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Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by kbasa, Mar 15, 2009.
What makes sense, at least to create some inquires..
Quick question for the collective wisdom of this forum. Back in March I got my hands on a used Giant OCR 3 road bike and started a comeback to the sport from a very low level of fitness. So far I've lost 9 pounds (now 150#) and getting fitter by the week. Feels great to be back on a bike again.
Just recently I got a very good deal on hardly used 2008 Fuji CCR 3 with a combination of Ultegra and Dura Ace components and older (2007) very low miles Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelset (1,780 grams). On a lark I decided to mount the Giant's pretty basic (ball bearing) wheelset on the Fuji and a on perfect riding day I was 52 seconds slower on my regular 11 mile loop that by now I can do inside of 15 seconds +,- of my best time on any given day. Also, that wheelset is a bit under a pound heavier (2,090 grams) than the Mavics.
The Mavics are also pretty "basic" as far as wheels go these days but I serviced them recently and they roll very well and have stayed true for about 500 miles. There are plenty of new and used clincher aluminum wheelsets under 1,500 grams out on ebay for less than $500 like Giant P-SLR1, ROL Race sl, Vuelta Corsa Race and even used Dura Ace C-24 sets.
I know that there is no substitute for training and I am doing my part but I don't want to be leaving something on the table. I'm 53 and also live and train in a mountainous area with many climbs and not interested in racing, (I tore the ACL in my left knee 20 years ago) just ride for fitness so keep that in mind.
The question is. Is it a waste of time and money to expect a newer/lighter wheelset to be of benefit to me over my current Mavics, speed and climbing ability wise the same way the Mavics appear to me over the ball bearing type wheelset?
Mods: If I'm asking the question in the wrong forum please move as needed.
Topolino Revelation C19 Carbon Core Wheels
for sale cheap here
if you're all about the training, why do you care about those 53 seconds? compensate for the slower wheels, and moooove on, right? It's about the engine, not the equipment. .
You may not know much about corporate counsel and trademark law...
Yep, I regulary ride with road bikes. Used to be on my 26" Orbea MTB and now on my 29er BH Ultimate.
It all about the training (and some tactics)
I MUCH prefer Mavic wheels, have seen me through some proper epic rides and long distance events as well.
If you do race, train on the heavier wheels and then put the light weight wheels on for the race.
Or just train on them, race on them.
Work out where your weak points (limiters) on your loop are are then concentrate on those limiters to get those secounds back.
Wheels/tires are the biggest thing you can change on a bike. The Mavic wheels are pretty nice. I would be careful going too light because you start to trade durability for weight. You could go up in the Mavic line to a SL wheel and still be real durable, but they will have the same bearings and free hub as you have now. Ceramic bearings are supposed to make a pretty good difference.
If you are just training and not racing, there is no good reason to upgrade other than just wanting something nicer (there is nothing wrong with that).
Light weight tires and tube can make a big difference also. Depending on your route, if there is road debris or glass, I would stay with a puncture resistant tire because repairing a flat will add a lot to your time.
You'll go faster by losing a couple hundred grams of body weight and the resulting fitness to get there, unless you're already less than 3% body fat. But if you just want to buy shiny new stuff that's fine, because somebody has to keep this economy going.
Maybe I did not made my point as clear as I wanted. The 52 seconds was used as reference point for "efficiency". I live in a very rural area and I ride alone 99% of the time. I have 11, 25 and 36 miles loops and I benchmark them "time" wise to see if I am making progress in my training. I also keep track of cadence and heart rate specially in the climbs.
I went from a 12-23T rear cassette to an 11-28 on a front compact to make it easier on my knees and the difference was outstanding. The Mavic set is "faster/more efficient" and I can feel that they also make it easier on my knees as I can keep my cadence up better than the Xero set. If I were to learn that a lighter set of wheels & tires also helps in saving wear and tear on my body I would consider it. But if by "yours" experience the savings are negligible or is all placebo effect I would think that I am at the equipment level that i need to be.
My last decent bike was over 30 years ago and there's a lot to learn on the newer stuff. Thanks for the feedback.
Unless you have exhausted all other variables and are racing for hundreths of a second, a few hundred grams won't make squat of a difference. Now if you have to buy lighter stuff, anything in rotational weight will make the biggest difference. But it doesn't matter if you have the lightest wheels on earth, if you have a wimpy frame, wimpy cranks, poor fit, aerodynamics of a brick, poor technique, etc...
You say you live in a rural area and ride alone. I would highly recommend hooking up with other riders, some kind of group training rides, etc. Here you will be able to gauge your fitness against others and get invaluable insight to all the little subtleties that add up to speed. I would also consider getting a professional bike fit done. I'm not trying to be a jerk here, but it's hard to figure this stuff out on your own. If you're just riding for recreation and general well being, it really doesn't matter. If you're riding for speed and competitive about your "times", then you have to step this up to another level if your serious.
