Sunday, July 10, 2011

My family is going to Martha's Vineyard for 2 weeks and I'm going to join them for a week. For me to drive my truck to the ferry in Woods Hole, park for 8 or 9 calender days, and take the ferry would cost about $175.
BUT if I rode my bike to the fast ferry in RI my travel expenses would be reduced to $53!

Schwing!

If I rode to the fast ferry in New Bedford I could save another $5, but I'd have to ride through Providence.

Only problem is my road bike has tubulars, which are fine around here, but who knows in the wilds of Eastern CT, and RI? I carry a spare tubular when riding, and rarely flat, but what if I got a double? I couldn't call my wife, because she on an island.

So I've been meaning on building a new set of wheels for cross season. I had bought some Miche hubs over the Winter for that purpose, and was going to lace them to some Alex tubular rims I had (I raced on GL330s and GEL 280s last season; great climbing wheels, not really up to the rigors of CX).
But I also had some Sun EQ21s I was racing on the mtb before I swapped out to Stan's Crest rims. I'd have to spend stoopid money, to get anything much lighter.  For that fact, money period for any other rim.  This would give me a wheelset I could go tubeless with for CX and have a set of clinchers for the road bike.

Anyhoo...
I built them up, put tires and a cassette on them and weighed them. 100 grams heavier than the tubulars I was riding.
But now I no longer need to carry a whole tubular in a big tubular sized bag, so my static weight for all but racing has dropped by 140 gram (I haven't done a road race in a decade and then I'd whip out the GEL 280s).
Can I notice the difference of 100g rotating mass or 140g static? Of course not!

Central Wheel felt I couldn't go bigger than a "23" on my vintage CAAD4. On the 21mm wide rims, the Conti Gatorskins measured 24mm (the Tufos on the tubular set measure 22mm), and it looks like I could probably fit a 24 or 25 in there if I wanted; good to know.

How do they ride you ask?
Pretty good.
The Gatorskins were chosen for durability and reliability.  They mounted up easily and for a tire with protection are pretty fookin' light at 220g.  They roll fast, but aren't as supple as the Tufos or for that matter the Pasela 28s on the Fun Machine.  But comparing a durable 23 with a tubular or a 28 is like comparing apples to oranges and avocados.
The wheels didn't seem as stable descending as my tubular set, but it was pretty windy today so I don't know if it really is a fair comparison.  I would think a 460g box section rim would roll downhill pretty well though.  Maybe due to the suppleness of the tires?
...or the wind.
You've got to really torque down those Cheezmaster 3000 skewers; first climb over 5% I pull the wheel out of the dropout.



Clearance Clarence

2 comments:

Alby King said...

Eastern CT and Western RI - not much road junk. On the roads that access the Johnston landfill - look out!

Hit me up if you need a place to park or chill in Glocester, RI

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