Re: Light Weight, Long Distance, Durable Road Wheels - Recommendations?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by David L. Johnson, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. On Sun, 27 Mar 2005 22:27:35 -0500, Steve Sr. wrote:

    > After digging through the last year and a half of news group posts
    > regarding wheels I still haven't found a consensus for a good durable
    > wheel set. It appears that there is a bias against "boutique" wheels
    > for this purpose


    Yes, but at least part of that is a price/performance issue. They cost
    several times what good handbuilt wheels cost, but don't work any better.
    In addition, they do cause trouble if anything goes wrong on the
    road. If the wheel is not field-servicable, there is nothing you can
    do if you crash and taco a wheel, or break a spoke. With a handbuilt
    wheel and a spoke wrench, you can usually get home. I also think they
    have reliability issues, since the hubs tend not to be as reliable as
    name-brand hubs are.

    > I am looking for a set of road wheels for long distance group riding not
    > racing. I weigh 160 pounds which might make the choice easier.


    Sure, it would. Your demands on the wheel are less severe than for
    someone 200 lbs.
    >
    > I want the hubs to be of high quality with no maintenance sealed
    > cartridge bearings.


    I'd argue against that, but there is room for debate on this issue. I
    think cup&cone bearings are still not surpassed for wheels. Cartridge
    bearings do not have that much longer a service life, and are more costly
    and difficult to replace when needed, compared with good cup and cone
    bearings.

    > So which components / wheels would you recommend?


    If you want to maximize strength, then I would recommend a v-shaped rim
    like Velocity deep-V or Mavic CXP-33 (or so -- I have some with different
    numbers, but essentially the same rim). If you really want to go for
    durability, then 36 spokes as well, though I do fine with 32. Get
    double-butted spokes. I prefer 14-15-14 rather than the 15-16-15 variety,
    but either are better than straight gauge.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Some people used to claim that, if enough monkeys sat in front
    _`\(,_ | of enough typewriters and typed long enough, eventually one of
    (_)/ (_) | them would reproduce the collected works of Shakespeare. The
    internet has proven this not to be the case.
     
    Tags:


  2. > I'd argue against that, but there is room for debate on this issue. I
    > think cup&cone bearings are still not surpassed for wheels. Cartridge
    > bearings do not have that much longer a service life, and are more
    > costly and difficult to replace when needed, compared with good cup
    > and cone bearings.


    I would say this is generally true, but one can always find the cartridge
    bearings themselves at any bearing shop in any decently-sized town. Cones
    are a little harder to find at a moment's notice, since some shops don't
    always stock the exact part. It can be hard to find especially if one has a
    not-so-easily found cone size, especially on a no-name cheaper hub. Yes, a
    whole bunch of cones are exchangeable, but if seals/dust caps aren't in the
    right place, one may be cutting his legs off by buying a slightly smaller
    cone that can allow water in and let grease out. The cartridge bearing,
    however, will always have the correct part (given no user error).

    Having said that, I would still choose cup/cone and buy several cones at
    once. I hate impact tools and pressing cartridge bearings back out. Plus,
    cup/cone is just as smooth as cartridge if adjusted with some extra TLC.
    Cartridge bearings can be a PITA to adjust if the adjustment thread pitch is
    too steep, or if the set screw goes loose (use loctite).

    --
    Phil, Squid-in-Training
     
  3. rkoreis

    rkoreis Guest

    "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]
    > On Sun, 27 Mar 2005 22:27:35 -0500, Steve Sr. wrote:


    > If you want to maximize strength, then I would recommend a v-shaped rim
    > like Velocity deep-V or Mavic CXP-33 (or so -- I have some with different
    > numbers, but essentially the same rim). If you really want to go for
    > durability, then 36 spokes as well, though I do fine with 32. Get
    > double-butted spokes. I prefer 14-15-14 rather than the 15-16-15 variety,
    > but either are better than straight gauge.


