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Archive for May, 2014

FLO wheels review

20140410_221802

This is my short review of the FLO 60 front wheel and the FLO 90 rear wheel from http://www.flocycling.com/.

I have been looking for a new set of wheels for my Fuji Aloha 2.0 2012 TT bike. I came across other reviews as well as several topics about the FLO wheels on forums while trying to find out which wheels to buy. I must also say that this are my first pair of real aero wheels (I had only ridden the stock wheels on my Aloha, which is only sort of semi aero).

First, to get hold of a FLO wheel you must try to get one when FLO cycling have a new sale. The FLO company is a very small company that only have a handful of sales each year. You must also by quite fast when ordering the wheels, since popular wheels go where fast after the start a new sale (for instance the FLO disc wheel is sold out under a minute!).

I was lucky to be able to order a FLO 60 front wheel as well as a FLO 90 rear wheel in order #11, this year. Both they wheels I bought had the “stealth” red sticker. The wheels comes with a free hub which is both 10 and 11 speed compatible, just use the included washer to use it with a 10 speed cassette.

The wheels are made of a aluminum with a carbon fibre fairing, which means that you will have a aluminum break surface (i.e. no nead for special braking pads).
The breaking surface is anonized with a black color. I think the anonization is more of a gimmick, since it will wear off when using the wheels, however it looks really cool when unpacking the wheels for the first time. The color of my breaking surface almost vanished during my 3rd run with the wheels, which was in light rain (it has been said that the color will wear off much faster when rinding in the rain).

The fairing is made of carbon fiber and is bonded to the aluminum surface of the wheel. The shape of the faring is wide toroidal, whichs seems to be the latest in aero technology (at least Zip has wheels with the same shape). This wide shape should help to minimize the inpact of crosswinds. Since this is my first set of real aero wheels, I am glad that I only choose the 60 as my front wheel, since it is quite noticeble when biking in strong winds, I first thought of going with the 90 even in front, but I think the
60 is a much better choice when windy.

Here is the weight of the wheels:

FLO 60 Front wheel – 875 grams
FLO 90 Rear wheel – 999 grams

Some may say that this is quite much for a aero type of wheel, but you can see that this doesn’t really matter that much in this blog post:
http://flocycling.blogspot.se/2014/03/flo-cycling-aero-vs-weight-follow-up.html

The wheels are equipped with Sapim CX-Ray spokes, which are flat aero spokes. The FLO VORTEX free hub is both 10 and 11 speed compatible. I think this hub is a very good hub, at least it spins better that my old stock hub. I bought the stainless steel hub, howver you can get a ceramic hub as well. Maybe the hub is a bit noisy (I sounds more than my old), but maybe it’s because of the fairing that becomes a resonance box and enhances all sounds (even changing gear are more noisy than before).

The time saved using the 60/90 combination could be like 8 minutes (according to http://flocycling.blogspot.se/2014/01/flo-cycling-great-debate-aero-vs-weight.html) in an Ironman race. However, this does of course depend on the course, the previous wheels , the bike and the rider. However, just by using a set of earo wheels I think I am faster, because I’m putting in some extra effort just since I switched wheels.

I have only had my wheels for around a month, but I’m very pleased with them. They perform good (better that me) and looks very good, it looks like I have a complete new bike by using these (the bike looks a lot better)! This wheels will probably serve me well for many years.
I’m using them both as training wheels and race wheels (it will not wear as a full carbon wheel becuase of the aluminum surface)…

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The Aero HC system is an aero bottle from Profile Design which will mount the bottle on top of the
extension bars on an TT aero handle bar. This design makes it easier to drink while in the aero
position in the tt bar.

ProfileDesignHCSystem

It comes with a bottle, straw and base which is attached using velcro straps.
I had by extensions quite tight on my bike, and had to move them a side a little bit to get the
base to fit in between the extension.

On top of the bottle is a refilling lid. The lid makes it quite easy to refill the bottle while cycling,
it’s just to open it. Then to take a regular bottle (for example that’s located in a holder in back
of the seat) and squeze the content by pressing a few times into the aero bottle.

The straw is made of semi hard plastics which stays straight. However, I have found it to be a bit
to hard when trying to drink while going over some bump in the road, which makes it hurt a bit in your gum.
So I cut the straw a bit and added a standard biting valve to the straw (however, I think that this makes
it a bit more un-aero, but much more comfortable).

By using an aero bottle like this one, I’m drinking a lot more while in aero position, since it just in front
of you the whole time, and you just have to bend your head slightly to sip.

I’ve been using mine over a year and is very pleased with it.

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