Confused by Wheels

by gregww1   February 13, 2014  

Hi

I bought a Specialized Tarmac SL2 at the back end of last season. There are a few components that will need upgrading, but first of all I want to look at the wheels. It currently has the basic DT Swiss 1.0 Rims. I want to upgrade them as we hopefully start to head out Winter, but I genuinely have no idea where to start.

My budget will be around £300-500 (inc tyres) and I'll be mainly riding on Sunday club runs. I'm also a heavy rider, currently tiping the scales at 17.5st but trying to trim down to about 16st for the Summer. I'll always be a heavy rider as I have a stocky muscular frame.

So, does anyone have any advice on what to look for or make recommendations based on the above?

Cheers

15 user comments

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Stans alpha 340's (strada do these). Best all round alloy for the price imho. Handbuilt so you have options on hubs and spokes (heavier rider = requirement for more spokes, generally - hub options means you can opt for more holes for more spokes.) if you go hand built and want quality spokes DT Swiss do the job beautifully.

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
13th February 2014 - 17:14

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This link has shown up before on the roadcc site in a similar thread that you might find useful.

http://www.lifeinthebuslane.com/road-wheel-weight-limits/

In terms of your weight and price range if you're looking at factory wheels you might want to check out Mavic Ksyrium Elites (technically Mavic doesn't list weight limits on their website) which are pretty bulletproof, relatively light at 1520g without tires, and faster than the majority of stock wheels. In general I think Mavic makes great wheels for the price and are a good starting place if you're doing crits and sportives to even climbing runs as they have good stiffness for weight so good for climbing and sprints. I had a pair of Aksiums that were stock on my tri bike and they were indestructible. Potholes and teeth chattering descents on choppy asphalt for 5 years and never had to true them (I only weigh 55 kg though but still).

http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/us/en/mavic-ksyrium-elite-s-wts-road-...

Another route to go would be to have a custom wheelset made. You can pick the rim and hub you want (ie wide HED C2s or Velocity A23s for great cornering and decreased rolling resistance with more spokes than the stock Ardennes setup, they only do a minimal 18 and 24 front/rear) based on what type of riding you plan on doing. If you have a LBS that does a lot of wheels or even an online wheel builder it's great to chat them up and tell them your needs and you end up with a great option for what you want to do. In general you can get a higher quality wheelset for around the same price as the factory options. I'm trying to convince the hubby to let me upgrade my stock Fulcrum 5s (Fulcrum is part of Campagnolo and makes really nice wheels but their weight cut off is 109kg/240 lbs) for custom HED C2 rims with CK R45 hubs. Usually it's the other way around but seeing as his bike came stock with Fulcrum 1s he doesn't feel the need to upgrade and no, the your-wheelset-is-soooo-much-better-than-mine approach failed spectacularly.

Hope this helps.

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

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posted by movingtarget [134 posts]
13th February 2014 - 21:06

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Thanks both, that little lot gives me a great starting point about where to go and what to think about. Appreciated.

posted by gregww1 [32 posts]
13th February 2014 - 22:49

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Take a look at Hope hoops wheels. Bombproof, excellent hub quality (uk made) and with normal rims and spokes so they are easily fixable. The cheapest ones they do have supported my circa 85-90kg deeply aerodynamic and athletic form for the last couple of years with nary more than a slight tweak to true them up, and the roads are pretty ropey round here

Just seen they do disc compatible hub ones too.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
13th February 2014 - 23:08

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Another vote for Hope, been impressed with mine, they are not much lighter than my stock wheels but the rims are a lot lighter and they roll quicker. Mine are heavier though as I went for SS spokes 28 front 32 rear. They feel solid and any slight movement through the bars is picked up. I nearly went over as I leaned into a bend a bit to much in the wet, definitely need less handlebar input with a stiffer set.

I have Mavics Crossmax ST wheels on the mtb and they have been superb, so Mavic is a good option as already said.

posted by Shep73 [137 posts]
14th February 2014 - 9:21

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I'm currently tempted with getting campag zonda wheels. The reviews seem pretty good, decent hubs, solid and lightweight. What best, my LBS (Halfords online) is flogging them for £282 and they're available with a shimano free hub!

These wheels are essentially the same as Fulcrum racing 3's and are great value if you don't mind breaking the "rules" by mixing campag and shimano gear.

posted by Scoob_84 [190 posts]
14th February 2014 - 11:10

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Scoob_84 wrote:
I'm currently tempted with getting campag zonda wheels. The reviews seem pretty good, decent hubs, solid and lightweight. What best, my LBS (Halfords online) is flogging them for £282 and they're available with a shimano free hub!

These wheels are essentially the same as Fulcrum racing 3's and are great value if you don't mind breaking the "rules" by mixing campag and shimano gear.

Update: They're going for £265 on shiny bikes and blingbikekit.

posted by Scoob_84 [190 posts]
14th February 2014 - 11:15

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Scoob_84 wrote:
Scoob_84 wrote:
I'm currently tempted with getting campag zonda wheels. The reviews seem pretty good, decent hubs, solid and lightweight. What best, my LBS (Halfords online) is flogging them for £282 and they're available with a shimano free hub!

