Road bike wheelsets

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Goose5, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. Goose5

    Goose5 New Member

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    Looking for a new set of wheels. I'm currently running entry level Mavic's that came with the bike. Looking to spend 500 to 1000. I am considering Williams Wheels System 30 with the higher spoke count. What else is out there that I need to be aware of?
     
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  2. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    I'm no expert in this stuff, but it would be helpful to give info on what you like/dislike about your current wheel set. Also, what kind of features you'd like for your new set. For example, is durability the main concern? Climbing? Speed on the Flats? A combo of both? I'm sure if you provide more input, you'll get some good advice from some of the seasoned members here. I was recommended the Mavic Kysrium Elite's by members here 5 months or so ago and am happy with them. Their a pretty good set of wheels that do everything good,but not great. Basically a good all arounder in the 600-800 range.
     
  3. Goose5

    Goose5 New Member

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    I'm 55 years old so I don't go very fast. I was riding with a friend who is that same size. On a down hill his Oval wheels rolled much faster than my Asksium wheels. That experience has me thinking about upgrading. So I guess my answer would be an all around wheel. Lighter and faster.
     
  4. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Well, I have to disagree with your assessment. No one's wheels roll much faster downhill, and that includes fancy deep-rim designs, which would be a little faster if everything else was equal. If your friend coasts downhill faster than you, it's most likely his bodyweight, then his position on the bike, then the tires, then clothing. (Note, I'm assuming you don't have dragging brakes or hubs, and have your tires inflated to the proper pressure.)

    Next time you're coasting side-by-side, try getting into a good aero tuck with your back as flat (horizontal) as possible, elbows and knees pulled it. If your bike doesn't allow you a comfortable, down-in-the-drops position, that's where I'd start. Don't know what tires you're on currently, but tires would be the next place I'd go in the hunt for speed.

    And don't forget the tight jersey, zipped up. Loose-fitting or flapping clothes will result in a lot of extra drag.
     
  5. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    What tires were you both on?
    What tire pressures were you both using?
    What are the combined weights of both riders & bikes?
    How do your positions on the bike compare?

    I train on Aksiums and race on the every now and again. I find them to be excellent wheels for accelerating, cornering, climbing, great in the wind and smooth rolling. I think their only negatice...other than not being full blown aero rims...is that perhaps they are a bit flexy (but, that's true of many of the low spoke count and light weight wheels today).

    I don't know what model Oval's your friend has, but other that getting into a tuck or sitting in his draft and coming around him you might try a set of the Mavic Cosmic carbon/aluminum 50 MM wheels They are strong, low maintenance and aero fast.
     
  6. Goose5

    Goose5 New Member

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    He has Armadillos, and I run Gatorskins. Pressure I couldn't tell you. Total weight is even. His bike is a little lighter, and I weigh a little less. He is running a Bianchi Sempre Pro, and I'm on a Cannondale Synapse. We were side by side talking when the hill started and in 5 seconds he was a full bike length ahead. It was clear he was rolling a lot better than I was.
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    REALLY?

    You are worried about what may perhaps have been the difference of 4' of coasting after 5 seconds!?!
    First, unless the two of you were riding side-by-side for several seconds just prior to the descent, YOU are presuming that you were going at exactly the same speed and that he did not impart any fragment of a pedal stroke to be next to you ...

    Beyond the possible difference in tire pressure AND aerodynamics, it could simply be that you are not tracking as smoothly as he does ......

    That is, YOU may be unintentionally scrubbing some speed by drifting laterally as you were descending.
    Regardless, before you pony up for a new set of wheels (nothing wrong with that if you want to spend the money), then presuming your wheels are true AND that the spokes are properly tensioned, you could simply re-lube your hubs with a lighter oil ...

    You can REPLACE the grease with MINERAL OIL ...​

    Yes, you can re-lube cartridge bearings if that is what your wheels have by lifting the seal & flushing the existing grease ...

    I recommend that you DO NOT USE ANY TYPE OF DE-GREASER ...​

    BUT THEN, you will probably want to ensure that they are re-lubed every couple of hundred miles.​
    If you really feel like spending money, then consider a set of hand built wheels laced with simple 14g spokes on DT SWISS 240 hubs ...

    If conspicuous consumption is a factor then consider DT SWISS 180 hubs.​

    Choose the rim of your choice ...

    When in doubt, 32h MAVIC OPEN PRO rims ...

    If your wheelbuilder can source them, consider AMBROSIO rims ...

    There are certainly OTHER brands of rims & your wheelbuilder may have a preference. If so, ask him-or-her why before you buy.



     
  8. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    OK, well that is a big difference in 5 seconds. I'd suspect something is wrong with your bike that needs to be corrected. Dragging brakes, bad hub, low tire pressures, something is making a difference.

