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Aero vs non-aero wheels?(10 posts)

Aero vs non-aero wheels?Alexandre
Aug 9, 2001 4:06 AM
I'm kind of new in this sport, so i'd like some explanation about this, how much diference can make aero wheels when compared to non aero wheels, does the fact of being aero compensates the extra weight and what about climbing? What about turning and sprinting, witch is the best?

I'm buying a new bike, but i'm switching my original wheels, my choices are either cosmic elites, or a custom made wheel with open pros and maybe chorus hubs witch are gonna be lighter for sure.

I like the cosmics but i don't want to buy a wheels just for the looks, and then be sorry for the poor perfomance, especially climbing.

If anyone have tried a cosmic set and compared it with a regular set please help.

re: Aero vs non-aero wheels?mmaggi
Aug 9, 2001 5:58 AM
IF you're new to the sport and you're not over 200lbs, then a good hand built wheel (non-aero) by a good wheelsmith is in order.

28 or 32 hole Mavic Open Pro rims will be fine. They're light enough (about 1700g) and strong enough.

Aero wheels come into play on flat, relatively straight runs and time trails when speeds exceed 25mph. If you're not racing or not training at speeds over 25mph then you won't be getting the full benefit of aero wheels. Of course, you can use them on climbs, but then you might have to deal with crosswinds especially coming down the hills.

But if you like the look of an aero wheel, then go ahead and purchase a set.

Buy what you like and what will make you happy.
re: Aero vs non-aero wheels?Alexandre
Aug 9, 2001 6:53 AM
I weight 145lbs and i do like the look of the aero wheels, but it's like i've said, i'm not going to buy a wheelset just for the looks, specially if i can buy a custom made wheelset, witch is probably cheaper and will suit me better; according to what you say, and with my average training speed, witch is something like 18 to 22 mph, the best thing i'll do is to buy the custom's.
Thanks by the info.
re: Aero vs non-aero wheels?roadiejag
Aug 9, 2001 11:58 AM
I have both cosmic elite and mavic open pro with record hubs. The open pro is way much lighter. Noticeable on climbs. The elites are not truly an aero wheel, but you'll feel the difference on the flats. If you're in this for training, buy the elites. They look good and fast on the flat. There's also something about having fewer spokes. Since you are training to be stronger, you'll get stronger by climbing with them.
sometimes its nice to just cut the crap...Miek K
Aug 9, 2001 5:11 PM
visit the link below for a very good resource on the virtues of weight vs aerodynamics...
Best racing wheels on the planet?Dog
Aug 10, 2001 6:34 AM
I've studied the numbers and recommendations. It seems that in nearly all circumstances, aero prevails over lightweight. With carbon rims, you can have both. Yet, carbon brake surfaces suffer from poor modulation and melting brake pads. Is there a wheel that "does it all?" The Hed Alps appears to. Light and among the most aero and variable wind angles. What do you all think?

Best racing wheels on the planet?peloton
Aug 10, 2001 8:42 AM
I've been drooling over the Alps since they came out. I would love to ride a set.

Go ahead Doug, buy a set! Just make sure you tell us how they are. (Usually this is the type of goading that gets my buddies to buy stuff in the shop. Does it work over the net?)
read this.Woof the dog
Aug 11, 2001 6:34 PM
yeah, when you ride alone, aero prevails over lightweight, up to the point. However, if you have a very hilly timetrial, you will lose most time on the uphills, thus, lighter wheels may make life a bit easier (but I think there is a study on some site that shows specialized trispoke will get you faster up the hill...something i'd disagree with 'cause if you go 10 miles an hour up the hill aero doesn't matter). The point is, in a race situation where surges, accelerations, sprints are the key, I'd go with a lighter wheel because you can "over-equalize" the aero effect by simply accelerating a bit faster and therefore being ahead. Moreover, you can always sit in behind aero guys on the flats and beat them up the hills or let them lead you out. Most races are decided on the hills and sprints, I'd say. Now, if the wheel is light and aero its a perfect combination, but cannot take the beating I'd guess.


Woof the light dog
Best racing wheels on the planet?tr
Aug 12, 2001 1:56 PM
I just grazed the Hed site and looked at the Alps. They give drag numbers relative to a normal wheel. I am assuming the numbers are for identical speeds (normal and Alps), but the important thing they don't show is what speed this is at, which i'm sure everyone would like to know. These numbers are only good for this particular speed, unless the drag curve is straight and has no slope over a wide range of speed.
depends how fast you rideclub
Aug 12, 2001 9:34 AM
at serious racing speeds of 25 mph plus, aero wheels are an advantage that more than makes up for their heavier rims. At normal riding speeds of 20 mph or so, they don't make much difference in aero benefit, but their heavier rims are still harder to accelerate and climb. For general riding, go with good ol' 3-cross 32 hole with a light standard rim you will be happy. As for lateral stiffness for cornering, the more spokes the better. Flexy boutique wheels just don't feel as secure when they're way leaned over.