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Aero wheel on only the front?

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Aero wheel on only the front?

Old 06-22-20, 02:47 PM
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rbrides
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Aero wheel on only the front?

To keep costs down but get some performance boost Im considering a light weight, deep (55) carbon aero wheel for only the front.

I believe the frame in front of the rear wheel limits the aero benefit of such a wheel on the rear.

if you have done this, I welcome your comments.
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Old 06-22-20, 03:00 PM
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There would be more aero benefits by putting a deep section rim on the back instead of the front.
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Old 06-22-20, 03:57 PM
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asgelle
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Originally Posted by rbrides View Post
I believe the frame in front of the rear wheel limits the aero benefit of such a wheel on the rear.
That is true. For a non-aero frame changing the rim in the rear will be 25% less effective than putting that same rim in the front. For a highly aero-optimized frame, the difference will be less (since the air hitting the rear wheel will be cleaner).
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Old 06-22-20, 04:10 PM
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RChung
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
That is true. For a non-aero frame changing the rim in the rear will be 25% less effective than putting that same rim in the front. For a highly aero-optimized frame, the difference will be less (since the air hitting the rear wheel will be cleaner).
Yeah. Chris Yu talked about this on a cyclingtips podcast, and I *think* he was saying closer to half (though he also agreed with you and said it depends on how aero the rest of the frame is).
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Old 06-22-20, 04:22 PM
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Technically sound, but economically little to be gained from buying a single wheel

over a set.
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Old 06-22-20, 05:03 PM
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You're forgetting one very, very important factor - it'll look dumb.
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Old 06-22-20, 05:34 PM
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I raced for a season or two like that. Didn't look that cool, but 'twas all good.
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Old 06-22-20, 06:18 PM
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RChung
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
You're forgetting one very, very important factor - it'll look dumb.
I sorta like looking dumb and mismatched. It gives me an excuse when I get passed, and pleasure when I pass.
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Old 06-23-20, 04:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I raced for a season or two like that. Didn't look that cool, but 'twas all good.
you see this frequently at the velodrome, mainly in the 4&5 categories. A lot of times they pirate their deep carbon front wheel from their road wheels, replace the quick release and off to the races. By the time most riders are going into the 3s, they know how serious they are about track racing and buy a set of carbon wheels, usually a five spoke or deep section front and disc rear.
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Old 06-23-20, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
You're forgetting one very, very important factor - it'll look dumb.
This. Might as well get an aero helmet first that makes you look like an alien. It would probably be cheaper than a wheel. People would think you're a serious cyclist as well. Or not. You'd be getting plenty of looks either way.
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Old 06-23-20, 05:50 AM
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Clip on aero bars would most likely yield the most bang for the buck.
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Old 06-23-20, 06:01 AM
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What are your goals?
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Addiction is all about class.
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Old 06-23-20, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Clip on aero bars would most likely yield the most bang for the buck.
Have you ever tried using clip ons in place of a front wheel? I can't imagine it turning out well.
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Old 06-23-20, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by seypat View Post
Clip on aero bars would most likely yield the most bang for the buck.
Single biggest aero/speed gain you can buy, followed by your kit. My fitness has improved considerably over the last year, and I still can't touch my lap times on our local TT loop that I did last year with clip-on aero bars.

Wheels actually provide fairly small gains, but they look cool and we like them.
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Old 06-23-20, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Clipped_in View Post
There would be more aero benefits by putting a deep section rim on the back instead of the front.
Categorically false.

The front sees undisturbed airflow. AKA, the "clean" air. After the front of the bike and your moving legs, the rear of the bike sees turbulent airflow or "dirty" air. And no matter the bike, even a tube framed non-aero bike's seat tube slightly shields the leading edge of the rear wheel. The part of the rear wheel seeing clean airflow is likely only the bottom bracket height off the ground.

It's been the budget go-to since the beginning of time for people to buy a nice aero front wheel for their time trial bike while still running something basic or original on the rear of the bike. Then, folks on tight budgets often for race day only will mount their $100 rear disc wheel "cover" over their box section rear wheel. Then off the bike and in storage till next race day.

You see rear discs with small profile 30mm front wheels because of windy race conditions, not because it is the fastest all-out setup. Kind of like on calm days you'd run a front 90mm, less calm 60mm, really bad 30 or 45mm or so. Except for a gale, I'd run the rear disc pretty much all the time as it isn't on the steering axis and has more of your weight balance on it.

Lots to learn before making that assumption and posting it as factual knowledge.

Last edited by burnthesheep; 06-23-20 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 06-23-20, 07:05 AM
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downhillmaster
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I am also desperately trying to be more aero on a budget so I currently only shave the front of my legs to conserve the use of shaving cream 👍
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Old 06-23-20, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by downhillmaster View Post
I am also desperately trying to be more aero on a budget so I currently only shave the front of my legs to conserve the use of shaving cream 👍
Oddly enough, when some shoe covers and socks with "aero trip" seams in the fabric were banned..........elite time triallists experimented with leaving a little strip of hair not shaved on their legs to have the same effect. The idea was the "aero trip" delays the separation of airflow from the lower legs making them more aero. The same intent of the previously banned clothes.

So, in a round about way, it's been done before!
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Old 06-23-20, 08:03 AM
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rbrides
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Originally Posted by Clipped_in View Post
There would be more aero benefits by putting a deep section rim on the back instead of the front.
Thanks for contributing. Can you elaborate? I've not found any documentation or data saying that.
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Old 06-23-20, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Have you ever tried using clip ons in place of a front wheel? I can't imagine it turning out well.
That's true, I hadn't thought of that. If you're going with a single aero wheel, it would work best on a unicycle.
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Old 06-23-20, 08:07 AM
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Nobody has mentioned the aero gut yet. That's cheap speed, at least on the flats.
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Old 06-23-20, 08:11 AM
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rbrides
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Originally Posted by woodcraft View Post
Technically sound, but economically little to be gained from buying a single wheel

over a set.
Aero wheels I see are $900-$1200 each. I don't see "discounting" for sets.
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Old 06-23-20, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by rbrides View Post
Thanks for contributing. Can you elaborate? I've not found any documentation or data saying that.
I've addressed it already above, what they stated isn't true.

My explanation isn't the best, RChung could probably pop in and do a superior job, but if on a budget buy a nice front wheel first.
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Old 06-23-20, 08:12 AM
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rbrides
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
You're forgetting one very, very important factor - it'll look dumb.
YIKES! Well, form over function!
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Old 06-23-20, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
I raced for a season or two like that. Didn't look that cool, but 'twas all good.
That's what I hoped to hear. Thanks.
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Old 06-23-20, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by datlas View Post
What are your goals?
Thanks for asking. I want to improve my speed. I'm not just going to throw a lot of money at it. I'm looking for biggest bang for the buck. I'm currently riding the original aluminum wheels that came on the bike so maybe a small upgrade wouldn't hurt. Yes, training + improved fitness will yield the biggest results and I'm working on that too. (I've lost 37 lbs since I started riding. This is just my second year)
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