Wheelmasters?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by tntarthur, May 4, 2013.

  1. tntarthur

    tntarthur New Member

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    Ok, I'll make this short.

    <first, thanks for reading.>

    I have a specialized 700cc hybrid. Love the geometry. A typical ride is 30-40 miles. 80% greenway/side road, 20% gravel/offroad. 0% true mountain biking gymnastics. I carry a back and front load for cargo... maybe total is 15-20 pounds. I'm 210-220 and please don't call me a clydesdale.

    So, my problem is my back wheel, I think. I won't share gore, but pretty confident that's my rub - literally.

    Went to a bike store in SC and they told me about a Wheelmaster,
    [SIZE= medium]Mach1 510 Hybrid/Comfort Rear Wheel - 700c, 8/9-Speed, 36H, Silver[/SIZE]

    specifically.

    I am fine to buy this but this wouldn't be my first real wheel replacement.

    So, I googled Wheelmaster and can't find their official home site. They're an importer??

    Regardless, I want a STRONG REAR WHEEL. I want to be able to go up my NC hills with no problem even if I'm toting a watermelon in the front and back.

    Would you recommend wheelmaster? I don't care cost, I want a great rear wheel. Ok, maybe I care a little. My new rear wheel should be .5x the cost of a replacement 26" bike which formerly I had no problems witih.

    Thank you, experts.

    Desperate,
    Tim
     
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  2. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Wheelmaster makes inexpensive but decent quality wheels and only sells wholesale to parts distributors. They make several grades of wheel in this size. I've installed this one on many customers' bikes, and it's a pretty good choice because it has a decent hub, 36 spokes, and double-wall rims.

    If you can wait a week or two, ask your mechanic if any of his wholesalers can get him something a little higher up the food chain. For example, J&B has a Wheelmaster wheel with a nice Weinmann ZAC19 rim, and QBP has several wheels by Dimension that use Shimano hubs. J&B used to have the ZAC19 rim with a Shimano hub, and I had customers who raved about these wheels, but they're no longer in the catalog.

    The problem with hybrid wheels like this is that the OEMs don't have replacements and the supply of third-party replacements is a little inconsistent.
     
  3. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    OBC, hope OP Tim appreciates your expert advice. But, what about a locally-built wheel option?
     
  4. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Well, certainly, if you want to pay about twice as much. Spokes are generally 0.75-1.00 each, with brass nipples, a Weinmann ZAC19 is about $25, and most shops charge $50-70 to build it. A new hub would add another $40 or so.

    Using the original hub, I'd build it at home for $35 labor, including calculating the spoke lengths. That would be $92 with DT Champion spokes. A cheaper spoke source could bring that down to about $84.
     
  5. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    Thanks for the layout on the costs. As usual, I've got a follow-on question or two. If a totally new wheel/hub build at a shop runs about $160, are the wheel choices from the wholesalers much less? And what about build quality; can't the local builder do it better....things like stress-relieving and careful balancing of the spoke tension?
     
  6. tntarthur

    tntarthur New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback folks. Sounds like a custom wheel is going to support a heavier load. I think the million dollar question is will a 26" really support much more than a good 700cc? Or, is my 700 experience just a bad one so far...
     
  7. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Wholesalers can offer lower prices sometimes as a result of volume says, but of course you know that. IMHO, the winning aspect of custom wheels is that you can get exactly what you want or what you and a builder decide is best, and you more than likely get much better custom service afterward. Years ago I had a custom builder, uhm, build a set of wheels for me, and several thousand miles down the road, the rear developed cracks at all the spoke holes. As it turned out the design of the rim was not up to par, so that wheel builder not only completely rebuilt the rear wheel but also rebuilt the front wheel to match. It was gratis. I can't see ever buying a boutique wheel again.
     
  8. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    You have to compare similar builds, otherwise there's no real answer. You can be comforted by the fact that nearly all tourers and tandems come equipped with 700c rims.
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. If you have been having problems with a 36h rear wheel, then 'I' recommend that you consider a 40h rear wheel which would typically be used on a Tandem ...

    • if you are a wise shopper, then you can find new Tandem rear wheels on eBay for as little as $100 (i.e., excess inventory) ...
    • otherwise, Wheelmaster can certainly lace one up for you
    • also, you can probably contact contact SANTANA for Tandem wheelbuilder recommendations which are local to you

    IF your bike does not have a steel frame then the hub's axle will need to be reconfigured to 135mm (from 140mm) -- you will want the wheel to have a SHIMANO rear hub ...

    • I recommend straight 14g spokes
    • many others believe that flimsier double gauge spokes are better

    If the bike has a steel frame, then I recommend respacing the dropouts to 140mm -- the dropouts should be realigned, accordingly.
     
  10. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "I'm 210-220 and please don't call me a Clydesdale."

    OK. You're a svelte thoroughbred!

    From years of watching big guys ride hard on all kinds of gear, I can recommend the wheelbuilders at Colorado Cyclist. A well built wheel capable of taking a big rider up and down the Allegheny/Appalachian/Smokey Mountains need not be a tank. a good 32H-3X-straight 14 gauge-brass nipple-Mavic Open Pro or 36X-4X if you really want to put some 'give' into your 'go'.

    That said, one of my training partners is 199 pounds of gym rat. He's solid as a rock and climbs like a much lighter weight rider...lots of power. Our roads are total crap and we live in the foothills of the Appalachians. He used (and used them hard) a pair of mid-line Ksyriums with aluminum spokes for four years before he broke his first spoke.

