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Best combo of used race wheels

Old 06-07-21, 02:05 AM
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Best combo of used race wheels

Hi there

I'm a relatively new sprinter looking to save up for my first set of new or used race wheels (i.e. a rear disc and front 3-5 spoke). Does anyone have any recommendations for good combinations to look for and also avoid? For instance I see a lot of used Corima rear discs going for decent prices and wondered if there was any data showing them to be slower than would be expected? Also is there any data on the difference between 3-5 spokes and the difference in spoke profile between different brands? Appreciate some recommendations will be for spoked wheels but am just looking to minimise no. of sets of wheels so final setup would be 1. set of spoked training wheels I already have. 2. Race wheels. Thought I'd take advantage of the lack of archived posts to ask this question. Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 06-07-21, 07:06 AM
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for rear discs your concern should mainly be condition and spacing. In particular some lenticular discs have clearance issues with narrow chainstay bikes (Cervelo T4, etc) but in regards to Corima's precisely, they have made them for a long time and so you'll see more around (of vastly differing ages) Do your research on the specific ones you find that interest you, most big brands are fairly easy to research.

There is official data on 3-5 spokes... but I'm not sure it's ever been made public, (I think Bassett did a study, and Zipp/Hed at one point) there is plenty of independent comparison out there though. In general, a good 3 spoke (Hed3 specifically) is about as aero as you can buy, with the correct profile tyre fit to it. It is aerodynamically generally superior to 4-5 spokes. However, 5 spokes are considerably stiffer than 3 spokes and have the benefit of looking sweet. In general for track the older, narrow 19mm designed rim is pretty hard to beat with a 19mm tyre glued to it. (Both H3's and Mavic iO's) more modern designed wheels are generally built around wider rims, which becomes more useful the worse the track surface you're riding on (I wouldn't want to be riding 19mm vitt pista speeds at Dick Lane or some other beat up old outdoor 'drome for instance) There are plenty of other spoked wheel designs out there of varying quality.

In general when looking at/for wheel data online that specific to track... you can look at road/triathlon wheel shootouts/comparisons, and in particular look at the lower (closer to 0) yaw angles when determining. Indoors yaw will be close to 0, outdoors wind is a factor but at general track speeds it will still be considerably lower than what someone on the road would experience.

In short, imo when looking for wheels
- If you're a
Sprinter, Stiffness > Aero - Handling
Pursuiter, Aero > Stiffness > Handling
All arounder (bunchie races) Handling > Aero > Stiffness
All with an optimal, low crr tyre of course
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Old 06-07-21, 07:46 AM
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Pretty much any rear disc will be fine so long as it fits. The differences between them are so minor, it's hard to justify spending a lot. So, if you can get a great deal on a used Corima, go for it. Just be sure that the cog threads are still in good shape.

Generally speaking, 3-spoke wheels post better aero numbers, but 5-spoke feel stiffer. If you're small, a 3-spoke should be fine. If you're bigger, you may want a 5-spoke. (That said, supposedly the newer Vision 3-spoke is pretty stiff.)

In terms of options, Mavic, Corima and FFWD are great 5-spoke options. And for more budget friendly options, look at Walker Brothers.

Be careful with generic 5-spokes. I've heard some great stories and some terrible ones.
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Old 06-07-21, 07:31 PM
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I've got a Mavic IO and Campy Ghibli both of which I got for a song and I feel like I never need to buy wheels again. Yeah, they are both a bit long in the tooth and not the latest tech, but they fast enough for me forever. I've heard processionals are going down on these previous generation race wheels.
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Old 06-10-21, 10:10 PM
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The info here is still very relevant: Informal Reviews on Track Wheels

As a new racer, know that the front wheel does most of the work. The rear is a final touch. Compared to using 32 spoke training wheels, if you put only a disc on now, there would be no difference in your times. If you put a front 808 style wheel, you'll see noticeable results.

My suggestion: Buy a front 808 Track then spend the rest of your money on track membership, entry fees, clinics, travel, hotels, and maybe coaching. More on that topic here: Protips for a new track racer

Those 2 threads should keep you busy for several hours.
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Old 06-11-21, 07:15 AM
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OP, another thing to consider is using a road front wheel with a bolt on skewer. When I first started, I used an old road Zipp 404 I had. The bolt on skewer was like $10.

One caveat, road wheels aren't always stiff enough for track racing. It worked fine for TTs/pursuits, but in sprints, I could feel the wheel give at points, which was not a good feeling.

I'll also add that the word stiffness gets thrown around a lot on these forums. The truth is, in years of road racing, I never really noticed a major difference in frame, bars or wheel stiffness. But once I got into track racing, I really did start noticing when things were not stiff enough.
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