New wheels for Richard
Over the last 4 weeks I have been testing a set of Pro Lite Bracciano A42 G3Powertap clincher wheels as part of my ongoing training for my 2015 season. To date, I have used this wheelset whilst out on long endurance rides recording data, via my Garmin 500, such as HR (through my chest strap), cadence, and power etc. The beauty of recording data is the fact that you can upload this data into many programs which can analyse these reading, such as Training Peaks, and other platforms such as Strava. Many others are available, but these are two which I know about and use frequently.
Lifting out the box, the wheels feel pretty light and give the impression that they are strong and durable. I also noticed the PowerTap hub is a lot smaller than its predecessor and in black, which is great as it matches the styling of the alloy deep section rims. Once on the bike, it’s pretty easy to see that the hub looks far smaller than the past editions and more like an oversized rear hub. With the cassette on and Conti GP4000’S fitted, with relative ease I have to say, I was ready to try them out. Before venturing on these for the first time I paired my Garmin 500 to the PowerTap hub, which took a few moments and once done I was ready to rock and roll.
Fitted to my Tifosi road machine (training bike), they look the business as the black and white decals match my colour frame perfectly, but was left thinking “are these too good to be riding in Winter especially on the crappy lanes that I train on?” After a short deliberation with myself I concluded that ‘Yes, they are, as I need to test them in all manner of road/weather conditions, which a cyclist could use them, as they are a training aid after all and a bloody good set of wheels’. Yes, you could say that these wheels are a bit excessive for my Winter training bike and I would actually agree with you, but they do look good and I wanted to show them off.
Time for a training ride
During the time on the bike, out on the open road that is, the wheels performed extremely well responding to the demands I placed on them. Cornering, straight-line speed and handling where all excellent and I recorded no problems whatsoever. Straight away I noticed the difference in wheel performance thanks to the aero efficiency and rolling effect they have. The wheels spun nicely without too much effort and very quietly also. For me, I don’t like noisy hubs preferring quieter hubs (when free-wheeling that is). To be honest I am really looking forward to racing on these especially around a circuit race- such as Goodwood or Thruxton perhaps, as they perform so well, just the same as my other aero wheels – except my Lightweight Milram wheels as these are an exception. Recording my race data will be really great as when racing you are always going at someone eles’s pace unless your Cav or Kittel hahaha.
Time to move indoors
During December the weather became less favourable so I decided to take the wheels off my training bike and use them on my turbo bike instead. After all, these are on loan and I can’t trash them during wet, muddy and crappy Sunday rides with my mates even though I enjoyed riding them.
Just by looking at the image above, the wheels do look cool and aero and actually match my turbo bike down to the ground. Last week, due to the icy road conditions, I started my turbo program off with 4 turbo session in three days. The second day was a back-to-back turbo session (2x30 minute effort with 10 min rest in between with 10 minutes either side for warm-up/cooling down). Again the rear wheel performed very well with the PowerTap G3 hub kicking out the reading (see below).
Over the next few months I will use these wheels as a gauge of my fitness using them on the turbo and on my training/race bike in early year racing (Castle Coombe) and local sportives recording the data as I go.
Wheels are a big investment to any serious cyclist, second to the frame/forks, and the easiest to move around between the various bikes you may have (turbo, training and race for me). Yes many power options are available to you, but thanks to the advancement of PowerTap hubs I think the Pro Lite Bracciano A42 G3 Powertap are the better option as you are getting a superb set of alloy clincher with a PowerTap hub so one investment and not possibly two large investments (e.g. wheels and another type of power recording device).