Flanders - which wheels?

Smirf
Smirf Posts: 123
edited March 2013 in Road general
I am currently in two minds about which wheels to use next week at Flanders, so wondered if anyone had done it on either of these and would / wouldn't recommend

Kysrium Elites
Dura-ace C24s

I can guess i know which ones I would prefer to ride given the choice, but unsure how much of a battering they will receive over the cobbles

Any advice appreciated!
Parlee Altum - "summer"
Felt VR5 - "winter"
Trek Triton Singlespeed - "commuter"

Comments

  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,230
    If unsure, increase tyre size to 28 and lower pressure to 90 psi... This way you stand better chances of extending wheels life.
    The ksyrium are marginally stronger, but with more delicate hubs, the Shimano viceversa
    left the forum March 2023
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    As Ugo says, fit the fattest tyres that your frame accepts and run at lower pressures - your wrists and arms will suffer far more than your wheels. The cobbles at Flanders are block paving in comparison to Arenberg.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Smirf
    Smirf Posts: 123
    I'm definitely going for a wider tyre and running slightly lower pressures regardless of which wheel

    I've been running the mavics all winter and had assumed I would use those, but for some reason ended up with the DAs on today and remembered how much I like them - just don't want to wreck them!
    Parlee Altum - "summer"
    Felt VR5 - "winter"
    Trek Triton Singlespeed - "commuter"
  • I would change to a wider tyre for Roubaix, but not for Flanders. As Monty says, the cobbles Flanders are alot smoother compared to the farm tracks of Rouabix. And most of them are climbs, you not hitting them at anything like the same speed. Either pair of wheels will be fine, just let a bit of pressure out of them. I would suggest swapping out your bottle cages if you use lightweight ones.
  • buckmulligan
    buckmulligan Posts: 1,031
    I'm in the same conundrum, except Ksyrium Elites are my good wheels! Going to stick with them and swap out my Ultremo ZXs for something a bit more sturdy (mostly because the back one is farked as it is!). I'm more worried about fat, lazy cyclotourists clogging up the Koppenberg by the time I get there; I'm not travelling 200 miles to walk up all the climbs!

    Good luck though whatever you choose!
  • Smirf
    Smirf Posts: 123
    Good luck to you too

    Good point about bottles earlier. They're not lightweight cages, but think some bottles are a suggger fit - so will experiment today
    Parlee Altum - "summer"
    Felt VR5 - "winter"
    Trek Triton Singlespeed - "commuter"
  • smoggysteve
    smoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    I have no experience of Flanders (less battlefield tours) Would you get away with using a cyclocross bike with chunky tyres? Or is that outside the race rules?
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,230
    I have no experience of Flanders (less battlefield tours) Would you get away with using a cyclocross bike with chunky tyres? Or is that outside the race rules?

    You can ride whatever you want, including a moped, probably...
    left the forum March 2023
  • smoggysteve
    smoggysteve Posts: 2,909
    Would a CX bike be a bit more forgiving on the cobbles? And in the places where you can ride on the dirt off to the side?

    There are places I go with cobbles on the road riding on 23mm tyres and I feel my teeth are going to rattle out. If its wet I have even got off and walked.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,230
    Would a CX bike be a bit more forgiving on the cobbles? And in the places where you can ride on the dirt off to the side?

    There are places I go with cobbles on the road riding on 23mm tyres and I feel my teeth are going to rattle out. If its wet I have even got off and walked.

    If the weather is bad, bring your CX bike... which is probably the case. Many people do these events on CX bikes, I think they are perfect and if you have one, you might as well use it, no need for unnecessary battering. If you feel like it's not manly enough, put some drawing pins inside your gloves on the palm side and suffer on...
    left the forum March 2023
  • ultimedia
    ultimedia Posts: 15
    I'm Flemish and I used to live close to Tour De Flanders hills.

    I assume you're going to the event next Saturday? On a normal day you can avoid the cobbles on the steep hills and take the little gutter (which has the better surface) but because this is such a big event (and a day before the professional stage) most roads will have barriers so you'd have to take the punch.

    There's a few hills that are in an extremely bad state (especially the Koppenberg that you mentioned) and no matter what wheels or tyres you use you'll have a hard time. I'd suggest going for the bombproof Mavic's and the cobbles are always slightly better in the middle so that's where you need to be :).

    That aside I've done them on Dura Ace C50 wheels and it was fine. I'm a light rider and definitely not made for cobbles so it's suffering but honestly the amount of cobbles is reasonable, there's the hills and a few strips but they'll be over in minutes (not like Paris Roubaix). Equipment aside when doing the cobbles, try to relax your muscles, don't clamp yourself onto your bike too much.

    The event itself is usually really crowded, I suggest starting as early as possible. The hills can get congested (from time to time) as people always underestimate the effort it takes to conquer them.

    But I'm sure you'll have a great time, don't worry too much about the equipment. I've done it on all sorts of road bikes and never really had a problem., as long as you got good tyres you'll be fine.
  • In the words of Homer Simpson "Screw Flanders!"
  • Live to ski
    Ski to live
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    If it's been been wet and muddy, then the chances of getting a clear ride up the Koppenberg are slim because of all the mud being walked all over the stones - even if you start in Bruges at 6am sharp and get in the front group, you hit the Koppenberg when it's jammed with riders on the shorter ride.
    The problem with riding narrow tyres is ripping sidewalls on the gaps between the stones.
    If thinking of riding a CX, still run slicks or file-tread tyres because knobblies give you worse grip and poor rolling resistance - you're still riding the best part of 100 miles on tarmac.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • In the words of Homer Simpson "Screw Flanders!"

    nedflandersthelion.jpg?w=600&h=397
  • Monty Dog wrote:
    If it's been been wet and muddy, then the chances of getting a clear ride up the Koppenberg are slim because of all the mud being walked all over the stones - even if you start in Bruges at 6am sharp and get in the front group, you hit the Koppenberg when it's jammed with riders on the shorter ride.
    The problem with riding narrow tyres is ripping sidewalls on the gaps between the stones.
    If thinking of riding a CX, still run slicks or file-tread tyres because knobblies give you worse grip and poor rolling resistance - you're still riding the best part of 100 miles on tarmac.

    Really don't think narrow tyres are as bad as your suggest. I used Michelin 23mm Pro 2s the 3 times I rode the sportive without any problems. If you want the reassureance of a wider tyre, then fine, but a pair of tyres for just one ride? Don't think it's worth it.

    And as you have pointed out, you might not even get to ride all of the climbs due to the traffic jams you get on them. Kapelmuur always used to be bad because being stopped at the crossroads before the climb. 2nd time I rode it I didn't manage to ride it all as someone fell off in front of me. Not sure how it works out on the new circuit though? Might be quite spread out on the later climbs?