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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 9:23 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:18 pm
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I'm doing the Tour of Flanders sportive in a couple of months and need to decide on wheels that will handle the cobbles.

I can either go with Shimano 6700 running tubeless or handbuilt but heavy Open Pros on Ultegra with tubes.

Part of me thinks it's madness to hit the cobbles on 16/20 spokes, but on the other hand, tubeless should be much less likely to puncture.

I know that FDJ have used 7900 tubeless wheels (same rims/spokes as the 6700s) for the last couple of years around Flanders, but then they've got a car following them with spare wheels!

So, are the Shimano rims/spokes up to the job?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:50 am 
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I've already got tubeless and can't afford another set of wheels. Tubulars aren't an option.


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Posted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 10:50 am 


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:31 am 
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Because the rims and spokes won't be strong enough or because tubeless isn't up to it?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:33 am 
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Use the tubeless- you can always put a tube in if you puncture..

Or use the OP's and have a slightly more forgiving ride.

real answer- do what you want, so long as neither aren't knackered before you start , you shouldnt have any problems..

As there are that many people around, its never gonna be a fast ride, so a puncture aint going to kill your time :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:35 am 
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Hi

Flanders is unique and spectacular, but with 25,000 folk out on the roads its better to take the attitude of a great day out on the bike rather than expecting to set a time or the like. Also the cobbles are not particularly nasty - more like a very rough road than what you get say at the PR. I use my openpro training wheels with clinchers and have never had an issue. You could get away with the shimano's (you could get away with anything - its really not that hard on wheels), but there's just no point that I can see.

Punctures dont tend to be an issue above and beyond the normal (perhaps 15 people from my club have gone each year for 4 years and no one has punctured that I can remember) The only real risk is coming off on one of the berg's if its wet, slippy and crowded.

Enjoy :)

jon


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:50 am 
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Excellent - thanks for your replies.

I'm not expecting a fast time - just hoping to hang on for 244k!

If it's not likely to trash the wheels, I'll opt for the tubeless and run them at something like 90psi for a bit of comfort.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 1:57 pm 
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Location: Canada
We had a guy last year who rode the Paris-Roubaix sportive on the DA C-24 CL's and they were spot on true at the end of the day - 16 front spokes and they were fine.

As far as tubeless goes, wasn't the first Tubeless victory achieved by Phil Gilbert several year's ago at Het Volk (or some other non-monumental classic). He only had one wheel tubeless by the end, but it seemed to work for him.

Can you get 25c tubeless tires now? If not, I'd personally prefer 25c & latex tubes over 23c and tubeless.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:03 pm 
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+1. You'll be fine.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 2:04 pm 
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Hutchinson make a 25mm Intensive - might be a good compromise.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 7:29 pm 
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You'll be fine. Flanders isn't Roubaix. The Flanders cobbles are smoother than a lot of roads in the UK.

And when pros use alternative/traditional style wheels for races like Roubaix, they do not necessarily do so because they are stronger. They do so because if they get trashed it is less money down the drain.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:15 pm 
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Valbrona wrote:
And when pros use alternative/traditional style wheels for races like Roubaix, they do not necessarily do so because they are stronger. They do so because if they get trashed it is less money down the drain.


Right.. Imagine Team Sky using 32 spoke-wheels because it's less money down the drain if they get trashed :lol:
Pro's still using 32 spoke-wheels in Roubaix is about durability and comfort (lower spoke tension, low less vertically stiff rim)


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 4:22 am 
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roselend wrote:
Valbrona wrote:
Pro's still using 32 spoke-wheels in Roubaix is about durability and comfort (lower spoke tension, low less vertically stiff rim)


That is true only in part. You will note that when the TdF went over the cobbles used in Roubaix a good many of the teams were using the deeper section carbon fibre rims just like they would use on a regular road stage, something they would not have done in Paris-Roubaix. Cycling isn't necessarily about things like durability and comfort, it is also about things like cost and marketing.

If I were an Easton or a Zipp person supplying wheels to a team in the TdF, I really would not like the idea of a team switching to Ambrosio for one of the most high profile stages.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:00 am 
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As far as I can see recent crops of carbon wheels are more than strong enough, and much faster than a set of 32 spoke balloon whisks. Anyway, they run relatively low pressures so they can be fast and in control over the rough stuff so the tubs fail far more often than the wheels themselves. If anything it's not about marketing but more about the romantic ideals of amateur cyclists who would like to justify another set of hoops.


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Posted: Sat Jan 21, 2012 11:00 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2012 9:12 pm 
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Reporting back from Flanders...

The 6700 / Hutchinson Fusion 23mm tubeless set up worked a treat over the cobbles.

I rode at 85psi and had no air loss, let alone any flats, and true wheels at the end.

I can't claim the ride was comfortable over the flat or downhill cobbled sections, but my friends with many more spokes didn't sound like they were having a smoother ride.

Now, how to find the cash to upgrade to the 7900 version?


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