Monday, February 20, 2012

Wanna Buy Some Speed?

That's the Bontrager Aura 5 wheelset; an aluminum rim with a carbon foil weighing in at 1740 grams. Now, I'm not a racer and this ain't VeloNews. This is the first set of carbon wheels I've ridden and I don't have any other wheel sets to compare. But even though I'm not racing it doesn't mean that I don't like to go fast and I know that the easiest way to go faster is through a better wheel set.

My normal wheels are Velocity Deep-V's with Velocity Road Hubs and 1.8 spokes. I really like them; they are not very heavy and still durable. I originally wanted to run B43's but they were not available with a machined side wall; aesthetically I like the deeper profile rim. The only downside to the Velocity's is their lack of stiffness. I notice regularly that when I stand up and start really pushing my computer magnet clips the sensor so I back off a little bit.

The Aura's are noticeably stiffer and that translates to a 2-3 mile per hour increase in speed. It's like I'm going faster without even trying.

So how much is this whole bag of speed going to cost? For the average commuter it will be difficult to justify the $1200 price tag, especially for something carbon fiber. For the beginner racer that's skirting carbon fiber bike prices but not quite there. For this type of increase in speed I would put the Aura 5's on an aluminum frame before I upgraded to a carbon frame. A team racer who already has the carbon bike with a basic aluminum wheel set upgrading here is a no-brainer.

This is a demo wheel set available through Peddler Bike Shop where they have 2 more sets available for purchase. You can get your first taste of speed for free, but you're gonna wait until I'm done!

No comments: