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Thread: Wheelset Advice

  1. #1
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    Post Wheelset Advice

    • Why do you want new wheels? What's wrong with your old ones?
      • I have started putting in a lot more miles this year compared to years past and I don't want to spend the money on upgrading my bike/components just yet (2012 Trek 2.3). Nothing wrong with current wheels but if a wheel upgrade is worth it, then I will consider.

    • What are you old ones? (rim name, hub name, spokes, their numbers)

    • How much do you want to spend?
      • Max budget is $800-1000

    • How heavy are you?
      • 165-175lbs

    • Do you ride "light" or "heavy"? Are you powerful or smooth?
      • Light and smooth

    • Have you had problems with your current wheels and if so, what?
      • No problems other than doing an annual true

    • What condition are the roads in that you ride?
      • Pretty good roads, minimal potholes/gravel, rolling hills of St. Louis suburbs

    • What tires, widths and pressures are you using?
      • Vittoria Rubino Pro III, 25MM at 95 psi front and 105 psi back

    • What do you expect from your new wheels that your old ones can't deliver? (be reasonable and realistic here!)
      • I do feel like my current wheels are slow to react going up a climb or rolling over a hill. I am not looking to get max speed capabilities with deep aero rims as I don't race and I know I can't sustain super max speeds.

    • What are you going to use the wheels for - recreational riding, touring (loaded), training, racing, general purpose?
      • Recreational riding (150+ miles per week)

    • Do you want custom hand-built (designed for you) or factory pre-built?
      • Prefer hand-built as the reviews on the process and quality seem to be better (novice on understanding wheel building)

    • Do you want wheels that are easily repairable with readily available, reasonably priced spokes and rims or are you ok with maybe having to ship your wheels back to the factory and wheels that contain expensive, proprietary spokes and possibly un-obtainium replacement rims?
      • Preferable for reasonably priced spoke/rim

    • Do you need 11spd compatible wheels (can be used with 8 ~10spd cassettes too by using a spacer) or are 10spd wheels ok? (can only be used with 8 ~ 10spd cassettes). Edit - This info is for Shimano & SRAM related cassettes; not Campagnolo.
      • I currently run 10 speed Shimano and don't intend to upgrade to 11 speed on current bike.

    • Do you want the wheels to be oriented towards "aero" or "light"?
      • More light than aero

    • Do you want to use regular clincher, tubeless, or tubular tires?
      • Clincher (but only because I have never tried the others)

    • Aluminum or carbon rims?
      • Aluminum (I have only had aluminum)

    • Rim brakes or disk brakes?
      • Rim

    • Rear hub width? (120, 126, 130, 135MM)
      • Standard 130

    • Do you want adjustable loose ball bearing hubs (almost exclusively Shimano) or cartridge bearing hubs (almost everything else)?
      • Indifferent

  2. #2
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    I would just wait till you get a new bike.
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  3. #3
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    I would say you would see minimal if any noticeable improvement for your purposes. Lighter wheels may make you feel faster because you will accelerate faster. Once up to speed, it's a wash.

    Those are entry level wheels and sooner or later, something will wear out or break. Considering that you do generally easy riding, it's surprising that you need to true them once a year. Earlier Bontrager Race wheels with the paired spoke design were infamous for spoke hole cracks. There are less complaints on later versions like yours, but I have still heard of it happening. Just something you should check periodically to keep an eye on.

    You can get a great custom wheelset for around $500-700. You definitely don't need to spend $800-1000.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  4. #4
    pmf
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    If you do get a new set, I'd make sure they're 11-speed compatible. That way when you do get a new bike, you can use the wheels.

    A good deal at $575 is this set of wheels made by November, They're made in-house -- basically a custom wheel set November Bicycles: Race smart. - FSW3

    My favorite custom set runs around $900 -- White Industries T11 hubs, Sapin cxray spokes, HED Belgium rims. November can make those as well. You can cut the cost w/o much noticable difference by going to Sapim laser spokes. I'd recommend the 24/28 spoke count.
    Last edited by pmf; 07-05-2017 at 09:17 AM.

  5. #5
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    I'd echo the advice given out by the three previous posters - Duriel, Lom and pmf.

    New wheels won't set your rides on fire even though there will me some harder riding aspect to new wheels where you will swear you are faster. But you won't be.