    I'll second most of what you said, especially regarding boutique v. LBS
    built wheels. As for maximizing strength, I've got a pair of 32h CXP-33
    rims laced with double butted spokes for my commuter, but I'm 200lbs. plus
    whatever I'm carrying. The wheels have been absolutely bulletproof. But
    for someone who is 160 lbs., a good box rim will work well and be much
    lighter. There are any number of quality choices available.

    Steve, if you have some time, try building them yourself. I'm a mechanical
    idiot, yet I've built my last three sets of wheels, with some help and
    advice from my LBS.

    Get an old wheel, take it apart, and put it back together. You'll want a
    truing stand if you don't already have one. Sheldon has a good page on
    wheel building: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html
    When you've got it built up with the tension about where you think it should
    be, go back to the LBS and have them check it with a tensiometer. Aside
    from the $ you save, there is the satisfaction of doing it yourself and the
    confidence that you can fix problems out on the road.

    Bob Koreis
     
  4. > admittedly, i'm yet to put my money where my mouth is on this, but
    > having just stripped & repacked my cup/cone bearing hubs for the
    > /second/ time this winter because of rain rides washing excessive grit
    > into the drive side bearing, i'm inclined to say that a sealed bearing
    > solution is the best way to go. they are always cheaply
    > available/replacable, and at a full retail price of $300, a pair of
    > mavic cosmos wheels compare favorably with handbuilt wheels. the rim
    > is the same as the open pro, a known reliable rim, the spokes, while
    > lower in count, are slightly thicker to compensate and are straight
    > pull which eliminates elbow fatigue.
    >
    > in fact, i'm getting out the plastic right now - i hate messing about
    > with freehubs when they're full of grit.


    The issue I have never understood about Shimano road hubs is that they don't
    have a rubber contact seal on the bearings. I have done many wet rides on a
    basic front Deore hub and was surprised to see Shimano's grease a bright
    neon even after those many many wet, gritty miles. The fact that the wheel
    spins more freely with the labyrith rubber seals attests to the fact that
    grease fills the voids between the hub and the rubber parts, keeping out mud
    and grit effectively.

    If I were ever to build up another set of road wheels for myself, I would no
    doubt build them with mountain hubs, fix the spacing, and change the axle if
    necessary.

    --
    Phil, Squid-in-Training
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>,
    "David L. Johnson" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > On Sun, 27 Mar 2005 22:27:35 -0500, Steve Sr. wrote:
    >
    > > After digging through the last year and a half of news group posts
    > > regarding wheels I still haven't found a consensus for a good durable
    > > wheel set. It appears that there is a bias against "boutique" wheels
    > > for this purpose

    >
    > Yes, but at least part of that is a price/performance issue. They cost
    > several times what good handbuilt wheels cost, but don't work any better.
    > In addition, they do cause trouble if anything goes wrong on the
    > road. If the wheel is not field-servicable, there is nothing you can
    > do if you crash and taco a wheel, or break a spoke. With a handbuilt
    > wheel and a spoke wrench, you can usually get home. I also think they
    > have reliability issues, since the hubs tend not to be as reliable as
    > name-brand hubs are.


    I knew I wanted to post on this...

    I was in a race a few weeks ago in which I hit the ground and a rider
    behind me used my front wheel as a launch ramp. End result: one of my 18
    radially laced, bladed aero spokes in the front wheel took a major load,
    and became completely loose. The spokes were painted black, and this one
    loose spoke now has a place where the paint is completely rubbed off,
    though there were no gouges in the spoke.

    Okay, so I got up from the ground, and now my front wheel won't pass the
    brakes without touching. By opening the brake release, I can clear the
    brakes, but the front brake's effectiveness is reduced. I decide to
    abandon. I am not carrying any tools (I never do during a race).

    On the slow ride back to the car, the wheel works well enough. This is
    on fairly flat terrain, so the brakes are not being stressed. But I
    could basically ride like this indefinitely, though not at full pace.

    After I get the bike home, I true up the wheel. A few minutes with the
    spoke wrench brings the wheel back to normal.

