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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My bike came stock with Mavic Aksium wheels. They wiegh 1855 gm. I ride anywhere from 100-250 miles per week. I do a lot of climbing and 100 mile + rides. I love riding centuries and doubles. I do not race and don't expect I ever will. Would I gain enough from wieght and aerodynamics to be worth the cost of better wheels? What would I gain? 5% easier, faster???? I would be looking at wheels in the 1450 gm range.
 

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I noticed a huge a huge difference when I upgraded from my Bontrager wheels (1700g) to my
American Classic Carbon 38's (1200g $400 on ebay). The acceleration with the AC's actually made the bike feel radically different. The quicker acceleration didn't help with sprint that much. Climbing hills became a bit easier though. I can climb a little longer at a high level or climb for longer at my usual pace. Some of this is mental, but some is physics as well. Do your research and try to find a wheel that is primarily lighter in the rim. As weight is moved farther from hub it becomes exponentially harder to rotate the weight. Case in point, my wife just installed a powertap hub (significantly heavier than a normal hub) on a carbon racing wheel. You really can only barely feel a difference. 300g at the hub = barely noticable. 300g at the rim and you suddenly start looking down at the bike to check if it really is the same bike.
 

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valleycyclist said:
A lighter wheelset will have snappier accelerations, but don't get high hopes for major speed improvements..
That was my findings going from 1762 gram wheels to 1410 gram ones - a savings of 352 grams or 12.4 ounces. The bike felt much different - quicker handling and snappy. But my true average speeds were really no different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm 6'2" and 185 lbs. Thanks for the input. It sounds like a new set would help. If I want them for everyday riding, what would you recommend. I was thinking of aiming for something in the 1540 gm or below with some aero benefit. What are your thoughts? Seems like a lot of people trust the carbon wheels from China. I like the cost savings but find it hard to believe they are the same. I mean, why would a company buy from a manufacturer who was out there selling direct and cutting them out?
 

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Mike T. said:
That was my findings going from 1762 gram wheels to 1410 gram ones - a savings of 352 grams or 12.4 ounces. The bike felt much different - quicker handling and snappy. But my true average speeds were really no different.
+1... it is mostly feel.

You might go 0.5% faster on climbs from the weight reduction and 0.1mph faster on the flat due to better aerodynamics... if you get a set with 25+mm rim and minimal aero spokes.
 

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vontress said:
I'm 6'2" and 185 lbs. Thanks for the input. It sounds like a new set would help. If I want them for everyday riding, what would you recommend. I was thinking of aiming for something in the 1540 gm or below with some aero benefit. What are your thoughts?
Two suggestions -

Bicycle Wheel Warehouse Blackset Race at 1451 grams with 24mm deep rims for $330. Those are not really aero rims but they're not square ones either. A great deal here. Substitute XC-Ray aero spokes for $145 more with less weight.

Zen Cyclery could build you a set of Kinlin XR-270 (27mm deep rims) with White Industry hubs and aero CX-Ray spokes for about (don't quote me) double the $330 price. They'd weigh 1550grams. Or the XR-300 rims at 30mm deep with the WI hubs at about 1594g.
 

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Instead of having a goal of total weight, I suggest putting more emphasis on outer weight (rims, nipples, and even rim tape). Most of the feel of the wheel in terms of weight will come from that area.

The Kinlin XR-270 that was mentioned is not the lightest rim available, but for that rim depth it is light and dependable. You can get lighter hubs than WI, but I don't see a good reason for it.

vontress said:
I'm 6'2" and 185 lbs. Thanks for the input. It sounds like a new set would help. If I want them for everyday riding, what would you recommend. I was thinking of aiming for something in the 1540 gm or below with some aero benefit. What are your thoughts? Seems like a lot of people trust the carbon wheels from China. I like the cost savings but find it hard to believe they are the same. I mean, why would a company buy from a manufacturer who was out there selling direct and cutting them out?
 

