How fast do you need to be to benefit from aero wheels?

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by alastairb

I like to think I'm a reasonable cyclist; I work long hours, but find some time to train...FTP is @ 4.2 watts / kg.

Seriously considering investing in a set of either Mavic Cosmic Pro Carbon SLs or Fulcrum Speed 40Cs but want to get an idea of how much real world benefit I'd feel riding those? My current wheels are Fulcrum Racing Zeros, so a pretty good set of alloy wheels. They're plenty stiff enough for me (70kgs) and spin up nicely, so it's an aero gain I'm looking for.

I ride mixed terrain (average ride would have 1,200 metres of elevation) and race and closed circuits (more to follow next season).

Pretty serious about my cycling, have good gear and use a coach etc., so am looking for gains where I can find them but, that said, can't definitely not afford to blow £1,500 for no good reason!

Advice is much appreciated on whether the wheels provide a good return on the investment, if those mentioned are deep enough, and whether the two likely candidates are good choices...

by Weenie

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by kervelo

The slower riders benefit more from aero wheels on a given distance: ... ast-riders

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by Vermu
I suggest you read this thread.

Even as the initial discussion is about campa wheels, it shares some good insight how much aero benefit you gain from wheels.

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by audiojan

Above 0.1 mph (or km/h).
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by dj97223

Faster than the wind. :lol:
“If you save your breath I feel a man like you can manage it. And if you don't manage it, you'll die. Only slowly, very slowly, old friend.”

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by beatle

audiojan wrote:Above 0.1 mph (or km/h).

Why 0.1? Why not above 0.0 mph?

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by mpulsiv

95% of riders invest into sexy carbon wheels purely for aesthetics as it makes them look fast and no, I'm not being sarcastic. ~ 30mm aluminum wheels (e.g. Flo 30, Boyd Altamont, AForce Al33) are modern wide wheels in "U" rim profile that perform exceptionally well.

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by bm0p700f

It actually a bit more complicated. Slower riders over a fixed course will have a bigger time saving with aero wheels compared to higher riders but as a percentage of total time the faster rider does better. So it is not correct to sah aero wheels benefit slower riders more. IT depends on how the results are presented. Aero wheels benefit all riders full stop.

Power is directionally proportional to cda ignoring rolliing resistance. So lower cda by 1% and that a few watts saved. Get a biiger fall and a few more are saved.

by Weenie

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