Wheel upgrade Equipe to Zondas



terryoz

New Member
May 27, 2012
7
0
0
Currently looking to upgrade the Ksyrium Equip wheels on my Pinarello Quattro, that came with the purchase. Not looking at going too exy, but was wondering if the Campy Zondas would be a good start, and make a big enough difference in rolling and weight, or is better option to spend a bit extra and go for Fulcrum Racing 1's. Do about 200kms a week, with a bit of short sharp climbing ,and fairly big guy at 6'3 and 92kilos. Any advice would be great!
 

dhk2

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2006
2,214
74
48
75
Terry, I see you've not gotten any response to your question. It's a common question, with a fairly common answer from alot of us here. The standard advice is to ride your existing wheels until they fail before buying an upgrade. You probably don't want to hear it, but the fact is no wheelset is going to make a significant difference in your performance. An expensive wheel doesn't roll any faster than yours, assuming the hub bearings are in good condition, and the small difference in weight isn't really going to be noticeable on climbs. Unless you're racing, or testing with a stopwatch under very controlled conditions, you won't notice the 0.5% increase in climbing speed. If you want to see what saving a pound of weight does for your climbing, just leave your 500ml water bottle at the bottom of the hill.

Before our weekly ride today, my buddy on the Madone showed me a pic of the rim crack on his Bontrager Racelite rear wheel. He had about 20K miles on the wheel, which I think is pretty good life. He weighs about 160 lbs and does alot of climbing on the mountain challenge centuries around here. Another guy on the ride, an ex-racer who's built his own wheels back in the day, thought that 20K miles was poor life. My buddy ordered a new replacement Bontrager wheel, but he selected the heavier "Race" rear wheel, not the "Racelite" or "RaceXLite" version since he values low-maintenance and durability vs saving a few ounces by leaving out spokes and thinning the rims.
 

terryoz

New Member
May 27, 2012
7
0
0
Thanks for that advice, and it seems pretty sensible as i have not had any issue with The Mavic's. Have done around 5k to date with no drama, and would be happy to get 20k out of these.
 

dhk2

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2006
2,214
74
48
75
Originally Posted by terryoz .

Thanks for that advice, and it seems pretty sensible as i have not had any issue with The Mavic's. Have done around 5k to date with no drama, and would be happy to get 20k out of these.
I did give you the sensible reply. But, I'm basically a frugal guy (some might say cheapskate) who was raised by depression-era parents.

The other side of the coin of course is that biking should be about fun. If you decide you'd really like your italian bike to have a nice set of italian wheels just because they look "right", and you have the cash to spend, then by all means get them. You could run the Ksyriums for your everyday rides and mileage, and bring out the Zonda's when you shine up the bike for the special events.

Some bike-crazy guys have even been known to have three or more nice bikes sitting in their garage ready to ride at all times. That wouldn't be me of course, only having two, but I do know a few of these guys. They're only crazy if they have more expensive bikes or more expensive race wheels than I do :)
 

sitzmark

Well-Known Member
Jan 12, 2010
476
46
0
Never hurts to have an extra wheelset.

You can swap when you want to:
- designate one set as rain wheels
- maintain/service one set and still ride
- quick swap gear ratios
- quick swap for flat/tire issues
- quick swap "just because"

I have no experience with Campy/Fulcrum wheels, so can't provide any comparative info. I do have a K-Equipe set that I use for rain wheels. Very well sealed and work great for that. My wife has two sets as well. Good quality, solid wheelset. Swapping the KEs for another "mid-point" wheel in another brand probably isn't going to net you much - except you can move away from the Mavic delrin hubbody bushing that usually develops some friction drag with use. Not a big deal but it is noticeable when freewheeling.

Even though a new set of wheels isn't likely to put you on the tour, wheels do have different ride characteristics. Best thing is to find an LBS with a demo wheel program and try those that interest you. See what excites you to spend some money ... or see what doesn't.

