Road Racing & Aero Wheels

September

Well-Known Member
Location
Wolverhampton
Hello,

I'm going to be taking part in this years annual local road race league and aside from getting as fit and as strong as possible, I was thinking of making a few modifications to my Cannondale CAAD8.

We all know that one of the single best modifications you can make to a bike is improved wheels, so that's what I am going to do.

However, I'm getting quite drawn to aero wheels (and these in particular: http://wheelsmith.co.uk/aero-50-clincher).

I know people say aero wheels can hinder your climbing - and I've read about that to death.

But I was wondering if these were a good/bad idea for a road league?

I'm guessing they can't do any harm but then again, you don't see many other rides using aero wheels in the league.

Good and bad, I was after peoples opinions on this and any potential alternative options.

Thank you!
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
Depends on the courses you will be riding etc as to what wheel will be best, 50mm is a pretty standard rim depth these days. People ride all sorts of stuff, from real basic, to real bling, the most important thing is to only race on kit you can afford to replace (or insure).
 

shadow master

Well-Known Member
Good quality light,stiff, 50mm wheels, aero well and don't hinder climbing too much,The biggest factor people don't realise is the effect crosswinds have on aero's at 50mm plus,tests are carried out in wind tunnels,not in the real world,if your feeling the bike swating/twitching,you'll probably slow down by 4/5 mph,at that point the aero's are costing you speed, if you then have heavy ones eg 2000grams a pair,you lose on the climbs as well!.....just something to think about!
 

Rob3rt

Man or Moose!
Location
Manchester
You will not reduce speed by 4-5 mph... where on earth have you pulled that nugget from.

Riding in full aero gear, in a time trial, if the wind is such that I have to sit up and get hold of the outriggers to control the bike, I lose nowhere near 4-5 mph, so someone already using a wide grip, riding a less extreme set of wheels and not having to undergo a dramatic change in riding position is going to loose much less speed!
 
Location
Loch side.
Good quality light,stiff, 50mm wheels, aero well and don't hinder climbing too much,The biggest factor people don't realise is the effect crosswinds have on aero's at 50mm plus,tests are carried out in wind tunnels,not in the real world,if your feeling the bike swating/twitching,you'll probably slow down by 4/5 mph,at that point the aero's are costing you speed, if you then have heavy ones eg 2000grams a pair,you lose on the climbs as well!.....just something to think about!
Stiff?
Don't hinder climbing much?

What does this stuff mean? Can you quantify it?
In which plane/direction is it stiff or not stiff?
How would you notice non-stiffness in wheels?
How much do they hinder climbing and why?

More nonsense is spoken about wheels than astrology, it seems.
 
Location
Loch side.
Hello,

I'm going to be taking part in this years annual local road race league and aside from getting as fit and as strong as possible, I was thinking of making a few modifications to my Cannondale CAAD8.

We all know that one of the single best modifications you can make to a bike is improved wheels, so that's what I am going to do.

However, I'm getting quite drawn to aero wheels (and these in particular: http://wheelsmith.co.uk/aero-50-clincher).

I know people say aero wheels can hinder your climbing - and I've read about that to death.

But I was wondering if these were a good/bad idea for a road league?

I'm guessing they can't do any harm but then again, you don't see many other rides using aero wheels in the league.

Good and bad, I was after peoples opinions on this and any potential alternative options.

Thank you!

If you really want to improve in the league, get a coach, not new wheels. Whatever wheels you have on that bike will be good enough to move you up 100 places in position if you have the right training program and follow it.
 

Joshua Plumtree

Approaching perfection from a distance.
What is this local road race league of which you speak? :smile:

If it involves lots of group riding, surges off the front and breakaways, then surely you'd be looking to purchase lightweight high quality wheels which accelerate quickly from an already fast pace.
Not convinced deep profile wheels would be of any benefit.
 
Location
Loch side.
What is this local road race league of which you speak? :smile:

If it involves lots of group riding, surges off the front and breakaways, then surely you'd be looking to purchase lightweight high quality wheels which accelerate quickly from an already fast pace.
Not convinced deep profile wheels would be of any benefit.
Have you ever done the calculation to see how much power is consumed by accelerating slightly lighter wheels? It is very, very little and no different from accelerating weight anywhere else on the bike bar a few micro milli watts. Further accelerating them from any given speed requires the same energy. Your starting speed has nothing to do with it. Wheels are over rated in amateur circles, no matter what you spend on them. They only offer brag value, especially if they're expensive and the brand is well known.
 

midlife

Guru
Depends on the race but tactics seemed to play quite a big part when I did road racing in the 70's :smile:

