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Crit Wheels. Got Suggestions?

Old 01-05-18, 05:00 PM
  #26  
caloso
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I have been happy with the Fulcrums that came stock on my Specialized. Also very good reviews from friends and teammates on Williams Al wheels.
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Old 01-05-18, 05:57 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
If you're in school you should be able to make time (and have a place) to do front wheel contact drills.
+100

Many years ago when I was teaching my kids how to ride a bike I was on a ride and my youngest son swerved into my front wheel HARD. I didn't go down. I didn't have to think about it, but just reacted properly. It is a learned thing, but you don't have time to think about it.
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Old 01-05-18, 06:01 PM
  #28  
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I've known guys that have raced crappy wheels with Gatorskins and won crits.
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Old 01-05-18, 06:40 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
I've known guys that have raced crappy wheels with Gatorskins and won crits.
That's sacrilege.
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Old 01-05-18, 06:47 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I didn't say anything about racing or not racing al wheels. Though I'm pretty sure Rally races on Hed Stingers (pretty sure Huff was at Gateway this year), but besides the point. I raced al wheels up until this year, myself. There are some excellent aluminum wheels, of course, but they're at a premium to the wheels you're discussing.

Someone mentioned carbon tubulars on Ebay. Some absolutely killer deals on there. I go through them daily. So many sub $500, sub 1500 gram, aero carbon tubulars with tires. Some clinchers as well, but they're generally more expensive.

I just think you're way too hung up on crashing and attempting to mitigate it. You simply can't. As has been said repeatedly, crashes happen in every race, in every category. Racing wheels in a road race but not in a crit until you're a cat 2 because you think you're more likely to crash is a bit silly and is not based on anything realistic. At some point it's going to happen and you may or may not have a single bit of control over it. I raced for the last four years without a single crash, and then had two different ones in two straight weekends when people just fell over in front of me. Nothing to be done.
Hmm. I thought I saw them racing on wheels with alloy braking surfaces at the Colorado Classic. It's quite possible I am remembering incorrectly. I just remember at some point I looked at the race and thought, "huh...I guess pro teams race alloy wheels sometimes too."

I think I'm doing a terrible job of communicating this. Haha. I love my Boyds. I built them up in the process of learning how to build wheels from the best wheel builder I have ever met. I don't exactly like racing them. They have sentimental value.

I want alloy because they are just as good at my level as carbon and there's no need to spend a ton of money on a carbon wheelset when I already have one I love, especially when I'm not good enough for that to matter in a crit. Fitness gains and learning how to be a smarter racer are far more important at this point. I want some good alloy wheels that will meet the demands of a crit because they are cost efficient in terms of weight and stiffness.

I have half of the people I know telling me that I should get something light and stiff that will help me do less work to move my bike so I am fresher for a sprint and not to worry about aero wheels because none of that matters when you are benefitting from the the draft of the field and the shelter from the wind with the buildings in a city. Then I have other people telling me that I want to sacrifice weight for aero because I won't be climbing and the aero will help me in the sprint. I just don't want to spend an arm and a leg for wheels and I was hoping people in here have experience racing some good alloy wheels and could give me pointers.
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Old 01-05-18, 09:25 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I didn't say anything about racing or not racing al wheels. Though I'm pretty sure Rally races on Hed Stingers (pretty sure Huff was at Gateway this year), but besides the point.
I went and watched all the highlights of the stages. You're totes right. But you knew that already. Just thought I would throw that out there for you. I'm not sure what I saw that I thought was an aluminum braking surface. Haha.
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Old 01-05-18, 09:30 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
That's sacrilege.
Nope.

It ain't about the bike unless you are talking about an inch or less at the finish line at a crit.

One of my teammates made it to Cat 2 in almost as few races as possible on an almost stock Bikes Direct Motobecane with a 50 tooth big chainwheel. I know that his bottom bracket wasn't stock because he cracked it in half during one of his required Cat 4 crits. I handed him his left side crank and pedal after the next circuit.
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Old 01-05-18, 10:20 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by cpstwoart View Post
Thanks for the input, man! I'm totally comfortable with bumping and all that. I just see lots of people who aren't and I want to be able to react in time when they go down in front of me into corners. I try to stay near the front for now, but I can't always get there without making unnecessarily risky moves.

So what kind of depth would you say is reasonably aero. Are we talking about 30mm or should I be looking more towards 44mm? At the 50-60mm point wheels seem to get pretty expensive. At 30mm they seem to be super reasonably priced.

I'll be far more comfortable racing in crits on my 60mm Boyds once I get into CAT 2, which I am hoping to do this season. I've worked really hard on my fitness and the guys at Purdue all think I can do it.

