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I have a gravel/tourer bike that was built for me last year as a new commuter (having used my old hardtail for the preceeding 20 years!).

The spec is: Light Blue Darwin frame -https://www.thelightblue.co.uk/Sport/FMLBDD1K/Darwin-Frame-Set

Wheels - 29" Halo Vapours - https://www.ison-distribution.com/english/product.php?part=WHHAV9SK - with a dynamo on the front to power lights

Tubeless Schwalbe 38c G-One tyres

Shimano S106 hydro disc brakes

Compact 11 cassette with twin chainrings

 

I love the bike as I can pretty much take it anywhere without worrying about it. However, I've started to do some sportives, the longest of which was 80 miles and I'm considering whether I could improve my setup with a second set of more road-specific wheels which I'd switch out for sportives or other long road rides.

Within my budget this tubeless setup is available:

Wheels - https://www.ison-distribution.com/english/product.php?part=WHHAWDF7K

Tyres - Probably Schwalbe Pro-One 25 Discs and cassette to match the existing

The question is - am I going to see much difference by switching the wheels, tyres and the loss of dynamo etc? It's not an insignificant amount of money and I want to be sure I'll be glad to have spent it.

16 comments

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Plasterer's Radio [462 posts] 1 month ago
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You will be faster but will notice the reduction in comfort more.  

But you won't be 5mph faster everywhere like the marketing would have you believe. 

I would try a big ride with your present set up and make your descision based on that experience.

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mrtickleron [5 posts] 1 month ago
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Plasterer's Radio wrote:

But you won't be 5mph faster everywhere like the marketing would have you believe.

TBH if I got half that, it soon adds up over 80 miles - almost an hour

Plasterer's Radio wrote:

I would try a big ride with your present set up and make your descision based on that experience.

I've done a 40mile, a couple of 60s and an 80 on the G-Ones and have a 65 coming up, hence the thoughts about trying for an upgrade.

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madcarew [861 posts] 1 month ago
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Yes. You will be significantly faster. Depending on the road surfaces I'm not sure how much you will notice the comfort difference. It's not like you're floating around on a cloud of eiderdown. 

However, you will make even more gains with a more aero position.....

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Rod Marton [116 posts] 4 weeks ago
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With 25mm tyres you will be able to accelerate more rapidly and climb more rapidly. Cruising speed will probably not change very much (main issue here is aerodymanic drag). However you will be slower over poor surfaces and you will definitely notice a difference in comfort.

I have two bikes, fairly similar spec, one with 25mm tyres and one with 32mm tyres (OK, the 32mm one is a bit heavier). On a typical ride there is ~1% difference in average speed, but there will be sections where one is significantly faster than the other, depending on surface and gradient. For you the difference will probably be a bit greater, as the difference in tyre size is greater. But don't expect miracles. 

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antigee [507 posts] 4 weeks ago
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done something similar but I'm at the getting away from the broom wagon end ... had two sets of wheels for my cx stylee: heavyweight about 1kg more running 32mm marathon swalbes on generic commuter wheels - puncture proof but add weight v 25mm lightish road specific on around 1500g factory wheelset - reckon for me and no athlete about 2km/hr difference - kept careful check on chain wear so could swop with no worries- didn't have any problems with caliper position but probably luck with hubs - more recently just running on 35mm swalbe pro ones and reckon with wheels in area of 1500g do the business as in lighter wheelset  makes up for wider tyres -and  seems like tyre technology has moved on a lot so depends what calender brings not so sure  - to conclude if go for it issues are chain wear, caliper position and if tubeless remembering to rotate the spare wheel set? 

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ConcordeCX [905 posts] 4 weeks ago
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I have a CX bike with 35mm CX tyres and it's an absolute pig to ride on tarmac. On  my road bikes a change of tyres (from 25mm gatorskins to 27mm open pavé) made a noticeable difference to speed (higher), comfort (greater) etc. over short as well as long distances. In your position i'd first try a new set of smaller fast-rolling road tyres, say 28mm, before spending on new wheels. If you like the tyres but still feel the need for new wheels then you haven't really lost out, but you might not want/need new wheels.

 

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mrtickleron [5 posts] 4 weeks ago
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This has been brought to my attention. Throws the whole thing into question!

oh joy!

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/12-myths-in-cycling-1-wider-ti...

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Griff500 [300 posts] 4 weeks ago
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mrtickleron wrote:

This has been brought to my attention. Throws the whole thing into question!

oh joy!

https://janheine.wordpress.com/2018/01/03/12-myths-in-cycling-1-wider-ti...

Hahaha!  That link has enough material to keep arguments going on here for months, eg "Myth 12: Disc brakes work better than rims"; "Myth 7: Tubeless tyres roll faster"; "Myth 3: Fenders slow you down"..........  Disappointingly, nothing on the list about helmets!

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mrtickleron [5 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Griff500 wrote:

Hahaha!  That link has enough material to keep arguments going on here for months

 

Yeah, I had a look through the other 'myths' and they seemed pretty anecdotal or theory based rather than any decent testing. The tyre one however seemed to have been tested quite extensively with actual people on bikes so I was slightly more sold on that.

