Recommended Climbing Wheelset and Tires

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by deftone86, Jan 23, 2012.

  1. deftone86

    deftone86 New Member

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    [SIZE= medium]Background: I just got into cycling about a year and a half ago. I am 6’1” tall and weigh about 215 lbs right now but hope to be down around 200 lbs when I can start cycling outside again. Last August I bought a Cannondale Synapse Carbon 6 and right away I upgraded the crank to a 50/34 Sram Force. This winter I bought Force brakes and rear derailleur and I am thinking about getting Red shifters if the price drops when the new model is released. The other two upgrades I want to make to the bike are a new 11/28 cassette since I never use the 32t ring on my 11/32 and a new wheelset.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= medium]Goal: My goal for this year is to complete the 150K Horrible Hilly Hundreds (for those who done know it is 94 miles with 9900’ of gain in Mt. Horeb, WI) and Race the Lake (a 94 mile race around Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin) otherwise it will be mostly century rides.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= medium]My questions for everyone is what is really good set of climbing wheels since my biggest concern is the HHH? Right now my budget is $1000 but I would consider going over some of the consensus is the Dura-Ace WH-7900-C24-CL’s are the best wheel out there. The other wheels I have been looking into are the Eastons EA90 SLX and EA90 SL. I have also looked at the Shimano RS80’s. Finally I would appreciate any advice on good tires to match.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= medium]I would like a durable product wheelset since I will be riding these all the time and something that is strong enough to handle my weight.[/SIZE]

    [SIZE= medium]Thanks for the help![/SIZE]
     
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  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    What wheels do you have now?

    For now at least I'd stick with what you have. The cassette can be easily removed and changed at any time but for the event in question, if there are any hills in the last 50km that are fairly steep I'd leave the 32 sprocket on especially if you rarely ride 150km. If your training route doesn't have any hills on it that requires the 32 and you'd rather have an intermediate gear or two in the middle of the cassette then swap it out until the event in question.

    At 200lb I'd steer clear of anything with less than 24 spokes, for deep section rims, or 32 spokes with regular depth rims if longevity is a feature you require. Personally I'd go with something like Shimano Dura Ace hubs, the 23mm wide HED Ardennes or Velocity A23 rims 32 spoke and Sapim CX-Ray spokes if you want something functional with some 'bling'.

    Shimano Ultegra hubs are very good but not as expensive as the Dura Ace, and the DT competition spokes are a very good round spoke that'll be suitable for your weight if you want to save some cash but not loose out on lots of performance.

    Some manufacturers, like HED and Zipp do a "stallion" build or similar if you want to go prebuilt.

    At the end of the day it's always nice to have something that looks 'fast' but you need your wheels to run true if you want to go fast. Don't be the big guy with the broken spokes looking for a ride back to the start...

    Tires - Continental GP4000S.
     
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  3. deftone86

    deftone86 New Member

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    Shimano R500 but I think they are different then the ones on the Shimano website since they look completely different. Mine are black rims with a giant red R500.

    I thought about keeping my cassette for the ride but I never have much trouble climbing and if i switch cassettes it comes with a significant weight savings. I am a little bit of a weight weeine.

    I don't have to go with a prebuilt wheel but I have no idea how to do it myself and do not know where I would go to get it done.
     
  4. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    I'd suggest you talk to a custom wheel builder to see what they suggest in terms of a "light weight" and durable wheel. You can get such a wheel set for much less than $1000. With a budget of $1000, you're going to be short of cash for the vast majority of deep section wheels, and the deep section wheels that fall in the price range will not be light weight. The weight savings on a wheel set that you'll see will be a very small fraction of your total (bike, rider, water, and etc) weight. The listed weight for a Shimano R500 wheel set is 1884g. I think with a non-aero wheel, you're going to be limited to losing only 200-300g or so if you want to still have a durable wheel. That's just my opinion.

    Here's a thread listing a fair number of custom wheel builders: http://www.cyclingforums.com/t/488449/custom-wheel-builders .
     
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  5. tctdvm

    tctdvm New Member

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    You should look that Stan's No Tubes Alpha rims built up on Chris King Race hubs.
    They seem to be the lightest (reasonable) aluminum clinchers on the market @ 355g.
    They can easily be built up to be a 1260-1375g wheelset for right around $1k and be well above your weight limit.
    You can use regular clincher tires and tubes if you want, too. I'd go with the Specialized Open Mondo with Latex tubes if you want speed. Otherwise the notubes hutchinson atoms or fusion pros are probably acceptably fast.
    They also have a 23 mm width which is a better match for 23-700c tires for handling and avoiding pinch flats... supposedly lower Crr, too, but whatever, that's not the point... light weight and $1k.

    Boyd cycling has Carbon Clinchers for right around that same price and weight. Tubulars for cheaper and lighter. Neither are going to be as practical as a nice set of aluminum clinchers. especially for descending. I'm always a bit nervous when there are instructions on the Carbon Clinchers telling you how to brake properly for extended descents.

    T
     
  6. An old Guy

    An old Guy Member

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    I think the best wheels are Mavic Open Pro rims on Shimano 105 hubs. Cheap. Reliable.

    No offense, but with your weight you are not a climber and lighter wheels will not make a difference.

    ---

    You seem to have a lot of components on your "to buy" list. I usually only buy parts as they wear out.

