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Carbon/Aluminum Wheels

Old 05-05-21, 12:10 PM
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bh85
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Carbon/Aluminum Wheels

Thinking about upgrading my wheels on my carbon Jamis C2. I found couple of options:

1. https://e11evenbike.com/collections/gravel
----They are carbon wheels, 38 and 50 mm depth. 38 is 1820 grams, 50 is 1920. I know they are a little heavier for carbon wheels. $890.

2. https://www.specialized.com/us/en/ro...ext=30017-8701
----These are Roval Aluminum, 24 depth. 1515 grams per set which is pretty light for aluminum. $800. Not sure if anyone is sporting these on here?

I am not sure which one to go with. I know obviously one is lighter than the other, but is there a benefit in E11even Carbon 38 vs Roval SLX 24? Just looking for some opinions. Thanks for replies!
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Old 05-05-21, 01:52 PM
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The e11 are way too heavy. For a second wheelset / upgrade I would be looking to stay around 1500 gms or less. There are a lot of options in both aluminum and carbon wheels. For aluminium, Spinergy looks to make some good options. For carbon, I have Light Bicycle wheels and like them so far.
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Old 05-05-21, 02:53 PM
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Yikes! I dunno who e11 are, but they cannot be serious…

Aero trumps weight, though, it’s true, ao why not split the difference with something like the 35mm deep Vision TriMax at 1650g and cheaper than either at sub $700.

Personally I’d go lighter and wider than any of those, but that’s not to say they won’t be great for you.
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Old 05-05-21, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by tdilf View Post
The e11 are way too heavy. For a second wheelset / upgrade I would be looking to stay around 1500 gms or less. There are a lot of options in both aluminum and carbon wheels. For aluminium, Spinergy looks to make some good options. For carbon, I have Light Bicycle wheels and like them so far.
I did look at Spinergy. They are very affordable - GX at like 1475 grams. My concern are the spokes. One is serviceability at local shops and another one is the drag. I know they are light, but would drag be an issue?
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Old 05-05-21, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by bh85 View Post
Thinking about upgrading my wheels on my carbon Jamis C2. I found couple of options:

1. https://e11evenbike.com/collections/gravel
----They are carbon wheels, 38 and 50 mm depth. 38 is 1820 grams, 50 is 1920. I know they are a little heavier for carbon wheels. $890.

2. https://www.specialized.com/us/en/ro...ext=30017-8701
----These are Roval Aluminum, 24 depth. 1515 grams per set which is pretty light for aluminum. $800. Not sure if anyone is sporting these on here?

I am not sure which one to go with. I know obviously one is lighter than the other, but is there a benefit in E11even Carbon 38 vs Roval SLX 24? Just looking for some opinions. Thanks for replies!
e11 is, um, yeah, um, you need to get that out of your mind. Any aero gains with those are lost as soon as the earth pitches up.

Roval is the Specialized house brand (they bought them a few years back), so you will get a very well built wheelset, and very durable, but there's a premium to be paid for them. You can absolutely get a lighter wheelset for less.Have you checked Light Bicycle? You can spec a wheel in the same range, maybe $100-200 more with DT Swiss hubs and Sapim spokes that is lighter than both of those and get the aero advantage of a medium depth rim that is also lighter than both of those.

How about a wheelset based on this rim starting at $651? I bet you can build it to be far in excess of those wheel sets (DT Swiss 240 or 180 with Sapim spokes?), and you'll ever regret your purchase.

Click the link, and do a search.
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Old 05-05-21, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
e11 is, um, yeah, um, you need to get that out of your mind. Any aero gains with those are lost as soon as the earth pitches up.

Roval is the Specialized house brand (they bought them a few years back), so you will get a very well built wheelset, and very durable, but there's a premium to be paid for them. You can absolutely get a lighter wheelset for less.Have you checked Light Bicycle? You can spec a wheel in the same range, maybe $100-200 more with DT Swiss hubs and Sapim spokes that is lighter than both of those and get the aero advantage of a medium depth rim that is also lighter than both of those.

How about a wheelset based on this rim starting at $651? I bet you can build it to be far in excess of those wheel sets (DT Swiss 240 or 180 with Sapim spokes?), and you'll ever regret your purchase.

