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Change to lighter wheels or not?

Old 05-23-20, 12:13 AM
  #1  
hsea17
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Change to lighter wheels or not?

Hi! I have rode a Trek Emonda ALR 6 for some years now. Which is a light and responsive bike to be aluminum and set up with Ultegra components and come in just under 8Kg.
Then due to covid -19 I moved temporarily and had no bike so bought a reasonable training bike Trek Domane AL2 which weight in on exactly 10KG. The Domane comes with Shimano Claris all around which actually and to my surprise are very smooth when giring but of course heavier than Ultegra components and the Domane are set up with the most basic Bontrager wheels (Bontrager TLR) which I not even are able to find specifications for on Trekbikes.com or any other online sourch site.
I have a good offer on hand for two new wheelset (Shimano RS 81 or Irwin Ultralight Alloy 30) and my question is if it will be any significant weight reduction and generally performance
gain with changing the wheels?
Thanks & Regards
hsea17
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Old 05-23-20, 03:24 AM
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I assume you mean new wheels for the Domane?

I bought a Fuji Sportif (Al frame endurance geometry) a while back and it was comfortable but really sluggish. I threw some Vuelta rims and Conti Sport II tires on the thing, and it felt almost reasonable ... not riding through tar any more.

I bought some cheap Chinese CF rims and some Hutchinson Fusion 5s (I think) and now the bike is downright sprightly.

I can guarantee that your mileage will vary .... but I know that for me, there was a distinct step up in responsiveness with each improvement in wheels and tires.
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Old 05-23-20, 06:51 AM
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My thought would be to upgrade the wheels on the nicer bike and toss the takeoffs on the newer bike. Then both bikes have upgrades that should make them lighter and faster. You may also find that just a nice set of tires will make most of the difference. Cheap tires can really make a bike feel sluggish.
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Old 05-23-20, 09:29 AM
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The Shimano RS81 comes in at 1.54 (wheelset) without skewers and the Irwin Ultralight alloy 30 at 1.67 and when not sure about the stock wheels the Domane comes with I think around 2Kg mark! I will go for the Shimano and for US 250,- I cant go to wrong, I hope.
Regards
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Old 05-23-20, 02:51 PM
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I recently bought a set of Dura Ace wheels for my old Litespeed. These are by far the lightest wheels I've ridden. I can't say that the bike (me?) is any faster. But I can notice a big difference in the handling and responsiveness. Going in the other direction, I would imagine that the heavier wheelset would make the bike feel sluggish. These new wheels feel great.
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Old 05-23-20, 03:36 PM
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I've ridden the RS81 35's, they are nice wheels!

In comparison over my 2005 era Mavic kysrium elites. they were better on flats, better on cross wind, better on head wind. and they only lost out to the Mavics on uphill.

however the mavics have been the stiffest wheel I've ever ridden.
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Old 05-23-20, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by greggh View Post
I recently bought a set of Dura Ace wheels for my old Litespeed. These are by far the lightest wheels I've ridden. I can't say that the bike (me?) is any faster. But I can notice a big difference in the handling and responsiveness. Going in the other direction, I would imagine that the heavier wheelset would make the bike feel sluggish. These new wheels feel great.
Every ride starts at 0 MPH and you accelerate to whatever speed you ride. You're more likely to feel the difference as you accelerate. My feeling is that a better wheel set isn't going to affect your 25 mile time trial time very much but they'll be more fun.
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Old 05-23-20, 04:41 PM
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A lighter bike is going to help most on the climbs as that's one of the areas where you notice weight so it might make a small difference depending how much weight you can shed. As posted - staring from a dead stop is easier on a lighter bike and the bike will feel nimbler because it's lighter.

If you are at your peak performance then naturally you have to start looking for marginal gains in other areas so it would then be wise to look into marginal gains in areas such as the wheels.

There are also other factors at play such as your overall health. Whether you've had enough sleep or are hydrated enough on or day or another. These things will affect your performance.
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Old 05-23-20, 10:57 PM
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Here is a link to the Shimano RS81 I can get a reasonable deal on https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/shima...carb-clincher/
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Old 05-24-20, 12:41 AM
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Originally Posted by hsea17 View Post
Here is a link to the Shimano RS81 I can get a reasonable deal on https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/shima...carb-clincher/
that says out of stock....
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Old 05-24-20, 12:52 AM
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I am sitting on RS81 C35's with about 400 miles on them....
The story is somehow my skewer got put in wrong on my Mavic front hub. I had no Idea that mavic front hubs or mine was directional and it kept coming loose, being 2005 era, wheels with lots of use I bought the RS81 C35's. 1 month later I sold my bike I put the stock rs10's back on it. I now ride disc brake bikes. I have no use for the wheels, never put them on Ebay because I didn't ever feel like dealing with shipping.
Later on I figured out the skewer thing on the Mavics and now My nephew is riding the Mavics on a 1991 hybrid that I rebuilt into a XT 1x
Maybe someday I'll go back to rim brakes. Truth is I love my Single speed but I hate the flip flop wheels, freewheels.
I guess I am holding out for a decent price on a good Caad9 frame or other BB30 or PF 30 BB and I'll make a lightweight eccentric bb SS with the RS81 C35's
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Old 05-24-20, 03:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
that says out of stock....
Hi! Website and picture is only for reference to the wheels. I'm not based in the UK. However the price I can get them for is US 250,- As far as I know this wheels is out of production and that's mostly the reason to the lowered price in addition to lower sales due to Covid -19. However I'm very interested to hear if someone have had exactly this wheels with same rim width so I can make a thoughtful decision as I am from the old school which generally follows the saying that it is not about the bike...…eh or the wheels

