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Wheels - lighter weight vs aero

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Wheels - lighter weight vs aero

Old 02-15-23, 11:46 AM
  #201  
surak
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Originally Posted by Jrasero
if they have a hard budget of $500 and don't want or need that aero benefit then I am not getting how these are a waste
It's a waste because they could spend that $500 somewhere else, like even *gasp* save it toward a better wheelset. Spending money just to spend money -- because the actual benefits to the "upgrade" will be minimal -- is being penny-wise and dollar foolish. My Hunts are a $600 waste because they sit unused in my garage. The ones the OP are considering could easily become a wasted expenditure too when they notice no appreciable difference in speed.

You assume that the OP not only has a hard budget, but a gun to their head forcing them to buy a wheelset right this instance, which frankly is a much larger assumption than that the OP simply would like to go faster and wants opinions on what would be a good wheel upgrade.

When someone asks BF which $500 bike is better, people will rightfully steer them to consider spending more now to avoid spending more later. They're free to decide that they want to stick to their budget, but hopefully they did so after being educated on the benefits of a more expensive bike. No difference here.
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Old 02-15-23, 12:01 PM
  #202  
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Okay now ... there is a HUGE difference between $500 wheels and a $500 bike.

Also, this guy is sick of his current wheels and has a chance to get a deal on some better wheels. If he can save 750 grams, that should really affect the feel of his bike.

He wants new wheels because his OEM wheels are exceedingly heavy. He has a chance to make a significant upgrade (dropping 750 grams) for $500 ..... He obviously isn't racing, so this is all about enjoying his ride more .... and you are all suggesting he save up for another couple years and spend twice as much to get wheels which will likely only save him another couple hundred grams and won't in any other way be better.

This the guy with a Camaro who wants to add a cat-back exhaust and everyone is telling him, "Just save up for a Corvette .... don't waste time with upgrading the Camaro."

Except he doesn't have the budget for the Vette and likely wont until he retires ... if ever .... but since You have a Corvette and look down on Camaros .......
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Old 02-15-23, 12:24 PM
  #203  
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Thanks everyone...

OP has no hard budget, just doesn't like overspending on parts that will only give a 1% gain. Hence why I purposely ride aluminum frames with 105. And since I tend to break stuff - a CF ride or wheelset that cost 2.5x for not much more performance isn't really worth it to me.

The wheels on my bike are low quality and weigh as much as a cinder block. I understood this when I bought the bike. They are to remain my winter/training/poor weather wheels with heavy/tough/slow tires installed.

I'm looking for a fair weather set of wheels, something lighter than the concrete blocks that came with the bike, that will have a fast set of tubeless tires - and so I don't have to keep swapping tires.

With the hunt aluminum aero, DT Swiss - or something similar, I take 700 grams off the bike for $600+/-. Add lightweight tubeless tires, upgraded rotors and cassette = upwards of 1kg+/- off the bike for about $700-750 - I don't include the tires in that price, I am buying them no matter what.

To me, that's a big difference in bike weight & a good performance upgrade for a decent price. Anything past that point and the price rises fast - like $500+ for 100 grams, or $500+ for 10mm wheel depth. To me, that's not worth an extra $500.

I ride mostly flat lands with short punchy climbs, will do mountains from time to time. At best, I'm a 20mph rider.

I was comparing the two wheelsets because one was on sale, new out of the box, for 50% off. It was 50mm and 400g heavier than the Hunt's.

I was just trying to see if rim depth was better than lighter weight.
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Old 02-15-23, 12:53 PM
  #204  
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According to hambini.com, at 30 kph (19 mph), every millimeter increase in rim depth is worth a 0.25 watt savings (roughly).

So going from a 34 mm rim to a 50 mm rim (OP's options) would save 0.25 * 16 = 4 watts.

Roughly.


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Old 02-15-23, 12:54 PM
  #205  
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Originally Posted by Jughed
I was just trying to see if rim depth was better than lighter weight.
Hundreds of posts later, the OP returns and starts the whole thing over again ...

