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Off the Wall Wheel Plan

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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

Off the Wall Wheel Plan

Old 02-11-20, 10:14 AM
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DaveLeeNC
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Off the Wall Wheel Plan

With a DOB of 1949 I am on the downside of any rational performance curve. I returned to biking in 2014 and kind of held my own until maybe 2018. There is no training now that will get me back to where I was in 2017 - and that is both an age and a condition of my knees issue.

I kind of measured myself informally by solo riding results in various forms. And that was my (informal) riding goal. I backed off century rides back in 2016 due to a deteriorating set of knees, although periodic hyaluronic acid injections have made this possible again (with some training compromises). But there will be NO more solo 5 hour century rides, no matter what I do.

I rode Six Gap Century (10K+ feet of climbing) last fall. I finished it but really only survived it. My performance was gated by some serious inner thigh cramping that caused a number of roadside delays plus some very careful 'metering' of my effort levels that last 30'ish miles. My last 'performance hurrah' is going to be to 'actually ride' (rather than survive) the Six Gap in 2020. Hopefully I can keep the age related decline (and leg cramps which were not hydration related, BTW) under control with better training in 2020.

I ride a good bike. But just because this is the last one I was thinking of doing a serious wheel upgrade for NO reason other than this single ride (just to do it - just because I can - etc). What I was considering was to troll around ebay/etc for a pair of high quality (used) deep dish section tubulars. Then sell them when the ride is over. There is nothing wrong with my 'race wheels' (Bontrager RXL's - clinchers and latex tubes). This would have to be rim brakes. I figure that I am going to lose maybe $500 getting in and out (although that could vary widely, I suppose). BTW, I have zero experience with tubulars but given my proposed/limited use here, that seems manageable to me (with LBS help, of course).

In the used wheel world, what would you suggest I look for here? Suggestions like 'wheels being sold by practicing clinical psychologists' would be accepted and understood . Also looking for other comments. Thx.

dave

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Old 02-11-20, 10:40 AM
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I would not do it and have you had a knee replacement? If not you might want to consider that if pain is a problem depending on the situation that might be the best way to go.
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Old 02-11-20, 10:40 AM
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I don't have any advice on specific wheelsets, but do check out TheProsCloset - the prices on their tubular wheelsets always seems pretty aggressive to me.
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Old 02-11-20, 10:43 AM
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Deep dish for Six Gap? Why not light weight climbing wheels?
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Old 02-11-20, 10:46 AM
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Hi, Mark. I really am not a viable replacement candidate at this point as the situation is currently manageable. For example I really did not have any significant during or after the ride knee pain after the last Six Gap. A couple of long weeks with some long rides back to back (or close) - a different story.

Also the other compromise - look at my right knee in the bigger version of my profile pic. $2k retail price, BTW.

dave


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Old 02-11-20, 10:52 AM
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My advice is don't bother. But it's a free country so you could do this if you wish.

What if you get a flat tire?
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Old 02-11-20, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Deep dish for Six Gap? Why not light weight climbing wheels?
That would be a similar strategy. From what I have read aero still beats weight, even in the hills (although there are a ton of parameters in play - so it really depends).

But ...

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Old 02-11-20, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
My advice is don't bother. But it's a free country so you could do this if you wish.

What if you get a flat tire?
As I understand things the choices are risk it, use sealant (lower version of risk it), or carry a spare tire. FWIW, the roads last year were in very good condition.

dave

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Old 02-11-20, 11:22 AM
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Have you looked into renting a set of wheels?

(BTW you don't look 70-71 years old. You should plan on wearing out at least two more bikes.)
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Old 02-11-20, 11:24 AM
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@DaveLeeNC " I really am not a viable replacement candidate at this point as the situation is currently manageable."

OTOH, how much does an replacement knee weigh vs. a organic knee

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Old 02-11-20, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Have you looked into renting a set of wheels?

(BTW you don't look 70-71 years old. You should plan on wearing out at least two more bikes.)
No pictures on your Garmin Device data -

I did take a look at rentals. Mostly my concern was that I was not going to ride wheels that I did not have some experience with. And they mostly seem to be a you pick up kind of thing. I didn't see a workable path here, but can't say that I looked really hard at that.

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Old 02-11-20, 11:47 AM
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BTW pet peeve, but "dish" in wheel-speak means offset of rear hub for gears/cassette..

It does NOT mean deep-section rims.
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Old 02-11-20, 12:00 PM
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Sure, why not.

Something like this might work: https://sacramento.craigslist.org/bo...061769806.html

China carbon tubulars are quite good IME. Newer wheels tend to have rounded profiles- better in cross winds.

Maybe ask around at shop or club for someone in your area that rides tubulars- a bit of one on one feedback would helps thing to go smoothly.
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Old 02-11-20, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
My advice is don't bother. But it's a free country so you could do this if you wish.

What if you get a flat tire?


Most folks put on a spare. This system has been around for a while- you may have even heard of it.
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Old 02-11-20, 12:30 PM
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Installing a tubular roadside isn't something that someone relatively new to tubulars is likely to relish. Also, a pre-tacked spare might get you home, but I would be wild about trusting it during descents on a hilly course
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Old 02-11-20, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Most folks put on a spare. This system has been around for a while- you may have even heard of it.
Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
Installing a tubular roadside isn't something that someone relatively new to tubulars is likely to relish. Also, a pre-tacked spare might get you home, but I would be wild about trusting it during descents on a hilly course
This.

Again, it's not a deal breaker but for a one-time ride I advise not trying something new and unfamiliar. The benefits are minimal and the risk is not insignificant.
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Old 02-11-20, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Most folks put on a spare. This system has been around for a while- you may have even heard of it.
Yes, but if the OP has a time goal for the ride, that might be shot with a flat or two. So his acquisition would be for naught............unless he kept the wheels.