    My fave custom wheels are by November. Dave won't steer you wrong. He hangs out on this forum.

    Vastly, wheels are now all 11spd, convertible to 10spd with the supplied shim.

    Please consider 80f/90r tire pressures.

    Thank you for filling out the "what wheels" questionnaire from the stickie.
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    Everything above, up to that blue line, is IMO IMO.

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    Thanks everyone. I didn't think I would need to spend $800-1000 but just that I was willing to go up to that price (if it were optimal). I can't believe I didn't think about getting the 11 speed compatible and then just switching wheels if/when I go to a new bike with 11 speed components.

    Mike T, I must admit that I am a little wet behind the ears when it comes to tire pressures and understanding "optimal" psi but I take it 80/90 psi won't be too little when riding? I might just be buying into the marketing but I have always had greater than 95 psi in any one of the tires and didn't think you could go less.

  7. #7
    pmf
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    This board is full of people who like to ride on large (25+), flat tires. They'll tell you it's more comfortable and has no more rolling resistance than a 23 pumped up to 100 psi. Try it for yourself and reach your own conclusions. Hell, try latex tubes while you're at it. Just not all at the same time, otherwise you'll never be able to identify where the increases in comfort and speed are coming from.

  8. #8
    changingleaf
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    Like others have said, you can get custom set that's much nicer than your stock wheels for $500 to $600. I recommend, as one option, the Boyd Altamont Lite rim and there's a few good hub options as well.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmeierant12 View Post
    Mike T, I must admit that I am a little wet behind the ears when it comes to tire pressures and understanding "optimal" psi but I take it 80/90 psi won't be too little when riding? I might just be buying into the marketing but I have always had greater than 95 psi in any one of the tires and didn't think you could go less.
    Well............I'm at the upper end of your weight fluctuation and I use about 80f/90r and they get to be less than that before a re-pump. There are no negatives to that and a few positives. I haven't used 100+ pressures since I dumped 23mm wide tires almost 15 years ago.

    By the way, the best wheelset bargain is right here - they cost $399 with $1 ship and they come with Sapim CX-Ray spokes (which themselves retail at around $3 per spoke).

    Pro / Racing

    Sure the hubs aren't as blingy as a nice set of White Industries from November but they're the equivalent to BikeHubStore's $130 set.

    I would recommend the Blackset Race 24 or 26 for your weight range. My 24's were just fine for my (then) 170-175lbs.
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    Everything above, up to that blue line, is IMO IMO.

  10. #10
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    One thing to note. The Blackset Race 26 has a wider internal width than the Blackset Race 24, 28 or 30. Check the stay clearance on your bike. Wider rims will make your tires effectively wider.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  11. #11
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    I have never ridden the Altamonts from Boyd but i heard they are pretty good. At your price range. I think there are plenty of options for you. You can probably get a fully custom build from sugarwheels works.

    I saw some Irwin wheels banner ads up here. Arlo alloy rim model is around $600. Poked around their website and it looks like a good deal, especially they are doing some kind of promotion now.

  12. #12
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    One of my main fears about getting a new wheel set is if my bike has enough clearance. I would hate to purchase a set and then not be able to fit them. I can't find anything about my current wheel set about how wide they are but should I be worried about getting a rim that is 23-25mm wide? I haven't done a thorough inspection all around my current set to see how much clearance there is but just curious.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmeierant12 View Post
    One of my main fears about getting a new wheel set is if my bike has enough clearance. I would hate to purchase a set and then not be able to fit them. I can't find anything about my current wheel set about how wide they are but should I be worried about getting a rim that is 23-25mm wide? I haven't done a thorough inspection all around my current set to see how much clearance there is but just curious.
    The concern is not that wider wheels won't fit. The concern is that wider wheels effectively make your tires wider and your tires will rub against your frame. For example, my 28mm Maxxis Re-Fuse tires measured 28mm with 15mm internal width wheels. They measured 29mm with 17mm internal width wheels. This may not seem like much, but if your clearance is already tight, it could be a show stopper. You really should have at least 3mm on each side between your tires and your stays. Some forks have a tight clearance too. Check everything.

