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Does rotating weight really matter?

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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

Does rotating weight really matter?

Old 05-04-21, 02:49 AM
  #76  
Lazyass
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I've never noticed a difference in speed when switching to a light wheelset. The biggest difference is the smoothness of the ride when going from wheels with stiff straight gauge spokes and light DB spokes. Straight gauge spokes, which the majority of stock wheels come with are my pet peeve.

I did buy a Swobo single speed bike than came new with 42mm tires, cheap and heavy ones (that were too wide for the narrow rims). I switched to 23mm Vittoria open tubulars and the difference was very noticeable.
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Old 05-04-21, 07:26 AM
  #77  
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What I want to know is if rotating mass makes a difference on bikes hanging from trunk racks with one wheel spinning while the car speeds down the highway. Do micro-accelerations affect gas mileage?
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Old 05-04-21, 07:46 AM
  #78  
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You can fit 1279 angels onto the head of a pin
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Old 05-04-21, 07:58 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by MKahrl View Post
What I want to know is if rotating mass makes a difference on bikes hanging from trunk racks with one wheel spinning while the car speeds down the highway. Do micro-accelerations affect gas mileage?
The spinning added mass is what causes the handlebars to spin around a put a scratch in your paint.
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Old 05-04-21, 08:33 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
The spinning added mass is what causes the handlebars to spin around a put a scratch in your paint.
This is the only thing that really matters in this thread so far
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Old 05-04-21, 09:30 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
When starting from still, sure.
When trying to accelerate, sure.
When JRA, not really.

I dont need to watch a GCN 'experiment' though.
Exactly!!
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Old 05-04-21, 11:10 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I have seen ads which tout the reduction in rotating weight as a significant advantage. Any search I've done says this is a myth or, at best, there is a minimal advantage in specific situations. IMO this does not justify a large expenditure of money. Especially when I could, and should, lose 10 lbs.
​​​​​​What does your eating too much have to do with wheel makers advertising and not delivering? These are two unrelated concepts.
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Old 05-04-21, 12:03 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​What does your eating too much have to do with wheel makers advertising and not delivering? These are two unrelated concepts.
Pizzas kinda look like wheelsets. You can get a pizza delivered to your house by the pizza maker. The wheel companies use a third party for shipping however, and it usually cost you a fee to get them there. That's the only spin I can put on it. That and don't spin the pizza or you could lose the mass off of it.
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Old 05-04-21, 12:41 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
You can fit 1279 angels onto the head of a pin
That was in the 12 speed era. You can fit more now.
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Old 05-04-21, 12:49 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Pizzas kinda look like wheelsets. You can get a pizza delivered to your house by the pizza maker. The wheel companies use a third party for shipping however, and it usually cost you a fee to get them there. That's the only spin I can put on it. That and don't spin the pizza or you could lose the mass off of it.


The plot thickens...
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Old 05-04-21, 12:51 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post


The plot thickens...
Awesome! You need to post that in the "luxury upgrades" thread along with a link for where to get it.
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Old 05-04-21, 12:58 PM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
The plot thickens...
Thru axle? Seriously?
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Old 05-04-21, 01:04 PM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Having sex with my girlfriend doesn't affect my average speed on the bike, I wouldn't call it "no gain."
I suppose I could try, for the sake of science and all.

