Wheel suggestions for TT training

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by dragon76, Jul 30, 2009.

  1. dragon76

    dragon76 New Member

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    What wheels would the time trialists out here recommend for training?

    On one hand, you want more aero + stiff + light wheels so you know your potential. On the other hand, you know you'll be putting in lots of mileage on mostly regular streets where there are potholes, etc. so don't want anything too delicate or pricey, i.e. rear discs wouldn't be ideal unless you've got a very, very full piggy bank set aside for hobbies.

    I've been recommended Zipp 404 tubulars as a good compromise between being aero + stiff, but not too overboard. Some who are more on the cautious side have said to go with Aluminium rims only.

    What do you guys suggest? any experiences to share?

    Cheers
     
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  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    For training only? Round wheels that fit the bike with hubs that support the cassette type that you use.

    Shimano Ultegra/Dura Ace hubs, Velocity Aerohead or Mavic Open PRO/CD rims and a suitable amount of spokes... If you're a Campag guy then Chorus will suffice.

    If you have the money for a new set of the Zipp 404s, then substitute the fancy carbon rims for a Powertap hub or similar power measuring device...

    You don't need to "know your potiential through training" - you know your potential following races.
     
  3. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    +1 Swampster...

    Another consideration is what you'll ride on race day and whether you want to swap brake shoes to go between aluminum and carbon braking surfaces on race day. If you race on full carbon rims (like the Zipp 404 tubies you mention) then you might want to train on less expensive full carbon rims just for plug and play simplicity. But if you have aluminum braking surfaces on your race wheels then stick with something that also has aluminum brake tracks which could be Zipp clinchers if you have money to burn but there's nothing wrong with Mavic rims, DT swiss 1.1 or 1.2, American Classic 420s, or a host of other less expensive options.

    -Dave
     
  4. frost

    frost New Member

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    Tough call. Some use inexpensive aluminium training wheels and use the bling only for race but at least here the wind is so big factor that unless you never practise using high profile front wheel you will end up riding on the basebar scared to sh#t on a windy race day. That's why I do all my training on race wheels (Planet-x/Gigantex 82/101 rims) which are not necessarily top notch but quite inexpensive so I won't bankcrupt once they're done.

    If you can build your own wheels or have a good builder I think those Gigantex (they come in variety of brand names depending where you are located) are a descent compromise in budget and quality if you want to use them as training wheels.

    One you could consider also is Mavic Cosmic carbons are supposed to be very tough, good aero and nowadays very good price also (at least in Europe).
     
  5. frenchyge

    frenchyge New Member

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    Agree with that. When I saw the thread subject I thought maybe the OP was fishing for ideas on heavy, especially non-aero, wheels for training. I'd just run regular wheels in training so that you'll be amazed** by the increase in speed when you strap on your sweet race wheels. ;)

    You mention tubulars, but it doesn't sound like you're selecting them because of their greater rolling resistance. If your race wheels are tubulars now then there are probably tire options which could give you some speed there.

    ** - not really. The difference probably won't even be detectable on a powermeter.
     
  6. dragon76

    dragon76 New Member

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    Thanks for all the great feedback guys. The mention of "404" and "training" together in the same message definitely stirs up some attention, I see. :)

    To clarify, I actually didn't express a preference for the Zipp 404 recommendation or for the Alu clincher option, but just wanted to show you all the polar extremes of what suggestions I've heard. I actually just run cheapo Alex rims with 105/Ultegra hubs as training wheels, but after hearing that some were using carbon tubies as trainers, was curious as to what other TT folks out here are running. I appreciate the responses so far.

    Regarding "potential", here's what I mean: I think that following (which I assume you mean as "studying", and not participating in) TT races is only a way to setup goals for yourself, e.g. if last year's Joe Blow did the city's main 40Km TT in 48mins, then a goal might be to match that, and to then beat that. However, it is in training and seeing what you personally are capable of, that reveals your own potential, e.g. it could be that you're only able to do the same 40Km in 55mins. You then train until there is minimal potential difference between yourself and last year's winner, and hopefully you can even surpass that level of performance.

    Re: the comment about keeping consistent brake pad materials between training and race wheels, I think that's a great thing to aim for. Not too big of a problem as you could get another set of brake pad holders to save the trouble of swapping out the pads, but still, it's a convenience factor worth keeping in mind.

    Re: using Gigantex or Cosmic Carbone SLs (clinchers): I've been hearing this one a lot too. The Cosmic Carbone SLs, being really Alu clinchers but with a carbon fairing, mean that they're tough enough for training but also aero enough for TT racing. Not the lightest, but that's ok for TT. A deep section wheelset you can train and race on is nice for so that, as the responder had explained, it gets you accustomed to dealing with crosswinds. As for the Gigantex, I'll need to look into what these are branded as here in North America. But, perhaps aero clinchers are still more durable than cheaper carbon tubies, is what I'm thinking.