Best Regards
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Old 05-24-20, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by hsea17 View Post
Hi! Website and picture is only for reference to the wheels. I'm not based in the UK. However the price I can get them for is US 250,- As far as I know this wheels is out of production and that's mostly the reason to the lowered price in addition to lower sales due to Covid -19. However I'm very interested to hear if someone have had exactly this wheels with same rim width so I can make a thoughtful decision as I am from the old school which generally follows the saying that it is not about the bike...…eh or the wheels

Best Regards
hsea17
ahh well mine are the c35 which is wheel depth vs the c24 wheel depth, but I loved them! $250 is a good deal "if they are new"
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Old 05-24-20, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by hsea17 View Post
Hi! Website and picture is only for reference to the wheels. I'm not based in the UK. However the price I can get them for is US 250,- As far as I know this wheels is out of production and that's mostly the reason to the lowered price in addition to lower sales due to Covid -19. However I'm very interested to hear if someone have had exactly this wheels with same rim width so I can make a thoughtful decision as I am from the old school which generally follows the saying that it is not about the bike...…eh or the wheels

Best Regards
hsea17

I have the Shimano RS81 C24 wheels. I got them to replace the stock Mavic CXP22’s on my 2011 Specialized Ruby Elite bike. I have never weighed either set, but manufacturer specs and web forum postings indicate that the RS81’s weigh 1550g and the Mavics weigh about 2200g. My observations/perceptions:

* The RS81’s have exceptionally smooth hubs and the “digital hub adjustment” feature (ie, no tools are needed) is really convenient and it takes minimal time to adjust the hubs.

* The RS81 wheels (16/20 laced, double bladed aero spokes) definitely feel stiffer and more sure-tracking when cornering than the Mavics (28/32 laced, straight 15G spokes).

* My typical riding route has umpteen stops and turns. The RS81’s accelerate from stops more easily. They also seem to be slightly easier to roll going up hills.
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Old 05-24-20, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Russ Roth View Post
My thought would be to upgrade the wheels on the nicer bike and toss the takeoffs on the newer bike. Then both bikes have upgrades that should make them lighter and faster. You may also find that just a nice set of tires will make most of the difference. Cheap tires can really make a bike feel sluggish.
I agree and will hopefully could do so when situation improve but problem is that I cant get back to my permanent abode not yet due to Covid _19 due to lockdown and quarantine restrictions.
Regards
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Old 05-24-20, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Jean_TX View Post
I have the Shimano RS81 C24 wheels. I got them to replace the stock Mavic CXP22’s on my 2011 Specialized Ruby Elite bike. I have never weighed either set, but manufacturer specs and web forum postings indicate that the RS81’s weigh 1550g and the Mavics weigh about 2200g. My observations/perceptions:

* The RS81’s have exceptionally smooth hubs and the “digital hub adjustment” feature (ie, no tools are needed) is really convenient and it takes minimal time to adjust the hubs.

* The RS81 wheels (16/20 laced, double bladed aero spokes) definitely feel stiffer and more sure-tracking when cornering than the Mavics (28/32 laced, straight 15G spokes).

* My typical riding route has umpteen stops and turns. The RS81’s accelerate from stops more easily. They also seem to be slightly easier to roll going up hills.
Thanks great info.
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Old 05-24-20, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
ahh well mine are the c35 which is wheel depth vs the c24 wheel depth, but I loved them! $250 is a good deal "if they are new"
The look and strength on the C35 is probably better but maybe a bit heavier than the C24. Yes they are new but as said old model Shimano.
Thanks
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Old 05-24-20, 02:17 PM
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Light wheels might not help in a time trial, but if, like most people, one rides a route with a lot of changes in direction and speed, everything is a little easier with lighter wheels ... especially accelerating (well, positive acceleration ... some engineering geek is going to tell me all changes in velocity in all directions are accelerations ... or some such ... )

But good call by the OP.
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Old 05-24-20, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by hsea17 View Post
I agree and will hopefully could do so when situation improve but problem is that I cant get back to my permanent abode not yet due to Covid _19 due to lockdown and quarantine restrictions.
Regards
hsea17
Then I wouldn't bother. The bike is more of an entry level and if you have a nicer bike I'd wait to do the better set or get the better set for that one now and run it on the one you have till you can get to the better bike and hand down the wheels from the higher end to the lower end.
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Old 05-24-20, 07:16 PM
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Yeah, kinda sorta maybe. I have an older set of Bontrager semi-aero aluminum wheels from an early TT/tri-bike. They're a little faster on climbs on our local roller coaster terrain. We don't have any mountains, no serious long climbs. But between the slightly lighter weight, slight aero profile, stiffness and good tires, it's usually good for a consistent 1/2 mph to 1 mph advantage over the length of a 20-50 mile spirited ride.