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Old 02-11-20, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
BTW pet peeve, but "dish" in wheel-speak means offset of rear hub for gears/cassette..

It does NOT mean deep-section rims.
You are correct. Thx.

dave
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Old 02-11-20, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveLeeNC View Post
You are correct. Thx.

dave
Thanks for humoring me.

I have even caught the GCN guys saying "deep dish" wheels. We know what you mean.
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Old 02-11-20, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
BTW pet peeve, but "dish" in wheel-speak means offset of rear hub for gears/cassette..

It does NOT mean deep-section rims.
I'm not a fan of the usage either (largely because it makes me hungry), but it's a little late to protest. The fixie crowd has been calling their deep-section rims "deep dish" for a long time now...
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Old 02-11-20, 01:50 PM
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What does weigh a lot is a big knee brace. I used one of those during my limited riding season in 2010, because my knees were about shot, at age 57. I sold two of my three bikes at the end of the 2010 season, but kept the oldest for future replacement knee rehab. I had both knees replaced in 2017, 9 months apart, at age 64. I didn't have a lot of pain before the knee replacement, but both knees were bone on bone by then and not very functional. I had no problem getting insurance approval for replacements. Doing both in the same year cost far less. I paid my out of pocket maximum ($6,000) for the first knee and nothing for the second. I started riding again in July of 2018. I've logged 5800 miles since then, with no problem, but how long those knees will last is always on my mind.

Personally, I think that the aero wheels would be of minimal benefit. I've looked at a lot of wheels recently, but the price of deep profile carbon wheels just seems ridiculous - up to $4,000. Most have more spokes and weigh more than my 1550 gram Campy Zonda wheels with 16 and 21 spokes that only cost about $350. At the speed I now ride, aero wheels can't help me much. I do a lot of climbing here in Colorado. The hills I ride now are a lot steeper than the slopes of Mount Evans that I've ridden 6 times. When I was 53, I rode the race route in 2 hours, 35 minutes, a time that would most often be a top 10 place in the age group. I never rode it after that, because my training route times told me I was getting slower every year.

The current route is about a mile shorter than it used to be, since they now start on the south side of I-70 instead of the Idaho Springs high school.
Maps - Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hill Climb

I keep my bike reasonably light at 7.6Kg complete, and don't use disc brakes since that alone adds about .5Kg.

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Old 02-11-20, 02:16 PM
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Why tubulars? Why not just get some nice deep section carbons and run tubeless clinchers? I don't have any experience with tubulars, but from what I've read, the latest/fastest tubeless tires are just as fast, or faster, than tubulars. And if you have an issue that the sealant can't handle, you already know how to put a tube in. Then you can keep the wheels and continue enjoying them after Six Gap (which was a great ride last year, I'm looking forward to doing it again this year!).
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Old 02-11-20, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
What does weigh a lot is a big knee brace. I used one of those during my limited riding season in 2010, because my knees were about shot, at age 57. I sold two of my three bikes at the end of the 2010 season, but kept the oldest for future replacement knee rehab. I had both knees replaced in 2017, 9 months apart, at age 64. I didn't have a lot of pain before the knee replacement, but both knees were bone on bone by then and not very functional. I had no problem getting insurance approval for replacements. Doing both in the same year cost far less. I paid my out of pocket maximum ($6,000) for the first knee and nothing for the second. I started riding again in July of 2018. I've logged 5800 miles since then, with no problem, but how long those knees will last is always on my mind.

Personally, I think that the aero wheels would be of minimal benefit. I've looked at a lot of wheels recently, but the price of deep profile carbon wheels just seems ridiculous - up to $4,000. Most have more spokes and weigh more than my 1550 gram Campy Zonda wheels with 16 and 21 spokes that only cost about $350. At the speed I now ride, aero wheels can't help me much. I do a lot of climbing here in Colorado. The hills I ride now are a lot steeper than the slopes of Mount Evans that I've ridden 6 times. When I was 53, I rode the race route in 2 hours, 35 minutes, a time that would most often be a top 10 place in the age group. I never rode it after that, because my training route times told me I was getting slower every year.

The current route is about a mile shorter than it used to be, since they now start on the east side of I-70 instead of the Idaho Springs high school.
Maps - Bob Cook Memorial Mount Evans Hill Climb

I keep my bike reasonably light at 7.6Kg complete, and don't use disc brakes since that alone adds about .5Kg.
Good to hear that there is a biking life after knee replacement. I assume that I will face that at some point. Good job, BTW.

What is interesting here is that one knee on X-ray (or MRI but those are harder to visualize) looks kind of normal while the other knee looks like a knee built by a 5 year old out of pieces that don't fit. And that is the knee that has given me problems since grade school. HOWEVER, it is NOT the knee that is a biking issue and not the knee that requires an expensive knee brace. Go figure.

My brace weighs in at 760 grams (which includes the elastic knee wraps that I wear under the brace just for comfort).

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Old 02-11-20, 02:26 PM
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Well it was described as an off-the-wall plan, so practicality is not necessarily the first consideration.

For "deep dish", it helps to think of it in relation to pizza. There's not really deep or otherwise wheel dishing, right? Just dish to center the rim.


My peeve is the same tired chicken-little fears that are repeated when tubulars come up- often by those who have no direct experience.
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Old 02-11-20, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Well it was described as an off-the-wall plan, so practicality is not necessarily the first consideration.

For "deep dish", it helps to think of it in relation to pizza. There's not really deep or otherwise wheel dishing, right? Just dish to center the rim.


My peeve is the same tired chicken-little fears that are repeated when tubulars come up- often by those who have no direct experience.
First pizza, and then chicken. Quit torturing us ...
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