Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Pack Fodder.
Joined
·
1,871 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now I'm looking at my options for wheelsets, and the 23mm rims have caught my fancy. I've looked at the HED Belgium C2s (in their various forms) and Velocity A23s. I'd also be open to other options.

Since I'm around 190-195 riding weight, I was considering a 24/28 spoke count, although I'm not adverse to the idea of running more. I'd be using them for racing (Cat4) and training.

My main concern is the front rim flexing into the brake when I'm out of the saddle and throwing my weight around, which happens with a lot of my wheelsets. I'd like to minimize this if possible. Other than that, I like a relatively aero profile/spokes and a solid/easy-spinning hub.

Any suggestions for a build/builder?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
A few things:

First, wider rims ROCK. However, there's more to it than rim width alone. The true deciding factor is the width at the bead, not the braking track.

Second, if your rim is rubbing your brake when you stand, either your brakes are adjusted too close (not likely) or you need more than 24 spokes in your front wheel (very likely, esp. at your weight). 4, or even 8, more spokes won't hurt your performance at all, and for training wheels will actually help, a lot.

Contrary to most marketing hype, the typical 'aero profile' rim isn't all that aero, unless you're talking about a pretty deep rim. As a cat 4 racer at your weight (I've been there, so I'm not bustin' your chops, just sharing my experience) I'd suggest that you focus on practically anything/everything else but buying speed.

So, you could get yourself a pair of Ultegra hubs, 32h for the rear, 28h for the front if you want, and have a local wheelbuilder lace 'em up to a pair of A23s, and be done with it.

Or, you could get a set of Stan's Alpha 340s and run 'em tubeless. They come 32 rear/28 front, and while the brake track is only 20mm wide, the tubeless bead design is much wider between the beads than the typical 19mm rim. I'd guess they may be about the same as the typical 23mm wide rim between the beads themselves. Anyway, they're lighter than any 23mm wide rim, even with the high-ish spoke count, AND they mount up tubeless so easy it's crazy. Put a pair of Specialized S Works Turbo tubeless tires on 'em at about 15lbs less air pressure than you normally run and you'll swear you're riding on high end tubulars.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
I was the OP's weight earlier this season, now down around 178 lbs (I'm 6'-3"). I built my light wheelset 20/28 with Kinlin XR-270s, running Hutchinson tubeless with Stan's yellow tape. If you want the front wheel to be low flex, use a wide-flange hub or lace radial or 1x heads in, and use DT Comps, not lighter (Revs or CX Rays) spokes. I'm using an Alchemy ELF, 20 spoke radial heads out (as recommended by Alchemy) with Comps, and it's stiff enough for me. The OP might want to stick with 24+ spokes up front.

The Alpha 340 is an extremely light aluminum rim, not sure how it'd hold up for a heavier rider. I just built my cross wheels, and a PowerTap road/cross rear wheel, with 32h A23 rims (all tubeless), but I don't have enough miles on them to comment on durability. I'd like to find a 24h A23 for a front road wheel, which I'll probably lace to a CK R45 hub.
 

·
Pack Fodder.
Joined
·
1,871 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Let me put this in context, so you'll know what I'm running now:
For my commuter wheels, I'm running 28/32 Open Pros with Ultegra hubs. I run 23s on the front (fork clearance on my BMC) and 25s in the rear. They've been pretty bombproof over the frost heaves, root bumps, potholes, curbs, and whatever else I find on my way to work. Not inspiring or sexy, but they do the job day after day and I never have to have a second thought about them. Exactly what I wanted in a commuter wheel.

For my TT wheels, I picked up some 50mm 24/28 Cane Creek Aros tubulars. From what I understand they're re-badged, non-dimpled Zipp 404s with Cane Creek hubs. Other than the cheap price ($600 new), the fact they had a higher spoke count than most deep-section wheels was a big plus. I haven't used them yet, but I'm going to be running 24c Vittoria Pavé Evo CGs on them because of the rough pavement on our TT course. My first deep section carbon tubulars, so I'm interested to see what the fuss is all about.

For my race/training wheels, I've been using Neuvation wheels with 23c tires. I was using 16/20 M28 Aero3s, which spun great for about a year until I broke a spoke on the front wheel and the tire lodged against the fork. Not exactly confidence-inspiring. I replaced them with 20/24 R28s, which have been fine except they flex into the brake when I climb. I usually open the front brake on hillclimbs for this reason. These are the wheels I'm looking to replace.

I'm still going to use the R28s (as well as the M28s), but I'd like to have something that rolls as well (or better), with less flex, that is more attuned to the sometimes rough road conditions. I'm not looking for a clunky, throw-it-on-the-tandem type of wheel. To be honest, HED's marketing copy and naming scheme for the Belgium C2s is what attracted me to 23mm rims in the first place. Anything that evokes the Northern Classics is OK in my book, and would look right at home on my Ridley.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
mudge said:
So, how easy was it to set up the A23s tubeless, and what tires are you using?
Easy enough. I'm using two wraps of the 21mm Yellow Tape, a removable core valve stem, and a Hutchinson Intensive on the road wheel, same as I did with the XR-270 rims. Stan's Plus 4 rim strips with included valve stems and Hutchinson Piranhas on the cross wheels.