Not sure the wife would be on board, but... science. Hard to argue against science.
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Old 05-04-21, 04:21 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
​​​​​​What does your eating too much have to do with wheel makers advertising and not delivering? These are two unrelated concepts.
Let's start with you admitting that you misrepresented my original post.
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Old 05-04-21, 05:20 PM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
My take away thus far is that there has been a lot of money spent for not much gain. I am willing to be convinced otherwise but so far that's where I am.
I went back and had a look, and you're right it's your third post I was responding to not your first one. Nonetheless, people are allowed to have wheels they like even if you want to lose ten pounds, and I still don't see the connection there. I can see the bit about "willing to be convinced otherwise" was pulling our legs though.
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Old 05-04-21, 05:46 PM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I went back and had a look, and you're right it's your third post I was responding to not your first one. Nonetheless, people are allowed to have wheels they like even if you want to lose ten pounds, and I still don't see the connection there. I can see the bit about "willing to be convinced otherwise" was pulling our legs though.
First....thank you for the clarification.
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Old 05-04-21, 06:00 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I went back and had a look, and you're right it's your third post I was responding to not your first one. Nonetheless, people are allowed to have wheels they like even if you want to lose ten pounds, and I still don't see the connection there. I can see the bit about "willing to be convinced otherwise" was pulling our legs though.
As to this statement that I made....."My take away thus far is that there has been a lot of money spent for not much gain. I am willing to be convinced otherwise but so far that's where I am." What I was trying to say is that I see a lot of money being spent on wheels because lighter wheels reduce rotational weight. That supposedly has a major benefit. However,when I do a search about rotational weight, I get results that say that this "attribute" is largely a myth. If there is some science that says that rotational weight is what we have been told it is, I would like to see it. And, thus, I am willing to be convinced. This ignores the fact that some people "feel" a difference. I have no problem with that. We all spend our money on what we like. I'm just trying to sort out the objective science of it all.
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Old 05-04-21, 06:07 PM
  #93  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
If there is some science that says that rotational weight is what we have been told it is, I would like to see it. And, thus, I am willing to be convinced.
https://www.recumbents.com/wisil/Mart...%20cycling.pdf
Wheel Performance
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Old 05-04-21, 06:18 PM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I went back and had a look, and you're right it's your third post I was responding to not your first one. Nonetheless, people are allowed to have wheels they like even if you want to lose ten pounds, and I still don't see the connection there. I can see the bit about "willing to be convinced otherwise" was pulling our legs though.
My comment about losing weight is meant to address the issue of rotational weight vs weight generally. If rotational weight's importance is basically inconsequential, that doesn't mean that a lighter wheel weight is unimportant. It only means that it's the reduction in overall weight that may have a significant impact. In that case, if I lose 10 lbs the overall weight of bike and rider would be reduced by 10 lbs without me spending $2-3K for a wheel set that might reduce the weight of bike and rider by a lb or so. Anecdotally, last year I lost almost 15 lbs and my climbing was so much easier and better. My bike's weight of 17+ lbs as ridden did not change. The point I was trying to make is that it is more cost effective for me to lose 10 lbs than to spend a lot of money to lose a lb of bike/rider weight. I was speaking for myself and not trying to say that other people should avoid whatever wheels they want.
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Old 05-04-21, 06:25 PM
  #95  
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This is weird. I clicked on the link and Firefox said there was a "potential security risk" associated with that site. I have no idea why
l.
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Old 05-04-21, 06:28 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
This is weird. I clicked on the link and Firefox said there was a "potential security risk" associated with that site. I have no idea why
l.
try https://collections.lib.utah.edu/dl_...0d77868437.pdf
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Old 05-04-21, 07:03 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
some people "feel" a difference
Anyone can feel the difference, no scare quotes required. It's just that the difference that's felt is not a free lunch, which is often neglected.
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Old 05-04-21, 09:14 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
To say it matters is a value judgement. Everyone will have their own value system. There is no blanket answer as to what matters. As to making a difference, any change by definition makes a difference cf. my post above.

p.s. bicycles are not motorcycles.
I see that you want to look at this from a value judgement angle. That's fair enough.

But I can tell that you have never ridden or jumped a bmx bike vs a downhill bike either.. Bmx bike spins and gyrates differently compared to the downhill bike, and it not just because of bike size either. Rotating weight. Forget bmx, just take a road bike and put some 50mm deep wheels and sprint, now do it with 80mm wheels. Tell me if you don't sprint quicker in the 50mm. Climbing is just a series of mini accleration. Does it matter now? up to the rider to judge, but if rider cares about performance, then it matters.
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Old 05-04-21, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
Forget bmx, just take a road bike and put some 50mm deep wheels and sprint, now do it with 80mm wheels. Tell me if you don't sprint quicker in the 50mm.
There is no way to say a priori which wheels will accelerate faster. There is the tradeoff between extra weight/moment of inertia and aero benefit. I am virtually certain that if the 50 mm wheels are faster accelerating than the deeper ones despite their aero penalty, it is almost certainly due to the effect of less total mass and not the lower moment of inertia which is an order of magnitude less significant. Wheel Performance
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Old 05-04-21, 10:13 PM
  #100  
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Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
Climbing is just a series of mini accleration [sic].
Not, it isn't. Climbing is all about power-to-weight ratio.
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