To Carbone or Not To Carbone?

photo by bikesoup.cc
photo by bikesoup.cc

That is the question. Are carbon wheels a viable option for everyday riding? Should carbon wheels be your go-to wheels rather than your just-for-racing wheels? I don’t really race and I don’t own any carbon wheels and I wonder. Granted, every professional is and has been on carbon wheels for many years so it’s easy to think we should be on them too. Brett’s review of ENVE wheels certainly made a case for them, who dosen’t want to go faster, all the time? Frank has raved about how fast his Zipp 303s are since he first put them on his Cervelo. I hefted his Café Roubaix Haleakala climbing wheels and one dosen’t need to heft them as much as hold them down, they are unbelievably light, sub-1000 grams light.

Those wheels are too light for the rigors of the East Maui Loop pavé and potholes, or so I thought. I talked Frank out of using them and he did the Cogal on Zipp 404s and 25mm clinchers. In retrospect, with bigger tires I think he would have been OK doing the Cogal on his climbing wheels. If ultralight carbon wheels are tough enough for that ride then when are they inappropriateAmbrosio golden ticket aluminum box section rims versus Zipp 303s, let’s see, Boonen just won Paris-Roubaix on the Zipp 404s. That is the end of the discussion. It should be the beginning of the end for three-cross box section aluminum wheels. If Zipp 303s win Paris-Roubaix then when wouldn’t one use carbon wheels?

@chiasticon-

Surprised to see so much talk of carbon wheels for a Cogal; which is, essentially, not much different than a club run. I understand Frank wanting to run them for his climb up Haleakala, since he was going for a PR up a huge friggin’ volcano and I’m sure they certainly helped. But as an every day wheel for a club/social/training ride? At least within the circles I ride in, that’s a good reason to get laughed off the ride (comments would especially come from the local racers). It’s like saying “I can’t keep up with you guys without these wheels!” Or at least that’s how people generally take it.

…but how common is it among Velominati to use carbon wheels on an everyday basis?

On the Cogal ride, out of seven riders there were two people on carbon wheels. On our Sunday club ride there is maybe one user. I see a lot of bikes on the site with drool-worthy carbon wheels. Are aluminum rims old school? Are we being played here or are we all just a little behind the times or are we saving our money for better bike investments? 

Strong, light, cheap. Pick two – I’m going to attribute this to Keith Bontrager as it was etched on my Bontrager’s stem cap. I’d like to add a fourth adjective, aerodynamic, but my tiny brain can’t compute how picking two or three might work so cleverly.

Strong

There are not many high end frames made from aluminum anymore. Could the same case be made for wheels? The aluminum box rim may be light but it is not strong unless you lace a lot of crossed spokes on it. I have some 80s Campagnolo Vento deep wheels, aero maybe, not light and the ride is a bit harsh. An unlaced carbon rim may not be lighter than a light weight aluminum rim but it is much stronger.

Light

I’m afraid carbon is going to win here. While a case could have been made for the Ambrosio golden ticket being strong, it is not light. There are some semi-aero aluminum wheels out there that are light but they make me nervous with their low weight limit.

Cheap

Boing! There it is. Strong and cheap is aluminum’s territory. One pays $1100US more for Easton’s Carbon EC90 SLX wheels than the aluminum EA 90 SLX wheelset. 200 grams is the only difference between the two models. If that was the end of the comparisons I wouldn’t lose any sleep over my lack of carbone wheels but there is still one other factor.

Aerodynamic

Carbon wins this easily. The carbon can be a fairing or integral to the wheel’s strength but carbon’s moldability is the future. Formula 1 cars are no longer made of aluminum. Boonen must have saved significant energy on the long paved run-in to the pavé sectors using his Zipps, maybe enough energy to help burn everyone off his wheel later on. @Tommy Tubulare’s Cervelo with Campagnolo Bora deep carbon wheels makes my heart skip a beat. Carbon wheels look badass. 

Conclusion

Once again I have no informed opinion having never ridden carbon wheels. Would I love to see my bike looking extremely pro with some deep section carbon wheels? Yes. Would it be very bad to be shelled out the back end of a group ride while riding said wheels? Yes, it would be very bad.

Should my wheels be worth more than the rest of the bike? Who cares. Let’s address @chiasticon’s question, who’s riding carbon and when?

