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Aero or light weight wheel set


I'm doing the Ironman Wales 2015, first tri, first Ironman. would like to know what the best type of wheelset would be to use, aero (ish) or light (ish) weight. I've done a few 80 mile training rides which have had near on 4000ft elevation and average around 16.5mph.

Ive been looking at:

Pro Lite Bracciano A27 / Campy Zonda - light weight

Fulcrum R Quattro 35 /  Campy Scirocco 35 - areo

My budget is £300, might be interested in second hand suggestions as well.

Cheers, Ross.


  • Neither.

    Weight barely matters. Add a kilo and you won't go much slower. Go check out Best Bike Split for confirmation. And neither of those are particularly deep rims. Deep rims doesn't necessarily = aerodynamic, but for simplicity's sake the correlation is pretty good. £300 isn't really enough to get you a seat at the "aero" table, but prices are coming down slowly.

    My honest suggestion, if you are trying to spend £300 on going faster in races, get some swim coaching, or a bike fit. Followed by a skinsuit, or an aero helmet. Any of these are a bigger bang-for-buck than wheels at that price point. Invest in yourself first - coaching, fit, decent kit.

    But for the sake of answering the question... if you really really want to exchange that amount of cash for a set of wheels, the campys aren't a bad buy. And if you do want some £300 wheels, a set of Mavic Ksyrium Equipe are a very nice set of wheels to race and train on too. Not built for aerodynamics, but a great ride and will do you well for a long time. 

  • Andrew4Andrew4 Posts: 190

    You can probably get a set of Fulcrum Racing 3s at that price and are good wheels to both ride on day to day and decent enough for racing on (but you won't win any aero or weight prizes) but I would echo what Engineer says. The internet is riddled with suggestions as to how to make a faster triathlon bike split... some more scientific than others and most of them reach the same conclusion... fancy wheels may look great and make you feel like Kienle by helmets, skin suits etc have a far great impact on your performance.

    I would say get a proper bike fit. It doesn't matter how good your kit is if the single biggest factor (you) isn't in shape.

    Realistically with a decent bike fit and thinking ensuring your nutrition and weight are improved (unless you are a pro there's probably room to shed at least a pound or two) you can probably improve both your aero and your weight as much as the wheels will and save some money...

  • HusherRHusherR Posts: 2

    I had my suspicions about shaving a few hundred grams of weight off wheels (unless you start spending treble my budget), more about looks at my price point I suppose.

    Bike fit sounds like a good idea, I'm new to biking so didn't know you could do that, will be booking one with Evans for £45, sounds reasonable. 

    The aero helmet with some tri/aero bars could also be an option, I wonder if I've left it too late to adjust to that riding posture with 4.5 weeks left to train though.

    I've lost about 5kg in 3 months, I know that is making a difference. Was thinking about adding 4-5kg's with some Velcro leg weights I could strap to the frame and then take them off for race day.

    Thanks for the info chaps, much appreciated.

  • I changed my stock wheels that came with my Trek to a pair of Vision T30's (they're end of line hence got a bargain), the 600g reduction in weight was more than just a bit noticeable up hills - which with IM Wales is something you'll encounter. They also have a small aero advantage in that they're 30mm aero set. 

    I got them from Bike24 who unfortunately 'only' have the newer version that was made to deal with the narrow tyre fit... so for your £300, have some change and some much better wheels! https://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;navigation=1;search=vision+t30;menu=1000%2C4%2C123%2C30;product=50943

    As for a bike fit, if it's between that and wheels, the fit wins all the way.. no question!

  • Andrew4Andrew4 Posts: 190

    1. You should be able to get reasonably used to riding with aerobars in 4 weeks. You might not be able to get used to 6 plus hours on them but even if you are only on them a third of the race this will make a HUGE difference.

    2. If you are getting aerobars make sure you have them BEFORE the bike fit (or at the fit) as you will want the fitter to take these into consideration when setting up the bike.

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