    Note: You mention rims 23-25mm wide. That is the external width, which IMO, is a useless measurement. You need to find out what the INTERNAL rim width is. This will determine how wide your tires will be. Look for some tiny print that says something like ERTRO 622x14 or 622x15. I believe your Bontragers are either 14 or 15mm internal width. So if you get a 622x17 rim, expect your tires to expand by 1mm.

    And remember, more spokes mean less of a tendency for your wheels to flex and cause tire rubbing on stays. That is especially of concern if you are a heavy or strong rider.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmeierant12 View Post
    CUT
    should I be worried about getting a rim that is 23-25mm wide? I haven't done a thorough inspection all around my current set to see how much clearance there is but just curious.
    Aluminium 23 mm wide rims are usually 17 mm internal and 25 mm 19 mm internal, so yes, you should be worried if your current setup is allready tight.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for all the information guys. This is really helpful. I just looked at my wheels and found a sticker that said "ERTRO 622x14". I am trying to find some information on what that means but am striking out. Does this mean the inner width is 14mm? I know this can't mean the outer width is 14mm. If that is the inner width, what would the external width be?

    Lombard, you are correct that when I said some of the rims I was just looking at online were 23-25mm but those were external widths. For example, the HED Belgium C2 rim is 23mm (external) and their website says that inflated tires will be 1-2mm wider. Would I need to look for a wheel that has a width less than 23mm?

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    14-15C wheels/rims (14-15 mm internal) are becoming more and scarce these days , because they have small but significant disadvantages in riding qualities, compared with the modern wider models.
    IF a 25 mm tyre on a 17C (or more) wheel does not fit in your frame, you still have the alternative of using 23 mm tyres on these 17-19C rims which will give you even better riding qualities than 25 mm on 14C rims.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmeierant12 View Post
    Thanks for all the information guys. This is really helpful. I just looked at my wheels and found a sticker that said "ERTRO 622x14". I am trying to find some information on what that means but am striking out. Does this mean the inner width is 14mm?
    Yep, exactly!

    Quote Originally Posted by cmeierant12 View Post
    Lombard, you are correct that when I said some of the rims I was just looking at online were 23-25mm but those were external widths. For example, the HED Belgium C2 rim is 23mm (external) and their website says that inflated tires will be 1-2mm wider. Would I need to look for a wheel that has a width less than 23mm?
    Again, you need only to concern yourself with the ETRTO number which has the INTERNAL width. External width is a useless figure.

    HED Belgium C2s are ETRTO 622x17 (17mm internal width) Your tires will be at least 1mm wider on these than the 622x14 rims, possibly a bit more, but not more than 2mm.

    What kind of clearance do you have now?
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  18. #18
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    I bought a set of ROL Race sl wheels. They have been fine performers. I'd buy any in the ROL line.
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    Lombard, I have about 3-4 mm of clearance around the bike. With me currently running 25mm tires on the 622x14 wheels, "if" I did switch to the Belgium C2's that have a 17mm inner width and put on 23mm tires, would that almost negate the width of my current set up with the new set up. I couldn't tell the difference when I ran 23mm tires to now with my 25mm tires, or at least I didn't really care to try and notice a difference.

  20. #20
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    Cmeierant12,

    3mm clearance on each side is about as tight as you should go.

    Going down from 25mm to 23mm tires should definitely negate the increased tire width due to rim width. So if you are OK with going back to 23mm tires, you will be fine with the HED Belgium C2's.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmeierant12 View Post
    • Why do you want new wheels? What's wrong with your old ones?
      • I have started putting in a lot more miles this year compared to years past and I don't want to spend the money on upgrading my bike/components just yet (2012 Trek 2.3). Nothing wrong with current wheels but if a wheel upgrade is worth it, then I will consider.

    • What are you old ones? (rim name, hub name, spokes, their numbers)

    • How much do you want to spend?
      • Max budget is $800-1000

    • How heavy are you?
      • 165-175lbs

    • Do you ride "light" or "heavy"? Are you powerful or smooth?
      • Light and smooth

    • Have you had problems with your current wheels and if so, what?
      • No problems other than doing an annual true

    • What condition are the roads in that you ride?
      • Pretty good roads, minimal potholes/gravel, rolling hills of St. Louis suburbs

    • What tires, widths and pressures are you using?
      • Vittoria Rubino Pro III, 25MM at 95 psi front and 105 psi back

    • What do you expect from your new wheels that your old ones can't deliver? (be reasonable and realistic here!)
      • I do feel like my current wheels are slow to react going up a climb or rolling over a hill. I am not looking to get max speed capabilities with deep aero rims as I don't race and I know I can't sustain super max speeds.

