Wheel upgrade

by MarkiMark   October 1, 2013  

Just looking to improve my knowledge (possibly huge money outlay envisaged).

I bought a bike about a year ago and to keep within budget I got Mavic Aksium wheels on it. They have been fine, but I am considering an upgrade.

Does anybody have a view on what would be a useful and noticeable improvement on these. Lighter would be good, but I'm aware that better hubs, stiffer wheels and lighter rims make more difference than headline weight.

I don't want deep rims, they wouldn't suit my titanium classic. But maybe up to 30mm depth would look good. I like the look of Mavic R-SYS SLS wheels but they are stupid expensive.

Any thoughts.

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I'm in a similar position to you actually. Having read lots of reviews (this one in particular: http://www.cyclingweekly.co.uk/tech/components/129514/1/cero-ar30-wheels...) I'm considering these:

http://www.cycledivision.co.uk/product-info.php?pid133.html

Found a couple people who've had them for over a year and durability seems to be very good.

I'm also considering some Planet X carbon clinchers, but they're deep section so not what you're after.

I'm so lazy I'd rather order something off Wiggle than go to the shops for Haribo...

posted by Mr Jono [90 posts]
1st October 2013 - 10:52

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I've recently picked up a bike with Fulcrum Racing 3's on them and I'm very impressed so far.

They contribute to the 'zingy' feel of the bike IMO and make a nice gentle whooshing noise, they look good and can be had for under £400.

My reference is coming from a set of Ultegra wheels and also a set of Shimano R500, I couldn't tell a great deal of difference between those those two yet the Fulcrum's certainly seem to have 'something' about them.

Of course it could all be in the head Smile

posted by thebungle [115 posts]
1st October 2013 - 11:19

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do you mean r-sys slr? If so these are a very specific light weight climbing wheel and may not suit you depending on your weight/build etc. Also what kind of riding do you do?
Take a look at the ksyrium slr as a good all round top end wheel. These are bomb proof and still quite light, spokes are aero aluminium rather than the round carbon spokes on the r-sys which does make a difference on holding speed.
Mavic have their fans, and also those that don't like em. For me Mavic has always made and specialised in wheels and they do do a good job.
The other options are all good wheels too, it's down to preference really I guess. The minimal rim branding etc on the SLR's would look good on your bike though from what you say

posted by alexjones5 [25 posts]
1st October 2013 - 11:38

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thebungle wrote:
I've recently picked up a bike with Fulcrum Racing 3's on them and I'm very impressed so far.

They contribute to the 'zingy' feel of the bike IMO and make a nice gentle whooshing noise, they look good and can be had for under £400.

My reference is coming from a set of Ultegra wheels and also a set of Shimano R500, I couldn't tell a great deal of difference between those those two yet the Fulcrum's certainly seem to have 'something' about them.

Of course it could all be in the head Smile


+1 same story, bladed spokes are fun

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

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posted by badkneestom [127 posts]
1st October 2013 - 12:48

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It's a shame the forum doesn't have a decent search facility, as this subject crops up regularly. Here are a few fairly recent discussions:
http://road.cc/content/forum/75959-better-wheels-or-better-groupset
http://road.cc/content/forum/69979-wheel-upgrade-choice
http://road.cc/content/forum/82081-have-you-wasted-money-super-light-new...

Fulcrum 3s seem to be a popular choice, and there's always the handbuilt option if you want something classy.

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posted by Simon E [1909 posts]
1st October 2013 - 15:26

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My bike came with the Aksiums as standard and i've used them for 2 years.
No problems with them in that time but changed them to some Shimano RS80's. I'm not a fan of cup and cone bearings but they are easy to service.
Its not a " wow , what difference " type of change but a bit more subtle.
I feel to have more left in my legs after a climb,and there are plenty of climbs here in the North Pennines. They also spin better climbing out of the saddle.
Overall are they worth the 300 quid upgrade ? After comparing how i feel now after a long ride compared to the Aksiums i would say yes.

