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Having lost a wheel this weekend to it going too far out of true to be repaired, I'm now looking for a new rear wheel. I'm fed up of wheels that go wonky too easily with my 95kg on them. I seek out what I think are decent-strength wheels, and I know that some are certainly not suitable for me.
If anyone out there can recommend a good wheel or brand for a heavier rider such as myself I'd be grateful. I'm aiming to start Cat 4 racing before too long and I love climbing although a low weight is not crucial, something fast-rolling would be good.
Please also mention any wheels/brands that should definitely be avoided by heavier riders.
Price not important, but something of a bargain is obviously beneficial.
Thanks.

16 comments

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rjw [52 posts] 3 years ago
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If you want a factory built wheelset this list might be useful:
http://www.lifeinthebuslane.com/road-wheel-weight-limits/

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ped [229 posts] 3 years ago
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I've recommended them before here, so at the risk of sounding like a shill, I'd go over your requirements with the guys at http://www.stradawheels.co.uk

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ilovemytinbred [161 posts] 3 years ago
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handbuilt wheels. A good LBS will sort you out. Ride the wheels for a while and pop them in to get the tension checked and they should be bomb proof.

I am over 80kg and have hit some pretty awful potholes and yet my wheels are still perfect. Mine are H plus sons archetype rims with 28 cx-ray spokes on hope pro 3 hubs.

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700c [908 posts] 3 years ago
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If you decide not to go down the handbuilt route, then campag Zonda wheels are worth a look. Mine are still perfectly true and I was just over 100kg when I started using them. Have put a few thousands miles on them in total

They are light considering their stiffness.

Only drawback is that the propriety design means that you can't easily replace rims when worn -it's actually cheaper to buy another wheelset!

Not that I've ever had to adjust, true, or anything.

With handbuilts, you could could go back to the shop to tweak and replace parts very easily. Worth bearing in mind

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middlering [57 posts] 3 years ago
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Depends on where and how you ride, but my Shimano RS10s served me well for over an year & half while I weighed between 92 & 99kgs.

Lost them due to a crash so now riding with another of the same, at 80kgs.

Most of my riding, though, is within the city and sportives is Surrey & Sussex. Even rode the Ronde sportive on them twice. No races though.

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Simon E [2728 posts] 3 years ago
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Wheel weight doesn't make much difference to speed, despite all the claims, even on steep climbs. Honestly.

And aero wheels don't do much - an expensive 'aero' 30mm rim usually only takes 30-40 seconds off an hour compared to a standard box section, a lot less than swapping your jersey for a close-fitting one.

I would go for a standard rim. A heavier rider would be better off with 32 spokes and a Mavic Open Pro or similar. Inexpensive and easily serviced/rebuilt. CX-Ray spokes are disproportionately expensive and don't really make any difference, normal spokes are fine. I wouldn't spend much on a bike and wheels for bunch racing anyway, just get stuck in and have some fun.

If you want to get up hills easier or race faster then losing weight from the rider will make far more difference than any amount of bike bling or carbon this & that. It doesn't cost much but it requires willpower. Unfortunately plenty of people struggle with this concept and think they can just 'buy' speed. It doesn't work.

Thankfully it's simple: avoid processed food as much as possible, it's calorie-dense and nutrient-poor. Lots of fresh food + plenty of training = faster, fitter, healthier you. I guarantee it.

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cidermart [489 posts] 3 years ago
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I had some hand built by Harry Rowland they are lightweight and totally bombproof 36 spoke jobs. I'm running a bit heavier than you, 110Kg, and have had no problems with them.

http://www.harryrowland.co.uk/

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Richthornton [81 posts] 3 years ago
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Thanks for all the advice, I find buying wheels to be one of the toughest purchases because there are so many option, so many heels with good reviews and almost every set has customer reviews saying "I've had a pair of these for years and years, miles and miles, never had to true them and never let me down" whilst the next comment will say "these wheels went out of true after my first ride, poor strength etc etc" so I genuinely thnk that you ever really know what you're going to get, at least with factory built wheels anyway.
As it is I found a pair of Shimano RS30 for £120, I hear that Shimano wheels tend to be pretty robust and I'm very happy with the price. I couldn't go down the hand built line as I don't have the money for that right now and need some wheels for the weekend, but if these can last me a while, whilst i save up I think that hand built will be my next purchase.