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CXR94Di2 [2278 posts] 4 weeks ago
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G Ones are very fast.  I've done 100 mile Sportives with them and club runs.  I can cycle over 21 mph on the flat with them.  Don't change them, they're great and comfy.  Only downside they wear quite quickly.  25mm will be only a tad faster with less smooth ride.  I only go to narrow tyres if I'm wanting top riding speeds.

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mrtickleron [5 posts] 4 weeks ago
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CXR94Di2 wrote:

G Ones are very fast.  I've done 100 mile Sportives with them and club runs.  I can cycle over 21 mph on the flat with them.  Don't change them, they're great and comfy.  Only downside they wear quite quickly.  25mm will be only a tad faster with less smooth ride.  I only go to narrow tyres if I'm wanting top riding speeds.

 

Ya know I've been coming to that conclusion too. I certainly feel faster on these than the Panaracers that the bike was built with originally and I love the tubeless setup.

Out of interest, what PSI do you run them at? When I've had a small puncture that's sealed itself before I noticed and the PSI has dropped to 40 or so I've noticed a big difference in speed/sluggishness when I put them back up to 60 or so. However, this seems to contradict other people's experience so I'm curious if it's down to me more than the PSI.

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andyspaceman [258 posts] 4 weeks ago
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On non-aero wheels, I notice about a 1-2 mph difference on a tarmac ride between my road bike and gravel bike on a 40-60 mile ride. That's moving from tubeless 42mm Maxxis Ramblers to 28mm Conti Grand Prix GTs. When my aero wheels go onto my road bike with 26mm S-Works Turbos, this becomes more like 3mph+.

If you are going to do it for the sake of additional speed, then go for soemthing with at least a mid-deep section, as that is where you will see gains.

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CXR94Di2 [2278 posts] 4 weeks ago
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mrtickleron wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

G Ones are very fast.  I've done 100 mile Sportives with them and club runs.  I can cycle over 21 mph on the flat with them.  Don't change them, they're great and comfy.  Only downside they wear quite quickly.  25mm will be only a tad faster with less smooth ride.  I only go to narrow tyres if I'm wanting top riding speeds.

 

Ya know I've been coming to that conclusion too. I certainly feel faster on these than the Panaracers that the bike was built with originally and I love the tubeless setup.

Out of interest, what PSI do you run them at? When I've had a small puncture that's sealed itself before I noticed and the PSI has dropped to 40 or so I've noticed a big difference in speed/sluggishness when I put them back up to 60 or so. However, this seems to contradict other people's experience so I'm curious if it's down to me more than the PSI.

 

I tend to run around 50psi, much above that, they become really hard and non compliant.  around 40 psi it's a lovley comfy ride but as you say they just begin to drag . I have ridden for weeks at these pressure s when pootling around.  I would say 45 psi +/- 2 would be the best pressure

 

If you're chasing faster sportive times and easier effort club runs.  Buy a cheap set of 60/80 mm aero carbon wheels (eBay) which take clinchers or are tubeless ready.  Fit 25mm Pro ones (tubeless setup) these will be fast.  I have 3 sets of wheels for my Tripster, aero, 80mm,  28mm general wheels and G Ones for rougher riding roads

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BehindTheBikesheds [2502 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Why can't you just swap your tyres over, why even bother over maybe a couple hundred grams if that on the new wheels? Spend some of the saved money on a tight top and an eneme, spend the rest on gels .

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madcarew [861 posts] 4 weeks ago
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mrtickleron wrote:
Griff500 wrote:

Hahaha!  That link has enough material to keep arguments going on here for months

 

Yeah, I had a look through the other 'myths' and they seemed pretty anecdotal or theory based rather than any decent testing. The tyre one however seemed to have been tested quite extensively with actual people on bikes so I was slightly more sold on that.

I can't see their methodology, but I suspect they're using the same pressures in wide and narrow tyres. Wide tyres, at the same pressure are faster than narrow tyres. However, the article was measureing the difference between 20 and 25mm tyres. 38mm tyres are in a different league. I used to ride a (no suspension) mtb in local crits with 45mm slicks on. I managed to shoe-horn some 23mm tyres on to it, and instead of struggling to stick with the bunch, started placing and winning. There was a significant difference, possibly at cruising speed on my own of as much as 2 kph. A 38mm tyre and rim is a significnatly different aerodynamic beast to a 23mm tyre and rim

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BBB [492 posts] 4 weeks ago
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G-Ones Allround use the same compound as Pro Ones and their casing is very thin and supple. They roll at least as fast as half decent road tyres on smooth tarmac and even faster on the rough stuff. They certainly didn't prevent me from getting from Southampton to Cornwall in a day (with a tent and some camping gear).

Considering that 25mm is a choice of pros, logically a typical heavier, slower and less aero non-competing weekend warrior / sportive rider shouldn't even consider anything narrower than 28-30mm (on wide rims) for "fast" riding. It's a no brainer really. One size doesn't fit all.

Pro Ones are lovely but they can cut badly. G-Ones Speed 30mm are a more robust alternative. Another option would be Specialized S-work Turbos (tubeless) in 28mm.

Wheels will make almost no difference to the ACTUAL (not perceived) speed.