Wheels, wheels, wheels

by Oliver Duffy   February 21, 2013  

Hello everyone, sorry to ask 'one of those' questions but I need advice on a new wheelset.

The stock wheels that came with the bike have about had it and so i thought that with the summer round the corner I'll save up for 2-3 months for a new set. (i'm a student, yes, it will take that long to save).

I've set myself a budget of £300 ish, I know campy and Mavic offer some for about 320 so i could be swayed. They need to be hard wearing as the roads around me aren't exactly svelte.

At the minute the Fulcrum Racing 5s are most appealing but it looks to be a bit of a minefield.

Cheers in advance.

28 user comments

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Get yourself a pair built by your LBS. They'll give you decent advice and will likely be better value and better built (in my experience) than factory built. I had a pair of wheels built up with Open Pro rims and 105 hubs a couple of years ago, they cost me about £250 and have never had to be trued...

posted by DanSmernicki [11 posts]
21st February 2013 - 16:19

26 Likes

I have had a few sets of Fulcrum Racing 5 wheels and they have been excellent, stayed straight throughout and great value for money at around £200. Easily good enough for entry level racing, sportives and I use them for winter training as well.

posted by jimmo62 [59 posts]
21st February 2013 - 16:25

27 Likes

Thanks for the advice. id love my lbs to be able to build be a set but I live in Northampton, it would appear Northampton is a bermuda triangle for decent bike shops. very frustrating. fulcrums may be the way forward then!

posted by Oliver Duffy [15 posts]
21st February 2013 - 17:09

22 Likes

Campy Zonda's are the way to go on your budget and superior to the Fulcrum 5. Fulcrums tend to be heavier then the stated weights also. When I first upgraded my wheels I was looking at the F5;s but the aesthetics were not so appealing. Ended up with the Shimano RS30's in white for a little bling and they have proven to be bullit proof. Some might argue that building a set is better but in my opinion factory wheels are my preferred choice. They are produced by machines to exact tolerances and delivered to your door...no fuss no muss. I ordered mine on a Monday arrived on a Wednesday and to this day stayed true. Wink

posted by Seoige [104 posts]
21st February 2013 - 18:17

20 Likes

Hope Hoops rs monos. Open pros on on hopes pro3 hubs. Great wheels and great value. Love mine.

posted by mattbibbings [103 posts]
21st February 2013 - 18:17

21 Likes

You can always have them delivered from a wheelbuilder like Harry Rowland or others for £250 and the ones he built me are bombproof (open pros on xt hubs).

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [467 posts]
21st February 2013 - 19:30

24 Likes

Brilliant, thanks for all the advice! Never expected this much help! (i'm new to the site).

posted by Oliver Duffy [15 posts]
21st February 2013 - 22:22

19 Likes

did anyone say pro-lite bracciano yet? no? okay. pro-lite bracciano. best sub-£300 wheelset by a country mile, in my opinion

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7444 posts]
21st February 2013 - 22:56

23 Likes

If you're not a "big" chap, Planet X Al30s, light and aero for £150. Change left over for a set of good tyres and tubes.

posted by nappe [43 posts]
21st February 2013 - 23:20

21 Likes

wot about hand built mavic cxp33,s with a spoke count 32 front 36 rear, cost about £210 from lbs and are bomb proof,

posted by issacforce [205 posts]
22nd February 2013 - 7:55

21 Likes

4th vote for the zondas, you can often get them for about £270 online, and are great.

posted by benezeir [58 posts]
22nd February 2013 - 8:57

23 Likes

Campagnolo Zondas are excellent wheels. I've had a set for 18 months and they are brilliant, fast rolling all rounders. I cruised up Holme Moss and Snake Pass on mine at the weekend. They are well worth it (equivalent to Fulcrum R3 if you are interested). Check out the Tour Quarterly grouptest to see what good value they are for stiffness, weight and rolling resistance. I thoroughly recommend them. If you want to go handbuilt, take a ride out of the Bermuda Triangle and over to Priory Marina Cycles in Bedford and have a chat with John. He's been building wheels for over 40 years and for pro teams too.

Ah! Condor

posted by Bedfordshire Clanger [321 posts]
22nd February 2013 - 10:16

20 Likes

All this goes to prove is that wheels are pretty good these days if you've got £200 to £300 to burn! Happy days.

posted by mattbibbings [103 posts]
22nd February 2013 - 10:28

27 Likes

What wheels do you have at the moment? Do you race, ride sportives, ride for fitness or just for fun? How much do you weigh, are you a strong rider and are you hard on your equipment?
Depending on your answers get somebody to build you a set of wheels for you. Even if you spend a little more you can get wheels that can be a lot easier to service and get spares for. So the cost of the wheels over the it's life will be cheaper. I've broken a spokes on a Mavic wheels both times, three to four weeks later and at a cost that would make Sapim X-rays look cheap.
Factory wheel do have a place but on a budget I'd get get hand builds.