The numbers won't tell the whole story. Save 100 grams and sacrifice a little aero ... probably not, but save 400 grams .... who knows?

Here is what I do know. I bought my Fuji Sportif (practical, Al frame, CF fork, 105 drive train) to be a solid work/rain/grocery/light touring bike which was still worth just riding if I felt like it. I was really disappointed because with its ridiculously heavy wheels and gravel-bike tires set it seemed to take forever to spin up. It wasn't Terrible, but it felt really sluggish, particularly since my alternate rides were CF with light wheels.

I got some cheap Vueltas on discount, and dropped a bunch of weight and really improved the ride. Then I swapped in a cheap Chinese semi-aero set, even lighter, and the bike feels amazing. With good tires and light wheels (about 1500 g) the feel of the bike was entirely different and a hundred times more fun.

This particularly mattered to me because i ride so slowly aero doesn't matter, and my speed is so inconsistent that am always accelerating, so every time I tried to speed up on the stock wheels, i felt like I was riding in molasses. Responsiveness at low speeds made getting to higher speeds more fun. Responsiveness from mid-to higher (for me) speeds, equally so.

I Always recommend lighter wheels for people with OEM bricks. I also recommend good tires ..... I use light, supple tires and inset puncture barriers, so I still get lightish weight, decent flat protection, and that supple ride. In my experience it makes the whole ride better.

I am not fast enough for a watt or two of aero at whatever speed to make a difference. My FTP is probably below 100 watts, probably below fifty now that I have had some lung illness for so long. Maybe I am saving a tenth of a watt with aero rims .... maybe I am saving thirty seconds over a four-hour ride. I Don't Care. What matters to me is each moment of the ride, I find I like riding light wheels. No one is paying me to be fast ... my only payoff is enjoying the ride.

You do what sounds good to you.
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Old 02-15-23, 12:56 PM
  #206  
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Originally Posted by Jughed

I was just trying to see if rim depth was better than lighter weight.
? Unless you're riding solo on the flats, pick light weight every time. Riding with a group? Then you'll be sheltered from the wind most of the time and aero is irrelevant. But when with a group, there are a few key moments every hour, in which you need to dig deep to hang on to the wheel in front of you. This is where low rotational mass is critical - those brief seconds of improved acceleration makes the difference between spending the next 30 minutes being pulled along at 100 watts, or suffering at 300+ W solo to catch up.

I suggest you test some deep alu wheels (2kg) versus some low profile carbon tubulars (1kg) and see in the real world what a profound revelation light wheels are in terms of performance.
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Old 02-15-23, 12:59 PM
  #207  
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All those ancient idiots

Originally Posted by PeteHski
But I note on BF there is no shortage of people willing to argue stubbornly with little or no knowledge or experience of the subject matter.
The old saying "An ounce off the wheels is worth a pound off the frame" or its variant "A pound off the wheels is worth ten off the frame" go way back, to the '70s by my personal knowledge, and probably back to the '20s. While the ratios can be debated, I contend that there is a physical basis for these sayings. My years of training on 27x1-1/4" clinchers and racing on 700c sew-ups back in the '70s gives me direct experience in the subject matter and provides me with a logical basis for criticizing models, or their mis-use, that seem to contradict the old sayings. Perhaps one can argue that the basis for the sayings is only perceptual, but we'll need a better model, or more exact usage of one, to prove that to my satisfaction. I believe the modern, mistaken viewpoint of some that rim, tire, and tube weight aren't any important than static weight arises from perceptions, because most modern riders simply lack much experience with heavier wheels.

I challenge the modelers to improve the model. Through away the assumption that the momentum of the wheels renders the 2x term meaningless, and validate a new version with measurements of every change in wheel speed, on a 'course' with numerous hard accelerations. For the purpose of estimating competitive advantage, I suggest a different simplifying assumption: disregard losses of wheel kinetic energy, and count only increases.

