I hate race wheels and those that show up to the local group ride with them. But I also love it when they show up to the local group ride with them. And this is why…..
When I’m out training, I will ride hard and if it is an aggressive group, I will attempt to bridge the gap or work to pull everyone up to the break. I will attack when I can and make everyone chase! I will get caught, but that’s not the point. I’m training. Some of those guys with their super aero race wheels caught me – good for them. I have worked hard and battled the wind. Whether solo or with the break, I have pushed my body. And they have also. But I have dug a little deeper, dealt with a little more pain. I have battled the elements of wind, strength, and resistance more than they have. And in order for your body to become stronger you must occasionally overload it! (I say occasionally because more important is the recovery from the overload). The idea is to come back harder, faster, stronger next time!
The difference is what happens on race day. They show up just like they did for the group ride. Not me. You think I was fast and worked hard before? I’m getting psyched up because I’m putting on my Race wheels now. Now my bike is lighter, and it is rolling with less effort. This is not only drastically changing the amount of resistance of my bike, but it is effecting me mentally. I’m amped up now, I can feel how much smoother my wheels are – I’m at the same speed with less effort. I’m going over hills with less effort, and I’m coming out of corners with less effort. I’m saving my matches until the decisive break goes, or until the final sprint happens.
It’s race day and now because of all the training I’ve done, my bike, body, and now my mental attitude is ready. The race hasn’t even started yet, but I’ve already got the edge to win. Race wheels are great, but do yourself a favor and save them for the Race. Use an non-aero, heavy wheel-set for training.
My race wheels have racing tires on them that have better grip and are lighter and maybe more prone to puncture, but the day before a race, I will take them out and make sure everything is shifting and properly aligned – this way I’m not stressing about this at the last minute before a race.
Riding on race wheels will bring an extra feeling of excitement about racing and isn’t that a big part of what racing is all about?