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Experience with Carbon Wheels and Tubular 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

Experience with Carbon Wheels and Tubular Tires

Old 01-05-07, 04:03 PM
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Experience with Carbon Wheels and Tubular Tires

My wife is getting a new bike, Orbea Orca, and I am upgrading the wheels on my Trek 5.2 Madone. The LBS had recommended tubular tires with Reynolds Carbon KOM for her and Reynolds Carbon MV32T for me. They also recommend a sealant that they claim works extremely well at sealing punctures.

I was initially skeptical about the reliability of tubulars but with their experience and my discussions with a couple of other cyclists that use tubulars in the area, I feel that the technology has advanced to the point that laying aside cost, tubulars are the way to go.

We ride on very well maintained roads with very little debris and have not any flats on our clinchers last year. I weigh 172 and my wife 115. Our goal is to participate in fast club rides and all of our rids are hilly i.e. 1000 feet per 10 miles.

Any experience with Reynolds or tubulars?
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Old 01-05-07, 04:06 PM
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Why the hell is your LBS recommending carbon tubulars for fast club riding? Well, other than the obvious reasons...

What do they recommend to people getting into racing? Lightweight Obermayers?
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Old 01-05-07, 04:09 PM
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I ride tubulars but I have lower profile AL rims. If I were getting CF tubulars Reynolds would be what I get.

That said if you aren't racing I would get CF tubulars. They are pretty much just for racing and require special brake pads. I wouldn't want to damage one when I was just out tooling around. That said....hey it's your money and if you want to spend it on CF wheels go for it...they sure as heck will be nice.
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Old 01-05-07, 04:13 PM
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Upgrading your wheels is one thing, but unless you're racing, I don't see the point in blowing $3500 on two pairs of wheels. Unless you're really worried about that last 1% gain in uphill speed, those wheels aren't going to do much for you.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, if you are hell bent on spending money AND you actually want to get faster, get a powermeter and the know-how to use it correctly. This situation strikes me as an LBS trying to convince someone with more money than sense (sorry, but if you're actually considering this for the reasons you listed, it's true) to buy something they don't know enough about.
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Old 01-05-07, 06:57 PM
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Check out this orbea...
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Old 01-05-07, 06:59 PM
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Very cute... the bike too.
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Old 01-05-07, 07:09 PM
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I don't see what's wrong with this. I mean, put it this way, we're all playing the power meter card like it's the only way to improve performance, it's not. Viable power meters have been around for what? 10-15 years? The Tour's been around for like, 80+ years and I can assure you, the tour riders from 80 years ago

They want a pair and it's what makes them happy, then why knock it? By that mentality, we should all be driving hyundai's. I'm sorry but I'm getting a ferrari because it's a ferrari, not because I want to be schumacher. Why the hell are we wasting money on any bicycle above $800 anyway? Shouldn't we all be riding around with powermeters instead? Different spokes for different folks, if $3500 represents 1 week's salary for this guy, then who's hell bent on spending all their money here? No one!

If someone's struggling to keep up with the group ride, then dropping a whopping pound and a half of rotational weight might just make the ride more enjoyable while enabling them to stay with the group. Oh wait, what's this? They don't deserve to stay with the group because they don't have the right motor? What the hell kind of attitude is that? No wonder people have this idea that we're snobs.

Look at my case, I interested in a pair of these:
https://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...8955&c=6608095

Why? If someone can find me a stiff (these hoops can support my weight without spokes), light, deep dish, clincher, with a relatively good amount of spokes, without a flimsy bonded aluminium section and supports 130+ psi w/o blowing up, then we'll see, but so far, no one has.
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Old 01-05-07, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
Very cute... the bike too.
Check out the spoke wrench necklace.

To the OP: if your wife had the same color scheme on her orbea, consider the rolf's, it looks amazing in that color.
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Old 01-05-07, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Check out the spoke wrench necklace.
Hehe... added bonus.

I wasn't necessarily knocking the purchase of the wheels per se, just surprised that an LBS would recommend upgrading the wheels on a brand new bike that's likely coming with some really nice wheels to carbon tubies for fast club riding. I know a few LBS employees who would flat out say that's a bad choice given the cost/benefit for that type of riding...
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Old 01-05-07, 07:22 PM
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Well we don't know what he said to the lbs.
If he said, "we're doing a lot of climbing and would like the absolute lightest, stiffest, lowest resistance set of wheels out there" then there's really only 1 logical answer.
Lightweight Ventoux.

950 grams... for both wheels.
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Old 01-05-07, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Well we don't know what he said to the lbs.
If he said, "we're doing a lot of climbing and would like the absolute lightest, stiffest, lowest resistance set of wheels out there" then there's really only 1 logical answer.
Lightweight Ventoux.

950 grams... for both wheels.
Word. And they're only $5500.
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Old 01-05-07, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by DrPete
Word. And they're only $5500.
Let's see, the average analyst in wall street (and there are thousands of them) makes a quarter mil a year... $5000/week.

How many people here would spend a week's salary (pre-tax) on a wheelset? Come on, raise your hands.

