wheel weight

18 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I'm looking into buying some new wheels.

I think I'll go with Neuvation.

They have 3 models:
M 28 Aero, 1720g, 299$
R 28 Aero, 1570g, 399$
R 28 SL, 1470g, 399$

The owner told me that the M28's are bulletproof but that I would notice a performance increase if I went with the lighter wheels. He then says that the R 28 aeros are more durable than the SL's but that there wasn't much diff in terms of performance.

My questions:
Does 150g really make a difference worth paying an extra 100$?
For the same price, is it better to get lighter or more durable wheels?
Any of you have experience with this brand?

Anonymous's picture
Steve (not verified)
get the cheaper one

When it comes to wheels,their static wieght isn't as much a factor as dynamic wieght.But unless you will be consistantly going over 25mph (and have access to a wind tunnel to measure the changes) you are better off going with the more durable wheel for road use.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Factors Affecting Wheel Performance

"Rotating weight concerns are overstated because a) even the most powerful cyclists don't accelerate that quickly; b) compared to the system as a whole rim mass is not that great.

Kraig Willet presents two excellent analyses at Bike Tech Review: Bicycle Wheel Review and Bicycle Wheel Performance.

A couple of highlights:

""Overall mass is most significant when climbing steep hills at low speeds. However, the weight of your wheels is still only responsible for around 1% of total power requirements and rotational inertia effects are so small, that I will ignore them as a performance indicator.""

""When evaluating wheel performance, wheel aerodynamics are the most important, distantly followed by wheel mass. Wheel inertia effects in all cases are so small that they are arguably insignificant.""

Anonymous's picture
D (not verified)
Oh no! Rotating Weight!

When it comes to wheels, dynamic weight (aka rotating weight, aka rim weight) isn't much of a factor at all. The inertial forces required for accelerating a wheel are insignificant when compared to the overall weight of the wheels + bike + rider. For training, time trialing, and even in a crit, wheel inertia (what you are really worried about if you're worried about rim weight) are a second order effect compared to overall wheel weight. Move the decimal over one spot - significantly less important. And the static weight is a second order effect compared to the wheel's aerodynamics.

If you're getting wheels for training and general riding, get the most durable ones you can. If you want to go faster, get the most aerodynamic wheels you can (though, if you just sitting in a pack, this importance will decrease); there is no magical 25mph threshold. If you want to waste money, get the lightest wheels you can (unless you're climbing ~9%+ grades, then shed as much weight as you can).

Anonymous's picture
ted (not verified)
rule of thumb?

There use to be a rule of thumb among the weight weenies that a 1g savings was worth $1. But I would assume that has something to do with your utility of money. And also the current weight of your bike.

150g is 1/3 pound, or less than a quarter full water bottle. And contrary to internet myth, you will not notice the difference between rotating weight on your rims, or the weight in you water bottle.

Durability has a lot to do with your weight and riding style. A big guy that rides long unsupported routes would be more concerned than a light guy that rides mostly in the park. And if a less durable wheel by definition lasts a shorter time, are they really the same price?

Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)
beware claims of cycle parts being bullet-proof

At best they are usually only bullet resistant:


I don't care what the engineers say– they also say it's not possible for bees to fly. I have the original Ascent wheels on my bike. Got them in 2001. They made a huge difference. Lighter is better and does not have to be weaker. I have not even needed to have them trued. The Ascent II looks even nicer.


Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)


I can't believe that someone as objective as yourself would believe (and perpetuate) the urban myth that engineers say it's not possible for bees to fly.

Anonymous's picture
jeff (not verified)
Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)

I'd actually heard that it wasn't until recently, when they were able to really slow down the motion that they were able to see just how the bees were able to do it, (it had to do with the way their wings flaped or something), then they knew why they could fly.

But urban ledgends are fun, lighten up.

My point was, I don't need lab tests to tell me how I feel.

I know an engineer who says Jobst Brandt, who wrote an acclaimed book on wheel building has it all wrong. I don't analyze 'em, I ride 'em.

Anonymous's picture
Greg Faber (not verified)
thanks for all the input!

I'll get the cool looking cheaper ones!

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
Want to Experiment

I have a full range of wheels. One of these days I would like to experiment.

Anonymous's picture
Mordecai Silver (not verified)

If you're testing the bullet-proofness of the wheels, you should also have a full range of bullets. ;-)

Anonymous's picture
Walter Lindsay (not verified)
rotational weight

I suppose rotational weight is only a savings during acceleration and is small; but is it not cummulative over time? Twice during one pedal revolution times two wheels over a given distance.

Anonymous's picture
Walter Lindsay (not verified)
a useful link

A useful link for making determinations about the effects of different variables on a bike.

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

"Zinn should have gone to Analytic Cycling and played with the dynamic model. He would have found that under no practical circumstance do micro-accelerations affect performance. Remember, even a very strong rider's acceleration from 0-30 mph is only 1/5 of gravity, and rim+tire weight (hubs don't affect rotating mass) is only about 1% of the total system weight. Plus, there is energy stored in the rotating wheel. A much better analysis than any of Zinn's reader contributions is provided by Kraig Willet in one of the links above. Another outstanding analysis is provided here: microaccelerations. I only wish I still had the math skills possesses by Mark McM."

Anonymous's picture
Walter Lindsay (not verified)

"""I only wish I still had the math skills possessed by Mark McM"", same here it's why I use analytic cyclings free toolbox.
Interesting all this, ceterus paribus I guess aero rules on the flats and light on the hills or ""aero-lights""."

Anonymous's picture
Walter Lindsay (not verified)
Neuvation Wheels

All things being aerodynamically equal between:
1- M 28 Aero, 1720g
2- R 28 Aero, 1570g

Using same bike, rider etc.
At the end of a 5000 m , 8% grade climb, w/ Initial Speed 6 mph and 275 w throughout.

R 28 Rider is ahead by 3.33 s and 14.17 m.

Well one thing is absolutely certain. If you bought the more expensive R-28 Aero Wheelset over the M-28 Aero Wheelset you would be able to beat yourself:-))

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)

Good to quantify things. I looked at Kraig Willet's work again and he really did a nice job modeling not only the equation of motion but various conditions as well.

Anonymous's picture
Walter Lindsay (not verified)

50% Lower front wheel drag coefficient vs. 50% Lower rear wheel drag coefficient.
Yet track race set-up is usually:
1-deep section rear and front aero wheels.
2-deep section rear and semi-deep section front aero wheels.
I am not certain but I believe the 2 set-up is for outdoor or exposed track, which would then make sense.

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