In all cases, I drilled the inner valve stem hole in the rim out to 5/16" and chamfered it, so the conical rubber valve stem base would seat better. I can still run standard tubes, of course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
I chose the A23 over the HED C2 due to the weight and price. You might be able to get away with fewer spokes on the HED, though.

A Hutchinson Intensive on a 20mm XR-270 measures 23mm, and on the A23 measures 25mm. I can't say that I can tell any difference in the way they ride (great) on either rim, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
fallzboater said:
I chose the A23 over the HED C2 due to the weight and price. You might be able to get away with fewer spokes on the HED, though.

A Hutchinson Intensive on a 20mm XR-270 measures 23mm, and on the A23 measures 25mm. I can't say that I can tell any difference in the way they ride (great) on either rim, though.
I picked up a pair of the Intensives, couldn't come close to getting one mounted to either a Stans 355 rim or DT RR1.1 rim. Did they go on your A23 rims pretty easily, and if not, how'd you get 'em on?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
799 Posts
mudge said:
I picked up a pair of the Intensives, couldn't come close to getting one mounted to either a Stans 355 rim or DT RR1.1 rim. Did they go on your A23 rims pretty easily, and if not, how'd you get 'em on?
I got the first bead on without a lever, and the second one on with a single plastic lever. The Piranhas, which I believe have the same bead, were a little harder, but the Stan's rubber strips are a lot thicker than just the Yellow tape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
fallzboater said:
I got the first bead on without a lever, and the second one on with a single plastic lever. The Piranhas, which I believe have the same bead, were a little harder, but the Stan's rubber strips are a lot thicker than just the Yellow tape.
I must be cursed... I've mounted Bulldogs and Piranhas on my 355s by hand, and mounted a pair of Specialized S Works Turbo tubeless on my new Alpha340s by hand, too... but I can't get my Intensives mounted on any rim I own, using two levers and a platoon of gorillas to help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
fallzboater said:
I'll send you, oh, $20/ea for them. ;^)
too funny... I can send 'em back to where I bought 'em for a full, unconditional money back guarantee. Gotta love biketiresdirect.com's return policy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
rruff said:
Like 25mm or so...
From what I've read, from sources I trust, more like 65-70 mm or so.

No such thing as an aero 25mm rim. Some may be more aero than others, but none of them are particularly aero.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,103 Posts
What sources are those? All the data I've seen shows quite a dramatic improvement going from 20mm-30mm (bigger than the difference between 30-50mm), and you can also use fewer spokes on the deeper and stiffer rims. A decent rim in the 25-30mm range with minimal aero steel spokes, is much closer to goodness on the aero continuum than a 20mm rim with lots of round spokes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
rruff said:
What sources are those? All the data I've seen shows quite a dramatic improvement going from 20mm-30mm (bigger than the difference between 30-50mm), and you can also use fewer spokes on the deeper and stiffer rims. A decent rim in the 25-30mm range with minimal aero steel spokes, is much closer to goodness on the aero continuum than a 20mm rim with lots of round spokes.
I'm not arguing that a 20mm rim w/ lots of round spokes is as aero as a good 25-30mm rim w/ minimal spokes. No one would. However, others (Cobb, Hed, etc...) have argued that a deeper rim is much more aero.

YMMV, but for my money if I'm trying to go aero, I'm going as deep as possible. If I'm looking for light weight, I'm going as light as reasonable, but not expecting a big aero boost. Most 25-30mm aero rims, especially alum. rims, are way too heavy for the minimal aero benefit, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,103 Posts
Even if you have the same type and about the same number spokes, you still gain a fair amount in the 20-30mm range. And if you want to go fast there is no reason to ignore aerodynamics... deeper aluminum rims cost no more than shallow ones, and the weight difference isn't enough to worry about either, since they'd still be faster on all but the steepest grades. You may prefer shallow rims for other reasons, however.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
rruff said:
Even if you have the same type and about the same number spokes, you still gain a fair amount in the 20-30mm range. And if you want to go fast there is no reason to ignore aerodynamics... deeper aluminum rims cost no more than shallow ones, and the weight difference isn't enough to worry about either, since they'd still be faster on all but the steepest grades. You may prefer shallow rims for other reasons, however.

Take all that data, convert it to watts saved at roughly 26 - 30 mph, and if it's not at least double digit savings, it's not a 'fair amount'. And, yes, the heavier 'aero' rims will be slower on grades above 2 or 3 %. If you're not doing well in excess of 18 - 20 mph, the aero rims aren't helping in any significant way, and I'm guessing you're not climbing in excess of 18 mph.

I'm not saying I prefer shallow wheels, I just don't believe that mid-depth wheels are the answer to hardly any question. They are a solution in search of a problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,103 Posts
Enough info has been provided for anybody to use a calculator to determine the "watts difference" for any scenario they desire. They can also stick in a 150g weight difference and see what that does. If they do so, they'll see that you are wrong. Double digits? If that is your criteria, then you might as well ignore everything.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
175 Posts
rruff said:
Enough info has been provided for anybody to use a calculator to determine the "watts difference" for any scenario they desire. They can also stick in a 150g weight difference and see what that does. If they do so, they'll see that you are wrong. Double digits? If that is your criteria, then you might as well ignore everything.
Well, you're right about one thing... if you saving only a few watts, you may as well ignore it. It's like trying to pick the fly poop out of the pepper.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top