Newbie: wheelsets for Boston area (crap) roads

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Cathy Savino, Mar 8, 2003.

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  1. Cathy Savino

    Cathy Savino Guest

    Hi all,

    I just got a trek 5500, that came with Bontrager Race X-Lite wheels. I don't think using this
    whellset on the streets in the boston area is a good idea. I want to get a wheelset that is fast,
    but can stand up to the streets of boston (especially fater a winter like this). Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    -- CS
     
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  2. >I just got a trek 5500, that came with Bontrager Race X-Lite wheels. I don't think using this
    >whellset on the streets in the boston area is a good idea. I want to get a wheelset that is fast,
    >but can stand up to the streets of boston (especially fater a winter like this). Any suggestions?

    Have you had problems with them?

    I don't understand why you don't ride the Bontragers until they fall apart, they are supposed to be
    pretty good and they're under warranty.

    If they perform well why bother replacing them. It's just equipment.

    --

    _______________________ALL AMIGA IN MY MIND_______________________ ------------------"Buddy Holly,
    the Texas Elvis"------------------
    __________306.350.357.38>>[email protected]__________
     
  3. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Cathy Savino" wrote:
    > I just got a trek 5500, that came with Bontrager Race X-Lite wheels. I don't think using this
    > whellset on the streets in the boston area is a good idea. I want to get a wheelset that is fast,
    > but can stand up to the streets of boston (especially fater a winter like this). Any suggestions?

    You should have asked the shop swap out the wheels for you. Maybe it's not too late to ask, but
    usually the best time to make a deal like that is before making the purchase.

    If the roads are bad, try wider tires (if they will fit the tight clearances of the 5500's frame)
    such as a 700 x 25 or 700 x28.

    Your weight and riding habits will dictate what kind of wheels to use. In general, it's hard to go
    wrong with well built conventional 32 (or 36) spoke wheels with a reasonably strong rims and
    butted spokes.

    Art Harris
     
  4. Harris

    Harris Guest

    "Cathy Savino" wrote:
    > I just got a trek 5500, that came with Bontrager Race X-Lite wheels. I don't think using this
    > whellset on the streets in the boston area is a good idea. I want to get a wheelset that is fast,
    > but can stand up to the streets of boston (especially fater a winter like this). Any suggestions?

    You should have asked the shop swap out the wheels for you. Maybe it's not too late to ask, but
    usually the best time to make a deal like that is before making the purchase.

    If the roads are bad, try wider tires (if they will fit the tight clearances of the 5500's frame)
    such as a 700 x 25 or 700 x28.

    Your weight and riding habits will dictate what kind of wheels to use. In general, it's hard to go
    wrong with well built conventional 32 (or 36) spoke wheels with a reasonably strong rims and
    butted spokes.

    Art Harris
     
  5. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Cathy Savino" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I just got a trek 5500, that came with Bontrager Race X-Lite wheels. I don't think using this
    > whellset on the streets in the boston area is a good idea. I want to get a wheelset that is fast,
    > but can stand up to the streets of boston (especially fater a winter like this). Any suggestions?

    It's a good idea to have a spare set of wheels anyway. You can set them up with sturdier/wider tires
    and be able to swap them out quickly. Something like Mavic Open Pros, Ultegra hubs, and DT spokes
    goes for around $200 a set, pretty generic, reasonably durable.
     
  6. Gary Smiley

    Gary Smiley Guest

    I'm from Boston. Trust me - DO NOT use these fine wheels inside of route 128! We had a bad winter 2
    years ago which left lots of potholes. After a year most of them still hadn't been repaired. This
    year's winter was the worst ever as far as potholes are concerned. The roads are worse that I have
    ever seen them. If you try using those good wheels around Boston, you will wind up banging the crap
    out of them. Save them for club rides out on nice suburban roads, and keep a beater bike for the
    streets of Boston. - or - do what Peter suggested, and get a second set of wheels. I have two main
    bikes- a 27-speed Ultegra racing bike that only gets ridden outside of Route 128 in good weather,
    and an old Specialized cross bike that I commute to work in. It's encrusted with salt and sand, and
    is quite a mess. It has size 32 tires and 36 spokes on wheels I built myself, and they're tough, but
    it serves it's purpose and allows me to pamper and preserve my good road bike.

    Cathy Savino wrote:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > I just got a trek 5500, that came with Bontrager Race X-Lite wheels. I don't think using this
    > whellset on the streets in the boston area is a good idea. I want to get a wheelset that is fast,
    > but can stand up to the streets of boston (especially fater a winter like this). Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > -- CS
     
  7. Garmonboezia

    Garmonboezia Guest

    Cathy Savino <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > I just got a trek 5500, that came with Bontrager Race X-Lite wheels. I don't think using this
    > whellset on the streets in the boston area is a good idea. I want to get a wheelset that is fast,
    > but can stand up to the streets of boston (especially fater a winter like this). Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > -- CS

    I've had good luck with Sun ME-14s (32 front and 28 rear-no special reason for that, it's just what
    was on hand,) on DB spokes. If Boston roads are that bad, maybe go 36? Mavics are quite good too,
    but I find the Suns to be as good for less money.

