Carbon wheels - what should I look for?

by Blackhound   October 16, 2008  

Was at the cycle show last week and got exposed to all sorts of loveliness. The De Rosa ti frame I asked about was £3,700!

Anyway, I might stretch to a set of carbon wheels, probably tubs, so after some advise. Currently ride some Mercian built Open Pro with DT rev spokes and Campag Record hubs.

I am not interesting in time trialling or racing just a pair that will make me faster withiout training and look cool;-) I do the odd club 10 and riding in The Peak with some guys.

Some seem quite heavy especially if deeper section (more material) but may be more aero. Climbing is more important to me as I am so slow so I guess lighter weight. Probably cheaper end and some I may find in the sales. At the cycle show the cheapest I saw were £500 for qoroz and about £800 for ProLite. Planet-X seem to be more for time trialling. So any thoughts? (What tyre thread to follow;-))

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Some of the Hed ones look pretty decent in their ads in triathlon 220, and price / weightwise they're not looking too bad. Plus they're the daddy's of aerowheels from back in the day, so I expect them to know their stuff.

Personally, I have bontrager aeolus 5.0's which are light, stiff, aero and have DT hubs so they work a treat - they're a revelation up the climbs and even nicer for general riding.

Winter now though, so they're all boxed up until next year...

posted by the-yorkshire-p... [180 posts]
16th October 2008 - 21:01

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 Sounds to me like what you are after is light wheels, which doesn't necessarily mean going the carbon route. A really good set of handbuilts might just do the job just as well and be a lot easier to look after.

For climbing you don't need to go the aero route either, going up you're not really going to be going fast enough to get an aero advantage, in fact the extra material may be a hindrance both because of the extra weight, but also because it is going to catch any gusts of wind hitting you from the side.

I'm no expert on wheels, but if you do choose to go the carbon route I was impressed by the latest Dura Ace hoops from Shimano, light and stiff, and you should never have any trouble getting spares or having them serviced. If you want to go the Italian route don't think you'd go wrong with a set of Fulcrums and those Gipiemmes at the show looked pretty good too.

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posted by Tony Farrelly [4147 posts]
16th October 2008 - 22:10

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When did need come into it;-)

I was trying to get at weight being an issue with some of the carbon wheels - and our club tt is really tough as well.

Running campag and my mate wouldn't let me have Shimano either! Never checked but assume Dura-ace is big S only.

Gipiemme did look good though I could investigate them.

Like YPKR says though they would be away for the winter so trying to bag a end of season bargain.

Thanks both.

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posted by Blackhound [446 posts]
17th October 2008 - 20:14

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if you want to blow some money on doing your local 10 faster, then get a rear disc - that actually will make you faster in most conditions. deep section carbon rims look great but their aerodynamic advantage over normal wheels is pretty minimal. plus, discs look (and sound) really cool.

if you just want to generally go faster without training then light weight is what you need, and the lightest wheels in your price range won't necessarily be carbon. have a look on weight weenies for some candidates and see if they look cool enough for ya Smile

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posted by cactuscat [303 posts]
17th October 2008 - 22:55

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I have been looking at the Ardennes at £550, full review on "bikeradar" and they seem light at 1,350g.

Anybody know any shops that stock them? I have hound a distributor in Sheffield but no shops listed on there site. Can always give them a ring if no recomendation.

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posted by Blackhound [446 posts]
19th October 2008 - 22:21

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I bought some for the Etape this year, lovely wheels roll really nicely (?) light and stiff as you like.
Not as pimpy as some of the deep rim carbon but thoroughly worth the money

posted by andyfla [23 posts]
23rd October 2008 - 9:09

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Had a look at one site and Duraace is not available in campag.

Also discovered that HED have just the distributor - no shops.

Decision is getting between tubs or not.

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posted by Blackhound [446 posts]
24th October 2008 - 18:35

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That is a bit like going in to the Liverpool club shop selecting a top with Stevie Gerrard's number on it, and asking the bloke with the lettering machine if you could have the name LAMPARD stuck on there.

That said, I did hear of a freehub by Evolution that fitted a Shimano wheel and was Campag cassete compatible - Byercycles were supposed to sell it, but just checked their site (v.quickly) and couldn't find it - so maybe it's a myth.

Did find this though http://www.bizrate.com/bicycles_equipment/oid882249029.html

Apparently "Every single component is realised to excel" so it must be good

On a bike somewhere…

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posted by thebikeboy [138 posts]
24th October 2008 - 22:01

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there's a chap on singletrackworld (you can search by his username "danielh" selling some tubular Bontrager Aeolus 5's for £500 in the classifieds. I have the clincher ones and I rate them.

posted by the-yorkshire-p... [180 posts]
24th October 2008 - 22:07

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Yes, saw them the other day but they are a Shimano fitting.

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posted by Blackhound [446 posts]
26th October 2008 - 18:36

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There's only one answer - forget carbon and get Campag Shamal Utra - light, fast and not stupid money.

posted by aP [7 posts]
26th October 2008 - 20:04

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