training / racing wheels that won't break

Jun 16, 2009
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I am looking for some recommends on some reasonably cheap wheels I can use for training / club racing, maybe the odd local crit.

I have had terrible experiences with Easton EA50 (the fu&*ers are too big to get tyres on and off without blood and tears, and rear spokes started breaking on first ride (8km into a 4 day stage race in Belgium)

Last year I got Mavic Aksium 2010, and the front wheel folded on me like a banana after a club race. Just an audible groaning sound, then it was totally out of shape, with no broken spokes. The rear wheel started breaking spokes a few months later. I had 2008 aksiums that lasted for years, and I pounded them over cobblestones in Belgium (I rode elite a few yrs back) with no issues whatsoever - but those new "blade" spokes? Useless.

I am just looking for a simple, reliable wheel. I don't need anything aero or super lightweight, as my main concern is reliability, and not needing to get them repaired all the time. This year I am only planning to ride april - september 2 x club races a week, 2 x training if weather is good, and with work etc i can't be bothered too much with ar*ing about with equipment.

anyone have any advice?

BTW I am 73 kilos.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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take a look at mavic open pros...I love the things and weigh more than you...reasonably priced as well as I got mine with dura hubs for about 400 american bucks...the ones with ultegra I think can be had for around 250 or so...really good solid wheelset...
 
Feb 28, 2010
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Look at the earlier thread on using the newish wide Velocity A23 rims, lots of good suggestions there, and the prices wouldn't be too bad either.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Hanbuilt > Prebuilt

The Gnome said:
take a look at mavic open pros...I love the things and weigh more than you...reasonably priced as well as I got mine with dura hubs for about 400 american bucks...the ones with ultegra I think can be had for around 250 or so...really good solid wheelset...
I second The Gnome...

(Velocity Aerohead & A23 as well as DT RR465 rims would work in place of the Open Pros too)
 
Jul 17, 2009
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Why not build a set of wheels with open pro and DA hubs. 28 spoke 3x with DT Revo spokes and alloy nips?

lightest strongest longest lasting set up you could imagine.

don't let the industry hype lead you to believe that production wheels are the best thing since index shifting.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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mavic aksium race cheap and very strong crashed on them pot hole mistakes etc.. never out of true even after blatant abuse.
 
Aug 4, 2009
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Good hand built wheels are always best and will stay true for years mid range hubs are OK shimano ultegra or campy chorus with your choice of rims .
make sure the wheel builder has heaps of experience that is the main point in any wheel build.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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brianf7 said:
Good hand built wheels are always best and will stay true for years mid range hubs are OK shimano ultegra or campy chorus with your choice of rims .
make sure the wheel builder has heaps of experience that is the main point in any wheel build.
the days of hand built training wheels are over why would anyone do that for a training wheel? you can spend sub $200-$250 for a wheel set as solid as anything hand built. training wheels we speak of correct? racing well then hand built is a conversation to have.
 
Oct 25, 2010
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christ...sorry ...didn't realize the thread would now turn into handbuilt versus factory when answering...still say mavic open pros...I suppose either have a handbuilt or buy production....I think the OP said he wanted the less BS the better overall...so go figure...
 
Feb 28, 2010
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I'm running Ambrosio hubs on 28 spoke Ambrosio Excellight rims and despite being 85 kgs and hitting some real pot-holes these have been pretty much bomb proof. For my next build I'm tempted to go with Velocity A23 rims and Miche hubs following some advice from his forum. I've almost always gone for hand-built and have to say have never had a bad experience in 35 years of cycling.
 
steelciocc said:
I second The Gnome...

(Velocity Aerohead & A23 as well as DT RR465 rims would work in place of the Open Pros too)
i third and 4th that. brass nipples too. i have on old MA40 dura ace front wheel
that is as good as new,aside from slight brake wear. hand built last, and the guys that build the good ones, back up their work.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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steelciocc said:
I second The Gnome...

(Velocity Aerohead & A23 as well as DT RR465 rims would work in place of the Open Pros too)
I guess i am about 5th backing up the gnome
Price Point has Ultegra Open Pro for about 260.
will last as good as anything factory built
Just to put in my two cents about factory built wheels vs handbuilt
I have NEVER had a problem with a handbuilt wheelset,However there are lots of problems with factory built wheels. Just by the sheer number and less personal attention to detail.
I rode for a team that about 20 percent of our prebuilt wheels were total crap. We talked to the sponsor, we had broken spokes, they said they had a bad batch. The spokes lost tension, oh a problem with the hub etc etc.
they kept sending us wheels and every new batch had a new set of problems. this was a leader in the component field with a few pro tour teams riding their equipment.
when you get factory built wheels it is a shot in the dark, maybe you get a great set but there is a chance you dont
handbuilt with a decent builder you dont have that problem.
 
