General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Explain disc wheels like I'm 6 Rss Feed  
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2013-09-18 7:01 PM

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Master
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Subject: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
My actual six-year-old just asked me "hey Dad, how do wheels that re filled in make you go faster?"

I have no idea what to tell him. I don't know what the deal is with them, and I had an A in high school physics, but that was over 25 years ago. So.... Why is a disc wheel an advantage? Is it as simple as drag reduction?



2013-09-18 7:06 PM
in reply to: 0

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6

Yep...just drag reduction.  The better air flows around your wheels (frame or body) the better.  Spinning spokes are not as aero as a solid surface.  And the inside edge of a rim is more frontal surface area for air to hit.

ETA: of course aerodynamics can change based on the yaw angle or direction of the wind, which can make some wheels perform better than others in specific situation...but overall, with the yaw angles and wind speeds a cyclist can expect to see, a disc should provide lower drag than a box rim or a 50-90 mm deep rim.



Edited by Jason N 2013-09-18 7:08 PM
2013-09-18 7:10 PM
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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
Originally posted by Jason N

Yep...just drag reduction.  The better air flows around your wheels (frame or body) the better.  Spinning spokes are not as aero as a solid surface.  And the inside edge of a rim is more frontal surface area for air to hit.

ETA: of course aerodynamics can change based on the yaw angle or direction of the wind, which can make some wheels perform better than others in specific situation...but overall, with the yaw angles and wind speeds a cyclist can expect to see, a disc should provide lower drag than a box rim or a 50-90 mm deep rim.




That was for a 6 year old??

Edit: ok I had to google yaw angle...

Edited by joestop74 2013-09-18 7:11 PM
2013-09-19 8:25 AM
in reply to: TheClaaaw

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6

Baffle him him BS and dazzle him with, well colored lines!

2013-09-19 9:48 AM
in reply to: Donto

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6

My best explanation for a  6-year-old:

With a regular wheel all of the spokes stir up the air as the wheel turns.  When the air is stirred up it makes you slower.  A disc wheel doesn't have all those spokes, so it doesn't stir up the air as much.  You can go faster when the air is smoother.

Mark

2013-09-19 9:51 AM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
Originally posted by RedCorvette

My best explanation for a  6-year-old:

With a regular wheel all of the spokes stir up the air as the wheel turns.  When the air is stirred up it makes you slower.  A disc wheel doesn't have all those spokes, so it doesn't stir up the air as much.  You can go faster when the air is smoother.

Mark

Why?  

(just doing my best to impersonate myself at 6 when my parents told me something)



2013-09-19 10:02 AM
in reply to: axteraa

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
Originally posted by axteraa
Originally posted by RedCorvette

My best explanation for a  6-year-old:

With a regular wheel all of the spokes stir up the air as the wheel turns.  When the air is stirred up it makes you slower.  A disc wheel doesn't have all those spokes, so it doesn't stir up the air as much.  You can go faster when the air is smoother.

Mark

Why?  

(just doing my best to impersonate myself at 6 when my parents told me something)

Because I said so.

 

2013-09-19 10:21 AM
in reply to: RedCorvette

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
Originally posted by RedCorvette
Originally posted by axteraa
Originally posted by RedCorvette

My best explanation for a  6-year-old:

With a regular wheel all of the spokes stir up the air as the wheel turns.  When the air is stirred up it makes you slower.  A disc wheel doesn't have all those spokes, so it doesn't stir up the air as much.  You can go faster when the air is smoother.

Mark

Why?  

(just doing my best to impersonate myself at 6 when my parents told me something)

Because I said so.

 

 

I literally just busted out laughing in my office....HAHAHA

2013-09-19 10:32 AM
in reply to: #4858866

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
I think a better answer would be "because batman said so"
2013-09-19 10:34 AM
in reply to: TheClaaaw

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
It's really the cool sound they make. Worth a couple MPH at least...
2013-09-19 10:35 AM
in reply to: Ziatriguy

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
Originally posted by Ziatriguy It's really the cool sound they make. Worth a couple MPH at least...
But, his doesn't make a sound...


