Ranking wheel components by weight-saving importance

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:21 am

by Estuche

Is it fair to say that when budget is limited one should prioritize weight saving on?:

1st. Tires
2nd. Tubes
3. Rims
4. Spokes
5. Hubs

In other words, components farther from the center typically provide greater performance (acceleration-wise) per weight saving, or not necessarily? What's your ranking?

by Weenie

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Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Pretty logical to me. Except that i have evolved from “what is lightest” to “what is fastest.”

Also, light tubes swap marginal gain for risk. Not a bad thing, but be comfortable with your risk.

And some of the best spokes are pretty aero and light (thinking x ray, dt swiss aerolite). Stay away from anything that is not aero. Spokes are always fighting the wind... so anything less than an aero shape is wasted energy. Case in point: mavic r-sys slr’s. Light clinchers... but maybe the slowest wheel known to man.

When it comes to tires, i think less about weight, and more about balancing durability/safety with low rolling resistance (and i wont get into the width decision). 0.01 better crr is worth more speed weise than 500g weight savings. You need to hit a 10%+ grade before the lighter weight is faster. Mind you, light and fast rolling tires are ideal... but then they are never durable/puncture reaistant (i am talking about you corsa speeds!).

Rims and tire choice in my mind is about finding the lightest aero rim that suits my needs for tire width. If my rims are not aero... i just choose a fast tire of ideal width for my riding needs. If i have aero rims, i follow the “rule of 105” to ensure i do not kill my aero benefits with too wide a tire.

Finally, good hubs... or even well maintained hubs spinn smoother, and thus faster. Extralite hubs may be superlight, but at a cost. A few wet rides and they may just become an increasingly parasitic loss that far outweighs gains from lower weight.

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by Cemicar

No mention of skewers/thru axles or rim tapes, while tires and tubes are included (and indeed in top priority)?

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Joined: Thu May 10, 2018 2:43 am

by RocketRacing

Cemicar wrote:
Mon Jul 01, 2019 4:23 am
No mention of skewers/thru axles or rim tapes, while tires and tubes are included (and indeed in top priority)?
I have the new tririg aero skewer on order. Pretty light, as aero as it gets. Not cheap, but not breaking the bank either. I upgrade things like my skewers without question. Just be mindful of retention. A buddy of mine who is more of a sprinter caused one lightweight set (china kcnc style) to fail twice under power. They worked fine for me.

Tape: get something designed for high heat. My experience is that tubes do not fail from heat... the rim tape just gets too soft, and can no longer protect the tube from the edges of the spoke hole. Get the proper stuff.

For final bonus points, get silca tubes, sort out your valve stem length needs, put on a valve retainer (especially key for latex), and then add their nifty speed/balance widgets. More key for deep wheels. Minimize your exposed stem as it is fighting the wind with every revolution... and has the aerodynamics of your mom.

If you really want to get sick... stickers add weight.

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by bm0p700f

What lightest is not always the fastest. I trial effects are small in reality so the acceleration gain fro. A lighter wheel is because its lighter. Weight savings have to be big to get a speed gsin. Aero gains can be small to have a real affect.

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