This is my next instalment on product reviews about some of my equipment and bits of kit that I use for own personal training and racing. This may also include some recipe books, bikes, accessories, clothing, or anything else that I wish to rave about. These items will be 100% genuine reviews on my purchases, or I will state otherwise if they are sponsored or gifted. I will also try to keep them to a 5-minute read, or as my friend says, long enough to read on his phone whilst he attends to nature.
Within this blog, I will be multitasking as not only is this going to be a review, it is also going to be a bit of sound advice which led to the review in the first place. I am extremely fortunate to have more than one bike and I generally race on my triathlon-specific time trial bike. I am also extremely fortunate to have obtained a racing wheel sponsorship that gave me five wheels to suit different race scenarios. However, just because I managed to obtain these wheels, it does not mean that I am going to ill-treat them. If anything, I am very anal about them, and that's why I want to write this blog, because not only will it save you money, it will also help improve your performance.
Every week, I can be training 250-350km per week on my bikes. A lot of this training can be on my turbo trainer or road bikes, however, I like to train as much as possible on my time trial bike as your body position needs to be trained just as much as the cardiorespiratory systems. Before we go any further, the avid reader will pick up that I have a direct drive turbo trainer which I do, but this trick saves my front wheel from overuse too. But basically, If your neck aches in a race on your bike, then its probably due to lack of training in this position, and that is usually because people do not like using their best bikes to train on because they are more expensive.
Based on this, I recommend buying a set of good quality yet inexpensive training wheels, and tyres, to save your expensive race equipment for when it matters. For my training wheels, I chose the Campagnolo Calima alloy clincher wheelset and a Sunrace 11/28 11 speed cassette. and finished off with a set of Schwalbe Lugano tyres.
A wheel that is requested by passionate cycle lovers to seasoned professionals alike. Light enough to tackle the steepest of climbs yet strong and ﬂexible enough to affront the roughest of roads. The Calima™ wheelset offers to all cyclists the possibility to experience the renowned quality and technology of Campagnolo®.
I was recommended the wheels by one of the guys at Vive le Velo based on my purpose and if I am honest, I had the tyres hanging around that I took off another bike. On first impression, the wheels are very well made, and with the tyre, they weigh just shy of 2000g. Yes, they are not as light as my racing wheels, but this is the whole point so that when I do race, I should be automatically quicker.
When I said you should, what I meant was, you will be quicker, and these are the reasons why:
Firstly, the C17 have 18 front spokes and 27 on the rear, whereas my racing wheels have 18/24 configuration and they are also bladed which are proven to be marginally more aerodynamic but also 2/3rds lighter too.
The rim height on the C17 is 24mm, whereas my race wheels are 56mm, so in aerodynamic drag alone I am saving 23.5 watts which equates to 73 seconds over 40km, and 5 minutes 27 seconds over the 180km. Then when I use my disc wheel, it increases to a massive 32.5-watt saving, 100 second saving on an Olympic distance bike split, and a whopping 7 minutes 29 seconds over the 180km.
Finally, my race 55mm wheels and tyres is 0.7kg lighter, so not only will this reduce my power to weight ratio within racing, but it also means I will be increasing it in training, thus increasing the volume of weight within all my training, therefore developing cycling specific strength.
So, my thoughts on these wheels, initially I did feel every lump and bump especially in the aero position, and this is due to the rigidity of the alloy as opposed to the damping of the carbon. But to be fair, on my first outing I inflated the tyres to 90-PSI and if I am honest this was too much, and I now run at 80-PSI and it is far better. The freehub is exceptionally smooth to ride, and the bike freewheels effortlessly, and they look very fitting on the bike for training wheels too.
There are loads of different options out there, but the concept is all the same. I chose these wheels based on the fact I trust the recommendations from my bike shop, but also the fact that Campagnolo are renowned for superiority, and despite these are an entry-level wheelset, you can truly see and feel the hand-built quality.
To summarise, the training wheels will allow you to train in the aero position, whilst reducing excessive wear and tear on your racing wheels, and let’s face it, you always save your best clothes for when you go out. The extra weight will help develop cycling strength, and your racing wheels will reduce your aerodynamic drag come race day. Always choose a tyre that offers great puncture resistance, and remember to change your brake blocks to alloy specific.
I would like to thank you all once again for reading my articles, and please keep checking back for my latest content,
Yours in health,