There are a lot of different types of cycling, and one of the most popular right now is road riding. A lot of guys are going out riding in groups and racing in amatuer races. For these riders, speed and distance are very important. The difference between leading your group ride and falling off the back, in embarrassment, can be very small.
There are two ways to improve your cycling, and enjoy friendly cycling competition more. Either you train hard and improve your physical endurance and power or you upgrade your bike.
That’s where Carbon Wheels come in. They are lighter and more aerodynamic than standard metal wheels. That means a bike with carbon wheels will be easier to rider fast than one without.
If you swap out your current wheels for carbon wheels, you’ll be a better, faster, cyclist instantly. There is no other upgrade possible on a bike that will have more impact on speed and endurance than aerodynamic carbon wheels.
Carbon road bike wheels are also the highest value of all bike upgrades. They can be very expensive, but when you look at the price vs. the speed improvement, they are a better value than anything else.
2.What is the difference between “ Clincher Wheels” and “ Tubular Wheels”
The short answer is, if you’re racing, choose Tubular, and if you’re looking for an all-around wheel choose Clincher. there’s more to it than that, but most people make the decision by that criteria.
Clincher and Tubular refers to the type of rim on the wheel, and what type of tire can be used on the wheel.
Carbon clincher wheels are the most common type and are used with a tire and an inner tube. If you get a flat tire with a clincher, you can change out the inner tube and continue riding fairly quickly.
carbon tubular wheels are lighter and cheaper, but you must use specific tubular tires. These tires combine the tire and inner tube into one piece, and must be glued onto the wheel. Generally tubular tires are more expensive than clincher tires and they are more difficult to change, in the event of a flat.
To change a tubular tire, you will need to remove the glued on tire and reapply fresh glue and a new tubular tire, then allow some time for the glue to cure. Basically, its not something you want to be doing in the middle of your ride. That’s why they are more popular with racers, because they are cheaper, lighter, but much less convenient for day to day riding.
Why do some brands only make tubular carbon wheels? Because of the characteristics of carbon as a wheel material, until recently it was very difficult to manufacture a carbon clincher wheel that was strong enough to be used in the real world. This is why you will see some brands only selling tubular wheels, or using aluminum rims glued to aerodynamic ‘carbon fairings’.
At HULKBIKE we have advanced wheel technology, with our clincher wheels, using our Carbon manufacturing process and by using a special type of carbon in our rims called Basalt. This makes our carbon clincher wheels super strong, and very durable in real world riding. They are also very light, and high performance.
3. What is the 38, 50, 60, 88 Mean?
Last lesson, you learned how to choose between clincher and tubular wheels. Now I’m going to shed some light on what all these weird numbers mean: 38 50 60 88.
So, what do they mean? These numbers are the ‘depth’ of the wheel’s aerodynamic rim, in millimeters. Let’s take 38 for example. This means that from where the tire meets the wheel, the rim extends an additional 38 millimeters towards the hub. When you see 88, that means the rim extends 88 millimeters from the tire.
Why does that matter? One of the biggest benefits of carbon road bike wheels is the aerodynamics. They play a major role in how fast, and how efficiently a cyclist can ride. Think back to when you were on a ride with your buddies, and drafted behind another rider. It’s much easier to keep up with them, because of the better aerodynamics when you are drafting.
Your spinning wheels are the biggest source of slow aerodynamic turbulence. To improve this, we build wheels with aerodynamic advantage as a top priority. The way we do this is to increase the ‘depth’ of the rim. The deeper the rim, the more aerodynamic the wheel will be and the more efficiently and faster you’ll be able to cut through the wind. An 88mm deep rim is more aerodynamic than a 38mm rim, and will be faster in situations where aerodynamics are very important, like long fast solo riding and triathlons.
Why would anyone choose 38mm rims, if 88mm rims are more aerodynamic? The more a wheel becomes aerodynamic for going forward, the more it can be negatively affected by cross-winds, or winds coming from the side. Let’s imagine you are riding with an 88mm deep front and rear rim. You will be able to go very fast because of the aerodynamics of deep wheels, but if a gust of wind comes from the side, that wind will push sideways against the large rims and push the whole bike sideways. This isn’t such a big deal if you’re riding alone, such as in a triathlon, but if you are riding in a group of cyclists, this sideways push could cause an impact with other riders, or at the very least it would require extra concentration from you.
What’s the solution? A wheel with a ‘shallower’ rim depth, like a 38mm, will be less affected by crosswinds, but will also have less aerodynamic advantage. If that wasn’t enough, you must also consider weight. A 38mm deep wheel will be lighter than an 88mm deep one, because less carbon is used. A lighter wheel will accelerate faster and will be much easier to ride up hills. This means that if you are sprinting and hill climbing a lot, a shallower rim, like a 38 will be best.