posted by troj [5 posts]
22nd February 2013 - 14:16

21 Likes

i'm with dave. well it's because of his convincing argument i bought a pair of pro lite braccianos. best decision ever. not got much to compare them with but they are stunning value. roll beautifully and no flexing with my 90kg bulk

posted by roly [43 posts]
22nd February 2013 - 23:17

24 Likes

+1 for the zondas, have been riding mine for around 15 months and they are perfectly true. V stiff too. pro lite braccianos are awesome value, however, given their lighter weight. As a 'bigger' rider I can vouch for strength and durability of zondas though - don't know if this is a factor for you or not.

posted by 700c [565 posts]
23rd February 2013 - 9:26

20 Likes

Looks like that's decision made to be honest. thanks for all the help everyone!

posted by Oliver Duffy [15 posts]
23rd February 2013 - 10:01

18 Likes

contact velo-smith.com david fletcher. he built my carbon/royce race wheels and has build some stunning sets for my mates. i would never go back to factory builds after recieving mine

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
23rd February 2013 - 20:36

22 Likes

Left field option coming......

Take a look at Kinetic K2's (just google it) I've got a set and they ride really well, smooth, fairly light for a sub £250 wheel set and just "feel right" coping well with some crappy roads as well.

Former fat bloke, now not so fat, on a journey to taking part in RideUK24 Newcastle to London via l'etape and Dragon Ride Gran Fondo (and a few other sportives)
www.velopixie.blogspot.co.uk

velo pixie's picture

posted by velo pixie [6 posts]
27th February 2013 - 13:42

19 Likes

And another for Pro Lite Bracciano ..

I purchased a pair seconfd hand a couple of years back and they get a lot of action ... still as true as the day I brought them..

Not sure of curent pricing, likley to be there or thereabouts though..

Me, Myself and I

posted by phax71 [301 posts]
1st March 2013 - 10:06

19 Likes

Just got myself a set of Cole Rollen eLites which are sub £250, light, good looking and stiff. Only had them a few weeks so can't comment on their longevity

posted by SPAM Naval [141 posts]
1st March 2013 - 10:34

22 Likes

Sorry if this blows your budget by 100 quid but I just had to point out Giant P-SLR1 for £400 online reduced from £750. Some good reviews and they appear to be sensibly designed as high performing all rounders. Have no experience of them directly but Giant as a company seem to be getting a lot of praise at the moment in a really competitive part of the market.

posted by 700c [565 posts]
5th March 2013 - 16:46

22 Likes

700c wrote:
Sorry if this blows your budget by 100 quid but I just had to point out Giant P-SLR1 for £400 online reduced from £750. Some good reviews and they appear to be sensibly designed as high performing all rounders. Have no experience of them directly but Giant as a company seem to be getting a lot of praise at the moment in a really competitive part of the market.

http://road.cc/content/review/50655-giant-p-slr1-wheelset

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7444 posts]
5th March 2013 - 16:55

21 Likes

Thanks so much for all the advice guys, i had another look at my finances, which didn't take long, and saw that unless i wait until some point in august there'd be no way i could afford to put that by. SO i have bought and fitted a set of Fulcrum Racing 5s, put about 45 miles into them earlier and they're great! Considering how impressed i am with them i'm a bit depressed i couoldnt have afforded the Campys or some bespoke wheels, they muct be incredible.

Doesnt take much to impress me anyway.

Cheers again!

posted by Oliver Duffy [15 posts]
5th March 2013 - 17:11

20 Likes

Good for you going for the Racing 5s. Great wheelset. Had a pair on my BMC until I replaced them with some PX carbon tubs. The Racing 5s are now on the winter training bike and are still as true as the day they came out of the shop.

posted by Tjuice [121 posts]
7th March 2013 - 21:57

27 Likes

Oliver Duffy wrote:
Thanks for the advice. id love my lbs to be able to build be a set but I live in Northampton, it would appear Northampton is a bermuda triangle for decent bike shops. very frustrating. fulcrums may be the way forward then!

Only just seen this as looking at getting a new set of wheels myself. Get yourself over to AJ Cycles in Higham! They are by far the best best shop around.

Always get good honest advice, helpful service and good value.

Pacey's picture

posted by Pacey [4 posts]
24th March 2014 - 15:21

16 Likes

mattbibbings wrote:
Hope Hoops rs monos. Open pros on on hopes pro3 hubs. Great wheels and great value. Love mine.

Snap, paid £325 for mine which is a bargain for such a fast rolling and stiff wheel.

posted by Shep73 [137 posts]
25th March 2014 - 9:31

17 Likes

I've had my Cole Rollen eLites for about six months. Initially really happy with them but I'm going through spokes now like there's no tomorrow! I'm an 82kg rider so don't think its a weight thing. They're sitting in my garage at the moment awaiting another LBS truing. Hope you have better luck there.
agree with your comments that for the price they're light, cheapish and look good.

posted by SPAM Naval [141 posts]
25th March 2014 - 13:12

13 Likes