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valleycyclist said:
The Kinlin XR-270 that was mentioned is not the lightest rim available, but for that rim depth it is light and dependable.
He did mention he wanted some "aero" from his rims. Even though, under, hmmm maybe 30mm, aero benefits would be minimal at best.

You can get lighter hubs than WI, but I don't see a good reason for it.
And at much greater prices.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Outer weight like tires. I just put on a pair of Continental Gators for flat resistence. They are suppose to be bomb proof. Maybe I should consider lighter tires when I change wheels. I notice everyone on Tour now riding more aero rims. Look to be 40mm. Obviously, I'm not riding like that but must be benefits. Is it because they do 30 mph that they get benefit or can we all gain from 40 mm carbon wheel?
 

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vontress said:
Outer weight like tires. I just put on a pair of Continental Gators for flat resistence. They are suppose to be bomb proof. Maybe I should consider lighter tires when I change wheels. I notice everyone on Tour now riding more aero rims. Look to be 40mm. Obviously, I'm not riding like that but must be benefits. Is it because they do 30 mph that they get benefit or can we all gain from 40 mm carbon wheel?
The aero benefits are present at any speed. We can all gain with aero wheels but not many of us who don't earn a living riding bikes consider a small fraction of a MPH to really be a gain worth going after for the price.
They are not riding clinchers by the way.....so they get the aero at less weight that what most people have on non aero wheels.
 

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"Maybe I should consider lighter tires when I change wheels" run a set of sub 200g tires and 50g inner tubes to really feel the difference. gatorskins are around 290-310g while veloflex paves are 180g for example.
 

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I just swapped out my stock Shimano RS-10 wheels for Ultegra 6700 tubeless wheels & Atom tubless tires (+6700 RD, Cassette, chain, BB & crank) and my bike is deffinently faster. I ride the same loop every day and log all my miles and speed each day since i started riding. Since swapping all this out a few weeks ago I am averaging .5 - 1 mph average speed faster than before. Everyday is a potentail new personal record. I figure between the wheel & tires I shaved about 390-400g off the weight. The bike is obviously snappier. It is also much smoother. The Ultegra 6700 wheel set was around $305 from Chainreaction. After seeing/feeling the difference in my bike I kind of wonder if I should not have bought even lighter wheels but the money I saved allowed me to buy all the other Ultegra parts.
 

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Mike T. said:
Kinlin XR-270 (27mm deep rims) with White Industry hubs and aero CX-Ray spokes for about (don't quote me) double the $330 price. They'd weigh 1550grams. Or the XR-300 rims at 30mm deep with the WI hubs at about 1594g.
The weight would be a good 100g lighter than that.
 

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Mike T. said:
He did mention he wanted some "aero" from his rims. Even though, under, hmmm maybe 30mm, aero benefits would be minimal at best.
Probably more than you think. Note that all the wheels below have 22 or fewer aero steel spokes... if you use 32 round spokes in a shallow rim, the drag is way off the chart.

 

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rruff said:
Probably more than you think. Note that all the wheels below have 22 or fewer aero steel spokes... if you use 32 round spokes in a shallow rim, the drag is way off the chart.

That's a great graph. Just to put those numbers into perspective, the Specialized "How aero is aero" bike test put the CdA of the entire bike + rider (for a rider riding a road bike in the drops) at about 0.3. These numbers are a factor of 10 lower for just the wheels alone, and the <i>differences</i> between wheels are even smaller -- so you're talking a few % effect overall.

AsaD
 

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rruff said:
The weight would be a good 100g lighter than that.
I've got a set of wheels here - Kinlin XR300, WI H2/H3, CX-Ray, 24/28, x1/x3, brass. f-715g, r-879g. Total - 1594 grams on my scale.

The XR270 rims are advertised at 20g lighter than XR300 (40g total) so that would be 1594 - 40 = 1554 grams.
 
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