Etape du Tour - correct wheel choice?

Holty74
Holty74 Posts: 50
edited January 2009 in Workshop
Hi can anyone give me so tips on what wheelset to buy for competing in the etape tour? I'm a triathlete by trade so I ride Vuelta or Xentis tubs, I doubt that these would be suitable for a 180k race that includes a mountains?

Any help would be appreciated
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Comments

  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,708
    As you're a triathlete, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that you're better on the flat than climbing. I'd be tempted to go for something which will improve your weaker area, the climbing, so light wheels. If you can stay in a group along the flat sections, you should be ok and not use a lot of energy until you come to the mountains.
  • richa
    richa Posts: 1,632
    What is your budget?
    Rich
  • Kléber
    Kléber Posts: 6,842
    How much do you weigh?

    The Vuelta would be ok but the Xentis, despite being very aero, are, I recall, exceptionally flexible and so bad for uphill work.
  • Holty74
    Holty74 Posts: 50
    hi guys,

    My budget is up to 1500 quid.. i weigh 11.5 stone.

    The Vueltas are very sturdy but i'm worried that they are tubs so a puncture in the alps would be a nightmare? i was thinking of buying a set of clinchers?

    Roval maybe?
  • vorsprung
    vorsprung Posts: 1,953
    Just put your training wheels on, which I assume are clinchers. Get some nice clincher tyres, job done
  • redddraggon
    redddraggon Posts: 10,862
    Edge 38mm Clinchers - should come in under your budget (?)

    EDIT: Actually tubs aren't such a bad idea in the alps, TBH if I had tubs I'd probably use them, sealant+spare tub should cover any eventuality.
    I like bikes...

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  • SDP
    SDP Posts: 665
    something with an alu braking surface !
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    £1500 for a set of wheels ? Are you a pro ? Or have you just been reading 220 magazine too long ?

    I've raced Ironman events perfectly fine on some basic Mavic Cosmos wheels - in the comic they actually rated them better than their expensive brothers the Cosmics.

    I'd go for reliability over ultimate performance unless you think you're gonna win the event - so get some nice braking surfaces on the rims - dont do carbon as triathletes tend not to be the best at getting round corners.


    Something like this : http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... -ace-31460

    is a third of your budget.
  • I'd go with Cougie and get the Shimano Dura Ace's.

    They get very good write-ups and are quite light. Looking to get some myself for the Alps later this year.

    Bang on some Michelin Pro Race 3 Light tyres, and get some light tubes. Job done.

    I've been riding on Pro Race 2's and 3's for last few years, and, touch wood, never had a puncture yet, and I've ridden all over in all conditions.
    "There are no hills, there is no wind, I feel no pain !"

    "A bad day on the bike is always better than a good day in the office !"
  • robbarker
    robbarker Posts: 1,367
    You could give Poshbikes a call and have them get Harry Rowlands make you some Lew Racing rims on Tune hubs. (I think you can get clinchers). Either that or the ultimate in wheel porn, Carbonsports Lightweights. (Not that I approve of composite spokes, oh no, not proper bicycle engineering see, but as a featherweight racing snake you'l probably be fine...)

    Or you could Open Pro ceramic rims built onto Dura Ace hubs and spend the difference on a traing camp at La Santa, which would probably result in a quicker time in the event, and would leave you with a cracking pair of training wheels! :-)
  • dcj
    dcj Posts: 395
    As reddragon said - tubs with sealant and one spare should be fine.

    I love riding tubs - they feel much better than even the best clinchers, and the 'clincher' for me is following a sudden pressure loss at high speed there is MUCH more chance of coming to a controlled stop on tubs.

    For your budget some 2009 Zipp 808s with the latest hubs would probably be among the fastest if not THE fastest possible wheel overall at the Etape, and at under 1500 gms not too shabby uphill either.

    If there is a gale force cross wind on Ventoux you will need to be a confident bike handler on 808s but as you are over 11 stone I would go for those and chance it.

    If not tubs then as some other people said the new Shimano Dura ace, or what about HED Ardennes which have had some great user and press reviews lately and are under half your budget?
    see here http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/components/wheel-sets/product/ardennes-wheelset-08-32321
  • 808s? Are you insane? Do you know the Lightweight Ventoux wheel? Shallower than a standard Lightweight specifically because it's normally very windy up there. They're not at all stiff though and over budget.

    Anyhow if you want to spend your budget, Mavic Cosmic Ultimates. 1160g actual, stiff as anything (which is what you want going hard up a hill) and 43mm rims should be manageable with wind subject to weather forecast. If it's very windy take a front R-SYS tubular, Soler stylee, and cross fingers it doesn't break. By March Mavic say they'll have an R-SYS front that doesn't!
  • Dura Ace 7850 CL. £600

    I am using a pair for the Etape. Light enough and sensible money. Aluminium braking surface for the descents. I have had one pair for a year already and have never had to true them once! My new bike has a brand new shiny set on for the Etape. Highly recommended!

    Ed
  • They may be nice but why on earth would you buy two sets of identical wheels? A set of DA carbon/ alloy clinchers and the DA 50mm I could understand. It's not like you can't switch wheels in 5 minutes...

    With his chosen budget the OP could save 300g and have a stiffer, more aero wheel
  • andyp
    andyp Posts: 10,266
    Have you ever ridden in the Alps before? If not, then you'd be better off spending some of your budget on a long weekend to prepare you for 20 kms of uphill riding.

    Hard training and good preparation are much more important than lightweight kit.
  • Holty74
    Holty74 Posts: 50
    cougie wrote:
    £1500 for a set of wheels ? Are you a pro ? Or have you just been reading 220 magazine too long ?

