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38mm vs 50mm???

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway
View Poll Results: In Florida, 38mm or 50mm Carbon Wheels?
38mm
4
17.39%
50mm
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Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

38mm vs 50mm???

Old 04-13-16, 08:28 PM
  #1  
mLuMaN83
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Florida Rider 38mm vs 50mm Wheels???

Here is the deal. I ride a 2016 Tarmac Comp. I live in Florida so 90% of the time, its flat roads and trying to keep average speeds up as high and long as possible. I ride for fitness and fun but I like to push myself. My weight goes between 145 and 155 depending on the time of year lol. I have been looking around for awhile and decided to give a set of China carbon wheels a shot. I have researched a ton and settled in on 2 sellers who from the reviews, offer a good product. My issue is wether I should go 38mm or 50mm? I can't for the life of me decide. I am having trouble maintaining the 20-22mph for long periods on flat and usually have to drop back a gear to 18-19mph to recover then back to 20-22. Will a 50mm help me accomplish this 20-22mph with more ease over the 38mm? I also try to ride when it isn't too windy out so Im not going to be out in 15-20 mph crosswinds. I still want something that can feel light and nimble in the turns and decent. We do have a few here lol.

What do you guys think?

Last edited by mLuMaN83; 04-13-16 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 04-13-16, 08:44 PM
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Neither will give you the performance gain you are hoping to purchase.
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Old 04-13-16, 09:08 PM
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I weigh 240, and I haven't bought a tire smaller than 35mm in probably 20 years. When people ask me for tire advice, I nearly always tell them to go bigger--I've used tires from 19mm @ 130psi to 41mm @ 50psi on the same routes for decades, and they just don't make that much difference. To me, the comfort and stability of bigger tires more than make up for the small difference in speed.
What does make me faster is conditioning, particularly weight loss. I'm a pretty big guy, and my weight since I turned 50 has ranged from 270 lbs down to 210. Most pro racers weigh less than a kilogram (2.2 lbs) per inch of height--2 pounds is about average. So it I wanted to ride with the big dogs, I'd have to get down below 160. That's pretty skinny for 6'4".
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Old 04-13-16, 09:13 PM
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Do you already have the skin tight jersey and aero helmet? If not, those go first (assuming you are already riding in a low, aero position, otherwise that one goes first.)
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Old 04-13-16, 09:14 PM
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But to answer, the 50s will be more aerodynamic, assuming they are properly designed and not just deep.
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Old 04-13-16, 09:27 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Neither will give you the performance gain you are hoping to purchase.

This.
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Old 04-13-16, 09:29 PM
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50 unless you are riding in howling winds. Don't expect to see 2mph improvement, you'll be doing really great to see .5 mph improvement over a typical shallow rim.
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Old 04-13-16, 10:02 PM
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Clicked on thread to suggest a Compass Barlow Pass 38c.
Never mind. :-D
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Old 04-14-16, 12:39 AM
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Go with 50mm if you live in a flat area. It'll probably provide a 0.1mph advantage over the 38mm deep wheels, small, but still something.
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Old 04-14-16, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
I weigh 240, and I haven't bought a tire smaller than 35mm in probably 20 years. When people ask me for tire advice, I nearly always tell them to go bigger--I've used tires from 19mm @ 130psi to 41mm @ 50psi on the same routes for decades, and they just don't make that much difference. To me, the comfort and stability of bigger tires more than make up for the small difference in speed.
What does make me faster is conditioning, particularly weight loss. I'm a pretty big guy, and my weight since I turned 50 has ranged from 270 lbs down to 210. Most pro racers weigh less than a kilogram (2.2 lbs) per inch of height--2 pounds is about average. So it I wanted to ride with the big dogs, I'd have to get down below 160. That's pretty skinny for 6'4".
I think you'll find the OP is talking about rim depth and not tyre width.
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Old 04-15-16, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Marvelousmarkie View Post
Clicked on thread to suggest a Compass Barlow Pass 38c.
Never mind. :-D
Ha! When I saw the title my first reaction was "Personally, I prefer the Babyshoe Pass 42's" :-)
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Old 04-15-16, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Neither will give you the performance gain you are hoping to purchase.
^- this....and I sell wheels for a living.

If you want an answer to 38 or 50 - 50. You're in Florida and you are looking for aero. There is nothing to climb. 50.
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Old 04-15-16, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by mLuMaN83 View Post
I also try to ride when it isn't too windy out so Im not going to be out in 15-20 mph crosswinds.
This would be the first thing I'd change if I were unhappy with my speed.
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Old 04-15-16, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by therhodeo View Post
This would be the first thing I'd change if I were unhappy with my speed.
exactly, i also pick routes with no hills so i never slow down.... i mean cmon man, just ride. and get whichever wheelset you think looks doper on your bike, as it won't matter much if you avoid riding in anything besides perfect conditions.
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Old 04-15-16, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
Ha! When I saw the title my first reaction was "Personally, I prefer the Babyshoe Pass 42's" :-)
Great minds think alike.
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Old 04-15-16, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
^- this....and I sell wheels for a living.

If you want an answer to 38 or 50 - 50. You're in Florida and you are looking for aero. There is nothing to climb. 50.
Agree.
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Old 04-15-16, 10:25 AM
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Just to be contrarian, I'll 38mm. 12mm isn't going to make you noticeably faster, but it will be noticeably more susceptible to crosswinds.
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Old 04-15-16, 10:29 AM
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When I was choosing carbon wheels I went with the 50 option over the shallower wheel. I don't regret my decision even doing the rather short but steep rolling hills we have where I ride.
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Old 04-15-16, 12:19 PM
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As you indicate most your riding is under 22mph - I don't think it matters so much. If I were 150 (I'm not) riding <20 I'd go light. But...FL is flat. Light still matters when changing direction and generally moving around. If you are new to cycling you may find the heavier wheels more stable.
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Old 04-18-16, 10:29 PM
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Thanks for the input, everyone. I guess I'll stick with the S-19's that came with her for now. From everyones experience, the cost doesn't out weight the gain in my situation.
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Old 04-19-16, 05:59 AM
  #21  
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65yo SW FL rider here who has ridden 100 mile Gainesville's Ride To Remember and there are hills there.

I am 140lbs and just rode the Cross Florida 170 mile 2200'+ climbing at 18.9mph average with 15mph winds from NNW and had my LP front wheel on instead of 55mm front for the ride. Last year's Six Gap 103 miles with 11,000'+ climbing and gusting to 20mph I also rode with LP front on. Maybe because of my weaker upper body, 140lbs. and older age I DO feel a difference between the LP wheel vs. the 55mm wheel and prefer the 55mm when lower winds and want faster speeds.
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