Wednesday 1 June 2022

New wheels


Next weekend will be the first time ride on my new wheels. I bought them during the winter; I had planned to have them setup on the bike in April, when the weather usually starts to improve. The intention was to compete in some TT races. That's not going to happen this year, or at least it's unlikely. Regaining lost strength and fitness is going to take me a long time. I may change my mind after I get back from Cornwall depending how tough I found it. Sponsorship link.

They are made from carbon fibre, supplied by Kinetic One: Link to the builder. It's another upgrade to what was a fairly low spec bike in 2012. I bought it second hand a few years ago, from Ross Cycles. Looking back, maybe I should have bought a better bike instead. But I wasn't as committed to road riding at the time. The frame fits me well, but the rest was poor, especially the brakes. It's much improved and the wheels are the icing on the cake.

How do I feel about them?

They look good. The previous wheels had a deeper profile than the originals. These are a step further. 

original giant wheels
original wheels
vision 35mm wheels
Vision 35mm wheels

kinetics one wheels
kinetics one wheels

They are more aerodynamic. No stats to show how much better, but it's proven they will reduce drag and help me maintain speed. One potential downside is that they can be affected by side winds more than shallower wheels. I did talk to Andy the owner of the company and builder of the wheels. He said I shouldn't notice it too much because they are designed to minimise this. I'm a light rider so I hope he's right. My weight means going deeper is not a good idea. If you want a little techy info click here.

They are lighter. This will help climbing and acceleration. My bike is on the heavy end of the scale for a road bike. The Vision wheels saved a little, these have reduced it again. Any more upgrades would definitely be in the diminishing returns category. The only solution may be a new frame. Maybe I'll look at this option; transferring everything from my present bike.

The real test will be as I get stronger; I can then compare them more fairly to my pre crash rides. 

Being able to talk to the wheel builder is a big advantage. I initially sent an info request some months before I was considering a purchase. Andy called a few hours later. I had a few concerns: one was braking with carbon wheels. They tend to be worse than alloy in the wet. He did say I would notice a difference, but it's not as bad an issue as it once was. We talked for a long time about what I should expect, and cycling in general. This wouldn't happen with one of the big manufacturers. At best I'd be talking to a customer services person, and not the builder. We spoke again when I'd decided to buy the wheels. It helped me to be confident I was making the right decision.

A big test will be Cornwall; 500 miles over six days. Any advantage I can get will be welcome.