[dmalbum path=”/velominati.com/content/Photo Galleries/[email protected]/carbone wheels/”/]

 

 

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170 Replies to “To Carbone or Not To Carbone?”

  1. @snoov

    @razmaspaz

    @Mark1

    Rotational weight… you have to keep the weight of the wheel turning, harder the more weight is at the rim – rollers or road no difference.

    Maybe I’m not understanding your point, but I thought this had been debunked. I don’t think that at speed a wheel requires any effort to maintain its rotation. This is evidenced by:

    @Isaac Newton

    An object in motion tends to stay in motion.

    Once the wheel is at speed it should be friction (road and bearings) slowing it down. Nothing more. Aerodynamics notwithstanding.

    Wheel weight is a concern for climbing and for spinning up, and I suppose the weight plays into rolling resistance, but when you are talking about 200g on a 65kg object, it should be a non factor.

    Of course I could be completely wrong.

    The greatest difference between road and rollers is that in the road one’s momentum (your body) keeps the bike moving forward and therefore, wheels turning as well. On rollers you’ll find that when you stop pedalling you’re wheels stop pretty fast from the friction. There’s possibly more friction on rollers than on the road as there are three contact points instead of two but it could be the case that there’s not enough difference to worry about it.

    At speed I’d say a wheel needs at least a little effort to stay in motion even if it’s off the ground as the spokes are overcoming some air resistance and the hub bearings are overcoming frictional resistance so if no force is input they’ll slow down.

    My question to the scientific among the Velominati is: Does a heavier rim need more force input to maintain speed than a lighter rim or is it the case that once both rims are at the same speed it takes the same amount of force to maintain the speed. I understand that heavier rims will require more energy to get them up to speed and that their extra weight means that they have more momentum. (Assume same aero qualities, hubs, spokes tyres etc. etc.)

    The thing about climbing is that more gravity comes into play. As I understand it, one is accelerating all the time so to speak.

    I’m not a scientist by any standard, so this may very well be total bunk – but I keep thinking of that bike with the huge rear disc wheel that Moser used in his attempt to break the hour record. I’m wondering if the eggheads who came up with that thing were calculating with a certain ‘flywheel’ effect. If we assume that such a huge disc wheel weighs considerably more than a ‘standard’ modern wheel, my guess is that you really wouldn’t want to ride a criterium on such a bike. Hard to brake – and hard to get it back to speed after each sharp curve. Climbing would be very bad as well. But on a fixed gear, in a velodrome? Hmmm… Could it be that if you use a big flywheel like that, you can actually – relatively speaking – ‘coast’ a bit more often without losing speed – or at least, take the pressure off, just a little, without losing your momentum as quickly as you would on smaller, lighter wheels? (But would that then also imply that there is, indeed, a difference between ‘heavy’ and ‘light’ at the same, constant speed? I’m beginning to think… not – cause if there was, shouldn’t Moser have crushed that record? The mind boggles…)

  2. @morten okbo

    i’d chose mont ventoux in provence. and madonna del ghisalo at lago di come.

    +1 , there’s a plan in place for a few months in europe next year, with some rides of course, and while it needs funding it has the approval of the VMH and will result in brownie points. No carbon wheels are ever going to do that.

  3. @frank

    @ scaler911

    Fucking hell that baby is looking great! Yikes.

    Thanks.

    And yes, train heavy, race light – for sure. If you race, that’s a great plan. If not, ride what makes it fun for you.

    I guess what I mean to say is if you have the option to have both, save the carbon tubs for the days that you know you are going to have fun. If you ride them all the time then they aren’t special. I’m really glad I rode mine on the Seattle Cogal for example. Great day out with the mates, and even if it was placebo effect, they made me feel fast-ish. Until that last climb up from the river (or lake, that part of my memory is missing), then I may as well have had wagon wheels on the whip.

    Incidentally, “train heavy” is why I’m having an IPA right now. Just to build up the guns.

    @Sluggo

    @frank …not doing anything wrong, they fit. but with wheel flex they rub (51cm frame). And that’s what I’m saying, why do they show case a frame and fork that isn’t actually what it is? You had to change out a good fork just to fit a slightly bigger tire. The longer wheel based / wider stayed frame is a “Mud Frame” you and I can not buy. Some might ride the old RS but that’s not and R3 or much of a race frame.

