Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

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Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby Arlberg » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:55 am

My question regarding carbon wheels is at what point does the extra weight of a more aero wheelset negate the benefits of the aero of those wheels?

Eg. the Farsports 50mmm deep aero wheelset, http://www.farsports.cn/ViewProduct.aspx?id=685 , weighs about 130gm more than the 38mmm aero wheelset. http://www.farsports.cn/ViewProduct.aspx?id=730 .

Should a potential buyer wanting an all round faster wheel buy the 50mm wheels and have more aero but also more weight, or the 38mm wheels and have less aero but also less weight? Would the extra 12mm of aero compensate adequately for the 130gm of extra weight?
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by BNA » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:23 pm

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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby Xplora » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:23 pm

How fast are you riding? How much wind do you ride in?

My cousin has RS80s in 50mm and he won't take them out if there is any breeze. If you want all weather wheels, 38mm will be better. If you want blockburners, then 50mm FTW. Weight is nothing, aero is everything. Obey the Aero. The difference in weight is two sips of water. Unless you've bought Super Record, you probably don't need to worry about 100gms. Unless you're pumping 40kmh, you probably won't recognise the benefits of one over the other either :idea:
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby kayrehn » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:47 pm

I previously used 46mm rims and I will say that they are quite all right to handle in most wind conditions despite me being only 68kg. If you ride in a pack most of the time aero wheels are not very important. 130gms are nothing much to worry about actually, if the difference is a bit more like maybe 300-400gms then you might feel quite a bit of inertia going uphill (might be psychological, but still inertia). If you ride alone most of the time/trains for time trials/triathlons too then you might as well get deeper rims and get used to it in every day rides.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby NhiTrac » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:39 am

I was previously riding with 40mm clinchers f/r that weigh 1.8kg. Recently changed to 26/30 clinchers that weigh 1.5kg I think.

All of my riding are on flats and all of my pbs have been on the lesser 'aero' wheels :?
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:46 am

A few of my best times have been on my singlespeed with 2.4kg cheap v's, but how much of that is due to the aero rims and how much to the fact it is a singlespeed and it prevents me from pushing too hard and blowing up i couldn't say.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby smileNnod » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:04 am

My Cervelo R3 is a light setup running SRAM red and Fulcrum Zeros. Ripper climbing bike and I always raced the Fulcrums.
I lashed out on a set of Zipp 404's Tubulars (56mm) for crits. However I took them out for a roll on my hill training ride, which is 4 repeats of a 3km climb. I set a PR first time up and broke that PR on the third. They climb absolutely fine. (Can show you the stats to prove) Must have ridden that climb over 1000 times.


1x full water bottle can be $1000 in saving equivalent weight off the bike.

It's pretty simple - Train heavier, Race lighter.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:33 am

Or race heavy too and then you have an excuse if your legs aren't up to scratch :) .
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby Xplora » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:10 am

To the OP - as the posts have clarified, things like hubs, spoke weight and spoke count, riding in a pack, are all variables that are extremely hard to isolate without large expense to test. Some guys are OK with 50s, some guys are ok with 60s, and some respond better to lower weights than others. Myself personally? I'll be going a 50/55 clincher combo from TWE at 1400gms when the time comes. That's going to give me a big jump in weight and aero... it would be a good idea to get yourself a set of Chinese carbon wheels to test, and then get yourself some better wheels if you wanted to go HED or Zipp or something.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby warthog1 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:46 am

I've got 85mm token tubular race wheels and yes you feel a gusty side wind but I've never had to swap them out because of the wind. It's a case of concentrate more and save your legs or have an easier time holding the bike but bust a valve trying to roll through. I'll take the former over the latter any time. 50mm can't be that hard to hold on to, the 38mm seem a bit pointless to me :?
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby AndrewBurns » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:21 pm

I'm light at 65kg and I ride ~52mm deep section wheels in all conditions, I've felt the tug in strong side gusts but I haven't felt like I couldn't ride with them. Yes aero is less important when you're in the middle of the pack but much more important when you then have to do your turn at the front at 40+ kph :P

Go for the deep section, 38mm carbon rims seem pointless.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby usernameforme » Tue Oct 23, 2012 12:24 pm

Go tubular, best of both worlds. Carbon Clinchers are heavy versions of lighweight race-wheels. Do not drink the cool-aid. IMO carbon clinchers are not the greatest idea unless your willing to go for a big brand IMO I'd stick to tubulars from the chinese knock-offs as they should have less issues with heat buildup.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby Arlberg » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:28 pm

Some good advice there thanks.

By the way what is the difference in the aero design of chinese carbon wheels such as those from Farsports and the latest designs from established brands like Zipp and others? Apparently the 'wedge' is a different shape on the newer wheels? Are they more aerodynamic or something? How does that affect the performance of the aero characteristics?
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby usernameforme » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:20 am

The Zipp wheels "should" (as their marketing department says) be less effected at cross winds and should display better properties at higher yaw angles. Generally the Zipp wheels should produce less turbulence than the Chinese stuff. I personally prefer lighter wheels as they feel more responsive. They may not be faster overall, but they are more fun to ride because of their reactivity.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby Arlberg » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:07 pm

Thanksusernameforme.

