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  1. #1
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    New wheels for my Roubaix, light or aero?

    So, I've been drooling over new wheels, and am wondering if it would be better going light or aero? Considering that the more upright position of the frame, even with the bar slammed, would getting a set of say, 50mm deep rims make that much of a difference? Or would it be better getting a super light wheel set? Or maybe split the difference with 38mm deep rims that are also pretty light? If money was no object, what would you do to gain the most advantage.

    I know that the advantage isn't going to be huge, but I've only got one shot at this and want to do it as right as possible and I would like something a distinct step up from my Aksiums. Also, I'm not racer, but only because I have 6 kids and a business, so time to train is a bit limited. Oh, and because I'm not very fast. And I know that more training is going to make significantly more difference than anything else.

    Ok, so I guess the absolute truth is that I am trying to justify to my wife a new set of wheels. Help a brother out!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmyc View Post
    So, I've been drooling over new wheels, and am wondering if it would be better going light or aero? Considering that the more upright position of the frame, even with the bar slammed, would getting a set of say, 50mm deep rims make that much of a difference? Or would it be better getting a super light wheel set? Or maybe split the difference with 38mm deep rims that are also pretty light? If money was no object, what would you do to gain the most advantage.

    I know that the advantage isn't going to be huge, but I've only got one shot at this and want to do it as right as possible and I would like something a distinct step up from my Aksiums. Also, I'm not racer, but only because I have 6 kids and a business, so time to train is a bit limited. Oh, and because I'm not very fast. And I know that more training is going to make significantly more difference than anything else.

    Ok, so I guess the absolute truth is that I am trying to justify to my wife a new set of wheels. Help a brother out!
    Do you do more climbing or flats?

    My take would be given the geo of the bike, I would go with light. But then again I am more of a climber and ride a Tarmac, so maybe a biased opinion.

  3. #3
    Scott in Maryland
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    To get a really great blend of aero and performance, and to Take advantage of your bike's smooth ride, plus gain the safety of aluminum brake track, go with a Zipp 101. Plenty light and about as aero as previous generation 303s. The wider cross section will really optimize the advantage of the 25mm tires on your bike. You could build up something with a HED C2 rim or go with HED Ardennes but this would not be a very noticeable upgrade from the Aksiums except a little lighter.

  4. #4
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    Personally, with 6 kids and a business for a guy that doesn't race, the Aksiums are better wheels than most of us are as riders. Chasing the wheel fairy is overblown and I ride with all kind of guys on carbon wheels. I can afford a garage full of Zipps and yet ride on mid level Fulcrums on my new Roubaix. Take that $1K and put it toward one of your kid's education or bikes or to your beloved wife who has her hands full raising them. If your wife doesn't have a road bike, I would start there.
    Best of luck.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadworthy View Post
    Personally, with 6 kids and a business for a guy that doesn't race, the Aksiums are better wheels than most of us are as riders. Chasing the wheel fairy is overblown and I ride with all kind of guys on carbon wheels. I can afford a garage full of Zipps and yet ride on mid level Fulcrums on my new Roubaix. Take that $1K and put it toward one of your kid's education or bikes or to your beloved wife who has her hands full raising them. If your wife doesn't have a road bike, I would start there.
    Best of luck.
    Ahh, the voice of reason! Curse you, reasonableness!!! Thankfully she already has a bike...

  6. #6
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    Well you could just upgrade within Mavic ... I've just put ksyrium SR on my 2012 Roubaix Expert and they're sooo much better than the stock DT Swiss

  7. #7
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    I went with a pair of Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 C24 for my 2011 Roubaix and love them. Have a friend with a 2012 Roubaix and the Zipp 101 and I couldn't really notice any difference and I paid a lot less. Plus from the research I did the Shimano rims got good durability reviews and have no weight limit. The Zipps I "think" are something like 205lbs.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmyc View Post
    So, I've been drooling over new wheels, and am wondering if it would be better going light or aero? Considering that the more upright position of the frame, even with the bar slammed, would getting a set of say, 50mm deep rims make that much of a difference? Or would it be better getting a super light wheel set? Or maybe split the difference with 38mm deep rims that are also pretty light? If money was no object, what would you do to gain the most advantage.

    I know that the advantage isn't going to be huge, but I've only got one shot at this and want to do it as right as possible and I would like something a distinct step up from my Aksiums. Also, I'm not racer, but only because I have 6 kids and a business, so time to train is a bit limited. Oh, and because I'm not very fast. And I know that more training is going to make significantly more difference than anything else.

