More on Wheelsets

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Hi all,

I've been thinking about getting new wheels for a while and think I might take the plunge soon. I weigh about 200 lbs. and am a recreational rider, doing rides averaging 15-19 mph (30-100 miles; about 150 miles a week in summer). I don't run over things, but I have had a few more problems with popping spokes on my rear wheels than people I know. So I need to combine high performance with strength and reliability.

My shop was recommending Bontrager Racelite or Selects (though I notice that some online reviews at roadbiker.com say that the selects don't hold up well -- out of true quickly, popping spokes?). I've seen a lot of people on club rides with Mavic Ksyriums of various kinds.

I'd be interested in wisdom people can give me r.e. light, strong wheelsets that are a good value.

Thanks in advance,

David

P.S. I have searched the threads on this board and think I'd still benefit from extra info (e.g. I don't want disk wheels). If there's something in particular someone knows of on the board, it would be great if you could paste the link into your reply.

Anonymous's picture
Robert Shay (not verified)
Wheelsets....

"I have found a wheelset that needs little maintenance in a season but I still flatten the rims on pot holes.

On Friday, I did my usual once a season rebuild (Park truing stand, spoke tensioner, dishing tool) of my Mavic open pro 32 hole wheelsets after about 6,000 miles of tri-state riding. These wheels have proven to be ""bullet proof"" for me in that they require little maintenance (read spoke tensioning) in a season and I haven't broken a spoke. I was surprised to find that I had flat spots on both rear rims even though I try my best to avoid any and all pot holes. I was bummed.

In general, I have learned from my limited wheel building experience that the fewer spokes you have, the more tension they have to be under. So, with fewer spokes you will need stronger hubs and rims. If a wheel is built well - meaning all the spokes are at the proper tension, it should ride fine whether it is 16 spokes or 32 spokes. But the fewer number of spokes, the faster they will loosen and the more often they will have to be retensioned. Not a problem, just a little more maintenance. If the spokes become loose, chances are a spoke will break.

I am interested in a more aero front wheel - mavic elite. I am going to investigate with my LBS whether I can easily get replacement rims and spokes to rebuild the Mavic Elites. If so, I will take the plunge because I am sure I will create flat spots in the rim in one season. My other concern is that with fewer spokes, each spoke is under more tension so that if I break one spoke it may really make the wheel tough to ride home.

Bob

P.S. You can purchase mavic open pro wheels at any LBS. And, I agree with Chainwheel - find a shop that builds good wheels. The spokes have to be at the right tension (not too tight and not too loose)and it has to be dished correctly. It is not hard to do, but it does take the right tools and some experience to do this.

And, if you do hit a pot hole, it may deform the rim and as a result loosen a spoke which after some time may break."

Anonymous's picture
Rob Marcus (not verified)
On sale

Performance has the Mavic Open Pro on sale with the Ultegra hub for 9 speed (maybe 10 also ) for Under $210 a set.

Rob Marcus

Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)
Good deal

"The silver version is just under $200 for the set. You couldn't buy the parts alone for that price! Just hope they didn't goop up the threads with ""spoke prep.""

http://tinyurl.com/76sc8

I'd check spoke tension, and stress relieve before using.

""Chainwheel"""

Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)
Strong Wheels

">> I weigh about 200 lbs. and am a recreational rider, doing rides averaging 15-19 mph (30-100 miles; about 150 miles a week in summer).

>> I have had a few more problems with popping spokes on my rear wheels than people I know.

Breaking spokes could be due to a bad batch of spokes, but more likely poor build quality: Uneven tension and lack of stress relieving.

>> My shop was recommending Bontrager Racelite or Selects

I wouldn't. As a 200 lb recreational rider you should be riding 36h Shimano or Campagnolo hubs, 14-15-14 gauge DT butted spokes, and a reasonably sturdy rim (Velocity Fusion or Aerohead, or Mavic CXP-33, or even Open Pros.)

But the main ingredient is the build quality. You shouldn't have to be re-truing wheels on a regular basis, and you shouldn't have to rely on ""spoke prep"" to keep them true.

Oh, and don't be afraid to run 36 spokes. The extra weight of four more spokes is negligible, and will produce a more robust wheel. Dare to be different!

Your biggest problem will be finding a truly skilled wheelbuilder. Most shops (like yours) prefer to sell a wheel out of a box. If you're adventurous, buy Jobst Brandt's book The Bicycle Wheel and learn to build your own. That's what I did about 20 years ago. Haven't bought a built up wheel since.

http://sheldonbrown.com/harris/books.html#brandt

""Chainwheel""
"

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
i don't see a point in spending a lot on wheels...

"http://www.neuvationcycling.com/press.html

press on the discontinued r350's:

http://www.bicycletest.com/absolutenm/templates/bt.asp?articleid=152&zoneid=23

their r350's are now the r28's...here's a pair of the discontinued r350's on my litespeed:

http://www.nycc.org/mb/Thread.aspx?B=1&T=4217&TP=1#Msg18106"

Anonymous's picture
"Chainwheel" (not verified)
But they look cool...

"From the provided link:

http://www.bicycletest.com/absolutenm/templates/bt.asp?articleid=152&zoneid=23

""On the road the wheels feel fluid and smooth, with plenty of spin-up, but while they’re good at holding speed their weight gives them a little less snap under acceleration.""

