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help me spend some money -- wheel-related

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help me spend some money -- wheel-related

Old 10-25-10, 02:25 AM
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help me spend some money -- wheel-related

hey, all:
i'm new to racing but plan to do much more.

last summer, i got a set of zipp 404 carbon clinchers (new version, firecrest) and wound up riding every day with them. i found them quite durable (so far, naturally), as in they haven't needed re-tensioning or truing and i've ridden them at speed over cattle guards and occasional dirt roads.

the performance difference was significant over my mavic ksyrium es wheels.

i'm considering getting a set of zipp 101s for (a) early- and late-season, when i'm more likely to encounter some wet conditions and (b) for situations where i might have to take a bike on a plane or ship it. i'd like to swap these for the 404s, and it would be nice to have 2 wheelsets that are the same width so as not to have to adjust brakes too much. (yeah, i know i'd have to swap pads.)

riding every day with the 404s has contributed to my addiction with aero wheels, which is why the 101 comes to mind as wide, aero, and slightly more durable/better performance in the wet (at least i'm guessing that's the case; correct me if i'm wrong).

option b is to stick with the ksyriums for this purpose. the nuisance would be that my ksyrium rear wheel now has a trainer tire on it for indoor workouts, and swapping out tires is a bit of a pain--it'll discourage me from switching wheels. also, the different widths means more brake adjustments.

however, if i don't go for the 101s, i could perhaps get a set of climbing wheels. the 404s are not super-light, but i think they might be light enough. in order to see a real performance increase, it seems to me like i'd have to drop to a set of 202 or 303 tubulars -- dropping about 500g for the wheelset (not including the difference in tires).

although this option is intriguing, i've not favored it as (a) i have no history with tubulars, (b) i often ride in remote locations, and (c) when i do ride clinchers, i'm generally riding high thread count (290-320tpi) open clinchers. i'm quite capable of learning anything, but i realize tubulars are a bit of an art -- or at least an acquired skill -- and i wonder if the payoff is that great for the investment.

is it worth switching to a tubular wheelset for me? for flat and rolling courses--or maybe for all but hill climbs--the 404 CC's seem to do the job well for a deep (58mm) wheel. (cross-winds have surprisingly not been an issue at all with them.)

i feel like if i were to go with tubular 202/303s, i would not be so inclined to use them in most races, simply because i'd make the 404s obsolete.

i'm open to advice, but i'm leaning toward 101's at the moment.

thank you!
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Old 10-25-10, 04:16 AM
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Have you considered getting each set of wheels that you mention and then keeping the one(s) that work for you (and selling those that don't)?
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Old 10-25-10, 05:34 AM
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I'd get the 404 tubulars and a front normal height clincher wheel that has a similar rim width. Later, if you want, get a matching rear wheel for that clincher front.

Tubulars - races
Normal front clincher wheel - Super windy, rain, etc training wheel. I suppose ultimately you'll want a matching rear wheel.
404 clinchers - training, some races

I flew with DV46 clinchers in a soft case at least once, I don't remember if I took them more than once. I definitely flew with DV46 tubulars and a third wheel (a more aero front carbon tubular) once, in the same soft case but on a different trip. Never had a problem with the wheels.

Although in HED terms, I've done basically this. I have Stinger6s (tubular 60 mm), Bastogne (alum low profile), and Jet6/9 front/rear clinchers (60/90mm clinchers). If I could do it again, I'd get the Jet6 (the Jet9 is a bit heavy). And I'd love to have a front Stinger4 and rear Stinger9. I'll fly with the Bastognes although I'm debating taking the Jet9 as well.

I use normal Koolstop pads. I don't swap for the carbon wheels, and since the pads are useless on carbon in the rain, I use alum rims in the rain. I have yellow Swissstops but I don't like doing pad swaps unless critical.

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Old 10-25-10, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by bostongarden
Have you considered getting each set of wheels that you mention and then keeping the one(s) that work for you (and selling those that don't)?
figured it would be much better to get what works best off the bat. personally, i would not be too keen on buying used carbon rims -- at least i suspect they would lose quite a bit of value right off the bat.

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
I'd get the 404 tubulars and a front normal height clincher wheel that has a similar rim width. Later, if you want, get a matching rear wheel for that clincher front.

Tubulars - races
Normal front clincher wheel - Super windy, rain, etc training wheel. I suppose ultimately you'll want a matching rear wheel.
404 clinchers - training, some races

I flew with DV46 clinchers in a soft case at least once, I don't remember if I took them more than once. I definitely flew with DV46 tubulars and a third wheel (a more aero front carbon tubular) once, in the same soft case but on a different trip. Never had a problem with the wheels.

Although in HED terms, I've done basically this. I have Stinger6s (tubular 60 mm), Bastogne (alum low profile), and Jet6/9 front/rear clinchers (60/90mm clinchers). If I could do it again, I'd get the Jet6 (the Jet9 is a bit heavy). And I'd love to have a front Stinger4 and rear Stinger9. I'll fly with the Bastognes although I'm debating taking the Jet9 as well.

I use normal Koolstop pads. I don't swap for the carbon wheels, and since the pads are useless on carbon in the rain, I use alum rims in the rain. I have yellow Swissstops but I don't like doing pad swaps unless critical.

cdr
thanks for the info. i'd like to ride alu rims in the rain or when roads are in worse shape (early/late season), but right now unless i keep the mavics and swap tires (a bit irritating), that means i need a new alu set -- or at least a new alu rear. the mavics just feel like they have so much drag compared to the aero zipps that it's hard to go back.

i've found the 58mm deep zipp 404 (firecrest) carbon clinchers to be no worse in handling in the wind than the mavic ksyriums, and the upside is much, much better.

sounds like you are saying to go for tubulars (too?). what depth would you suggest? if i go too deep, i lose some of the advantage of lower weight vs zipp 404 CC's (not as good for hill climbs). if i don't go deep enough, they might be worse (less aero) than the 404 CCs.

