Race wheels - worth the money?

Discussion in 'Triathlon' started by A. J., Apr 10, 2005.

  1. A. J.

    A. J. Guest

    I am considering a set of race wheels. Does anyone have any specific
    performance gains they would attribute directly to the wheels/tires? I
    would be hard pressed to think that a bit less drag from the wheels and a
    bit less weight could net more than a .1 or .2 MPH. When I blow by guys
    on ZIPPs or a rear disc (on my $150 stock wheels/tires) I always chuckle at
    how much money they just wasted. I would love a cool new set of aero wheels
    but are they worth the cost? Any advice from those that have stepped up to
    a good wheel set.

    BTW - On the drafting thread - No Way. I am a back of the pack swimmer but
    can usually make up most of the lost ground on the bike. If the pack worked
    a pace line, slower swimmers would never see them again, no matter how good
    they are on the bike or run.

    Thanks,
    AJ
     
    Tags:


  2. IMKen

    IMKen Guest

    Race wheels are a necessary investment if you are racing to compete for a
    podium position in a race of significance, I.E. IM qualifier etc. If
    out for the fun then it is just a matter of what you want to spend and how
    cool you want to look. Conditions can be a factor. Very windy courses are
    more easily navigated at speed with a heavier wheel with less surface to be
    affected by cross or gusty winds. Heavier wheels will cost you on a hilly
    course but might be an enhancement on a slightly rolling course as they
    maintain momentum and add gyro stability.

    If you are a serious racer, go for the fastest wheel you can get.

    Ken




    "A. J." <[email protected]_ns.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I am considering a set of race wheels. Does anyone have any specific
    > performance gains they would attribute directly to the wheels/tires? I
    > would be hard pressed to think that a bit less drag from the wheels and a
    > bit less weight could net more than a .1 or .2 MPH. When I blow by guys
    > on ZIPPs or a rear disc (on my $150 stock wheels/tires) I always chuckle
    > at
    > how much money they just wasted. I would love a cool new set of aero
    > wheels
    > but are they worth the cost? Any advice from those that have stepped up
    > to
    > a good wheel set.
    >
    > BTW - On the drafting thread - No Way. I am a back of the pack swimmer
    > but
    > can usually make up most of the lost ground on the bike. If the pack
    > worked
    > a pace line, slower swimmers would never see them again, no matter how
    > good
    > they are on the bike or run.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > AJ
    >
    >
     
  3. Chris Dorn

    Chris Dorn Guest

    No offense, but I would spend the money on some swimming instruction. If
    you are a "back of the pack swimmer" you will never place in a big time
    event because there are a lot of competitors who are very strong in all
    three events. Then you would not have to "blow by" the guys on expensive
    wheelsets, you would already be ahead of them. You can lose a LOT of
    time in the swim, especially in the shorter events. Think of how hard it
    is to make up a minute or two minutes on a 10k run.

    Chris
     
  4. Eric

    Eric Guest

    I agree, unless you're rolling in cash the money might be better spent
    on a swim camp.
    I bought Spinergy race wheels when I made good money. Now I'm old,
    permanently injured, pretty slow and don't see that they were worth the
    investment as far as my performance times. However I do like them, they
    have a high "cool" rating and make me feel like I'm fast.

    Eric

    Chris Dorn wrote:
    > No offense, but I would spend the money on some swimming instruction. If
    > you are a "back of the pack swimmer" you will never place in a big time
    > event because there are a lot of competitors who are very strong in all
    > three events. Then you would not have to "blow by" the guys on expensive
    > wheelsets, you would already be ahead of them. You can lose a LOT of
    > time in the swim, especially in the shorter events. Think of how hard it
    > is to make up a minute or two minutes on a 10k run.
    >
    > Chris
     
  5. swamprun

    swamprun Guest

    On Sun, 10 Apr 2005 20:29:52 -0700, A. J. wrote:

    > I am considering a set of race wheels. Does anyone have any specific
    > performance gains they would attribute directly to the wheels/tires? I
    > would be hard pressed to think that a bit less drag from the wheels and a
    > bit less weight could net more than a .1 or .2 MPH. When I blow by guys
    > on ZIPPs or a rear disc (on my $150 stock wheels/tires) I always chuckle at
    > how much money they just wasted. I would love a cool new set of aero wheels
    > but are they worth the cost? Any advice from those that have stepped up to
    > a good wheel set.