Click the link, and do a search.
Thank you for this information. I will try playing with their wheel building tool and see what i come up with.
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Old 05-05-21, 03:50 PM
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I've got two sets of wheels built using their rims for a bike that has a wacko hub spacing standard (Specialized SCS), and I am super happy with them. If you need to squeeze out an extra $50-100, it'll be worth it. I've beat the s--t outta those rims and they are just fine. In fact, I sent someone an email with Strava on my way home tonight.

Last edited by Badger6; 05-05-21 at 04:30 PM.
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Old 05-05-21, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I've got two sets go wheel is built using their rims for s bike that has a wacko hub spacing standard (Specialized SCS), and I am super happy with them. If you need to squeeze out an extra $50-100, it'll be worth it. I've beat the s--t outta those rims and they are just fine. In fact, I sent someone an email with Strava on my way home tonight.
How much did you pay for your wheelset? I did "my" build and it was around $1100. I wonder how is their shipping now?
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Old 05-05-21, 04:30 PM
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Sorry for the typos, it's late here...

I only bought the rims. Cannot remember exactly how much I paid for them, $700 for 4 rims, to build 2 wheel sets is in my head. Then I built them myself because of the wacko hub Spesh used on that bike for a couple of years.

At $1100, are you at least on a Sapim CX-ray spoke hooked to a DT Swiss 240? If so, you will have a great wheel.
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Old 05-05-21, 06:20 PM
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My carbon wheels have stayed a lot truer than my alloy wheels riding on the same routes, including some rocky/rooty singletrack. Something to consider..
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Old 05-05-21, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by bh85 View Post
I did look at Spinergy. They are very affordable - GX at like 1475 grams. My concern are the spokes. One is serviceability at local shops and another one is the drag. I know they are light, but would drag be an issue?
Yeah, parts would need to be ordered from Spinergy instead of QBP probably— you can confirm that with Spinergy— but it’s unlikely the shop will have spokes or bearings for any other wheel anyway, so that’s a wash. Upside is that Spinergy spokes are virtually unbreakable, so there’s that. Truing does require two wrenches, included with the wheels, so you could just take those in the shop with you; the truing principle is the same as regular wheels, it just requires accessing the nipple from both inside and outside the rim. I’d hope any competent shop would check tension values and use a tensiometer, especially on something as unique as Spinergys, and Spinergy does publish the spoke tension on their site.

Regarding drag, I doubt it’s “an issue,” but yes, there must be more than with a standard round metal spoke because the round PBOs are larger and the nipples bigger, but I don’t know whether it’s a meaningful amount of drag. I ride GX wheels and have not noticed them to be particularly “draggy,” but I’m rarely sustaining high speeds on gravel, like in excess of 20mph, where I might notice that kind of deficit piling up, and I’m really unlikely to be snagging any podiums or even Strava trophies at this point in my life. Well, I did grab an 8th place on a 236 person segment this past weekend, actually... Anyway, were I more concerned with aero, I’d either spec the GX with Spinergy’s aero PBO spoke option, or just go with their FCC 47 carbon deep section wheelset (which is built using the aero spokes).
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Old 05-05-21, 09:21 PM
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It's really hard to get under 1500 gm for a gravel wheelset. Few rims are under 400g, DT 240 hubs are 325g, Cx-ray spokes are 250g = 1400.
The Roval wheels are 20 mm, so not the best for gravel. Even 3 mm more internal width makes a real difference in tire volume and the pressure you need.
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Old 05-06-21, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Chilepines View Post
It's really hard to get under 1500 gm for a gravel wheelset. Few rims are under 400g, DT 240 hubs are 325g, Cx-ray spokes are 250g = 1400.
The Roval wheels are 20 mm, so not the best for gravel. Even 3 mm more internal width makes a real difference in tire volume and the pressure you need.
No it isn’t. 25mm internal width, starts at $651.
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Old 05-06-21, 05:39 AM
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After doing a ton of research I opted for the new Zipp 303s wheelset. Not to be confused with the Zipp 303 Firecrests, they are two different wheelsets. The new 303s wheels are carbon, 45mm deep, 23mm internal width, and 1,530 grams for the set. I bought these because I plan to run some 28mm road tires from time to time for a few faster paced road rides but 90% of the time they will have some 40-45mm gravel tires mounted up. I bought mine from Planet Cyclery who had a sale and I added a new customer 15% discount so they were just north of $1,000 for the pair. They also have a lifetime warranty and a crash replacement plan which you won't find with other brands other than Bontrager. They ride and look great too! https://planetcyclery.com/zipp-303-s...ard-graphic-a1
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Old 05-06-21, 05:41 AM
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Well, I didn't say it was impossible, only really hard. Of the available combos, most come in over 1500g and the price for those under 1500g (except with Novatec or ARC hubs) is closer to $1000.
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Old 05-06-21, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Chilepines View Post
Well, I didn't say it was impossible, only really hard. Of the available combos, most come in over 1500g and the price for those under 1500g (except with Novatec or ARC hubs) is closer to $1000.
Although the Spinergy GX, already mentioned upthread, are 1475g, 24mm internal, and $700, they’re probably the best, pre-built, gravel wheel buy on the market in terms of weight and width. I agree it’s hard to find sub-1.5kg gravel wheels (if “gravel” means 20+mm internal width).
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Old 05-06-21, 07:17 AM
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Originally Posted by dvdslw View Post
After doing a ton of research I opted for the new Zipp 303s wheelset. Not to be confused with the Zipp 303 Firecrests, they are two different wheelsets. The new 303s wheels are carbon, 45mm deep, 23mm internal width, and 1,530 grams for the set. I bought these because I plan to run some 28mm road tires from time to time for a few faster paced road rides but 90% of the time they will have some 40-45mm gravel tires mounted up. I bought mine from Planet Cyclery who had a sale and I added a new customer 15% discount so they were just north of $1,000 for the pair. They also have a lifetime warranty and a crash replacement plan which you won't find with other brands other than Bontrager. They ride and look great too! https://planetcyclery.com/zipp-303-s...ard-graphic-a1
Those are pretty nice.
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Old 05-06-21, 10:33 AM
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I just want to point out that since this thread is in the cyclocross/gravel forum, I'm assuming gravel tires will be used on these wheels. If so, the aero gains from deep section carbon wheels are negligible at best.

