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Question on lighter wheelset(15 posts)

Question on lighter wheelsetErik W
Mar 27, 2002 8:17 AM
Having seen discussions on this board over time about the best upgrade to ones bike being a lighter wheelset my question is how tangible is the benefit? How much would you notice a difference? Would you notice a difference climbing or just on the flats?

My wife has a Bianchi Veloce with wheels composed of Veloce hubs, 3X straight gage spokes and Mavic CPX21 32 hole rims. I was thinking of having a wheelset built along the lines of Record hubs, DT Revolution 14/17 butted spokes 2X front, 3X rear with Mavic 28 hole Open Pro rims. That wheelset should weight just over a pound less. So my question again is the weight savings and better quality wheel tangible enough for her to notice? She doesn't want to spend the money if it's not. Thanks
Erik W
no...i doubt you'll noticeColnagoFE
Mar 27, 2002 8:32 AM
For racing where a few second's edge is important you might justify it, but for general riding no. I really dont think you'll notice it. Maybe a bit for climbing, but even then...I have a set of CXP33s 36 rear/32 front, 14/15, brass nips, 3x, around and record hubs. Not light but great for training and all around riding. Darn near indestructable. I also have a set of Open pro rims 32 hole w/ revs (except for drive side rear), AL nips, record hubs. I use these for hill climbs and the occasional special event/century etc. I really don't notice all that much difference though I suppose the lighter wheels gotta clims better and probably accelerate faster. they are not quite as stiff though.
FWIW, I agree...retro
Mar 27, 2002 8:39 AM
Probably not worth the money in this case. I have a heavy set for every day and a lighter (but not superlight) set for special occasions, and I have to concentrate hard to feel the difference (if I'd got the lighter set free, I'm not sure I COULD feel it...).
BTW, wheel weight isn't very important when you're just cruising--once you get them rolling, it doesn't take much to keep them rolling. Where she'd feel it, if at all, is in acceleration and climbing.
Well, maybedjg
Mar 28, 2002 11:54 AM
not. I'm inclined to agree that, in most circumstances, this won't make a huge objective difference (that is, I don't think she'll go appreciably faster just because the wheels are a bit lighter), but it might make a subjective difference. Light wheels--especially when light at the outside, with smooth hubs and good rubber--often just feel better than heavier wheels. I think it's partly that they spin up a bit faster. We tend to be pretty good at sensing contrast--acceleration is pretty noticeable, velocity less so--and the better acceleration can stand out. I got my first real race wheels back in 1981--record hubs, fiamme ergal rims, and clement tubies--and they felt WAY faster than the wheels they replaced. I'm not saying they made me all that much faster. It's conceivable that my time in a 20 mile time trial would have been approximately the same, or even indistinguishable, wheelset to wheelset. But I felt faster. And feeling faster can get you psyched. And getting psyched can lead to more effort. And trying harder can lead to an objective difference after all. There ya go--the mind-body problem is solved. OK, not really. But I do think that wheels that spin up faster can seem faster and that this can sometimes help psychologically.

Just guessing...
My experiencePaulCL
Mar 27, 2002 8:36 AM
I bought a set of Dave's Speeddreams last year. Aero, 18 spokes, light - 1400 grams. My other set of wheels are the ever-sturdy Open pros/record.

I did a test. I have a 1.3 mile hill near my house that I train on. I regularly do repeats on this hill when I really want to feel the pain. I keep records for my best times on a couple of hills and 2 mile and 3 mile time trial. The first time with my new wheels on the hill, I beat my best time by a full minute. Maybe it was psycholical or the 40mph tailwind (just kidding), but I really felt the lightness of the wheels. I shaved about a pound of weight off my wheelset. Is it worth an additional $525?? Only you can answer that one.

By the way, I am using my open pros now until the weather breaks. Also, as a goal, I won't let myself use the Speeddreams until my weight is down another 4 pounds. Hey, you gotta have goals and rewards......
Bladed spokes, maybeElefantino
Mar 27, 2002 9:12 AM
I agree with all the posts on this subject, but I will add that on the flats and for training/group rides I have noticed a speed difference in bladed spokes vs. round. Marginal, maybe, but noticeable.

Worth the extra? In my case, I traderhorned a deal whereby my bladed-spoked wheels cost less than the wheels I was replacing. Would I pay the $200 difference? Ten years ago, maybe. Now, probably not.

I have 2 of the same bike but different wheelsets.onespeed
Mar 27, 2002 9:19 AM
1 is for training and the rain and commute and the other is for competition and long rides. They are both exactly the same frame and components, except the wheels. One has Mavic open Pros with Campy Record 10speed hubs (the commute bike) and the other has Ksryiums.

I ride the commuter into work everyday over the same course. If by chance the commuter bike has a flat or I am doing some extra riding before work, I ride the nice one in. There is a marked difference in my time, speed comfort on the ride in. Keep in my mind that I take the same route everyday as a commuter. The hills are different as well as flats and turns.

In my opinion there is a big difference in an overall ride with a different wheelset. Others seem to have different opinions though.
I have 2 of the same bike but different wheelsets.elviento
Mar 27, 2002 9:59 AM
what are the bikes anyway? Sounds like fairly high end.
Meraks nmonespeed
Mar 27, 2002 10:12 AM
I have 2 of the same bike but different wheelsets.MikeC
Mar 27, 2002 12:32 PM
That's a valuable analysis. I've ridden Ksyriums and my main bike has Campy Moskvas laced 3x to Record hubs, but I've never been able to do an apples-to-apples comparison like yours.
Do you have a reason for using the OP/Record wheels for your commuter, or was it just cheaper? I've always thought the K's were pretty bulletproof and not uncomfortable.
That is the wheelset that came with the commuter bikeonespeed
Mar 27, 2002 12:37 PM
I much prefer the Ksryiums also.
re: I notice lighter wheels only when acceleratingdzrider
Mar 27, 2002 9:46 AM
I have Campy Protons and Mavic MA-2 or MA-40's. The difference is very noticable topping small rollers and getting back up to speed. We have lots of these in Conn.
On the few occasions where I accelerate quickly they do pick up speed faster. I notice no difference climbing. If the hill is long enough or steep enough it just feels hard and since I don't use a computer I can't tell if I'm going any faster.
re: Question on lighter wheelsetsmilycook
Mar 27, 2002 11:41 AM
I agree with the other people talking about there bikes perfroming better with lighter wheels. I had an intresting experiance where I got hit by a car and had a loaner wheel which was 32 spokes and heavy compared to my rolf wheels. When I got my rolf wheels back I immediatly noticed an improvement, although my wheels are also aero too so I am sure that helps. I would agree lighter wheels are worth the money if you have the money to spend!
Good for acceleration and slight help on climbsQuack
Mar 27, 2002 1:06 PM
Lighter rims, as far as I'm concerned, are good for one thing, acceleration. The one pound savings on the total weight for climbing purposes is about the equivalent of a water bottle in the cage. On the flats, unless the new wheels are more aerodynamic than the old ones, the whole package may actually be a little slower, the whole stored energy/momentum thing. Just look at time trial bikes. Heavy aero wheels and heavy frames, but they're still faster on flats and descents than any road race bike would be with the same rider.
here's a linkRideLots
Mar 27, 2002 2:41 PM

Bottom line: a good aero wheelset vs. a lightweight wheelset, over a hilly 508 mile course is only 6 minutes. Now, if you are going for 1st place, that is significant. For the rest of us also-runs, no big deal (disclaimer: I buy all the latest techno stuff nonetheless).

She won't notice.