    Take a look at the HED or ZIPP websites. Here's a rough estimate.
    For a 40K time trial which a good cyclist can finish in an hour
    or less, going from standard 32 spoke box rims to a very expensive
    aero wheelset will save about a minute. So that's about a 2%
    improvement.

    So if you are competing at a top level and want to win a minute is a big
    deal and you are to spend the $$$. If you are doing
    the sport for fun only then save your money and ride the wheels
    you already have. You will have less expensive equipment to worry
    about too.
     
  6. A. J.

    A. J. Guest

    None taken, I practice controlled drowning with forward motion. Not quite
    an Olympic stroke, but allowable for freestyle. I recognize that until I
    can get a 1.5K swim under 25 minutes, the 1-2 minutes saving in the wheels
    aren't going to make a difference. But with my recognized swim weakness I
    have been leaning more towards duathlons. Here wheels become worth
    considering again as shaving 1-2 minutes off a 10K is a no small
    achievement, as you stated.
    Any tips on swimming? I looked into the TI weekend seminars but I am in
    a little town far away from any cities on the circuit. $475 also seems a
    bit pricey. I have tried the TI book with limited improvement.

    AJ

    "Chris Dorn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > No offense, but I would spend the money on some swimming instruction. If
    > you are a "back of the pack swimmer" you will never place in a big time
    > event because there are a lot of competitors who are very strong in all
    > three events. Then you would not have to "blow by" the guys on expensive
    > wheelsets, you would already be ahead of them. You can lose a LOT of
    > time in the swim, especially in the shorter events. Think of how hard it
    > is to make up a minute or two minutes on a 10k run.
    >
    > Chris
     
  7. A. J.

    A. J. Guest

    None taken, I practice controlled drowning with forward motion. Not quite
    an Olympic stroke, but allowable for freestyle. I recognize that until I
    can get a 1.5K swim under 25 minutes, the 1-2 minutes saving in the wheels
    aren't going to make a difference. But with my recognized swim weakness I
    have been leaning more towards duathlons. Here wheels become worth
    considering again as shaving 1-2 minutes off a 10K is a no small
    achievement, as you stated.
    Any tips on swimming? I looked into the TI weekend seminars but I am in
    a little town far away from any cities on the circuit. $475 also seems a
    bit pricey. I have tried the TI book with limited improvement.

    AJ

    "Chris Dorn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > No offense, but I would spend the money on some swimming instruction. If
    > you are a "back of the pack swimmer" you will never place in a big time
    > event because there are a lot of competitors who are very strong in all
    > three events. Then you would not have to "blow by" the guys on expensive
    > wheelsets, you would already be ahead of them. You can lose a LOT of
    > time in the swim, especially in the shorter events. Think of how hard it
    > is to make up a minute or two minutes on a 10k run.
    >
    > Chris
     
  8. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    swamprun <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Take a look at the HED or ZIPP websites. Here's a rough estimate.
    >For a 40K time trial which a good cyclist can finish in an hour
    >or less, going from standard 32 spoke box rims to a very expensive
    >aero wheelset will save about a minute. So that's about a 2%
    >improvement.
    >
    >So if you are competing at a top level and want to win a minute is a big
    >deal and you are to spend the $$$. If you are doing
    >the sport for fun only then save your money and ride the wheels
    >you already have. You will have less expensive equipment to worry
    >about too.


    I'd point out that there are many intermediate steps between a
    box-section 32 spoke wheel and the HED wheels - you really don't have
    to spend a fortune to get most of the aero advantage. I'd suspect the
    realistic time difference between a set of $300 and $2000 aero wheels
    would be measured in the sub-15 second region (SWAG).

    Mark Hickey
    Habanero Cycles
    http://www.habcycles.com
    Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  9. JH

    JH Guest

    A. J. wrote:
    > <snip>


    .. I have tried the TI book with limited improvement.
    >
    > AJ
    >
    ><snip>


    Get the DVD. I got the DVD and the book, the DVD changed my stroke for
    the better, seeing it done is way better then reading about it and
    looking at pictures. (TI made me marginally faster, but best of all I
    can swim longer and get out of the water less exhausted). I guess I
    really could have gone without the book.

    jh
     
  10. I agree with Mark. In fact, you could get just a front wheel with a
    high profile rim (27-30) for about $100 from a bunch of mail order
    places. You would probably need to tighten the spoke tension. I think
    that the fron wheel has the most impact in aerodynamics.

