Friday, June 14, 2024

Getting it Right Part ?

 More Fooling Around with new Gravel Bike

 Zio Lorenzo thought the 40 mm deep carbon "aero" wheels on his new bike were kind of a dumb idea but just like the whacky handlebar, he figured he'd ride it awhile before making any changes. It seemed much more sensitive to gusty winds at speed than his other bikes. Last time he rode (and hated) a deep section wheelset it was just 33 mm, but these 40 mm rims seemed just as bad, if not worse. Zio's sure the larger tire plays a role here too, but he likes the 38 mm slicks...a lot!

If you've followed the story of this bike you already know he ditched the whacky carbon bar for a standard type road bar (in aluminum) a few months back. Since the rear wheel is laced into a motorized hub, changing that would be a huge PITA while the front wheel is the one gusty winds tend to mess with the most, so it got changed. You'll often see wheelsets sold with deeper "aero" sections on the rear vs the front just for this reason.

DTSWISS GR1600 is a low profile rim in aluminum and he found a place that would sell just a front wheel at a reasonable price, so here it is. Zio Lorenzo couldn't find one that would accept the original 6-bolt brake rotor so he had to order a new centerlock rotor and lock ring as well. Grrr!

You can see (above) the overall section height (tire+rim) is now 62 mm vs

77 mm with the original wheel. How much the wind will notice this smaller surface area as it blows across the wheel on a fast, twisty descent remains to be seen, but Zio figures it's got to be an improvement, right? Check back for a report.

Update: A few rides in gusty winds suggests the front wheel gets blown around far less. Zio noted the other day a race where the winner appeared to be using a 33 mm wheel up front and a 50 mm in back, so his 26 mm - 40 mm combo is far from an original idea...but it works!

PS: Zio felt like he spent a lot of money on this bike but the other day noticed the Big-T was offering a slightly used, factory refurbished carbon gravel bike with Shimano GRX components and the Big-T's house-brand handlebar, stem, wheels, etc. for $6K while a new one will set you back $8K! And neither of 'em comes with a MAHLE X20 motor/battery! So this MV bike seems almost cheap in comparison, even with all the extra-cost part swapping.

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