    Ok, so I guess the absolute truth is that I am trying to justify to my wife a new set of wheels. Help a brother out!
    I found a really good deal on some Reynolds clinchers, I still use the Rovals that came stock on the bike and use these as a 2nd wheelset
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails New wheels for my Roubaix, light or aero?-image001.jpg  

  9. #9
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    I also give a nod to the SH wh 7900 c24 TL.

    I rode both the 101's and c24's on my local test track, the century course of the Deer Creek Challenge. The Zipps are awesome without the need to go deeper section for all but the folks riding with cars behind them. Like SH, Zipp has a strong low spoke count (2 more than SH in front) and outstanding smooth rolling hubs. And yes, rim width does have a noticeable positive influence with reducing drag as well as getting that tire patch further down for "grab" while coming down fast e.g., on High Grade road (for those that know that twisty fast freefall).

    With that said, the TL option of the SH wheels allows me to drop my patch considerably with lowering my PSI in the specialized Sworks turbo 23mm TL tires (btw, I used specialized 23mm Sworks turbo rubber on the Zipps to maintain some consistancy) Frankly, I'd have to use 25mm on Zipp or any other wheel to match that contact the 23 TL's provide on the SH wheels...really amazing bite and quick nibble rolling the down that grade.

    So, down the fast twisty grade, my nod (surprisingly) went to the SH 7900s. That wheel, in the TL version, benefits with the solid airtight rim and hubs so smooth and strong I "felt" their anchor against any defection (I'm at 6'3" and 175lbs). Add that up with tubeless rubber...nice!

    The Zipps proved their technology while on the flat section in headwinds. It actually made me feel superior to others on the same road that I still had another gear...very inspirational. Now in the same type of flat course riding (this is the long entry road coming into the canyon) the SH wheels did not give me that feeling I could go deeper, but rather gave me a feeling my energy was not being wasted...I could "maintain" and that I was not trying to spin a whirling dervish so to speak. All said however, nod goes to Zippy.

    Climbing. Quickly, nod to SH. That wheel, for me, is not the gate to climbing in any respect. The only thing holding you back climbing City View Drive (twice) as well as the accumulated 12,725' of verticle gain is your engine. The SH wheel did not flex, and while there are lighter wheels that can take you up...you'll find greater compromises with those elsewhere on this century course. Of course, the Zipps felt solid, true and accurate without any flexing, but for me, I just had this nagging feeling In my legs that I could *feel* this lack of energy. That is, all the inspiring stuff of this wheel just went out to lunch without notice as I began my many climbs.

    So, all in all, I made the decision for SH wh c24 TL. Solid, reliable, useful in any condition in the Rocky Mountain roadways. 3500 miles on them...not any issue. And man, those hubs are awesome and with a finish that is beautiful. Zipps are certainly the wheel. But after my experience, I'd opt for 404's. But even still...I don't see a reason for the expense as the SH's give me everything I need for my aggressive cycling out here. Maybe I should use that money for Apple TV and a change to over air local hd broadcast and get out of cable costs :

  10. #10
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    Ambrosio Nemesis, Excellight, or Excellence. Might as well be genre correct.



    or something like this...

    Quote Originally Posted by ergott View Post
    I would/will do it again. I have a pair of wheels here that I plan on repeating. They are GP4 to CK hubs. Those will be my poser "classics" wheels.




    No data. If you like it, do it. If not, don't. That's all I say here.

    -Eric
    Last edited by Chris-X; 03-09-2012 at 12:03 PM.

  11. #11
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    duplicate
    Last edited by Chris-X; 03-09-2012 at 12:24 PM.

  12. #12
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    I have a Roubaix Comp and upgraded to Reynolds MV32's and love them. Bought them as a last season model and saved $1000. I use the stock rims on my trainer with trainer tires.

  13. #13
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    I understand the upgrade bug, since I've had swarms of them following me every day on my Roubaix. The Mavic Ksyrium SL's are nice. They will shave some weight and last a long time. I'm happy with mine although the biggest noticeable difference is over 20 mph or going up shallow grades.

  14. #14
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    I have a Roubaix as well. I have had three wheelsets on it in the last 18 months. I live in Utah and there seems to be plenty of hills in my neck of the woods....

    Ksyrium SL - my least favorite as they were a handful in the wind. Also super stiff and not pleasant for me after 40 miles or so....

