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Riding Race Wheels As Your Main Wheels

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Riding Race Wheels As Your Main Wheels

Old 12-16-09, 10:54 PM
  #51  
carpediemracing 
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I'll pipe up.

First off, a monster engine will overpower a wheelset any day of the week. Get Cancellara on your local group ride and if he feels like it, he could rip it apart on a set of 36 spoke GP4s.

However, most of us aren't talented like that. I definitely fail in that average watt test. And since I manage to hold my own, it means that more than a few guys are at least close to me, and tactics, technical knowledge, and experience help make up for lack of engine.

So now you can justify aero wheels.

I'd highly recommend getting the same type of FRONT wheels for training and racing. For many years I trained on a clincher Trispoke (now known/sold as a HED3). I had a pair of tubular ones for racing. It probably looked odd with the big heavy looking front wheel combined with a usually "thin" looking rear wheel (Eurus, box clincher, Rev-X, 440, etc).

The front wheel really affects handling, esp if you're going to/from an aero wheel. It's critical that you understand how your wheel will handle. I've made some serious mistakes even between my DV46s and my Zipp 440 (pre-404), and I posted a long post somewhere around here complete with video of said mistake (basically I ended up drifting to the curb in the sprint, forcing me to soft pedal with about 100 meters left in the race, and yes, I got killed in the sprint).

The rear wheel doesn't matter handling wise. An aero rear makes you a little more stable, but that's about it. I raced a rear disk a lot for a few years, until I started getting scared I'd whack it good in a crash.

Front wheels are critical. So for your experiment, get two of the front wheels you want.

Plus the front wheel accounts for something like 60% of the aero forces, so you get most of the benefit from the front anyway.

I ride DV46 clinchers in training, tubulars in races. I also have a couple sets of box section aluminum wheels. I've also used the TriSpokes (still have them all), and recently starting using the 440 front. Incidentally one of my best races was on one of the box section wheels - I forgot the DV46s in the driveway that day and drove to the race with just the alum wheels. I decided to use the day to practice bridging gaps and I ended up finishing the race in the first main group. I never finished that well again for the rest of the year, and I was using my best wheels for most of those races (thinking "Heck, if I can finish on box sections, I'll kill it with the DV46s... wrong").

Once you're reasonably friendly to wheels, meaning you don't go out and dent rims often (like for 5 or 10 years, but figure a year would be a good start), you can ride pretty much anything you want. I'd set my own limits at a 330 gram rear alum rim, a 280 or lighter front rim for aluminum rims - your mileage may vary. But any carbon rim I've ridden has been fine under me. Crashes break wheels, but so does hitting something really hard, and if you can avoid the latter, you can hope for a non-negative result from the former.

Having said all that, in a Cat 5 race it won't matter much what wheels you have. Tactics, bike handling skills, and bike riding technique count for so much that wheels become almost last in the list of things to do well. I'd say that being able to draft closely will make a much bigger difference in the 5s - around here there is usually 5-6 feet between riders in a turn, not a foot or so like the 3s. Knowing how to ride close to other riders is the most significant thing you can do - else you'll be semi-time-trialing the whole race.

In the 4s wheels can help, and I think that the closer races (bike throw in a sprint) can be decided by wheel selection. The stuff about tactics and riding closely apply too, but for the better riders they'll know how to ride in close quarters as well as some of the basics in tactics. I have seen 3 and 4 wide sprints where no one throws the bike, and if just one of them had thrown their bike, they'd have won automatically. So great wheels don't make up for lack of knowledge or technical skills.

In the 3s I think wheels can make a small but significant difference. This is where you have guys throwing their bikes at the line (some well, some not so well), where everyone rides in close quarters, and the max speeds start creeping up there. Since the differences get a bit more tight, aero wheels can help make a difference.

cdr
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Old 12-16-09, 11:00 PM
  #52  
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I have to ask.. what is throwing a bike?
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Old 12-16-09, 11:12 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Profoxcg View Post
I have to ask.. what is throwing a bike?


That.
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Old 12-16-09, 11:15 PM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
You are doing better than me, Ksyrium Elite's are my race wheels.
Dude, my front wheel is a tandem wheel, and my rear is an Aerohead OC. I'm buying a bike that comes with Elites, and I'm selling them without even unwrapping them.
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Old 12-16-09, 11:28 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by ZeCanon View Post


That.
Incorrect.

This:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIW1MAvyPD4
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Old 12-16-09, 11:59 PM
  #56  
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and what is the point of that? is it good / bad?
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Old 12-17-09, 12:02 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Profoxcg View Post
and what is the point of that? is it good / bad?
It could mean the difference between winning or losing by inches.
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Old 12-17-09, 12:05 AM
  #58  
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Look at it this way, your center of mass is moving at a certain speed, but the winner of the race isn't decided by when that point crosses the line, it's decided by the front wheels. So if you shift your center of mass by "throwing the bike", (I don't care about the stupid rule, I'm putting the comma outside the quotes damnit), you are moving the front wheel forward faster.
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Old 12-17-09, 12:13 AM
  #59  
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i see, well i guess it is the opposite of "pulling my bike" which I do before I sit down after a sprint sometimes.... makes sense? I guess its quite easy to throw the bike ?
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Old 12-17-09, 12:23 AM
  #60  
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I wouldn't say it's easy... takes some practice. I'm not very good at it myself.
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Old 12-17-09, 12:30 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I'll pipe up.

First off, a monster engine will overpower a wheelset any day of the week. Get Cancellara on your local group ride and if he feels like it, he could rip it apart on a set of 36 spoke GP4s.

However, most of us aren't talented like that. I definitely fail in that average watt test. And since I manage to hold my own, it means that more than a few guys are at least close to me, and tactics, technical knowledge, and experience help make up for lack of engine.

So now you can justify aero wheels.

I'd highly recommend getting the same type of FRONT wheels for training and racing. For many years I trained on a clincher Trispoke (now known/sold as a HED3). I had a pair of tubular ones for racing. It probably looked odd with the big heavy looking front wheel combined with a usually "thin" looking rear wheel (Eurus, box clincher, Rev-X, 440, etc).

The front wheel really affects handling, esp if you're going to/from an aero wheel. It's critical that you understand how your wheel will handle. I've made some serious mistakes even between my DV46s and my Zipp 440 (pre-404), and I posted a long post somewhere around here complete with video of said mistake (basically I ended up drifting to the curb in the sprint, forcing me to soft pedal with about 100 meters left in the race, and yes, I got killed in the sprint).

The rear wheel doesn't matter handling wise. An aero rear makes you a little more stable, but that's about it. I raced a rear disk a lot for a few years, until I started getting scared I'd whack it good in a crash.

Front wheels are critical. So for your experiment, get two of the front wheels you want.

Plus the front wheel accounts for something like 60% of the aero forces, so you get most of the benefit from the front anyway.

I ride DV46 clinchers in training, tubulars in races. I also have a couple sets of box section aluminum wheels. I've also used the TriSpokes (still have them all), and recently starting using the 440 front. Incidentally one of my best races was on one of the box section wheels - I forgot the DV46s in the driveway that day and drove to the race with just the alum wheels. I decided to use the day to practice bridging gaps and I ended up finishing the race in the first main group. I never finished that well again for the rest of the year, and I was using my best wheels for most of those races (thinking "Heck, if I can finish on box sections, I'll kill it with the DV46s... wrong").

Once you're reasonably friendly to wheels, meaning you don't go out and dent rims often (like for 5 or 10 years, but figure a year would be a good start), you can ride pretty much anything you want. I'd set my own limits at a 330 gram rear alum rim, a 280 or lighter front rim for aluminum rims - your mileage may vary. But any carbon rim I've ridden has been fine under me. Crashes break wheels, but so does hitting something really hard, and if you can avoid the latter, you can hope for a non-negative result from the former.

Having said all that, in a Cat 5 race it won't matter much what wheels you have. Tactics, bike handling skills, and bike riding technique count for so much that wheels become almost last in the list of things to do well. I'd say that being able to draft closely will make a much bigger difference in the 5s - around here there is usually 5-6 feet between riders in a turn, not a foot or so like the 3s. Knowing how to ride close to other riders is the most significant thing you can do - else you'll be semi-time-trialing the whole race.

In the 4s wheels can help, and I think that the closer races (bike throw in a sprint) can be decided by wheel selection. The stuff about tactics and riding closely apply too, but for the better riders they'll know how to ride in close quarters as well as some of the basics in tactics. I have seen 3 and 4 wide sprints where no one throws the bike, and if just one of them had thrown their bike, they'd have won automatically. So great wheels don't make up for lack of knowledge or technical skills.

