Wheels - Shimano R540 or Bontrager Select?



ItalianStallion

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Mar 3, 2004
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I am in the process of upgrading the standard wheels on my Giant OCR 2 bike.

I have narrowed it down to the Shimano R540 and Bontrager select. This is all my budget will allow me (I am a poor student)

What do you reckon?

Is there any alternative to these two? i have looked at the Mavic Cosmos but they don't seem to be as good.

Bare in mind I live in the UK, so I might not be able to get some of the brands. My parents live in Italy though, so I might be able to get something there.

Finally, I wanted to ask a maybe stupid question. If I buy new wheels, will they come with the hub and I'll have to fit the cassette on? What sort of hub will the come with?

Thanks!!
 

capwater

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Sep 15, 2003
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Yo, piasano....

They are both lower end wheels, but I'd go for the r540s if I had to choose, kind of a toss up. They will come with the hub, but you need to specify Shimano or Campy (not sure if R540s even come with Campy so no flames, mates).
 

capwater

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Sep 15, 2003
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Yo, piasano....

They are both lower end wheels, but I'd go for the r540s if I had to choose, kind of a toss up. They will come with the hub, but you need to specify Shimano or Campy (not sure if R540s even come with Campy so no flames, mates).
 

mjw_byrne

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Jan 22, 2004
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I've read about the Shimano R540s being very flexible and unsuitable for heavier or more powerful riders. Plus, apparently they're very hard to true (it is possible yourself if you're great with whels but apparently most mortals have to take them to a Shimano service centre to get then trued).

I use the Mavic Cosmos wheels on my road bike, but I've only put about 100 miles on them so far, so I can't comment on durability. http://www.roadbikereview.com says they're pretty good though, and I like the reasonably high spoke count - it's nice and reassuring. The hubs seem excellent, if you spin the wheels they keep going for ages.

Finally, if you live in the UK, http://www.wiggle.co.uk has an immense range of bike stuff, including wheels. Good luck!
 

cachehiker

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Sep 30, 2003
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Originally posted by ItalianStallion
I have narrowed it down to the Shimano R540 and Bontrager select. This is all my budget will allow me (I am a poor student)

What do you reckon?

Is there any alternative to these two? i have looked at the Mavic Cosmos but they don't seem to be as good.

I'm currently switching between the Cosmos and the R540's. I use the Cosmos for climbing and training and the R540's for the really long rides over flat ground. I love having both wheelsets and using each for what it is best suited to.

Radially the 540's are very stiff and laterally they aren't bad. On plain old flat ground cruising, they rock. Where I notice the difference is climbing and sprinting. With only four pulling spokes, the R540 lacks torsional stiffness and I can feel the rear wheel wind and unwind like a clockspring. This leads to fatigue and will eventually snap spokes. It's subtle and if I weren't switching from one wheel to the other, sometimes within hours, I really wonder if I would notice it at all.

The Cosmos are a more comfortable wheelset. Radially they aren't quite as stiff, but they're laterally stronger on winding downhills. They're not as aerodynamically efficient, but there is less rim weight to haul up a hill. With fourteen pulling spokes as opposed to four, I never feel the clockspring effect either.

Either wheelset is a good buy depending on how it will be used.

Bri
 

ItalianStallion

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Mar 3, 2004
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Thanks everyone for your feedback.

I am quite a heavy rider, I weigh about 85 kg, roughly 190 pounds. I am only just getting into cycling, and have been going round for never more than 1 hour at a time. I plan to increase this to about 2 hours 3-4 times a week during the summer. I am a rower, and hence I use cycling just to keep my base endurance up during the summer and instead of running!! My rides are mainly flats, also because I hate hills!! (i got beaten by a girl on a hill once, and have never recovered since....) :(

Anyway, I will have a look at the Mavic Cosmos, and for what I gathered I should discard the Bontrager Selects.

Anyone knows of any other good entry-level wheelset that could suit me?

Thanks!!
 

ItalianStallion

New Member
Mar 3, 2004
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Thanks everyone for your feedback.

I am quite a heavy rider, I weigh about 85 kg, roughly 190 pounds. I am only just getting into cycling, and have been going round for never more than 1 hour at a time. I plan to increase this to about 2 hours 3-4 times a week during the summer. I am a rower, and hence I use cycling just to keep my base endurance up during the summer and instead of running!! My rides are mainly flats, also because I hate hills!! (i got beaten by a girl on a hill once, and have never recovered since....) :(

Anyway, I will have a look at the Mavic Cosmos, and for what I gathered I should discard the Bontrager Selects.

Anyone knows of any other good entry-level wheelset that could suit me?

Thanks!!
 

mjw_byrne

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Jan 22, 2004
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Don't forget the option of getting hubs, spokes and rims and either building wheels yourself or having someone do it for you. This approach often gets you superb quality, durability, lightness and ease of maintenance for less money than a proprietary wheelset like the Cosmos, R540 or Select. Something like Mavic Open Pro or CXP22 rims on Shimano Ultegra or Campy Centaur hubs, perhaps.
 

ItalianStallion

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Mar 3, 2004
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Thanks for all your replies.

I have actually found a couple of deals, for around about the same price.

1) Shimano R540 - pair

2) Hand Built Wheels, Mavic Open Pro rim, Ultegra Hubs (I have tiagra, maybe i'll put 105 hubs and save a bit of price)

Which one???

Thanks!!