    Gotcha. My R3 did require the fd cable to be zip tied to the size a bit for the FMB’s which measure bigger than a regular 25mm because they’re so awesome. But the Conti 25″²s required no tie and run fine in the VMH’s 51cm R3SL. Strange about the wheel rub, not having any issue with that, but my wheels are all pretty burly.

  4. I received “It’s All About the Bike” for the holidays and I just got to the wheelbuilding chapter. Guess which hubs he uses? I could have after Frank’s article on them…Royce!

    I’m pretty pumped these days as I’ve finally climbed another rung on the Follower ladder: I now have a Campa N+1 wheelset & a SRAM/Shimano N+1 wheelset. It feels kingly to have a back-up set for all the steeds & really nice that if I head to do any real climbing I can just grab the wheels with the most appropriate cassette.

    Souleur – I’d say that is a level-headed, well-reasoned approach.

    I officially just moved beyond Lampre Man winter weight status!!! My bibs finally feel like bibs again and not a girdle. I now have eleven or so months to promise myself to not let it happen again next winter.

  5. @ErikdR

    @snoov

    @razmaspaz

    @Mark1

    Rotational weight… you have to keep the weight of the wheel turning, harder the more weight is at the rim – rollers or road no difference.

    Maybe I’m not understanding your point, but I thought this had been debunked. I don’t think that at speed a wheel requires any effort to maintain its rotation. This is evidenced by:

    @Isaac Newton

    An object in motion tends to stay in motion.

    Once the wheel is at speed it should be friction (road and bearings) slowing it down. Nothing more. Aerodynamics notwithstanding.

    Wheel weight is a concern for climbing and for spinning up, and I suppose the weight plays into rolling resistance, but when you are talking about 200g on a 65kg object, it should be a non factor.

    Of course I could be completely wrong.

    The greatest difference between road and rollers is that in the road one’s momentum (your body) keeps the bike moving forward and therefore, wheels turning as well. On rollers you’ll find that when you stop pedalling you’re wheels stop pretty fast from the friction. There’s possibly more friction on rollers than on the road as there are three contact points instead of two but it could be the case that there’s not enough difference to worry about it.

    At speed I’d say a wheel needs at least a little effort to stay in motion even if it’s off the ground as the spokes are overcoming some air resistance and the hub bearings are overcoming frictional resistance so if no force is input they’ll slow down.

    My question to the scientific among the Velominati is: Does a heavier rim need more force input to maintain speed than a lighter rim or is it the case that once both rims are at the same speed it takes the same amount of force to maintain the speed. I understand that heavier rims will require more energy to get them up to speed and that their extra weight means that they have more momentum. (Assume same aero qualities, hubs, spokes tyres etc. etc.)

    The thing about climbing is that more gravity comes into play. As I understand it, one is accelerating all the time so to speak.

    I’m not a scientist by any standard, so this may very well be total bunk – but I keep thinking of that bike with the huge rear disc wheel that Moser used in his attempt to break the hour record. I’m wondering if the eggheads who came up with that thing were calculating with a certain ‘flywheel’ effect. If we assume that such a huge disc wheel weighs considerably more than a ‘standard’ modern wheel, my guess is that you really wouldn’t want to ride a criterium on such a bike. Hard to brake – and hard to get it back to speed after each sharp curve. Climbing would be very bad as well. But on a fixed gear, in a velodrome? Hmmm… Could it be that if you use a big flywheel like that, you can actually – relatively speaking – ‘coast’ a bit more often without losing speed – or at least, take the pressure off, just a little, without losing your momentum as quickly as you would on smaller, lighter wheels? (But would that then also imply that there is, indeed, a difference between ‘heavy’ and ‘light’ at the same, constant speed? I’m beginning to think… not – cause if there was, shouldn’t Moser have crushed that record? The mind boggles…)

    Larger wheel has less rolling resistance, so that would have been at least part of the impetus. TT and pursuit “funny bikes” of the era used the smaller front for aerodynamics but kept the larger rear for less rolling resistance since it’s less of an aero concern. 

  6. @frank

    @Ryan

    Nemesis (aka Golden Tickets)/Sapim spokes/Record hubs = best all around wheels. Full stop

    Or Royce hubs.

    pure righteousness, aboslute purity

    i have to find me some Royce hubs!

  7. Just watched some stages of the Tour of Qatar & those new aero helmets are all over the place. I think they look ugly as.

    Wonder how long it will be until someone shows up to a group ride in one…

  8. @snoov

    @ErikdR And of course Obree and Boardman used light wheels (I’m guessing) and probably Indurain too.