    • What are you going to use the wheels for - recreational riding, touring (loaded), training, racing, general purpose?
      • Recreational riding (150+ miles per week)

    • Do you want custom hand-built (designed for you) or factory pre-built?
      • Prefer hand-built as the reviews on the process and quality seem to be better (novice on understanding wheel building)

    • Do you want wheels that are easily repairable with readily available, reasonably priced spokes and rims or are you ok with maybe having to ship your wheels back to the factory and wheels that contain expensive, proprietary spokes and possibly un-obtainium replacement rims?
      • Preferable for reasonably priced spoke/rim

    • Do you need 11spd compatible wheels (can be used with 8 ~10spd cassettes too by using a spacer) or are 10spd wheels ok? (can only be used with 8 ~ 10spd cassettes). Edit - This info is for Shimano & SRAM related cassettes; not Campagnolo.
      • I currently run 10 speed Shimano and don't intend to upgrade to 11 speed on current bike.

    • Do you want the wheels to be oriented towards "aero" or "light"?
      • More light than aero

    • Do you want to use regular clincher, tubeless, or tubular tires?
      • Clincher (but only because I have never tried the others)

    • Aluminum or carbon rims?
      • Aluminum (I have only had aluminum)

    • Rim brakes or disk brakes?
      • Rim

    • Rear hub width? (120, 126, 130, 135MM)
      • Standard 130

    • Do you want adjustable loose ball bearing hubs (almost exclusively Shimano) or cartridge bearing hubs (almost everything else)?
      • Indifferent
    The wheels would be the best improvement you can do to the bike. This is Bc they carry the rotational mass of te bike. Specially the rear wheel. Acceleration and the ability to sustain higher speeds would be noticeable.
    I have all my wheels done by prowheel builder. They are in Georgia and have excellent customer service. I highly recommend them for custom wheels. Wait to the end of the year or special holidays for super savings.
    I have Reynolds assault and I am very happy with the quality and race performance of them.
    The higher you go on the height of the rim the heavier it will be and the more rotational mass you will have. This will slow down acceleration making it feel heavy to spin the wheel out of a particular speed at which you would be going.
    There is a lot of articles and wind tunnel data that explain this. These articles showed that anything greater than 32mm deep profile starts showing diminishing returns of weight/aero/acceleration. The max I think was around 40mm. After this is just not worth it. You have to read them.
    In addition, the higher the profile the more the wheels will be affected by side winds. It is noticeable but not a big deal for me at 32mm deep.
    Because of these I went with the assault custom made with American classic hubs and j bends for aero profile, brass nipples and 24h front and back for longevity. 1456 grams Unfortunately prowheel builder is not longer selling Reynolds. A shame really they are excellent rims. I had to replace my front rim after a crash against a truck that cut a chunk out of the wheel. I hit the truck at 25mph with my front wheel hitting on the left side and taking a chunk out of it. I was surprised that the wheel was rideable. if it wouldn't be for the missing chunk it was totally fine.
    The price you are looking at would only get you factory made wheels. I don't think you can afford carbon rims at 1000$ max budget brand new custom. Probikekit had the assault for 1000$. This is a great price. Only down side is the 20h in the front for me. But you are lighter. I'm 195lbs at racing weight.
    Zipps are not worth it. Had them and the hubs are crappy. They had a recent recall for This.
    Mavics have great hubs but dunno about their carbon rims much. I had the cosmic and cracked 2. Then I found out they suffered from this ailment due to very high tension and low spoke count. All these factory made rims are
    Made with money and mass production in mind. I realized that spending a little bit more in custom goes a long way for durability.
    I ride about the same you do now. Around 200miles per week. I think a strong set of hand made carbon custom rims should last you 3-5 years or more. The problem with carbon is that the stresses weakens the resin over time and it starts cracking at the nipples.
    If you want the lightest rims you have to go carbon although there are some pretty light aluminum rims out there. They last longer. Velocity makes really good rims and some are very light. my training wheels are custom velocity deep V. You can save a lot of weight with the spoke selection but they are more expensive as they become lighter and stronger.
    If you are not into racing, don't care about the carbon look and want durable light rims go with aluminum.
    If you want the lightest, strongest, aero, profile coolest looking rims, then carbon is the way to go.
    I hope this helps good luck!