Time Trailling off the front like Phil Bayton was never a good tactic but I always fancied it :smile: Always got beaten by some lazy sod who was good at sprinting :sad:

Shaun
 

Joshua Plumtree

Approaching perfection from a distance.
Have you ever done the calculation to see how much power is consumed by accelerating slightly lighter wheels? It is very, very little and no different from accelerating weight anywhere else on the bike bar a few micro milli watts. Further accelerating them from any given speed requires the same energy. Your starting speed has nothing to do with it. Wheels are over rated in amateur circles, no matter what you spend on them. They only offer brag value, especially if they're expensive and the brand is well known.
Not clever enough to do the calculation! But I'm prepared to take your word for it, although it does seem a little counter-intuitive!
 
Good quality light,stiff, 50mm wheels, aero well and don't hinder climbing too much,The biggest factor people don't realise is the effect crosswinds have on aero's at 50mm plus,tests are carried out in wind tunnels,not in the real world,if your feeling the bike swating/twitching,you'll probably slow down by 4/5 mph,at that point the aero's are costing you speed, if you then have heavy ones eg 2000grams a pair,you lose on the climbs as well!.....just something to think about!
Have to agree with you on that and an excellent point. It scares the proverbial out of you. Certainly makes me wind my neck in for a while and whether we are prepared to admit it or not it will slow you down.
 

shadow master

Well-Known Member
Stiff?
Don't hinder climbing much?

What does this stuff mean? Can you quantify it?
In which plane/direction is it stiff or not stiff?
How would you notice non-stiffness in wheels?
How much do they hinder climbing and why?

More nonsense is spoken about wheels than astrology, it seems.
I have experienced budget aero wheels that when standing to crest a hill actually flex enough to rub on the brake from one side to the other,at lower speeds,ie climbing,The perphiael
Stiff?
Don't hinder climbing much?

What does this stuff mean? Can you quantify it?
In which plane/direction is it stiff or not stiff?
How would you notice non-stiffness in wheels?
How much do they hinder climbing and why?

More nonsense is spoken about wheels than astrology, it seems.
Yes I can quantify this with a simple example,I have ridden a good carbon bike with budget 38mm alloy aero wheels, weight 2500grams a pair,The wheels flex and rub on the back brake when standing climbing,The 38mm has very little aero ability at higher speeds, but your still carrying the peripheral weight of the cheap rim on low speed climbs!so in short the benefits of budget 38mm wheels are negligible, and that's what the op is asking!
 

shadow master

Well-Known Member
You will not reduce speed by 4-5 mph... where on earth have you pulled that nugget from.

Riding in full aero gear, in a time trial, if the wind is such that I have to sit up and get hold of the outriggers to control the bike, I lose nowhere near 4-5 mph, so someone already using a wide grip, riding a less extreme set of wheels and not having to undergo a dramatic change in riding position is going to loose much less speed!
Fear of the crosswinds and falling from the bike is subjective,but someone using aero wheel's for the first time in windy conditions,will be alarmed to say the least!and certainly lose more speed than the aero advantage creates,I'm not talking about a pro rider,because the op clearly isn't!
 
Stiff?
Don't hinder climbing much?

What does this stuff mean? Can you quantify it?
In which plane/direction is it stiff or not stiff?
How would you notice non-stiffness in wheels?
How much do they hinder climbing and why?

More nonsense is spoken about wheels than astrology, it seems.
I'm surprised you are asking some of these questions.
Vertical is not much of an issue if any at all with deep rims but lateral stiffness is another matter. Asking what is stiffness or how would you notice non-stiffness, like you never heard of wheel flexing is annoying (coming from somebody that keeps telling us that knows everything about wheel building) added to that the tone of your questioning, makes you sound arrogant.

I do agree with your advice to spend the money on a good coach instead. That to me sounds like the best advice given to the OP.
 

gds58

Über Member
Location
Colchester
Stiff?
Don't hinder climbing much?

What does this stuff mean? Can you quantify it?
In which plane/direction is it stiff or not stiff?
How would you notice non-stiffness in wheels?
How much do they hinder climbing and why?

More nonsense is spoken about wheels than astrology, it seems.
Oh dear Oh dear, if you need to ask these questions Yellow Saddle then you shouldn't really be contributing to this thread as you clearly don't know enough about the subject matter anyway.
I'm sure there will be plenty enough answers from other members who do have both the knowledge and the experience to help you. I have raced at National level and currently work in the Cycling trade so OP if you would like to message me directly I'll help with whatever advice I can on this subject.
G
 
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