I know I sure can't, but at least I'll scrounge and save to get what I want.
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Old 01-05-07, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
How many people here would spend a week's salary (pre-tax) on a wheelset? Come on, raise your hands.
$36.50? heck yes!
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Old 01-05-07, 08:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Eatadonut
$36.50? heck yes!
How do you... live?
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Old 01-05-07, 08:27 PM
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I had tubular wheels back in the '80s and I loved them. Since getting back into cycling a couple years ago I've often thought about getting a set of tubulars again but I'm hesitant. I might pick up a set of tubular wheels this year. I'd like to give them a try again.
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Old 01-05-07, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Check out this orbea...
Very nice Orbea and great choice. My wife's is the same but she has a 48 cm frame. I was trying to get the weight of the Orbea to sub 15. With the tubulars and CF rims, we get there. Another male customer took delivery of an Orbea Orca at 15.4 pounds. I happened to be at the shop when then hung the bike on the scale. He had every trick component plus Bontrager CF Wheels plus the Keo $500 pedals. He is hanging up his Serrota.

My main concern was reliability of the tubulars and CF wheels. I feel that they are still a specialty item and too much trouble for daily training and I did not necessarily believe the LBS’s pitch on the sealant’s effectiveness or the ease of putting on a new tire using the double sided tape on the road side. I was looking for real world experience from riders who actually road tubulars and CF wheels.

For clinchers, we are considering the Rolf Elan Aero for the Orbea. To upgrade my Trek with lighter clinchers and get a soft ride, I am considering Easton wheels. I like the ride of my Botrager Race Lite and do not want stiffer wheels. My feeling at this point and not influenced by any feedback from this forum is to stick with clinchers for reliability. If I think CF wheels with tubulars will make a difference, will buy two sets and use them for special rides.

I do not know what kind of fast rides or hills you guys have but here we have a group of 50 to 100 elite cyclists that goes out every Saturday. It is an amazing scene to see this amateur peloton go down the road. This is, for all intents and purposes, a race with the goal of seeing who can survive. If you are dropped it is over and you ride by yourself or go home. Speed increases up hills with express purpose of culling the field. Riding with those guys is the goal. We are months of training away but we will get there. We have no plans for crits or road races but may time trial as individuals and/or a mixed team. And of course, time trial is another set of variables, different training and equipment.

I am in discussions for a power meter. PowerTap is low on my list because it limits wheel selection. For the crank based systems, I like the Ergomo Pro over SRM. My LBS is testing the IbikePro versus PowerTap. I am aware of the limitations of IbikePro in drafting situations but if it works, it may be a great way to get cheap and easy power on the bike and it is transportable from bike to bike.

FYI…I am driving the discussions with the LBS and working with the owner. I am also in discussions with other shops on the wheel matter.

Thanks slvoid for your pics and feedback. Fantastic bike.
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Old 01-05-07, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Check out this orbea...
Uhh, is that you? If it is I have a nagging question for you...
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Old 01-05-07, 08:58 PM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
How do you... live?
I'm "on call" for the holidays - mooching off the 'rents and working 4 hours a week.
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Old 01-05-07, 08:59 PM
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Its not me. It is slvoid.
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Old 01-05-07, 10:25 PM
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Originally Posted by EdZ
Uhh, is that you? If it is I have a nagging question for you...
It's not me, what's the question?
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Old 01-05-07, 11:32 PM
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Just makes sure on a long club ride you don't get a flat. When you get a flat, you better know how to change a tubular tire. You better have pre-stretched your spare at least 24 hours prior using them as your spare. What if you have a double flats??? Better bring 2 spares. More than that? Sorry, you are really screwed. If you don't know what I am talking about, don't ride anywhere with your carbon bling bling unless you are within the walking distance of mass transits. The sealant won't patch a "cut" such as glass.
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Old 01-05-07, 11:36 PM
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I think she has some reach issue because her saddle is too far forward. Is that 24k gold chain???


Originally Posted by slvoid
It's not me, what's the question?
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Old 01-05-07, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by R600DuraAce
I think she has some reach issue because her saddle is too far forward. Is that 24k gold chain???
I like my saddle a little farther forward so my sit bones support more of my weight rather than my hands, especially my right hand. I don't think that chain's gold, its probably the light, gold would be a lot more yellow, like my skin color.
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Old 01-06-07, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by lordoftherings
I do not know what kind of fast rides or hills you guys have but here we have a group of 50 to 100 elite cyclists that goes out every Saturday. It is an amazing scene to see this amateur peloton go down the road. This is, for all intents and purposes, a race with the goal of seeing who can survive. If you are dropped it is over and you ride by yourself or go home. Speed increases up hills with express purpose of culling the field. Riding with those guys is the goal. We are months of training away but we will get there. We have no plans for crits or road races but may time trial as individuals and/or a mixed team. And of course, time trial is another set of variables, different training and equipment.
This season? Collegiate A road races and crits. Which includes actual domestic professional racers. I'd say less than 1/4th of the Pro/1/2/3 field will be using deep dish carbon wheels. I'll be doing crits where we'll be going 28mph the entire time. Road races that climb mile+ long hills. And the same guys always win or do well in the races, regardless of their wheels. Occasionally a guy will race over his head and break up the pro/1 guys, and it's not his equipment doing the job. They either have the watts or they don't.

Go ahead and buy the wheels. I would if I could too. But unless you have the motor to gun it with them, it won't make the slightest difference. I've learned the hard way that saving 10w doesn't matter when I'm 30w behind.
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Old 01-06-07, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by slvoid
Check out this orbea...
Is that you slvoid?
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