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As if you needed more sticker shock...
 

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4548
Location: Nashua, NH

10/25/19 6:18 AM

As if you needed more sticker shock...

Check these out.

https://www.bikeradar.com/news/lightweight-tubeless-road-wheels/

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6308
Location: Maine

10/27/19 8:24 AM

Hmmm,

Brian you seem quite plugged in to the ultra-high end market....:)

A few years ago in Mallorca I ran into a guy with Lightweight wheels. At the time I think they were around $5k a pair. He said they were well worth it because they made a huge difference in his climbing. Iíd say he weighed at least 220. Well, OK....

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KerryIrons
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 3014
Location: Midland, MI

10/27/19 10:59 AM

Point ov view

Perspective man! Perspective!

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17541
Location: Portland, OR

10/27/19 11:31 AM

I am way too cheap to put that many eggs in one basket...

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Craig
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 575

10/27/19 12:10 PM


quote:
A few years ago in Mallorca I ran into a guy with Lightweight wheels. At the time I think they were around $5k a pair. He said they were well worth it because they made a huge difference in his climbing. Iíd say he weighed at least 220. Well, OK....



NO ONE needs these wheels. Egan Bernal doesn't need these wheels. There are dozens of wheels that cost less than a fifth of what these wheels cost that are just as or even more effective than these wheels. But, there are lots of 220lb people who ride but also enjoy a few too many beers and regular pizza and don't take themselves or their cycling performance too seriously. For all the high end bike stuff out there, a lot of it is stupid light due to the removal of material which, for a 150lb cyclist doesn't make a big difference. For a 220lb guy, who is still actually climbing mountains on his bike, these Lightweight wheels probably did make a huge difference to his climbing because, in my experience, Lightweight wheels tend to be very stiff and strong and compared to any other "high end" wheel this guy tried, they are probably superior in every way. And if he can afford them, all the power to him. Especially if he's actually riding them up mountains.

But really, let's call the cycling we all do what it is, it's an indulgence. (not trying to discount the fitness/health benefit of it, but if that's all it was about we wouldn't be talking about these wheels) If you can afford it, great. If some better equipment helps you win a weekend race against an age group, great. If you enjoy replacing your gear every year for the latest, lightest, smoothest, most aero stuff, I have no problem with that. My "good" bike is 10 years old, maybe more, and I'm just over 200lbs. I wouldn't have bought those wheels when I was 175lbs and fast. I wouldn't buy those wheels if I had all the disposable income in the world. I don't see the value in them for the riding I do. And truth be told, I'd love it if cycle racing was a one design thing, where everyone rode the same bikes and tactics, team work, and training won the races. I hate the idea that a better frame may win a time trial for a rider. But for the 220lb rider climbing mountains with a deep pockets, have at it. He might have been better off with a 36 hole rear, 32 hole front handbuilt wheelset, but the marketing machine that cycling is has told anyone who is serious about bikes that he needs to buy fancy prebuilt wheels and these might actually be the best thing for him.

Sorry, I realize that's a huge overreaction to a relatively banal statement. It's sunny out, rare in Vancouver this time of year. I'm going for a ride; in boots, jeans, and a hoodie. No helmet. Headphones on. On a $5000 road bike with BMX platforms on it. Hope no one calls me out on it.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6308
Location: Maine

10/27/19 1:01 PM

Well sorry

Iím about 195 now, though I have ridden stuff like the Death Ride, RAMROD and Mt Washington at over 220. I also have plenty of expensive bikes. Iím not criticizing big guys who spend $ on equipment. I am skeptical that extremely expensive wheels make a big difference for this type of climbing. I may be wrong. Maybe Iíll buy some Lightweights to find out ...:)

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Brian Nystrom
Joined: 26 Jan 2004
Posts: 4548
Location: Nashua, NH

10/27/19 1:56 PM

I think it's pretty safe to say that unless I win the lottery, I will never own a pair of Lightweight wheels and I would never buy new wheels from Zipp or Envy or any of the other purveyor of $2000+ wheels. I'm currently riding lightweight (small "L", 1285 gram) wheels that cost me less than $250 to build. Why would I spend 37 times more for the Fernweg wheels that are much heavier? No, my wheels aren't aero, but I'm not fast, either. I'd rather have less weight for climbing at my typical plodding pace.