    If you don't know your tire pressures, you've got some work to do. Tire pressures are critical to handling, grip and rolling resistance. Most riders I know check and inflate their tires before every ride..... and love to discuss the perfect tire pressures. EG, I weight 185, and run 25mm tires at 92-95 front, 105-110 rear.

    Finally, you're both on "slow" tires. Unless you ride over particularly nasty roads, I'd go for something faster. I've found the Conti GP4000s work great for me and last a long time, but all the brands have a "race" tire which is designed to roll faster than your "max puncture resistance" choices. If you weigh more than 165 lbs, I'd recommend going to 25's which will allow to you keep pressures down to 90 psi or so. You'll have more puncture resistance, better ride, and still roll fast.
     
  9. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

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    You are on a endurance bike and he's on a race bike setup. This can be the answer alone. Are the handlebars and set almost the same level? Thats how my Synapse was when I purchased it and it remained that way for close to a year. In the last 3 months, I lowered the handlebar and changed the seat height. The easiest 1mph gain in the world. If you bought an endurance frame for comfort, I wouldn't recommend setting it up a little racier. If curious, just do it incremental, like 1 spacer per week and a half or something like that. Also, you weigh a little less...Heavier guys descend faster typically all else being equal. Now we are talking about a weight and bike geometry difference in his favor....

    I'd say, not a very good reason to get new wheels if happy wth them otherwise. If you have other reasons or want to get them "just because", theirs nothing wrong with that.
     
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  10. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    As you see from the responses, no one but salesmen think that wheel weight or shape or spoke count make any difference to anyone but B or higher racers at very high speed on the flats.

    What these wheels really do is make a larger chance of failure. Proper inspection would keep this from ending in disaster but waiting for your replacement wheels would leave you riding the same one's you're on now.

    The ultra-light craze has slightly increased climbing speeds at the cost disastrous failure.
     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Maybe the OP just has a hankering to spend money that's burning a hole in his pocket, so let's just entertain that rational for a bit.

    If you want a reasonable set of wheels that are light, aero, and low cost probably the best deal on the market is one of four wheelsets (of course with no mention of body weight these wheels are designed for a max of 210 pounds):

    The Soul 4.0 is a fantastic wheel for the money, but I think it's the better of the 4 wheelsets in regards to being more rounded in it's performance meaning it's in the middle of the road between aero and weight of the other 3; see: http://2013.bikesoul.com/s4/

    The second one is the Vuelta Corsa Race Hand built wheel, this wheelset is the least aero of the 4 but it's also the lightest, anyway see:
    https://www.vueltausa.com/vuelta-wh...cher-road-wheelset-shimano-or-campagnolo.html

    The third one is the Vuelta Corsa Carbon 50 LE; this one is the most expensive, it weighs the most, and it cost the most, plus it will require special brake pads, but it is the most aero, if you're doing a lot of mountain riding with a lot fast descents and braking I would not recommend these for mountain riding. http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_566764_-1___

    The fourth one is another Vuelta called the Team SL37, this the second most aero maybe tied with the Soul? but it is heaviest of the 4 but not bad, but the cost is pretty low for a wheelset; see: https://www.vueltausa.com/vuelta-wh...ight-pull-clincher-road-wheelset-shimano.html

    Do realize with wheels you give up something for something else, like you can get a really nice very aero wheel that will slice the wind like crazy but in exchange it will weigh more than a less aero wheel (typically unless you spend BIG bucks on a wheelset), so if you want to climb better you want a lighter wheel, if you want descend faster you want an aero wheel, on flat ground a heavier aero wheel will usually outperform a lighter lessor aero shaped wheel, also heavier wheels don't accelerate quite as fast as lighter ones but the heavier aero wheel is easier to maintain a speed.

    Of course there are thousands of wheelsets on the market I just showed 4, I think, meaning my opinion, that those 4 are probably the best for the money, there may be be a couple of others that might give them a run for their money, but the Soul and the Vuelta are recognized brands with great customer service. Problem with some wheels is they use proprietary spokes and hubs which means if you break a spoke or have to replace a hub or a seal/bearing assembly within a hub you have to wait weeks for another, Soul and Vuelta do not do that.
     
  12. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    You could also mention that rolling resistance of racing tires is much lower than the rolling resistance of flat resistant tires. And the lowest rolling resistance of all if from racing sew-ups pumped up to 140 psi or so.
     
  13. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    I used to think that only conventional 32 spoke wheels were durable. But after riding a set of Velomax Circuits for 30K miles (until the rear rim developed a crack) I've kindof changed my mind. They use the "twin-threaded" spokes, which have the inside end threaded into a hub. Never had a broken spoke, never trued them, they just worked until the rear rim gave out. It's the longest life I've gotten from any wheelset.

