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  1. #1
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    Question Better Racing Investment: Semi-Aero Powertap SL vs. Deep Aero Carbon?

    Hey guys,

    I'm about to invest in a new wheelset and I'm debating whether to purchase a Powertap SL system built on a semi-aero rim and run with a lightweight aluminum front (I have Ritchey Protocols) or go for a full carbon wheelset. I run on the Protocols (~1520g, 30mm deep alu rim) right now that I like a lot but I'm racing near the top of USAT Gran Prix events and getting slaughtered on the bike by guys on TT machines with Zipps and Heds against my S-Works E5 with Clip-Ons and regular non-aero wheels.

    I've read and heard first-hand great things about training with power and even "pacing with power." I have trained a few years now using heart rate for running and found that I do not get the same application out of it for cycling because of all the extra variables (wind, pace line, etc.). I think I could definitely use power in my training. I'm no weight weenie and wouldn't care racing on an 1100g rear wheel if I could use it to keep my power output steady on race day breakaways, TTs, and on bike legs of duathons.

    Of course, a <1400g deep-dish carbon wheelset would supposedly help me get an aero advantage worth a minute over 40k, and run about 3/4 of a pound lighter than a powertap SL set up.

    I have no interest in purchasing a TT bike right now as I only do about a dozen a year and would rather invest in something that would help my racing in crits, road racing, and multi-sport.

    So it seems to come down to data utilization in training and race pacing vs. race day aerodynamics and light weight. Any comments?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    I'm in the same boat...

    I'm really leaning towards the powertap... Check out this thread from weightweenies http://weightweenies.starbike.com/ph...r++race+wheels
    It seems to be largely in favor of training with power. Assuming you're the type that will stick to a regimented training plan, the powertap is probably going to provide more of an advantage.

    Wayne

  3. #3
    EuroCrash
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    PT if you have a training plan or even better a coach. Buy a cover from wheelbuilder.com for competition use and you have a good solution for training and racing. Next, keep an eye on ebay/classifieds for a HED trispoke front wheel.

  4. #4
    bas
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    A dozen TTs a year and your still using a regular bike?


    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneRunner
    Hey guys,

    I have no interest in purchasing a TT bike right now as I only do about a dozen a year and would rather invest in something that would help my racing in crits, road racing, and multi-sport.

    So it seems to come down to data utilization in training and race pacing vs. race day aerodynamics and light weight. Any comments?

  5. #5
    Clyde-o-Matic
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    Cyclone Runner - I don't really have an opinion on this matter. I just wanted to say go State!

  6. #6
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    TT Clarification

    I should be more clear -- I don't do a dozen "TT's" a year but rather a handful of short time trials at omniums, a few stand-alone TTs for practice, and a number of bike TT legs during multisport races. I have about $1200-$1500 to budget for an upgrade and I'd rather train myself to an advantage using a power tap or get some equipment I can use for regular road races as well then purchase an entry-level TT bike. At least my thoughts.

    Thanks for the weightweenies post, I'll check it out. ** Ryan

  7. #7
    bas
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    Let us know what you decide.. I'd be interested.


    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneRunner
    I should be more clear -- I don't do a dozen "TT's" a year but rather a handful of short time trials at omniums, a few stand-alone TTs for practice, and a number of bike TT legs during multisport races. I have about $1200-$1500 to budget for an upgrade and I'd rather train myself to an advantage using a power tap or get some equipment I can use for regular road races as well then purchase an entry-level TT bike. At least my thoughts.

    Thanks for the weightweenies post, I'll check it out. ** Ryan

  8. #8
    No team-cest unless 8+!
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycloneRunner
    Hey guys,

    I'm about to invest in a new wheelset and I'm debating whether to purchase a Powertap SL system built on a semi-aero rim and run with a lightweight aluminum front (I have Ritchey Protocols) or go for a full carbon wheelset. I run on the Protocols (~1520g, 30mm deep alu rim) right now that I like a lot but I'm racing near the top of USAT Gran Prix events and getting slaughtered on the bike by guys on TT machines with Zipps and Heds against my S-Works E5 with Clip-Ons and regular non-aero wheels.

    I've read and heard first-hand great things about training with power and even "pacing with power." I have trained a few years now using heart rate for running and found that I do not get the same application out of it for cycling because of all the extra variables (wind, pace line, etc.). I think I could definitely use power in my training. I'm no weight weenie and wouldn't care racing on an 1100g rear wheel if I could use it to keep my power output steady on race day breakaways, TTs, and on bike legs of duathons.

    Of course, a <1400g deep-dish carbon wheelset would supposedly help me get an aero advantage worth a minute over 40k, and run about 3/4 of a pound lighter than a powertap SL set up.

    I have no interest in purchasing a TT bike right now as I only do about a dozen a year and would rather invest in something that would help my racing in crits, road racing, and multi-sport.

    So it seems to come down to data utilization in training and race pacing vs. race day aerodynamics and light weight. Any comments?

    How much money do you have to spend on this?

    Maybe a power tap laced to a 360 rim?

  9. #9
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    Went with Powertap

    Well, I went with the Powertap SL setup. I must admit that my choices were more limited than the free market because of a "pro-deal" discount from a sponsor. The (factory) build will be an on an aero 31mm rim and should be just under 1100g. Pairing that with a matching front and the wheelset should be <1800g. Not light by any means but as I mentioned before, I'm not a weight weenie and I can look forward to saving up for some race wheels for next season. That is, if I deserve it.

    We have a strong guy on our team who has been training with power for the last two seasons and he gave it a pretty enthusiastic recommendation, which set me over the top. I'll post some initial comments and review on the set up once I get it and put some miles down. Thanks, guys...

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