    I've raced Ironman events perfectly fine on some basic Mavic Cosmos wheels - in the comic they actually rated them better than their expensive brothers the Cosmics.

    I'd go for reliability over ultimate performance unless you think you're gonna win the event - so get some nice braking surfaces on the rims - dont do carbon as triathletes tend not to be the best at getting round corners.


    Something like this : http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/ ... -ace-31460

    is a third of your budget.

    Haaha no i'm not a pro.. i just have some money i put away in the event of smashing bits of my bike up each year, which going on 2008 was soemthing i did 4 times :cry: i should have said up to 1500.

    Thanks for the advice
  • Holty74
    Holty74 Posts: 50
    Guys

    Thanks for the advice (even the crazy bloke who suggested an 81m rim for high winds)

    much appreciated

    Steve
  • normanp
    normanp Posts: 279
    edited January 2009
    Two years ago I saw a number of carbon/deep section riders with punctures on the long steep descents - could these have been blow outs due to overheating?
  • They could have been but could be any number of causes. If you're not used to Alpine descents or tubulars it's probably a good idea to get some practice in rather than testing them on the day! I'd also fit new tubs or clinchers for something like that just to minimise puncture risk.

    You'll see plenty of pros descending on carbon deep sections in the Tour, (almost) all on tubulars and going a lot faster than the average Etape rider. I've done a reasonable amount and though the rims get hot, the glue has been fine and no punc*ures!
  • normanp
    normanp Posts: 279
    Maybe the pros don't apply their brakes? I'm such a poor descender that I need all the braking power I can muster either when I get scared by the speed or on hairpins...
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    I wouldnt go deep rim and i wouldnt spend silly money on the wheels either - diminishing returns.
    Over heating can be a problem and dont over inflate your tyres either - about 100 is fine for most - i used 140 in the alps and blew a front tyre coming down the alpe in heavy traffic - funny that !
  • normanp
    normanp Posts: 279
    Yes - maybe they had very high pressures. It was quite a hot day (pools of tar in places) and some downhills were exceptionally steep. I used 100psi clinchers / ally rims with no problems.
  • Kléber
    Kléber Posts: 6,842
    normanp wrote:
    Two years ago I saw a number of carbon/deep section riders with punctures on the long steep descents - could these have been blow outs due to overheating?
    Guys with Kysriums in this years Etape were puncturing on the way down the Tourmalet, despite the cold and wet conditions. In fact because of the poor visibility they went down all the way squeezing on the brakes which made the rims overheat and the inner tubes burst. Most riders don't need more than 100PSI and you need to learn to brake well.

    I'm with andyp, you can have some nice wheels but an enjoyable weekend spent in the Alps or Vercors to perfect your climbing and descending will be so much nicer, but that's only what I'd do.
  • Holty74
    Holty74 Posts: 50
    andyp wrote:
    Have you ever ridden in the Alps before? If not, then you'd be better off spending some of your budget on a long weekend to prepare you for 20 kms of uphill riding.

    Hard training and good preparation are much more important than lightweight kit.

    I agree i was simply worried about tubs v clinchers. I'm up for the training weekends, do you have any links to the websites that run this sort of thing?s to websites that run this sort of thing?
  • Kléber
    Kléber Posts: 6,842
    Err... easyjet.com or BA.com and book yourself a flight to Lyon, rent a car and drive the Ventoux area or Alps. Hotels and B&B are easy to book. You can pay people if you like, try craigenty on this forum but most people can book a flight and arrange a place to stay by themselves.

    Tubs are fine, most pros use them after all but then they do have a following car. You'll want a spare tub, two tyre leves and CO2 inflator stashed under the saddle plus a can of sealant like Vittoria Pitstop if you're "lucky" to get a small puncture. Tubs have the benefit of being light, you can easily get tubs wheels weighing 1300g but at this weight, only the lightest clincher wheels like Edge carbon or alloy like Rolf Elans or American Classics could compete but they are very pricey.
  • Harry182
    Harry182 Posts: 1,169
    The training holiday sounds like a great idea but if you do decide in favour of the new wheels here's my 2 cents: I reckon the next new wheels I get will be from Williams Wheels (http://www.williamscycling.com/). They are some reviews on testrider.com . They seem really good value for money.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    L'etape is primarily a climb up Mt Ventoux - aero wheels give zero benefit when climbing and if heavy, aero rims are actually a penalty. I'd go for some lightweight, shallow-rim wheel - the ultimate being something like a Hyperon or Corima Winium+ as there's not much descending, tubs will be fine. Another alternative, presuming they sort out their quality problem ar Mavic R-Sys.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • There are a couple of decent descents if you check the profile, Monty. Whilst there's a bit of a wind risk with CCUs at the top of Ventoux I'd take them over the Hyperons. Hyperon aerodynamics are a bit sucky on descents having ridden down a few 700m hills in Mallorca on them. They're also heavier though another 60g isn't a big deal... Plus as a triathlete Hyperons are less useful after the Etape perhaps?

    OP - what are your thoughts so far?!
  • Kléber
    Kléber Posts: 6,842
    Monty Dog wrote:
    aero wheels give zero benefit when climbing and if heavy, aero rims are actually a penalty.
    I know what you are saying and in many way agree but aero wheels can still deliver benefit uphill. See the "Col de la Tipping Point" article at http://www.cervelo.com/content.aspx?t=C ... hitePapers which if not gospel, is food for thought.
  • this is way over the top for E'tape IMO ... unless the questino is really "what wheels should I buy?" . The etape is a just a day's bike ride. The best wheels for your £1500 compared to a £80 pair of shimanos will probably knock about a minute or two from your time.