In the 3s I think wheels can make a small but significant difference. This is where you have guys throwing their bikes at the line (some well, some not so well), where everyone rides in close quarters, and the max speeds start creeping up there. Since the differences get a bit more tight, aero wheels can help make a difference.

cdr
Thanks for "piping up" CDR; I was sorta hoping you would.

After careful consideration I think I'll be training on American Classic hubs lace to a tubular kinlin (I know this'll open a can of worms but I rode some tubulars a few times and I loved everytime) made by Psiment. I don't mind learning to glue at all, it's a good skill to have, and to master. As far as which tubular tires I'll use, I think I'll just find whatever is the most indestructible, weight not having much say since they're training wheels.

I'll use those in my first few races and once comfortable I think I may have Psimet build up his 50mm carbon rims to the same American Class Micro 58/205 hubs and use those as race wheels.

Sound like a plan?

P.S. I recently inquired on prices for several setups and he's yet to get back to me, so I don't have hard numbers yet.
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Old 12-17-09, 12:36 AM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Profoxcg View Post
i see, well i guess it is the opposite of "pulling my bike" which I do before I sit down after a sprint sometimes.... makes sense? I guess its quite easy to throw the bike ?
If your reference of 'pulling your bike' is pulling the bars when you're out of your saddle, then you're comparing two unlike things. Pulling on the bars helps put more force into the pedals. The bike throw allows you to push your bike forward to make the front wheel cross the line first. It adds a bit of speed. The same time spent pedaling wouldn't add the same amount of speed to the front wheel.

I have no idea what you're trying to say, and part of me thinks that you're a hair clueless. So explain what you're saying and I'll (we'll) help you out!

Last edited by ridethecliche; 12-17-09 at 12:39 AM.
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Old 12-17-09, 03:20 AM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
I just bought a set of $300 carbon tubulars. New in fact. I was going to put some Zipp stickers on them, but they want $50 for the set. I think I'll write "Lightweight" on the with a marker instead.
damn that was a deal. nebulous listing sure helped you out.
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Old 12-17-09, 09:07 AM
  #64  
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If I were to buy a set of wheels to race and train on I think I'd go with a set of HED Kernesse. These should be plenty of wheel for both purposes: http://www.hedcycling.com/wheels/kermesse_c2.asp

I know everyone says aero trupts weight but after about 20 or so yo-yo effects in a Cat5 Crit the wight will make a difference. Not wasting energy on accelerations means you are going to feel fresher when you need to really need to dig in which is why I personally will favor weight over aero in critiriums. Again, my preference.

The other option would be to have a set built with ultegra hubs and some dt swiss 1.1 rims or some open pros with some double butted spokes. Custom wheels are also supper cool...I think.

As for the benefits for race day, you are much more likely to lose races because of mistakes you make at the wrong time that costs you positions than from the wind resistance on regular wheels. I put some numbers to the aero wheel advantage in a sprint and ended up with only a 7watt edge at 33mpa. This wasn't enough for me to justify the $1500 purchase. Not wasting energy on accelerations means you are going to feel fresher when you need to really dig in which is why I personally will favor weight over aero in critiriums.
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Old 12-17-09, 09:31 AM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by ochavez View Post
If I were to buy a set of wheels to race and train on I think I'd go with a set of HED Kernesse. These should be plenty of wheel for both purposes: http://www.hedcycling.com/wheels/kermesse_c2.asp

I know everyone says aero trupts weight but after about 20 or so yo-yo effects in a Cat5 Crit the wight will make a difference. Not wasting energy on accelerations means you are going to feel fresher when you need to really need to dig in which is why I personally will favor weight over aero in critiriums. Again, my preference.

The other option would be to have a set built with ultegra hubs and some dt swiss 1.1 rims or some open pros with some double butted spokes. Custom wheels are also supper cool...I think.

As for the benefits for race day, you are much more likely to lose races because of mistakes you make at the wrong time that costs you positions than from the wind resistance on regular wheels. I put some numbers to the aero wheel advantage in a sprint and ended up with only a 7watt edge at 33mpa. This wasn't enough for me to justify the $1500 purchase. Not wasting energy on accelerations means you are going to feel fresher when you need to really dig in which is why I personally will favor weight over aero in critiriums.
Wheels and rim weight really don't make that big of a difference in terms of energy required to accelerate. Your weight does.
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Old 12-17-09, 09:48 AM
  #66  
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Some race worthy wheels are also plenty tough for general riding.