    Shimano 7850 cl24 - sweet wheelset although the weight was pretty far off. Instead of 1380g, they were closer to 1550 or so. Super smooth ride. Easy to climb and descend. Wind was not much of an issue ( my wife has these now)

    Roval sl45's - Not much heavier than the cl24's ( maybe 30grams) I haven't noticed a difference in climbing or descending. They are still silky smooth. Wind has not been an issue either. Only difference I have noticed is that they tend to hold their speed better when riding in groups. I'm not saying they are faster, I'm just saying they seem to hold their speed with less effort. The hubs are loud and I've had complaints that when the group is hammering, the riders in front can tell that I'm coasting because of the hub noise. Because of this, I like to play mind games with the other riders.... Haha

    As always, you experience may vary

  15. #15
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    Aero vs. weight for wheels is a BIG debate that will run and run.

    For me, wheels should be light, because it makes the ride much more pleasant - quicker acceleration out of corners, faster uphill, etc. Full aero is for our TT friends.

    I am enjoying my new Mavic Ultimate tubulars; light, very stiff, and reasonably aero.

    I have had Zipps in the past, 303's and they kept breaking spokes (I weigh just 135lbs). Have heard lots of Zipp problems. Also, very expensive.

    Dura Ace would be my 2nd choice. Reliable, strong.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmyc View Post
    Ahh, the voice of reason! Curse you, reasonableness!!! Thankfully she already has a bike...
    Sorry about that.
    Just sharing my experience. A good or decent set of wheels like you have is really all the average cyclists needs. If you compete, that's different, but you don't. We are all highly adaptive creatures. Drop $1K on a new set up Zipps and you will quickly adapt to the difference and they will become your new average or norm. Placebo is also big with wheels. Cyclists believe they make more difference than they do relative to speed. What they are feeling is just that...a stiffness change which may barely change the energy dynamic if you are already on decent wheels. You won't be measurably faster either. Maybe if you live in the hills a light wheelset will make a small difference...but this is seconds over a 50 mile ride. What you will feel is the difference in stiffness. Stiffness has a toll on ride quality...and one of the reasons I avoid race wheels for training in particular. What's the point? Provided you have a solid set of wheels...changing them is more a fashion statement then anything else. Biggest factor if you do the miles...is how well do they stay in true?...are spokes replaceable without sending the wheels away?...how solid are the hubs...how much maintenance will they need. Lots of factors to consider when buying a set of wheels and most important...how much do you weigh relative to spoke count and perhaps most important...what kind of roads you ride to determine if they will stay in true. Also have to be careful with changing tires on carbon wheels with tire levers.
    Anyway...wanted to state the counterpoint to 'so called' upgrading. Race wheels aren't generally a good idea for training...but great for race day as that is what they are designed for.
    Last edited by roadworthy; 03-10-2012 at 03:31 AM.

  17. #17
    Scott in Maryland
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    Roadworthy, usually your opines are right on target IMO .... But not this time. Moving up from RS10 or Aksium ($200 price point) to a $600-$1000 price point makes HUGE difference in ride quality. I do agree the benefit curve gets pretty steep after this ..... Doubling your grand starts down the path of diminishing returns. And I also agree about durability and stiffness. 20x28, 20x24 or 24x28 with better spokes feels a lot better to me, especially when I cruise thru a big crack in pavement instead of clanking thru it. "Feel" is every bit as important as speed to me, and (as you point out) a lot cheaper. 40 seconds over 25 miles costs a heck of a lot per second, but a great ride quality for thousands of miles is nickels per mile. BTW, what are you riding on? Entry level Alex rims with 32x32 steel spokes and ball bearings? Come clean, buddy ....

    OP, put your trainer skewer thru your old rear wheel and keep it handy so you don't wear out your 320tpi Vittoria Pave in the basement, but that first upgrade point on hoops is a good return on your money ....

    ...Is what I think.
    Last edited by Scott in MD; 03-10-2012 at 05:15 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott in MD View Post
    Roadworthy, usually your opines are right on target IMO .... But not this time. Moving up from RS10 or Aksium ($200 price point) to a $600-$1000 price point makes HUGE difference in ride quality. I do agree the benefit curve gets pretty steep after this ..... Doubling your grand starts down the path of diminishing returns. And I also agree about durability and stiffness. 20x28, 20x24 or 24x28 with better spokes feels a lot better to me, especially when I cruise thru a big crack in pavement instead of clanking thru it. BTW, what are you riding on? Entry level Alex 28s with 32x32 steel spokes?

    OP, put your trainer skewer thru your old rear wheel and keep it handy so you don't wear out your 320tpi Vittoria Pave in the basement, but that first upgrade point on hoops is a good return on your money ....

