General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Wheels: aero vs. weight Rss Feed  
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2013-09-20 8:56 AM

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Subject: Wheels: aero vs. weight
I am looking to buy a set of wheels for next year and I am torn both on the brand and the set up I want, since I find that I either make my decision based on the weight or on the aero performance of the wheels and I am not sure what of these two factors is more relevant.

There is the argument that more weight will have a negative effect when going up hill (not worry to much about accelerations), but how much or how much incline the terrain needs to be (mountain? rolling hills?) to have a significant negative effect vs. a wheel/set up that is more aero and performs better in flat-ish conditions?

I was considering a set up with a rear wheel deeper than the front wheel (i.e. 60/90 (FLO), 404/808 (ZIPP), etc.). But should I go instead for a 60/60 or 404/404 to save some weight or having a deeper rear wheel will benefit me more than the weight saved? Should I even forget about this and buy lightwheels and a wheel cover for the rear wheel?


2013-09-20 8:59 AM
in reply to: davidfedez

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Subject: RE: Wheels: aero vs. weight
If you are going to do bike racing stuff, stick with 60mm and smaller. Some races won't allow deeper rims.

If you are going to do drafting legal, stop and go, slow down/speed up type racing, go with lighter.

For time trial and triathlon type racing aero beats weight hands down.

Unless you are going on a completely uphill race, you will be faster with deeper wheels than you will with lighter ones.

2013-09-20 9:04 AM
in reply to: davidfedez

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Subject: RE: Wheels: aero vs. weight

unless you are doing real climbing, not just hills, you don't need to worry about weight.  for solo efforts and triathlon aero > weight.  

for the flo 60/90 combo: many people initially thought this was a good idea, but with the latest aero data a lot of people who went this route are trying to sell off that 60 and get a 90. just depends how windy it is where you live/race and how confident you are on a bike. the 90 upfront took some time for me to get used to, but isn't an issue for me anymore.

i would go with a 60/60 or 404/404 if i was also looking to also use the wheel set on a road bike for cycling races outside of triathlon/TT.

2013-09-20 9:05 AM
in reply to: davidfedez

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Subject: RE: Wheels: aero vs. weight
Deep front, disc (or disc cover) rear.
2013-09-20 9:12 AM
in reply to: DanielG

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Subject: RE: Wheels: aero vs. weight
Originally posted by DanielG

If you are going to do bike racing stuff, stick with 60mm and smaller. Some races won't allow deeper rims.

If you are going to do drafting legal, stop and go, slow down/speed up type racing, go with lighter.

For time trial and triathlon type racing aero beats weight hands down.

Unless you are going on a completely uphill race, you will be faster with deeper wheels than you will with lighter ones.




Good points Daniel. I forgot to mention that I mostly do non-draft legal triathlons.

At the moment, I live in South Florida, therefore the terrain where I train is flat, but I do some out of state races with rolling hills.
2013-09-20 9:18 AM
in reply to: davidfedez

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Subject: RE: Wheels: aero vs. weight
Originally posted by davidfedez

Originally posted by DanielG

If you are going to do bike racing stuff, stick with 60mm and smaller. Some races won't allow deeper rims.

If you are going to do drafting legal, stop and go, slow down/speed up type racing, go with lighter.

For time trial and triathlon type racing aero beats weight hands down.

Unless you are going on a completely uphill race, you will be faster with deeper wheels than you will with lighter ones.




Good points Daniel. I forgot to mention that I mostly do non-draft legal triathlons.

At the moment, I live in South Florida, therefore the terrain where I train is flat, but I do some out of state races with rolling hills.


If your races are solo, no groups, and you're not in the middle of the Alps or Rockies, disc rear and 90mm front or 90/60 are two great choices.



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