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recommendations for road wheels

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Mar 11, 2009
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Ardennes

I love my HED Ardennes. I used Ksyrium SL's before those, as well as ZIPP CSC's (AL clinchers built with DT Swiss rims), and I run standard 32hole Swiss RR 1.1's as training wheels. By far the HED's are the best rolling, best feel of all of them - and they're the lightest! If you try the Ardennes you won't be disappointed.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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You can't go wrong with the Dura-Ace scandium wheels. Even if you don't use the tubeless feature, they are well made wheels and have outstanding hubs.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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Christian Schneider said:
I am looking to purchase new wheels, but there are so many on the market!
I would like a sub 1600 gram set, clincher. They are going on a Dura Ace 7900equiped Colango. I don't need race wheels, but would like something that helps me get an aero advantage. For everyday long rides in a variety of conditions. Would like to spend less then $1300....any suggestions?
I have American Classics on one bike and older Dura Ace wheels on another.
I am considering: HED Ardennes, Shimano 7850, Mavic R-SYS, Fulcrum 1.:confused:

Find a wheelbuilder to design and then build an appropriate wheelset for you. The result will be a wheelset that will be light, reliable, use standard, off the shelf parts(try to find a first gen Krysirium freehub body or DA spoke) and most importantly be about $650-$800 using things like a DA or DT hubset, rims from DT or Velocity, Sapim or DT spokes. Sub 1600 grams is easy.

Most wheelsouttaboxes are expensive(if using a decent hubset, expensive for some using crappy hubsets), use unique to that wheel parts(no support by the manufacturer of the rim means an expensive pen holder), rely on whizbangery rather than performance, try to be everything to everybody and did I mention expensive. Find a wheelbuilding guru, talk to them. Won't have a red spoke or funny colored rims or nipples in the middle of the spoke but they will be there to get you there.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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The road to hell is paved with good intention...

While an undeniably useful skill, building you own (first set of) wheels is neither cheap nor advised for your stated use. Buy a prefab set and, if interested, build a set of cheapies for your education.

Treddly said:
why not have a crack at building your own rather than buying something that is probably overpriced, underperforming and may not suit your needs to match your body type, riding style and performance outputs... the late great Sheldon Brown has a fine web page on Wheelbuilding and Why to start the process.
cheers:)
 
Mar 10, 2009
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good advice

Thanks for the fine advice from all of you. I have narrowed it down to 2 or 3.
The FULCRUM 3 or HED Bastogne, neither could be considered to have aero rims. The HEDs are new on the market (you can see the ads opposite this post, they haven't been really put to the test) and people seem to love the wider rim, but the Fulcrums can be had for $200 less.
I am still keen on Shimano 7850.
Making my own wheels is NOT an option. I'd have to get tools and learn to use truing stand and gages. I would rather ride then do constant maintance. I am not the most mechanical guy and really wouldn't trust wheels I put together.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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One thing about the Fulcrums...I've known two people that broke a spoke and had a hard time finding a replacement. Also the spokes, being proprietary are rather expensive. So this is definitely something to consider.
 
Mar 15, 2009
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nightfend said:
You can't go wrong with the Dura-Ace scandium wheels. Even if you don't use the tubeless feature, they are well made wheels and have outstanding hubs.

I just recently got a new pair of Shimano 7850SL's and paired them with Hutchinson Fusion 2 Road Tubeless. I am mystified why this technology has not been more widely accepted. No more pinch flats, great ride and handling, and Dura-Ace quality. I put sealant in mine hoping to minimize flats, not that I have more than one or two per year anyway. Now that Campy and Fulcrum have come out with road tubeless models maybe the time has come. Convenience of clinchers with the benefits of tubulars. What could be better? The editors at RoadBikeRider.com reviewed them and feel that they will eventually replace clinchers and tubulars. That may be an exaggeration but they have a lot of experience so I would value their opinion as much or more than anyone else's.

That's my vote anyway.

Williams, Rol, and Neuvation are some internet direct sellers offering a quality product at an affordable price. Great value. Since I am 200 lbs+ I would go with the Williams 30X.

