deffo roll better for longer ( I mean a longer period of time not when you spin them!) which makes them a good buy.

    Aero helmet on anything over 25km is a must.
    As for an aero frame ...yeah look at cervelo ! in fact why not look at a ridley dean or a look 596 or an orbea ordu or a giant trinity advanced SL or a felt DA or a scott plasma ltd!
    The guy says he has got 3000 total to spend and any half decent carbon aero frame is going to cost him every penny of that which is why I said get great wheels on a reasonable bike !
    I mean otherwise why not just say get a specialized Transition TTR dripping in Campag super record 11 speed and zipp sub 9 zedtech disc with vittoria tubs and a zedtech 10 on the front ........oh yeah that's because it will cost 11 grand ! oh yeah and see if prologo saddles will do you a custom Nano TT saddle too. then get it painted in your custom colours too.

    and dont forget to buy carnac attraction magnetic road shoes and speedplay zero nanotech pedals for another $1000
    The reason shimano don't use cermic bearings is because it's cheaper not too.
    Corima and Mavic ( who while nowhere near as popular in the states) make arguably the best rolling wheels on earth ,both companies use ceramic bearings.
    My mate Paul at Thatto cycles in st Helens England is one of the most respected wheel builders around the UK The son of an exceptional roadie and TTist he swears that a Corima disc is in a different league to a zipp even though they are not Lenticular or dimpled.They will be smooth as silk years after a Zipp has got nice and crunchy

  16. #16
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    I think a great bike that is aero and an aero helmet is a solid choice. Aero helmets have a much more significant effect on aerodynamic than aero wheels do.

    I'm a huge corima fan. I really want to get a wheelset eventually, but man they are pretty pricey.

    regarding the ceramic discussion, yes it is cheaper for shimano but compare sales of shimano to corima. Plus ceramic bearings need ceramic cones as well to really be utilized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcginn View Post
    I think a great bike that is aero and an aero helmet is a solid choice. Aero helmets have a much more significant effect on aerodynamic than aero wheels do.
    Poor Mark Cote, he'll never live that article down. Every person I've ever talked to who has been to a wind tunnel confirms that the aero gains from a set of aero wheels over regular wheels exceeds that of an aero helmet over a road helmet in real world conditions. What Mark was trying to say is that from a dollar to speed ratio, the helmet is a killer deal compared to wheels, and his comments were based on testing at 0 degrees yaw.

    Mark kind of prefaces that his comments were taken out of context here:
    http://forum.slowtwitch.com/gforum.c...helmet;#908372

  18. #18
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    I really can't push it. I have aero wheels but no aero helmet.....

  19. #19
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    me peronally would rather have wheels, I like my bike so wheels would add a personal connection with it, to make it my own.

  20. #20
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    One of the other things to consider between tri & regular bikes is the geometry of the frame & handlebars. You can add aerobars & also move your seat/seatpost around to change your regular road position into a more forward, aero one on a regular bike. You can't really, however, change a purpose built Tri or TT bike into a road bike. As such, if you're prepared to ride in an aero position all the time then buy a tt bike. however, this may be less comfortable, more expensive and also will not be able to be used in regular road races. A good, regular road bike ( with or without aero wheels) can be upgraded to Tris spec if you want to from time to time. My focus would be on this decision rather than the wheels vs bike issue. Its easy to have a spare set of wheels & aero bars - if a bit expensive.

    Anecdotal advice from some of my cyclist friends is that aero wheels only matter if you're averaging over 40km/hour ( sorry don't know that in miles). Just a thought.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by 900aero View Post
    Anecdotal advice from some of my cyclist friends is that aero wheels only matter if you're averaging over 40km/hour ( sorry don't know that in miles). Just a thought.
    One of the biggest and untrue myths around. Aero helps at any speed. In fact, one of the top experts in the scientific aspects of cycling (Dr. Andy Coggin) said that aero helps slower cyclists proportionally more than faster cyclists.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
    One of the biggest and untrue myths around. Aero helps at any speed. In fact, one of the top experts in the scientific aspects of cycling (Dr. Andy Coggin) said that aero helps slower cyclists proportionally more than faster cyclists.
    Interesting concept - can you elaborate or post a link?
    I have Zipp 404s that I keep for racing while I ride on Shimanos most days. I can't feel much difference (other than the actual feel & sound on the road) in terms of speed. Mind you, I am not quite bothering Crowie with my speed at this point either =

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