joeegg

posted by joeegg [36 posts]
8th October 2013 - 15:43

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I bought a set of pro-lite bracciano's at the start of this year and have been very impressed with them. They are noticeably stiffer than the FSA wheels they replaced, much lighter (approx 1400gms I think?) and seem to roll an awful a lot better. I have ridden them in all weathers on all the awful roads in Somerset with no issues at all. Well worth a look I would say.

posted by rockfield [67 posts]
8th October 2013 - 16:07

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I have a pair of RS80 and Aksium race wheels (the ones you have I'm pretty sure) and there isn't a lot of difference in them as far as I can tell. The RS80s are a little lighter and a little stiffer.

Maybe better upgrades elsewhere? Possibly tyres, I do love my Conti 4000s!

posted by Charles_Hunter [72 posts]
9th October 2013 - 8:34

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May I suggest Swissside Francs, I got a set off ebay for around £300. Around the 1500g mark, semi bladed spokes and included a double wheel bag. Well impressed so far.

Was horrified a while back when I found out the rear Askium weighed over a kilo.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [279 posts]
9th October 2013 - 8:38

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I got some Stans NoTubes Alpha 340's built up with DT Swiss spokes (used cycleops powertap pro for hubs but that can be ignored!) - they are ACE, best bike thing I've ever invested in.

Rock solid and on the potholly greasy roads of the Isle of Man have remained true as anything throughout race season. They roll incredibly well. I've hit some fairly massive holes on those things and they havent let me down on integrity or speed.

They're also superlight, I've absoluteyl no push to buy anything more lightweight or aero for the time being.

I ran Aksiums before these and the difference in quality and weight is nuts.

Can't recommend the Stans enough.

Merlin Cycles women's race team ~ http://www.merlincycles.com
Manx nerd peddler ~ http://mooleur.blogspot.com

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posted by mooleur [542 posts]
9th October 2013 - 12:27

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+1 for the Bracciano's.

As good as the Fulcrum 3, but cheaper. You might manage a lighter custom build that beats them, but probably not at anywhere near the price.

If you're not racing above Cat3, they're as good as you need.

My eyes prefer Celeste, my bum prefers titanium.

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posted by Jack Osbourne snr [304 posts]
9th October 2013 - 17:34

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+1 for the Bracciano's. Best bang for buck available in my opinion. Very happy with mine after 18 months. I have them set up with a light tyre and tube combo to enhance the benefit and consequently I tend to only bring them out for "Sunday best" rides. Makes it a special event when I do.

posted by zedbedboy [11 posts]
9th October 2013 - 18:27

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Fulcrum 3 for a good do it all wheel, they've held up fine for roubaix and the full Flanders for me.

I have ar30s on the bling bike which have been incredible value for money, though I've seen some negative comments for the bearings in the wet. For bang for buck I'd take these over the fulcrums but if I only had one wheel set I'd stick with the fulcrums.

Also tire weights can be hire, a good set of gp4000s would improve things in all depts.

posted by georgee [137 posts]
9th October 2013 - 23:02

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Get some built. there are plenty of builders about who will be able to give you exactly what you are after and you will be able to service them and get spares (there is a guy on Bikeradar forum who has build about 4 sets for me). For examble for about 250 quid you can get Ambrosio hubs on ambrosio rims, DB spokes, slightly lighter than the aksiums but much nicer. or you can add some PROIII hubs from hope to make them a bit lighter. But speak to a builder and describe what you want and let them help you through the process.
just my thoughts.

posted by jobless [37 posts]
10th October 2013 - 9:43

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I am on the verge of selling my 2012 Kysirium SL's to look for something stronger / more traditional. Much as I love the look of modern factory built wheels, I have recently had a set of wheels hand built for my single speed (miche primato on open pro's) and something about them just feels better. Check out the Yoda of wheel building "The Wheelsmith" all he does is build wheels. He gave me some cracking advice.

For reference I got my wheels built Cyclelab in Shoreditch, they were well priced and they built them up same day.

posted by Potiriadis [15 posts]
10th October 2013 - 10:44

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