Best Wheel questions for an upgrade ...

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by 3_days, Aug 23, 2005.

  1. 3_days

    3_days New Member

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    So many posts on here discuss wheel upgrades and the best brands and everyone's experience and opinion ... which is cool ...

    BUT, what are the considerations that should be made when upgrading a wheelset?

    I mean, forgetting about Mavic v. Zipp v. Campy, etc., what specific factors and characteristics are the important issues in wheel selection?

    What do some companies feature in higher end wheels that make the difference in the purchase?

    In anyone's opinion, what is the greatest benefit in upgrading from a $600 wheelset to a $1200 wheelset?

    Are there any common pitfalls made by the buyer in considering the selections, price, actual benefits of a wheel upgrade?

    What would a climber look for in a wheelset where a TT rider might have other priorities? And where would a club rider looking for all-around performance fall on this spectrum?
     
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  2. badkarma

    badkarma New Member

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    I can answer one of your questions. A TT rider is usually going to want wheels that are very aerodynamic (deep profile wheels) as aerodynamics drag is the dominant non-conservative force (for flat TTs), even though deep profile wheels are typically heavier.

    A climber is usually going to want the lightest wheels possible as weight plays a larger role than aerodynamics does in the mountains. Therefore, they typically want shallower sectioned rims that weigh less.
     
  3. PeterF

    PeterF New Member

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    I like a wheel that is laterally stiff. I'm a big guy and when I get out of the saddle to sprint or climb (I need all the help I can get) I like to feel the bike accelerate. I have had some "aero" wheels that flexed noticeably whenever I climbed. I also like a wheel that's serviceable. If I break a spoke, it's nice when the shop can fix it that day rather than have to order the part for you. For club rides, I would look for durability first. I also prefer a shallower profile, since I ride along the Atlantic 3-4 mornings a week (all year) and when a 30 mph crosswind hits you, a deep profile rim can act a bit like a sail. My wheel of choice is the Campy Proton. A pretty light wheelset for $400, stiff and surprisingly tough. After 3,000 miles and some nasty potholes they are still perfectly true under my 225 lb frame.
     
  4. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    The most common pitfall is not knowing what the best wheel is for you. You can spend a lot of money upgrading and not end up much better off than you were before. Every wheel represents some balance of weight, aerodynamics, durability, drive efficiency, comfort, lateral stiffness, practicality, price, etc. There is no perfect wheel, as many of these are opposing atributes.
     
  5. bbattle

    bbattle New Member

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    So would Aerohead OC rims, Sapim Laser spokes, and American Classic hubs be a significant improvement over Shimano WH-500 wheels for a 157 lb. rider that wants to climb better?

    Or would Easton Ascent II's be a better choice?

    And are those lighter hubs really that big of an improvement over the much cheaper but still high quality Ultegra hubs?
     
  6. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    They will be if you can find a good builder. If you're looking for light weight, check out the IRD Cadence rims as well.
     
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