i have heard it is critical never to use the same pads with aluminum and carbon rims, as the pads can pick up metal while braking w/ the alu and transferring that to the carbon rims could be bad. not an issue if one has carbon rims w/ alu brake tracks; i don't.

for what it's worth, the zipp cork pads have been pretty phenomenal in the dry and OK in the wet, though braking is noticeably reduced.

thanks!

oh yeah, i'm ~167 pounds and generally ride 23c tires (open corsas) with 24c paves during early/late season.
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Old 10-25-10, 09:13 AM
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Probably a little late for this unless you want to sell your current 404's, but it sounds like 404 Alu Clinchers and 303 Tubulars would be a pretty good combo for what you're wanting. 404's for flat races or rainy weather and 303's for hilly races.
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Old 10-25-10, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by tetonrider
figured it would be much better to get what works best off the bat. personally, i would not be too keen on buying used carbon rims -- at least i suspect they would lose quite a bit of value right off the bat.
---
thanks for the info. i'd like to ride alu rims in the rain or when roads are in worse shape (early/late season), but right now unless i keep the mavics and swap tires (a bit irritating), that means i need a new alu set -- or at least a new alu rear. the mavics just feel like they have so much drag compared to the aero zipps that it's hard to go back.

i've found the 58mm deep zipp 404 (firecrest) carbon clinchers to be no worse in handling in the wind than the mavic ksyriums, and the upside is much, much better.

sounds like you are saying to go for tubulars (too?). what depth would you suggest? if i go too deep, i lose some of the advantage of lower weight vs zipp 404 CC's (not as good for hill climbs). if i don't go deep enough, they might be worse (less aero) than the 404 CCs.

i have heard it is critical never to use the same pads with aluminum and carbon rims, as the pads can pick up metal while braking w/ the alu and transferring that to the carbon rims could be bad. not an issue if one has carbon rims w/ alu brake tracks; i don't.

for what it's worth, the zipp cork pads have been pretty phenomenal in the dry and OK in the wet, though braking is noticeably reduced.

thanks!

oh yeah, i'm ~167 pounds and generally ride 23c tires (open corsas) with 24c paves during early/late season.
My DV46 clinchers were used off of eBay, but I waited for about 2 years to get the pair that seemed right. Good price, apparently the guy raced for a year seriously (and I guess well) then got promoted to CEO of his company so stopped racing. I rode them all the time for a little over a year, including bad weather and winter and at least one flight out to CA and back. This was with Yellow pads.

When I got my Stinger6s I'd already put Koolstop pads on (black) and didn't bother changing the pads. Koolstops aren't supposed to pick up grit so I checked the pads/rims and left them on for the season (checking regularly).

Since I raced Zipp rims for something like 7 or 8 years before they said anything about needing different pads, I'm a little more immune to the whole pad thing. I concede that yellow and other pads work better in the rain (when I raced the black pads on Stinger6s I honestly started thinking of how to grab other riders a la Mafac and looked for places to ditch the bike). But for regular use, the Koolstops seem fine. I use the Stinger6s 2x a week (Sunday, Tuesday), sometimes an extra race on Sat or Wed.

Tubulars - I'd get the deepest rear. It'll be pretty light and you can use them any time. Clinchers get heavy quick but tubulars stay light. Get a structural wheel, not a faired one (I wrote that before even looking at HEDs as a wheel "system").

For front I'd get a 60 mm or so, with a shorter one for "windy". To me "windy" is over 50 mph on descents in straight lines (where you tuck) or where you get hit by gusts of wind say 30-40+ mph. This includes things like descending on trafficked roads with 18-wheelers passing 5 feet away at 50+ mph. In situations like that I can stay in a tuck with a box or non-aero front wheel, but with anything tall, even a 46 mm front wheel, I get knocked around.

My ideal situation (i.e. for me, with a pair of Stinger6s) is to have a Stinger4 front, Stinger 9 rear. Then I'd have a wheel for every environment.

The other "ideal" system for me would be the Reynolds with 32 mm front, 66 mm pair.

Weight fluctuated between 155-160 this year, 180-200 last few years. 21-22mm tubulars (Vittoria Evo CX or Conti Sprinters or Conti something else). I'll be using 23mm Bontragers next year. Teammate (175 lbs) uses 22mm Bontragers (my tires on my DV46 tubular wheels that are on permanent loan). I use 23c clinchers on the Bastogne/Jet6/Jet9 but may try 25c this winter.

cdr
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Old 10-26-10, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by chadteck
Probably a little late for this unless you want to sell your current 404's, but it sounds like 404 Alu Clinchers and 303 Tubulars would be a pretty good combo for what you're wanting. 404's for flat races or rainy weather and 303's for hilly races.
thanks. yeah, it's probably too late for that, but i appreciate the suggestion.

for what it's worth, i rode a 206-mile race w/ nearly 10k of climbing on the 404 carbon clinchers and didn't feel it was terribly hilly--the 404's felt pretty good. of course, i don't know what i'm missing with the 202 or 303 tubulars, though.

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
My DV46 clinchers were used off of eBay, but I waited for about 2 years to get the pair that seemed right. Good price, apparently the guy raced for a year seriously (and I guess well) then got promoted to CEO of his company so stopped racing. I rode them all the time for a little over a year, including bad weather and winter and at least one flight out to CA and back. This was with Yellow pads.

When I got my Stinger6s I'd already put Koolstop pads on (black) and didn't bother changing the pads. Koolstops aren't supposed to pick up grit so I checked the pads/rims and left them on for the season (checking regularly).

Since I raced Zipp rims for something like 7 or 8 years before they said anything about needing different pads, I'm a little more immune to the whole pad thing. I concede that yellow and other pads work better in the rain (when I raced the black pads on Stinger6s I honestly started thinking of how to grab other riders a la Mafac and looked for places to ditch the bike). But for regular use, the Koolstops seem fine. I use the Stinger6s 2x a week (Sunday, Tuesday), sometimes an extra race on Sat or Wed.