When can I expect a web video titled "Lighter wheels SURE DO make a difference!", with the facts and measurements backing it up?

It's not like all the old duffers were stupid and ignorant. We went to the moon using slide-rules for calculations.

Kind of like building the pyramids - ya gotta give 'em credit!

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Old 02-15-23, 01:28 PM
  #208  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
? Unless you're riding solo on the flats, pick light weight every time. Riding with a group? Then you'll be sheltered from the wind most of the time and aero is irrelevant. But when with a group, there are a few key moments every hour, in which you need to dig deep to hang on to the wheel in front of you. This is where low rotational mass is critical - those brief seconds of improved acceleration makes the difference between spending the next 30 minutes being pulled along at 100 watts, or suffering at 300+ W solo to catch up.
Nope. Aerodynamic drag may be less in a pack, but it isn't zero. It is still a bigger factor than the minuscule effect of accelerating a little extra wheel weight.
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Old 02-15-23, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
My years of training on 27x1-1/4" clinchers and racing on 700c sew-ups back in the '70s gives me direct experience in the subject matter
The trouble is that you're changing a lot more than just mass. Most 27" clinchers from the 70s were built cheap and durable: thick casing fabric and thick rubber coating make for lots of rolling resistance. Conversely, racing tubulars were constructed for performance, usually using thin cotton fabric, and often incorporating latex inner tubes.
Training clinchers were usually wider than racing tubulars as well, generally producing more aerodynamic drag.
(Also, even as far as mass is concerned, you're not isolating the impacts of rotational versus static. The training setups were heavier in general.)

I believe the modern, mistaken viewpoint of some that rim, tire, and tube weight aren't any important than static weight arises from perceptions, because most modern riders simply lack much experience with heavier wheels.
I would argue the opposite. It's very easy to feel the gyroscopic effects of changing rotating mass, but much harder to directly feel performance. And since - in the 70s - the setups with high rotating mass were also very slow, cyclist perception developed that high gyroscopic effects = slow.

Through away the assumption that the momentum of the wheels renders the 2x term meaningless
You're misunderstanding the physics. The momentum of the wheels doesn't render the 2x term meaningless, it is itself the 2x term.

It's not like all the old duffers were stupid and ignorant. We went to the moon using slide-rules for calculations.

Kind of like building the pyramids - ya gotta give 'em credit!
Nobody is claiming that all the old duffers were stupid and ignorant. This is a discussion about particular assumptions made within a particular context.
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Old 02-15-23, 01:59 PM
  #210  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
? Unless you're riding solo on the flats, pick light weight every time. Riding with a group? Then you'll be sheltered from the wind most of the time and aero is irrelevant.
Saturday I was riding in a group on a flat road. I needed 200 W to stay in the group. Where do you think that power was going?
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Old 02-15-23, 02:02 PM
  #211  
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Maybe some people believed weight at the rim was worth twice (or ten times; you see both claims) the equivalent weight elsewhere on the bike, back in the '70s. I started racing in the mid-'60s, and I don't remember anyone talking much about wheel weight. We believed plenty of folklore; it's just that rotating weight hadn't yet cropped up as a topic, where I was racing, anyway.

(Example of '60s-era racing folklore: Jacques Anquetil was said to have been fanatical about bike weight, to the point where, at the bottom of a long climb in the Alps or Pyrenees, he would routinely transfer his water bottle from his bike to a jersey pocket. Or so they said.) (Come to think of it, maybe the weight of the bottle in its cage was worth twice that of the bottle in his pocket when he was climbing out of the saddle, flinging the bike from side to side---stationary upper body versus oscillating frame.)

A counter-example regarding rim weight: some rims for tubular wheels weighed much less than others in the 1960s and 1970s but had a reputation for crumpling easily (e.g., Fiamme yellow label rims). Not by coincidence, dark-anodized rims, a.k.a. hard-anodized rims, pretty much took over the market when they were introduced in the 1980s. Everyone I knew made the switch from silver rims as soon as possible. It was true, as claimed by the manufacturers, that the hard-anodized rims were more durable than the silver-anodized rims. They also weighed as much as 150 to 200 grams more per rim.