A1900g aero wheelset for gravel riding makes no sense to me. That might work on a TT or tri rig, or maybe on a road bike for flat-land use, but for gravel? Nope.

I personally would not worry about aero unless you're also planning to use this wheelset with road tires. Carbon is still a great rim material for gravel riding because it is light and strong, and the Zipp 303S looks like a fantastic wheelset that works great as a dual-use road/gravel setup - just know that aero gains drop off pretty quickly once you start exceeding 28mm tires.
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Old 05-06-21, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I just want to point out that since this thread is in the cyclocross/gravel forum, I'm assuming gravel tires will be used on these wheels. If so, the aero gains from deep section carbon wheels are negligible at best.

A1900g aero wheelset for gravel riding makes no sense to me. That might work on a TT or tri rig, or maybe on a road bike for flat-land use, but for gravel? Nope.

I personally would not worry about aero unless you're also planning to use this wheelset with road tires. Carbon is still a great rim material for gravel riding because it is light and strong, and the Zipp 303S looks like a fantastic wheelset that works great as a dual-use road/gravel setup - just know that aero gains drop off pretty quickly once you start exceeding 28mm tires.
Why do you think that is? I’d assume, at first blush, that aero gains are always availale, irrespective of tire width. That is, reducing drag from the wheel is reducing total drag on the system. Sure, it may not be possible to aerodynamically optimize 35c rubber to a wheel in the same way you can a 28c because rims aren’t wide enough to give the shaping or sidewall-to-rim transition necessary to smooth airflow, but if sems both that a 35c tire would be aerodynamically better on a 25mm IW rim than on a narrower 19mm IW rim, and that a lower drag wheel remains lower drag on a given tire size than a higher drag wheel. Aero section rims are always more slippery than box section rims, no?
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Old 05-06-21, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Why do you think that is? I’d assume, at first blush, that aero gains are always availale, irrespective of tire width. That is, reducing drag from the wheel is reducing total drag on the system. Sure, it may not be possible to aerodynamically optimize 35c rubber to a wheel in the same way you can a 28c because rims aren’t wide enough to give the shaping or sidewall-to-rim transition necessary to smooth airflow, but if sems both that a 35c tire would be aerodynamically better on a 25mm IW rim than on a narrower 19mm IW rim, and that a lower drag wheel remains lower drag on a given tire size than a higher drag wheel. Aero section rims are always more slippery than box section rims, no?
It's more complicated than that, and to be clear I'm not a tech expert, I'm just some random dude on the internet that listens to a bunch of bike tech podcasts, so what I'm saying may not be 100% correct.

