Ultracycling

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  • How common is it for people to be running tubeless on the start line of say TCR?

    Sure - I was answering this question, then I rolled on to rims without resetting. For TCR I wouldn't optimise for gravel, I'd optimise for road that could survive gravel - so a differnt question.

    @skinny has 1000x more experience of rims for gravel so listen to what he says!

  • Yeah. Just picking it up. As they are two different needs and outcomes and didn't want to confused them.

  • Loads of people use tubeless for TCR, maybe it's 50:50.

    Loads of people voted for Brexit...

  • Feels like a balancing act between weight, price and durability in the end.

    Spending an extra £500 to save c.200g on a set of carbon dynamo wheels vs alu seems like the wrong way to go.

    Similarly not sure I can face putting a heavier XC rim on when the main goal this year will be on tarmac. The Ebay set starts to look like a reasonable option.

  • Weight is a red herring. Don't get confused.

    Its about what you need and being robust and reliable.

    OK so no carbon (I couldnt afford either) and alu is just find. But get a good alu rim and have them built by the best wheelbuilder about.

    Rr is a road rim, id is 22mm. Its not really suitable off road. Yes it might work but will be at higher risk of damage.

  • I haven't used the DT rims that are on ebay set has, but I have had the cheaper r460 and 470. Good rims otherwise but pretty easy to dent, especially the r470 that has thinner walls. And when you let the pressure out, tyres tend to drop off the shelf. So if you get a flat and need to put a plug in it, you'll need a good pump and the stars to align to get the tyre back up or use a tube. These rims have sharper edges so are more likely to pinch flat the sidewall of a tyre than a mtb rim, though that seems to be true with most road rims. The WTB Kom I have on the bike's other wheels are much less sharp, as are the hookless carbon rims on my mtb. You shouldn't have to worry about this on tarmac, but I have dented two rims during TCR on bad tarmac, with pressures a bit too low.

  • Loads of people voted for Brexit...

    The key difference being that with one you get to review the decision each year in the light of experience and the other you don't!

  • Ok, that makes sense. Thanks.

    These have caught my eye - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/124588618952

    Those are actually built by a guy who lives round the corner from me, who I used to fix my wheels a couple of months ago. I had a long chat with him and I would be pretty sure he knows what he is doing.

    But don't buy them off eBay!

    This is his main site:
    https://www.handsonwheels.co.uk/

    If nothing else, drop him a line and have a chat. Say you've seen his wheels on eBay, tell him what you want them for and he'll say if they are a good choice, or what would be better.

    You get a better service, and you can split the eBay mark-up between you!

    Engaging with a good wheelbuilder is the best place to start, rather than looking at deals that people want to sell you. They know what works and what doesn't/ They guarantee their wheels so they don't want them to break or they end up fixing FOC, so they only build wheels that will work for you.

    First question he'll ask is how heavy are you?

  • Just picking it up.

    Absolutely - good spot!

  • Ha, what are the chances.

    I did send him a message already, but maybe I should press him a bit more for alternative options.

    As long as I can get something built in a reasonable time frame it feels like hand built is increasingly the way to go.

    Re weight- it must become an issue at some point? I've done 90% of my riding on my tourer in the last 3 years, it weighs nearly 20kg before I put a water bottle on it. I have the rear wheel in the kitchen as I was repairing a puncture last night. Weighed it just for fun, the wheel with cassette, tube and tyre weighs 2.3kg. The new build needs to end up feeling more spritely otherwise I'm wasting my time.

    Admittedly it's an XC rim and very strong, although I did kill one once but that involved carrying 14 litres of extra water on top of pannier luggage.

  • To hijack question ever so slightly (sorry) and amend it for a TRC style event which is vast majority of road but a few cheeky gravel sections whats peoples latest views on tyres, widths, and tubeless vs tubed?
    It seems there are loads of new tyres being launched all the time; with most of them coming in options as wide as 30 and 32mm. I remember when 25 was wide and 28 was a balloon; now it seems 28 is bare minimum ?!

  • I've always raced TCR on 28mm. As they threw in more gravel bits I sacrificed some speed for more durability. Michelin Pro 4 Endurance these days.

  • I have done my events on 28 tubeless so far; but have some 30mm Goodyear tubeless am experimenting with currently. So far so good. Might even go crazy and try 32 next

  • Always use tubes for road.
    GP4000 28 come up at 31mm on 18mm rims. 28mm Pro 4 Endurance are true 28mm. GP5000 have even thinner sidewalls so dismissed them and I've tried TL version with tube. No fucking way would I want to try and work on those in the field during a race.