Off topic: I once asked the all-time most successful racer in Baltimore (many wins at the national level on road and track, from the 1960s to the 1980s) how he decided which bike to ride for a given race. He said, "If I think I have a shot at winning the race, I use my most reliable bike. If the course isn't suited to me, I'll bring my lightest bike."

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Old 02-15-23, 02:14 PM
  #212  
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
It's not like all the old duffers were stupid and ignorant. We went to the moon using slide-rules for calculations.
The people operating those slide rules were engineers and physicists.
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Old 02-15-23, 02:36 PM
  #213  
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Originally Posted by surak
It's a waste because they could spend that $500 somewhere else, like even *gasp* save it toward a better wheelset. Spending money just to spend money -- because the actual benefits to the "upgrade" will be minimal -- is being penny-wise and dollar foolish. My Hunts are a $600 waste because they sit unused in my garage. The ones the OP are considering could easily become a wasted expenditure too when they notice no appreciable difference in speed.

You assume that the OP not only has a hard budget, but a gun to their head forcing them to buy a wheelset right this instance, which frankly is a much larger assumption than that the OP simply would like to go faster and wants opinions on what would be a good wheel upgrade.

When someone asks BF which $500 bike is better, people will rightfully steer them to consider spending more now to avoid spending more later. They're free to decide that they want to stick to their budget, but hopefully they did so after being educated on the benefits of a more expensive bike. No difference here.
He could "save" the $500 or just save up more, but again we are prescribing OP something without context or the full story. I am not promoting spending just for the hell of it but OP I think said his original wheels are from an Emonda ALR 5. Assuming this is the bike he is trying to upgrade I would say 100% just go for the Hunts (alloys) because this is a $2300 aluminum boat anchor marketed as a lightweight climbing bike. It be one thing if this was a Madone or another aero bike, but at 19.68lbs stock and again for a climbing bike, loosing 1.5lbs is massive. Now if you really care about OP not spending to spend and still wanting to get aero and weight savings then simple things like handlebars, saddle, and latex tubes could as an alternative are fine too, but IMO if the bike is a climbing bike then keep it an climbing bike

I am not a Hunt shill (I swear) but if OP could open up his budget a tad then I 100% would do these. $764 before shipping and tax. I actually had these on a Canyon Ultimate CF SL 8.0 Disc w/ GP5000 28mm and they were awesome
https://us.huntbikewheels.com/produc...eep-27wide-999
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Old 02-15-23, 02:36 PM
  #214  
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
The old saying "An ounce off the wheels is worth a pound off the frame" or its variant "A pound off the wheels is worth ten off the frame" go way back, to the '70s by my personal knowledge, and probably back to the '20s. While the ratios can be debated, I contend that there is a physical basis for these sayings. My years of training on 27x1-1/4" clinchers and racing on 700c sew-ups back in the '70s gives me direct experience in the subject matter and provides me with a logical basis for criticizing models, or their mis-use, that seem to contradict the old sayings. Perhaps one can argue that the basis for the sayings is only perceptual, but we'll need a better model, or more exact usage of one, to prove that to my satisfaction. I believe the modern, mistaken viewpoint of some that rim, tire, and tube weight aren't any important than static weight arises from perceptions, because most modern riders simply lack much experience with heavier wheels.

I challenge the modelers to improve the model. Through away the assumption that the momentum of the wheels renders the 2x term meaningless, and validate a new version with measurements of every change in wheel speed, on a 'course' with numerous hard accelerations. For the purpose of estimating competitive advantage, I suggest a different simplifying assumption: disregard losses of wheel kinetic energy, and count only increases.

When can I expect a web video titled "Lighter wheels SURE DO make a difference!", with the facts and measurements backing it up?

