General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Bike Upgrade Wheels Rss Feed  
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2012-08-06 9:15 AM

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Subject: Bike Upgrade Wheels
I recently got a QR lucero. I wanted to upgrade the wheels on it. What would be a good upgrade under the 1200 for both wheels?


2012-08-06 9:22 AM
in reply to: #4348688

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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
Not being snarky, what do you wish to gain by upgrading your wheels?

For triathlon, ignore weight mostly. Go for aero.

For training, you just want bulletproof and chances are the wheels that came on your bike are amongst the ones you would get suggestions to use.

2012-08-06 9:23 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
Do wheels really make that much of a speed difference on the bike? Ive Always done pretty good averaging 20mph on a sprint distance without any real bike training on stock wheels. I figured I'd swap mine out just cuz they're getting old :P
2012-08-06 9:25 AM
in reply to: #4348688

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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
If you want to make a measurable change in your time, get an aero helmet.

Wheels get you something like 3-5 minutes in an OLY and 5-10 minutes in an IM. There are some that claim even less but they're around the 22-23 MPH mark and the slower you are the more help you'll get via wheels.

2012-08-06 9:44 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels

Tell us more about what you want to do with these wheels.

Aero wheels will buy you a little bit of speed, but, as stated above, perhaps the same amount as an aero helmet which would cost 1/10th the amount.  and probably not as much as a good bike fit first.

If you're not doing hill climb races or need snappy accelleration like for a criterium, then weight isn't all that important.  So, if you're talking race wheels for tri's, then a set of aero wheels is a nice addition to the steed- albeit not the most cost effective.

The best aero wheels out there are probably the Zipp 404/808 firecrests- although they're quite pricey.  Over $2K.  The Hed Jet 6/9 are a bit more reasonable- but are still pricey.  Just a touch heavier and probably every bit as aero are the new FLO wheels.  Plus, they're in your price range, have an aluminum brake track so you don't need to change brake pads.  You will need to adjust your brakes tho', as they're a wider rim.

Or, get one good front wheel, like a Hed Jet 6, and then buy a wheel cover from Wheelbuilder.com for ~$90.  A covered rear wheel is pretty close to the fastest thing out there.

2012-08-06 9:45 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels

As asked above whats the purpose?  Race only, training and racing, etc.

I picked up a slightly used Felt TTR3 wheelset for $300.  40mm deep, bladed spokes and solid. Likely provides 90% of the aero of more expensive deeper wheels and I'm not worried about them is I hit a hole or crash with them on.  Slap on a diskcover on the rear and I'm set.

That said, there are several wheelsets on the market today that you can get for <$1000.  There was a thread on this recently with a lot of suggestions listed.



2012-08-06 9:52 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
I want to get faster on the bike. I am new to biking. I am a good runner and excellent swimmer but I am super slow on the bike for some reason. I having been trying different workouts on the bike but I was wondering if I got a better set of wheels that were on my bike it that would help. Plus I got a good deal on the bike and have some extra cash I planned to spend on the bike I feel like upgrading the wheels might be a good investment.
2012-08-06 10:02 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
rungirl222 - 2012-08-06 10:52 AM

I want to get faster on the bike. I am new to biking. I am a good runner and excellent swimmer but I am super slow on the bike for some reason. I having been trying different workouts on the bike but I was wondering if I got a better set of wheels that were on my bike it that would help. Plus I got a good deal on the bike and have some extra cash I planned to spend on the bike I feel like upgrading the wheels might be a good investment.


The actual cheapest way to get faster on the bike:

Whatever your training plan calls for in biking, double it. If it's a :30 ride, ride for an hour. If you're doing a 1:30 on the weekend, ride 3 hours.

You WILL get faster.

Alter that advise if you're already into peak weeks for IM training of course

2012-08-06 10:16 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
Thanks. I have been doing that in everything. The olympic plan I have been following i have basically been doing double of everything. I have been biking 50+ miles one day on the weekend. It took me 2:40 this past weekend. Which seems slow when I look at race results. I just don't get it cause I can run and swim fast.
2012-08-06 10:17 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
rungirl222 - 2012-08-06 11:16 AM

Thanks. I have been doing that in everything. The olympic plan I have been following i have basically been doing double of everything. I have been biking 50+ miles one day on the weekend. It took me 2:40 this past weekend. Which seems slow when I look at race results. I just don't get it cause I can run and swim fast.