    One of the local time trialists is 6' 5" at 235 pounds. He's puts down horsepower like a EMD locomotive. His Cannondale is equipped with 'cheap' shimaNO wheels (R50's or R500's or such) and they've given him no problems. IIRC, a set can be had for around $250 or so.
     
  11. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    More important than your bodyweight is where and how you ride. It's possible your real issue isn't that you've gotten some poor wheels, but that the 20% of "gravel/offroad" usage is killing them. At the risk of stating the obvious, road bike wheels are intended for road use (make that smooth roads), not broken pavement, gravel or off-road trails. Accumulated fatigue from impacting bumps and potholes is what causes spokes to break. Most veteran roadies are good at avoiding bumps and potholes, and instinctively get out of the saddle on rough pavement, but that's hard to do if you're on long stretches of rough stuff. And your dead-weight of cargo on the back doesn't help things either.

    A 26" MTB wheel with a wide, heavy-walled rim and a wide tire at low pressure will hold up much better than a skinny road rim and 110 psi 23mm tire on the repeated pounding impacts of rough surfaces. If it's true you're riding that 20% in some rough conditions, could be your best answer is to go back to 26" MTB wheels. Believe I'd try one of the recommended road wheels before giving up, but if that doesn't do it for you, I'd switch back to a MTB.
     
  12. tntarthur

    tntarthur New Member

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    Dang, you guys are good... quite helpful. All of this extra effort was certainly worth it if for no other reason to be called a selvte thoroughbred. :) I didn't add that I'm 6'2"... my riding is NC, so the terrain can be pretty steep, but usually just very hilly definitely meriting granny-gear. I'll hit a curb or stump now and then but again, this is not true mountain biking. I try to limit my handle-bar flyovers these days.

    Appreciate the insight that all tandem and touring bikes come with 700cc.

    I don't think I added that this is a Specialized Crossroads. I'll stick with this bike and check out some tandem wheels, OR, take a printout of this to my local bike shop and talk about an order or custom wheel, likely the former, maybe the Santana for my steel frame. (CAMPYBOB, tell me more if you have it about your friend with the Cannondale equipped with 'cheap' shimaNO wheels (R50's or R500's or such) and they've given him no problems.)

    Thanks so much again.

    Tim
    ps. FWIW my front wheel has always been quite happy.
     
  13. GRAVELBIKE

    GRAVELBIKE New Member

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    I weigh 195#, and routinely ride my 700C-wheeled road bike on dirt and gravel roads. Current config is White Industries T-11 hubs laced to Pacenti SL23 rims. Spokes are bladed Sapims, 24h front and 28h rear. Zero issues whatsoever.
     
  14. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    Factory-built wheels are cheaper because some of the work is done by machinery, and economies of scale. Generally, these need touching up and stressing before they go on the bike, but a good shop will do that as part of the installation. And generally, better wheels need less touching up.

    By the way, for a Specialized Crossroads you'll need something wider and heavier than a Shimano R500. I believe you'll need a 135 mm hub, too. The R500 is a great road bike wheel, but the rim is too narrow for 35-45 mm hybrid tires.
     
  15. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    "(CAMPYBOB, tell me more if you have it about your friend with the Cannondale equipped with 'cheap' shimaNO wheels (R50's or R500's or such) and they've given him no problems.)"

    Well...the guy is huge. He pounds out big miles. His style is to go out for four hours and try and hold it in a big gear. He prefers flat roads, but climbs pretty well.

    The Shimano wheels get touched up when he takes his bike in foe routine maintenance (he doesn't turn his own wrenches), but have handled both his weight and his power output.

    As OBC stated, they are road wheels; narrow and semi-aero. Like dhk2 said, if you are going to use road bike wheels/tires you are better off limiting your time on gravel/dirt. A commuting tire on a road rim would help, but most of those are designed for pavement.
     
  16. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FYI. Actually, you could theoretically use a 700x58 tire on a Shimano R500 wheel, or equivalently narrow rim (even, a 622-13) ...

    BUT, the problem would be conveniently clearing the brake caliper's pads, even if they were cantilever brake calipers ...

    • having said that, although relatively "fat" tires on narrow rims would be far from ideal, it would simply involve unhooking the cantilever brake caliper's straddle cable (or, a V-Brake's noodle) when installing-or-removing the wheels with inflated "fat" tires
     
  17. dhk2

    dhk2 Active Member

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    FYI, actually the R500 wheel specs say they are recommended for tires from 19-28mm. IMO, installing a 58mm tire on this rim would be dangerous, because the engagement of the tire bead with the rim hooks would be compromised. The spec limitations have nothing to do with brake clearance, but everything to do with the safety of the tire retention. Sure, it could theoretically be done, but not really a safe idea.
     
  18. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    +1. Doing as much doesn't seem like an idea that would qualify as "wise".
     
  19. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    I didn't mean to infer NOR did I say that a 700x58 tire on a 622-15 rim was a safe installation, but ...

    Despite what you think and/or the recent trend BACK to 622-17 rims for the hip crowd, it IS the brake pad clearance-or-lack of which dictates the optimal tire range for a given rim width ...

    • brake pad clearance is NOT an issue for bikes which use disc brakes, of course, but the Shimano R500 is not a disc brake wheel
    • and, most Road bike frames (and especially, the CF Road forks) cannot accommodate 700x28 tires
     
  20. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

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    Nope. Brakes might put a limit on how large of a tire can put on a rim, and likewise fork clearance might limit how large of a tire can be put on a rim, but neither have anything to do with the optimal tire size for rim. Optimum tire size for a rim is entirely a function of internal rim width, type of tire retention (tubular, clincher, tubeless), security of retention vs. tire size, and tire performance as a function of tire size and internal rim width.
     
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