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    Quote Originally Posted by cmeierant12 View Post
    Lombard, I have about 3-4 mm of clearance around the bike. With me currently running 25mm tires on the 622x14 wheels, "if" I did switch to the Belgium C2's that have a 17mm inner width and put on 23mm tires, would that almost negate the width of my current set up with the new set up. I couldn't tell the difference when I ran 23mm tires to now with my 25mm tires, or at least I didn't really care to try and notice a difference.
    If you are running 25s right now you shouldn't have a problem by changing the width of your wheels. As long as you go with road wheels you will be fine. Actually I would speculate that your max tire width will decrease since you are reducing the light bulb effect. This will help the base of the tire expand better making it less bulbous. Another thing the wider internal widths do is that the tire sits better in the rim. This improves tire deflection when taking corners at speed making the bike more stable. Also it reduces the lightbulb effect. This according to some studies improves aero performance by decreasing turbulence around the tire.
    This is out of topic but since it has become more common knowledge that 25s have lower rolling resistance than 23s newer frames are being made wider to accommodate this new trend.



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  23. #23
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    Charlitin,

    Please re-read my post #3. This whole "theory" of rotating mass has been way overblown. Yes, it is true that rotating mass will affect acceleration. However, once you are up to speed, weight is weight. In other words, losing a few pounds off the engine will give you a far greater advantage than a wheelset that weighs 300g less.

    Mavic hubs are almost as bad as their rims.

    Velocity rims? Let's just say there are better choices.

    You can't go wrong with a pair of HEDs.

    In the end:

    1) Light
    2) Durable
    3) Cheap

    Pick two.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlitin View Post
    Actually I would speculate that your max tire width will decrease since you are reducing the light bulb effect. This will help the base of the tire expand better making it less bulbous. Another thing the wider internal widths do is that the tire sits better in the rim. This improves tire deflection when taking corners at speed making the bike more stable. Also it reduces the lightbulb effect. This according to some studies improves aero performance by decreasing turbulence around the tire.
    This is out of topic but since it has become more common knowledge that 25s have lower rolling resistance than 23s newer frames are being made wider to accommodate this new trend.
    Sorry, very bad advice. This could not be more wrong! Thing of it this way. Take a sheet of paper and roll it into a tube. Measure its diameter. Now unroll that tube part way into a "U" shape and measure its diameter again. The only way what you said would be true is in the hypothetical case that your rim were so wide, the tire were shaped like a bell. At that point, the tire would be unrideable.

    In theory, what you said able less "lightbulbing" of the tire being more aero is true, however, it won't be enough to notice. And while less lightbulbing will give you a little bit better stability, I higher spoke count will do this to a greater extent.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Charlitin,

    Please re-read my post #3. This whole "theory" of rotating mass has been way overblown. Yes, it is true that rotating mass will affect acceleration. However, once you are up to speed, weight is weight. In other words, losing a few pounds off the engine will give you a far greater advantage than a wheelset that weighs 300g less.

    Mavic hubs are almost as bad as their rims.

    Velocity rims? Let's just say there are better choices.

    You can't go wrong with a pair of HEDs.

    In the end:

    1) Light
    2) Durable
    3) Cheap

    Pick two.
    So I have a set of training wheels that weights 300gm less than my racing set at 1450s. I can tell the difference in acceleration between the two. The weight is on the rims. My training wheels are aluminum and my racing are carbon.
    You can calculate the vector force with the different weight and have a real value by adding 300gm to the exterior of the circumference. That is 0.67 lbs. I think that would be significant when transferring it to numbers.
    This has been proven. Look at the studies and if you don't agree based on opinion then I suggest do the math, and see how many watts of force you need additionally to move the extra weight of a wheel that everything else remains the same.
    The other thing is that the more you move out of the circumference te more influence the weight will have. A simple vector calculation will Prove this. Therefore if you have the weight in the hub it will have less impact on the rotational mass of the wheel.



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  5. bontrager race lite wheelset: advice?
    By haiku d'etat in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-05-2004, 04:42 PM

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