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  1. #1
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    Cosmic Carbone SL Clincher vs. HED Alps or HED Jet 50

    All things being equal, which wheels do you think would be best for road racing around New England? A TT here and there, but mostly road races, circuits, a few crits, etc. With the exception of the hill climb races and the GMSR, there aren't a lot of huge climbing races so aero seems like the way to go. I'm mostly interested in the Carbone SL and the HED Alps or Jet. The Zipp wheels look really nice, but are out of my league on price. Don't want to deal with tubulars. Also, I'm light... 140lbs. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by caymandivepro
    Zipp 404's or 303's. I've ridden the ALPS and the Cosmic. I'm riding (note present tense) Zipp 404's for races (TT and Crits). There's no comparison, unless you're comparing them against other Zipp's. I'm using the Clincher's and love them.
    Any chance you can quantify the differences? Are they faster, lighter, more comfortable, more durable?

  3. #3
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    Sorry, but you could ride 36 spoked el' cheapos and you wouldn't lose 3 minutes in a 16 mile TT. I think your math is funny.

    That said, I sold my Alps. They were OK, but the QC wasn't the greatest- although they were about half price from the Zipps. I recommend tubulars anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by caymandivepro
    Better bearing=smoother ride in all conditions and lower rolling resistance. Dimpling really does decrease the affect of cross wind, which I deal with alot, a feature that your other choices don't have. In addition to that, breaking the cross wind allows me to maintain higher speeds longer. Finally, I always use the same 16 mile course when comparing equipment. I was about 45 seconds faster on the Cosmic's than the ALPS. Then I tested the 404's. I was 3 minutes faster than the Cosmic's, testing on the same day in the same conditions, and a little spent from the first 16 miles. A good bike shop will let you do a similar test. I was able to keep two sets for a week. They probably would have let me keep them longer, but the reality was, my mind was made up after the first test. Finally, I let my wife put the 404's on her kuota (she put her Rolf Vigor's on my bike) and she's every bit my equal now. Granted she's alway been a top 5 duathlete/runner, but she flat out flies on these. You just have to ride them.

  4. #4
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    Telegram from reality

    Quote Originally Posted by caymandivepro
    Better bearing=smoother ride in all conditions and lower rolling resistance..
    oooh, you must be the proverbial princess who can feel the pea under the stack of matresses! Bearing rolling friction is so small that even high precision lab instruments have difficulty measuring it. Out on the road on a real bike, bearing resistance is lost in the noise.

    Quote Originally Posted by caymandivepro
    Dimpling really does decrease the affect of cross wind, which I deal with alot, a feature that your other choices don't have. In addition to that, breaking the cross wind allows me to maintain higher speeds longer.
    Sorry, not buying it. The effect if dimpling is also very, very small. Maybe it makes a difference, maybe it doesn't - but the even if it does, the difference in cross-winds is small as to unnoticeable to the rider.

    Quote Originally Posted by caymandivepro
    Finally, I always use the same 16 mile course when comparing equipment. I was about 45 seconds faster on the Cosmic's than the ALPS. Then I tested the 404's. I was 3 minutes faster than the Cosmic's, testing on the same day in the same conditions, and a little spent from the first 16 miles.
    Wow, you must ride really slow then. The only way for wheels to make a 3 minutes difference in a 16 mile time trial is if it took you over an hour to ride it the first time. If you rode at a more typical 24-25 mph, the only way a pair of wheels could save 3 minutes in 16 miles is if they had negative drag - i.e., they would have to actively propel you forward.

    Now, it is altogether possible you did ride the 16 miles 3 minutes faster - but if so, at best only a small fraction of that 3 minutes was due to the wheels. Wheels may be pretty, but they can't bend the laws of physics.

  5. #5
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    oh come on

    regardless of your riding speed no wheels improved your time by 3 mins.

    Quote Originally Posted by caymandivepro
    All I can say to that kind of apparent ignorance is go ride them. Compare them side by side. The proof is in the ride. And they do make a SIGNIFICANT difference.

    Oh, and do I ride slow? Hmmm? Well, I'm not 23 any more. If you're ever in Portland, I would welcome you anytime to join us for a ride.

  6. #6
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    Mirror, mirror

    Quote Originally Posted by caymandivepro
    All I can say to that kind of apparent ignorance is go ride them. Compare them side by side. The proof is in the ride. And they do make a SIGNIFICANT difference.
    ig·no·rance (ĭg'nər-əns) n. The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.


