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  1. #1
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    200 gram decrease in wheels over long race, how significant in big picture?

    Over the course of a 50 miler (or enter your endurance distance or time of choice), can you notice a wheelset weight difference of, let's just say 200 grams?

    Say tires are the same, everything is the same. But rim weight is about 70 grams less each, hubs are within grams and the rest is in spokes.

    On a FS where unsprung weight also matters.

    Or do many other variables such as caloric intake, hydration and pacing matter exponentially more than wheelset weight in the late stages of a multi-hour event?

  2. #2
    some know me as mongo
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    I would say that the wheel weight is a big deal but to be honest only the70 grams in the rims actually make any difference. As for the unsprung weight, that will only make a tiny difference, so small it will never be noticed. A tiny difference in tire pressure will make a much bigger difference than the unsprung wieght
    27.2 miles ridden (going to be a slow start because of work )

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  3. #3
    zrm
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    When I switch between my race wheelset and my regular farting around wheelset I notice a big difference, but there's more than 200 grams total difference and I'm using much lighter tires (conti race kings) on my race wheels so there's not only a significant difference in rotational weight, the tires roll faster too.

  4. #4
    Grip it and rip it.
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    I doubt 200 grams would be a big enough difference to really notice, espesh if only 70 grams are in the rims.
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  5. #5
    DLd
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    70 grams each rim, so 140 grams in the rims from the way I'm reading it. In a 50-mile event my WAG would be a difference of minutes you can count on one hand. That's usually not enough to even change your placing in a 50 miler though. My race wheels were a full pound less than my trail wheels, and the tires about 100 grams less each. That's enough to notice a difference for sure, but it's not like I feel slow on the trail wheels. I still manage to set KOM's on the trail wheels...
    "Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion."-Jack Kerouac

  6. #6
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    Thanks to all for the great input, very objective, too! Saved me a lot of time, money and analysis by paralysis. Guess there's only one thing left to do: ride more.

    Quote Originally Posted by DLd View Post
    70 grams each rim, so 140 grams in the rims from the way I'm reading it. In a 50-mile event my WAG would be a difference of minutes you can count on one hand. That's usually not enough to even change your placing in a 50 miler though. My race wheels were a full pound less than my trail wheels, and the tires about 100 grams less each. That's enough to notice a difference for sure, but it's not like I feel slow on the trail wheels. I still manage to set KOM's on the trail wheels...

  7. #7
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    I don't know how much time it might save, but it might not take much to make a difference in your placing, if you're serious about race results.

    For example, I rode Ore to Shore in 2011. It's a 48 mile race in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. My time was 3:09:40.3. From 3:09:00 to 3:09:59, nine people, out of 670, crossed the line. The person in front of me crossed 21.9 seconds ahead, the person behind was only 0.4 seconds back. Would I have lost 0.4 seconds with 200g heavier wheels, or gained 21.9 seconds with 200g lighter wheels? How badly do you want to race?

  8. #8
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    If you used the same tires, you'd be talking about seconds per hour saved. A few seconds per hour might be the difference between 1st place and not placing though. Your bodies difference in power output day to day can easily be a bigger difference than a few seconds per hour (mine is well into the minutes per hour difference, day to day).

    Keep in mind its entirely possible to install heavier tires and go faster. Rolling resistance is everything. When people install race tires, they roll faster. The weight change matters much less than the lowered resistance.

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