Tubulars - I'd get the deepest rear. It'll be pretty light and you can use them any time. Clinchers get heavy quick but tubulars stay light. Get a structural wheel, not a faired one (I wrote that before even looking at HEDs as a wheel "system").

For front I'd get a 60 mm or so, with a shorter one for "windy". To me "windy" is over 50 mph on descents in straight lines (where you tuck) or where you get hit by gusts of wind say 30-40+ mph. This includes things like descending on trafficked roads with 18-wheelers passing 5 feet away at 50+ mph. In situations like that I can stay in a tuck with a box or non-aero front wheel, but with anything tall, even a 46 mm front wheel, I get knocked around.

My ideal situation (i.e. for me, with a pair of Stinger6s) is to have a Stinger4 front, Stinger 9 rear. Then I'd have a wheel for every environment.

The other "ideal" system for me would be the Reynolds with 32 mm front, 66 mm pair.

Weight fluctuated between 155-160 this year, 180-200 last few years. 21-22mm tubulars (Vittoria Evo CX or Conti Sprinters or Conti something else). I'll be using 23mm Bontragers next year. Teammate (175 lbs) uses 22mm Bontragers (my tires on my DV46 tubular wheels that are on permanent loan). I use 23c clinchers on the Bastogne/Jet6/Jet9 but may try 25c this winter.

cdr
thanks for all the info. i appreciate it. i ordered up a set of zipp 101s for early/late season and/or when i might encounter some rain. i need (which is to say "want") an alu wheel that is still fun to ride.

sounds like perhaps i should consider a tubular that is deeper in the rear but maybe something of the zipp 202 or 303 sort for the front.

am i correct in thinking that a light tubular setup could save upwards of 600 vs a clincher setup?

tubular = ~1100 wheels + 220 x 2 tires =~1550g
clincher = ~1500 + 200 x 2 + 120 x 2 tubes = ~2150g [zipp 404 carbon clinchers actually weigh around 1550]
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Old 10-26-10, 05:51 AM
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From a "normal" set of clinchers to tubulars, 400-600 is about right. I think your tube weights may be a bit high, your clincher tire weight a bit low (so they'll cancel each other out).

Keep in mind a couple things.

First, a lot of that weight is in the tire/rim. I could relace a set of wheels with hubs that are much, much lighter but with the same rims, tires, etc, the wheel won't feel very different. Yeah, it weighs 200-400g less, but big deal. It takes basically the same amount of energy to spin up. When I train I prefer to use the light clinchers, not the aero ones.

Second, the tubulars I race are about as durable as the clinchers I train on. You need to compare tires which are durable. I'd rate my tubulars as close to the Krylions in durability, maybe a Bontrager All Conditions type level durability (which seems less than Krylion). The tubulars have good thick tread, extra liners in the casing, normal sidewall thickness. I used to train on tubulars pretty much exclusively, rode on dirt roads (tubulars don't pinch flat), would do (on purpose) off road riding next to the shoulder of the road, try and get air when rolling down lawns or in one crit where I was tailgunning and trying to bunny hop a crosswalk on each lap, etc etc etc. The only place where I prefer not to ride my tubulars is when I'm going fast on gravel - then the sidewall is vulnerable and I'd rather cut a clincher than a tubular.

Third, sacrificing some aero, especially the front wheel, is the LAST thing you want to do with aero wheels. It's going halfway, except going halfway gets you less than half the benefits (front wheel gives about 2/3 of the benefit of aero wheels). Get at least a 60 front - I rode my Stinger6 wheels in reasonably gusty winds, a few times because it's all I had. It's the blasts of winds at 50 mph while I'm in a tuck and a big truck is passing me that I'm worried about. Hands on drops, 30 mph gusts? Fine. I consider anything at 40-45 rim height or lower to be essentially non-aero (although I haven't ridden the latest greatest wheels from Zipp or HED). I'd get the Stinger4 only because I consider it a non-aero wheel that I should be able to ride on while in a tuck at 50 mph while 18 wheelers pass me at 70 mph 1 lane away (I'd untuck if the trucks were 3-5 feet away). Plus it's light and would have similar braking qualities as the Stinger6.

FYI I consider the DV46 in the non-aero class of wheels. Light as heck, fun to accelerate, maybe 1-2 mph gain in top speed, but not as aero as taller rims (3-4 mph or more gain).

Get light wheels for slow rides where speed is less important. For me adding 500-800 grams for aero, especially in the rim/tires, isn't worth it for training. This is because I rarely average over 19 mph in training. I like going fast for a minute here and there, but to really benefit from the aero wheels, I need to be averaging a higher speed (which means I'm constantly going 28-30 mph with periods of 20 mph here and there, like in a race). If my focus on a training ride is speed, I'll either ride the tubulars or drag the aero wheels around, hoping for an easy acceleration (like a downhill into a flat).

Aero wheels also help in a pack situation. It may be counter intuitive, but imagine you're in a reasonably fast moving group that's going 30-32 mph (fast for the middle of a crit, slow for the last lap of one). You want to move up (race finish/prime, town line, etc). You need to go 35-38 mph, preferably in the 38-40 mph range. With aero wheels you won't be doing a sprint effort to hit those speeds when sliding up the pack. With non aero wheels you'll lose a couple mph which may be the difference between slotting in 7th and 10th just before the last turn. Or using up a bit more of your sprint in order to get to a good position.

Last night I was talking about the awesome leadout I got at Bethel (and caught on film). We averaged 35 mph into a decent wind, rather Cliff did. I sat on and my heartrate dropped 4 bpm. I got myself a little more sprint time. At that point everything helped, and I was running the Stinger6s, the most aero wheels that aren't tanks that I own. I think that sitting in at 35 mph on non-aero wheels would have been a little bit harder. I may have dropped 1-2 bpm less. What would that have done. I don't know. I just know I could go hard all the way to the line when I jumped at 164 bpm, and at 168 bpm I'm pretty close to tweaked.

cdr
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Old 10-27-10, 03:55 PM
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thanks, cdr.