Bike throws are something I for sure need to work on. Wheel touching is fine for me. We have a guy who raced in UCI races in Australia who helped me a little with that (it wasn't on purpose, lol). I spent about a decade as a bike commuter in a city riding a fixie 60 miles a day in Buffalo, NY even in the harshest of winters until finally I was taken out by a van (needed back surgery on that one, and it was definitely unavoidable and the driver's fault). I'm pretty confident in my awareness and handling. But throws aren't something you did racing to intersections before the lights turned red. Haha.
There's a saying that if you don't see the sucker at the card table then the sucker is you. Just be careful with what you're checking off as "okay" because overconfidence can get you into situations that you simply cannot get out of (in terms of crashing in bike races). I consider myself very risk averse, I only do crits because I can't climb or time trial, and I've sat up in races just because I didn't feel right about things. I'll also ride through a field through little holes because on that day, at that moment, things felt okay.

Bike throws everyone can work on, literally every time you get on the bike. Tool around in the parking lot before ride or race, do 5 or 10 or 30 bike throws. It should be second nature. Even pros don't know how to bike throw, and I've seen some humdinger where a pro loses a huge race because they're incapable of throwing the bike correctly. So work on it. Even on the trainer you can get the mechanics down without worrying about falling over. Basically if you end up sitting on the rear tire you're doing okay. If your butt isn't waaaaaaay behind your seat you're doing it wrong.

For aero.. I consider my Stinger 75mm front and 90mm rear to be perfectly usable to 45 mph speeds or 25 mph winds (although I've used them in slightly heavier winds only because I forgot my non-aero wheels at home - beach-side crit with heavy gusting winds). I got them used for a total of maybe $1000, including excellent condition tires. I used the tires that came with the wheels for I think two seasons, maybe three for the front tire.

I got the 75/90mm set up to replace my 60mm set up because I wanted to max out speed. Tall wheels are incredible in cross-tailwinds (I don't think anyone ever tests in those conditions so there isn't really any data I know of). It's amazing how easy it is to sit in and shelter in certain conditions, and how easy it is to move up also, even when the field is moving fast. It's not just about the final sprint (the only thing I can do well), it's about everything leading up to the final sprint.

Using heavier or less aero wheels, my limited aerobic capacity may not even let me finish the race. I typically avg 160-200w for a race, and at 200w avg I can barely sprint. 160w is better, 170-180w is realistically how hard I need to work to finish a race and sprint. To put in perspective, at the Cat 2 Tour of Somerville I was at 175w avg and 27.5 mph avg speed until the backstretch of the final lap. The final half lap I did 280w and only 24 mph (caught behind the first of 3? crashes that lap). I probably should have used a bit more gas just before the bell to move up but I gambled on moving up on the backstretch and lost.

Sitting in a field still taxes a wheel's aero. If you have 48 spoke wheels you'll feel it, ditto a less aero wheel. Sometimes you don't have a choice with shelter or sitting in, like if you're accelerating out of a turn and everyone's hitting 30-32 mph before the gaps close, or if the field is strung out single file at 30 mph. You want a fast and light wheel.

I'd go find some used brand name wheels. Reynolds (probably best value but may not be most aero except latest versions), HED (to me usually a good value, plus they have the mid-height 75mm front, my 2010 Stinger 6s are fantastic), Zipp (I think they're more expensive and also nothing between the 404 and 808, i.e. 58mm and 88mm). Figure $1000 a pair should set you up, maybe less if you get a friend discount, like a loaner set of wheels from a teammate or whatever.
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Old 01-06-18, 12:44 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
There's a saying that if you don't see the sucker at the card table then the sucker is you. Just be careful with what you're checking off as "okay" because overconfidence can get you into situations that you simply cannot get out of (in terms of crashing in bike races). I consider myself very risk averse, I only do crits because I can't climb or time trial, and I've sat up in races just because I didn't feel right about things. I'll also ride through a field through little holes because on that day, at that moment, things felt okay.

Bike throws everyone can work on, literally every time you get on the bike. Tool around in the parking lot before ride or race, do 5 or 10 or 30 bike throws. It should be second nature. Even pros don't know how to bike throw, and I've seen some humdinger where a pro loses a huge race because they're incapable of throwing the bike correctly. So work on it. Even on the trainer you can get the mechanics down without worrying about falling over. Basically if you end up sitting on the rear tire you're doing okay. If your butt isn't waaaaaaay behind your seat you're doing it wrong.