    I’m sure you’re right about that – and I hadn’t thought about the lower rolling resistance of a larger wheel (as @pistard points out) either. Sigh… I’m not going to get my head around this, I’m afraid. One thing I do know, though: I remember reading about a bloke who had bought an expensive and very light wheelset, but he was disappointed that the skewers were ‘heavy’ – as he put it – so he invested a hefty amount in some titanium skewers that were – if I remember correctly – twenty grammes lighter than the original ones. That, as far as I can tell, is missing the point.

    Right – off to northern Norway for the (long) weekend, and not expecting to bo online until Monday, so have a nice Friday and weekend, all.

  9. @frank

    @Ryan

    Nemesis (aka Golden Tickets)/Sapim spokes/Record hubs = best all around wheels. Full stop

    Or Royce hubs.

    they may not be quite as pretty as the Royces (and the photo isn’t on par) but these roll beautifully.

    [dmalbum: path=”/velominati.com/wp-content/uploads/readers/fleeting moment/2013.02.07.22.46.06/1/”/]

  10. I have 50mm carbon tubulars as everyday wheels on my carbon bike. I generally ride alone so if anyone’s mocking my wheels I can’t hear it over the sound of pure awesome. Nice wheels, but certainly not extravagant — secondhand, mismatched marques but almost identical without the decals, for about the cost of a mid-level alloy set. They look cool, roll nice, and I’ve convinced myself I can feel the aero advantage, but they seem a bit dead compared to a set of 32 or 36 spoke alloy tubulars of similar weight (1400g). More mass at the rim and less flex. I also have a rear disc/deep front combo for track that mostly gathers dust these days. Fun to ride it on the road on occasion, at least for the sonic effects. On anything less than perfectly smooth tarmac the stiff aluminum frame and carbon disc is a masochist’s dream.

  11. I have a  pair of Mavic Cosmic Carbone – so the only carbon is for wind resistance. Still – I am in favor of whatever works best for a given ride. For me – these wheels are rock solid and light. Plus I got a deal on a new pair. If I could get the same affordable deal in full carbon, equallty strong and durable enough for daily commute I’d try ’em.

  12. @ErikdR

    @pistard I think your statement that a larger wheel has less rolling resistance might be wrong. As I understand it, rolling resistance is essentially friction and has lots to do with the size of the contact patch of a tyre on road, as well as the psi of that patch. The size of the wheel doesnt really influence this – except if it increases weight.

    Think you might be saying that a bigger wheel has a larger moment of inertia – which in simple terms (the only terms I know),  whilst requiring more effort to get up to speed, will then go on for longer, or require a similar effort to keep spinning at the same rpm as a smaller wheel, but covers more distance per revolution. So big wheel = good for TTs.

    Can you buy carbon tubbies for penny farthings?

  13. @Marcus

    @ErikdR

    @pistard I think your statement that a larger wheel has less rolling resistance might be wrong. As I understand it, rolling resistance is essentially friction and has lots to do with the size of the contact patch of a tyre on road, as well as the psi of that patch. The size of the wheel doesnt really influence this – except if it increases weight.

    Think you might be saying that a bigger wheel has a larger moment of inertia – which in simple terms (the only terms I know), whilst requiring more effort to get up to speed, will then go on for longer, or require a similar effort to keep spinning at the same rpm as a smaller wheel, but covers more distance per revolution. So big wheel = good for TTs.

    Can you buy carbon tubbies for penny farthings?

    A smaller wheel does have lower inertia, meaning faster potential acceleration, but larger will have less rolling resistance. Area of contact patch is the same with equal loads and identical diameter tires, but the shape is different — smaller wheel has a shorter, wider contact patch with more sidewall deformation. Larger wheel will have less tire deformation. It will also roll over surface irregularities with less applied torque (eg. bicycle wheel vs skateboard wheel on pavé). Larger wheel means slower chain speed (less drivetrain friction) and fewer revolutions for the same distance (less hub friction). Pretty insignificant differences for most of us…

    I’m sure Dugast would make a penny farthing tubular, but it wouldn’t be cheap.

  14. Fuji SST rolls on Oval 535 Alu clinchers …..  DT Swiss hubs but not sure of pedigree ….   my biggest fear regarding even trying Carbones…even carbon clinchers such as Duraace C35’s or C24s is that they will feel better and that will make me covet them even more …….   Dont get me started on ENVE’s or Lightweights…..

