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How many tenths of an MPH/KPH from new wheels/tires?

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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

How many tenths of an MPH/KPH from new wheels/tires?

Old 08-07-17, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001
As a wheel builder I can answer this with authority: It's not about the wheels.
Whoops, there goes your sales.
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Old 08-07-17, 03:05 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001
As a wheel builder I can answer this with authority: It's not about the wheels.
I just saw/re-saw this thanks to the quote above.

This was the OP ask:
Originally Posted by OUGrad05
..upgrade my wheels/tires and see if I can't squeeze another 2-3 tenths of an MPH...
It is rare I see such a conservative ask. For that 3/10 of an MPH at 18MPH, I want to be clear you are saying your wheels would not do that for the same power and conditions the OP stated.
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Old 08-11-17, 11:42 AM
  #128  
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Seeing as you have a relatively new bike with decent wheels and tires, I would say it likely isn't enough difference to worry about before you at least wear out this set of tires and/or damage a wheel.


A better way to look at it might be to get a second set of wheels and tires, and if it were me, I'd make that second set a nicer/faster set. Then you have a spare set (or training set).
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Old 08-13-17, 02:08 PM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by LainfordExpress
Seeing as you have a relatively new bike with decent wheels and tires, I would say it likely isn't enough difference to worry about before you at least wear out this set of tires and/or damage a wheel.


A better way to look at it might be to get a second set of wheels and tires, and if it were me, I'd make that second set a nicer/faster set. Then you have a spare set (or training set).
I will likely do just that. I plan to buy a new set early next year and use my existing set till then and on the trainer.

I do have another question, do deep section wheels prevent problems in cross winds? Here in OK I ride a lot of the time with a cross wind, it would seem that a deep section wheel would create havoc in such a scenario. As a result looking for a middle ground (which may be a necessity based on price) may make more sense.
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Old 08-13-17, 03:15 PM
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Deep wheels in crosswinds do require more concentration to hold a line.
Basically less pleasant to ride on in strong winds.
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Old 08-13-17, 05:39 PM
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Deep-section wheels provide the greatest benefit precisely in crosswinds, those allowing the wheel to act like an airfoil or sail with the contact patch providing the lateral bracing at near-zero energy cost. However, such wheels are dangerous on high-speed descents in anything but still air. And even in crosswinds their benefit is small (and notably far less than wind-tunnel tests suggest; in contrast, faster tyres improve performance on real roads by even more than the drum tests predict).

The people I typically ride with would benefit from the following, in this order of significance:
  • a lower riding position, especially at high speeds. Many cyclists, astonishingly, haven’t observed how critically important it is to have your chin bouncing off the bars at anything near or above 40 km/h. Look at pros closing a gap and compare with a video of your own riding (the video is telling because we usually feel lower than we really are). A low position also saves lots of energy when just cruising at 30 km/h or drafting others. The only way to develop decent power and be comfortable in a low position is to practise it long and often. And since indoor cycling doesn’t expose you to the wind, while an upright position enables more power, people who do lots of turbo training are often the worst culprits for terrible aerodynamics, even if they’re otherwise strong cyclists
  • better drafting. Learn to read the wind and position yourself accordingly. In group rides, I spend the whole time sniffing the wind and moving around to better hide from it (except when pulling, when instead I position myself to allow more riders to draft before running out of road, another thing you should learn to do)
  • tighter clothing. If anything is flapping in the wind, fix it. Your clothes should be almost uncomfortably tight from head to toe if you care about speed or efficiency
  • faster tyres. As some people have noted above, tyres (and latex tubes) make a large difference – certainly far more than anything else you can buy for your bicycle. Bicycle Rolling Resistance is a good place to start
  • less weight. This doesn’t matter on the flat but does matter when climbing. I’m talking about cyclist weight, of course. All road bikes are so light that differences are necessarily small and have a typically negligible effect on speed
  • a cleaner bicycle. Dump the strap-on pump, second water bottle, bolt-on gimmicks, bulky saddlebag, mudguards, reflectors, and other detritus that litters the average road bike. These things slow you down more than any difference in frame aerodynamics would, which makes it especially ironic when this stuff is hanging off a notionally aero frame.
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Old 08-13-17, 05:45 PM
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my 2 cents:

I've just upgraded my wheels after much research ...

At first, I was really keen for a good carbon rimmed 50mm pair and started researching and checking prices. Most of the wheels that I saw on ebay (used) seemed pretty knackered especially on the sections where the brake pads work, so that was a big concern for me.

My routes involve some hills and after speaking to my LBS (he is regarded as one of the best wheelbulders in my area), I opted for HED Belgium plus rims, Chris King R45 hubs (with the ceramic bearing upgrade), and Cx Ray spokes. I have Specialized Turbo Cotton tyres (with tubes), as I had these on my previous wheels

Where I need to improve, is on hills, and I felt that 50mm deep carbon rims would not help much .... also, we have strong winds at times in my area

Still early days, as I only received the wheels on Friday and have only had one short ride of 10km on a loop that I often do. Got a few PB's on that ride on several segments, and compared the times to all the others who rode those segments on the same day with the same conditions .... On most of the segments, I was 1st, but saying that, most of the other riders done longer distances. Could be the Placebo effect, but I have ridden this loop with very similar wind conditions previously, and I managed to knock off 1 minute 24 seconds off my previous PB (the actual loop is 9,7 km long) ... There are no stops on this route and the roads are very good

I have all my rides recorded on a Microsoft Access database and record the wind speed, time, ave speed, heart beat, etc etc , so hopefully I will be able to have a better idea after a few more rides, but so far so good.

I have a 40km route with just over 300 meters of climbing that I ride very often, and will start riding that route as from tomorow.

I still fancy a set of carbon rims 50mm deep though for flat courses. (Enve or Zipp etc)

My rims are tubeless ready and I will try the Vittoria Corsa Speed Open tubeless tyres next

so my advice is that you need to determine if you want climbing wheels or wheels for flat terrain, then work around that. I can also say that tyres do make a difference (aswell as air pressure in the tyres, so experement and see what gives you the best results)

Last edited by dim; 08-13-17 at 06:11 PM.
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