    The hubs weren't my favorites though, since they used pressed-in R8 skateboard bearings. They didn't have any axle seals, just the seals that came on the cartridge bearings. So, not good for dusty, sandy or wet conditions. Believe I changed the front bearings a couple of times, but at least replacements were cheap and easy enough to press in.

    After the Circuit rear failed, I picked up a set of DT Swiss RR1450's. Lightweight climbing wheels, with the excellent 240 hubs. Didn't really need ultralight wheels, but an LBS had a set "lightly used" at 50% off list. Was a bit leery of the Revolution bladed spokes (15/17/15 gauge), but my LBS buddy was sure they'd be fine for me since I'm "easy on equipment". Translated, this means I don't put out much power, can climb anything too steep or sprint too hard, and ride slow enough to miss the potholes......
     
  14. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    When did the rims on your 32 spoke wheels develop cracks?

    The more spokes you have in a rim the less tension you have to put on each spoke and the less likely it is to overload the extrusion and crack. In this manner rather than the rim breaking you merely have to keep an eye on the brake surfaces and replace the rims when the brake surfaces wear below the measuring holes.
     
  15. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    yes that's true, but he was being beaten by a guy on flat resistant Armadillos while he was on much better rolling Conti tires, besides he asked about wheels and not tires. Of course he could also use latex tubes, which I don't care much for, but again he didn't ask about that stuff.
     
  16. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    As stated in my first sentence, the rear rim developed a crack at 30K miles, which is why I had to stop riding it. And the Velomax/Easton Circuits aren't 32 spoke wheels. They have 24 radial spokes in front, 28 in back, with the NDS side being radial. And actually the crack didn't initiate from a spoke nipple hole, but instead from the valve stem hole. I'd say this indicates it was caused by just plain old rolling fatigue rather than spoke-tension fatigue or overload. I've had rims that failed due to spoke tension fatigue, but this wasn't that condition.

    Was trying to make the point that they outlasted other conventional 32 spoke wheels I've owned. EG, my opinion about "low spoke count" wheels lacking durability wasn't justified. 30K miles is excellent life for a set of lightweight wheels IMO.
     
  17. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    My MA-2 rims on Campy hubs have gone to the point where the rims have been replaced two times due to brake wear. I am using the same spokes and have never broken one. Of course I also can build my own wheels in an hour but the point is that in order to get equal wheel life on a low spoke count wheel you have to have heavier rims.

    You can't have low rim/wheel weight, high tension from low spoke count and long life. Something has to give. I watch Mavic Kyseriums breaking all the time. We've even trained the people riding them to check before and after every ride.
     
  18. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Lower spoke tensions. Lower tension for the lower spoke count rims and lower tension for the carbon rims.

    Ksyriums, even the ones with the Zicral aluminum spokes are very durable rims, IMO. I've watched a 199-pound gym rat body builder smash his way through several seasons on them with only one broken rear spoke in Lord knows how many miles. He's exceptionally powerful, climbs like a much lighter guy and our roads are, as I usually state, craptastic.

    Many of our local club rider use various models of the Ksyriums as daily drivers.

    I recently replaced a cracked rear Aksium, but the wheel was, again, VERY well used and I beat the snot out of my equipment.
     
  19. cyclintom

    cyclintom Well-Known Member

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    And in the group I ride with three riders used Kyseriums. Two of these riders were NOT strong and we had cracked wheels on one after a single year and on the other after three years. The third replaced his wheels on warranty every year for three years before giving up on them.

    Now I haven't seen the spokes failing but careful inspection has shown the rims cracking longitudinally from the spoke holes. They often appear to get a crack about an inch long where it stops growing until placed under high loads from climbing. We did not see any catastrophic failures but they would start creaking.

    I do not believe that these cracks are started by bad roads but the direction of the cracks makes it appear to be from climbing loads.
     
  20. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I wonder how a "not strong" rider can crack a rim under climbing power...are they heavy? Do they constantly not look at what they are about to ride over?

    I cracked the last set of Open Pro clinchers I ran in multiple places (all spoke holes around the eyelets, of course) while the tubular Open Pro's I race on are still holding up to race abuse. Sometimes there's little reason to it, but I think it's due to slamming over bad roads. At least in my case.

    I could re-mount my cracked Aksium or the Open Pro clinchers and they would run silent. As a matter of fact, I used the Open Pro set (32 spoke, 3X) two seasons with cracks visible and the Aksium rear went three seasons with cracks around two spoke holes. The longest crack was about 1/4" long and ran from spoke hole towards the next spoke hole, as you noted with your experience. Crack are on both sides (L.E. and T.E.) of the spoke holes.

    Still, for the money and for the performance, I rate Mavic products very high. Just my dos centavos worth.
     
    #20 CAMPYBOB, Aug 8, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
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