Aero wheels in bunches??

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Bigbananabike, Oct 5, 2016.

  1. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    We're about to start the Summer race season (the Winter race season is starting to finish!) here in NZ.

    I'm going to be doing some short but hilly races every Thursday night and hopefully I can continue racing into the Winter.

    I have some race wheels - ex China - 1360gms with pretty light tyres.
    They're ok (had to get my mech. to put new spoke in the rear on as I kept breaking them) but just sealed bearings and not aero.

    I'm wondering about buying some secondhand carbon, Ceramic bearing and aero wheels that are for sale.
    They're 1530gms to heavier.

    We're mostly bunch riding and I want to know the worth or otherwise of using aero wheels with other riders.
    Surely that negates the effect.
    I may be able to break away or more likely be dropped so the aero effect would have some worth.

    I guess what I asking too - aero or lightweight? Which one overrides the other for my races?
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    If your races were criteriums and you spent most of the race sitting in or steep climbing races the aero advantage provided by killer wheels might not be all that great. For anything else, including faster climbs and racing in breakaway groups and having your nose in the wind...aero trumps all else IMO.

    1530 grams is still very light. If the used wheels are solid and the price is reasonable, give them a try. If you do get off the front you're going to need every Watt you can produce turned into speed to stay there. And you can bet your last gel the guys chasing behind you will have aero wheels.

    Off the back, yeah they will make chasing back a little more possible, but I've always found it took a concerted and organized effort from multiple riders to get back on.

    Also, take a hard look at your jersey fit, your helmet and your position on the bike. Everything works together to go a little faster.

    Good luck and stay safe out there!
     
  3. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Unless those second hand carbon wheels are either from a person that you know and trust with your life, or have been thoroughly inspected by a professional, I would stay far far away...but that's just my opinion.
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    He's already on 1360 gram Chicom wheels. Pay your insurance premiums and cross your fingers? I agree that any used structural carbon component such as a frame, fork, wheel or crankset needs to be gone over with a magnifying glass in good lighting.

    Dunno about the professional part. What is a carbon professional, exactly, and what is he going to see with the naked eye that any observant person could see? We all know the stress areas. With a wheel that's basically...the entire surface area. Without using NDT inspection methods that are not cost effective it's really just a game of look-see and a good stress test on a grass field.

    I've yet to personally witness a carbon wheel going El Explodo that was not involved in El Destructo crash. I have seen a couple/three that cracked (including one that cracked all the way from bead to spoke bed and separated just a little) from holes and / or road trash. Saw one that had a spoke pull through. No one was killed or maimed, but there were curse words in the air.
     
  5. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Even if the wheel doesn't explode and just cracks, and this failure is due to a prior crash that didn't review the damage afterwards until it was ridden a bit, the buyer is still wasting money.

    I did see a carbon wheel explode once, but it also had carbon spokes, one of those tri spoke jobs.
     
  6. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. It doesn't take a crash to crack a rim. ANY rim of ANY material. Plain old general use, without the abuse, will do it given enough miles, a heavy or powerful enough rider or bad roads. I've got multiple Open Pro clinchers that are cracked around the spoke eyelets and Aksiums that are cracked around those 'work hardened' extra thick spoke nipple seats aluminum rims that were trashed just by 160-pound or less ass pounding over piss poor roads.

    Buying used? Take the magnifying glass and a good flashlight.
     
  7. Bigbananabike

    Bigbananabike Member

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    I agree with you. I've never had carbon wheels but I've had many sets of alloy and inspecting them thoroughly has always paid off for me.
    I asked my bike mech. about the carbon ones - he said basically the same as you.
    They've hardly been used (maybe 500kms) too so like new.
     
  8. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    However with aluminium rims cracks are a lot easier to see whereas with CF it will mostly be hidden from human eye even with a magnifying glass.

    Odd thing is, I've never in 40 years had any aluminum rim fail other than from crashes, and this includes 15 years of racing and 40 years over all sorts of road surfaces which in California most roads are poor.
     
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