    Your cassette changes might be poorly thought out. I use a 16-30, but I do most of my riding in the 19,20, and 21. The purpose of the 30 is so I can get up all the hills when I am hurt. The purpose of the 16 (and nothing smaller) is so I don't try to keep up with the faster guys.
     
  7. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    The only upgrades that really ever make a big difference are ones that fix "fit and form issues" on the bike and aero equipment. Sure I have dura ace on the bike but it's mostly because I can afford it now unlike when I was racing as a kid and had an oddball mix of Shimano and campag parts. Does it make me any faster? Probably not but the reach adjustable levers are nice... Stuff like carbon bars and stem do offer other advantages of vibration damping over the alloy versions it addition to weight savings.

    At 6'1 you're a long way off from being where you need to worry about the odd gram here and there since you have a small matter of losing somewhere between 30 and 60lbs first. Invest more in yourself with something like a powermeter if you have a bunch of cash for upgrades that offer no real advantages.

    A few years ago when I got back on the bike after a decade away from the sport, my weight had gone from 145lbs to almost 230. Needless to say I have some very painful first hand experience of "all of the above" - the only real big improvement from going from mid 90's equipment was going from old tectro dual pivot calipers (with new brake blocks) to dura ace brakes. The first time I really had to jam on the dura ace anchors it was truely a "whoa... F**k" moment. LOL

    Id see how much weight you can shed first before making a wheel purchase - if you lose a ton of weight something less bombproof may be an option...
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Good point there.

    Deftone86, given your current weight lighter wheels will make only a very small change in performance. The change in effort needed to go a given speed, as a result of the new wheels, will only be on the order of the percent change in the bike/rider system weight. So if you get a wheel set that's 300g lighter and assuming your bike (with water bottles full, saddlebag, and/or whatever else you have on your bike for a ride) weighs 18lbs with all that stuff on it, and given your 215 lb weight, the power needed to go a certain speed will only decrease by about 0.2%. Your computer likely won't even show the change in speed. If you normally ride at 35mph (It's an extreme example on purpose), you'll only gain about 0.09mph with those lighter wheels. To be sure, because of psychological effects like being stoked about having new wheels, you're likely to see a temporary increase in speed that is noticeable. Once the new wheel smell wears off, you'll be back to the very small change I mentioned. FWIW, changing to a lighter cassette will have an even smaller effect.

    What I believe SwampAss was alluding to is that with lightweight wheels (also for a lightweight cassette), the chances of suffering a wheel failure of some sort go up. All things being equal, a lighter wheel set will be less durable than a heavier or sturdier option. I think most wheel builders would tell you that given your weight, getting a 1200 or 1300g wheel set is likely not the best choice.

    If you still want a lighter wheel set, I would definitely consult with a few wheel builders to get their opinions. You can get a terrific custom wheel set for much less than your stated $1000. I'm not saying getting a new set of wheels would be a bad idea. If new wheels get you motivated, then the expense of such purchase could be well worth it. My statements so far were intended to only give you some information so that you can make an informed choice.

    Swampy's power meter suggestion is certainly worth considering, too, but bear in mind that power meters can be very pricey and can easily exceed the $1000 you mentioned.
     
  9. AlanG

    AlanG Member

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    How do you hope to get down to 200lbs? Are you riding a trainer or doing some other kind of workout? Do you want to get to 200lbs and stay there or is your goal to lose more weight? If so how much?

    What I am getting at is why not add weight to your bike when you train and then remove that weight when you do those other rides? You might lose weight faster and will really feel the difference then. Muhammed Ali used to run in combat boots because he felt it made his feet quicker in the ring.
     
  10. kshaff03

    kshaff03 New Member

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    Quote: What I am getting at is why not add weight to your bike when you train and then remove that weight when you do those other rides? You might lose weight faster and will really feel the difference then.

    This is pointless. Adding extra weight will only make you slower. You will still be generating the same number of watts. You can accomplish the same thing by just riding faster.
     
  11. tiremaniacs

    tiremaniacs New Member

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    Getting into the best power/weight ratio is the key here. This means getting leaner and getting fitter. Thatv ratio can be improved easier by dropping your own weight rather than shaving few grams off of the bike. But let's assume you are already doing it and want to get that bike dialed and therefore the wheels. The key here will be weight and stiffness. Lighter wheels are easier to spin and when climbing you will be often out of the saddle -> therefore the stiffer the wheel the better. Stiffer will also be better for those fast corner descents - you want to be on rails. As far as the tire goes weight makes a diff for climbing and low rolling res. is always good + on the mountain roads you will encounter some crap so puncture resistance should be a factor too. If it will be wet you have another factor to take under consideration. So don't go highest perf but lowest puncture resistance but select a good balance tire. My choices would be:

    wheels: ~ 45mm deep stiff clinchers at ~ 1,400 grams or tubulars below 1,300 grams. Enve, Reynolds, ....

    Tires:
    clincher: Conti GP Attack/Force set 22/24
    clincher: Veloflex Corsa 23
    clincher: Schwalbe Ultremo ZX 25mm
    clincher: Vitto Open Corsa SC 23mm

    tubular: Schwalbe Ultremo ZX 25
    tubular: Vitto Corsa SC 23mm

    if it will be dry you can also go for Vittos Corsa or Oopen Corsa CX.

    I am not a Michelin guy but I guess PRO 4 or PRO 4 Comp should be good too
     
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