If you had your choice: better rims or better hubs?



CyclinYooper

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Jan 9, 2011
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So, I've been talking with a custom wheel builder about getting a set built with HED C2 rims, White Industries (H2/H3) hubs, and Sapim CX-Ray spokes. Total build cost is ~$800. I planned on doing black rims (only option with HED), silver nipples, black spokes, and silver hubs. I really wanted the HED rims, because I wanted 23mm width ... and the builders with whom I've spoken recommended them over Velocity A23 rims.

Now, here's my conundrum: my wife spied a picture of some wheels with red hubs and really loved the look. Since I have a Cervelo bike, she thought it would be really cool. For most of the wheel builders I've seen, to get "red" ... I'd have to step up to Chris King R45 hubs (or Alchemy, or even more money). This would blow my budget ($800), however. So, if I stepped up the hubs ... I'd probably have to go with a cheaper rim, my choice being Kinlin XR270 or XR300.

Do I care about red hubs? No. But, my wife is really supportive of my cycling hobby (and spending). So I wanted to consider it! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

So, if you had your choice, would you go for higher level rims? Or higher level hubs? Are Chris King's better than White Industries hubs? Or is it simply more color options?

Scott
 

danfoz

Well-Known Member
Apr 12, 2011
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I'd stick with the C2 rims. One of my riding buddies picked up a pair and confirmed every benefit spoken of in the reviews: i.e. noticeably nicer ride and significantly better cornering feel.

Fyi, Continental (not HED) ran a rolling resistance test using the same tires on the 23mm HED rim and a typical 19mm rim and found an 18% reduction in rolling resistance on the wider rim all else being equal.

On top of that they sport the same toroidal shape (co-patented between ZIPP and HED) making them somewhat aero for low profile rims, probably on a similar order of magnitude to the Zipp 101's (40 secs faster than a Mavic Ksyrium over a 40k TT). Folks dismissing this as marketing hype can take note of the independant test conducted by VeloNews sometime back where the HED (Super toroidal shape) and the Zipp (very slighly narrower than the HED at the widest point of the rim - the "aero width") literally smashed every other deep section rim tested in the wind tunnel featured in the test.

What was the other criteria... Oh yes hubs. I don't have much to say about there.
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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I'd stick with the 23mm wide rims. All the hubs mentioned are great and you'd likely not notice the difference even if you tried to quantify it even with a powermeter. However, you will feel the difference in running a 23mm tire on a wider 23mm rim rather than a 19.

Personally, I'd go with Dura Ace hubs. When it comes to anything that's forged aluminum - Shimano are very hard to beat. Their bearings are fantastic too and the 7900's have a very easy to use bearing adjustment system.

I have a Velocity Aerohead O/C as the back rim on my PowerTap equipped rear wheel and combined with Sapim CX-Ray spokes it's been very reliable. I'd expect that a Velocity A23 would be as reliable. I have no direct experience with the HED C2 "belgium" rims but from people that I've seen riding them and talked to them, I've heard nothing but good things. I'd going to be moving from the 19 to a 23mm wide rim sometime soon...

Just one comment, and it's a personal preference of mine, I really like shiny spokes - it seems a shame to cover up something like a CX-Ray in paint plus despite what the official specs say, that paint does weigh a small amount per spoke. :p

Make sure you get enough spokes per wheel and get something that accurately reflects your intended useage and weight rather than the current fashion.
 

CyclinYooper

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Jan 9, 2011
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Originally Posted by danfoz .

I'd stick with the C2 rims. One of my riding buddies picked up a pair and confirmed every benefit spoken of in the reviews: i.e. noticeably nicer ride and significantly better cornering feel.

Fyi, Continental (not HED) ran a rolling resistance test using the same tires on the 23mm HED rim and a typical 19mm rim and found an 18% reduction in rolling resistance on the wider rim all else being equal.

On top of that they sport the same toroidal shape (co-patented between ZIPP and HED) making them somewhat aero for low profile rims, probably on a similar order of magnitude to the Zipp 101's (40 secs faster than a Mavic Ksyrium over a 40k TT). Folks dismissing this as marketing hype can take note of the independant test conducted by VeloNews sometime back where the HED (Super toroidal shape) and the Zipp (very slighly narrower than the HED at the widest point of the rim - the "aero width") literally smashed every other deep section rim tested in the wind tunnel featured in the test.

What was the other criteria... Oh yes hubs. I don't have much to say about there.
This is exactly why I wanted the C2 rims! Improved ride and better aerodynamics. New Mexico is windy; really windy!
 

CyclinYooper

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Jan 9, 2011
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Thanks swampy. I'll definitely take a look at the Dura-Ace hubs too. Shiny spokes? I'll have to look at more pictures. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

Life's full of important decisions.

Scott
 

swampy1970

Well-Known Member
Feb 3, 2008
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Plain CX-Ray spokes are very shiny... Pictures will not do them justice. Find your local Zipp dealer (Zipp wheels are built with CX-Rays) as are a few other brands... and go spin a wheel. All plain stainless steel spokes are shiny too.

Mmmm shiny spokes. Magpies love them!
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
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One of my current rims is an A23, and I like it just fine. I do only have 3000 miles on it though. For rims of that height, you're going to notice almost nothing in terms of crosswinds. Tucson can also be very windy, and there are zero issues with any rim I've used of that height. As for hubs, I don't think CK hubs are any better than White Industry hubs. As a bonus, the WI hubs are polished and look uber sexy. Their function is just as good as they look. If you want to drop as much change as you would on CK hubs, just get Alchemy hubs (ALF front and ORC rear). They're every bit as good as any other hub in function and have about the best flange spacing/flange diameter combination going. I would, however, stick with the A23's (or Kinlins if you don't want the 23mm rim) and WI hubs and use the money saved to get other bike stuff. I definitely wouldn't pay a premium just to get red hubs. Other hubs to consider would be Shimano Dura Ace or Campy Record (black only, I think.....can run either Campy or Shimano cassette). The Campy Record hub is less expensive than the Dura Ace. Both are at least the equal of CK hubs and less expensive.

Here are pics and links to more pics and info re: Alchemy Hubs:

The ALF front hub:



The ORC rear hub:



http://fairwheelbikes.com/alchemy-elf-front-hub-p-1191.html
http://fairwheelbikes.com/alchemy-orc-rear-hub-p-2301.html
 

CyclinYooper

New Member
Jan 9, 2011
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Thanks for the advice, guys.

Consensus is definitely to go with 23mm rims!

As for hubs, I have many options, but you guys may have changed my color preference. I may have to try silver hubs - silver spokes - black rims.

Scott
 

Adam-from-SLO

New Member
Nov 30, 2003
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quality hubs (sealed bearing) will always outlast the nicest rims possible. I'm a big fan of the wheel, over other components of the bike (derailleurs, shifters, etc.), so I always do my best to get the best hub and rim possible at the time (given a hand built wheel, as I don't believe in pre-made wheels sets that cost $300++)