2013-09-19 10:36 AM
in reply to: TriGuy05

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
That's a good explanation my 6 year old needs more interaction for stuff like this if your kiddo is similar try this:

While driving in the car lower the window. Have your kid stick his hand out the window with the fingers spread apart then have him put his fingers together and see if he can feel which way is smoother as the air slides around his fingers.
2013-09-19 12:31 PM
in reply to: miamiamy

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
So at a recent race my 10 year old asked me how come they don't have the discs on the front wheels too? I was not sure what to say. Anyone?
2013-09-19 12:33 PM
in reply to: ccmpsyd

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6

Originally posted by ccmpsyd So at a recent race my 10 year old asked me how come they don't have the discs on the front wheels too? I was not sure what to say. Anyone?

They do in indoor racing.  I assume the benefits of aerodynamics for a full disk in front get trumped by the handling losses you get if there are any crosswinds.

2013-09-19 12:36 PM
in reply to: Kido

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
Originally posted by Kido

Originally posted by ccmpsyd So at a recent race my 10 year old asked me how come they don't have the discs on the front wheels too? I was not sure what to say. Anyone?

They do in indoor racing.  I assume the benefits of aerodynamics for a full disk in front get trumped by the handling losses you get if there are any crosswinds.




Ah...thanks
2013-09-19 12:36 PM
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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6

Originally posted by miamiamy That's a good explanation my 6 year old needs more interaction for stuff like this if your kiddo is similar try this: While driving in the car lower the window. Have your kid stick his hand out the window with the fingers spread apart then have him put his fingers together and see if he can feel which way is smoother as the air slides around his fingers.

I was thinking you could give them a whisk, and a spatula and have them use both in a tub of water and feel which one is harder (0bvioulsy tell them to move the spatula sideways/on edge).

I know it's not a true representation, but they are 6 and should sort of get the idea.



Edited by Kido 2013-09-19 12:36 PM


2013-09-19 1:10 PM
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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
Originally posted by Kido

Originally posted by miamiamy That's a good explanation my 6 year old needs more interaction for stuff like this if your kiddo is similar try this: While driving in the car lower the window. Have your kid stick his hand out the window with the fingers spread apart then have him put his fingers together and see if he can feel which way is smoother as the air slides around his fingers.

I was thinking you could give them a whisk, and a spatula and have them use both in a tub of water and feel which one is harder (0bvioulsy tell them to move the spatula sideways/on edge).

I know it's not a true representation, but they are 6 and should sort of get the idea.




Great hands on examples, but the problem with these examples is that the "spokes" (fingers spread & whisk) are going to feel like they pass through the air/liquid easier than the "disc" (cupped hand & spatula)...At least that would be my 5 year old nephew's take on it.

Maybe if the hand was sideways vs. spread fingers or knife vs. whisk in brownie batter...

Edit: Missed that spatula was on edge when I read it the first time...So that might work better than I was thinking.

Edited by k1200rsvt 2013-09-19 1:11 PM
2013-09-19 3:32 PM
in reply to: TheClaaaw

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
If my 6 year old asked me, I would probably just give him "because cool looking things usually go faster, and a disc looks cool". I would then explain the color red, and its associated speed. By the time I say the word red, he would be asking if Ninja Turtles have solid wheels, and I would respond that of course they do, and Daddy gets his best advice from people who understand how awesome Ninja Turtles are. Harmony would ensue.
2013-09-19 5:30 PM
in reply to: Jason N

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Master
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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
Originally posted by Jason N

I think a better answer would be "because batman said so"

Thanks for all the great replies (as I didn't really know but kind of intuited the answer) but this is the hands down winner for this particular 6 year old.

2013-09-19 7:55 PM
in reply to: TheClaaaw

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6

because they're just like flying saucers- but sideways.

(or frisbees)

 

technically accurate, and totally comprehensible by a 6 year old.

2013-09-19 8:19 PM
in reply to: morey000

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
Originally posted by morey000

because they're just like flying saucers- but sideways.

(or frisbees)

 

technically accurate, and totally comprehensible by a 6 year old.


Ding ding ding! Love it.



2013-09-19 8:21 PM
in reply to: TheClaaaw

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
Oh boy. I told my wife about this exchange. But the backstory is this: at one of my races this last week, he asked what the wheels were. My eife told him they were made to go faster. He says....... "Well Daddy should get some."

Smart-. That's my boy!

2013-09-20 9:10 AM
in reply to: TheClaaaw

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Subject: RE: Explain disc wheels like I'm 6
Originally posted by TheClaaaw Oh boy. I told my wife about this exchange. But the backstory is this: at one of my races this last week, he asked what the wheels were. My eife told him they were made to go faster. He says....... "Well Daddy should get some."

Smart-. That's my boy!

Mission Accomplished.

Mark

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