    Why must my brain hurt when I am riding a perfectly good bike, gruppo, wheel combination when a fellow rider comes along side on deep section carbon tubs going “woop, woop, woop” …. the sound is all consuming and overpowering…

    Tell me its Ok for me to be on my Alu clinchers …….   Stop the pain know …  make it go away.

  15. @Barracuda I kinda hate that noise. I’ve been coveting some $500 customs that my LBS sells for a while and following this thread because of it, but you just made up my mind: the next wheelset I buy will be aluminum.

    Every time I really start thinking about getting some fancy carbon wheels, along comes a race (or a group ride with douches who show up to the ride with $3K wheels) to remind me how ridiculous they are in the dull, plastic flesh.  I know the pros use them and they are fast in the wind and blah blah whatever, but plastic wheels and the noise that goes with them takes away from the simple joy of a ride that follows Rule #65.  V up, stop whining about crosswinds and drag coefficients and ride some Al!

  16. @roger

    @EricW can you post some shots of this lady in the bikes section? i wish i went with traditional rather than sloping..

    I have posted a few pics, I don’t want to flood the forum with my own bike.  You can see a few more shots here http://velospace.org/node/45549

  17. @razmaspaz You are wrong.

    First, the wheels weigh something – and you have to haul that something up the hill – regardless the weight being distributed around the rim or in the hub.

    Second, indeed, objects in motion tend to that unless acted upon by another force. Those forces include, friction @ the bearings, friction @ the road and aerodynamic drag.

    So, lighter, more aero wheels with awesome, low-friction hubs will spin up faster and take less energy to keep rolling.  Alas, they won’t just roll on by themselves.

  18. @Ben

    @Barracuda I kinda hate that noise. I’ve been coveting some $500 customs that my LBS sells for a while and following this thread because of it, but you just made up my mind: the next wheelset I buy will be aluminum.

    Every time I really start thinking about getting some fancy carbon wheels, along comes a race (or a group ride with douches who show up to the ride with $3K wheels) to remind me how ridiculous they are in the dull, plastic flesh. I know the pros use them and they are fast in the wind and blah blah whatever, but plastic wheels and the noise that goes with them takes away from the simple joy of a ride that follows Rule #65. V up, stop whining about crosswinds and drag coefficients and ride some Al!

    There there. There there.

    If you keep repeating it, it will eventually be true.

  19. @mouse Yeah… I honestly can’t tell if I legit don’t want carbon wheels or if I’ve just given in the the VMH’s prohibition. Denial is a happy place? There are definitely cheaper ways to get light and aero, though. Throw away some spacers, skip that second beer, and you’ve got it.

  20. @Ben

    @Barracuda I kinda hate that noise. I’ve been coveting some $500 customs that my LBS sells for a while and following this thread because of it, but you just made up my mind: the next wheelset I buy will be aluminum.

    Every time I really start thinking about getting some fancy carbon wheels, along comes a race (or a group ride with douches who show up to the ride with $3K wheels) to remind me how ridiculous they are in the dull, plastic flesh. I know the pros use them and they are fast in the wind and blah blah whatever, but plastic wheels and the noise that goes with them takes away from the simple joy of a ride that follows Rule #65. V up, stop whining about crosswinds and drag coefficients and ride some Al!

    Actually … I disagree sorry …..   the sound that hurts my head isnt because I dont like it … its because I love it and know that they are just out of my reach …  if I had the cash I would get ENVE’s and roll on them 24/7 rain, hail or shine …..

    I ride in full black classic Rapha kit and by no means am I one of the fastest or fittest in the bunch ……   doesnt make me a douche though ………    just love riding in good/great quality kit ……..   same goes for the Carbons ……   if I could … I would.

    No my brain really does hurt …….

  21. I have a pair of mavic open pro’s laced up to dura ace hubs.  They were handbuilt by a wheelmaker who knew what he was doing and they rock my jocks every day.  Heavy, yes, but so strong and fun to ride.

    I actually originally had these wheels built to race kermises in Belgium.  A few riders racing at the elite kermise level had carbon wheels, but usually the type which is an alloy rim with carbon fairing because the braking is so much better (and I suspect becuase they are more durable).  On the whole however the number of carbon wheels I saw compared to back here in Aus was way down and if the race had any sort of significant cobbled section the box section alloys were out in force.

