Fit Werx offers the most scientific and complete bicycle fitting services in New England, the Northeast and beyond. Regardless of where you are from (Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas, Vermont, Australia, Macau...) a Fit Werx' bike fit is guaranteed to be worth the trip.
Member Question: Upgrading Wheels on a Cervelo P2SL
The wheels are my first area of concern and I have started to shop around. I find it nauseating to think of spending the same amount for wheels as my bike. Any help?
Member Question from cardenas1
After bumping up my ride miles recently and pushing two to three hour rides on the weekends, any extra help I can get is needed. I first bought a new seat for better comfort, then a dual bottle holder on the rear of my saddle for hydration, followed by a light for the front/back (I ride one or two times a week at night). Anyways, it's adding up already. The wheels are my first area of concern and I have started to shop around. I find it nauseating to think of spending the same amount for wheels as my bike, but as a good salesman told me, they are an upgrade you do not have think about even when you get a new bike. My price range is between $1,200 and $1,500, so many top lines may be out.
My LBS had set of Mavic Cosmic Carbone Wheels that came recommended, but I know there is so much more out there. There is so much else to think about regarding tubular, disk covers, etc, so my head is all over the place. Any help?
Answer from Dean Phillips
Bike Fitter for Fitwerx
Once proper fit is achieved on the bike, aerodynamic race wheels can offer more time savings or “free speed” than any other piece of equipment. A typical age group triathlete can expect to see one to two minutes of time savings for every 40k or 25 miles or riding. Actual time savings will depend on wind conditions, rider speed, and the shape and depth of the aerodynamic rim.
Zipp and Hed share a co-patent on the toroidal rim shape, and for this reason their wheels have tested faster than any others on the market. The shape of the rim can be just as important as the depth of the rim when it comes to aerodynamic performance. A deeper rim can offer greater aerodynamic benefits, but also expose more area to side winds which can have a negative impact on handling on windy days.
Aerodynamic performance is not the only important criterion to consider in selecting the race day wheelset best for you. Durability, handling, hub and rim quality, and even weight are all important concerns in wheelset selection. Every triathlete has unique needs, so it’s important to make sure the wheelset you choose best matches those needs.
While the highest performing wheelsets come at higher prices, there are still great options in the $1200-$1500 dollar range. The Mavic Cosmic Carbone wheelset you mention offers exceptional durability for an aerodynamic wheelset. We recommend this wheelset for the triathlete looking for an aero wheelset that can be trained and raced on year round. The Mavic Cosmic Carbone gives up some aerodynamic performance in exchange for the best long-term durability. The Zipp Flashpoint (clincher), Hed Stinger (tubular) and Hed Jet C2(clincher) series all offer great options in that price range as well. The Flashpoint and Hed options have the edge in aerodynamics, while the Mavic Cosmic Carbone has the edge in durability.
A time trial helmet will also offer measurable aerodynamic savings. Actual savings are individual, but you can typically expect to see 15-45 seconds of time savings for every 40k or 25 miles or cycling when changing from a vented helmet to an aerodynamic time trial helmet.
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