As Craig said, there are all kinds of wheels that are as aero and at least as light for a fraction of the price. These are essentially just status symbols that are more about saying "look what I can afford" than "look how well I ride". Personally, when someone compliments my bike, I downplay it by saying something like "Yeah, I'm really happy with the way it rides." I don't need bragging rights and if I start to get too full of myself, I just remember that someone on a less expensive bike is probably going to kick my ass on the next ride. It's not the bike, it's the engine, and mine is getting old and tired. ;-)

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17541
Location: Portland, OR

10/27/19 3:47 PM

I've not used both aero and uber light wheels for long. I have both now, but not in one set. ;) I did have 1134gr. tubular 46mm Reynolds briefly, I only had them out a few times before I traded them for my Gary 29er. I just remember how easily they spun up, low rotational mass et al. Hated the brake performance, or what passes for braking performance barely. #Clydesdale.

At my fastest when 42ish, I thought the Zipp 404s made a difference. But only above 23/4 MPH IIRC. I almost never do that JRA anymore being old and slow. Those were 1625 gr. lite for then, not so much now.

I do have some Clyde built HED [24/28spoke] boat anchors. 48mm front, 80mm rear. In the years I have had them less than 1/2 the time winds didn't take away more than using them added I'd say.

Now I do have two 1200 gram wheelsets. Spin up fast, then I feel like I chase them to hold and FTP cruise speeds.

I am sure on a long climb these 1200gr wheels would get me to the top a touch faster. It does not matter if I hit the top less than a minute sooner on a 4 mile climb.

But at always, if you can afford them, and you want them, have at them.

Funny though that the folks that actually can/do truly benefit from them don't have to actually pay for them. ;)

I'd add that I am in agreement re: a TT frame buy making one faster is unearned.

Also agree Dan should give them a go, assuming and I believe the coin is easier for he [than me].

AND a question: considering the big trend is gravel bikes with fatties, is this some sort of an equalizer for this type of bike? Or are we strictly talking road use, aero go fast?


Last edited by Sparky on 10/27/19 4:37 PM; edited 2 times in total

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6308
Location: Maine

10/27/19 4:02 PM

Dan giving them a go

I was being facetious. I climb better or worse depending on how my legs are. For quite a few years I have just used utilitarian wheels. Even when I got the fancy-ass RSL I passed on the expensive aero wheels.

But Iím not claiming I know more than anyone else - to each their own.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17541
Location: Portland, OR

10/27/19 4:44 PM

I can say this, I get pleasure when I ride with the local club and the super zoot gear biker [that guy] has no chance of staying with the 4-5 of us that go up the road early on, and he shows late to the coffee stop.

Conversely, I get none when I try to ride with the 40 year olds and they waste me by mile 30. ;)

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henoch
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 1663

10/28/19 12:33 PM

@Craig

While I totally agree that none of us here need those wheels.
Just as an FYI, regarding your comment on Bernal, I can't say if he needs them or not but it seems like the folks at Ineos think he does, during this years Tour the team was indeed riding those wheels that they bought outright and were not part of any sponsorship deal.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 17541
Location: Portland, OR

10/28/19 1:34 PM

Needs?


Can the 'N' in N+1 mean 'N'eeds? ;)

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greglepore
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 1673
Location: SE Pa, USA

10/31/19 9:21 AM

Hmmm. I DO have Lightweights-but I bought them used (one pair for 500 that needed a minor carbon repair, another pair for 1100 that were fine and a set of seriously damaged Ventoux's that were $250 and are sorta fixed-I'll ride them but they're a bit untrue).

Without a doubt there are wheels that are more aero, or slightly lighter, or more something else. But, and its a big but, there are very few (actually none in my experience) that offer the same combo of stiffness in cornering, reasonable harshness and most of all the ability to spin up rapidly.

As to weight, show me a set of 40mm plus deep rim brake tubulars that are under 1100g.

Maybe its placebo, but the placebo effect is real. I'd not pay retail for these, but I wouldn't buy a new v12 Benz or Porsche either.

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