    P.S. No riders at these kermises seemed to be slowed down by their un-aero wheels

  22. I’ve got some carbon clinchers on my Wilier carbon bike, and Mavic Open Pros on Chorus hubs on my steel Merckx.  And a set of Campy Eurus clinchers as a backup.  I would never ride the carbon wheels on the Merckx, but could ride the Open Pros on the Wilier. I debated long and hard before buying the carbon clinchers.  I knew I didn’t want tubulars because of the ongoing cost and mess.  The time I have for the bike I try to spend riding and adding high-maintenance gear isn’t part of that plan.  As I debated, I read this article on RKP.  It finally pushed me over the edge.  I ride 2-3 Gran Fondos a year, so having “race wheels” doesn’t make a lot of sense.  But I love to ride, so if the carbon wheels add to that enjoyment on a given day, that’s what I’ll ride. I’m lucky to be able to have the carbon wheels, and I know they aren’t a “need” and probably don’t make me any faster.  But I like them and I’m going to keep riding them any time I reach for the carbon bike.

  23. @Barracuda hmmm, pretty sure I remember seeing a photo of you rocking the fiasco ciclismo kit on the photo comp thread…that’s definitely not black!

    I do agree with you on the waves of lust that a pair of Enves can produce though…

  24. I’m firmly in the clincher camp. The debate can be fought ad nauseum, but carbon clinchers make sense in much the same way aluminium clinchers make sense: For those who don’t want tubulars. A carbon clincher of medium height (303s, for example) will weigh sub-1500g, like highish-end aluminium – and yet bring a very substantial aerodynamic advantage. To everyone. The calculation goes that for a long individual effort – say, a certain 180km ride one may or may not squeeze in his sandwich – a pro might need the aero advantage more, but the 7-hour slowpoke gains more time, overall.

    My mother trains and races year-round on Enve 45s laced to DT Swiss 190s. She’s had them for three years now and only had one problem, which was swiftly handled under warranty – it means she now has mismatched wheels (Enve used to be called Edge). However, it’s a pretty convincing case that, if the older-generation rims stood up to her abuse over thousands of kilometres on rough desert roads, races in the rain and several rides over cobblestones, then the new generation must be good enough for anyone.

    My road bike runs Ultegra WH6700s, which may not be light, but they’ve proved themselves to be stable, enjoyable wheels that hit my perfect spot between too-fancy-to-risk and too-heavy-to-enjoy. Box-section aluminium certainly a place, but racing it not that place.

    I train solo on the TT bike which I do most of my racing on, with wheels so heavy I might just crush my feet if I dropped them during a wheel-change. They’re neglected to the point that my mechanic nearly offered to replace the bearings for free, but that’s fine by me. Because on race-day, I swap them for a (still very humble) set of RC50s, with their whisper-quiet smooth hubs and the latex-tubed Vittorias. I feel faster, nay, I am faster – and that’s a critical psychological advantage.

  25. @Skip Great article. A must read. http://redkiteprayer.com/2011/12/thoughts-on-training-equipment/  I must admit I don’t do carbone.  They’re noisy, potentially high maintenance, and I guess I’m in the minority here, I don’t like the look of deep section.  I’m riding gun-metal Shimano Ultegras that are bomb proof and they happily spit carboners out the back to the sound of silence.  I don’t race (as this seems to be an important criteria to carbone or not to carbone) so if it’s just for the aesthetic, i’ll keep the 5-8k in my jeans and push harder!

  26. A little off putting? Not that it matters – I’d need to take out some kind of mortgage to buy a pair.

  27. @tessar Agreed.  Also, I remember reading somewhere that clinchers with light latex tubes actually have lower rolling resistance than tubulars, hence why Tony Martin used them on his TT World Champ bike last year.

    Admittedly, he did flat out twice, but according to the articles, any tire (tub or clincher) would have flatted based on what he hit.

  28. @The Pressure

    @Skip Great article. A must read. http://redkiteprayer.com/2011/12/thoughts-on-training-equipment/ I must admit I don’t do Carbone. They’re noisy, potentially high maintenance, and I guess I’m in the minority here, I don’t like the look of deep section. I’m riding gun-metal Shimano Ultegras that are bomb proof and they happily spit carboners out the back to the sound of silence. I don’t race (as this seems to be an important criteria to Carbone or not to Carbone) so if it’s just for the aesthetic, i’ll keep the 5-8k in my jeans and push harder!