For aero.. I consider my Stinger 75mm front and 90mm rear to be perfectly usable to 45 mph speeds or 25 mph winds (although I've used them in slightly heavier winds only because I forgot my non-aero wheels at home - beach-side crit with heavy gusting winds). I got them used for a total of maybe $1000, including excellent condition tires. I used the tires that came with the wheels for I think two seasons, maybe three for the front tire.

I got the 75/90mm set up to replace my 60mm set up because I wanted to max out speed. Tall wheels are incredible in cross-tailwinds (I don't think anyone ever tests in those conditions so there isn't really any data I know of). It's amazing how easy it is to sit in and shelter in certain conditions, and how easy it is to move up also, even when the field is moving fast. It's not just about the final sprint (the only thing I can do well), it's about everything leading up to the final sprint.

Using heavier or less aero wheels, my limited aerobic capacity may not even let me finish the race. I typically avg 160-200w for a race, and at 200w avg I can barely sprint. 160w is better, 170-180w is realistically how hard I need to work to finish a race and sprint. To put in perspective, at the Cat 2 Tour of Somerville I was at 175w avg and 27.5 mph avg speed until the backstretch of the final lap. The final half lap I did 280w and only 24 mph (caught behind the first of 3? crashes that lap). I probably should have used a bit more gas just before the bell to move up but I gambled on moving up on the backstretch and lost.

Sitting in a field still taxes a wheel's aero. If you have 48 spoke wheels you'll feel it, ditto a less aero wheel. Sometimes you don't have a choice with shelter or sitting in, like if you're accelerating out of a turn and everyone's hitting 30-32 mph before the gaps close, or if the field is strung out single file at 30 mph. You want a fast and light wheel.

I'd go find some used brand name wheels. Reynolds (probably best value but may not be most aero except latest versions), HED (to me usually a good value, plus they have the mid-height 75mm front, my 2010 Stinger 6s are fantastic), Zipp (I think they're more expensive and also nothing between the 404 and 808, i.e. 58mm and 88mm). Figure $1000 a pair should set you up, maybe less if you get a friend discount, like a loaner set of wheels from a teammate or whatever.
DUDE! You rock! Thank you so much for putting so much time into helping me. I really appreciate the respectful advice.
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Old 01-06-18, 07:08 AM
  #35  
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Why not look for some older Reynolds DV carbon tubulars. The DV series came with DT240 hubs, so it's really easy to swap them to 11-speed. Most can be had for less than $500.

I have two sets of Zipp 404s (one set has a crack in the rear) and DV46s. I often race on the DVs.
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Old 01-06-18, 08:09 AM
  #36  
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Don't go too old on the DV46s. Mine are circa 2005 and use some Reynolds hub, not the DTs. To be fair though Reynolds was stocking freehub bodies for them a few years ago.

For beater race wheels I think they'd be great. 16/20 spoke, 46mm, relatively light, super strong (did a circuit race hitting 45+ mph every lap on a front wheel with only 15 spokes, sprinted for 5th or 6th place). I was going to go to the 66mm wheel (21mm wide) from them but decided to go full hog and get the HED Stingers (60mm, 25-28mm wide rim, semi U-shaped profile). After a few years on them I decided to go 75mm/90mm, U shaped.

The only thing I'm missing is a set of 25-28mm wide clinchers, preferably carbon, so I don't have to adjust my brakes all the time. Even my Bastogne/Ardennes rims require 5 full turns of the barrel adjuster when going to/from the race wheels. Ideally I'd lace the wide rim onto my Jet 9 or Stinger 6 rear wheel so I can stay with all HED rear hubs, no need to adj rear der when racing.
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Old 01-06-18, 08:17 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
Nope.

It ain't about the bike unless you are talking about an inch or less at the finish line at a crit.

One of my teammates made it to Cat 2 in almost as few races as possible on an almost stock Bikes Direct Motobecane with a 50 tooth big chainwheel. I know that his bottom bracket wasn't stock because he cracked it in half during one of his required Cat 4 crits. I handed him his left side crank and pedal after the next circuit.

No, but seriously, that's like dragging a parachute behind you. I have no doubt strong people can win on awful stuff, but saying a gatorskin is only worth an inch or less is completely wrong. Gatorskins are closer to the length of a finishing-straight than an inch.

They are quite literally the worst possible tire to ride on ever, much less in a race.

Using it as an example of anything positive when it comes to talking about racing is simply egregious.
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Old 01-06-18, 08:20 AM
  #38  
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DV46 on eBay - there's a set at $280 bid, another at $320 buy it now (neither mine, neither of them associated with me). They're not expensive. Strike (the 66mm) are a bit more. Tires will set you back maybe $60 each for good durable racing tires, plus $4-5 for glue.