Testrider.com has some reviews of the Campy tubeless(2-way fit) and several Williams models and I believe Neuvation. Look under the Road category.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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AS a big bloke (90kg about 200lbs) I have been very happy with my Reynolds, but all wheels in a box have issues of some sort.
Also consider something like DT Swiss 1450's
Then throw a set of ceramic bearings at them, because you will be way under budget.
I would still suggest getting something made up, I am a big fan of wheels to suit the situation, you are lookind at high Km count then 36 hole hubs with good low tension aero spokes and a medium (say 32-8mm/1.25 -.5in) profile would be perfect, never loose true and you will not be stranded if you break a spoke out on the road. It amazes me how fast a hightension wheel loses true once you pop a spoke and people accept it for other than racing
You should blast the weight by at least 100g
 
Mar 11, 2009
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dekindy said:
I just recently got a new pair of Shimano 7850SL's and paired them with Hutchinson Fusion 2 Road Tubeless. I am mystified why this technology has not been more widely accepted. No more pinch flats, great ride and handling, and Dura-Ace quality. I put sealant in mine hoping to minimize flats, not that I have more than one or two per year anyway. Now that Campy and Fulcrum have come out with road tubeless models maybe the time has come. Convenience of clinchers with the benefits of tubulars. What could be better? The editors at RoadBikeRider.com reviewed them and feel that they will eventually replace clinchers and tubulars. That may be an exaggeration but they have a lot of experience so I would value their opinion as much or more than anyone else's.

For the same reason motorcycle wheels that have spokes also have tubes is why bicycle wheels won't be all tubeless anytime soon. A unique rim with questionable ease of replacing spokes or nipples(see the new Hutchison carbon tubeless wheels) means that wheel/rim makers aren't going to flock to this. Can you convert some clinchers to tubeless? Sure with heavy air proof strips and valves and lots of goop to prevent leaks.

So, is not using goop/strips or tubular gluing worth the very subjective comfort and handling 'advantages'..not for most plus the tires are expensive, more than most good tubulars or clinchers.
 
Mar 15, 2009
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Pietro said:
dekindy said:
I just recently got a new pair of Shimano 7850SL's and paired them with Hutchinson Fusion 2 Road Tubeless. I am mystified why this technology has not been more widely accepted. No more pinch flats, great ride and handling, and Dura-Ace quality. I put sealant in mine hoping to minimize flats, not that I have more than one or two per year anyway. Now that Campy and Fulcrum have come out with road tubeless models maybe the time has come. Convenience of clinchers with the benefits of tubulars. What could be better? The editors at RoadBikeRider.com reviewed them and feel that they will eventually replace clinchers and tubulars. That may be an exaggeration but they have a lot of experience so I would value their opinion as much or more than anyone else's.

For the same reason motorcycle wheels that have spokes also have tubes is why bicycle wheels won't be all tubeless anytime soon. A unique rim with questionable ease of replacing spokes or nipples(see the new Hutchison carbon tubeless wheels) means that wheel/rim makers aren't going to flock to this. Can you convert some clinchers to tubeless? Sure with heavy air proof strips and valves and lots of goop to prevent leaks.

So, is not using goop/strips or tubular gluing worth the very subjective comfort and handling 'advantages'..not for most plus the tires are expensive, more than most good tubulars or clinchers.

Have you ridden these wheels?
 
Mar 11, 2009
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dekindy said:
Pietro said:
Have you ridden these wheels?

BTW-commenting on this from Road Bike Mag-
"The editors at RoadBikeRider.com reviewed them and feel that they will eventually replace clinchers and tubulars."

Not on your decision to buy and use them. If ya got 'em and use, 'em, and like 'em-great.

These wheels or tubeless? I use tubulars as I don't see any disadvantage in them. Gluing is no big deal. I like the standard parts, like spokes. I like the availability of tubulars. I like the price($65 per tire vs $90+)

Just my Opinion, my .02lira
 
Mar 17, 2009
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American Classic

If you've already had experience with American Classic wheels why not get some more? For some reason American Classic wheels seem to be amazingly cheap in Australia. For AU$999 (US$660ish) you can get American Classic Mag 300, with the magneiusm rim and a claimed weight of 1320gr! But if you're after something more Aero what about the 420 wheels? 1450 grams/AU$649 (US$430ish). From cellbikes.com.au And no I do not work for American Classic or Cell Bikes.

If American Classic aren't for you then the HED wheels (1. Ardennes, 2. Bastogne) would be top of my list, but they're pricey. HED are probably too pricey for me, so I'd go the Shimano Carbon Laminate 7850 if I could find them in stock. Wiggle, Pro Bike Kit, and Chain Reaction Cycles all have similar prices, but are out of stock. Fulcrum make great wheels too, but I think the HED and Shimano are a better product for a better price.

Good luck and let us know what you end up with.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Christian Schneider said:
Thanks for the fine advice from all of you. I have narrowed it down to 2 or 3.
The FULCRUM 3 or HED Bastogne, neither could be considered to have aero rims. The HEDs are new on the market (you can see the ads opposite this post, they haven't been really put to the test) and people seem to love the wider rim, but the Fulcrums can be had for $200 less.
I am still keen on Shimano 7850.
Making my own wheels is NOT an option. I'd have to get tools and learn to use truing stand and gages. I would rather ride then do constant maintance. I am not the most mechanical guy and really wouldn't trust wheels I put together.
Go for Fulcrum! They are not real aero wheels - but quite aero to be only mid-deep rim wheels, and feels very fast. (Well I have only tried the Campy "twin".)
 
