Hot!Newbie wheel questions...

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VeloKat
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2019/11/13 11:26:44 (permalink)

Newbie wheel questions...

I just bought a very nice, one year old Giro A26 ATT (frame size is large.) It's a great bike, of course!
I hope to ride it on paved and unpaved roads. Right now it is set up for the unpaved roads, with the 26" AlexRims wheelset and some nice, wide Scwalbe gravel tires.
I'm hoping to make the smartest decision for my riding goals, as far as a second wheelset goes. I'm thinking about a 700c road set. I'm 5'8" and just barely made the "large frame" size cut-off, with my X-Seam measurement. I am not a racer, but want to be able to keep up with my riding buddies on the road rides. (Right now, the hill ascents are killing me. And I live in Florida!)  Plus, 700c road tires and tubes are so easy to get.
But, there must be some reason the A26 comes with 26" wheels and not 700c...
I was also thinking about going tubeless, to help smooth out the rough road vibrations and bumps a little, (we have pretty crappy roads here,) and to reduce the likelihood of flats.

Will 700c wheels help me go a little faster (by moving me a little further forward per each wheel revolution,) enough to make up for being up a little higher (less aero?) and more challenging to get on and off the bike, and maybe a little harder to get rolling again at the intersections?
Is it worth it to go tubeless? Will that smooth out the ride appreciably on rough asphalt roads, (of which we have plenty around here,) and prevent flats well enough to be worth the additional cost? 
Does anyone have any thoughts they would like to share on this?
Any experience with brands of rims and/or tires that they love or hate?
Also, I am likely to be buying a B3 seat, (in favor of the Euromesh one that came with the bike.) I'll keep trying to work with this seat awhile longer, but, If anyone wants to sell a gently used B3, or trade for a Euromesh, please send me a message. Thanks!
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    tojesky
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    Re: Newbie wheel questions... 2019/11/13 12:32:22 (permalink)
    The main reason to go to 700c is to get better rolling resistance (e.g. faster) tires. By themselves, the larger wheels are not faster. It is the gearing and the rolling resistance of the wheels you have.  There is one 26" (ISO 559) fast tire (top 5 fastest tire) that you may want try and it is the Schwalbe Pro One that is available in a 26x1.1 or 559x28. I use those tires on my trike in 406x28 and 700x28 rear - and they were noticeably faster than the Duranos it came with.
     
    Also, read this article to find the optimal tire pressure for rolling resistance and riding comfort. I follow the recommendations and highly recommend adhering to the guidelines.
     
    https://janheine.wordpress.com/2016/03/09/tire-pressure-take-home/
     
     
    post edited by tojesky - 2019/11/13 12:34:45

    2013 CA2.0 - 700c
    2014 ICE VTX+
    2013 Invacare Force G hand cycle
    2006 Corsa  (Sold July, 2013)
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    bentman1953
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    Re: Newbie wheel questions... 2019/11/14 01:37:21 (permalink)
    700 or 650?
     
    I have a couple of Serian USS SL's, one 700 and one 650. Both bikes have Sprint 350 wheels and Conti GP 4000 tires.
     
    1.)  The 700 feels faster. I can't prove it, I just know that it's true.
     
    2.)  Wow, do the 700's smooth out the road. I was amazed at the difference on our garbage, Michigan roads.
     
    3.)  The availability of 700 wheels and tires seal the deal for me.
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    VeloKat
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    Re: Newbie wheel questions... 2019/11/14 02:50:32 (permalink)
    Thanks for your very helpful replies, bentman1953 and tojesky. I am learning a lot!
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    preacher
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    Re: Newbie wheel questions... 2019/11/14 09:49:36 (permalink)
    Did this exact change to my GIRO.  I went with stan's 700c tubeless disc brake wheels and schwalbe one tubeless tires.  The performance difference was significant.  I am able to switch back and forth between the 700c wheels and the 26" wheels with no shifter adjustment.  I find that I really don't end up using the 26 inch rim very much at all.  perhaps if I rode more on gravel and had different tires mounted.  I'm not sure that I notice too much difference between the tubeless tires and tubes however.  Just my 2 cents worth.
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    VeloKat
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    Re: Newbie wheel questions... 2019/11/15 03:09:00 (permalink)
    <p>Thanks for your very helpful replies, preacher,  bentman1953 and tojesky. I am learning a lot!</p>
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    bgobie
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    Re: Newbie wheel questions... 2019/11/17 01:33:16 (permalink)
    Will 700c wheels help me go a little faster

    Maybe.
     
