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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been researching wheels for my 2012 Caad 10 5. Front runners have included Zipp 101, C24 and Fulcrum Zero to replace my RS10's. Loved the look of the Zipps and thought I was sold until I found out more about the C24. A mate bought 2 year old 101's which have just been serviced. Went for 100klm ride with hills pretty well all the way. He pulled away uphill but time and again my RS10's caught him on the way. To me that means Zipp is now gone.

Recently my LBS suggested that the CAAD is so stiff that I shouldn't consider any of these wheels as they are all too stiff. He said they are great on cheap carbon to provide some stiffness to counteract the flexing of the carbon. He said that they would make my caad to stiff and uncomfortable. He suggested Ksyrium Elite and Fulcrum 3's due to their steel spokes. They would give a bit of flex to counteract the stiffness of my frame. This is new information to me.

I'm inclined to ignore his advice and am leaning towards C24. I figure that because i've never owned carbon i don't really know any different so I may as well get the best rolling wheels I can. The fact that my RS10's caught the 101's implies to me that the shimano rim on the C24 will be even better. Thoughts?
 

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A bicycle being overly stiff is usually because of two factors. Poor frame design, and too high of tire pressure.

I would disregard this mechanic. If your bike feels to stiff, then get some new tires. That will be the most noticeable upgrade.
Oh and wheels won't make the bike ride too stiff. If anything, the right set may enhance the ride quality a bit making the extremely rigid frame feel somewhat tolerable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Zen. Just to clarify I don't think the bike is too stiff. I love it. Just got upgraditis. This person was implying that if I put C24's on then they would make my bike too stiff as they have alloy spokes and that I should get some wheels with steel spokes that have some play and he suggested the elites and fulcrum 3 were the way to go.
 

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I don't know about all the stiffness talk, but I have the same caad as you and I replaced my rs10's with fulcrum 3's just a month ago. Rides beautifully, smooth, and picks up fast from start. Very nice finishing too, I like the details on the wheelset. God bless the Italians!
 

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your lbs guy is either an idiot or a could be used car salesman.

his claim that C24s are too stiff is laughable (they are quite smooth and if anything they ain't stiff enough, and Im saying that as a 150 pounder) but where it gets really absurd is he recommends stiffer wheels than what he claims is too stiff for you.

speaking of absurd, your sentence about your wheels catching someone else's wheels? WTF?
 

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While it is true, the wheels can affect the ride quality to an extent, I don't think C24s would negatively affect a CAAD10. Neither would the Zipps for that matter. Your tire and pressure choices will have a bigger impact on how the bike rides.

As far as ruling out a wheelset because someone is slower than you on them is really stupid. A pro could crush you on a Wal-Mart bike, that doesn't mean that's what you need to crush people. If I get dropped from a break or on a climb, it's because of my fitness level and the choices I made earlier in the race, not the gear I'm riding. One of the first crits I raced was won by a guy on a 90's steel Nishiki with wheels that probably weighed more than your whole bike.
 

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The effect of radial stiffness to the overall vertical compliance is minimal and typically eclipsed by the influence of the tire type, tire casing and tire pressure.
Lateral stiffness, or simply put the deformation of the wheel due to the rider weight and strength, however is a wheel property that has quite diverse ramifications to the ride quality from no effect whatsoever, to reduction in power transfer and to the annoyance of rubbing the brake pads. A high lateral stiffness wheel typically has a deeper rim and more spokes than a similar wheel of lower lateral stiffness value. The compromise then becomes the heavier wheel weight and the increase in inertia and therefore the reduction in acceleration.
The point of all of these is that lateral stiffness is a quality that should not be blindly pursued but best optimized to each rider's weight, riding style and application. IMO, empirical results is the way to start and eventually settle to where makes sense for one's predicament.
The weight to stiffness ratio appears to become evident from stiffness tests contacted by Roues Artisanales, Rinard etc. Looking at the Fulcrum Racing line for instance, the 2008 Racing Zero tested at a rigidity of 49 N/mm front and 40 N/mm for the rear while the Racing 7 came in at 64 N/mm front and 43 N/mm rear. The extra stiffness of the Racing 7 was paid for with the extra grams from more spokes.
One statement the LBS allegedly made may had a trace of truth if it is applied to the Shimano 7850 C24 CL and 7850 C24 TU wheels. The clincher tests at 42/40 (f/r N/mm) vs. the tubular at 56/50. The tubular shows pretty high values for a 24mm low spoke rim, expected to be more in line with a 50mm deep clincher. A light weight rider of 60kg may find such a wheel non-optimum as far as weight vs. stiffness is concerned but not necessarily uncomfortable. Actually, performance is impaired when the exact opposite is applied i.e a 90kg+ rider on a 31 N/mm wheel like the Roval Fussee SL where, as tests by Mavic have shown, there is a reduction in power due to the wheel flexing.
The bottom line for most of us is that if your rims do not rub your pads don't bother with the lateral stiffness. If they do, then look into the appropriate wheel design (hub, rim, spokes) to contain it.
I hope it helps.
 
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