During the Summer of 2009, I participated in a time trial series. It was a lot of fun and far harder and more painful than I’d anticipated. The course is an out and back 10.4 miles with a two climbs. Unfortunately, at the turnaround, the course tends to be extremely windy. To improve my times, I tried a variety of equipment variations on my Scott Plasma. These are the configurations and the results:
So what does this mean? With the Ritchey Carbon Clinchers, I was able to record my fastest time by over 1 minute and a full one mile per hour faster. On average, this wheelset was over 5% faster than any permutation. The rim height and profile was obviously less affected by the wind and I assume the lighter overall rolling weight played a huge role as well. Regardless, I was amazed by these results; I thought that the deeper wheels would certainly lead to the fastest times. In the very stiff winds, with the deeper Jet 60/90′s, I did have to fight the bike to keep it from being blown off course. With the Ritchey’s, I could certainly feel the wind but had to expend far less energy to keep the bike tracking straight. Amazing.