Once the wheels are rolling on flat terrain or downhills, I doubt it matters. Might not even matter on our few 1 mile or longer 1% grades. But those wheels do feel a bit more responsive on our many short, steep (up to 11%) sprint climbs.

Getting more aero, snugger fitting aero jerseys and a basic aero helmet (rounded, not a TT helmet with long tail fin) seemed to help more over distance and cost less than a new wheelset. Working on my core and flexibility to stay aero longer helped the most.
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Old 05-24-20, 07:38 PM
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If you can afford new wheels (and TIRES) and they allow you to drop several hundred grams, I say go for it. Depending on the tires and tubes, you can save a couple hundred grams just there as well. Key concepts being "afford", "several hundred" and "tires and tubes".

I'm a marginal weight weenie, but I noticed and enjoy lighter wheels and light good quality tires and tubes (again, assuming the difference is several hundred grams, not just a hundred or so). I don't think I go "faster" in any meaningful way, or at least that makes any meaningful difference in a 30 mile ride with my buddies. Can anyone tell if they're even 30 seconds faster on any given ride? I don't fool myself in meaningful performance gains. But, to me they just feel livelier accelerating - which is just fun. And the whole bikes feels lighter when i schlep it into the back of my car or on to the hooks in the ceiling of the garage. That's also fun.
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Old 05-25-20, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
If you can afford new wheels (and TIRES) and they allow you to drop several hundred grams, I say go for it. Depending on the tires and tubes, you can save a couple hundred grams just there as well. Key concepts being "afford", "several hundred" and "tires and tubes".

I'm a marginal weight weenie, but I noticed and enjoy lighter wheels and light good quality tires and tubes (again, assuming the difference is several hundred grams, not just a hundred or so). I don't think I go "faster" in any meaningful way, or at least that makes any meaningful difference in a 30 mile ride with my buddies. Can anyone tell if they're even 30 seconds faster on any given ride? I don't fool myself in meaningful performance gains. But, to me they just feel livelier accelerating - which is just fun. And the whole bikes feels lighter when i schlep it into the back of my car or on to the hooks in the ceiling of the garage. That's also fun.
Hi! I got the bike with a 50% discount due to a local trek bike offer on the 2020 Domane AL2 so even with new wheels the total is lower than the retail price found on trekbikes.com so I can afford it. For me the quality of the wheels and if I really will feel any difference its the question because as said in many ways my many in this tread when first up to speed new wheels will most likely not make me the rider with any added turbo engine due to new and lighter wheels. Anyway thanks for replying
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Old 05-26-20, 03:17 AM
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Ship Ahoy faster already. Shimano RS 81 wheelset on and 530 gram lighter bike totally. Haven't changed tires/ tubes yet but will next month and hope to scale of 200 gram +- there because the factory tires are heavy. Thinking reasonable seat post / saddle in addition before I reach retail price which is my limit on this bike but dont know how cost vise that is.
Thanks
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Old 05-26-20, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by hsea17 View Post
Ship Ahoy faster already. Shimano RS 81 wheelset on and 530 gram lighter bike totally. Haven't changed tires/ tubes yet but will next month and hope to scale of 200 gram +- there because the factory tires are heavy. Thinking reasonable seat post / saddle in addition before I reach retail price which is my limit on this bike but dont know how cost vise that is.
Thanks
hsea17
A lot of folks are critical of this sort of weight consciousness. To me, it doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense in any way other than it's just fun to do this stuff (again, assuming it's affordable). It's just a fun hobby and a healthy activity. If the bike feels more fun, regardless of whether if it's meaningfully faster or just in the mind, it still makes riding more fun and more likely to happen more often. Its like that for me anyway.
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Old 05-27-20, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Camilo View Post
A lot of folks are critical of this sort of weight consciousness. To me, it doesn't matter if it doesn't make sense in any way other than it's just fun to do this stuff (again, assuming it's affordable). It's just a fun hobby and a healthy activity. If the bike feels more fun, regardless of whether if it's meaningfully faster or just in the mind, it still makes riding more fun and more likely to happen more often. Its like that for me anyway.
I recall a guy I used to carpool with to monthly military drills when I was in college had a truck, and he told me how he was going to spend thousands of dollars for a lift kit to lift his truck by 6" or whatever it was. I thought wow, what a waste of money. Imagine the radio-controlled airplanes he could get for that money instead! I was introspective enough to realize that what I thought was worth spending money on just happened to correspond with where my interests lay, and so did his. Wow. Who knew?

Bottom line: people are going to spend their money on the things they are interested in, for their own reasons, and as long as they aren't neglecting their other obligations then it's nobody else's business whether it's "worth it" or not.

There are vanishingly few people in this world for whom expensive bike parts and upgrades are financially objectively "worth it." The same could be said of probably every single hobby that exists.
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