Lighter Wheels - Will I Notice the Difference?

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simonhill
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Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Lighter Wheels - Will I Notice the Difference?

Postby simonhill » 7 Jan 2019, 6:23pm

I am aware of the (theoretical) benefits of lighter wheels and tyres, but would they make a noticeable difference to a slow paced cyclist?

26" Sputniks to ??

This would be on my 'spare' non touring LHT.

Brucey
Posts: 31959
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Lighter Wheels - Will I Notice the Difference?

Postby Brucey » 7 Jan 2019, 6:42pm

they may not make a huge difference to your speed (although if the tyres have a significantly lower Crr they might) but the whole bike will just feel that bit more sprightly. IIRC sputnik rims in 559 weigh about 630g. Rims that are strong enough for unladen work in that size are 400 to 450g but have brake surfaces that are a fair bit thinner. Depending on what tyres you have at present you may be able to go a few hundred grammes lighter per tyre. Marathon pluses weigh in at about 800g in that size and you can get tyres about 250g.


Potential weight savings are roughly

rims ~ 200g per rim
spokes ~ 60g per set (if you change from 14g PG to DB)
tyres up to ~ 550g per tyre if you trade from M+ to lightweight ones
tubes ~ 60g per tube if you go for lighter weight ones.

potentially this is up to ~ 1kg per wheel. Unless you have quite lightweight tyres. spokes, tubes etc at present you ought to be able to shed about 500g per wheel without too much effort.

FWIW I have a bike with 1.25" slicks on light~ish 559 wheels and it always feels like the wheels spin up fairly quickly even though the whole bike isn't particualrly lightweight.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

pwa
Posts: 8637
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Lighter Wheels - Will I Notice the Difference?

Postby pwa » 7 Jan 2019, 6:49pm

My impression is that significantly lighter wheel / tyre combos climb better but feel a little more twitchy. Weight saved on tyres should make more of a difference than weight saved at the rim or spokes.

MikeF
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Joined: 11 Nov 2012, 9:24am
Location: On the borders of the four South East Counties

Re: Lighter Wheels - Will I Notice the Difference?

Postby MikeF » 7 Jan 2019, 7:50pm

Tyre rolling resistance seems to make a big difference. I have Panasela folding tour guard on a 26" wheel bike and they made a huge difference compared with those that were on it previously (Kenda??). I'm not saying the Panaselas have that low a rolling resistance, but they were an "eye opener" for me in how much difference tyres make.
"It takes a genius to spot the obvious" - my old physics master

pwa
Posts: 8637
Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Lighter Wheels - Will I Notice the Difference?

Postby pwa » 7 Jan 2019, 8:07pm

MikeF wrote:Tyre rolling resistance seems to make a big difference. I have Panasela folding tour guard on a 26" wheel bike and they made a huge difference compared with those that were on it previously (Kenda??). I'm not saying the Panaselas have that low a rolling resistance, but they were an "eye opener" for me in how much difference tyres make.


And changing tyres has to be one of the most cost effective ways of modifying a bike's performance. With any stodgy bike that would be one of the first things I would look at.

simonhill
Posts: 2118
Joined: 13 Jan 2007, 11:28am
Location: Essex

Re: Lighter Wheels - Will I Notice the Difference?

Postby simonhill » 8 Jan 2019, 3:21pm

Thanks for replies. It is essentially a subjective thing, which is why I asked about feel. Also Brucey's reply, shows what can be saved.

I was toying with lighter rims as I need to replace the front Sputnik on my touring one. However, I do like my spare bike to be battle ready at a moments notice (often have expensive flights booked). I think lighter tyres are a good idea, I've already switched to Supremes on my touring bike, giving me 3-400 gms per wheel. I'll look out for something even lighter for the spare bike on my return.