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
From a "normal" set of clinchers to tubulars, 400-600 is about right. I think your tube weights may be a bit high, your clincher tire weight a bit low (so they'll cancel each other out).

Keep in mind a couple things.

First, a lot of that weight is in the tire/rim.
yes--in fact all of the weight would be in the tire/rim, as i'm considering staying with zipps (so, identical hubs and virtually identical spokes).

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
When I train I prefer to use the light clinchers, not the aero ones.
why?
is it so they will still accelerate like your (deeper-but-tubular) race wheels? i.e., so they have a similar weight on the tire/rim?

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
Second, the tubulars I race are about as durable as the clinchers I train on. You need to compare tires which are durable. I'd rate my tubulars as close to the Krylions in durability, maybe a Bontrager All Conditions type level durability (which seems less than Krylion). The tubulars have good thick tread, extra liners in the casing, normal sidewall thickness. I used to train on tubulars pretty much exclusively, rode on dirt roads (tubulars don't pinch flat), would do (on purpose) off road riding next to the shoulder of the road, try and get air when rolling down lawns or in one crit where I was tailgunning and trying to bunny hop a crosswalk on each lap, etc etc etc. The only place where I prefer not to ride my tubulars is when I'm going fast on gravel - then the sidewall is vulnerable and I'd rather cut a clincher than a tubular.
interesting. one of my favorite 45-mile loops that i ride 2-3 times a week has a 1.5 mile dirt stretch. there are washboard sections, but there's also some unavoidable gravel.

i rarely flat (i think i flatted once in the last 4,000 miles), so i'm not *too* worried about that, but i don't think i'd train on the tubulars.

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
Third, sacrificing some aero, especially the front wheel, is the LAST thing you want to do with aero wheels. It's going halfway, except going halfway gets you less than half the benefits (front wheel gives about 2/3 of the benefit of aero wheels).
noted.

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
Get at least a 60 front - I rode my Stinger6 wheels in reasonably gusty winds, a few times because it's all I had. It's the blasts of winds at 50 mph while I'm in a tuck and a big truck is passing me that I'm worried about. Hands on drops, 30 mph gusts? Fine. I consider anything at 40-45 rim height or lower to be essentially non-aero (although I haven't ridden the latest greatest wheels from Zipp or HED). I'd get the Stinger4 only because I consider it a non-aero wheel that I should be able to ride on while in a tuck at 50 mph while 18 wheelers pass me at 70 mph 1 lane away (I'd untuck if the trucks were 3-5 feet away). Plus it's light and would have similar braking qualities as the Stinger6.
most rides i do include an ascent (and descent) up (down) >2,000 vert in under 5 miles. on those descents, i max out in the low-50s....(based on courage and ability; others locally have hit the low-60s). this is a twisty mountain descent, and one is almost guaranteed to get a gust from the side at some point.

my zipp 404s handle this pretty well, though my brain hasn't wrapped around it fully. i have no issues when passed by the truck going 50 a few feet away (on the flats).


Originally Posted by carpediemracing
FYI I consider the DV46 in the non-aero class of wheels. Light as heck, fun to accelerate, maybe 1-2 mph gain in top speed, but not as aero as taller rims (3-4 mph or more gain).
with the zipp 404 carbon clinchers (58mm depth), i noticed at least a 1mph gain on familiar routes...but i also noted i could sustain that at lower power outputs.

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
Get light wheels for slow rides where speed is less important. For me adding 500-800 grams for aero, especially in the rim/tires, isn't worth it for training. This is because I rarely average over 19 mph in training. I like going fast for a minute here and there, but to really benefit from the aero wheels, I need to be averaging a higher speed (which means I'm constantly going 28-30 mph with periods of 20 mph here and there, like in a race).
some say that aero benefits one *more* at lower speed, due to longer time on the route.

i find during most solo unstructured riding i'm at around 20-21mph.

would it not make sense to train on a heavier wheel (whether that's aero or not) and switch to the lighter wheel for racing? seems like that would give a mental benefit, as well as the actual one.
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Old 10-27-10, 04:25 PM
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i did some comparisons with better weight estimates.

1) i'm now riding
zipp 404 carbon clinchers @ 1,557g (stated) -- 58mm depth
some tubes with 80mm stems @ 97g (measured)
vittoria open corsa evo cx ii tires (23s) @ 225 (stated)
that's a total of 2,201g.

zipp claims 80s/27w savings over 40k.

[the alu clincher 101s are 2,167g, 42s/14w savings.]

i found weights for tubular zipp 202s (32 depth, 1,095g), 303s (45mm, 1,171g), 404s (58mm, 1,278g) and 808s (81mm, 1,519g). the most analogous tire is the vittoria corsa evo cx tubular 23 @ 250g, though it might require a valve extender.

2) zipp 202 pair = 1,595g = savings of 606g [according to zipp, this depth is the equivalent of competitors' 45-50mm depth rims; they also claim 42s / 14 watt savings over 40k]
3) zipp 303 pair = 1,671g = savings of 530g [claimed 60s / 20W savings]
4) zipp 404 pair = 1,778g = savings of 423g....at the same depth, presumably the same aero benefit [new style 404 is 80s/ 27W savings vs 71S/23W for the old style]
5) zipp 808 pair = 2,019g = savings of 192g [81s / 27W for the old style 808; 96s/32W for the new firecrest 808]

so.....i guess i'm still confused here as to what to do. that makes me start to think about where the sweet spot is.

the 202 has 52% of the aero benefit of the 404 carbon clincher, at 72% of the weight.
the 303 has 74% of the aero @ 76% weight.
the 404 tubular has 100% of the aero @ 81% weight.
the 808 has 119% of the aero @ 87% of the weight.

given that all the weight savings are at the rim (apples to apples), how much does the 100g drop matter for a hilly event (or hill climb?). is it worth giving up 26% of the aero benefit (404cc to 303 tubular)? handling might improve a tad with the 303s or 202s.

is it just dumb to have a set of 404 cc's and a 404 tubular pair?

for virtually the same weight, i could go to 808s, but this seems less than ideal for hilly events or windy conditions.

i welcome any further thoughts?
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Old 10-27-10, 04:53 PM
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For a hill climb, 100g is 100g. It doesn't matter if its on your wheel rims or on your ass. But 100g is not very much. Except for uphill-only races, the aero benefit would probably outweigh the extra 100g.

