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  1. #1
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    New wheel set for Mt. Evans Hill Climb

    I met with my friend down in Denver the other day, and we both agreed that we were going to do the Mt. Evans Hill Climb this year. 27 miles with an elevation gain of a about 6600 ft. Starts at 7500 and ends at about 14100 ft. He is a very accomplished racer, on the other hand, I'm not. Got some podiums at the local mountain bike races, but nothing for road.

    I was thinking of putting together a build from the BHS. I am more of a sprinter and not a great climber. I have climbed Evans before, but never raced it. I was able to do the whole thing without stopping, so I guess I am an ok climber but recognize there is room for improvement. I know my fitness has improved since I did it last, just looking for a little bit extra edge.

    I am 6-1 and weigh about 155-160 lbs. I am currently riding an 06 CAAD8 equipped with a mix of newer sram force and red. I am riding on Mavic Aksium Races that are great for me. Rough mountain passes, variable weather, all that good stuff that comes with living in the high rockies.

    The race is at the end of July, so just planning on my build now, and work out any bugs (if any) before race day. I was mostly looking at BHS (since I am a poor college student and ski bum) but I'm open to other suggestions.

    I don't think 500 is unreasonable for a quality set of hand built wheels. That can be adjusted if I can get something way better. Just seeing what you guys think as far as what rims and how many holes, hubs, spokes, nips to purchase?

    I have Mike T's page for wheel building bookmarked, planning on using that too.

    Thanks everyone in advance!

  2. #2
    A wheelist
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    At your weight and for that climb you can go as light as possible for the wheels. Pick BHS Brandon's lightest rims, hubs and spokes - get Sapim Lasers, aluminum nipples and 20/24. Spoke the front wheel radial and the rear 2x. If you're going to build them and it's your first try then you're jumping into the deep end of the pool (as you will have read on my site!) but what the heck; it's doable. How about light tires too? I use Conti Supersonics for an indoor board track and they're 160g. I use Conti super (ultra?) lite tubes at 50g too. I don't know what the surface of Mt. Evans is though and if it's dirt you might need a heavier tire with some puncture resistance.
    .
    Mike The Bike's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

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  3. #3
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    First half of the road is pretty decent to my standards. As you begin to go higher in elevation, the roads get a little worse as far as cracks go. No dirt though. I was worried about going too light, but I think you sold me.

    I see some of the rear hubs you can get 24 and 16:8. Are there any advantages or disadvantages as they are both 24 holes?

  4. #4
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBard1985 View Post
    First half of the road is pretty decent to my standards. As you begin to go higher in elevation, the roads get a little worse as far as cracks go. No dirt though. I was worried about going too light, but I think you sold me.
    IMO someone your weight couldn't go too light. Not with what Brandon sells anyway. Ask his opinion.

    I see some of the rear hubs you can get 24 and 16:8. Are there any advantages or disadvantages as they are both 24 holes?
    Those fancy spoking patterns are out of my league (I'm a meat & taters wheel person) so I don't have an opinion worth listening too. Others will advise you on that.
    .
    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.

  5. #5
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    Try running the model on analyticcycling.com to see how much difference lighter wheels will make. It's not as much as people think. Even if you lost 2 lbs in the wheels it won't be that much. Running the model using your weight and a guess for power (taking altitude into account) shows a gain of 98 seconds from losing 1000g (2.2 lbs), or .01 second per gram. Your lighter wheels are not going to be nearly that much lighter.

    I used 200w for the power. If it's 250 avg then you'd only save 75 seconds from that 1kg loss.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericm979 View Post
    Try running the model on analyticcycling.com to see how much difference lighter wheels will make. It's not as much as people think. Even if you lost 2 lbs in the wheels it won't be that much. Running the model using your weight and a guess for power (taking altitude into account) shows a gain of 98 seconds from losing 1000g (2.2 lbs), or .01 second per gram. Your lighter wheels are not going to be nearly that much lighter.

    I used 200w for the power. If it's 250 avg then you'd only save 75 seconds from that 1kg loss.
    Looked at another way, for every 450 grams you save (1 lb.) you gain about 30 seconds per hour of climbing.

  7. #7
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Looked at another way, for every 450 grams you save (1 lb.) you gain about 30 seconds per hour of climbing.
    But as SB's -
    • As light as a feather.
    • Ascending the highest (and probably longest) paved climb in A.Am.
    • Building a set of wheels just for this ride.


    - he should lighten his load as much as possible.

    SB - let the spirit of Bob Cook help you up that climb.
    .
    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.

  8. #8
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    You might be better off to train more specifically for the hill climb, you'll probably realize much greater gains then spending $500 for a new wheelset, although new wheels would be great under any circumstance.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  9. #9
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    You could do Novatec hubs with Sapim Laser spokes and Stan's Alpha 340 rims in a 20/24 configuration for that budget and get them sub 1350 grams. Buy all the stuff yourself and take them to a local builder to get them built.

  10. #10
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    New wheels aren't going to make you any faster.

    They can however make accelerations feel snappier and improve ride quality.

    If you want to shave time on a hill climb, train harder.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    New wheels aren't going to make you any faster.

    They can however make accelerations feel snappier and improve ride quality.

    If you want to shave time on a hill climb, train harder.
    And for this ordeal, train at altitude too.
    Monkhouse: I want to die like my Dad did, peacefully, in his sleep... not screaming in terror like his passengers.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Looked at another way, for every 450 grams you save (1 lb.) you gain about 30 seconds per hour of climbing.
    More like 15 sec per lb per hr.

    SBard: If you are poor and like your Aksiums, there is no good reason to upgrade.

    Pick some tires with low rolling resistance... Conti Supersonics are probably the best, but Vittoria Corsas, Conti Attack/Force and a few others are also good. I just put some Vittorias on and they do feel nicer than Conti. But the Supersonics are also very light in addition to the low Crr.

    Use latex tubes.
    Last edited by rruff; 06-01-2013 at 05:50 PM.

  13. #13
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    I should have specified in the op. I already live at about 10,000 ft and typically ride anywhere between 9000 to 12000 ft. When I mountain bike I sometimes get to about 13000 and hike 14ers pretty regularly. I think I'm pretty prepared for the altitude.

  14. #14
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    Yes you are. Good luck!
    Ride lots!
    Eddy Merckx

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