It's not like all the old duffers were stupid and ignorant. We went to the moon using slide-rules for calculations.

Kind of like building the pyramids - ya gotta give 'em credit!
No one is saying that the wheels don't ride differently because I am sure they do, but that doesn't mean that, performance-wise, you will notice a difference. Saying you will support an analysis which supports your beliefs while disregarding those which don't seems disingenuous. The study would simply take a comparable set of wheels; however, 400 grams or so heavier rims on one and a 400-gram water bottle on the other. Standing start, then apply a fixed wattage of 400 watts and measure time to 40 kph. Note the time difference. Every model so far will show the difference to be insignificant.
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Old 02-15-23, 02:36 PM
  #215  
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Originally Posted by RChung
The people operating those slide rules were engineers and physicists.
And those engineers had calculators to do the math for them. Human calculators.
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Old 02-15-23, 02:43 PM
  #216  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
Hundreds of posts later, the OP returns and starts the whole thing over again ...

The numbers won't tell the whole story. Save 100 grams and sacrifice a little aero ... probably not, but save 400 grams .... who knows?

Here is what I do know. I bought my Fuji Sportif (practical, Al frame, CF fork, 105 drive train) to be a solid work/rain/grocery/light touring bike which was still worth just riding if I felt like it. I was really disappointed because with its ridiculously heavy wheels and gravel-bike tires set it seemed to take forever to spin up. It wasn't Terrible, but it felt really sluggish, particularly since my alternate rides were CF with light wheels.

I got some cheap Vueltas on discount, and dropped a bunch of weight and really improved the ride. Then I swapped in a cheap Chinese semi-aero set, even lighter, and the bike feels amazing. With good tires and light wheels (about 1500 g) the feel of the bike was entirely different and a hundred times more fun.

This particularly mattered to me because i ride so slowly aero doesn't matter, and my speed is so inconsistent that am always accelerating, so every time I tried to speed up on the stock wheels, i felt like I was riding in molasses. Responsiveness at low speeds made getting to higher speeds more fun. Responsiveness from mid-to higher (for me) speeds, equally so.

I Always recommend lighter wheels for people with OEM bricks. I also recommend good tires ..... I use light, supple tires and inset puncture barriers, so I still get lightish weight, decent flat protection, and that supple ride. In my experience it makes the whole ride better.

I am not fast enough for a watt or two of aero at whatever speed to make a difference. My FTP is probably below 100 watts, probably below fifty now that I have had some lung illness for so long. Maybe I am saving a tenth of a watt with aero rims .... maybe I am saving thirty seconds over a four-hour ride. I Don't Care. What matters to me is each moment of the ride, I find I like riding light wheels. No one is paying me to be fast ... my only payoff is enjoying the ride.

You do what sounds good to you.
I think you are touching on a good point in that you could post graph charts and some equation on how "Y" will make you "X" faster and it's always all about aero or nothing baby lol but I think there is something people forget about especially when you are not racing and especially when you are not training with power is the idea that "fast" is more of a feeling when biking more than you think. If OP thinks his current wheels wheel like concrete, even if loosing 1.5lbs doesn't technically make him faster, if he feels like he can spin up to speed quicker then $500 while still $500 IMO is well worth it for that "feeling".
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Old 02-15-23, 02:49 PM
  #217  
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Maybe some people believed weight at the rim was worth twice (or ten times; you see both claims) the equivalent weight elsewhere on the bike, back in the '70s. I started racing in the mid-'60s, and I don't remember anyone talking much about wheel weight. We believed plenty of folklore; it's just that rotating weight hadn't yet cropped up as a topic, where I was racing, anyway.

(Example of '60s-era racing folklore: Jacques Anquetil was said to have been fanatical about bike weight, to the point where, at the bottom of a long climb in the Alps or Pyrenees, he would routinely transfer his water bottle from his bike to a jersey pocket. Or so they said.) (Come to think of it, maybe the weight of the bottle in its cage was worth twice that of the bottle in his pocket when he was climbing out of the saddle, flinging the bike from side to side---stationary upper body versus oscillating frame.)