It took me three/four years to go from 16 MPH to about 20 MPH. It takes a while.

2012-08-06 10:56 AM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels

rungirl222 - 2012-08-06 11:16 AM Thanks. I have been doing that in everything. The olympic plan I have been following i have basically been doing double of everything. I have been biking 50+ miles one day on the weekend. It took me 2:40 this past weekend. Which seems slow when I look at race results. I just don't get it cause I can run and swim fast.

3 years ago I began to have a jump in speed.  It came via specific training using the winter cycling plan (formerly Coach Jorge plan now BT's plan).  I bought a Kurt Kinetics Fluid trainer and used power as the training metric (using a spreadsheet that provides mph to power conversion).  I've done the plan 2.5 times and have gone from 20 mph to 23.5 mph on two local sprint courses and faster long rides.



2012-08-06 1:35 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
I just got a set of carbon fiber wheels from Boyd Cycling.  I went with 58mm front and 85mm rear(both clinchers) and it cost me 1170 with shipping and valve extenders.  Haven't had them long, but I am very pleased.
2012-08-06 1:38 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
Not the sexy pic, but use that money to get a quarq or some other powermeter.  Train and race by power and you'll get a better ROI than race wheels.
2012-08-06 2:21 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels

rungirl222 - 2012-08-06 11:16 AM Thanks. I have been doing that in everything. The olympic plan I have been following i have basically been doing double of everything. I have been biking 50+ miles one day on the weekend. It took me 2:40 this past weekend. Which seems slow when I look at race results. I just don't get it cause I can run and swim fast.

By my rough calc...that's almost 19 mph for a 50 mile training ride.  I wouldn't call that slow.

2012-08-06 2:24 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
always keep an eye on chainlove.com, got a set of 2011 Zipp 404 clinchers for a little over $1k
2012-08-06 3:17 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels

rungirl222 - 2012-08-06 9:15 AM I recently got a QR lucero. I wanted to upgrade the wheels on it. What would be a good upgrade under the 1200 for both wheels?

OK I'm not really going to answer you original question but if you want to go faster, you've heard it already, work on the engine.....When you ride, do you ride hard?  I got to nearly 23 mph olympic distance pace with only a few 50+ mile rides under my belt but when I rode 20-30 miles, it was hard almost the whole way.  I go up hills to where near the crest my legs are screaming.  I "recover" for a few seconds starting the descent, then it's back to business hammering away while concentrating on being steady with good efficient pedal stokes etc.  There's no cruising speed for me on the bike unless I'm in a group ride chit-chatting etc.  If I have to limp back home because I went out hard, so be it.  That's my style, not sure how many others share it, but it's helped alot come race day Smile

But on the other hand, nice race wheels look cool!



2012-08-06 3:28 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels

rungirl222 - 2012-08-06 10:16 AM Thanks. I have been doing that in everything. The olympic plan I have been following i have basically been doing double of everything. I have been biking 50+ miles one day on the weekend. It took me 2:40 this past weekend. Which seems slow when I look at race results. I just don't get it cause I can run and swim fast.

I wouldn't call that slow.  If you covered 50 miles in 2:40 that's 18.8 mph.  If you're a good swimmer and runner I'd say your FOP in local Oly races.  I think you can buy some speed with the wheels, I don't know how much.  But also, it's not only about speed.  Better aero can also help save energy in prep for the run.  If you average say 18 mph with stock wheels, maybe you can average 19 mph with aero wheels but use the same amount of energy.

I think the aero helmet will also help, and one of those can be less than $200, closer to $100 if you come across a sweet deal.

2012-08-06 3:29 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
subbing to thread
2012-08-06 4:06 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
Also, some apparel companies are touting their new tri suits/tops as giving you more benefits (via wind tunnel testing) than $1200 wheels.
2012-08-06 4:12 PM
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Subject: RE: Bike Upgrade Wheels
I upgraded my wheels recently and where I did see an improvement in time, to be honest, it was a placebo combined with added training I think. They do look cool and I got them for a steal, but I'm also looking for an aero helmet as we speak. Also think I should have gotten a Garmin with HR info first (also looking for). If you got the money and want them bad enough, do it. Don't expect them to add 4mph however
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