You say you're not interested in racing. That may be, but the best way to become faster is to ride and train with racers. Or a very competitive group of "fitness" riders. You will gain all kinds of knowledge and most people are very willing to help you. Even though you don't want to race, a local time trial is good way to measure your fitness against yourself and others. Most small metro areas that support at least a couple of bike shops will have a group of racers or fitness riders who have organized training rides. Hook up with these people. You may have to drive a little to do a once or twice a week ride, but the knowledge and fitness gained will fast track you toward your goals.
My stealthy Iron Horse commuter...
...and some compact dorkiness
Thanks all for the advice on the wheels and training. I don't do things for "bling". Guess I'm saving my money and concentrate on training, technique and form. Since this is the "show us your bike" thread, here are pics of the bikes..
The Giant OCR 3 (Sold)
Fuji CCR 3
Don't pay attention to the ergos. Pics are right after I got each bike and I had my LBS "fit" me to both bikes soon after buying them.
I 2nd this. Most of my riding training is done on my own but towards the competative races, I ride with others as the competition comes out in us. you dont have to do it, dont feel pressured in to doing but it does make a difference
90% of my riding is done on 32/32 Open Pro-style wheels. Not sexy. Not light. Durable. I'm replacing the bearings in one set of wheels for the first time in 2 decades of use. Should've done em sooner, but I really wasn't paying as much attention to em as I should 'cause they just keep working.
Now, if you have some intervals or are trying to keep up with the truly fast guys (every Wed for me) then by all means put on the aero wheels.
Having said that: ride what makes you happy. Life's too short. If you shop around, you can find screaming deals on aero wheels right now.
I'm old enough we would train on our standard 36 spoke wheels and put on the 32 spoke wheels for the races. And aero meant tucking in your jersey.
Hoping to tap into the colective wisdom here as I'm building a set of wheels for my cross bike and the last thing I need right now is a new forum to get addicted to. Wall of text to follow.
Info on me: BMX background and I ride dualsport motorcycles (duh). I make a portion of my living teaching self defense/martial arts so I'm in decent shape... but I still tip the scales at 200 pounds naked (sry no pics).
When I started building this bike I was riding a lot in town and the local trails were smooth. Now I'm rural and thinking my bike may be to wimpy for the local trails 98% of which would be more than fine on a hard tail but still rougher than where I was. There are some road bike races I'd be interested in doing around here too so if the frame and fork aren't going to work with my frame off road then I'll take it easy on the trails until I can buy the mountain bike I've beem wanting anyway.
Frame and fork: Salsa Las Cruces frame and Nashbar carbon fork.
Rim budget: I'd like to keep it under $150 for the pair but I can spend a little more if there's a definitive answer for just $100 more. But I still need to buy other stuff to get this thing rolling so preferably not.
I have a set of 32 spoke Chris King hubs I picked up out of a racers spare parts bin for next to nothing. They may need bearing in the next year or so but will suffice for now.
For rims I'm looking at the Mavic Open Pro (435 grams), Velocity a23 (425 grams) , and the Mavic 119 (540 grams).
I'm leaning towards taking the nearly half pound weight penalty for the more durable touring rims.
Am I underestimating the strength of the bike? It sure feels like nothing. But then again I've sparred some really talented Philipino women... and they had it in spades.
Will I destroy the lighter the rims?
Or am I missing something strong and light rim wise? Or something similiar in weight/strength but more aerodynamic?
I can give you my .2 cents worth and you can decide if it's worth less or more than that.
I've got a Trek Crocket cross that bike that I race cross with. I bought an extra set of Stan's Alpha wheels to have a lighter set of race wheels. The rims are 340 grams and I believe Stan's puts a conservative rider weight limit of 190lbs? on this wheel set. When I bought them I specifically told them I was racing cross and they said no problemo. I weigh 170lbs. I raced the bike about 6 times this fall and had no issues.
Based on your weight, Stan's would recommend their slightly heavier rim at 400 grams, which I believe is rated to 250lbs. So based in that info, I'd say any quality rim in the 400 gram range would be fine. Now that's based on normal cross conditions and road riding. If you start treating it like a mountain bike, who knows? I can't remember, but I think their wheels are a 32 or 28 spoke count rim too, not some ridiculously low spoke count. Plus the width and larger air volume of cross tires helps absorb the shock and protect the rims.
I don't see how aero would be of any benefit under actual cross conditions, because the average speeds are pretty low. And for around here cross courses are relatively smooth and non technical, compared to mountain bike trails or dirt bike trails.
I run 200lbs.
I am running A23's with 32 in the rear and 28 in the front. I like them and they are TOUGH! I ride on pretty rough roads around town, makes the trails feel like glass.
This will be the most road biased bike I've ever owned so it'll get used that way too. If I can get strength and a bit better aero with out siginifigant price increase that'd be nice.
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I'm leaning towards the 23's and bitimg the bullet on a dedicated mtb bike specifically an Airborn Goblin.
Then I can slow thisbbuild down again and keep shopping for bargains. Trying to stay under $1500 on the cross bike. Depending on how crazy I get with the drive train I may go over by a couple hundred. If I use my old Profile cranks and a 1x10 gear set I'll be well under my goal. Buying a crankset and Red shifters will be the budget killers.
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