Wheels for Bormio.

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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Vagabond
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Location: The Washingtons: DC and the state

by Vagabond

Good day everyone,

I'm going to spend a little time in Bormio in early September climbing. I plan on doing all the historic climbs. I'm unsure which wheel set to bring. I'd like to bring my Hyperon tubulars. Are the roads there fairly flat free? What about the descents? I'm a good descender but some of those descents look like they might warm up carbon rims and also look a bit dodgy in the rain with carbon. The other wheel set I might bring are tubeless Shamals. But I'd much rather have the Hyperons. What say you fellow travelers? I'd also appreciate any insider gouge on must do things to do especially if they involve eating local foods and drinking local wines. :D

Thanks
Colnago e Campagnolo

eric
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
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by eric

For a trip like that I'd bring reliable aluminium clincher wheels. You are not racing so the few seconds gained from lighter wheels is no issue. But a flat would be a hassle, and no one wants to worry about their wheels on descents or in the rain.

c50jim
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Location: Calgary

by c50jim

We were in Bormio for a couple of nights last year at La Genzianella. Family run place that was friendly to cyclists - not just our group but others. Relatively new mid-level hotel with wifi and good service.

Great riding in the area. The Stelvio is my favourite, from the opposite side (starting from Prato), although they've been using the Bormio side lately. We also rode from Switzerland on the Umbrail. It was a lot more remote than the big Italian passes and was interesting. Gavia from the Bormio side isn't as interesting as the route from Ponte di Legno made famous in the 88 Giro. You could do the Mortirolo then the Gavia from Ponte di Legno. Long, tough ride but really rewarding and a nice downhill finish into Bormio. The first time I was in the area in 1995 in early September, we had really cold weather. Make sure you have warm clothing every day. Last year in early July it was cold at the top of the Gavia but OK with jacket and full fingered lightweight gloves. In 2003, the warmest time I was up there, it was warm enough to hang out on top of the Stelvio but cool enough to take a quick stop for food at the top of the Gavia the next day, put on dry clothes and ride down.

Wheels. I remember that 1995 trip. One guy with tubulars. Put on a new tire after the second last day. Going downhill, the next day, I watched his heavily glued tire come off and saw him heading across the switchback in front of the uphill traffic. Luckily the traffic stopped and he was able to stop just before he went off the edge. I just wouldn't ride tubulars on a trip. Given your choices, I'd take the Shamals. I took my lightest clinchers last year and they were fine - White 24/28 hubs, Velocity Aerohead rims.

In that area, I'd say that braking too hard on carbon rims is less of a problem than in many other mountain areas. I seem to remember being able to let the bike run a lot more since there aren't as many switchbacks as in the Dolomites (except going down the Stelvio towards Prato or the Umbrail). If it were raining, I'd be inside, not riding on those roads. Way too dangerous for me. I've sampled the Italian hospital system (Bolzano) after a previous crash in dry weather and have no desire to try it again. The docs here said they did a good job on me though.

maquisard
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Location: France

by maquisard

Use a decent set of aluminium clinchers, no fancy carbon rims unless you have a support car.

The road at the top of the Gavia is very rough in places as the roads see a lot of freeze/that damage from the snow in winter.

airwise
Posts: 1049
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:31 pm

by airwise

I'd certainly agree with leaving the carbon at home but many many locals ride tubs all the time and most the roads are in way better condition than I am used to in England.

As Maquisard says though, you might as well go with some aluminium clinchers, some nice hand builts are ideal out there. The Mortirolo has some rough surfaces and the smaller road from Bormio to the foot of it is also patchy, but again nothing like Surrey.

hasbeen
Posts: 556
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:17 pm

by hasbeen

2 sets of wheels is out of the question?
Casati Vola SLi and Dolan Preffisio
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=108931" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;"
btompkins0112 wrote:
It has the H2 geo......one step racier than a hybrid bike

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dgasmd
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Location: South Florida

by dgasmd

Well, let me be the voice of disagreement here then. I was in Bormio for a week a couple of hers back and did the rides you mention here. I run tubulars at home exclusively and don't even have a single set of wheels that is not. I took my hyperons when I went on the Italy 3 week trip, and took only a spare and 2 pre-glue new tires "just in case". Did not flat once, and actually found the roads fairly clean in comparison to the metal and glass fest the roads at home are. Loved the wheels and found them to be fantastic in every aspect. Couldn't think of a single thing I would have done differently. I'm on the heavy side of the scale, pretty aggressive descender, but I'm cautious when needed too. No issues with glue coming off, tires loosening, etc. I did put on new brake pads and had my brakes adjusted well before going. I do all my bike maintenance and exclusively do all my tire gluing, so I have a very accurate sense of security on the glue job and mechanical dependability.

