Building a lightweight bike requires a lightweight wheelset. For the Specialized Aethos, I decided to get a relatively lower profile carbon wheelset to help save some weight.
Previously I got the Dura-Ace C50 wheelset for the Focus Paralane, during the change to 12 speeds. That C50 wheelset with a 50 mm tall rim profile weighs 1493 grams, which is a good weight but not really lightweight.
This time, I got the Dura-Ace C36 wheelset, which is exactly the same as the C50 wheelset, except for the lower 36 mm rim profile. Due to the lower profile, the wheelset will be lighter. Check out the details below.
Dura-Ace C36 R9270 wheelset
Dura-Ace wheelsets are available in 36, 50 and 60 mm rim profiles. The C36 is the lightest but also least aerodynamic.
Rim profile is about 36 mm as claimed.
Other than the difference in rim profile (and spoke lengths), all other areas of the C36 wheelset is the same as the C50. For the details such as rim width, hub info, etc, check out the C50 blog post.
Weight of C36 front wheel is 622 grams.
Weight of C36 rear wheel is 727 grams.
Dura-Ace C36 Wheelset
Front Wheel: 622 grams
Rear Wheel: 727 grams
C36 wheelset total: 1349 grams
Dura-Ace C50 Wheelset
Front Wheel: 693 grams
Rear Wheel: 800 grams
C50 wheelset total: 1493 grams
Front Wheel: 682 grams
Rear Wheel: 822 grams
Wheelset total: 1504 grams
Based on this comparison, the C36 wheelset saves 144 grams over the C50 wheelset, or about 10% of the wheelset weight. Quite a substantial difference, especially at the high end wheel market where the differences are small.
As for the tires, I went back to the tried and tested Continental GP5000, which is the same as what I used on the Dura-Ace C50 wheelset and also the Ascent Bikes Zenith Elite wheelset.
Brand new folding tires! These are the 28 mm wide version.
Each tire weighs 244 grams, and this varies from batch to batch.
GP5000 tires installed on the C36 wheelset. Looking good!
Another picture of the new wheelset and new tires
Although I had the chance to go for a tubeless setup this time, since I had to get a new wheelset and tires anyway, I did not do so. I am still not convinced of the benefits of road tubeless, as I think it is easier to just change an inner tube if I do get a puncture.
On the other hand, if a tubeless tire and sealant is used, it will make a mess if there is a puncture, especially since the tire pressure is higher. For off-road riding such as on the Cervelo Aspero gravel bike, tubeless is awesome, but not necessary for road riding.
Nevertheless, I tried out some new types of inner tubes this time, so as to save weight and improve the ride quality. As opposed to the usual butyl inner tubes, I tried latex and TPU types. Check out the next post for the details!