    Awesome quotes here and very relevant.  I am reading the word helmet to not mean the cycling kind!!!

    Why spend $5000 (or more) on a bike and then ride it in a cheap pair of bibs and with crap wheels? Who would only use an $800 GPS on their big rides? My wife would shoot me if I only wore my good helmet on the weekend.

    Owning a great set of wheels or a killer pair of bibs means having the tools to enjoy a better experience. If this blog is about anything, it’s about enjoying cycling. You shouldn’t suffer because your cheap saddle is uncomfortable. You should suffer because you drilled it at the front with the group single file behind you for 2k.

    I’ve never been in the army, but I think they had it right: Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

  29. @mouse

    @EricW

    @roger

    @EricW can you post some shots of this lady in the bikes section? i wish i went with traditional rather than sloping..

    I have posted a few pics, I don’t want to flood the forum with my own bike. You can see a few more shots here http://velospace.org/node/45549

    Nah, Fuck that. Flood away. Like this…

    Fucking stealth bomber!!  Maybe you could talk to the gang at Lampre…

  30. Rider weight tubular tires (ZIPP reference)
    <125 lbs (200 lbs(>91 kg) F 140psi (9.72) R 145psi (10)
    Rain or rough Roads Minus 3-5 psi Minus 4-7 psi

  31. Rider weight tubular tires
    <125 lbs (200 lbs(>91 kg) F 140psi (9.72) R 145psi (10)
    Rain or rough Roads Minus 3-5 psi Minus 4-7 psi

  32. @EricW Just like he could flat if he took a track tubular with no protection whatsoever to the roads – it’s a tradeoff between puncture-resistance and speed. There’s a huge range of choices between Vittoria’s Pista and Rubino, or Tony’s World Championship winning Continental Supersonic TT and 4-Seasons.

  33. I’m lucky enough that I could have carbon wheels if I wanted them but I find high profile wheels to be ugly and I don’t race so this bias doesn’t have any negative effect on my personal version of VLVV.  That leaves me with low profile – purchased some custom low profile alloy wheels that were as light as some carbon options but saved over $1K.

    I don’t need aero advantage – I live in Flatonia so the only local hills I experience are the Dutch Hills caused by steady winds. This was posted months ago during a discussion of why the Netherlands fields good climbers but is mostly flat – it deserves another time in the sun:

  34. @Chance

    @Chance

    I have a pair of mavic open pro’s laced up to dura ace hubs. They were handbuilt by a wheelmaker who knew what he was doing and they rock my jocks every day. Heavy, yes, but so strong and fun to ride.

    Maybe its just because I’m a bigger rider, but I find it hilarious that ~1750g wheels are referred to as ‘heavy’.  I was thrilled when I got my HD C2/CK R45s and they came in at 1711g.

  35. @DrewG

    A little off putting? Not that it matters – I’d need to take out some kind of mortgage to buy a pair.

    I remember the first time I saw that photo I couldn’t decided if I was looking at a bike race or a Salvador Dali painting.

  36. @unversio

    Login is acting funky these days on Safari. And posts.

    I’ve been having the same issue, both on Safari and Chrome.

  37. @Mikael Liddy

    @Barracuda hmmm, pretty sure I remember seeing a photo of you rocking the fiasco ciclismo kit on the photo comp thread…that’s definitely not black!

    I do agree with you on the waves of lust that a pair of Enves can produce though…

    Nah … not me…. mate I ride with rolls in the Fiasco kit ….and Rapha, and Assos …. he’s living the dream

  38. I got to think about this article when out riding the past few days. I recently has the chance to make a huge upgrade from some Budgetatus wheels I’d ridden for three years to some much nicer Kysrium SuperLights. Got a great deal on them, much nicer, and a good all-around wheelset for me & the riding I do. These wheels (new) cost around 6-7 times what the old wheels cost me.

    They are the nicest road wheelset I have & I’ve never considered using them for anything but my everyday wheels on my #1. Thus, I don’t think you can consider anyone a total jerk for riding really nice Carbones all the time. Maybe they just suit their needs.

  39. @VeloVita

    @unversio

    Login is acting funky these days on Safari. And posts.

    I’ve been having the same issue, both on Safari and Chrome.

    Brought the same iMac home and appears to be corrected when connected to ethernet.

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