Why do I see some riders with different front and rear wheels? Due to the fact that the front wheel can turn for steering, its more susceptible to cross-wind interference. The rear wheel is fixed in a straight line with the bike, so if a cross-wind hits it, the impact on the bike won’t be as much. This means that you can use a deeper rim on your rear wheelwithout impacting handling as much as that same rim would affect the front wheel. At HULKBIKE we offer wheelsets such as the 38-50 to take advantage of this fact. This wheelset uses a 38mm front rim, and a 50mm rear rim. This way you can get more aerodynamic advantage without sacrificing as much stability in windy conditions.
How do I choose? This is the most difficult choice for riders looking to purchase new wheels. You must think about the situations you ride in. If you ride mostly hills you will want to choose a 38mm wheelset, if you are an all around rider choose a 50mm wheelset, if you are an all around rider looking for more aerodynamic advantage choose a 60mm wheelset, and if you are a solo rider, or a triathlete choose an 88mm wheelset.
Can’t Decide? If you are unsure of which rim depth to get, go for a 60mm deep wheelset. This is our most popular wheelset and a great all-around wheelset. If you are a Triathlete and can’t decide, get the 60-88, its our most popular wheelset for Triathletes.
4 Are Wider Rims Better?
Most carbon road bike wheels rims are 19mm wide, but recently there have been advancements in wheel engineering that have shown wider wheels are better.
Why is wider better? There are three reasons why wider rims are better: Aerodynamics, Handling, and rolling resistance.
1. A wider rim is more aerodynamic. The wider rim better matches with the width of the tire. This creates a balance of pressure from the front to the back of the wheel. This results in a smoother flow of air over the wheels and over the bike, which means you will ride faster and more efficiently.
2. Wide rims improve handling. On clincher wheels, a wider rim spreads out the sides of the tire in a rounder shape. This improves handling by increasing the consistency of the tire shape throughout different types of turns, especially hard turns. On Tubular wheels, the tires are always round, due to the way tubular tires are made. A wider rim increases the contact between the rim and the tubular tire and reduces the chance of the tire ‘rolling’ sideways off the rim. This increases the safety of the wheel, and makes it possible for more aggressive turning.
3. Wide rims reduce rolling resistance. On clincher wheels, the wider rim allows the tire to spread out wider. This changes the shape of the tire’s ‘contact patch’, or the part of the tire that is touching the road. On a narrow rim the contact patch is a longer more rectangular shape. With a wider rim, this contact patch is also wider, which makes it a shorter more square shape. This more square contact patch reduces the rolling resistance of the tire, and increases the speed and efficiency of the bike.
Are wide rim wheels heavier, and slower? A wide rim wheel will be heavier than a similar narrow rim because it must be made using more carbon. In general heavier wheels are consider slower than lighter wheels. In the case of wide rims this isn’t true. In real riding situations the benefit of better aerodynamics, handling, and rolling resistance ‘out weight’ the added weight. This is an important point to consider if you are comparing the specs of many different wheels. A wide rim wheel will be fast than a narrow rim wheel, even if it is heavier by a few hundred grams.
How wide is wide? A standard road bike rim is 19mm wide, and a rim is considered wide if it’s more that 23mm wide. At HULKBIKE our extra wide rims for road bike are 25mm wide, which means they are 25mm wide at the braking surface, for compatibility with brakes and frames.
Are Wide Rims Better? YES!
5. Do Spokes and Hubs Matter?
Do spokes and hubs really matter? Yes, up to a point.
What’s the difference between spokes? At HULKBIKE we offer all kinds of spokes. The standard spokes are pillar spokes, and we also offer an upgrade to Sapim CX-Ray spokes. Sapim CX-Ray spokes are the best spokes in the world. They are stronger, lighter, and more aerodynamic.
Who should upgrade to Sapim CX-Ray spokes? If you are a very strong rider, or a heavier rider, the added strength of the Sapim spokes will keep your wheel truer longer. Also if you want to get the maximum performance out of your wheels the increased aerodynamics and lighter weight of the Sapim spokes will give you a super high performance wheelset.
That being said, the pillar standard spokes are actually very good, and we have no problem recommending them to people who want a great wheelset at a great price. If you can’t decide which spokes to get, then go with the standard spokes and save the money, but if you are a person who knows they will take advantage of the performance boost of Sapim CX-Rays, then go for the upgrade!
How should I choose which hubs to get? At HULKBIKE. we mainly offer 3 different road bike hub sets. The Novatec hubs are our ‘standard’ hubs. We also offer the Powerway hubs as an upgrade. And finally we offer the DT Swiss 240s hub set as an premium upgrade.
The standard Novatec hub is actually very good, This is our most popular hub and we recommend it to any riders that want a truly hub set at a reasonable price
The Powerway hub is lighter, more durable, which will roll faster and require less maintenance over time.
The DT Swiss 240s hub set is very nice, but in all honesty you’re paying more for the brand if you upgrade to this one. The DT Swiss hub set does have the brand recognition factor, which is definitely cool. If you want your friends to look over at your hubs and nod in approval, then this is the hubset for you.
What If I can’t decide? If you are having trouble deciding which spokes and hubs to get, then we recommend you go with the standard spokes and the standard Novatec or Updated Powerway hubs, they are really nice and you’re sure to love them.