    Lessons learned:
    -With an appropriately strong rim, 18 spokes will not cause inordinate
    trouble, even when one goes away.
    -It's still more trouble than a normal wheel, which would have shown
    much less wobble after the loss of one spoke
    -If I had had a spoke wrench on the race course, I am confident I could
    have returned the wheel to serviceable trueness in a few minutes.

    Conclusions:
    -high spoke counts have much to recommend them
    -if you have 18 spokes in your front wheel, the loss of one spoke will
    not make the wheel unrideable. That's not to say these are the wheels
    I'd be riding on my next bike tour, but next Populaire? Sure.

    My experience suggests that the bias against boutique wheels is
    reasonable, but the situation is not quite as dire as most might think.
    Note that my wheel is about as conservative as low-spoke-count
    aero-oriented wheels get: 18 spokes, even hole spacing across the rim,
    and normal-looking parts (no custom spoke design or other proprietary
    oddities). http://www.kultbike.com/shop/wheels.html

    --
    Ryan Cousineau, [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com
    Verus de parvis; verus de magnis.
     
  6. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest


    > Get an old wheel, take it apart, and put it back together. You'll

    want a
    > truing stand if you don't already have one. Sheldon has a good page

    on
    > wheel building: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html


    Taking apart old wheels strikes me as a waste of time. Just buy a set
    of wheels, stress relieve them, bring up the tension & true them. You
    can always find laced wheels cheaper than the parts.

    > When you've got it built up with the tension about where you think it

    should
    > be, go back to the LBS and have them check it with a tensiometer.

    Aside
    > from the $ you save, there is the satisfaction of doing it yourself

    and the
    > confidence that you can fix problems out on the road.


    You can compare the plucked tone to a similar wheel, you don't need a
    tensiometer. You also don't need a truing stand or a dishing fixture.
     
  7. jim beam

    jim beam Guest

    Phil, Squid-in-Training wrote:
    >>admittedly, i'm yet to put my money where my mouth is on this, but
    >>having just stripped & repacked my cup/cone bearing hubs for the
    >>/second/ time this winter because of rain rides washing excessive grit
    >>into the drive side bearing, i'm inclined to say that a sealed bearing
    >>solution is the best way to go. they are always cheaply
    >>available/replacable, and at a full retail price of $300, a pair of
    >>mavic cosmos wheels compare favorably with handbuilt wheels. the rim
    >>is the same as the open pro, a known reliable rim, the spokes, while
    >>lower in count, are slightly thicker to compensate and are straight
    >>pull which eliminates elbow fatigue.
    >>
    >>in fact, i'm getting out the plastic right now - i hate messing about
    >>with freehubs when they're full of grit.

    >
    >
    > The issue I have never understood about Shimano road hubs is that they don't
    > have a rubber contact seal on the bearings.


    they do, but they're weeny & don't appear to be very effective - the
    rears at least.

    > I have done many wet rides on a
    > basic front Deore hub and was surprised to see Shimano's grease a bright
    > neon even after those many many wet, gritty miles. The fact that the wheel
    > spins more freely with the labyrith rubber seals attests to the fact that
    > grease fills the voids between the hub and the rubber parts, keeping out mud
    > and grit effectively.


    mine were full of grease too, but the grease itself keeps getting
    gritted. this is not spalled bearing which sparkles under strong light,
    but grey road grit.

    >
    > If I were ever to build up another set of road wheels for myself, I would no
    > doubt build them with mountain hubs, fix the spacing, and change the axle if
    > necessary.
    >

    i've considered that too - no doubt the seals are more effective on the
    mtb hubs. trouble is, my commuter frame is aluminum & i really don't
    want to re-space it to take the 135mm axle. re-spacing the hub doesn't
    work because of the way the seals are arranged.
     