You can do an estimation yourself (noping.net/english).

BTW, the guys who beat me have all kinds of wheels and often don't even know if theirs are 119% more aero!
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Old 10-27-10, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ericm979
For a hill climb, 100g is 100g. It doesn't matter if its on your wheel rims or on your ass. But 100g is not very much. Except for uphill-only races, the aero benefit would probably outweigh the extra 100g.

You can do an estimation yourself (noping.net/english).

BTW, the guys who beat me have all kinds of wheels and often don't even know if theirs are 119% more aero!
thanks! there are a few uphill-only races i'm interested in (though i'd still ride down at the end ).

is it silly to have a clincher and a tubular set of 404s? there's something about it that just seems wrong to me.

do you agree with cdr's relatively radical opinion?
Originally Posted by carpediemracing
I consider anything at 40-45 rim height or lower to be essentially non-aero (although I haven't ridden the latest greatest wheels from Zipp or HED).
(i'm specifically thinking of the zipp 202s and 303s here.
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Old 10-28-10, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by tetonrider
thanks, cdr.
yes--in fact all of the weight would be in the tire/rim, as i'm considering staying with zipps (so, identical hubs and virtually identical spokes).

why?
is it so they will still accelerate like your (deeper-but-tubular) race wheels? i.e., so they have a similar weight on the tire/rim?

interesting. one of my favorite 45-mile loops that i ride 2-3 times a week has a 1.5 mile dirt stretch. there are washboard sections, but there's also some unavoidable gravel.

i rarely flat (i think i flatted once in the last 4,000 miles), so i'm not *too* worried about that, but i don't think i'd train on the tubulars.

noted.

most rides i do include an ascent (and descent) up (down) >2,000 vert in under 5 miles. on those descents, i max out in the low-50s....(based on courage and ability; others locally have hit the low-60s). this is a twisty mountain descent, and one is almost guaranteed to get a gust from the side at some point.

my zipp 404s handle this pretty well, though my brain hasn't wrapped around it fully. i have no issues when passed by the truck going 50 a few feet away (on the flats).

with the zipp 404 carbon clinchers (58mm depth), i noticed at least a 1mph gain on familiar routes...but i also noted i could sustain that at lower power outputs.

some say that aero benefits one *more* at lower speed, due to longer time on the route.

i find during most solo unstructured riding i'm at around 20-21mph.

would it not make sense to train on a heavier wheel (whether that's aero or not) and switch to the lighter wheel for racing? seems like that would give a mental benefit, as well as the actual one.
Training on the light clincher - more responsive and therefore more fun. This at lower speeds (15-25 mph). When I'm riding with a fast group I'll debate putting on one aero wheel (so far I've just used the rear - in the past I've trained on a Specialized TriSpoke front and a box section rear, following the rule that the front is aero).

Gravel, to me, says clincher. The last few times I actually blew a tubular were on dirt roads where I hit a rock or where I rode across gravel. The other "flats" have been older tires which picked up glass or a splinter of some kind, but those were slow failures.

The 50 mph thing - if I'm going 50 mph, in a tuck, and a truck comes blasting by (so it's going 70-ish)... that's the kind of gust I don't like with an aero front wheel. I revert to the drops there.

Note that my "tuck" is as aggressive as I can get - I burnt my chin on my front tire on a set of harmonic pavement "waves" at 50-55 mph. Tuck = holding bars right next to stem, knees hugging top tube, chest is above or in front of bars, face is above front wheel. I need half a second to grab brakes or start any kind of maneuvering - that's fine if I can see where I'm going, but if a truck comes by I have to get out of the tuck before it gets to me. If there's a stream of cars and trucks passing, I usually stay on the drops (and I'm usually going a little under 50, like mid-upper 40s). If I'm going 30, holding the drops, and a truck goes by at 50, no biggie.

My goal in having aero wheels is two-fold. One is to get to the end of a race - the aero helps save energy and stuff. The other is to give me some headroom so I can make efforts when already pressed. So, for example, I rely on moving up aggressively in the last few laps. If I have aero wheels, I can move up quicker and with less effort than with non-aero. Since I'm moving up at speeds like 35-40+ mph, the aero wheels become noticeably quicker.

Although it's true that aero wheels will help more at low speeds, I'm not concerned about my 18 mph training rides (except when I try and go fast). All of my rides right now are JRA rides - the day I took the Jet9 (rear) off was the day I had massive opportunities to draft 40-45 mph traffic. The wheel wouldn't have helped me accelerate to catch one draft (it was a 100% effort to get within range of the draft, then I had to rely on the truck to slow a bit - if I had both aero wheels I don't think I'd have made it due to the extra weight).

Unfortunately for me the Jet9 has an 11T and my Bastogne has a 12T, so I only had a 12T. I got spun out, meaning I couldn't put down power AND spin at 115 rpm or so. After about a minute each time I blew and had to sit up. I say each time because I kept catching the same truck (lights, traffic, etc) and re-drafting it.

This is where I'd have a tough time choosing wheels. I want the lighter wheel for the acceleration but I want the aero wheel for the high speed. Tubulars give me that. But on the clinchers... not so much. In the situation above, the Bastognes with an 11 would have been good. Or the tubulars (they have an 11).

Keep in mind that my clincher wheels weigh in the range of 1800 grams and 1500 grams. It's only a 300g or 2/3 pound difference, and the rest of it (tires, tubes, rim strips, cassette) are similar to each other in weight. Hubs are identical, ditto skewers, so the differences are in the rim.