    Also, the thrasher idea is a good one. An adequate steel hardtail mountain bike with rigid forks
    running narrow slicks (26 x 1 or 26 x 1.25) would be my response to war-zone street surfaces. I
    would also lay a coat of black primer or marine paint on it, just to help deter anyone who thinks
    they need it more than you. Bike thieves, like crows, are attracted to shiny, pretty things, which
    is another reason not to take the Bontragers downtown
    IMO.
     
  8. Austinboston

    Austinboston Guest

    Gary Smiley <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    <snip>
    > Save them for club rides out on nice suburban roads, and keep a beater bike for the streets
    > of Boston.

    I live and cycle on suburban streets just outside (to the south) of route 128. I work in Chinatown
    (where some of the worst potholes are found). I fail to see a difference between the streets inside
    and outside the city.

    My family has actually taken to naming some of the potholes near home. One we've called Elm Canyon,
    another the Bottomless Pit. :( There are places where the double-yellow line is as far to the right
    as one can safely ride!

    I do agree that Boston is not a place for fine lightweight wheels.

    Austin
     
  9. Gary Smiley

    Gary Smiley Guest

    Austin - The potholes are so bad that once I decided to take pictures of some of them and put them
    on a website. I photographed the potholes along the Charles River Bike Paths and sent the MDC the
    link. The intent was that if the MDC knew, they would be liable in case of injuries. They sent me an
    email about their grand plan for improving the area, but everybody knows that the MDC are do-nothing
    political hacks. Anyway, (this might sound crazy) if you bring a digital camera and photograph these
    holes, I might rebuild my page to be more current and up-to-date. The page resides at
    http://potholes.garysmiley.com . Also, please tell me where I can find Elm Canyon and the Bottomless
    Pit. Thanks - Gary

    AustinBoston wrote:

    > Gary Smiley <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >
    > <snip>
    > > Save them for club rides out on nice suburban roads, and keep a beater bike for the streets of
    > > Boston.
    >
    > I live and cycle on suburban streets just outside (to the south) of route 128. I work in Chinatown
    > (where some of the worst potholes are found). I fail to see a difference between the streets
    > inside and outside the city.
    >
    > My family has actually taken to naming some of the potholes near home. One we've called Elm
    > Canyon, another the Bottomless Pit. :( There are places where the double-yellow line is as far to
    > the right as one can safely ride!
    >
    > I do agree that Boston is not a place for fine lightweight wheels.
    >
    > Austin
     
  10. Austinboston

    Austinboston Guest

    Gary Smiley grinned and wrote: <snip>
    > Also, please tell me where I can find Elm Canyon and the Bottomless Pit. Thanks - Gary

    Elm Canyon is in Easton on the western section of Elm Street. The western section runs between Rt.
    138 and No. Main Street. You'll find Elm Canyon on the eastbound side about halfway between N Main
    and 138. Sunday afternoon the Easton pothole crew filled it with cold patch, but since it was full
    of water at the time it will soon be back to it's old self. As of Monday night, fully half of the
    cold patch was scattered up and down the road. This might eventually get fixed for real because it
    is within sight of the Easton Town offices. If you do get down there, keep in mind that Elm street
    was completely repaved last year.

    The location of the bottomless pit is a bit harder to specify. Again in Easton, it's on Bay Road
    between Rockland Street and Lincoln Street. When I went by Sunday AM, the Easton Pothole crew had
    put a barrel in it and three orange cones around it, but as of Monday night the barrel was on the
    side of the road and the cones were not visible (probably fell in). Car or bike, if you don't catch
    air when you come to it, you won't make it. We take a different route to avoid it.

    What is remarkable is that these roads see more service and a lot less traffic than typical Boston
    roads and are still as bad as they are.

    Austin
     
  11. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "AustinBoston" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]... <snip>

    > What is remarkable is that these roads see more service and a lot less traffic than typical Boston
    > roads and are still as bad as they are.
    >
    > Austin

    A few years ago, I attended a lecture by a woman who was studying the growth of Boston and the
    location of the original stream beds in the watershed. It seems that in their wisdom, the original
    developers first channelized, then completely enclosed many of the streams in the area so they could
    build over the streams. Her findings were that along these enclosed streams, the number of empty
    lots or crumbling buildings was significantly higher than in the rest of Boston. She found no
    difference in socio-economic locations of the properties in question. In other words, the buildings
    were falling down whether they were on the rich or poor side of town.

    Her explanation was that even though the streams themselves were enclosed and surface slope may have
    been redirected away from the streams, the underlying subsurface topography still drove water
    towards the original stream beds. This undercut the foundations of the buildings which led to them
    falling down.

    The same is probably happening to the street you are talking about. Heck, it can even happen on a
    small scale. The french drain that carries water from my back yard to the street has been leaking
    somewhere in the front yard and has created in a small sinkhole that runs under the edge of our
    driveway. I just hope that I can convince the landlord to fix it before the driveway collapses....

    -Buck
     
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