New wheels+tires or not

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by spiroX, Mar 3, 2020.

  1. spiroX

    spiroX New Member

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    Hi,

    I have a gravel bike and have been wanting to get road wheelset to be a bit faster on the road. I got the money but now I am having second thoughts as I don't know how faster I would be?
    Right now I have WTB isym 23 wheels (with cheap formula hubs) with WTB 650x47 Horizon tires. The tires are more road+ tires than gravel tires and are smooth on the center with no knobs. I was thinking of getting 700c wheels with road 700x32 tires (for some comfort on day long rides and some light gravel).
    I do not race, and I am still working on my fitness (as my work and family time allows). My average watts (according to Strava) is 210W for an 1h ride and some 180W for an 3h ride after which I feel pretty tired (although not totally exhausted). Also, I live in a VERY hilly area. I cannot go anywhere without first going uphill :)
    With new wheels and tires I could loose some 500-600g of weight and should have better aerodynamics and lower rolling resistance.
    My question is will all those 3 things make a significant difference? Only one of those might not, but with 3 combined will it make a difference?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Active Member

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    With the changes you 're talking about, you'll feel a big difference, particularly when climbing or sprinting, but also when just cruising on the flats. You may want to consider 28mm tires instead, which will be lighter, more aero and still provide plenty of comfort, but that will depend on your weight to some extent and also on what you define as "light gravel". If you mean dirt roads that are mostly hard-packed, they'll be a good option.
     
  3. spiroX

    spiroX New Member

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    OK, I managed to borrow some wheels to put on my bike and do a direct comparison.
    Couple of things to notice:
    - The wheels are almost the same as the ones I was looking at. The difference is in the hub and the tires. They are not dt Swiss hubs and the tires are some Specialized turbo pro 28mm road tires that came with the friends Roubaix.
    - I wasn't my top when I did this, I might be coming with a cold.
    - I had head wind about 1/3 of the way up because why not! It wasn't very strong but I could feel it slowing me.
    - I don't have a power meter so I rode against my heart rate. If it would go below 168 I would accelerate and if it went higher decelerate. Not the best way but that's what I did when I did a PR on this uphill.
    - Tires were at 80-85psi or around 6bar. Not tubeless.

    And the results? My time on an 5% ~8.5km uphill was exactly the same at 37min! (give or take a few seconds) as with 650b 47 tires. I was very surprised!

    Observations :
    - The bike felt very different, it felt quicker and more maneuverable.
    - It actually didn't feel more uncomfortable, in fact the road felt smoother! The potholes and speed bumps though were a lot more noticeable.
    - Braking is noticeably worse. I had to brake sooner on downhill.
    - When going back down I did a PR without even trying. That was VERY surprising as I didn't even pedal all the time. It might have had something to do with wind as on downhill it was in my back.

    Conclusion:
    With these wheels/tires I am probably a bit faster. I would say 3-5% judging by the headwind and the fact that I didn't feel my best. I definitely like the feel of them, but will I buy them? Actually I found those same wheels for 200€ with rotors which is a great deal so I will buy them :) Although I am not that faster they do feel better on the road and when I'm fully recovered if I can be 5% faster on uphills that is a BIG increase. Maybe not worth 5-600€ or more, but definitely worth 200! If I hadn't found this deal though I probably wouldn't switch. Or at least not yet, but might have waited for my current tires to wear out completely and then buy new wheels + tires.

    Thanks for the help, maybe this will help other people looking to make the switch.
     
  4. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Active Member

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    With disc brakes, there should not have been any difference, so if there was, it was due to either contamination on the rotors or a difference between your brake pads and those that were used by the owner of the wheels. There is no reason that lighter wheels would brake worse; in fact, they should brake better as they have less inertia.
     
  5. spiroX

    spiroX New Member

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    I figured the braking to be worse due to size of the tire, not weight. Fatter tire equals better grip and more friction so better braking. Anyway, when I get my wheels and tires I will check this further.
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    that's true, but some rotors are thinner or thicker than others, and you if you didn't check the brake adjustment when you did the swap there could be something going on there.
     
  7. digixpjaipur1990

    digixpjaipur1990 New Member

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    Fatter tire equals better grip and more friction so better braking. Anyway, when I get my wheels and tires I will check this further.
    couple of things to notice:
    - The wheels are almost the same as the ones I was looking at. The difference is in the hub and the tires. They are not dt Swiss hubs and the tires are some Specialized turbo pro 28mm road tires that came with the friends Roubaix.
    - I wasn't my top when I did this, I might be coming with a cold.
    - I had head wind about 1/3 of the way up because why not! It wasn't very strong but I could feel it slowing me.
    more about this https://digixp.in/IELTS-TOEFL-PTE.php
     
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