Mar 17, 2009
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I first tried a set of the older Rolf Vector Pro's, then Kysriums. Both had the same problem for me - brutally stiff. Efficient, but at least where I ride, my hands were going numb after an hour or two, and that's with gel gloves.

Found a set of Campy Zondas on sale. Much better. Not quite as stiff, but the less radical spoking resulted in a less vibrating ride. They've become the everyday wheelset.

And for weekend hotrodding, I got a set of slightly used Zipp 404's in tubie. Now, they're sweet. Light, noticably quicker when the speed rises, and velvet smooth ride, even over rougher surfaces, though the cotton Dugies may have something to do with that. I've forgotten my gloves, yet put in four hour rides with no discomfort at all.

Love those 404's. You get batted around a bit in crosswinds, but nothing dangerous.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Another vote for Mavic Ksyriums SL's Superlights. They also look extremely cool and stay true, as a big guy (192 lbs.) who hits the road hard and aggressively, these are the best wheels I've ever owned. 2nd place would be Roval Fusee SL. :D
:D
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Ha ha, I can't stand reading all these suggestions for expensive pre-built wheels. What a waste of money! Unless of course you've got upwards of a grand to drop on wheels, lucky you.

Aero? Are you kidding me? My alloy low-pro box section rims laced 3-cross have propelled me past a many weary riders that seem to think that expensive equipment will make you faster. Nonsense! Is anybody here a PRO? Well unless you can generate that same kind of power, you're not going to see any substantial benefits from dropping that much loot. I say if you're not sponsored, and not rich, don't bother. Even the HED Bastonge is an inferior wheel. Straight pull spokes with hidden nipples. Lame! you have to remove the tire to do touch ups. Even with these if you break a spoke out on the road you won't be able to open up your brake far enough. Because of the low spoke count, the rim is more likely to go way out of true deeming it unrideable. If you have to get HED, ha, go with the Kermesse. Far more practical.

Keep in mind it's not the arrow, It's the Indian!!! Just ride a lot and you'll be faster than most of these idiots that are riding 5k+ worth of bike. Have a shop lace up a set of standard 3 cross wheels and keep your money.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Fulcrum

I got a great deal on a set of FULCRUM 1s. I have only been on a single ride with them, but think I made the right decision for me.
I have riden with hand-laced wheels and those were the only set of wheels, in 25 years, that I have busted spokes with, of course I used them the longest. I don't view the purchase of wheels, or frames, as a marriage, it's not forever. I will sell/trade/give away before they wear out. I wanted something new, different and I think these are different from the American Classics I have on another bike.
I can afford to purchase high quality wheels and frameset. I have been at the same career for over 30 years. I ride hard and long and if someone else enjoys to go a more vintage path with their equipment I don't begrude them at all. If you like heavier equipement that will withstand pedal stomping on cobblestones, more power to you. I have riden the pot hole infested streets of Los Angeles Country for a couple decades, I know what works. I posted because I wanted to get reports on the newer wheels products, and you all answered my questions. I was not able to find a deal on the HED C2 rimmed wheels, but the Fulcrum wheels I purchased will suit my purposes well. Thanks for taking the time to respond. It's best to keep the rubber-side down.
 
RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Aero? Are you kidding me? My alloy low-pro box section rims laced 3-cross have propelled me past a many weary riders that seem to think that expensive equipment will make you faster. Nonsense! Is anybody here a PRO? Well unless you can generate that same kind of power, you're not going to see any substantial benefits from dropping that much loot. I say if you're not sponsored, and not rich, don't bother. Even the HED Bastonge is an inferior wheel. Straight pull spokes with hidden nipples. Lame! you have to remove the tire to do touch ups. Even with these if you break a spoke out on the road you won't be able to open up your brake far enough. Because of the low spoke count, the rim is more likely to go way out of true deeming it unrideable. If you have to get HED, ha, go with the Kermesse. Far more practical.

+1

Prebuilt wheels have been pushed by manufacturers because that are a high profit item. That is why everyone and their dog now makes them. Ironically, despite the high cost, an amazing number have really crappy hubs compared to the standard Campy or Shimano ones.

A problem that now exists in the states is that so many shops just sell prebuilt wheels that it can be hard to find a shop that you can trust to build a decent custom set. You are usually best off buying from someone who sells over the Internet and builds a lot of wheels. There are a number of builders that have really good reputations, and it does not cost all that much.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Christian: Straight pull aluminum spokes in exotic lace patterns are not meant for everyday wheels. The wheel manufactures love to shove dubious claims of durability, false technology and B.S. marketing down our throats to make a buck off us with Taiwanese junk (Fulcrum). Since you "can afford to purchase high quality wheels", it's great that you got a "good deal" on those. If I didn't have to worry about money like you, I'd just buy a set of wheels for every discipline and name them after female rockers.
 