Typical BS and mumbo jumbo. How does one differentiate between the very small effort required to ""spin up"" a wheel and the much greater effort required to accelerate the bike and rider? How can one say the wheels are ""good at holding their speed"" when their contribution to overall momentum of bike + rider is miniscule.

""Ride quality was on the harsh side of the spectrum. The combination of a tall rim, low-count high-tension spokes and beefy construction just don’t have a lot of give when the road gets rough.""

Tires have about 100 times more compliance or ""give"" than wheels in the vertical plane. The quote above says more about the (un-named) tires than the wheels.

My take: These are discontinued, off-brand, extremely low spoke count wheels using non-standard parts. Not user maintainable. If you break a spoke on the road, you're SOL. Not recommended for a recreational rider unless you have a support van following you.

""Chainwheel"""

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
non standard parts

> My take: These are discontinued, off-brand, extremely low
> spoke count wheels using non-standard parts. Not user
> maintainable. If you break a spoke on the road, you're SOL.
> Not recommended for a recreational rider unless you have
> a support van following you.

i'm not sure i get your point. the likelyhood of needing to replace a spoke is much lower with wheels like this than with traditional mavic/dt wheels. 'sides, if you notice on neuvation's feature matrix and elsewhere on their site, they give you extra spokes with each wheelset. you can also use a standard spoke to get you home if you have one that's the right length.

i built my own wheels for years. my wheels always had even spoke tension and they simply held up under the harshest conditions (5000+ mile seasons, including cat3 races) - but they DID need to be tweaked when they went out of true. adjusting spoke tension to make up for a wobbly wheel is not best practice. this is less of a problem with deep disk wheels.

i'll never go back to traditional wheels...not after riding these bad boys. and if you're looking for compliance, comfort, etc., get a set of tubulars. ;)

don
curmudgeon at large

Anonymous's picture
don montalvo (not verified)
neuvation articles
Anonymous's picture
Herb Dershowitz (not verified)

I just bought 2 pair of the r28sl Neuvations. Very nice. Can't beat the price and the weight

Anonymous's picture
John Z (not verified)
This One Always Kills Me...

"""Typical BS and mumbo jumbo. How does one differentiate between the very small effort required to ""spin up"" a wheel and the much greater effort required to accelerate the bike and rider? How can one say the wheels are ""good at holding their speed"" when their contribution to overall momentum of bike + rider is miniscule.""

While its true a wheel's ""rotating weight"" requires extra force (near, but not quite 2X) during acceleration, this only occurs during acceleration and is still not significant as detailed above. The total work required to accelerate a wheelset is from 1.5% to 1.75% of the system mass, depending upon rider+bike weight, with most of the effect dependent upon rim+tire weight. Since tire weight can be considered a constant 30%-50% of tire+rim weight, one can see how little marginal improvements in rim weight contribute to the forces (and work) required to accelerate a bicycle system.

Since it is now virtually impossible to seperate lightweight wheels from aerodynamic wheels, any noticable difference between wheelsets is due to decreased aerodynamic drag, other than placebo."

Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)
Velomax

I've been riding their Ascent model for about 4 years. They're great. They have several models, some with more spokes.

http://velomax.com/Testimonials.php3

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
My 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th annual wheelbuilding clinic

I'll be announcing this--for NYCC members only--sometime in Jan. Understand: I'll be announcing this in Jan. It won't be held until, likely, Feb. or Mar.

You'll build your own perfectly trued wheel.

Anonymous's picture
Neile (not verified)
The Sun-Ringle website is worth a visit.

"They use standard technology -- a reasonable 28/32 spoke count; the same tough four bearing rear hubs they use for XC/MTB wheelsets and still keep the wheelsets in the 1600-1700 gram range:

http://www.sun-ringle.com/2006/roadwheelsets.jpg

http://www.sun-ringle.com/2006/price_road.html

Pricing around $400.

Note: While Sun-Ringle mountain components are heavily reviewed on MTB Review, their road products are conspicuously unlisted on the sister Road Bike Review site.

-----------------------------------

Or, engage the services of a wheelbuilder, discuss your parameters and let him do a custom job.

I can personally recommend Frank Corda on Long Island (wheels513-at-yahoo-dot-com). Frank's an aircraft mechanic by day at JFK and a DT certified wheelbuilder at night.

Unless you go for Phil Wood/Chris King level componetry, the costs for an excellent ""club"" wheelset (Mavic Open Pro/Ultegra) should be under $300.

-----------------------------------

Or, take Richard Rosenthal up on his offer and make the one-time investment in a wheelstand, dishing tool and tensiometer ($400) and shop online for components:

http://tinyurl.com/7nu8v

I'd do a 2X/3X spoke pattern with Sapim/Wheelsmith/DT butted spokes; ball-and-cone (serviceable) Shimano/Campy hubs; and rims from Sun/Velocity/Alex/Mavic.

Cost of components $150+.

Acquiring the skills to build, maintain and perform an emergency repair ... priceless."

Anonymous's picture
David Carr (not verified)
Thank you

"I just want to thank those who took the time to post these informative replies to my query. I'd thought I might wait a bit to write my response to the posts, so that I could say how ""it all turned out,"" but between a belated Christmas with my kids and now heading out to the in-laws for another Christmas (tis the season), I wasn't able to get my bike wheel solution together. So, before being out of touch, I just wanted to say ""thanks"" to all for their replies and best wishes for a good start to the new year.

David Carr"

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