FWIW the new 2011/12 white Ksyrium Equipes have a fairly strong resale value (in the US) - $300-$400 - for new take-offs and a little less for "used". If you don't care about having a second set and you have the white KE's, then now is probably the best return you'll get selling them. There aren't many (if any) other choices for mid-priced (<$500) white wheelsets, which is why they sell relatively fast. Probably not a long-lived phenomenon...

Good luck. Have fun!
 

samspade73

New Member
May 25, 2011
40
2
8
Terry,

Thanks for asking the question and thanks to everyone for offering their experience. My bike also came with Ksyrium Equip set, this is my first year racing and therefore training to race and I'm thinking about upgrading at the end of the season (using this season as a "learn and conditioning season.") So far I've been finishing in the middle of the pack, rarely getting dropped, but not in the fight for a top finish yet. I've wondered how much difference an ugrade (budget $800-1000) would make a race: a 40-50 miler with 2k-3k of climbing or shorter 30 min circuit race with climbs). I'm 5'10, 150-152lb and climbing is both what I love and no surprise, therefore what I'm good a (I'm almost all slow twitch muscles and can't hang with the power riders/sprinters in a flat race). Like many of you advised, I'd use my KEs for off season riding and most of my training and only use the race wheels to race and train enough to really know them well.
 

dhk2

Well-Known Member
Aug 8, 2006
2,214
74
48
75
For slow-speed, steady climbing, (eg 8 mph or less), you can ignore air resistance and assume that all your power is going into either rolling resistance or lifting your body/bike weight up the hill. The power required to match both of these forces is proportional to weight. So for a given vertical rate-of-climb, power-to-weight ratio is going to determine your speed.

Last year, after my trusty Easton rearwheel finally failed (at 30K miles), I picked up a bargain set of "lightly-used" DT Swiss RR1450 wheels from my friendly and trusted LBS, saving about 225 grams of wheel weight, or 1/2 lb, or the equivalent weight of about 1/2 a small water bottle. Since my all-up weight (body, bike, shoes, clothes, seat pack) currently weigh a total of 220 lbs (yes, I'm 25 lbs over the old race-ready weight), that 1/2 lb represents 1/440th of my total, or 0.23%. On a steep 20 min climb, going 0.23% faster saves 1200 sec x .0023, or 2.76 seconds. For me, as a non-racer just doing club rides, that time savings doesn't mean anything.....since the skinny climbers like you beat me on that 20 min climb by 3-5 minutes or more.

The obvious answer for old heavy guys like me is to lose the 25 lbs of fat, not spend money on lighter wheels. OTOH, you're at a good race weight now, and depending on where you're finishing, saving that 2-3 seconds (more on a long event with say an hour or two of low-speed climbing) might make a meaningful difference to you.

As an aside, the RR1450's seem to be high-quality wheels, with premium hubs, rims and spokes. They came with Vittoria Diamante Pro Light's, in 25mm width which makes for a really smooth ride and stable, grippy road feel. I'm hoping to get many thousands of maintenance- free miles out of them.
 

terryoz

New Member
May 27, 2012
7
0
0
Originally Posted by sitzmark .

Never hurts to have an extra wheelset.

You can swap when you want to:
- designate one set as rain wheels
- maintain/service one set and still ride
- quick swap gear ratios
- quick swap for flat/tire issues
- quick swap "just because"

I have no experience with Campy/Fulcrum wheels, so can't provide any comparative info. I do have a K-Equipe set that I use for rain wheels. Very well sealed and work great for that. My wife has two sets as well. Good quality, solid wheelset. Swapping the KEs for another "mid-point" wheel in another brand probably isn't going to net you much - except you can move away from the Mavic delrin hubbody bushing that usually develops some friction drag with use. Not a big deal but it is noticeable when freewheeling.

Even though a new set of wheels isn't likely to put you on the tour, wheels do have different ride characteristics. Best thing is to find an LBS with a demo wheel program and try those that interest you. See what excites you to spend some money ... or see what doesn't.

FWIW the new 2011/12 white Ksyrium Equipes have a fairly strong resale value (in the US) - $300-$400 - for new take-offs and a little less for "used". If you don't care about having a second set and you have the white KE's, then now is probably the best return you'll get selling them. There aren't many (if any) other choices for mid-priced (<$500) white wheelsets, which is why they sell relatively fast. Probably not a long-lived phenomenon...