    If you believe that these wheels can increase speed by 3 mph, then it is you that are displaying ignorance, not I. From all the bicycle aerodynamics data that has been amassed over the decades, there is no basis for this to be the case. Perhaps you should do a little research before making such statements.

    At racing speeds, the resistance of the wheels is only about 10% of total drag. Air resistance increases with the cube of speed velocity, so even if a set of wheels was completely drag-free, there would still not be an increase of 3 mph.

    The proof may be in the ride, but since there are so many variable in your rides that are unaccounted for, to ascribe such differences in speed to wheels alone means that your standard of proof is very low.

  7. #7
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    Still impossible

    Quote Originally Posted by caymandivepro
    No where did I say 3 MPH.
    Therefore, I just did the math.
    16.6 miles in 47 min. equals 21.19148936 MPH
    16.6 miles in 43.6 min equals 22.8440367 MPH

    If it gave me 3 MPH, man I would buy the company. Still, its been the best bang for my biking buck!
    Oops, sorry for confusing 3 mph with 3 min.

    None the less, the claimed speed increase from the wheels alone of 1.65 mph (7.8%) is still impossible. Even if the new wheels had zero drag, you could only increase speed by 3% (0.6 mph). But of course, the new wheels do have drag, so about the best you could hope for is an increase of 1 - 2% in speed ( 0.2 - 0.4 mph). And even that is only under the best of conditions.

    For references on drag, power, speed, aerodynamics, etc., here is a good place to start:

    http://www.analyticcycling.com

  8. #8
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    I'll bite..

    Quote Originally Posted by caymandivepro
    No where did I say 3 MPH.
    Therefore, I just did the math.
    16.6 miles in 47 min. equals 21.19148936 MPH
    16.6 miles in 43.6 min equals 22.8440367 MPH

    If it gave me 3 MPH, man I would buy the company. Still, its been the best bang for my biking buck!

    I live in Portland, I'll go for a ride with you..although I averaged 26.2MPH on my last TT over 10 miles and actually climbed up and over terwilliger last night at 19.8mph. no Zipps on my ride.

  9. #9
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    Don't worry about how fast Zipp-boy rode - get the Cosmics. Bombproof, fast, great bearings, and you can get them with a 2-yr replace/repair warranty. Some clumsy clysedale falls on you in a crit and tacos your wheel? Send it in and get a new one.

    Sure they're heavy but you only weigh 140lbs!! You'll have a weight advantage on most of your competition even if you had 3 extra sets of Cosmics strapped to your back.

  10. #10
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    Get a grip

    Quote Originally Posted by caymandivepro
    16.6 miles in 47 min. equals 21.19148936 MPH
    16.6 miles in 43.6 min equals 22.8440367 MPH
    The absolute BEST aero wheels on the market are good for 0.4 mph at 25 mph when compared to a 32 spoke box section rim. You are claiming more than 4X that improvement. Your "evidence" is disputed by numerous studies in numerous wind tunnels, on the roads, on time trials, in coast down tests, etc. The response is that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." You've made extraordinary claims, but your "proof" is simply that you were faster one day than another day - like that hasn't happened to anybody before. BTW, you can't divide two 3 significant figure numbers and get a 10 significant figure number
    Last edited by Kerry Irons; 05-03-2006 at 05:00 PM.

  11. #11
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    Wow, you guys are harsh. I almost feel sorry for goading him into telling us more. Of course, you are all on the right track. Aero differences between these wheels is relatively small. If you want to argue bang for the buck, or sex appeal, or durability go for it. And yes, there are aero differences between the wheels, but outside of a tunnel, you will be hard pressed to discern one from the other.

    Back to the origional question, I think the Alps are slightly preferable to the Jets, unless of course you really want that 90mm Jet wheel. The carbon part of the Jet is only a fairing & provides no structural benefit to the wheel. The Carbone SL's might be the same way, but I'm not positive. The Alps are structural carbon with an alloy "cap", so a slight improvment over the Jets.

  12. #12
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    Personally I would (and did) get the Mavic Carbones. They have a good quality hub and have a rep of being near bulletproof. Zipp and Hed seem to follow the "QC is spotty but we make up for it with good customer service" business model.

  13. #13
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    Holy Flying Bullshyte, batman!

    Seriously.

