Las Vegas, Nevada -
FLO Cycling, a company based in Las Vegas, NV, has recently published a blog post that serves as a Triathlon Wheels Guide. The guide is for choosing the best tri wheels for a particular individual’s preferences and the specific events in which they will participate.
Jon Thornham, owner of FLO Cycling says, “Whether racing sprint, Olympic distance, a 70.3-mile half-distance, or 140.6-mile full-distance triathlons, we all want to be as fast as possible on the bike leg. Efficiency on the bike leg is crucial for a successful run and a better time. Efficiency requires going as fast as possible for the least number of watts. This article will help you select the best wheels for your tri bike wheelset upgrade.”
The first thing to consider is how choosing carbon wheels for a triathlon bike is different for road bike wheels. Road cyclists would be focused on getting as lightweight as possible. This is because a road race cycling course will usually have more vertical feet of climbing compared to a triathlon course.
On the other hand, triathletes will be more concerned about aerodynamic advantages. While aerodynamics matters more compared to weight in road cyclists, for triathletes who cannot draft or race on courses that usually have steep climbs, being aerodynamic is the most important.
Another consideration for road racing cyclists is the high variability of pace in a racing scenario. Unlike tri’s where athletes seek to lay down consistent power, road races have surges in speeds, breakaways, and sprint efforts. Roadies have a goal of staying connected to the rider in front of them at almost any cost. This is where a lightweight wheel’s superior acceleration is needed in a way that is not relevant to triathlon. For those who are accelerating and decelerating throughout the bike leg in a tri or duathlon, they will be in big trouble come final run time. Road bikes have different criteria for success than a fast tri machine.
Furthermore, for triathletes bike handling is a consideration. Staying down in the aero bars is crucial. The frame geometry and rider position on a triathlon bike result in them being less responsive than an aggressive road setup. For those who have concerns about how the bike is handling, they’ll often come out of an aero position. This will slow the cyclist down much more than any time they will gain from a fast wheelset.
But as they enhance their handling skills, gain confidence, and can thus stay lower in different wind conditions, a set of carbon triathlon wheels will absolutely make them faster. In fact, FLO’s testing has revealed a savings of over 6.5 minutes in an Ironman length event versus standard Mavic open wheels. Without an optimized wheelset, the cyclists will have to run 20 seconds per mile faster for every mile on the marathon leg to make up that time.
In choosing the front wheels, the issue is whether to choose deep wheels or not. Advanced engineering has now allowed FLO Cycling to create a 77mm deep section rim that is faster than their previous 90mm wheel. As FLO has led the way in understanding aerodynamics, rolling resistance, road vibration, real-world wind yaw, and other key factors, they have applied these gleanings to their carbon wheel design.
With regards to the rear wheels of a tri bike, this back-wheel-is-affected-much-less principle is why there are many elite and age group triathletes riding a rear disc wheel. In almost every situation, a rear disc is the fastest means to get from point A to point B. The only situation where this isn’t true is if there are insane crosswinds (35 mph). Because of unpredictable crosswinds, a few races don’t allow discs for this reason.
Meanwhile, in a previous article, FLO Cycling garnered press attention on their Carbon Wheels 101 guide. The article discussed the background and history of carbon wheels; advantages of carbon bicycle wheels; carbon rims brakes vs. disk brakes; best tire types; spokes on carbon wheels; carbon disc wheels carbon, durability, and safety; cycling discipline usages; and considerations and buying carbon wheelsets.
Those who are interested in learning more about triathlon wheels and other related items can check out the FLO Cycling website.
SOURCE: Press Advantage [Link]
Carbon cycling wheels for road bikes, triathlon bikes, and gravel bikes. Developed through research, design, and engineering. Sold Consumer Direct with 1% of sales going towards our Bike For A Kid and One Tree Planted for Every Wheel Sold.
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