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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    carbon wheels or aluminum

    I here a lot of people say that carbon is faster, but why if they weigh the same?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    If the rims are the same width/depth the CF would not be any "faster", but most CF rims are wide or deep and are made to be more aero. More aero=faster if you got the engine.
    "The problem with losing your mind is that by the time you realize it's gone, it's too late to get it back."
    Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

  3. #3
    Boyd Cycling owner
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    There are three forces that slow you down when you are riding. Resistance, aero, and gravity.
    Resistance forces are things like tires hitting the ground, bearings, and chain. Rolling resistance is the biggest of these items (tire contact with pavement) and it's consistent wattage no matter what speed you are going, usually a very small percentage of your overall wattage.

    Gravity forces is what slows you down when you go uphill. Here is where weight matters. When you are going uphill a lot of your wattage is used to overcome gravity, when you are going downhill there is negative forces for gravity.

    Aero forces are used to cut through the air. The wattage used to overcome this exponentially rises with speed. So the faster you are going, the more being aero will help you. Wheels are a very small amount of being aero, but when you have worked on position or to get that extra couple of percent, aero wheels can definitely help. Even though they are slightly heavier than lightweight low profile wheels the majority of forces you are trying to overcome (unless you are purely climbing) will be to cut through the air. When you are climbing the speeds are low enough that you are not overcoming aero forces, and that is where having a lightweight wheel is an advantage.
    www.boydcycling.com Handcrafted Revolution

  4. #4
    Online Wheel Builder
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    Keep in mind not all carbon is created equal.

    If your willing to spend the $$$, carbon can be a great option. But many manufacturers try to bring you "budget" carbon which sounds great but has many pitfalls.

    So all in all, if moneys an object, go with a nice alloy hoop.

  5. #5
    A wheelist
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    What coach Boyd said plus this -

    To answer your question exactly - no, there is no built-in speed in carbon material over aluminum.
    .
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

    I'm not cranky; I just have a violent reaction to stupid people.

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by coachboyd View Post
    There are three forces that slow you down when you are riding. Resistance, aero, and gravity.
    Resistance forces are things like tires hitting the ground, bearings, and chain. Rolling resistance is the biggest of these items (tire contact with pavement) and it's consistent wattage no matter what speed you are going, usually a very small percentage of your overall wattage.

    Gravity forces is what slows you down when you go uphill. Here is where weight matters. When you are going uphill a lot of your wattage is used to overcome gravity, when you are going downhill there is negative forces for gravity.

    Aero forces are used to cut through the air. The wattage used to overcome this exponentially rises with speed. So the faster you are going, the more being aero will help you. Wheels are a very small amount of being aero, but when you have worked on position or to get that extra couple of percent, aero wheels can definitely help. Even though they are slightly heavier than lightweight low profile wheels the majority of forces you are trying to overcome (unless you are purely climbing) will be to cut through the air. When you are climbing the speeds are low enough that you are not overcoming aero forces, and that is where having a lightweight wheel is an advantage.
    Nice post!
    Ride lots!
    Eddy Merckx

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