    Andres
     
  11. Chris Dorn

    Chris Dorn Guest

    AJ
    Check into your local masters swim league, go to the YMCA, health club
    or local college, here is a link to the national organization.
    http://www.usms.org/
    The folk at master swimming can help you with your stroke and with
    training regimen. You will find lots of tri-geeks at these clubs.
    Good luck
    Chris
     
  12. Hi Guy's,

    For a much cheaper option ........there's an interesting article on
    slowtwitch.com, which shows the cost in time that the effect of where you
    place your water bottle on your bike can save you ( or cost you more ) time
    over a race .... simple idea, and it can save you anywhere from 30 seconds
    to 90 seconds for a 40km ride

    http://www.slowtwitch.com/cgi-bin/p...r/waterbottles.html&text=cost of water bottle

    Regards,
    Martin.


    "A. J." <[email protected]_ns.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >I am considering a set of race wheels. Does anyone have any specific
    > performance gains they would attribute directly to the wheels/tires? I
    > would be hard pressed to think that a bit less drag from the wheels and a
    > bit less weight could net more than a .1 or .2 MPH. When I blow by guys
    > on ZIPPs or a rear disc (on my $150 stock wheels/tires) I always chuckle
    > at
    > how much money they just wasted. I would love a cool new set of aero
    > wheels
    > but are they worth the cost? Any advice from those that have stepped up
    > to
    > a good wheel set.
    >
    > BTW - On the drafting thread - No Way. I am a back of the pack swimmer
    > but
    > can usually make up most of the lost ground on the bike. If the pack
    > worked
    > a pace line, slower swimmers would never see them again, no matter how
    > good
    > they are on the bike or run.
    >
    > Thanks,
    > AJ
    >
    >
     
  13. Alo

    Alo Guest

    Just get the frikkin race wheels and go faster. If the new high tech
    composite wheels didn't outperform the Velocity Deep V's and Mavics that
    come with your new tri bike, we'd all be racing on wooden spoked wheels off
    of an old horse drawn carriage. I gained 2-3 MPH on my first race after
    upgrading to Nimble Crosswinds. They took me from the 21.5 ish range to the
    23-24.5 ish range almost instantly. It's a lot more fun riding up with the
    guys you saw getting trophies at the last race, rather than counting how far
    you are behind them when you're coming up to the turnaround point.

    At the same time, develop the skills to become a better swimmer, a better
    runner, and a better cyclist.

    The wheels will definitely help!

    Aaron



    <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I agree with Mark. In fact, you could get just a front wheel with a
    > high profile rim (27-30) for about $100 from a bunch of mail order
    > places. You would probably need to tighten the spoke tension. I think
    > that the fron wheel has the most impact in aerodynamics.
    >
    > Andres
    >
     
  14. Chris Dorn

    Chris Dorn Guest

    snip
    I gained 2-3 MPH on my first race after
    > upgrading to Nimble Crosswinds. They took me from the 21.5 ish range

    to the
    > 23-24.5 ish range almost instantly.


    Wow thats one heck of an increase in speed just from wheels! Were you on
    the same course? Did you have a huge tailwind in the second race? Were
    the wheels you were originally riding made of blocks of wood? Seriously
    thats an almost unbelievable increase just from adding wheels. A 3 mph
    increase over an olympic distance race ie. 26 miles is 9 minutes faster.
    I seriously doubt that most people would gain that sort of speed just
    from wheels. I picked up about 1 mph-1.5 mph with race wheels. (Zipp 909's)
     
  15. Chris Dorn

    Chris Dorn Guest

    Yes, that is assuming that everthing stays the same. Precisely why I say
    that aero wheels cannot make that significant of a difference.
    Chris
     
  16. Chris Dorn

    Chris Dorn Guest

    Mark,
    Thanks for pointing out my error. That just reinforces my point further
    that he should be paying for swim instruction more than race wheels. 22
    seconds as you properly pointed out is very small when you consider a
    one minute improvement in swimming is not that great when you are a
    middle of the road swimmer.
    Chris
     
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