I thought it'd be better to train on heavier wheels. I also believe that it's important to train on an aerodynamically similar front wheel as your race wheel. This way race day isn't a surprise when you are hammering down a main street straight and the gust of wind from between two buildings hits your front wheel square.

However, since I was racing twice or sometimes three times a week, I was used to the race wheels on their own. I've also trained on aero front wheels for a while, about 15-18 years. So I'm pretty used to how the "normal aero" front wheels handle (I don't own and haven't ridden a 90-100mm front wheel, but I've had 58, 60, and HED3 type wheels). So I didn't miss the aero front wheel thing when I finally stopped using them.

Hm. Out of time. Too bad I can't save as a draft. I'm sure there's stuff I want to change.

cdr
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Old 10-28-10, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by tetonrider
is it silly to have a clincher and a tubular set of 404s? there's something about it that just seems wrong to me.

do you agree with cdr's relatively radical opinion?
It's silly to have a bunch of sets of wheels, period. But that doesn't keep me from doing so. The clincher and tubular 404s seem like they both cover the same types of use, albeit I would consider tubulars as race-only. But I consider my carbon clinchers as race only. I train on cheaper more durable wheels with better braking.
If you can afford the wheels and you think you have a need for them, why not? OTOH if it seems wrong to you, perhaps it's because deep down inside you know it won't make any difference in your race results.

For swapping between the wide 404 clinchers and normal width rims, you could just use the brake QR (assuming shimano style brakes with the QR you can set in any position).

I can tell a difference in descending speed with 45mm reynolds rims vs regular aluminum rims (27mm). So I think they have some aero benefit. I haven't ridden deeper rims. Maybe they've got a lot more benefit.
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Old 10-28-10, 10:34 AM
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For what it's worth, going from a HED Stinger6 to a DV46 required me to adjust the cable anchor position. The barrel adjuster wasn't enough, and I didn't want to ride with my QR (in the brake lever, which I understand but don't like) open.

Clincher/Tubular of same wheels (404s, DV46s) - it was so I could train on wheels that acted and reacted like my race wheels. I don't have that option now, and I decided to see what the Jet9 was like (since it seems a lot of ProTour riders - Columbia ones in particular - use a similar rear wheel).

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Old 10-28-10, 10:56 PM
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thanks again for the replies.

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
Gravel, to me, says clincher. The last few times I actually blew a tubular were on dirt roads where I hit a rock or where I rode across gravel. The other "flats" have been older tires which picked up glass or a splinter of some kind, but those were slow failures.
to be more clear, i encounter the gravel during a routine training ride. i'm not considering using tubulars for that -- i'm quite happy with the zipp 404 carbon clinchers for every day, regular season training. (for early- and late-season or for inclement weather, i've got a set of alu zipp 101s on the way -- about the same weight and similar width, but less deep, which is fine.)

the tubulars i'm considering would be more for races and/or special events.


Originally Posted by carpediemracing
The 50 mph thing - if I'm going 50 mph, in a tuck, and a truck comes blasting by (so it's going 70-ish)... that's the kind of gust I don't like with an aero front wheel. I revert to the drops there.

Note that my "tuck" is as aggressive as I can get - I burnt my chin on my front tire on a set of harmonic pavement "waves" at 50-55 mph. Tuck = holding bars right next to stem, knees hugging top tube, chest is above or in front of bars, face is above front wheel. I need half a second to grab brakes or start any kind of maneuvering - that's fine if I can see where I'm going, but if a truck comes by I have to get out of the tuck before it gets to me. If there's a stream of cars and trucks passing, I usually stay on the drops (and I'm usually going a little under 50, like mid-upper 40s). If I'm going 30, holding the drops, and a truck goes by at 50, no biggie.
thanks for clarifying. on a local, routine descent i'm hitting 50+ in the drops and braking. faster, better, or more courageous riders can and have hit 60+ on this one. although i have been in full tuck before, it's either not advisable or just not something i'm capable of on this descent given the twists and turns and possibility of oncoming traffic. (traffic on the same side is usually not a problem if one starts the descent when a gap forms...it's rare for cars to make up much if any ground.)

if this were a closed course, i might be in a tuck.

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
My goal in having aero wheels is two-fold. One is to get to the end of a race - the aero helps save energy and stuff. The other is to give me some headroom so I can make efforts when already pressed. So, for example, I rely on moving up aggressively in the last few laps. If I have aero wheels, I can move up quicker and with less effort than with non-aero. Since I'm moving up at speeds like 35-40+ mph, the aero wheels become noticeably quicker.
i feel like we've gone on a tangent from my original post. it's been valuable, but to re-focus i guess i'm wondering the following:
1) as a newbie to tubulars, is it that big a deal to make the switch? seems like this is a little bit of a religious question, but the answer is probably that it's not a big deal, esp if using tape. (i see some folks claim tape is SLOW, but maybe they are exaggerating.)

2) given that i want to get a set of tubular rims, what is the best for me to get -- zipp 202, 303, 404 (firecrest) or 808 (firecrest)? most signs point to 404s which would retain the same aero profile i train with but would save ~1 pound of rotational mass. however, i wonder if it might be better to drop down to the 303s or 202s to save a little more weight, given i would like the race wheels for hillier events, and the 404 carbon clinchers i have are fine for flatter races.


Originally Posted by carpediemracing
Keep in mind that my clincher wheels weigh in the range of 1800 grams and 1500 grams. It's only a 300g or 2/3 pound difference, and the rest of it (tires, tubes, rim strips, cassette) are similar to each other in weight. Hubs are identical, ditto skewers, so the differences are in the rim.
so, essentially you might choose the same aero profile in a lighter package for special events?

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
I thought it'd be better to train on heavier wheels. I also believe that it's important to train on an aerodynamically similar front wheel as your race wheel. This way race day isn't a surprise when you are hammering down a main street straight and the gust of wind from between two buildings hits your front wheel square.
point noted. no one wants a surprise on race day.