Hm tire prices are higher now. I was used to $35-40 for good racing tires.

Dang it. There are some nice Stingers out there too. If I were racing a lot still I'd be buying a few of them.
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Old 01-06-18, 08:20 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by topflightpro View Post
Why not look for some older Reynolds DV carbon tubulars. The DV series came with DT240 hubs, so it's really easy to swap them to 11-speed. Most can be had for less than $500.

I have two sets of Zipp 404s (one set has a crack in the rear) and DV46s. I often race on the DVs.
Yep. They're all over the place. This one ends today. 280 bucks presently, includes conti sprinters

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Reynolds-St...QAAOSw5dlaSsJR

And here, $320 for buy it now, though it has crappy Tufos.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Reynolds-70...AAAOSwmudaA6fn
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Old 01-06-18, 08:21 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
DV46 on eBay - there's a set at $280 bid, another at $320 buy it now (neither mine, neither of them associated with me). They're not expensive. Strike (the 66mm) are a bit more. Tires will set you back maybe $60 each for good durable racing tires, plus $4-5 for glue.

Hm tire prices are higher now. I was used to $35-40 for good racing tires.

Dang it. There are some nice Stingers out there too. If I were racing a lot still I'd be buying a few of them.
Woops, you beat me to it!
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Old 01-06-18, 09:34 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Woops, you beat me to it!
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Old 01-06-18, 11:27 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
No, but seriously, that's like dragging a parachute behind you. I have no doubt strong people can win on awful stuff, but saying a gatorskin is only worth an inch or less is completely wrong. Gatorskins are closer to the length of a finishing-straight than an inch.

They are quite literally the worst possible tire to ride on ever, much less in a race.

Using it as an example of anything positive when it comes to talking about racing is simply egregious.
According to https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/, you're ceding roughly 20 watts. I train on them and its noticeably faster going to my gp2k's. That being said, they do have a function. I'd use them in certain events (probably not a race though). In the Southwest Desert, flats are commonplace and I've flatted 8 times in a week before.

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Old 01-06-18, 02:53 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
Nope.

It ain't about the bike unless you are talking about an inch or less at the finish line at a crit.

One of my teammates made it to Cat 2 in almost as few races as possible on an almost stock Bikes Direct Motobecane with a 50 tooth big chainwheel. I know that his bottom bracket wasn't stock because he cracked it in half during one of his required Cat 4 crits. I handed him his left side crank and pedal after the next circuit.
Sorta. Have to accept you’re exerting more effort in the process though. A buddy of mine was a pro mountain biker. He could win the Nyack ride on knobby tires. Doesn’t mean everyone could or that he wasn’t working harder. Up against an more evenly matched rider he’d lose, of course.
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Old 01-08-18, 05:58 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
Flo 60s aren't good if you'll be racing in the rain. They collect water like crazy. I have finished races on those with a pound of water sloshing around in each wheel.
maybe it was your hair that was saturated
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Old 01-08-18, 10:40 PM
  #45  
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Hunt.

https://www.huntbikewheels.com/colle...-31deep-24wide
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Old 01-15-18, 05:12 PM
  #46  
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**cough**
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Old 01-16-18, 01:03 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by TexMac View Post
You can never plan when to crash. I did 30 races, Crits and road with no crash and broke my collarbone in a training ride
I've used Enves 6.7, Williams 60 & Rovals 60, Chinese Yeoleo 50. Not sure why but the Rovals clx 60m feels fastest
Yep. I've done probably 100 races crash-free since the last time I went down, which was in a rainy collegiate A RR last year. Survived the lower categories completely crash free too. But I crashed twice in training this year - once coming unclipped in a sprint workout, and once on a descent that I didn't know as well as I thought. I also got taken out by a little kid while I was soft-pedaling around a parking lot after a crit.

If you need a different wheelset to feel confident in a crit, then go for it. But while crit crashes may be more common, I think you're pretty unlikely to break stuff compared to a road race crash.
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Old 01-23-18, 02:02 PM
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Is the enve 4.5 well suited for crits (and all-around use)? One of few brands with a team incentive.
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Old 01-23-18, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
**cough**
what rims do you use? do you have the profile cross section on an image anywhere?
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Old 01-23-18, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by akdmx View Post
Is the enve 4.5 well suited for crits (and all-around use)? One of few brands with a team incentive.
yes, but you can get good carbon clinchers for ~1000-1200. ENVE are well into the luxury-wheel cost range without any real further return on performance.
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