Here is Enve's response to this question:It seems to be an industry wide agreement that gravel specific wheels (rims) should be quite shallow. As the American gravel scene seems to be the main motor in gravel R&D, with popular events like DK and others, why have the industry and ENVE in particular, decided that the aero benefit of a taller rim + a well-fitting tire, is less important on gravel, even when the ride is 200km + long?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this, both for your own company and others. Shout out from Norway! -JD
ENVE: Sure, and a great question. ENVE has been looking at this for many years at this point and we asked ourselves the question of “aerodynamics in gravel” back in 2014 in the development leading up to the launch of the SES AR Series of wheels. What we learned is that basically once the tire exceeds 32mm and gains any side knobs/tread, you lose the majority of aerodynamic benefits. To make an aero rim for a larger tire is possible but it starts to get crazy wide and therefore exceedingly heavy, and again, this is assuming there is little to no tread on your tire.

https://bikerumor.com/2020/02/07/aas...o-dirty-kanza/

Josh Poertner of Silca (former tech director at Zipp) has also talked about this topic on his podcast. I don't have a link handy, but I recall him discussing tests that showed gravel sized tires significantly reduced aero gains compared to road tires on the same wheels, and when considering that gravel riding is usually at a slower speed than road, the aero gains are marginalized to the point where they are barely measurable.

I'm sure there are some aero gains regardless of tire size, I just wouldn't make this a priority when shopping for a gravel wheelset.
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Old 05-06-21, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
It's more complicated than that, and to be clear I'm not a tech expert, I'm just some random dude on the internet that listens to a bunch of bike tech podcasts, so what I'm saying may not be 100% correct.

Here is Enve's response to this question:It seems to be an industry wide agreement that gravel specific wheels (rims) should be quite shallow. As the American gravel scene seems to be the main motor in gravel R&D, with popular events like DK and others, why have the industry and ENVE in particular, decided that the aero benefit of a taller rim + a well-fitting tire, is less important on gravel, even when the ride is 200km + long?

Would love to hear your thoughts on this, both for your own company and others. Shout out from Norway! -JD
ENVE: Sure, and a great question. ENVE has been looking at this for many years at this point and we asked ourselves the question of “aerodynamics in gravel” back in 2014 in the development leading up to the launch of the SES AR Series of wheels. What we learned is that basically once the tire exceeds 32mm and gains any side knobs/tread, you lose the majority of aerodynamic benefits. To make an aero rim for a larger tire is possible but it starts to get crazy wide and therefore exceedingly heavy, and again, this is assuming there is little to no tread on your tire.

https://bikerumor.com/2020/02/07/aas...o-dirty-kanza/

Josh Poertner of Silca (former tech director at Zipp) has also talked about this topic on his podcast. I don't have a link handy, but I recall him discussing tests that showed gravel sized tires significantly reduced aero gains compared to road tires on the same wheels, and when considering that gravel riding is usually at a slower speed than road, the aero gains are marginalized to the point where they are barely measurable.

I'm sure there are some aero gains regardless of tire size, I just wouldn't make this a priority when shopping for a gravel wheelset.
Thanks. It is indeed complicated and requires very specific language to be made clear. For example, Enve say the majority of bennies are lost when tire sizes are in excess of 32c *and gain* side knobs/tread, creating ambiguity around something like a file tread 35c. They go on to say that its possible to make an aero rim for big tires with little-to-no tread, but requires a really wide rim. Given gains are usually incremental ather than all or nothing (which is why we say “optimized”), those comments suggests that there may be intermediate, sub-optimal steps where gains are present but not maximized. Does that describe a 35c file tread on a 25mm IW rim compared to that same tire on a 19mm IW rim? Are they factoring in speed, like Poertner is? They must, right, because aero doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but that Enve comment doesn’t mention speed at all.

I don’t know the answers, of course and agree with your closing point about not prioritizing aero for gravel. For myself, I don’t sweat aero on gravel because I don’t sustain the kinds of speeds where aero gains are typically felt and measured, and because I know I’d see way bigger gains dropping 20lbs of body fat than I would dropping 20g of wheel drag!
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Old 05-06-21, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Thanks. It is indeed complicated and requires very specific language to be made clear. For example, Enve say the majority of bennies are lost when tire sizes are in excess of 32c *and gain* side knobs/tread, creating ambiguity around something like a file tread 35c. They go on to say that its possible to make an aero rim for big tires with little-to-no tread, but requires a really wide rim. Given gains are usually incremental ather than all or nothing (which is why we say “optimized”), those comments suggests that there may be intermediate, sub-optimal steps where gains are present but not maximized. Does that describe a 35c file tread on a 25mm IW rim compared to that same tire on a 19mm IW rim? Are they factoring in speed, like Poertner is? They must, right, because aero doesn’t happen in a vacuum, but that Enve comment doesn’t mention speed at all.

