Have you turned over every stone in the pursuit of marginal gains? Here’s one you probably hadn’t thought and which is claimed to be able to save you 1 watt at 30mph.
It’s called the SpeedBalance, produced by Silca, maker of some of the finest and most expensive accessories we’ve ever seen. SpeedBalance is an aerodynamic counterweight that can be easily fitted to any carbon fibre wheel to cure an imbalance you might be suffering as a result of long valve extenders.
“As carbon wheels become deeper and valve stems become longer and heavier, light carbon wheels become susceptible to imbalance - roughly 10-20 grams,” claims the company in its press release. “At high speeds this is a big deal, and the SpeedBalance solves this issue.”
With very deep section wheels you have to use long valve extenders, plus there’s the reinforcing weight at this section of the rim, so SpeedBalance is intended to offset this weight and ensure the wheel is perfectly balanced. It also doubles as a magnet for an ANT+ speed sensor.
The SpeedBalance device sticks to the rim with an adhesive backer and a selection of tungsten weights can be used to balance the wheel. Each weight come is 2.5g so you can add up to 10g to offset most valve stem weighs.
“Balanced wheels improve handling, comfort and confidence, particularly on high speed descents, while the aerodynamic benefits of the SpeedBalance magnet over spoke mounted magnets results in a wattage savings equivalent to a full wheel ceramic bearing upgrade at a tiny fraction of the cost,” adds the company.
Can’t say I’ve ever experienced any issues with the balance of deep section carbon wheels at high speed. Have you? Anyway, we're going to try and get some in for review to see what they're all about. A set costs $36 with everything you need for one set of wheels.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.