Mavic's Ksyrium SL or Carbone clinchers are good examples. Some will complain that Mavic's are over priced for the weight, but you can't argue with how tough they are. My Ksyriums have been through 5 years of general road riding, a few crits, time trials and a season of cyclocross with zero issues.

Psimet can undoubtedly build you something in the same vein for less $.
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Old 12-17-09, 11:28 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Profoxcg View Post
I have to ask.. what is throwing a bike?
To understand the bike throw, you have to know that in a race you are placed when your front wheel hits the line, i.e. when the front edge of the front wheel breaks the vertical plane above the finishline.

Since the bike is about 1/10th the rider weight, the rider can throw their body back (or bike forward) and gain distance at a ratio of 10 forward and 1 backward.

Text explanation:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...your-bike.html

Video example:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...05-bethel.html
The throw won the race. I was going slower than the guy I beat.

cdr
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Old 12-17-09, 12:51 PM
  #68  
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I do what someone earlier mentioned -- race my "training" wheels. They're a pair of Bontrager Race X Lite Aero's. Certainly not race wheels by any stretch of the imagination (they're heavy as all hell), but they have a PowerTab hub, which is integral during both training and racing. Worry about getting some slick carbon wheels when you need 'em.
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Old 12-17-09, 01:04 PM
  #69  
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To the OP - there is currently a stupid cheap group buy on carbon wheels in the group buy section. I'm picking up a set of tubulars to race with. However, I already know that I am slow as molasses on a cold day and the wheels aren't going to help much if at all. Since I came to terms with that fact I have been able to justify "upgrades" knowing that they're for my own satisfaction. That said, I'm currently racing on Psimet wheels and they've been awesome.
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Old 12-17-09, 02:09 PM
  #70  
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202's aren't very stiff from what I've heard. Not the best crit wheel. The real problem is, you are training on tubulars which is a bad idea.
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Old 12-17-09, 05:21 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by SpongeDad View Post
Some race worthy wheels are also plenty tough for general riding.

Mavic's Ksyrium SL or Carbone clinchers are good examples. Some will complain that Mavic's are over priced for the weight, but you can't argue with how tough they are. My Ksyriums have been through 5 years of general road riding, a few crits, time trials and a season of cyclocross with zero issues.

Psimet can undoubtedly build you something in the same vein for less $.
Ksyruims are not aero...
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Old 12-17-09, 06:31 PM
  #72  
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
Ksyruims are not aero...
No, but Carbone's are if that's what you're looking for (which wasn't my impression from the OP, who mentioned 202s).
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Old 12-17-09, 07:05 PM
  #73  
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I realize training with tubulars can turn out to be frustrating and expensive; but I love them so much!

So, how does a Micro 58 hub laced with 24 black DT Revolution spokes laced 3x to either the XR-270 Kinlin Clinchers or the Kinlin TB-25 tubulars for the front sound? And an American Classic 205 rear hub laced 32x with DT Revolutions to Kinlin XR-270's or TB-25's? Made by Psimet.

Just need to stop wringing my wrists over tubulars/clinchers. Or break down and buy one of each; race/training.
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Old 12-17-09, 07:17 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
To understand the bike throw, you have to know that in a race you are placed when your front wheel hits the line, i.e. when the front edge of the front wheel breaks the vertical plane above the finishline.

Since the bike is about 1/10th the rider weight, the rider can throw their body back (or bike forward) and gain distance at a ratio of 10 forward and 1 backward.

Text explanation:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...your-bike.html

Video example:
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...05-bethel.html
The throw won the race. I was going slower than the guy I beat.

cdr

i can move my mass back 6" but my bike is not going forward 5 feet.
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Old 12-17-09, 07:36 PM
  #75  
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Originally Posted by Jynx View Post
i can move my mass back 6" but my bike is not going forward 5 feet.
yes it will. Maybe not 5 feet, but it is all physics. When you go backwards your momentum is in the backwards direction which results in an equal amount of momentum to push your bike forward. Because momentum is mass*speed and you weigh much more than your bike, a slight movement by you can have a large affect on the momentum of your bike.
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