Recommend to me (read: confuse me even more, lol) a wheelset from my 'list'



DanDare

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Jul 15, 2009
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I'm on a long term process of upgrading my, what was a Giant Defy 4 but now a Kinesis KR510 frame/fork but still wears it's original Giant wheelset. My budget is between £3-400. I don't use tubulars btw. I currently weigh 88kgs (6ft), by the end of winter of which the vast majority of my training is on the turbo anyway i hope to be just shy of 80kgs. Bike is used from long rides to TT's though i don't do road racing. My (not so short)shortlist goes like this: Pro-Lite Bracciano's Easton EA70's Shimano RS80 C24's Campag Zonda's Fulcram Racing 3's American Classic Victory 30's Ksyrium Elites Reynolds Solitudes PZ Racing CR2.2's I've been looking into wheels for a few weeks, from what i've read so far the Pro-Lites seem a good choice, around 1500g, strong, nice hubs/bearings etc. If anyone has experience of any of these i'm all ears (or eyes as it were) Thanks, Dan.
 

daveryanwyoming

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Oct 3, 2006
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- Boyd Vitesse (higher spoke count version)

- Williams System 30X

- ROL Race SLR

Or best option, a custom wheelset built by a local builder, maybe on something like a pair of Kinlin XR-300 or XR-380 hoops and hubs of your choosing. It'll cost roughly the same and you can get them tailored to exactly what you need if you work with a good builder.

-Dave
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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daveryanwyoming said:
Or best option, a custom wheelset built by a local builder, maybe on something like a pair of Kinlin XR-300 or XR-380 hoops and hubs of your choosing. It'll cost roughly the same and you can get them tailored to exactly what you need if you work with a good builder. -Dave
Exactly what Dave said here. While some of the wheels you listed are very nice--Campy Zondas, Fulcrum Racing 3's, and the Shimano RS-80's--they're relatively pricey and depending on who listen to, they may be short of spokes. Custom builder can build wheels at least as good as what you can get from the big manufacturers (and quite often better), and they allow you to choose the bits that go in the wheels and can advise you on what bits are good and if necessary how many bits would be best for you and your style of riding. With the exception of the Shimano, Fulcrum, and Campagnolo wheels listed so far, I'm not a fan of the hubs in any of the other wheels listed. From a custom wheel builder you can get hubs from White Industries, Chris King, and Alchemy, and those hubs rival those from Shimano, Campy, and Fulcrum. That same wheel builder will give you choice of rims (I highly recommend rims that 22-23mm wide like the Velocity A-23 and HED Belgium C2), spokes, nipples, colors. Best of all, the wheel builder will be much easier to contact and work with if something goes wrong than the larger manufacturers typically are. Williams and ROL have developed quite a following and likely for good reason. I've heard very little that was bad about them. I, however, am not impressed by their hubs. Boyd is a little less popular than they are with roadies, although they likely have a bigger following with the tri-folks. No matter, I've heard a lot of good things about them, too. They use hubs of about the same quality as Williams and ROL. Some of your local shops likely build wheels, and there are certainly some excellent custom wheel builders in the UK. Since you're in the UK, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Royce hubs. They have achieved god-like status and deserve it.
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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I rode and raced the Ksyrium Elites for 2 seasons - the 1550 gram versions. The skewers creak after riding in the rain and need re-greasing but other than that for a low spoke count wheel they were stiff (noticeably stiffer than Zipps 101's featuring the same number of spokes) and accelerated very quickly, tough as nails (I raced these at Brooklyn's Floyd Bennet Field which is a god-forsaken pot-hole crater-ridden course, and the commute down Flatbush Ave to get there is no bloody picknick either - never needed truing once under my 165lb frame - The Zipps required truing every 3-4 weeks). Folks who haven't ridden the new versions may not have the best words - the pre-2010 models were closer to the current Aksiums in ride feel (who the heck names these wheels anyway). Subjective performance aside, apparently the hubs are garbage. And the fact that every manufacturer uses these to compare against in the wind tunnel should not be reassuring.

BUT, I would recommend also thinking a custom set as stated above. I recently picked up a set of HED C2's built on Campy record hubs (32h) by Boulder Excel for $650 - the ballpark $$ of the Elites. They are a little heavier because of the extra spokes but they are tough, fast rolling, and have a very nice ride quality. IMO better in every way in comparison to the $1200 Zipp 101's and the Mavic Elites.
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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danfoz said:
BUT, I would recommend also thinking a custom set as stated above. I recently picked up a set of HED C2's built on Campy record hubs (32h) by Boulder Excel for $650 - the ballpark $$ of the Elites. They are a little heavier because of the extra spokes but they are tough, fast rolling, and have a very nice ride quality. IMO better in every way in comparison to the $1200 Zipp 101's and the Mavic Elites.
Have you got a weight on those wheels?
 

danfoz

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Apr 12, 2011
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Originally Posted by alienator .


Have you got a weight on those wheels?
The Excel Sports wheel building calculator is a cool tool. Aside from price it also gives the weight - 1770 grams w/brass nips and 14/15 DB spokes. Woulda been 1560grms with DT Revs and alloy nips (just did the calc.) but as I've been racing less and only holding one set of wheels, durability was the goal.
 

DanDare

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Jul 15, 2009
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Thanks for your input, i had the ROL SL's on my list too but, like the Boyd & Williams there doesn't seem to be much in the way of UK suppliers, certainly my local bike shop(s) can't get them. My regular shop owner who also runs our club is known for building wheels but they seem limited in choice, i need to ask him what he can & can't build. I'm certainly unaware of any others locally who build wheels, hence why it seems easier to purchase an 'off the shelf' wheelset..
 

alienator

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Jun 10, 2004
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DanDare said:
Thanks for your input, i had the ROL SL's on my list too but, like the Boyd & Williams there doesn't seem to be much in the way of UK suppliers, certainly my local bike shop(s) can't get them. My regular shop owner who also runs our club is known for building wheels but they seem limited in choice, i need to ask him what he can & can't build. I'm certainly unaware of any others locally who build wheels, hence why it seems easier to purchase an 'off the shelf' wheelset..
Certainly one to consider is one of the gods of wheel building, Paul Hewitt. Also having a mega rep is Harry Rowland. Wheelsmith is also well thought of and has a huge selection of choices. There are of course others. You might ask local riders for recommendations.
 

CAMPYBOB

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Sep 12, 2005
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I raced these at Brooklyn's Floyd Bennet Field which is a god-forsaken pot-hole crater-ridden course, and the commute down Flatbush Ave to get there is no bloody picknick either - never needed truing once under my 165lb frame...

You race at FBF? Cool!


Ksyriums are decent wheels for training and racing. Plenty durable and the hubs are good enough and rebuildable. I'm told Mavic has ditched the freehub bushing ring and went to an inner ball bearing setup again so the freehub should be good to go. I just spent a season training on the cheaper Aksiums...yeah, who DOES name these things???...and other than me doing a quick touch-up truing they are bomb proof.

Zondas have decent hubs, but may require more truing than most. A couple of friends have parked theirs rather than keeping up with the out-of-true condition after training on them.

Eastons are good, solid trainers. They seem to hold up well on the lower end bikes the newbies buy. I'm impressed with their durability and if the right deal were to fall in my lap I would run them.

If going with a built-up pair of wheels, I can think of no better wheel builders than the guys at Colorado Cyclist. I've bilt wheels for nearly 40 years and they meet my standards and then some. Great builders, in my book, and the the prices are reasonable.

Good luck!