  8. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Phil, Squid-in-Training wrote:

    > The issue I have never understood about Shimano road hubs is that
    > they don't have a rubber contact seal on the bearings. I have done
    > many wet rides on a basic front Deore hub and was surprised to see
    > Shimano's grease a bright neon even after those many many wet, gritty
    > miles. The fact that the wheel spins more freely with the labyrith
    > rubber seals attests to the fact that grease fills the voids between
    > the hub and the rubber parts, keeping out mud and grit effectively.
    >
    > If I were ever to build up another set of road wheels for myself, I
    > would no doubt build them with mountain hubs, fix the spacing, and
    > change the axle if necessary.


    It's definately worth thinking about. I have an STX-RC hub on the rear of my
    mountain bike, which seems every bit as good as the more expensive ones. The
    few times I've taken it apart the grease has been clean. Shimano MTB hubs are
    great.

    Actually the freehub part needs to be serviced more often than the bearings
    these days.

    Early 90s MTB hubs were like road hubs, and sometimes needed to be serviced
    after every wet ride. We used to leave the globs of grease that squeezed out,
    thinking they had to wash away first before water could start getting past the
    seals.

    Matt O.
     
  9. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    Matt O'Toole wrote:

    > It's definately worth thinking about. I have an STX-RC hub on the

    rear of my
    > mountain bike, which seems every bit as good as the more expensive

    ones. The
    > few times I've taken it apart the grease has been clean. Shimano MTB

    hubs are
    > great.
    >
    > Actually the freehub part needs to be serviced more often than the

    bearings
    > these days.


    I've found the same thing, even the low-end Shimano MTB hubs are really
    durable. They're also really cheap. Whenever I see them on sale, I
    usually buy one just for the parts. The freehub swaps easily, no bother
    with servicing, plus you've got a decent QR, a spare axle, cones &
    balls. I've swapped the Ultegra freehubs with LX MTB ones.
     
  10. On Mon, 28 Mar 2005 05:23:14 +0000, Phil, Squid-in-Training wrote:

    > The issue I have never understood about Shimano road hubs is that they don't
    > have a rubber contact seal on the bearings.


    I have limited experience with Shimano road hubs. My experience with
    Campy hubs is that they last a long time between rebuilds even in wet
    conditions. In fact, I am feeling guilty since my road wheels have gone
    maybe 4000 miles with no attention other than shooting a bit of grease in
    the port (the hole in the center of the hubs; if it isn't equipped with
    one, I drill one) every blue moon. The Shimano road hub I have is on
    the fixed gear, which may get less exposure to wet conditions. The rear
    is also Shimano, and I would not imagine the seals to be any better than
    the road ones. Again I have a grease port drilled into these, so maybe
    that helps.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Some people used to claim that, if enough monkeys sat in front
    _`\(,_ | of enough typewriters and typed long enough, eventually one of
    (_)/ (_) | them would reproduce the collected works of Shakespeare. The
    internet has proven this not to be the case.
     
  11. David L. Johnson wrote:
    > In fact, I am feeling guilty since my road wheels have gone
    > maybe 4000 miles with no attention other than shooting a bit of

    grease in
    > the port (the hole in the center of the hubs; if it isn't equipped

    with
    > one, I drill one) every blue moon.


    I've thought about switching to that method of greasing hubs, but
    haven't. Seems to me you're injecting a slug of grease between the
    axle and the inner surface of the hub body. Isn't that grease
    constantly being sheared whenever the wheel rotates? Does it not add
    to rolling resistance? Can you feel the difference?

    Frank Krygowski
     
  12. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

    In article <[email protected]>,
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >David L. Johnson wrote:
    >> In fact, I am feeling guilty since my road wheels have gone
    >> maybe 4000 miles with no attention other than shooting a bit of

    >grease in
    >> the port (the hole in the center of the hubs; if it isn't equipped

    >with
    >> one, I drill one) every blue moon.

    >
    >I've thought about switching to that method of greasing hubs, but
    >haven't. Seems to me you're injecting a slug of grease between the
    >axle and the inner surface of the hub body. Isn't that grease
    >constantly being sheared whenever the wheel rotates?


    _ Yes, but since grease is pretty viscous the shear layer is very
    thin and the hub is moving much slower than the rim ( roughly
    1/70th the speed ). Most of the grease is either stuck to the axle or the hub.

