After 4 years of cycling, I finally took the plunge and purchased a set of carbon tubular wheels. I’m definitley a “gear junkie” so I’m actually suprised that I was able to wait this long to join the carbon tubular ranks. However, the new wheels will be put to the test as I race the Gary Glickman Memorial Crit in Richardson, TX on Saturday and the ThinkCash Texas State Criterium Championship on Monday in Fort Worth.
Here’s the skinny on the wheels:
Material – Carbon
Type – Tubular (that means the tire and tube are one piece and are actually glued to the wheel)
Rim Depth – 56mm
Weight – 1,335 grams!
That’s right, besides being aero, these wheels weigh less than 3 pounds. The first thing I noticed when I put these wheels on my bike was the smoothness of the hubs. They have ceramic bearings and when I spin a wheel in the stand, it literally spins for minutes before friction finally brings it to a stop.
The wheels ride smooth and spin up fast. I haven’t used them on any significant climbs yet (is there such a thing in North Texas?), but I can say that I notice a difference when I get out of the saddle and accelerate.
I hope to never crash these wheels, but if I do, apparently they are pretty solid. The picture above is George Hincapie’s front wheel (with a special US Champ paint job) after a crash in the Tour of California. Even with this hole in the rim, Hincapie was able to finish the race on the wheel and when the mechanic put the wheel in the stand, it was still true!
I’ll give an update on the wheels once I put a few more miles on them.