Road Bicycle rims
Why does one pair of bike rims are priced at nearly four times as much as another, good pair of bike rims?
We requested ourselves the question after moving home from an exercise trip on our faithful Mavic Ksyrium Elite S aluminium clinchers using possibility of venturing out on a couple of complete carbon Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3 clinchers in the offing.
To answer the question in our very own brain, and ideally shed some light about the subject for just about any who possess pondered equivalent concern, we conducted a simple research. We stripped all of them both, weighed them (1490g for Ksyrium Elite S; 1460g the Bontrager Aeolus 3 D3; both without skewers), and, in an effort to isolate the overall performance of this wheels, installed both rears with a Shimano 105 11-27t cassette, and covered each within our favourite Schwalbe Ultremo ZX plastic, inflated to 100psi.
Having done so, we picked a test circuit: a brief, out-and-back event, opted for for functions including a steep, punchy climb, split by a brief plateau, and a double digit descent, that will let us roll-out on wheelset ‘B’ aided by the connection with wheelset ‘A’ fresh within our legs. The level area – a seafront gallop, battered by crosswinds at the time of our test – supplied perfect conditions to test the many statements for stability and aero efficiency.
We slotted the Aeolus 3 D3 into the faithful Kinesis Racelight TK3 ‘test rig’ and completed a lap of this aforementioned. We then pulled to the side associated with the roadway in which our, ahem, eager helper (Peter Lovell of the parish) changed the carbon hoops with this tried and trusted Ksyrium Elite S, and set off for a lap of the identical.
Our test: what it's, and exactly what it ain’t
Before we go more and share our findings, it's crucial that you say what this article is not.
Itsn’t a scientific thesis meant to challenge Bontrager’s wind tunnel and CFD-derived data. Nor is it meant given that last word regarding the relative merits of any carbon and every aluminium wheelset.
Itsn’t a ‘showdown’ between tires occupying the same place in the market, meant to create a ‘winner’ and a recommendation for purchase, and in that good sense should not be thought to be an assessment in standard good sense.
Rather, that which we desire to offer are some wide findings in the general performance of an advanced and expensive carbon wheel of ‘new school’, and also the latest edition of a mid-range, aluminium clincher with a tough won reputation as an all-rounder.
We expected the carbon wheel to be exceptional, definitely. But with what margin? And how wouldn't it reach that goal superiority? How noticeable would the additional overall performance be to the keen amateur? And just what use might it be to him?
Having ridden both wheelsets, moments aside, in the same bike, on a single circuit, we could provide five, broad observations to anybody who’s looked at pro standard equipment and wondered exactly how really it executes in the real life.