Good luck. Have fun!
Yep i am thinking along that line of saving towards a higher level wheel, and swapping over as required. So will take my time doing the research- not in a hurry to spend the extra cash yet. Thanks, all great advice!
 

samspade73

New Member
May 25, 2011
40
2
8
Originally Posted by dhk2 .

For slow-speed, steady climbing, (eg 8 mph or less), you can ignore air resistance and assume that all your power is going into either rolling resistance or lifting your body/bike weight up the hill. The power required to match both of these forces is proportional to weight. So for a given vertical rate-of-climb, power-to-weight ratio is going to determine your speed.

Last year, after my trusty Easton rearwheel finally failed (at 30K miles), I picked up a bargain set of "lightly-used" DT Swiss RR1450 wheels from my friendly and trusted LBS, saving about 225 grams of wheel weight, or 1/2 lb, or the equivalent weight of about 1/2 a small water bottle. Since my all-up weight (body, bike, shoes, clothes, seat pack) currently weigh a total of 220 lbs (yes, I'm 25 lbs over the old race-ready weight), that 1/2 lb represents 1/440th of my total, or 0.23%. On a steep 20 min climb, going 0.23% faster saves 1200 sec x .0023, or 2.76 seconds. For me, as a non-racer just doing club rides, that time savings doesn't mean anything.....since the skinny climbers like you beat me on that 20 min climb by 3-5 minutes or more.

The obvious answer for old heavy guys like me is to lose the 25 lbs of fat, not spend money on lighter wheels. OTOH, you're at a good race weight now, and depending on where you're finishing, saving that 2-3 seconds (more on a long event with say an hour or two of low-speed climbing) might make a meaningful difference to you.

As an aside, the RR1450's seem to be high-quality wheels, with premium hubs, rims and spokes. They came with Vittoria Diamante Pro Light's, in 25mm width which makes for a really smooth ride and stable, grippy road feel. I'm hoping to get many thousands of maintenance- free miles out of them.
First off, thanks for the info. It made perfect sense to buy the RR1450s if the right deal presented itself. That's how I got my Giro Prolights which are normally $315-350). Someone I know bought a pair, they didn't fit them but fit me perfectly and he sold them to me for $150 and I've been in love with them ever since.

As if the bike gods were trying to send me a message not to even think about upgrading wheels, I wiped out hard yesterday (90 degree turn+gravel+high speed=bad news), cracked the fixture that holds my rear derailleur on and that sucker is dangling. I don't know what was worse, having to carry my bike 3 miles or having 4-5 people say to me "is your derailleur supposed to be detached like that? You'd think someone would see a damaged bike, a bloody elbow and road rash and be able to put two and two together) Taking it into my LBS tonight and hoping the derailleur isn't shot so I can get in my long ride Sunday.

Secondly, props for honestly assessing your strengths and weaknesses as a rider (god knows we've all got 'em but a lot of riders don't want to do the hard work to get better whatever the goal may be). I could (and have many times) safely leaned down to around 147 (by shedding both upper body muscle and a pound or two of fat). No surprise all my marathon and triathlon PRs have come when I compete around 147 and even at 152 are slower. The only time I got too lean and was over training. I was at 144 when I came down with full blown over training syndrome which is no joke. I should have non when coworkers started asking me if I was sick or even directly asked "do you have cancer?" I was pushing the limits of what is healthy. Now, I train hard and am mindful of how to recover, but it's going to take time to get my bike specific conditioning where I'd like it so I can't justify buying awesome race wheels at this time, even if it might mean finishing 7th rather than 10th.

There's a guy I've seen at two races who is around 30, he could stand to drop 25-30lbs, however he has a rockin' bike and he told me he spent $1200 on his carbon wheel set. Needless to say he gets dropped about 4-5 miles into a 40-50 mile race. If he dropped that weight, he'd probably actually be a pretty good rider and probably has a greater power output than me. I'm at least hoping he's in the process of dropping the weight and next year he can justify the wheels.

Happy riding.