Originally Posted by ericm979
It's silly to have a bunch of sets of wheels, period.
you're right. this is a luxury--no doubt about that. we're debating 400-600g, which is not like debating having a bike or no bike at all.

Originally Posted by ericm979
But that doesn't keep me from doing so. The clincher and tubular 404s seem like they both cover the same types of use, albeit I would consider tubulars as race-only. But I consider my carbon clinchers as race only. I train on cheaper more durable wheels with better braking.
might i ask what carbon clinchers you have and what brakes/pads you use?

the reason i ask is that i was a little worried about the zipp 404 cc's as every day wheels....until i rode them literally every day this summer.

- braking (da 7800, da 7900 for both levers & calipers; zipp cork pads) has been great for dry conditions. it is significantly worse when wet, but that's what the alu rims are for.
- i have not abused these wheels, but i have not babied them, either. for what it's worth, i tend to have fewer problems than other folks i know with gear in general (regardless of sport). i'm not sure if that is luck or skill/finesse. for instance, on the dirt road stretch, although i travel at 20+ mph i can pick a good line and have not had to true the wheels. a friend often has to true his carbon wheels (reynolds). i'm not sure mine are stronger, but i think he has slightly worse bike handling skills...and he hits those unexpected bumps with a little worse technique/heavier hand.

so........... i'm quite content to continue to use the 404 cc's as everyday wheels, and i've grown quite addicted to them. only time will tell how they will be after 10k miles, but initial signs are favorable.

these tubulars would be for races (perhaps only hillier ones, if they do not have the same aero benefits as the 404 CC's) and hill climbs.

Originally Posted by ericm979
If you can afford the wheels and you think you have a need for them, why not? OTOH if it seems wrong to you, perhaps it's because deep down inside you know it won't make any difference in your race results.
i don't pretend to have a ton of experience racing, so i was hoping to get opinions from those more informed about the impact they might make.

for what it's worth, my bike is reasonably light, but not exotic-light (~16 pounds). i am fit with <10% body fat, so it's not as though i have the opportunity to drop 5 pounds off my frame--or at least not easily. i have some raw talent for certain events, and i have both desire and self-motivation to get better. i own a power meter and have invested time in learning to use it. i'm also working to find the right coaching fit.

i look at wheels, then, as another area to (possibly) improve. i saw the benefit of more aero wheels at similar weight when i switched from mavic ksyrium es clinchers to the 404 cc's. now i'm wondering about the drop in weight going to tubulars (or a drop in slightly more weight going to a slightly lower-profile tubular).

Originally Posted by ericm979
For swapping between the wide 404 clinchers and normal width rims, you could just use the brake QR (assuming shimano style brakes with the QR you can set in any position).
on this bike, i'd be swapping between 404 cc's (wide), zipp 101s (a little less wide, but should still just be a few turns on the barrel adjuster), and potentially the 202/303/404/808.

Originally Posted by ericm979
I can tell a difference in descending speed with 45mm reynolds rims vs regular aluminum rims (27mm). So I think they have some aero benefit. I haven't ridden deeper rims. Maybe they've got a lot more benefit.
ah....so the 45mm reynolds must be your carbon rims. the difference with my zipps is dramatic vs my older mavics. hard to go back (which is why i replaced the mavics, even for inclement weather).


Originally Posted by carpediemracing
Clincher/Tubular of same wheels (404s, DV46s) - it was so I could train on wheels that acted and reacted like my race wheels. I don't have that option now, and I decided to see what the Jet9 was like (since it seems a lot of ProTour riders - Columbia ones in particular - use a similar rear wheel).

cdr
thanks, cdr!
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Old 10-29-10, 08:00 AM
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I'm running the Reynolds blue brake pads on my Reynolds DV46C rims. The rims are about three years old at this point, I don't know if Reynolds has made material changes since then.

The Reynolds pads are much better than the SwissStop Yellows I was using before. They brake better and don't glaze as readily. And they are cheaper!
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Old 10-29-10, 08:14 AM
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And I thought I wrote long posts!

Aero profile - if I could use the same profile but lighter (i.e. 60 or 90 mm rims) I would.

I'm thinking that since the 404 cc are so nice, you can get tubular 303 front and 808fc rear. This would give you the full range of "racing" options while keeping you at one pair of extra wheels.

Windy: 303+404/808
Hilly/Flat races: 303+808 (808 should be as light as 404 cc and give more aero)
Rough surface: 404s

You can always, always, always run a tall rear.

I'm done for wheels for 2010/11, can't afford any more, but if I could I'd get a Stinger4 front and Stinger9 rear. This would complement my Stinger6 pair perfectly.

cdr
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Old 10-29-10, 03:54 PM
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thanks again for the replies.
Originally Posted by ericm979
I'm running the Reynolds blue brake pads on my Reynolds DV46C rims. The rims are about three years old at this point, I don't know if Reynolds has made material changes since then.

The Reynolds pads are much better than the SwissStop Yellows I was using before. They brake better and don't glaze as readily. And they are cheaper!
interesting. i'll ask my buddy what he's running. the zipp cork pads have truly been fantastic for me -- but the downside is the cost. i was worried they'd wear very quickly, but i have plenty of life left in the set i've been using since july (riding upwards of 250 miles/week).

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
And I thought I wrote long posts!
it's a dangerous situation when we take my propensity for long posts and add in quoting you!

Originally Posted by carpediemracing
Aero profile - if I could use the same profile but lighter (i.e. 60 or 90 mm rims) I would.

I'm thinking that since the 404 cc are so nice, you can get tubular 303 front and 808fc rear. This would give you the full range of "racing" options while keeping you at one pair of extra wheels.

Windy: 303+404/808
Hilly/Flat races: 303+808 (808 should be as light as 404 cc and give more aero)
Rough surface: 404s

You can always, always, always run a tall rear.