I don’t know the answers, of course and agree with your closing point about not prioritizing aero for gravel. For myself, I don’t sweat aero on gravel because I don’t sustain the kinds of speeds where aero gains are typically felt and measured, and because I know I’d see way bigger gains dropping 20lbs of body fat than I would dropping 20g of wheel drag!
I interpreted that quote from Enve to mean tread on any sized tire would cause you to lose the majority of aero benefits, even a treaded 28mm tire (if one exists...).

Enve does talk about speed in the second half of their answer (which is in the link, but I didn't copy/paste). They basically say gravel speeds are low, so aero isn't a priority, and weight is.

In short, the value proposition just isn’t there. On top of that, there is the fact that gravel riding is often on rough roads, if you’ve ridden or talked to anyone who’s raced DK, you know that the race is rough and also pretty slow. On a long, rough course like DK, a shallow rim with a refined laminate like the ENVE G23 provides unprecedented compliance and therefore comfort which is so valuable. Also, most gravel rides and races include a lot of climbing. DK is over 11K feet. Again, lightweight trumps aerodynamics at the speeds most are climbing gravel roads at.
Enve also has a comparison between their SES 3.4 AR and G23 wheels on their website as well, where they include this:
Aerodynamics

The intent of the AR line of wheels is to create a rim profile aerodynamically optimized for a high volume road tire. With 28-32mm tires, the 3.4 AR is going to deliver a wattage savings of up to 10 watts at 20 mph over the G23 with the same tire. That doesn’t tell the entire story, however. As tire width increases beyond 32mm, the 3.4 AR’s aero advantage diminishes. Going up to a 40mm tire, the two wheelsets would essentially be aerodynamically equal.

https://www.enve.com/journal/g23-vs-ses-3-4-ar/
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Old 05-06-21, 12:40 PM
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Heads up. 3 different Spinergy wheelsets are on sale for $499 while supplies last.
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Old 05-06-21, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la View Post
I interpreted that quote from Enve to mean tread on any sized tire would cause you to lose the majority of aero benefits, even a treaded 28mm tire (if one exists...).

Enve does talk about speed in the second half of their answer (which is in the link, but I didn't copy/paste). They basically say gravel speeds are low, so aero isn't a priority, and weight is.



Enve also has a comparison between their SES 3.4 AR and G23 wheels on their website as well, where they include this:
Good stuff! I hadn’t read the link, so thanks for re-referencing that. Having read it, though, I don’t think that changes any of my understanding, however. They didn’t specify which 40mm tire was demolishing the AR aero at 20mph, but based on the statements, it’s a good guess it was a 40mm knobby, which still leaves open the question of how would a Herse file tread, like the 38mm Barlow or 44mm Snoqualmie have fared on those rims at 20mph? Better than the 40 knobby? Better on the AR than the G23? Dunno.

Interesting to note, too, is that the G23 is really an aero section rim, at least insofar as it is not a box section. My hunch is that the G23 would fare better in aero tests than, say, the Spinergy GX (excepting with knobbies).

I guess that the real issue with gravel aero is not so much the rims or the speeds, but rather the knobby tires which simply disrupt airflow too much. For those of us running slicks/file tread rubber, perhaps we’re also enjoying an aero advantage anyway, and which is something more to build off than knobby users have. Again, not a personal concern for me, but it does sem that there is at least theoretical reason to believe aero gains could be had on a gravel bike, largely dependent on tire selection but enhanced by rim selection.
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Old 05-06-21, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by franswa View Post
Heads up. 3 different Spinergy wheelsets are on sale for $499 while supplies last.
I know! I want those GX Max 650b for my Breezer so bad because the stock WTB i23s are heavy AF. I just don’t have any money, which is the wrench in the works... Anybody want to buy a flat bar, utility roadie Novara Buzz and a vintage, French Motobecane flat bar cafe bike? Two for $500!
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