good wheels on a basic bike

by roly   October 22, 2012  

i commute 20 miles each way three times a week.
i have a basic bike and put some mavic open sports on it and whizz along nicely. long term average is 16mph for the run so not particulalry fast or slow.
i cannnot justify a new bike as the cheap groupset is cheap to replace worn parts and i do around 4,000 miles a year, and the frame is very comfortable and a good fit even on proper centuries.
i only do maybe four weekend rides a year so all my riding is on this commute.
the question is if i spend say £500 on a new set of wheels which it increase my speed a little and more importantly my enjoyment and therefore encourage me to speed up and get fitter. the roads are all a lot smoother since the london roads were all fixed for the olympics and there are no significant hills.
i am thinking of shimano rs 80, mavic krysium elites, or fulcrum zeros. will they survive week in week out riding?

16 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Yeaaaah, but why put half a grands' worth of wheels on a 'basic' frame?

Why not save a little more and buy say a Planet X pro carbon or a Ribble Stealth...

Worth thinking about.

Sir Velo

Raleigh's picture

posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 15:03

2 Likes

because the frame is 369 plus 120 to rebuild it and i don't think a carbon frame will make me any faster or more excited about riding my bike. plus as i say i am very happy with my frame and i don't want to spend all that money to find it doesn't fit as well.

posted by roly [43 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 15:33

0 Likes

pro-lite braccianos don't cost five hundred quid. just sayin' Wink

http://road.cc/content/review/6577-pro-lite-bracciano-wheelset

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7498 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 15:42

1 Like

now according to your profile you're heavier than me dave.
would you feel happy riding these all year round?
in london traffic there is a lot of stop starting so if i am to believe this whole thing about getting up to speed quicker with light wheels it should make sense right?
also i can swap them back again easy enough when the going gets rough.
really i'm asking do good wheels make that much difference.

posted by roly [43 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 16:32

1 Like

Why not get ur own built mavic cxp 33,s 32 n 36 spoke count about £210 from LBS bomb proof and a gud price

posted by issacforce [206 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 17:06

1 Like

£500 is a lot to spend for commuting wheels but I'd suggest that wheels are better value than drivetrain etc.

I'd be tempted to get some good quality handbuilt wheels and spend the rest on other bits as and when you feel the need/desire. Otherwise what about Planet-X AL30s for £150 and some nice tyres?

A very similar discussion from last week:
http://road.cc/content/forum/69094-best-wheel-set-under-%C2%A3600

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [2051 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 21:01

1 Like

I put a set of RS80's on my spesh Allez and used them for commuting in all weathers. They were a shade over £300 and transformed the bike. If you are going to upgrade anything then I'd definitely do the wheels first.

posted by carlgrz [51 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 21:25

1 Like

Have a look at the Mavic Cosmic Elite wheelset. They're quality, and bombproof. Around the £300 mark, too.

The Good Shepherd's picture

posted by The Good Shepherd [54 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 21:50

2 Likes

roly wrote:
now according to your profile you're heavier than me dave.
would you feel happy riding these all year round?
in london traffic there is a lot of stop starting so if i am to believe this whole thing about getting up to speed quicker with light wheels it should make sense right?
also i can swap them back again easy enough when the going gets rough.
really i'm asking do good wheels make that much difference.

wheels is the best upgrade by far. and yes, the braccianos are plenty strong enough for everyday use.

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7498 posts]
22nd October 2012 - 22:18

1 Like

Personally, for commuting use, I would save your money. As you say there is lots of braking, and if you are riding in all weathers then this will lead to lots of rim wear. Cheap and hefty rims are good for this. I am not sure what your motivation is – is it to reduce the time on your commute as I doubt the wheels will make much difference to that, although they would probably improve the feel of the bike.
If you do decide to buy better wheels I’d use them for weekend runs.
Have you considered just changing tyres if your current tyres are basic? That’s makes a big difference. Even relatively racy tyres have good puncture protection nowadays so a light tyre should mean loads of unplanned deflations.

posted by Chris James [214 posts]
23rd October 2012 - 8:04

1 Like

I have Open Sports on my steel framed Audax bike with 28mm tyres and mudguards.
And to be be quite honest I am as fast over the ground on it as I am on my Titanium bike with Dura-Ace.
I would just save your money if the wheels are still serviceable.
For the bigger chap, I like my CXP33's, they work well at speed but are very stiff (i.e. harsh!!) for distance work.

Gravity - it won't let you down.

bigmel's picture

posted by bigmel [84 posts]
23rd October 2012 - 9:37

1 Like

i did try michelin Pro 3s but got loads of punctures so i am back on the krylions. fast enough and rarely puncture.

bigmels comments have swung me as if it really won't make much of a difference it's not worth the money. As i say i do very few weekend runs and theyre are just on my own mostly so not trying to keep up with a group.

also chris james comment about rim wear.

frustratingly then i have got a bike that i cannot justify spending money on.

if i did spend the money the pro lite braccianos are definitely where i would go as the reviews on the internet are pretty impressive for the price.

posted by roly [43 posts]
23rd October 2012 - 10:54

1 Like

Wanna go faster and only spend £40?!

Grab some fasten on aero bars, that will speed you up far more than a £500 set of wheels!

Happy aeroing

posted by SammyG [295 posts]
23rd October 2012 - 17:24

1 Like

Yep, aero bars and some good wheels.

I've some ITM 2.4's on a basic Halfords roadie (carrera virtuoso) - works for me.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [591 posts]
23rd October 2012 - 20:52

1 Like

got the pro lite braccianos and had the old bike nicked beofore i put them on.
went for a caad10 105 as the new bike.
pro lites now fitted.
they roll unbelievably smoothly. Only done a couple of hundred miles so far, but i think my opinion will only get better.
incidentally if anybody wants the shimano rs10s i took off then make me an offer. they havent been used at all.

posted by roly [43 posts]
29th January 2013 - 13:36

1 Like

Having ridden Braccianos for a couple of thousand miles on my old bike, I'd say they're good but I'm not sure I'd want them for the commute. They're not as sturdy as something like Mavic Aksiums (which I incidentally commute on all the time in London). If it's solely for a commute, I just can't see any huge benefit in speccing up anything - just keep your drivetrain running smoothly and use decent tyres like Gatorskins.... then slowly buy up parts to make yourself a weekend flyer!

posted by bashthebox [647 posts]
29th January 2013 - 13:48

1 Like