Looking for a new wheelset

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by achtervolger, Dec 31, 2005.

  1. achtervolger

    achtervolger New Member

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    Hi everyone, first post. Greetings and thanks in advance for any help.

    I'm a former crit racer, weigh about 200 lbs. I'm pretty strong and put some good torque on my wheels. Most of my rides are in the 35-60 mi variety, but occasionally will do trips of 75 mi per day for a week or more, and will occasionally (once a year) do a century like Tour of the Unknown Coast. Lots of rolling terrain in my usual rides, but will occasionally venture up the hills (steep but less than 6 mi) up to skyline drive in the peninsula of the bay area.

    I'm on Spinergy Xaero's, probably from '99 or so. Broke the hub on the SPOX I started with, have no desire to deal with Spinergy again. SPOX were incrediby soft and wound up like a rubber band. The Xaero's are okay, and offer a plush ride, but are still a bit soft in the windup, particularly when heading up Old La Honda (steep hill).

    My frame is a Steelman Stage Race (steel) which is a stiff if somewhat heavy ride. Great frame for me, as I can jump on it hard and it delivers.

    Any suggestions on a wheelset that might improve my climbing performance (yes, I know dropping 10 lbs is cheaper)? I've been looking at the Campy wheels, specifically the Eurus and Zonda (ist that right?), and also considering having some built w/Record hubs and Open Pro (or other) rims from Colorado Cyclist. Does anyone think any of those choices are going to be significantly better for what I'm looking for than what I'm riding now? Other suggestions? I'll drop some coin if I have to, but obviously don't need to waste money. I'll definitely sacrifice some plushness to acheive a bit more snap in accelleration and climbing. Aero is of less significance. Handing is a premium. Reliability is key. Thanks again!
     
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  2. Postie

    Postie New Member

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    When I was researching my new wheel set, I was very impressed with the reviews of the Bontrager wheels especially in regards to reliability. Personally I bought a pair of X-Lites and am very happy with them. I am, however, over 30 pounds lighter then you, but from the reviews, these rims are very reliable for riders heavier then myself.

    One nice advantage of the Bontragers is, if you live in North America, they are very easy to find. If you do ever have an issue with them or you need to capitalize on the warranty, this allows the LBS to get you replacement parts in a very short time frame if they don't already have parts in stock.

    Happy shopping.
     
  3. MY02_STi

    MY02_STi New Member

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    I've been riding Mavic Ksyrium SL for a while and thought they were the best wheel set I'd ridden :cool: UNTIL I bought I set of Ksyrium ES - a truly amazing wheel IMHO :D :D

    I find the ES to be a more 'responsive' wheel, especially for climbing but either the SL or the ES are GREAT :cool:
     
  4. achtervolger

    achtervolger New Member

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    Thanks for the responses! I'm definitely looking at the Ksyrium wheels, but they seem a bit more expensive and not as highly rated as the Campy Eurus and Zonda wheelsets. Any comments from someone who's tried both brands?

    Bontrager have been recommended by my LBS for reliability, warranty and support, and general performance. I got the impression that they liked the wheels because they were easier for the shop to deal with, not necessarily that they were better handling or performing wheels, though I'm sure they are very good wheels. Cost also seems like a positive factor. However, I can't seem to find any opinions on their lateral stiffness or handling characteristics versus other wheels.

    Thanks for any other comments.
     
  5. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    I got back into road cycling a couple of years back on a set of Rolf Vector Pro wheels. Very stiff, very low spoke count, good climbing wheels, but the ride was a bit harsh and I started experiencing a real numb hands problem. OTOH, I rode the Rolfs for over a year, never did need to get them trued. Very rugged wheels, if you can take the bone jarring ride. I couldn't.

    Got a set of Campy Zondas on sale from cbike.com, had the same aero rim as the Rolfs, but decidedly milder spoking, and the ride was noticably smoother. Very nice, and they're my 'everyday' wheels now. Climbing? Can't say they're any better or worse than the Rolfs. Handsome wheels, too, in their anodized black and silver aluminum livery. They've held up well, put a year of riding on them and they're still true. One tip - if you get a set of Zondas, get on ebay, and find a set of black Rolf titanium skewers, usually sell for around $20 a set. The stock Campy steel skewers weigh a ton. As I understand it, Eurus is pretty much Zonda with Record hubs.

    As a purely extravagant waste of money, I bought a used set of Zipp 404's in tubular on ebay. Now this is the good stuff. Can't say they helped climbing much, but coming down the other side, they take off like a rocket. On the flats, they're noticably faster. I find I have to true them every six months or so if I ride them regularly. But I have to admit, once you put these beauties on, it's hard to take them off. They're fast, and smooth, although the cost gives one reason to pause and consider. Best wheels I've ever ridden.

    A riding buddy has the lower end Bontragers, can't say their durability inspires confidence.
     
  6. shokhead

    shokhead New Member

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    Had Elites which are bullet proof and now have Curcults which are great so far.
     
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