    Thanks again for the feedback so far, and I continue to welcome any further comments and personal experiences.

    Note: fave story so far is a guy who was training on 404 tubies, hit a pothole that he couldn't see during a rainy day, broke both wheels, then picked up his bike and threw it. :)
     
  7. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Why target another rider's time? How about targeting your best possible time regardless of what last year's winner managed? What if last year's conditions were slow or the fast guys didn't show up for the race? How about situations where last year's course was very fast or marked a tad short (happens surprisingly often) and the times were phenomenal? Setting goals is great, but keying those goals on someone else's results seems like it's both self limiting and for many riders unrealistic.

    Personally I keep track of my own best times on given courses or given distances and terrain types (e.g. flat out and back 40K). And I track my results in training on sustained power, not sustained speed. As someone pointed out above, some training on the deep dish and disk wheels is smart to learn how to handle them in crosswinds, but are you going to wear your skinsuit, booties, aero helmet, leave your patch kit home and run your fastest race tires in every training session?
    Again I train for my best times, regardless of what last year's winner or anyone else managed - on a few occasions that's put me on the top podium spot, only then do try to beat the winner's time :)

    -Dave
     
  8. dragon76

    dragon76 New Member

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    Since I've only this year personally taken on cycling as a competitive sport (was just commuting and cruising around, though fast, on fixies and road bikes around town), I'm in need of knowing what's "par for the course" for typical TT races. I agree 100% that it is always about your personal best, but is it not good to have some reference points? That is, if I go through the same race course under the same weather conditions as last year's race, and compare my time to last years racers, then is that not a good ruler for measuring your performance? If a racer in training can't even do ok in a self-evaluation or readiness test like that, then their personal best is still not good enough even if their personal best, as for all of us, is the ultimate goal. An example would be a new racer whose personal best for a typical 40K is 63mins, and yet even the very last guy in the previous year's race could do it in 59 mins, and the winner did it in 48mins. The newbie would then know that he/she needs to train more in order to be competitive - can't be slower than the last guy, should aim to be as fast as the winner, and hopefully attain personal best times that consistently surpass the winner's time on a variety of race courses and conditions.

    I guess the bottom-line of what I'm trying to say or ask is: Is it not nice to have a ruler to measure one's performance relative to other local racers?

    I know we're going off a bit on a tangent here, but an interesting topic no doubt, and heopfully still of interest to the thread followers.

    Cheers
     
  9. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Gigantex rims are "cheap" rims in terms of quality. They're hailed as being relatively "bomb proof", whatever that means.

    It's not just TT folks using deep rims. In fact, I think TT folks are in the minority. Out here, deep rims are everywhere. Training on 'em doesn't really cost you anything. The gee-whiz factor of deep wheels can't be denied, and if that gets you excited to ride, so much the better for you.

    Some Gigantix equipped wheels are Token wheels, Planet X, Williams Wheels, and others I can't remember right now. Another set of wheels to consider are Nine G's Exos wheelset ($1700-ish). They have their own proprietary rim and build with DT Aerolite spokes and DT240s. I have a set. They're well built and weigh 1385 grams. You also can't ignore Mavic Cosmic Carbones. The plastic bushing in the freehub sucks, but over all the wheels are damned awesome. As a bonus, they can be had for the proverbial dime on eBay.
     
  10. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    The only time that needs to be tracked is the time it takes to get from the finish to the bathrooms at the HQ just incase you get the "I'm f(%ked outa my head stomach cramps..." and want to crap/puke is some level of dignity. ;)
     
  11. frost

    frost New Member

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    It is worth considering what Swampy&Dave says about putting your money to power meter rather than to specific TT wheels but if you have your training already sorted out and still consider finding the wheels, then these are a steal: :: Carbon Concepts :: Carbon Concepts 50/50 Road Racing Tubular Aero Wheelset

    (though personally I'd still rather try to find the rims only and build it to power tap)
     
  12. BikingBrian

    BikingBrian New Member

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    Like others have said - for tracking progress, a powermeter is king. My training rear wheel is a DT 1.2 (30 mm rim) with an Elite+ PT hub. 32 spokes, brass nipples. Tough and durable.
    Oh, and it probably weighs about 1200 grams:eek:
    It doesn't seem to hold me back in training, though.
    Race wheels are Mavic Carbones with the SL PT hub....and like Swampy said, you can't really telll the difference power-wise. Theoretically, they give you about 20 watts over a 32 spoked wheel @ 50 kph. Not enough to be noticeable if you weren't looking at the meter.
    My point is...for training purposes, why bother?
     
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