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Wheels

Tubular Rears: H3C vs. Lightweight Disc vs. Zipp Sub9

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Significance

Stage 18 of the 2009 Tour de France around Lake Annecy saw Alberto Contador snag victor from Swiss TT king Fabian Cancellara by a slim 3 seconds in what was around a forty eight and a half minute effort for both riders. The generally flat course around the lake detoured up the category 3 Col de Bluffy, making climbing prowess more of an issue than in many time trials.  During this stage Contador reportedly used a rebadged Lightweight Disc, which is known for its low mass and has a lenticular shape. Cancellara appeared to use Zipp’s Sub9, which is not quite as feathery as the Lightweight, but has a more complex shape that bulges at the rim and then becomes flat near the hub. Did Cancellara’s wheel choice cost him the stage victory?  Or on this somewhat hilly course would both riders have been better off with the H3c, which Lance Armstrong had often ridden to victory in previous Tours de France but abandoned in 2009 for a Lightweight Disc like Contador’s?

In the pages below, we’ll present the methodology used to explore which wheel is faster. We will then examine how each wheel performs in its intended habitat—installed on the back of a time trial bicycle. This contrasts with standard rear wheel tests, which typically focus on the performance of rear wheels in isolation by mounting them in standalone wheel struts. We will present the results as average watts to translate (also in grams of axial force) at 18 and 30mph for the crosswind ranges of 0-20 degrees, 0-12.5 degrees, and 7.5 – 20 degrees. We will also present a figure plotting the watts required to translate each rear wheel and bike combination at crosswind angles of 0,5,7.5,10,12.5,15, and 20 degrees at speeds of 18 and 30mph. All three wheels were tested with a 700x20c Vittoria Crono Tubular tire installed.

***Disclosure notice: the wheel samples and tunnel time were purchased and/or independently acquired by a third party not directly associated with BikeTechReview.com or the wheel manufacturers of the samples tested. BikeTechReview.com witnessed the testing and reduced the data. The third party would like to share their data in an effort to recoup a portion of their wind tunnel time investment.

Last Updated on Saturday, 14 November 2015 14:24 Read more...
 

Tubular Fronts: H3C vs Zipp 1080 vs HED Stinger9

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Significance


Stage six of the 2009 Tour of California in Solvang saw Levi Leipheimer snag victory from David Zabriskie by a scant 8 seconds during the violent 30 minute effort.  Michael Rogers, the eventual 2010 Tour of California winner, rolled across the line in fourth place, 22 seconds slower on the day.   During this time trial stage, Leipheimer chose the time-proven three spoke for his front wheel, while Zabriskie chose the Zipp 1080, and Rogers appeared to ride a rebadged HED Stinger 9.  Did Zabriskie’s wheel choice cost him the stage victory?  Or did Leipheimer win despite his front wheel selection?  Or, did both of them give up something relative to Rogers’ Stinger 9 from HED?


In the pages below, we’ll present the methodology used to explore which wheel is faster.  We will also present the results as watts to spin and watts to translate (also in grams of axial force) at 18 and 30mph for the crosswind ranges of 0-20 degrees, 0-12.5 degrees, and 7.5 – 20 degrees.  The Zipp and H3C wheels were tested with a 700x20c Vittoria Crono Tubular tire, while the HED Stinger 9 wheel was tested with a Bontrager 700x22c RXL Tubular tire.


***Disclosure notice:  the wheel samples and tunnel time were purchased and/or independently acquired by a third party not directly associated with BikeTechReview.com or the wheel manufacturers of the samples tested.  BikeTechReview.com witnessed the testing and reduced the data.  The third party would like to share their data in an effort to recoup a portion of their wind tunnel time investment.

 

Last Updated on Monday, 01 August 2011 02:02 Read more...
 

1080 vs TriSpoke

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1080 vs TriSpoke

Stage six of the 2009 Tour of California in Solvang saw Levi Leipheimer snag victory from David Zabriskie by a scant 8 seconds during the violent 30 minute effort. During this time trial stage, Leipheimer chose the time-proven three spoke for his front wheel, while Zabriskie chose the new offering from Zipp: the 1080. Did Zabriskie’s wheel choice cost him the stage victory? Or did Leipheimer win despite his front wheel selection?

 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 04:35 Read more...
 

Tour de Suisse: Ullrich Wheels

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Tour de Suisse final TT observation...

While perusing the photo's over at cyclingnews.com, I noticed something peculiar about Jan Ullrich's wheels.  The rear one in particular.  Check it out here:

[photo link]  [better photo link]

The twist of the spoke indicates that the wheel developer is thinking a bit outside the conventional box, so to speak.  The twist essentially makes the spoke behave as if it is at a slightly higher angle of attack (in the traditional sense of spoke/wheel design -> higher yaw angle). 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 04:43 Read more...
 

Texas A&M Wheel Test

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Wheel Tunnel Testing at Texas A&M

Nestled in the small university town of College Station, Texas, the Oran W. Nicks Low Speed Wind Tunnel had an undeniable reputation in the 90's and early 2000's as the place to go for cycling related aerodynamic research.  With a test section that measures seven feet wide by ten feet tall, adequate flow qualities, and dedicated cycling fixtures, this facility was convenient for industry outsiders while still providing quality data.  Tunnel director, Jorge Martinez, has claimed that the wind tunnel balance will provide force data that is accurate to +/- 0.05 lbs.  While not as accurate as is desirable,

Last Updated on Tuesday, 23 February 2010 04:40 Read more...
 



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