    ...Is what I think.
    Its ok to disagree a bit. We agree about a few things and of course the diminishing return or marginal utility line becomes blurred near the high end to be sure.
    As to what I ride?...Campy machine built wheels have always been my favorite. I virtually never touch them with a spoke wrench...no small feat at 190 lbs riding poor midwest roads. I am currently on Fulcrum 5's. Specialized in fact thinks pretty highly of them and sell them on few of their $4k road bikes...coin them Fulcrum 4's...slightly different hub but the same basic wheels. Lets take Fulcrum wheels for example and compare to lighter Fulcrum 3's and even 0' which are popular race wheels, What do you get for a higher price? A few gram saved for lugging up the hill or quick spool up in a sprint and more stiffness and wheels more sensitive to going out of true. What does that stiffness feel like? Many complain about it on rough roads and what do they do? Sag their tire pressures flirting with pinch flats which increases rolling resistance...silly. The Fulcrum 5's for the average rider are the sweet spot...even at their lower price because they are rock solid...medium flex for good ride and have enough spine to sprint on without feeling like a wet rag unless you are Tom Boonen.. As to the OP...he is an average 200 watt guy and the Mavics he has will serve him very well.
    Changing wheels will change the feel of the bike more than the performance and some perceive the change in feel to be synomous with change in performance...not so. In some ways this discussion is analogous to comparing a Roubaix to a Tarmac. A Roubaix feels different than a Tarmac but isn't faster or slower.
    Last edited by roadworthy; 03-10-2012 at 05:36 AM.

  19. #19
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    I'd go for Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubulars on the Roubaix. I personally have Reynolds Assault carbon clinchers on my S-Works Roubaix though, coz they're super cheap n nice. I spent the money on a set of 2012 Zipp 404 Firecrest tubulars for my S-Works Venge instead. If I had only the Roubaix, I would go for the Zipp 303 Firecrest tubs. Light, fast, comfy.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stumpjumper FSR View Post
    I found a really good deal on some Reynolds clinchers, I still use the Rovals that came stock on the bike and use these as a 2nd wheelset
    Very nice bike mate!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ianho View Post
    I'd go for Zipp 303 Firecrest Tubulars on the Roubaix. I personally have Reynolds Assault carbon clinchers on my S-Works Roubaix though, coz they're super cheap n nice. I spent the money on a set of 2012 Zipp 404 Firecrest tubulars for my S-Works Venge instead. If I had only the Roubaix, I would go for the Zipp 303 Firecrest tubs. Light, fast, comfy.
    +1

  22. #22
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    Thanks for all the replies. It seems that level heads have prevailed, and I will for now stick with the Aksiums until my legs want to outrun the bike. Until then I continue to drool. The chinese carbon wheel thread has caught my eye, too... 38mm seems like a good mix of lighter weight and aero benefits...

    And as far as my kids going to college, they know that they need to either be 1) Really really smart, 2) hit some type of ball a very long way or 3) Join the army. There is no way barring some enormous miracle that I'll be able to put enough away for all of them to make any kind of impression.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by timmyc View Post
    Thanks for all the replies. It seems that level heads have prevailed, and I will for now stick with the Aksiums until my legs want to outrun the bike. Until then I continue to drool. The chinese carbon wheel thread has caught my eye, too... 38mm seems like a good mix of lighter weight and aero benefits...

    And as far as my kids going to college, they know that they need to either be 1) Really really smart, 2) hit some type of ball a very long way or 3) Join the army. There is no way barring some enormous miracle that I'll be able to put enough away for all of them to make any kind of impression.
    +1 for the Army.

  24. #24
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    Wheels,

    Hey there,
    My LBS got me a set of Zipp 303 FireCrest clinchers to test ride for a week on my new 2011 S Works Roubiax in the Hudson Valley.
    My finding is that if your riding with the groups they seem to suck to the group over about 19 mph and just get better the faster they roll. They roll very good for me and close in a little quick, my be in my mind. I did find more road noise , different pavements and bike noise in shifting.

    On the solo ride you seem to work to get to about 19 mph and they go, not sure why or just in my mind. I think the stop good with the Zipp brake pads.

    I never rode the oem wheels that came on the bike. I'm going trade / sell / let them go for the ZIPP 303 FireCrest wheelset.

    Just something to think about.
    *

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris-X View Post
    Ambrosio Nemesis, Excellight, or Excellence. Might as well be genre correct.
    or something like this...
    Something like that is beautiful.
    They do anything just to win a salami in ridiculous races. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me. It was the illest of times, it was the dopest of times. And we looked damn good. Actually the autobus broke down somewhere on the Mortirolo.

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