Buyin a disc wheel (which one?)

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Posts: 139
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by tri


I want to up my tt-experience and to do this I want disc wheel. But which one? They all pretty much look the same to me. The Lightweight disc is out of the picture because of it's price but other than that which should you go for?

Full carbon- tubular is what I had in mind. I have Planetx exocet 2 frame equipped with their own brakes if this will be of any importance regarding "sizing" issues when choosing a disc?

by Weenie

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by wasfast

There's roughly 3 options to consider. The specifics after that are more subtle.

Option 1 is to not buy a disc at all but use a wheelcover like wheelbuilder sells. For $100US you get the same benefits aerodynamically and a very low price. Weight is not low but for most flat to somewhat rolling TT's it doesn't matter.

Option 2 is a flat disc. For lowest cost, the Renn discs are a good value. There's lots of used ones around for under $400US. They aren't real stiff which can cause some challenges in high speed cornering. However, for most TT's that's also not common. Zipp still makes flat discs. Some of the newer superbikes won't accomidate a lenticular shape without rubbing issues on the stays.

Option 3 is a lenticular disc. Zipp and Hed are the most common in these. There is some aerodynamic advantage but it's very dependent on the tire and frame used. Hed offers the Jet version which is still a standard spoked wheel and while you give up the "whoomp, whoomp" sound, they are a better handling, stiffer wheel laterally.

It's nice to have shiny new equipment but for something as specialized as discs, they're pretty costly up front due to the low production volumes, more difficult to sell due to limited market and don't have great resale value. You can find plenty of used discs on classifieds.

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by SalsaLover


I have a Ridley Dean, bought a Mavic Comete for it but the fit is very critical leaving just 1mm clearance on the non drive side seat stay, 1mm that's when you set the quick release carefully and very tight, otherwise it would rub.

I sold it and got a Corima flat disk that gives no problems, it is less stiff though

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by tri

Unfortunately I don't live in the US, which means a used disc with shipping VAT and what not will make the price reach that of a new disc bought inside Europe.

Are there any gains to make when looking at a flat disc in between brands (besides weight) struggling to find any data on this.

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by beardking

what wheels do you have on the planet x? bike science has covers in stock for px wheels ... -1169.html
think the out of stock ones can be ordered in the same as the custom option

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by Ruds

wasfast wrote:It's nice to have shiny new equipment but for something as specialized as discs, they're pretty costly up front due to the low production volumes, more difficult to sell due to limited market and don't have great resale value.

Sorry Wasfast, your helpful post could have done with out this, in my opinion none of what you have said in the above quote is at all accurate.

Out of a company like Zipp's product line I would have though the discs outsold quite a few of their other wheels, not all of them but not at the bottom of the sales sheet. You'd only have to count the number that have been rebadged in professional racing to indicate that they are well respected and widely used.

With regards to the OP question, the Zipp disc is a known quantity, loads of people have them and they are truly 'tested'. I have had three 900's over the last six or seven years and never had one fail. The hubs are good and easy to service.

Having said that there isn't an area of them I couldn't point at and ask for better. The valve cut out could be larger (IIRC the newer one I have has addressed this, possibly worth noting if you bought a older used one 2nd hand). The hubs are not the latest of greatest in Zipp's range on the 900 disc -Off the top of my head I believe the 900 uses an older design of hub, not sure if or what the problems of this are, I do prefer working on my later 188 equipped wheel sets-. I could be wrong on this!

So like I've said the Zipp's are a solid choice, not the cheapest but I think you're unlikely to have any headaches with them.

I'll explain why I had three because without doing so my claims of them being a solid choice do look a bit suspect :lol:

The first 900 was kept for four years and I wanted a newer version because I had used it A LOT and it was starting to look a bit tired so when I got offered a good deal I sold it.

The second one wasn't as true as I would have liked and I started to think it was getting worse. I now don't think it was getting worse because having bought a third one it was exactly the same, so that error lost me some money but I did get a newer disc with a larger valve cutout which is of some help.

I would like to buy the new Lightweight disc because all things being equal it is lighter. But, I have never worked on a LW disc so they may have some draw backs. I currently have a set of 808, 202 wheel sets along with my 900 disc, I have had two sets of 404's so I have a lot of experience with Zipp hubs and could service them blindfolded as well as being able to exchange parts if something breaks and I can't get a spare in time. Thats my reasoning for sticking with Zipp so far, any slight possible advantage to be had with another manufacturers wheel set isn't as important to me as simplicity of servicing, knowledge and only needing spares for one brand.

Hope that helps you a little :beerchug:

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by Dalai

I have 3 Zipp discs, and am extremely happy with them (Zipp Predator - converted to track, Zipp 950 till this year used on my TT bike -will be converted to track, and a Zipp 900 currently on the TT bike). Bonus if you race track is that with the Zipp 900, you can easily convert the wheel to use there also.

As you are in Europe, Corima discs get a good review from what I've seen.

Miche also sell a disc - which is using the pre dimpled Zipp 900 mold. Not sure how that is priced but expect this to be easier to buy in Europe.

Planet X have some discs for sale if you search on their site. Vision and Gipiemme last time I checked...

For second hand - check out the classifieds on" onclick=";return false;" onclick=";return false;

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by HillRPete

I'm wondering how a flat disc would stack up against the deepest HED/Zipp offerings. For low yaws HED's own Stinger 9 is not worlds apart from the HED Disc, probably similar if you compare within Zipp's line.

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by kevinkalis

If you can wait a month or 2, I'd suggest

Do you suffer more when you train, or cannot train?

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by Dalai

kevinkalis wrote:If you can wait a month or 2, I'd suggest

With the Flo and HED discs which are spoke wheels with bonded carbon covers, what happens if you break a spoke?

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by Kasparz

I bought a HED Stinger 9 disc from HTC team. It is Patrick Gretsch's disc.
I've been told the HED will take care if wheel goes out of true. I hope it won't happen. Martin, Wiggins and lot of others had won numerous time trials and that is from teams that have huuuge disc choice.

by Weenie

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by Juanmoretime

Keep in mind while important the rear is not as important as the choice of front wheel. I would be hard pressed to believe there is more than a handful of seconds between the slowest and fastest disc. Plus as mentioned before some frames are just designed to use a certain shape. My Plasma 2 definitely is a flat disc frame and it happens that the one and only disc I have purchased is a Renn. I don't find the Renn flex and no issue at the start of a tt or cornering with it. Maybe it I weighed more than 72 kg I might but for me its a fast disc that works well with my frame.

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