These wheels are essentially the same as Fulcrum racing 3's and are great value if you don't mind breaking the "rules" by mixing campag and shimano gear.

Update: They're going for £265 on shiny bikes and blingbikekit.

Would they be suitable for my weight though?

posted by gregww1 [32 posts]
14th February 2014 - 11:53

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Yeah zondas are very stiff so should be ok, think I was not far off your weight when I started riding them and have had no problems at all.

They're great wheels, but two drawbacks as far as I can tell -

You can't replace rims when they wear out, (cost prohibitive), also the spoking postern is quite unique at the rear, so all in all not easy to repair

Handbuilts allow you to specify a very durable wheel if needed, which would give you more reassurance.

posted by 700c [556 posts]
14th February 2014 - 15:30

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2. What are the weight limits of the wheels? Where can I find the weight limits allowed by the wheels?
All Campagnolo wheels are constructed to meet the highest standards of resistance and durability.
If you weigh over 109 kg/240 lbs we advise you not to use this product. Non compliance with this warning can damage the product irreversibly.
If you weigh 82 kg/180 lbs or more, you must be especially vigilant and have your bicycle inspected more frequently (than someone weighing less than 82 kg/180 lbs).
Check with your mechanic to discuss whether the wheels you selected are suitable for your use, and to determine the frequency of inspections.
Using tires with a larger diameter and a frame that respects the standards will help to increase the lifetime of the wheels.

FWIW you're just a bit above the cut off according to Campys recs.

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

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posted by movingtarget [134 posts]
14th February 2014 - 15:54

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Looks like I'm over the limit for most! However, I'm guessing there is quite a lot of tolerance in those numbers so a wheel with 109kg should be ok...and I don't plan on being 109kg by the time I get them, so...

Anyway, went into my local shop at lunchtime. They suggested Fulcrum Racing 3 or Mavic Ksyrium Elite S based on the fact I'd eventually like to change the drivetrain to Campo from the current FSA/Sora set-up I have. Those seem reasonable. Learnt quite a lot just talking to the chap actually.

Thanks for all the help chaps, feel like I've learnt something today Smile

posted by gregww1 [32 posts]
14th February 2014 - 16:58

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I have Zondas on my road bike and really like them. I'm 82kg and get a bit of brake rub when honking on the bars, but they roll nicely and remain straight and true even after a few fairly hard pothole hits. I've only been riding them for a couple of months, so can't comment on durability, but prefer the ride to a pair of Ksyrium Elites that I also own (the Ksyriums just don't spin up as quickly and aren't as comfy, although they are stiffer). FWIW, Zondas have the "good" Campag hubs with proper cup & cone bearings.

£246.52 on Ribble today with the "XTRA11" Campag discount code.

posted by srchar [55 posts]
14th February 2014 - 17:10

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Get some 32/28H Hope/H Plus Son Archetype (or similar wide rims) wheels (+ some 28mm tyres) and forget about fancy low spoke count marketing nonsense.
"Designer" wheels are not going to make you noticeably faster just because they are 100-200g lighter or have fewer spokes, especially at your weight.

I don't follow trends. Trends follow me.

posted by BBB [178 posts]
14th February 2014 - 23:44

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"Hope Hoops" here - Mavic Open Pro on Hope Pro III hubs with Sapim D/B spokes and brass nipples

now 1 year old, still in excellent condition, have withstood 250km / week commuting in terrible weather and lots of descending on rough roads (coming from MTB DH I am not shy of abusing my road bike)

have serviced rear hub once (quick degrease and lube of freehub) not touched any bearings. Have trued the wheels twice in 1 year.

highly recommend, Hope give excellent backup and rims can be replaced about £40 each, standard spokes and nipples obtained cheaply from any shop.

Very competitive weight and roll quickly. Wheels feel stiff under power or when braking hard.

posted by hampstead_bandit [123 posts]
15th February 2014 - 11:35

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hampstead_bandit wrote:
"Hope Hoops" here - Mavic Open Pro on Hope Pro III hubs with Sapim D/B spokes and brass nipples

now 1 year old, still in excellent condition, have withstood 250km / week commuting in terrible weather and lots of descending on rough roads (coming from MTB DH I am not shy of abusing my road bike)

have serviced rear hub once (quick degrease and lube of freehub) not touched any bearings. Have trued the wheels twice in 1 year.

highly recommend, Hope give excellent backup and rims can be replaced about £40 each, standard spokes and nipples obtained cheaply from any shop.

Very competitive weight and roll quickly. Wheels feel stiff under power or when braking hard.


Close to what I have, Hope RS Mono, Mavic Open Pro Rims, DT Swiss SS spokes. I have been very impressed. All for £325, so a bargain.

posted by Shep73 [137 posts]
16th February 2014 - 16:46

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