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700c [908 posts] 3 years ago
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Sounds like you made a good choice for the budget.. If and when funds allow then I do wholeheartedly recommend the Zondas - as a larger rider I speak from experience

PS please don't take Simon E's advice to lose weight and improve your diet personally, he's just very anti people spending money on upgrading wheels!  3

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Hector Ch [53 posts] 3 years ago
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Ideally, the more spokes the better. I too am a heavy rider. The LBS contacted several wheel maker distributors for me. Seems Macic Ksyrium Equipe are the 'toughest' wheel ( other manufacturers didn't respond, was looking at DT Swiss wheels too)

The Mavic Ksyrium Equipes on my Titan and Carbon bikes have stood the test of many rides on crap roads.

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Richthornton [81 posts] 3 years ago
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700c wrote:

PS please don't take Simon E's advice to lose weight and improve your diet personally, he's just very anti people spending money on upgrading wheels!  3

Haha, I assumed that Simon wasn't directing his advice towards me specifically as I did state in the opening post that weight wasn't an important factor in this purchase.
As I'm 6ft 2, I'm not massively overweight but can definitely afford to lose some, more than the difference between a heavy and light wheel set anyway.
My main aim was to find some wheels that were strong and cheap which I think I have done now and I do think that Simon speaks a lot of sense in his post.

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ilovemytinbred [161 posts] 3 years ago
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Slightly changing the subject, keep an eye on the tension of spokes and trueness of your wheels.

I think most wheels with normal spoke counts have the potential to be very strong under nrmal use, and can even take some hefty hits. Many problems are just from the the wheel not being well balanced/tensioned in the first place, or one or two spokes losing a bit of tension. At the most basic level spin the wheels and look where they pass the brake blocks to see if they are true, and retension as needed. Also if when you first try wheels they go ping ping ping, then they need the tension checking as they were not stress relieved properly when they were built. Obviously the wrong pothole on the wrong day and your wheels are going to break but I suspect a well tensioned 28 spoke wheel is going to be sronger than a poorly tensioned 36 spoke wheel.

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Simon E [2728 posts] 3 years ago
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700c wrote:

please don't take Simon E's advice to lose weight and improve your diet personally, he's just very anti people spending money on upgrading wheels!  3

Ha ha, love it!

 4

I have spent/wasted too much time reading about wheel performance to get sucked into believing that saving 100 grammes or some great aerodyamic claims make any difference in the real world.

Forgot to say that OTOH good tyres are a must e.g. Conti GP4000S, Schwalbe Ultremo, Michelin Pro 4 SC. 25mm if you can get them as the greater air volume and means more comfort than 23mm and the same or better rolling resistance.

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700c [908 posts] 3 years ago
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Simon E wrote:

I have spent/wasted too much time reading about wheel performance to get sucked into believing that saving 100 grammes or some great aerodyamic claims make any difference in the real world.

Read this!:

http://road.cc/content/review/18741-reynolds-rzr-46t-wheelset

Fancy a pair?

bet you would..  4

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Simon E [2728 posts] 3 years ago
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700c wrote:

http://road.cc/content/review/18741-reynolds-rzr-46t-wheelset

Fancy a pair?

bet you would..  4

Yes, yes, YES!

Could have done with them last night, fighting a cross/headwind on the return leg of a '25'. But they're about £4,000 over my budget.

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tired old fart [77 posts] 3 years ago
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Have you thought about getting a set of tandem wheels for your bike as there are companies that will build them onto standard size but tandem style/strength hubs just a thought as I bet they would be mega strong for just one person