  • Feel like I might need something more robust for TCR than my current GP 4000S ii. Presume your Michelin pro's survived fairly well? How are they in the wet?

  • I doubt they're as grippy as the 4000s but I've not crashed because of them. It's not like I'm pushing the handling limits of tyres during ultra races. I've done a TCR with 0 punctures on GP4000s and one with 0 punctures (and more gravel) on Pro 4 Endurance so it's a tough call. Just so long as you NEVER EVER EVER use road tubeless, you too will be as sexy to the rest of humankind as I am.

  • Re weight- it must become an issue at some point? I've done 90% of my riding on my tourer in the last 3 years, it weighs nearly 20kg before I put a water bottle on it. I have the rear wheel in the kitchen as I was repairing a puncture last night. Weighed it just for fun, the wheel with cassette, tube and tyre weighs 2.3kg. The new build needs to end up feeling more spritely otherwise I'm wasting my time.

    Everything depends what you + luggage weigh, but subject to that...

    What event are you doing? If I was doing a road event, even the TCR* with a bit of off-road thrown in, I wouldn't want gravel wheels, I'd want reasonably light road wheels with decently strong rims so I wasn't worrying about them.

    I wouldn't buy wheels now for an event over a year ahead as who knows what will happen.

    Wheels are expensive so I can see why you want ones for more than one event, but I'd rather compromise on something else than having, not the best wheels for every event, but good wheels. So, I'd rather get second hand road wheels for the road event and sell them on afterwards, or a cheaper frame, sleep out more and fewer hotels, etc, etc.

    *The TCR this year with the Roubaix cobbles might be different. I've never ridden on them (and don't really want to either!) so don't know how hard they are on wheels.

  • To hijack question ever so slightly (sorry) and amend it for a TRC style event which is vast majority of road but a few cheeky gravel sections whats peoples latest views on tyres, widths, and tubeless vs tubed?

    If it's mostly on road that is what you optimise for. I did TCR on 25mm five years ago. It was a bit sketchy on the gravel but rideable with care. I'd use 28s now, not because they are massively better than 25s, but you can get 28s now that are better than 28s then.

    If you like tubeless, go with that; if not don't - it's not a big deal. Some people compare it to Brexit but I think they are prone to getting things out of proportion!

  • I rode Badlands on the same wheels I rode in TABR and TCR and I've ridden Roubaix and Badlands was much worse than any Roubaix cobbles and tubeless road will kill and eat you in your sleep.

  • Ah interesting, thanks. Yep, no plans to go tubeless for the moment.

  • I used tubes and 35 mm Continental Grand Prix Urban in the last TCR, 28 mm gp4000 in -16 and -17. The 35 was very nice on some of the parcours and on some of the small roads in France, but narrower would have been fine. Might have been slower, as they're not that high end of a tyre, though they too use the Black Chili compound, but can't really tell if there's a difference or blame them*. That was 1,5 years ago though, there's more wide tubeless road tyres now, would be interested in some of those. After that I've only really ridden 47mm or wider tubeless tyres as there hasn't been any road racing.

    *Actually I'd probably have won the whole race with faster tyres for sure.

  • You just reminded me. It was your suggestion that led me to sticking a 35mm GP Urban on the back of the Mason for Transiberica. I think it actually came up 34mm on the Kinlin XR31 rim but seemed to do well. Flatted once hitting a rock at speed on a descent but did the same to the Pro 4 Endurance on the front in the early hours one morning and that one basically destroyed the tyre.

    *I'd have definitely have won all my races if I wasn't a fat, lazy, drunk, old, whinging shitbag

  • I have Halo Vapour GXC in both 700c & 650b (tour version with 36spokes) and so far they've been faultless. 3 or 4 different tyres have all setup tubeless with ease and hold air well when not in use for weeks/months at a time.

    When the 650b are on it gets used like a mtb and they're still solid and true. It was between these and some Hope XC/Gravel wheels and the Halos edged it as I prefered the finish and rim profile, no regrets so far.

    If you like a quiet freehub these wont' be for you though!

  • Is there a list of UK trails fastest known times somewhere? Things like the ridgeway etc?

    Cheers

  • Hopefully riding Length of Sweden ST if we can get to the start.

    I can see the logic in what you're saying for sure.

    There's also an element of needing to buy what's available in the current climate as a frame and groupset isn't much fun without the wheels underneath.

    I might make a few enquiries to builders to see what people might have in stock, with eBay as a back up.

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Ultracycling

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