Mar 31, 2009
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go with DA-7850 SL's

i used to be a fan of the KSYRIUM SL's. in fact i have 3 pairs. that is, until the "zircal" spoke on the straight-pull drive side broke twice, on one of the wheels.

i'm a fan of my own wheels. those that i've built using hubs from shimano, campy, and mavic (the old and very nice 601's) using DT spokes and mavic and velocity rims. but you RREEAAAALLLY have to be into building wheels to build your own.

i've had the DA-7850 SL's for about 3000 miles now, and they're probably the best wheels i have right now. probably not as stiff as the ksyriums (aluminum/zircal spokes are just stiffer than steel), but should last you forever. i also use regular clinchers/tubes and not the tubeless hutchinsons.

plus, because it's a cup-cone bearing assembly, you can replace the steel ball-bearings (not the typical cartridge ones that permeate the wheel market today) with ceramic ones, sometime in the future. a cheaper alternative than buying ceramic cartridge ball bearings. i replaced mine, a full set for both front and rear, for a cost of under $100 by buying the ceramic ball bearings online.
 
Mar 11, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Ha ha, I can't stand reading all these suggestions for expensive pre-built wheels. What a waste of money! Unless of course you've got upwards of a grand to drop on wheels, lucky you.

Aero? Are you kidding me? My alloy low-pro box section rims laced 3-cross have propelled me past a many weary riders that seem to think that expensive equipment will make you faster. Nonsense! Is anybody here a PRO? Well unless you can generate that same kind of power, you're not going to see any substantial benefits from dropping that much loot. I say if you're not sponsored, and not rich, don't bother. Even the HED Bastonge is an inferior wheel. Straight pull spokes with hidden nipples. Lame! you have to remove the tire to do touch ups. Even with these if you break a spoke out on the road you won't be able to open up your brake far enough. Because of the low spoke count, the rim is more likely to go way out of true deeming it unrideable. If you have to get HED, ha, go with the Kermesse. Far more practical.

Keep in mind it's not the arrow, It's the Indian!!! Just ride a lot and you'll be faster than most of these idiots that are riding 5k+ worth of bike. Have a shop lace up a set of standard 3 cross wheels and keep your money.

+2

You are totally correct. I laugh to myself whenever I pass someone riding on their so called FAST expensive wheels. A good set of handbuilts put any expensive throwaway wheels to shame. They will be much more durable and last a lot longer.

I am having a new set built for myself in the next couple months. Ultegra 32 hole hubs, Mavic Open Pros laced 2x front 3x rear with Wheelsmith DB14 spokes and brass nipples.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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It's really too bad that the layman cyclist is really uninformed about these factory built wheels. Having been an avid road cyclist for 20 years and in the bike industry for 10, you could only imagine the amount of warranty issues and horror stories I've seen and heard.

The rationale for buying these money pits is equally as entertaining as well; "Classic 3 cross wheels are too heavy", or "I need a little bit of aero advantage". Usually from people who cannot generate the power to make use of minimal weight savings and aerodynamic advantages. And for everyday riding what's the point of high dollar wheels anyway? When you see the average cyclist on expensive factory built racing wheels, it was most likely a purchase based on fashion, not practicality.

All being said, I'm not anti-technology. I use deep section carbon wheels for racing, and the classic box section 3 cross wheels for training and the occasional gravel race. What I am against is the wheel companies taking advantage of the consumer by deceptive marketing for these prebuilts. A wheel that claims to be "durable enough for racing and everyday riding" is basically just a way of the company saying; buy these wheels, because the profit margin is great for us.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Rdv4

Hand built custom wheels are not a super bargain. I checked several builders and I might save $200 over my Fulcrums. I haven't checked this site for awhile, I have been riding! I am amazed that RDV4 still hasn't made it over this hill.
I don't really know why RDV4 gets so excited about factory wheels. I just assume he is such a Power-meter buster that he could blow by anyrider no matter what wheel is under his ****. But this is a discussion group on the internet, we don't know each other. RDV4 have never sat on my wheel.
I asked about wheels because I can't go out and ride every wheel on the market before I buy, alot of you wrote intersting responses, but RDV4 got personal and offensive for no reason.
See you on the road! You won't see me here any more.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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You started this thread with:

"I don't need race wheels, but would like something that helps me get an aero advantage. For everyday long rides in a variety of conditions."

Fulcrummys are not them. You got an industry insiders opinion, that's it.