    >Does it not add to rolling resistance?


    _ Probably in some fashion, it does add weight. Overall I think
    the benefit of clean fresh grease with very little effort
    outweighs any drawbacks.

    >Can you feel the difference?


    _ No, but I'm not racing these days.

    _ Booker C. Bense

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  13. -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----

    In article <[email protected]>,
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >David L. Johnson wrote:
    >> In fact, I am feeling guilty since my road wheels have gone
    >> maybe 4000 miles with no attention other than shooting a bit of

    >grease in
    >> the port (the hole in the center of the hubs; if it isn't equipped

    >with
    >> one, I drill one) every blue moon.

    >
    >I've thought about switching to that method of greasing hubs, but
    >haven't. Seems to me you're injecting a slug of grease between the
    >axle and the inner surface of the hub body. Isn't that grease
    >constantly being sheared whenever the wheel rotates?


    _ Yes, but since grease is pretty viscous the shear layer is very
    thin and the hub is moving much slower than the rim ( roughly
    1/70th the speed ). Most of the grease is either stuck to the axle or the hub.

    >Does it not add to rolling resistance?


    _ Probably in some fashion, it does add weight. Overall I think
    the benefit of clean fresh grease with very little effort
    outweighs any drawbacks.

    >Can you feel the difference?


    _ No, but I'm not racing these days.

    _ Booker C. Bense

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  14. On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 21:30:17 -0800, frkrygow wrote:

    >
    > David L. Johnson wrote:
    >> In fact, I am feeling guilty since my road wheels have gone
    >> maybe 4000 miles with no attention other than shooting a bit of

    > grease in
    >> the port (the hole in the center of the hubs; if it isn't equipped

    > with
    >> one, I drill one) every blue moon.

    >
    > I've thought about switching to that method of greasing hubs, but
    > haven't. Seems to me you're injecting a slug of grease between the
    > axle and the inner surface of the hub body. Isn't that grease
    > constantly being sheared whenever the wheel rotates? Does it not add
    > to rolling resistance? Can you feel the difference?


    It's not a total replacement for re-packing hubs with fresh grease and new
    bearings, but it extends the interval between re-packing.

    I doubt that there is much shear from the grease layer between the axle
    and the hub body. What I see when I pull the hub apart is that there is
    a layer of grease on hub and body, but there seems to be a space between
    them. I think the grease separates pretty quickly so that it does not
    cause drag. I certainly don't feel any drag. I do have to clean excess
    grease off the ends of the hubs after I shoot more in, so most of the
    excess seems to migrate outward.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Accept risk. Accept responsibility. Put a lawyer out of
    _`\(,_ | business.
    (_)/ (_) |
     
  15. On Tue, 29 Mar 2005 21:30:17 -0800, frkrygow wrote:

    >
    > David L. Johnson wrote:
    >> In fact, I am feeling guilty since my road wheels have gone
    >> maybe 4000 miles with no attention other than shooting a bit of

    > grease in
    >> the port (the hole in the center of the hubs; if it isn't equipped

    > with
    >> one, I drill one) every blue moon.

    >
    > I've thought about switching to that method of greasing hubs, but
    > haven't. Seems to me you're injecting a slug of grease between the
    > axle and the inner surface of the hub body. Isn't that grease
    > constantly being sheared whenever the wheel rotates? Does it not add
    > to rolling resistance? Can you feel the difference?


    It's not a total replacement for re-packing hubs with fresh grease and new
    bearings, but it extends the interval between re-packing.

    I doubt that there is much shear from the grease layer between the axle
    and the hub body. What I see when I pull the hub apart is that there is
    a layer of grease on hub and body, but there seems to be a space between
    them. I think the grease separates pretty quickly so that it does not
    cause drag. I certainly don't feel any drag. I do have to clean excess
    grease off the ends of the hubs after I shoot more in, so most of the
    excess seems to migrate outward.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Accept risk. Accept responsibility. Put a lawyer out of
    _`\(,_ | business.
    (_)/ (_) |
     
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