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Riding the RideLondon sportive on sunday, just as Hurricane Burtha is due to strike. I've booked a hire set of FFWD 60mm carbon wheels, only put down a deposit of £10 so far, £30 balance due on collection tomorrow morning.

I've never ridden either carbon wheels or deep section wheels. Given the horrendous forecast for sunday's ride, would like to hear some opinions on whether it's wise riding them in strong winds and heavy rain?

Is it even worth it? Assuming given strong southerly winds forecast I'll be riding half of the ride into a strong headwind so not likely to be consistently hitting the 20mph 'pick up' point that deep section wheels apparently have.

If the general consensus is no, I'll cancel the booking and lose the tenner. If everyone thinks I'm being a big southern softie then I'll man up and hire them. The guy in the shop insists they'll be fine, he said he used the same wheels all year round on his only bike. But he would say that.

I'll have the chance to give them a spin on saturday if I do hire them. So if it's just a case of getting used to how an unfamiliar wheelset behaves then I'll have a chance to do that. If it's just going to be dangerous then obviously I won't bother as I don't want to the uncertainty looming over me on a day that is already going to be challenging.

Thoughts please?

26 comments

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pablo [122 posts] 2 years ago
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Never ridden carbon but did do a sportive in February on my training fulcrums with a 25mph wind, at times it was a little scary especially as you got tired. Personally after that experience i wouldn't.

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Gkam84 [9088 posts] 2 years ago
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If you have never ridden carbon deep rims before, don't go making 100 miles your first ride, in wind....

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Leviathan [2127 posts] 2 years ago
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"Earlier on today, apparently, a woman rang the BBC and said she heard there was a hurricane on the way... well, if you're watching, don't worry, there isn't!"

Michael Fish, 1987

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Mr Jono [102 posts] 2 years ago
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Thanks for the opinions, if the hurricane hits I will not be using them.

Looking at the forecast this morning, the met office is saying winds on sunday morning should be 5-9mph southerly. But the BBC has got a weather warning of heavy rain AND strong winds. Maybe they're covering themselves after the famous Fish incident of '87?

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notfastenough [3706 posts] 2 years ago
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I can't disagree with the comments above re experience. That said, the 'pick-up point', as you call it, refers to airspeed, not ground speed. The reason people say that you need to be fast to gain from deep sections is the yaw angle - lower speeds result in less frontal airflow, so the greater yaw angle (wind angle expressed as a deviation from full frontal) is effectively a crosswind. So in a strong headwind, (a low yaw angle, and for airflow purposes similar to simply riding faster) and a high airspeed (headwind speed + bike ground speed) you would in theory experience the aero benefit more.*

That said, if this high wind did hit you as a crosswind you might find it tricky.

*EDIT: This is as I understand it. I am not qualified in any way and may be full sh*t.

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Jimmy Ray Will [483 posts] 2 years ago
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60mm rims in big winds is an exhilarating and frankly terrifying experience.

I did the Exmoor beast a few years back in up to 50mph gusts on deep sections... wow. In between the hours of pure fear, there were a few cross-tail wind bits and the bike felt like it had been shot from a gun, it was seriously quick, but generally, its a shit experience to be avoided.

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hotspanners [4 posts] 2 years ago
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Do they have an alloy breaking surface? If not, braking in the wet will be interesting.

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arrieredupeleton [576 posts] 2 years ago
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Sack them off. Erect a makeshift sail to the rear of your bike for the northerly sections.

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glynr36 [637 posts] 2 years ago
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hotspanners wrote:

Do they have an alloy breaking surface? If not, braking in the wet will be interesting.

Not as bad as people make out, did 10 or so miles on my mates bike with his new wheels (Saturae) in the wet this weekend gone, and apart from the first few times I felt minimal difference in braking on these to my Mavic CC SLE's with Exaltih in the wet.

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step-hent [723 posts] 2 years ago
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glynr36 wrote:
hotspanners wrote:

Do they have an alloy breaking surface? If not, braking in the wet will be interesting.

Not as bad as people make out, did 10 or so miles on my mates bike with his new wheels (Saturae) in the wet this weekend gone, and apart from the first few times I felt minimal difference in braking on these to my Mavic CC SLE's with Exaltih in the wet.