A counter-example regarding rim weight: some rims for tubular wheels weighed much less than others in the 1960s and 1970s but had a reputation for crumpling easily (e.g., Fiamme yellow label rims). Not by coincidence, dark-anodized rims, a.k.a. hard-anodized rims, pretty much took over the market when they were introduced in the 1980s. Everyone I knew made the switch from silver rims as soon as possible. It was true, as claimed by the manufacturers, that the hard-anodized rims were more durable than the silver-anodized rims. They also weighed as much as 150 to 200 grams more per rim.

Off topic: I once asked the all-time most successful racer in Baltimore (many wins at the national level on road and track, from the 1960s to the 1980s) how he decided which bike to ride for a given race. He said, "If I think I have a shot at winning the race, I use my most reliable bike. If the course isn't suited to me, I'll bring my lightest bike."
This kind of stuff has been reviewed at nauseum at places at GCN, where they compare super bikes to older bikes and the older bikes are always marginally slower, but the big take away isn't which bike was faster but more so how the modern bikes had better feel. OP expressed how he wanted wider rims so he could comfortably run 28mm tires and he said his current wheelset felt like cinder blocks. Again, he might be marginally quicker on a $500 wheelset, but that's not the point since the $500 Hunts alleviate the two issues he brought up.
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Old 02-15-23, 03:15 PM
  #218  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
? Unless you're riding solo on the flats, pick light weight every time. Riding with a group? Then you'll be sheltered from the wind most of the time and aero is irrelevant. But when with a group, there are a few key moments every hour, in which you need to dig deep to hang on to the wheel in front of you. This is where low rotational mass is critical - those brief seconds of improved acceleration makes the difference between spending the next 30 minutes being pulled along at 100 watts, or suffering at 300+ W solo to catch up.

I suggest you test some deep alu wheels (2kg) versus some low profile carbon tubulars (1kg) and see in the real world what a profound revelation light wheels are in terms of performance.
Sometimes I wonder if you've actually experienced some of the things you have such strong opinions about.
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Old 02-15-23, 03:28 PM
  #219  
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Sometimes I wonder if you've actually experienced some of the things you have such strong opinions about.
Wouldn't it just be faster for him to post "Everything new sucks"?
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Old 02-15-23, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by genejockey
Wouldn't it just be faster for him to post "Everything new sucks"?
It's weird. It's like he's an extreme weight weenie and retro grouch at the same time. A retro weenie? A weight grouch?
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Old 02-15-23, 04:25 PM
  #221  
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Originally Posted by big john
It's weird. It's like he's an extreme weight weenie and retro grouch at the same time. A retro weenie? A weight grouch?
Weight grouch. Retro weenie sounds like something you go to the Urologist about.
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Old 02-15-23, 04:46 PM
  #222  
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
I challenge the modelers to improve the model.
The models are fine.
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Old 02-15-23, 04:51 PM
  #223  
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Originally Posted by terrymorse
According to hambini.com, at 30 kph (19 mph), every millimeter increase in rim depth is worth a 0.25 watt savings (roughly).

So going from a 34 mm rim to a 50 mm rim (OP's options) would save 0.25 * 16 = 4 watts.

Roughly.



As far as Iím concerned - /close the thread/

Thats all I needed to see. Essentially $100, or more, per watt.
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Old 02-15-23, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Jughed
As far as Iím concerned - /close the thread/
Same here, but only because he-who-shall-not-be-named has been named twice.
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Old 02-15-23, 05:12 PM
  #225  
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Originally Posted by Dave Mayer
? Unless you're riding solo on the flats, pick light weight every time. Riding with a group? Then you'll be sheltered from the wind most of the time and aero is irrelevant.
.
The pro peloton teams and their engineers disagree. They routinely choose deeper section aero wheels for everything bar the most epic mountain stages. Even then they often run 35-45 mm aero rims.
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