Jul 17, 2009
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The Gnome said:
christ...sorry ...didn't realize the thread would now turn into handbuilt versus factory when answering...still say mavic open pros...I suppose either have a handbuilt or buy production....I think the OP said he wanted the less BS the better overall...so go figure...
mods he used a name in vain
 
Feb 25, 2010
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I've done a couple of 1000's of k's on my fulcrum Racing 5's with a lot of cobbled sections too, and I must say they're virtually indestructible. Never had any trouble with them :)
 
Jun 15, 2010
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Michielveedeebee said:
I've done a couple of 1000's of k's on my fulcrum Racing 5's with a lot of cobbled sections too, and I must say they're virtually indestructible. Never had any trouble with them :)
Ambrosio nemesis rims are legendary for their toughness and longevity.
 
Feb 7, 2011
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Race / training wheels

There are several quality options other than Mavic Open Pros available. We use a lot of Velocity rims such as the A23 or Aerohead to make light strong wheels.

If you race a pair of wheels hard throughout a season their lifespan will be less than those used less frequently over smoother conditions especially if you are tough on kit.

A pair of hand built wheels from an experienced builder should stay true and last a couple of heavy training / race seasons before being replaced. Investing in a good quality hub is worthwhile as when the rim does wear out you can rebuild using the same hub again.
 
Apr 14, 2010
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Ive found mavic kysrium elite very good, light and stiff enough to be race wheels but also bomb proof used for about 15-20k miles and run completely true and bearings perfect with not maintenance. even when used on ****ty road...
 
Apr 2, 2010
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Like others have said, get a handbuilt Open Pro with 32 DB spokes front and rear with a quality hub, you won't have a problem.

I'm riding a 10 year old set with chorus hubs and they have been amazing.

My other club riders seemed to have a problem with a factory wheel from time to time. Who needs that.
 
Feb 16, 2011
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Hawkwood said:
I'm running Ambrosio hubs on 28 spoke Ambrosio Excellight rims and despite being 85 kgs and hitting some real pot-holes these have been pretty much bomb proof. For my next build I'm tempted to go with Velocity A23 rims and Miche hubs following some advice from his forum. I've almost always gone for hand-built and have to say have never had a bad experience in 35 years of cycling.
How are the Ambrosios for getting tires on? I've always found Mavics pretty easy, don't even need tire levers.

I have 2009 Aksium race. I weigh 75kg and they have been very good. Sad to know they're letting standards slip.
 
Feb 28, 2010
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Stingray34 said:
How are the Ambrosios for getting tires on? I've always found Mavics pretty easy, don't even need tire levers.

I have 2009 Aksium race. I weigh 75kg and they have been very good. Sad to know they're letting standards slip.
I'd say pretty good. I was using a Vittoria on the front, it went on no problem, I swapped it for a Michelin yesterday, it too went on no problem.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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forty four said:
the days of hand built training wheels are over why would anyone do that for a training wheel? you can spend sub $200-$250 for a wheel set as solid as anything hand built. training wheels we speak of correct? racing well then hand built is a conversation to have.
44, I would say the exact opposite about hand built wheels, training wheels especially. We can look at it from your perspective, which isn't really cost effective. You can gamble on big factory machine built wheels built with proprietary parts that are cheap like you said, maybe get a couple good seasons out of them until they start falling apart, which happens all too often with Mavic wheels, ask any bike shop mechanic. It costs Mavic much less to build mediocre machine built stuff and deal with warranties rather than have a master builder crafting wheels from the ground up that will last more than 3 years. Spend a couple hundred more on some custom hand built wheels from a reputable builder that are built to fit the riders weight and riding style you'll often get more than double the lifespan as compared to an off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all machine built. Choice is pretty easy, but most don't get it due to misinformation.

I will say that machine built wheels are great for entry-mid level bikes, beach cruisers and kiddie bikes, but for people who take cycling seriously as a way of life they know custom hand built by a human is the way to roll. :cool:

 
Feb 25, 2010
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
44, I would say the exact opposite about hand built wheels, training wheels especially. We can look at it from your perspective, which isn't really cost effective. You can gamble on big factory machine built wheels built with proprietary parts that are cheap like you said, maybe get a couple good seasons out of them until they start falling apart, which happens all too often with Mavic wheels, ask any bike shop mechanic. It costs Mavic much less to build mediocre machine built stuff and deal with warranties rather than have a master builder crafting wheels from the ground up that will last more than 3 years. Spend a couple hundred more on some custom hand built wheels from a reputable builder that are built to fit the riders weight and riding style you'll often get more than double the lifespan as compared to an off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all machine built. Choice is pretty easy, but most don't get it due to misinformation.

I will say that machine built wheels are great for entry-mid level bikes, beach cruisers and kiddie bikes, but for people who take cycling seriously as a way of life they know custom hand built by a human is the way to roll. :cool:

So can you build me some :p? ^^
 

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