All depends on the specific wheels and pads. My first set of carbon rims had very good braking in the dry and ok braking in the wet. My current ones are decent in the dry and poor in the wet.

To the OP, depends on how much the extra £30 bothers you. If you don't mind a gamble, I'd rent them anyway and take a view on the day. If the winds aren't too strong, ride them. If its howling and peeing it down, I wouldn't ride them - I wouldn't want to find out how those wheels handle in poor conditions the middle of a 20,000 rider century. Too much to lose and not enough to gain.

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Mr Jono [102 posts] 2 years ago
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I did pick them up this morning. Alu brake track (which I didn't realise). Plans is to ride them unless high winds are forecast. Further plan is to never do another sportive. Organised fun at 5am in a storm is something I can easily give up...

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andyp [1460 posts] 2 years ago
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Save the deep sections for racing.

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allezrider [92 posts] 2 years ago
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I have a similar dilemma - swapped over to my 303s (tub) in anticipation of a reasonbly dry ride a few days ago - now wondering if I should go back to the alloy clinchers...  39

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notfastenough [3706 posts] 2 years ago
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What's the score if you trash them -does your £40 insure them too?

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jollygoodvelo [1466 posts] 2 years ago
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Mr Jono wrote:

I did pick them up this morning. Alu brake track (which I didn't realise). Plans is to ride them unless high winds are forecast. Further plan is to never do another sportive. Organised fun at 5am in a storm is something I can easily give up...

I'm having similar concerns. My best hope is that starting at 0647 I will do most of the southbound run before the winds get up, and then they'll blow me home.

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Mr Jono [102 posts] 2 years ago
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notfastenough wrote:

What's the score if you trash them -does your £40 insure them too?

Thanks for reminding me, I meant to ask that this morning but forgot. Will do that now!

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Mr Jono [102 posts] 2 years ago
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No, they're not insured. He said the event should have insurance to cover damage in the event of an accident. That can't be true? Also said british cycling membership would have similar cover. I'm also highly sceptical about that.

Need to get it cleared up before sunday!

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Mr Jono [102 posts] 2 years ago
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I've had a dig around, the event definitely won't cover damage if I crash, as expected. And from what I can read about British Cycling membership, they don't either.

Does anyone know of any companies that do weekend/event insurance as a one-off/pay-as-you-go thing?

Sorry, gone way off topic now...

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step-hent [723 posts] 2 years ago
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Mr Jono wrote:

I've had a dig around, the event definitely won't cover damage if I crash, as expected. And from what I can read about British Cycling membership, they don't either.

Does anyone know of any companies that do weekend/event insurance as a one-off/pay-as-you-go thing?

Sorry, gone way off topic now...

If you're travelling to do the ride, you might be covered on a travel insurance policy with sports equipment cover. Or check out your home insurance - that might cover accidental damage. Not heard of event specific insurance especially for sports equipment before, but it might exist!

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Mr Jono [102 posts] 2 years ago
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I am travelling, and my bike would be covered, but not hired wheels or equipment. Spoken to a couple travel insurers and all have said the company that hired me the equipment should have insurance included in the price.

Pretty poor that they don't and really annoyed with myself for not asking that question first now. 100% would have not paid the money knowing that any damage would be down to me. Definitely can't afford to replace a £1200 set of wheels if something goes wrong.

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CXR94Di2 [1200 posts] 2 years ago
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It will be interesting to see how many cancel this year's ride and transfer their slot for next. Personally I am riding whatever the weather.

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Leviathan [2127 posts] 2 years ago
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CXR94Di2 wrote:

It will be interesting to see how many cancel this year's ride and transfer their slot for next. Personally I am riding whatever the weather.

Can't you only do that if you are sick? Are you expecting a flu epidemic?

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IngloriousLou [139 posts] 2 years ago
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Wind forecast now for still conditions.

But I'd be more worried about wet stopping power on fast, crowded, roads.

Tomorrow doesn't seem like the day for experimental kit.

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CXR94Di2 [1200 posts] 2 years ago
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We are all going to get wet  1

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bashthebox [751 posts] 2 years ago
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It's looking hideous, keeps getting worse and worse.

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pablo [122 posts] 2 years ago
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Just got in from a ride bbc said 11mph wind but it was gusting well over 20mph had a slightly hairey moment round a bend with the wind coming at me at about 45 degs. Good luck tomorrow!