I would blindly take the hyperons as the single set of wheels of the two. Just my opinion!

Vagabond
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Location: The Washingtons: DC and the state

by Vagabond

Thanks for all the advice folks. I'm leaning towards the sublime riding Hyperons. I also like the security of a tubular flat versus a tubeless at speed descending. I probably won't decide on which wheel set until the night I'm packing. I'll post pictures of the trip and write up a summary for anyone interested in doing the same trip after I return to the states. Back to my Rosetta Stone. :D

:beerchug:
Colnago e Campagnolo

nismosr
Posts: 1023
Joined: Mon May 05, 2008 5:15 pm

by nismosr

Vagabond wrote:Thanks for all the advice folks. I'm leaning towards the sublime riding Hyperons. I also like the security of a tubular flat versus a tubeless at speed descending. I probably won't decide on which wheel set until the night I'm packing. I'll post pictures of the trip and write up a summary for anyone interested in doing the same trip after I return to the states. Back to my Rosetta Stone. :D

:beerchug:


are you doing this on your own ?

Vagabond
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Location: The Washingtons: DC and the state

by Vagabond

Yes.
Colnago e Campagnolo

Rodrego Hernandez
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Location: Out there

by Rodrego Hernandez

In nice weather, super light climbing wheels and tyres would be perfect.

However, in bad weather the roads get pretty slippery and braking / reliability would be more beneficial.

Bear in mind also that if you need a repair for any reason (spoke for example) a more specialised wheel might be harder to source a repair when compared to a more common wheel. Same applies to tubs, you might have a very limited selection of spares available should you need to buy replacements.

Personally I'd go with the shamals. I rode a set over there a few years ago in terrible weather and they were great, they're also not too shabby in good weather.

Whatever you ride, it'll be great fun though.

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dgasmd
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by dgasmd

Rodrego Hernandez wrote:In nice weather, super light climbing wheels and tyres would be perfect.

However, in bad weather the roads get pretty slippery and braking / reliability would be more beneficial.

Bear in mind also that if you need a repair for any reason (spoke for example) a more specialised wheel might be harder to source a repair when compared to a more common wheel. Same applies to tubs, you might have a very limited selection of spares available should you need to buy replacements.

Personally I'd go with the shamals. I rode a set over there a few years ago in terrible weather and they were great, they're also not too shabby in good weather.

Whatever you ride, it'll be great fun though.


That is actually a fair and good point I failed to address, but I actually considered before I went myself. I took a few extra spokes of all sizes needed "just in case" as they are not a dime a dozen stocked item by shops. Even Campagnolo shops. You should too. Hubs failing there if they are fine now I would consider a huge failure along the same lines as a frame break. I always had in the back of my mind that short of the frame breaking I was ready to replace anything with a shitty part just to get it working until I got back from the trip.

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jekyll man
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by jekyll man

Where do you stop? Take spare wheels, frame, groupset? :noidea:

Your best equipment is likely to be the best maintained and least likely to give problems, so take it :thumbup:

FWIW, i didnt find the roads/ weather (-5c and snow on the Gavia in july) any worse around Bormio than anywhere else, and i was quite happy with my Lightweights; my main concern was what happened to my bike once the airlines got hold of it
Official cafe stop tester

dcaspira
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:10 am

by dcaspira

Just to add to the conversation - My last trip I rode a set of Tubs, and loved it.

Granted they are metals rims - ambrosio,

Have fun :)

Vagabond
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Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2011 2:08 am
Location: The Washingtons: DC and the state

by Vagabond

Thanks again for all the advice. I'm really looking forward to the trip. I've wanted to ride the Stelvio for a long time. I'll do that ride at least twice while I'm there. Talked with someone from my company who's Itaian and spends time there. So I have the gouge on local chow. :thumbup:
Colnago e Campagnolo

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