    (by moving me a little further forward per each wheel revolution,)

    No – If you are faster it will be because the tires have less rolling resistance.
     
    enough to make up for being up a little higher (less aero?)

    The effect will be too small to notice.
     
    and more challenging to get on and off the bike, and maybe a little harder to get rolling again at the intersections?

    Absolutely. Being 6'1" with a large Aero and Giro (both on 26" wheels) I have a hard time imagining you adroitly dealing with a large Giro. Anything that makes the bike taller is going to make it more challenging for you.

    Is it worth it to go tubeless?

    If you get lots of flats, possibly. Tubeless seems to work best with high-volume tires. It can take a while for a puncture to seal, and you lose a lot of air. A skinny road tire could run flat, whereas a balloon tire probably won't. If you go tubeless be sure to only use tubeless rims. They are constructed to hold onto the tire better, whereas non-tubeless rims can allow tubeless tires to slide off. 
     
    If a tubeless tire suffers a calamity, and you have to put a tube into it, or replace it, you may be in for a roadside struggle. Tubeless tires generally fit much tighter than conventional tires. Not to mention getting covered with goo. 
     
    Will that smooth out the ride appreciably on rough asphalt roads,

    No. Supple tires at low pressure smooth out rough roads. A tube makes no difference.
     
    Any experience with brands of rims and/or tires that they love or hate?

    Most Schwalbe tires are rather rough-riding. I haven't tried the Pro One so I can't comment on it. I can say that Continental Grand Prix are fast. They are available in 28-559. Being a bit skinny they require higher air pressures, but despite that I find them smoother than Schwalbe Duranos and Kojaks at lower pressures.
     
    Other fast and comfortable tires to try are the tires from Rene Herse (formerly Compass). Your Giro should fit a Rat Trap Pass on the rear and a Naches Pass on the front. With these tires you can use seriously low pressures, although under heavy braking I have experienced the front tire sliding on the rim (and threatening to tear the valve off) with less than 35 psi in the tire.
     
    Regarding the "optimal" tire pressure chart tojesky referenced, it gives rather high pressures. It is based on the arbitrary assumption that 15% compression of a tire is somehow optimal. The data was collected in the '90s on tires that are seriously obsolete. Jan has subsequently demonstrated, by actual testing, that rolling resistance hardly changes over a very broad range of pressure (unless the tires have heavy, lossy casings). Find the pressure where the handling gets squirrely and use a bit more air than that. For skinny tires like those Grand Prix, you have to be mindful of pinch flatting, too, so you need to hew closer to the chart's recommendation.
     
    I think before you buy new wheels you should try some of these faster 26" tires. You may find them more than satisfactory.
     
    No tires are going to make a rigid high racer into a good gravel bike, IMO. A LWB like a Tour Easy works a lot better, or a real gravel bike like the Diverge I just bought.
     
    Also, I am likely to be buying a B3 seat, (in favor of the Euromesh one that came with the bike.)

    If you want performance, you need a carbon seat (or a budget fiberglass one). With a Euromesh, I found that at high effort I was pushing back into the springy mesh with each pedal stroke. The mesh material is lossy, so that is wasted energy. Plus moving back meant my knee extension was messed up. A rigid seat doesn't waste energy and it keeps your knee extension constant no matter how hard you are pedaling.
     
    I have found a properly-sized rigid seat is more comfortable than a Euromesh. The rigid seat has a nice lumbar curve, whereas a Euromesh lets your lower back collapse. Rigid seats generally have a bucket at the front end for your bottom to sit in. That, combined with the lumbar curve, takes pressure off the tailbone and upper buttocks so recumbent butt is much less of a problem in my experience.
     
    Thanks to its springiness a Euromesh provides some suspension. A rigid seat will give a rougher ride. The Euromesh is something of a one-size-fits-all solution, which conversely means it genuinely fits very few. 
     
    Bacchetta makes two sizes of carbon seats. Beware a thick seat pad can conceal fit issues during a short test ride, so you should judge fit without a pad. Doing so revealed Bacchetta's large seat is too small for me. There are a number of carbon seat makers. I ended up with a seat from Bent Up.
     
    HTH, 
    Bill
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    VeloKat
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    Re: Newbie wheel questions... 2019/11/17 03:36:36 (permalink)
    Thank you for your detailed and very helpful reply, Bill/bgobie.
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