So, Don, What Aerodynamic Wheels Do You Use?

posted Mar 26, 2010, 6:57 AM by Donald Vescio   [ updated Sep 12, 2011, 8:12 AM ]

Tell you what--I've done a good amount of field testing (PM and lots of math!)  and have had been in the tunnel; I'm comfortable saying this right now:  If it's a really windy day and I anticipate that I'll be experience a fairly high yaw angles for *most* of a ride, then I'll opt for the Hed3.   What constitutes a high yaw angle?  For now, I assume >12-15 degrees.  The other variable is whether I'm doing a UCI event or not; if not, then I use a Blackwell fork that has a 7:1 aspect ratio and which matches the Hed3 *very* nicely and I might run this combination at yaws >8-10 degrees.  If I'm doing a UCI event, then I'll use an Oval Concepts fork (the Blackwell is illegal for UCI) and a 101mm wheel, unless my anticipated yaw angle is going to exceed 20 degrees (which is very rare if one is riding fast, but it can happen early season on a point-to-point course).  FWIW, I also make sure that I'm running narrow (19mm-ish) tires on both the Hed3 and Planet-X. 

Also FWIW, if I haven't taking a time to check forecasts or am regarding an event as a training session, then I'll use the Hed3, mostly because it's indestructible and to keep me in practice using it.  The Hed3 is more difficult to handle in heavy, gusty crosswinds than my 101,but I find that the 101 will stall above a certain yaw angle, while the Hed3 seems to stay fast.  If it's *very* gusty, then I'll use the Hed3 (this sounds counter intuitive, at first), because I know that most riders will be struggle with handling, while I can get a fair advantage because I've used the Hed3 for so many years.


Your results might vary ;)

Blackwell's Time Bandit fork--one of the 
fastest (albeit UCI illegal) forks out there.