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I've been wondering if wheel weight when training makes a difference in performance when racing with a different/lighter wheel set. I know one must certainly be able to feel the difference, but does training with a heavier wheel set (say 1700-1800 grams) help boost performance. Thanks.
 

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It's all in your head

gdl3855 said:
I've been wondering if wheel weight when training makes a difference in performance when racing with a different/lighter wheel set. I know one must certainly be able to feel the difference, but does training with a heavier wheel set (say 1700-1800 grams) help boost performance. Thanks.
The only advantage to using lighter wheels for competition is that you might psychologically feel better and therefore perform better. Otherwise, it's all in your head. If you want a harder workout when using light wheels in training, you just go harder. Light wheels might be a durability issue for training, but there is no benefit whatsoever from using heavier or lighter equipment when training.
 

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I agree with Kerry in that 300 wattes=300 wattes whether you are riding heavy wheels or light ones, racing or training. I think a very light rim will spin up faster. Maybe it doesn't but I've convinced myself that it does. If so, it would only be important in a crit race and only if the rider was very competitive. The really light rim only guarantees that you are likely to ding it as i just did on a Rolf Aero Alan :cryin:
 

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I agree with Kerry. In fact I would say that since as a general trend, light wheels are going to be less durable (I mean this relatively of course, as in a set of bullet proof rims on solid hubs as opposed to carbon rims on ultralight hubs) which is never good for training.
 

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Super light rims can make a small difference when you're doing a very technical crit that involves something like a 180, and you have to practically trackstand and then sprint out of the turn. We had a narrow, 220 P-Turn at a crit I did a few weeks back, and the laps were only 1/2 a mile long so we were jumping out of that corner quite a bit.

Otherwise, it's really hard to understand where there is much of a benefit.
 

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A heavier rimmed wheel keeps spinning longer than a lighter one. So maybe something very un-aero and light would be the best training wheel if it's resistance you want more of. As far as I see it crits are the number one place for super light wheels, biggest gains are to be found when constantly accelerating to full speed from a near stand still. And then there's those up hill mountain time trials. Other than that something like Cosmic Elites would be a very good choice for most riders since they keep speed very well are aero and a cheap strong training and racing wheel but they've got a very low cool factor so they won't do.
 

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Correct me if I'm wrong..but wouldn't you want to train on your race wheels (ignoring durability issues)?

Seems like the benefit of knowing exactly how your wheels behave in a wide variety of scenarios would be more beneficial than the minute amount performance you would gain from training with a heavier wheel.
 

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My training wheels are super heavy. I've never weighed them but they are 36 spokes, 14 gauge stainless with box section front and a Velocity Dyad rear rim. The Dyad is a TANDEM rim. I run commuter tires, big fat 32's with thick ugly tread. I've had guys hop on the bike and go "ooof" when they felt how heavy they are. It's definitely noticeable when I switch to race wheels.

Now, why do I do this?

Durability is the main reason; I like to be able to do it all on one bike and these wheels have stood up to tons of abuse with no complaints.

The psych-out factor is fun too; showing up to hammerfests with these always causes a few double-takes and comments.

But I do believe there is a training benefit. If some or all of your "fast" rides are a group ride, where others are setting the pace or chasing you, being at a disadvantage would mean that you're working harder to ride with the group. I know when I do hammerfests with my heavy wheels, I suffer much more than if I bring the race wheels. It's the difference between being frisky, playing around at the front, vs nearly getting dropped in the tough parts. Is it a "better" workout? Dunno since I don't have a powermeter. But it feels tougher to me.

On a solo ride, intervals or just miles or whatever, meh it's probably a wash.
 

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I've been using Amclassic 420's for two years with no issues save annual truing.
I would think changing wheels a lot would indeed bring on a whole new set of
subtle variables in bike handling which you would have to mentally catalog.
I also have a bike with old Wolbers. There is a moment of inertia, which is essentially any time your power increases in a pedal stroke (this could happen more than once during a revolution). My gut tells me the lighter wheels are jumping faster and there is something
there. If pedal strokes were steady state power events, then indeed wheel weight would
be almost completely meaningless, but nobody is such an efficient pedaller in real life.
I am not trying to flame, just seriously inquiring.
 

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phoehn9111 said:
I've been using Amclassic 420's for two years with no issues save annual truing.
I would think changing wheels a lot would indeed bring on a whole new set of
subtle variables in bike handling which you would have to mentally catalog.
I also have a bike with old Wolbers. There is a moment of inertia, which is essentially any time your power increases in a pedal stroke (this could happen more than once during a revolution). My gut tells me the lighter wheels are jumping faster and there is something
there. If pedal strokes were steady state power events, then indeed wheel weight would
be almost completely meaningless, but nobody is such an efficient pedaller in real life.
I am not trying to flame, just seriously inquiring.

Someone here, maybe it was Kerry,(failed memory check), posted a worked out formula for what the difference actually is with lighter wheels in a crit. Though there was a difference, I seem to recall it being pretty much insignificant. It's worth looking up.
 

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Creakyknees, that sounds like some serious training wheelset. I was mostly talking about under or around 2kg wheelpairs as the heavy ones since it's not so easy finding heavier wheels these days. Should have been more clear about that. Of course very heavy wheelsets will be a PITA compared to light ones especially with bigger tyres too.

I've done a couple of training rides on my mountainbike with freeride tyres on. Drafting my friends on roadbikes. Everybody else happily riding a steady pace and I've felt like dying back there. The longest I did was around 100 miles and boy was I dead after that. Of course mtb riding position is less aero but I was drafting, how hard can that be? ;)
 
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