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Were Ja Ja and Ullrich using 650c wheels?(17 posts)

Were Ja Ja and Ullrich using 650c wheels?chrisbaby
Jul 18, 2001 5:19 AM
They looked kinda small. What advantage do 650c wheels give on the climbs?
re: Were Ja Ja and Ullrich using 650c wheels?Dougal
Jul 18, 2001 5:47 AM
I'm about 99% sure they weren't.

If they were, in theory they would help with acceleration, but as they don't even use them in TTs anymore I don't think they'd be using them in Mountain stages.
Ja Ja: probablytrx0x
Jul 18, 2001 6:11 AM
on the velonews TDF site, they have an interview with Cees Beers, the guy who makes the ADA wheels. here is part of that article:

"There are no ADA wheels being used in this Tour. Beers says, "Shimano and Campagnolo are being very tough and fining their riders if they use them. So we are just keeping a low profile. Armstrong wanted me to make him a set, but he wanted them for free. When I go to the store to buy bread, I have to pay like everyone else. I don't give away wheels, since I would not be in business long if I did. Riis (CSC director sportif Bjarne) was talking to me about making a set of 650s for (Laurent) Jalabert. (Look has made a special bike for Jalabert with 650 wheels for the uphill time trial to Chamrousse.) "

so Ja Ja has a 650 bike, don't know about ullrich
re: Were Ja Ja and Ullrich using 650c wheels?dough
Jul 18, 2001 7:01 AM
650c wheels accelerate and climb better than 700c. I say that not from some theoretical calculations but from experience. I've ridden both and the 650c's are without question, much better going uphill.
then why dont we all use 650's? nmdonut maker
Jul 18, 2001 7:44 AM
then why dont we all use 650's ???
Jul 18, 2001 8:28 AM
sure, they accelerate better, but they are not as efficiant. (important for long rides) Also, there are a few things different about the frame designs that usually make them significantly less stiff, especially for the larger frames (57+). And a whole bunch of people do ride 650 wheels, just go to your neighborhood triathlon and check out just about all of the high-end women's bikes.
The bigger the wheel the lower the rolling resistance. nmrailer
Jul 18, 2001 2:59 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but why would that be? . . .LAIrish
Jul 19, 2001 2:18 PM
I have zero technical background, so this may be a dumb question. If I'm rolling x centimeters of tire along the ground, what does it matter if that is exactly one full rotation of the wheel or a teensy bit more than one full rotation? I'm still pushing the same amount of weight the same distance along the same surfaces.

Can one of you smart guys explain?
think in extremesDog
Jul 19, 2001 3:16 PM
Think of it this way. A road is not perfectly smooth. At a very small level, it's actually a whole lot of up and down over the imperfections, gravel, etc.

If you had a 1 cm tall tire, it would be literally going up and down constantly, and each variation would impede forward progress. If you had a 100 meter tall tire, it would roll right over 2 foot deep pot holes with no effect whatsoever (sorry for mixed units).

To a smaller degree, the same applies to the difference between 650 and 700 tires. The 700 will roll over the road slightly more easily, as it's not impeded by imperfections as much.

Thanks. I understand now. **LAIrish
Jul 20, 2001 10:27 AM
Jul 18, 2001 4:20 PM
Read Frankie Andreu's Tour diary from 1999, I think. In one of the entries, he or someone else on the team asked Lance why some other team was using 650s and Lance said they were stiffer. And Lance would know. Don't know if it's pro or con, I'm just the messenger.
Jul 19, 2001 7:02 AM
Sure the wheels are stiffer, the spokes are shorter. The added stiffness is one of the things that makes them accelerate faster, but that doesn't make them any more efficiant in the long run. The inherant added flex in the frame is a weakness and possibly one of the reasons that Lance & 90% of the other riders in the tour chose not to ride them.
then why dont we all use 650's? nmdough
Jul 18, 2001 8:55 AM
I don't know. I can't answer that for everyone else. I can only speak for myself and I use them because I climb better with them.
Also, after thinking about your question...dough
Jul 18, 2001 9:13 AM
I would ask you these questions: Why don't we all ride the same kind of bike? or Why don't we all use the same brand of tires? or Why don't we all use the same pedals? etc, etc. It's because we all have different likes/dislikes and different goals and such. Go to a road race and you will see 700c wheels. Go to a triathlon and you will likely see a majority of 650c wheels mounted on TT bikes. 650c may not be the best all around choice for everyone. It depends on what your needs are. As I said before, my reason for using them is for climbing and there is no question that they are better for that. I will also tell you that they are slower going downhill but I don't care about that. I would rather go up faster and coast on the way down.
Also, after thinking about your question...Birddog
Jul 18, 2001 10:22 AM
I used to have a Softride Tri bike with 650 wheels and there is no question that they are faster in hilly situations. They are also faster all around because they have their weight (the rim) closer to the axle. Rotating weight is the factor here, and the closer it is to the axle, the faster it will be, because it takes less effort to make it go around in a circle. Tri-heads are quick to embrace and retain new technology that makes them fast. Roadies tend to be more traditional, and more resistant to change. Look at those bonehead UCI rules that eliminate Softrides, Trek "Y" bikes and some others from competition because they are non traditional. It's all politics and goes along with the old "buggy whip" argument in my book.

I never noticed my 650's being slower on descents either, but they were darn sure better accelerators on the flats or uphill. The only knock in my opinion is that they give a firmer, harsher ride, but not enough to complain about.
then why dont we all use 650's? nmHansolo
Jul 18, 2001 12:57 PM
I've been using 650s for the past 5 years now and I road race. Don't do triathlons/ least not yet. I've noticed that they do climb, accelerate and stop a little better, which makes sense. Since I use Hutchinsons they don't ride significantly harsher than 700s. I think I do better in climbs and crits with the 650s. I ride 650 Open Pros with 32 DB spokes on each and they're still as true as the day I got em (1700 miles later). They're definitely stronger and don't flex as much compared to the 700c equivalent. However, I have noticed that in doing relatively flat TTs I'm not faster. And downhill I do feel a little more secure with 700s at speeds above 40mph. I think there's something to be said about the extra momentum and surface area in 700s. At high speed 650s may have shorter spokes but they have to spin faster and thus generate more turbulent flow that way. I'll probably stick with 650s for a while and maybe get one with deep dish rims next time. That way I can get the aero and weight benefits without sacrificing strength. BTW, any comments on the new Velomax Tempest and Circuit Comp wheels?
uniformity? etc.Dog
Jul 19, 2001 6:13 AM
There is something to be said for uniformity and inter-exhangeability of parts. Need a tire, tube, wheel? If everyone is the same, more likely to have a spare handy (aside from that Campy/Shimano thing). Imagine the Mavic neutral service motorcycles trying to keep at least 4 types of rear wheels, Shimano 700c/ Shimano 650c/ Campy 700c....

Also, I've read that there is a desire to have the bikes in the peloton, at least in road races, handle somewhat similarly, so that everyone goes around corners and reacts the same. This isn't me, but I read it in some cycling book.

No doubt a 650 wheel will be stiffer, all else equal. The angle from the outer hub to the rim is more acute, making a stronger triangle; also, shorter spokes are somewhat stiffer.

OTOH, you may actually want a slightly flexier, more stable, smoother riding wheel much of the time. 700c seems to be the standard for that.