With an upcoming ZRL race on Chain Chomper, it felt like a good idea to test Tron vs Grail + ENVE wheels on the Temple KoM Reverse climb. So I used a workout on ERG mode to maintain a steady average of 200 Watts and rode the segment with each of the bikes in turn, videoing both and examining the segment on Strava as well.
Canyon Grail with ENVE wheels
According to the Strava segment analysis, the Grail was 6:38 @200W and the Tron was 7:07 @203W (both for 67.5kg rider). Both those times are within 1s of the “time difference” if you look at the videos. So that’s 29s (7%) faster for the Grail + ENVE on Temple KoM reverse.
There’s absolutely no doubt that the Grail + ENVE is 7% faster up Temple KoM Reverse than the Tron (at 200W and 67.5kg). How much time will you lose swapping bikes? I reckon on a single bike swap costing me about 20-25s including slowdown/speedup time if it goes well. So if it were a situation where one bike swap was all you needed, it would be an easy choice. A race like the upcoming ZRL Chain Chomper goes up this KoM twice and finishes at the top, which makes it awkward if you want to finish well. But if you’re not bothered about finish positions and mainly targeting FTS, it’s a no-brainer. Swap and smash.
Also if you’re at or near the front and you can do a slick swap, you might get enough of a gain to win the race on lap 2. Other than those two outcomes, it gets a little bit messier to decide either way.
Post Script (added after the race)
I ended up deciding to swap for the final climb, so during the race did one climb on the Tron and one on the Grail. I was going for FTS on the Grail, so the fact that I fumbled the swap didn’t much matter. Ended up getting 15 points for 2nd place FTS and team-mate Carl was 0.2s slower in 3rd. Grail: 5:41 at 241W (3.57 W/kg) Tron 6:09 at 235W (3.48 W/kg) 28s faster through segment on the Grail. Full race video below…