I'm sure this has been covered before - light and strong wheel options?

by hill_climb   April 13, 2014  

Picked up a Bianchi Impulso about four months ago. Its my first time back on a road bike after a 15 year break. I had been doing a lot of commuting over the winter on a heavy (32lb !!) MTB, so was in reasonable shape before getting back to road bikes. Over these few months I made gradual changes to my riding position and changed a few components, saddle, pedals, seat posts and the like, and taking advantage of being able to make small reductions in component weight. Ideally I'd like to see the overall bike weight down around 19lbs or so and am looking at wheel/tyre options. I'm actually quite happy with the factory Reparto Corsa wheels for training rides as they seem to be pretty robust and have stood up to two very big pot-hole impacts (I think I read somewhere that they are rebranded Reddux wheels). Still, it would be good to have some options lined up.

I've heard a lot of people mention wheels like Fulcrum 3, AR30, Campy Scirocco, Mavic Ksyrium Elite . Weight reduction is my goal over an aero wheel, or maybe its possible to have both (I read a review recently of Fulcrum Red Wind wheels that sounded good). Are these wheel options going to show a significant improvement, which is what I am after? Would I get a better performing wheel that maybe sacrifices light weight for better strength? I should maybe mention also that I am fairly light at 145lb but do like to get out of the saddle on the drops and of course put in a good time on ascents. I have some endurance events lined up this year and know what it feels like to show up on race day with inferior kit, but I'm mainly looking to cover fast training rides.

many thanks.

7 user comments

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Magic get a bad rep for their hubs, so I've not used them!

Fulcrum is a Campag brand, so seeing as its a Bianchi, I would go with the Scirocco.

Personally, I've had it with factory wheels and have hand guilts, which sounds snooty, but they cost the same,and effectively have a warranty till the rims wear out if your builder is a good guy.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [534 posts]
13th April 2014 - 21:30

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I have an Impulso and I love it. I have pretty much done what you have and replaced the bits on it when they have worn out or bent - in the case of the seatpost from last weeks Tour of Flanders. The Bianchi wheels are bombproof but they are like trampolines. I put Fulcrum 5's on it and the bike is literally twice as good. I would however now buy a pair of handmades from a local chap. Fulcrums are a pain to get fixed.

posted by dunnoh [174 posts]
13th April 2014 - 22:20

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This subject crops up at least once every week so I'm taking the easy option and suggest you scroll back through the bike forum - you only have to do Ctrl-F / Cmd-F and search for the word 'wheel' on each page of discussion titles.

Alternatively google site search:
https://www.google.co.uk/#q=site:road.cc+wheel+upgrade

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1958 posts]
14th April 2014 - 11:58

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Flying Scot wrote:
Magic get a bad rep for their hubs, so I've not used them!

Not had any trouble with mine, and that's with minimal maintenance.

dunnoh wrote:
I would however now buy a pair of handmades from a local chap. Fulcrums are a pain to get fixed.

Are they? My local shop never had a problem truing mine up and replacing spokes.

glynr36's picture

posted by glynr36 [386 posts]
14th April 2014 - 12:11

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Mavics are ridden by millions of people, pro teams are supplied by them, Team GB use them. It's a bit fashionable to fling around opinions like their hubs are filled with treacle or whatever, but that many happy riders can't be wrong.

Fulcrum/Campagnolo wheels are strong, the hubs are amongst the best for reliability and smoothness once you get into the cup and cone price range and easily serviceable. Spoke repairs aren't hard, repair kits with spokes are readily available, the only problem is getting the thicker gauge balance spokes replaced on the lower end wheels, but you can happily use a regular one without even noticing.

Shimano wheels are roughly equivalent to Campag as far as I know.

posted by Nick T [812 posts]
14th April 2014 - 12:45

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Hope Hoops.

posted by allez neg [4 posts]
14th April 2014 - 16:25

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Don't get me wrong, I've Mavic rims, just no experience of their hubs, but kept seeing opinions of others on longevity, so avoided them.

I don't know if it they're better or worse than anything else.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [534 posts]
14th April 2014 - 16:36

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