I read about them here too. http://www.zipp.com/wheels/404-firecres ... clincher/# , and here http://www.zipp.com/technologies/aerody ... ecrest.php .

The Zipp 404s are around 180gm heavier, and about $1600 more expensive!, so the Farsports seem better value, and I have only read good reports about them. I have also read quite a few bad reports about the Zipps...
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby usernameforme » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:41 pm

I've seen a few brake issues on the farsport's on another forum, but thats about it. Also, the claimed weights of items are always a bit off, so the farsport ones may be the same weight as the zipp wheels.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby TDC » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:14 pm

Arlberg wrote:My question regarding carbon wheels is at what point does the extra weight of a more aero wheelset negate the benefits of the aero of those wheels?

Eg. the Farsports 50mmm deep aero wheelset, <a href="http://www.farsports.cn/ViewProduct.aspx?id=685" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Link added by VigLink" class="vglnk"><span>http</span><span>://</span><span>www</span><span>.</span><span>farsports</span><span>.</span><span>cn</span><span>/</span><span>ViewProduct</span><span>.</span><span>aspx</span><span>?</span><span>id</span><span>=</span><span>685</span></a>, weighs about 130gm more than the 38mmm aero wheelset. <a href="http://www.farsports.cn/ViewProduct.aspx?id=730" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Link added by VigLink" class="vglnk"><span>http</span><span>://</span><span>www</span><span>.</span><span>farsports</span><span>.</span><span>cn</span><span>/</span><span>ViewProduct</span><span>.</span><span>aspx</span><span>?</span><span>id</span><span>=</span><span>730</span></a>.

Should a potential buyer wanting an all round faster wheel buy the 50mm wheels and have more aero but also more weight, or the 38mm wheels and have less aero but also less weight? Would the extra 12mm of aero compensate adequately for the 130gm of extra weight?


Have a read of these.

http://le-grimpeur.net/blog/archives/598
http://le-grimpeur.net/blog/archives/648
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby Xplora » Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:14 pm

You really can't compare Zipps to the chinese carbon stuff... it's exactly the same as comparing the Hongfu frame worth 300 bucks to the 4500 Venge frame. They aren't in the same class.

That said, you'll get 90% of the benefit with 10% of the cost if you go Chinese. Nothing wrong with going that direction, just don't tell yourself that Zipps are silly - they cost a lot because they are the best, and they spend money to make sure they stay that way.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby smileNnod » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:43 am

I debated on this for months - No way am I paying 3k with tyres and cassette for wheels.
On the other hand I like quality and didn't want a cheaper heavier set for racing (defeated the purpose).

Perfect solution:I purchased a second hand set of Zipp 404 Tubs - $1600.00 - Simply amazing and I have ridden cheaper wheels with not as good quality hubs. YES you absolutely can tell the difference. I found heavier cheaper, certainly more work in getting up to speed.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby jacks1071 » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:59 am

Arlberg wrote:Thanksusernameforme.

I read about them here too. http://www.zipp.com/wheels/404-firecres ... clincher/# , and here http://www.zipp.com/technologies/aerody ... ecrest.php .

The Zipp 404s are around 180gm heavier, and about $1600 more expensive!, so the Farsports seem better value, and I have only read good reports about them. I have also read quite a few bad reports about the Zipps...


It would be delusional to expect even remotely similiar quality between a chinese no-name and a zipp.

I'm not saying Zipp are the most durable wheels out there, far from it - but what happens when you take a wheel thats on the limit for some riders and deduct another 180g of weight from it?

If I was going to be cheap and buy a no-name carbon wheel, I definitely would not be looking for the lighest rim I could get.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:57 pm

smileNnod wrote:Perfect solution:I purchased a second hand set of Zipp 404 Tubs

That's exactly what I did ages ago.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby usernameforme » Thu Nov 08, 2012 9:31 am

Never discount your LBS either, they might have some take-offs from some higher end bikes. My LBS had a set of Reynolds Attacks going for $600 :shock: They didn't last very long :cry:
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby Arlberg » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:29 pm

Thanks for the responses, some good advice there.

I went for the Lightweight Meilenstein clinchers. A good mix of both light weight (They came in at 1140gm for the pair) and aero of 47.5mm. I specifically wanted clinchers for the ease of changing the tyre/tube if I get a flat. Slightly pricey but what the heck.
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:34 pm

8) very cool!
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby Arlberg » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:09 pm

I just realised that by getting the Lightweights instead of the Farsports cost me about $3500 extra just to save 180gm! .......It would be interesting to test these wheels side by side and see if the 3.5k extra is worth it. Somehow I doubt it!
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Re: Carbon wheels. Extra weight Vs Extra Aero?

Postby jacks1071 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:48 pm

Arlberg wrote:I just realised that by getting the Lightweights instead of the Farsports cost me about $3500 extra just to save 180gm! .......It would be interesting to test these wheels side by side and see if the 3.5k extra is worth it. Somehow I doubt it!


I think the same thing everytime a Hyundai drives past me when I'm out in the Lotus... NOT!

Lightweights are awesome, if you can afford to buy them and replace in the event of a crash - go for it :-)
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