Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Aero Wheel Covers

In my continuing quest for more speed on the bike, I've been contemplating a few things.  New Aero bars, bike fit, rear saddle mounts, and a new front brake have all come to mind.  One of the cheapest and easiest things to do is putting an wheelcover on my rear FLO 90.  So I took some Christmas money and placed an order with Wheelbuilder through their website for their "Aerojacket".

It was pretty easy, and I had a $15 coupon code from their facebook page, so I got a presta adapter almost for nothing.  So for $115 including Fedex Delivery, I got this box:

With the following contents: (2) wheel covers (drive side and other side), some cutout hole cover stickers, and the Silca Presta Adapter (or the "crack pipe").

So you can see above, I got (5) hole covers, and no fastener pins.  I specifically asked them not to drill holes in the wheel covers and that I would tape the covers on, so I didn't need the fasteners.  Someone said one time that this is a cleaner, more aero way to run them on your wheels (Jack Mott on Slowtwitch, specifically).  So that is what I did.

I used the kids gun/sword/bow container I had in the garage to set the wheel on.

First I pumped up the tire because that crack pipe is a major PITA.  And I mean Major.

I actually put the drive side on first (no pics).  You need to remove the cassette to do this, and then you align the sticker with the valve stem.

I placed cover on the top of the wheel.  The non-drive side is more dished than the cassette side.  I put a couple of pieces of electrical tape around the edges to hold it in place.

Tried my best to center the hole on the wheel

Then I just made my way all the way around the outside with one continuous piece of tape.

When I got to the end, I just cut the tape with a pair of scissors.  Next time I will do a better job of cleaning it up where the two ends come together.

A little off here as the tape ends come together
View from above:
Cassette Spacing Looks Good.

The finished product looks like a BAMF. 
Green Lightning in all her Glory.
One important side note here is that if you have a cadence magnet, you might want to rotate the sensor down out of the way before you spin your wheel to make sure the fit is ok.  Otherwise you might scratch the cover.  Although it cleaned up pretty good with some alcohol wipes.

Drive Side

Non Drive Side
One Last look.

I took it for a short spin to test the shifting and all, and it was not very noticeable.  I was worried it might feel heavy or sluggish, but it really felt fine.  We'll see when I take it out for a longer ride and a tempo ride.  I plan on peeling back the tape a little bit to get my pump in there.  That Silca adapter is a two person operation.  I've looked at some other alternatives (after reading and watching all I could on that Silca to make sure I was doing it correctly).  So for now, I'll take some extra tape with me on my first ride just in case I need some to change a flat.