I'm done for wheels for 2010/11, can't afford any more, but if I could I'd get a Stinger4 front and Stinger9 rear. This would complement my Stinger6 pair perfectly.

cdr
this is an interesting idea. a 303/808 setup (tubular) would come in at 1337 (or 1,837g with tires), for a savings of 364g over the 404 CC's. front is less aero, rear is more.

it would give me the options of racing:
a) 303 tubular/808 tubular (1,837g)
b) 303 tubular/404 CC (1,980g)
c) 404cc/404cc (2,201g)
d) 404 CC/808 tubular (2,165g)

well, when put that way it seems like there would never be a need for the 404 cc f&r combo for a race. why would i when the 404cc+808 tubular weighs less and is more aero?

also, the 303/404cc combo seems a bit silly for a race. it's 150g more than the 303/808 combo and less aero.

thanks for bringing up this option. i'll have to look at 404tubular/808 options, too.

cool stuff. point taken about not having a tall rear be as affected by cross-winds -- although i've been told that sometimes the stiffness of such a deep wheel can wear one down over a long event. just wondering about giving up the aero advantage of the 404cc in the front. as you said earlier, the front is 2/3 of the aero gain. thus, it might make sense to look at 404 tubular.

thanks!!
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Old 10-29-10, 04:19 PM
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Different carbon rims wear the pads differently. I don't think the Reynolds or SwissStops would last more than 2-3k miles on my Reynolds. I replace normal pads used on aluminum wheels after a couple years when they get hard...they never wear all the way down even though I ride 8k+ miles/year.

But a friend who weighs 30 lbs more has gotten 17k miles from a set of cork pads on Bontrager carbon rims. Even though they're also carbon they are clearly different when it comes to braking- Reynolds says the warranty is void if you use non-approved pads and specifically warn against cork.
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Old 10-29-10, 04:38 PM
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i have a set of 303 clinchers with powertap and going to a set of borrowed 202 tubular WITH the same powertap hub is night and day. havent done the math lately but pretty sure I weighed a solid 1.5# if not 1.6# lighter. It definitely helps on hilly courses, plus its worth +5 mental watts.

right now i am considering ditching the 303 clincher PT for HED C2 alum rims. Overall will probably be a touch lighter and a bit little less aero but should be a nice sturdy ride with option to run lower PSI i think.

c2 hed rims might be an alternative to the ZIPP 101s...

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Old 10-29-10, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by pjcampbell
i have a set of 303 clinchers with powertap and going to a set of borrowed 202 tubular WITH the same powertap hub is night and day. havent done the math lately but pretty sure I weighed a solid 1.5# if not 1.6# lighter. It definitely helps on hilly courses, plus its worth +5 mental watts.

right now i am considering ditching the 303 clincher PT for HED C2 alum rims. Overall will probably be a touch lighter and a bit little less aero but should be a nice sturdy ride with option to run lower PSI i think.

c2 hed rims might be an alternative to the ZIPP 101s...
by my calculation, 303 clinchers (using the weights of tires i would run) would come in at 2,273g (add another 211g for the powertap). the 202 tubulars (with the analogous vittoria tubular tires) would be 1,595g (or 211g more w/ powertap). that's a difference of 678g, or 1.49 pounds. (i guess i'm surprised the 303 clinchers weigh that much more than the 404 carbon clinchers.)

your experience is interesting to me, although the weight differences i would be looking at are more like 370-536g (0.8-1.2#).

ps 101's arrived today, though i didn't have time to install rim tape, tubes & tires. instead i rode the 404 cc's (not a bad alternative ). i look forward to checking out the 101s.

cdr still has me thinking about 303+808, and i'm considering 303 f&r and 404 f&r.
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Old 10-30-10, 05:13 AM
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yeah 1.5# is a lot when you train with those then switch on race day - and that is pure 1.5# of pure rotating weight.

I just got a new 303 rear wheel (broken and replaced partially under warranty) and wonder why I didn't go for a 404 rear when I had the option to change that.
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Old 10-30-10, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by pjcampbell
yeah 1.5# is a lot when you train with those then switch on race day - and that is pure 1.5# of pure rotating weight.
my wheels have all wound up about the same weight (coincidence?), so while i've heard plenty of talk about rotating weight, i've never experienced the difference. i'm quite curious..

Originally Posted by pjcampbell
I just got a new 303 rear wheel (broken and replaced partially under warranty) and wonder why I didn't go for a 404 rear when I had the option to change that.
which part was replaced?

i can't speak for the older design of the 404s, but the firecrest carbon clinchers (i guess they will be releasing the firecrest tubulars in december) present very little if any problem with crosswinds or descents. if i go for 404 tubulars, i think i would wait for that release.

one counterpoint to the lighter wheel thing: i know aero is a big deal, but all else equal would a heavier wheel once up to speed have more of a "freight train" (inertia) feeling to it than a lighter one?

also, does one give up any stability at speed or on a descent with the lighter (but same aero properties) wheelset? wonder if that comes into play.
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Old 12-14-10, 11:58 AM
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just reviving an old thread with an update:
i went with the zipp 606 tubular combo (firecrest). i just ordered them last night. should be interesting.

i expect it to be about a 300g savings for the wheelset (incl tires) over my 404 carbon clinchers. the 404 tubular wheelset would have saved another ~120g, and while i love the performance of the 404 carbon clincher set, i wanted something similar but just a little different for the special events. the tubular wheelset is, of course, a difference, but i'd also heard many great things about the 808s.

a number of people have told me that handling them (particularly with the new design, if the 404 is an example of that) will not be a problem, but i went for a little more versatility up-front.

cdr, thanks for your confirmation that i can/should go as tall as i want in the rear. that helped tip the balance at the last minute in favor of the 606 vs 404 combo.

thanks! i did not pose the original question just for a theoretical debate.

(oh yeah, i do recognize that this was a luxury purchase. and to head off the inevitable, i am being coached and i'm <10% body fat, so not much room to drop there.)
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