    The aerodynamic differences between two deep-section, low-spoke-count carbon wheels are ... uh, minimal.

    Zipp's do not have turbochargers built in.

    I'm not 23 anymore either. Now I'm 24! Sometime we'll take 56th to Thompson to Skyline. Wham!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons
    The absolute BEST aero wheels on the market are good for 0.4 mph at 25 mph when compared to a 32 spoke box section rim. You are claiming more than 4X that improvement. Your "evidence" is disputed by numerous studies in numerous wind tunnels, on the roads, on time trials, in coast down tests, etc. The response is that "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof." You've made extraordinary claims, but your "proof" is simply that you were faster one day than another day - like that hasn't happened to anybody before. BTW, you can't divide two 3 significant figure numbers and get a 10 significant figure number
    Can't evidence for extraordinary claims be extraordinary claims about proof?

    Careful with the significant digits stuff: I nagged college students for an entire semester about their sig. digit errors and perversions, but they couldn't seem to get it. You'd think if you can do simple algebra that understanding significant digits wouldn't be so hard. My 7th grade math teacher taught us about significant digits.

  15. #15
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    Thompson is easy..

    Quote Originally Posted by Argentius
    Seriously.

    The aerodynamic differences between two deep-section, low-spoke-count carbon wheels are ... uh, minimal.

    Zipp's do not have turbochargers built in.

    I'm not 23 anymore either. Now I'm 24! Sometime we'll take 56th to Thompson to Skyline. Wham!

    you two should ride up Newberry or Rocky Point...or better yet up Larch Mt. from Sellwood (what...its only 90 miles with 4000 feet of climbing at the end...coming down is fun).

  16. #16
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    stay clear of alps..

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Paul Proteus
    Wow, you guys are harsh. I almost feel sorry for goading him into telling us more. Of course, you are all on the right track. Aero differences between these wheels is relatively small. If you want to argue bang for the buck, or sex appeal, or durability go for it. And yes, there are aero differences between the wheels, but outside of a tunnel, you will be hard pressed to discern one from the other.

    Back to the origional question, I think the Alps are slightly preferable to the Jets, unless of course you really want that 90mm Jet wheel. The carbon part of the Jet is only a fairing & provides no structural benefit to the wheel. The Carbone SL's might be the same way, but I'm not positive. The Alps are structural carbon with an alloy "cap", so a slight improvment over the Jets.
    I saw a guy taco a rear ALPS during a slow accent in a race last year...damn thing just cracked in half when he sat down...

  17. #17
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    Yeah, it is. Downtown - wash. park - thompson is easy to get to, and it gets hard enough when you add in 56th.

    Newberry and Logie trail are pretty hard.

    Larch mtn is fun -- a favourite, but it's not actually that HARD or anything; the grade is super-steady. I'm really hoping to improve my TT time there. Last year I was really, really slow...

  18. #18
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    Mavic Cosmics

    Got the Cosmics and I love them. No empirical evidence on this but when I put the Cosmics in my hands, the bearings and rolling smoothness is the best I have ever felt on any wheel. Plus, the Cosmics are absolutely bomb proof. I am much heavier than you and have used the Cosmics without any difficulty. I am using the Clinchers. If you are going clincher, the weight difference between the Zipps and Cosmics is negligible. Zipps only seem worth it to me if you are going to go tubular, where there is a big difference.

  19. #19
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    I recently moved to Portland and am looking at different wheels. Really like the Cosmic Carbone Sl Premiums. Any problems from owners of these with water getting in the wheels?

  20. #20
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    I got the Carbone Premiums which were a model above the SL. Now they have replaced the Premiums with the SLR's which are $500 more and have carbon bladed spokes. Thats the only difference. Im in LOVE with these wheels and they are sexy as hell.

  21. #21
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    Carbones just because Mavic has a reputation for making very strong wheelsets that can take a lot of abuse with very little maintenance. I've hit more potholes at speed than I can remember and I've never had to true my wheels. The hubs in my opinion are good, but not nearly as smooth and fast as the record hubs on my Campy Eurus wheelset. I may end up replacing the bearings with ceramics... who knows.

    In terms of weight savings between the new SL and SLR, $500 for what, 20 grams? For 20 grams, get a lighter seatpost for $120, lighter brakes, or just eat a little less next Tuesday... heh
    2008 Cervelo R3 (51cm)
    SRAM Red
    Mavic Ksyrium ES

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