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Discussion Starter #1
I have got my rig (a 2000 LOOK KG271) all built up and I love it, but I made the serious mistake of borrowing my neighbors Ksyriums for a ride and now I know better. The difference between my 32H Tiagra hub/Matrix Aurora rim combo and those Mavics was HUGE!! My wheelset is coming in at about 2060g, which is fine for a tank, but I am trying to keep up with some much more experienced riders.

What is everyone's recommendation on a inexpensive sub 1600g wheelset?

I would love to know the following info....

Make
Model
Front weight
Rear weight
Durability
Ride
Price
Where purchased
 

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handsomerob said:
I have got my rig (a 2000 LOOK KG271) all built up and I love it, but I made the serious mistake of borrowing my neighbors Ksyriums for a ride and now I know better. The difference between my 32H Tiagra hub/Matrix Aurora rim combo and those Mavics was HUGE!! My wheelset is coming in at about 2060g, which is fine for a tank, but I am trying to keep up with some much more experienced riders.

What is everyone's recommendation on a inexpensive sub 1600g wheelset?

I would love to know the following info....

Make
Model
Front weight
Rear weight
Durability
Ride
Price
Where purchased
Go handbuilt.

Open Pro on Dura Ace 7700. If they're built 32 3X Front & Rear they should be a whisker over 1600. They should be cheaper than pre-builts and in the event of a damaged rim or spoke parts are cheaper and more readily available.

My own wheels are 5 years old, although the hubs date back to 97! In that 5 year period I've wrecked one rim in a pothole worthy of Wallers Arenberg!
 

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Home Brew User!
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Not quite sub 1600

handsomerob said:
I have got my rig (a 2000 LOOK KG271) all built up and I love it, but I made the serious mistake of borrowing my neighbors Ksyriums for a ride and now I know better. The difference between my 32H Tiagra hub/Matrix Aurora rim combo and those Mavics was HUGE!! My wheelset is coming in at about 2060g, which is fine for a tank, but I am trying to keep up with some much more experienced riders.

What is everyone's recommendation on a inexpensive sub 1600g wheelset?

I would love to know the following info....

Make
Model
Front weight
Rear weight
Durability
Ride
Price
Where purchased
At 1650 Velomax (Easton) circuits don't quite meet you criteria but are very strong and can be had new for under $400.00 and used for around $200.00.


I paid $450 for mine used but they came with a free Schwinn Fastback with full 105.
 

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abominable slowman
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Custome from Speeddream.com or OddsandEndos.com

I've got road wheels from OddsandEndos.com (I forget the guy's name). They're built with Velocity aerohead rims, Speedcific hubs, and 14/17/14 spokes (I think they are Sapim). They came in under 1500g and they've been pretty good--not as stiff as other good wheels, but smooth, reliable, and pretty durable (only the front wheel needed a little truing after 18 mo). They were a little over $300 shipped with cheap skewers. They're probably a little more now.

I have MTB wheels from Dave Thomas at Speeddream.com. Just got these this past winter. They're King hubs, Bontrager rims, and DT spokes (about 1430g for the pair). So far they're also fantastic. One friend has Speeddream aero road wheels and they are also very light. They run about $500-$600 for a pair.

I highly recommend a custome pair of wheels--not as sexy as some factory wheels, like the Ksyriums, but you get more for your money. Hope that helps.
 

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I'll second the vote for oddsandendos. I've had this set for 8 months:

30mm Niobium alloy rims, speedcific hubs, sapim cx-ray spokes 20fr/24 rear
If I remember correctly, the front wheel weight (without rim tape or skewer) is 647gr and the rear is 883 for a combined weight of 1530 gr. Mike Garcia also throws in an extra spoke in each length, which will come in handy if I ever break one.

They feel relatively fast though there seems to be a moderate amount of lateral flex during hard cornering-- I can't fault the builder, since I asked for a moderately aero and durable wheelset, with stiffness being a low priority. No problems with durability thus far, and they haven't needed any truing yet. I weigh 150-155lbs and ride on New England roads. Cost was $430 shipped, though I think prices have since gone up significantly due to increased cost of materials, weak dollar, etc.
 

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handsomerob said:
The difference between my 32H Tiagra hub/Matrix Aurora rim combo and those Mavics was HUGE!!
What tires were you running on each bike? What sort of differences did you notice?

If you want fast wheels, I'd lean more towards aero than light weight. Supercranks build looks good to me... you might want some more spokes though, like 24/28 instead of 20/24... but it depends on what you weigh and how you ride. You could also use AE15 spokes instead of CX-rays to save money; on the front and left rear they should be fine... but use something heavier on the drive-rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My tires were Bontrager Selects at about 260g and I can't remember what he had on his, but I asked later and they were about 210g each.

I felt the biggest difference on the longest climb on the loop I ride, but I could feel the difference the whole time, ESPECIALLY out of the saddle. The bike felt like jumping ahead of me on the downstrokes. The specific climb in question normally has me out of the saddle for the first part and then back in to spin to the top. With the Ksyriums, I was out of the saddle and before I got winded enough to sit down and spin, I was at the top. It was certainly a small part in my head, but there was no denying the difference.

I am 5'10" and 190lbs (down from 210 thanks to cycling). I am at the stage where my pants continue to get looser but my weight isn't dropping as much anymore, so I think I won't end up any lower than about 180lbs.

I am not a racer and don't plan on it, but I ride with some guys who are much more experienced and a good measure faster than I. My bike at 20lbs already outweighs all my riding buddy's rigs by about 2lbs - 3lbs and I don't have the funds to weight weenie it, I just would like an all duty wheelset that is relatively light and pretty durable.

Thanks for the recommendations so far.... I talked to a guy who recommended trying to find an American Classic hubset on eBay and lace them up with some Matrix ISO C-II using some double butted DT's. They should come in at less than 1600g and be pretty inexpensive. Any opinions on this set up??
 

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handsomerob said:
My tires were Bontrager Selects at about 260g and I can't remember what he had on his, but I asked later and they were about 210g each.
Just guessing that since he had expensive wheels he also had racing tires on it... and that was probably 90%+ of the difference you felt (beside the psych effects). It isn't the weight, but the quality of the casing and rubber... the rolling resistance.

Weight is basically the same no matter where it is... on your body or on your bike. So it's good to keep that in mind. If you don't have a lot of money to spend, it doesn't make sense to weight-weenie your bike... especially when you weigh 190 lbs. Saving 1 lb of weight will make you ~0.4% faster on a steep climb... is it really worth it?

handsomerob said:
Thanks for the recommendations so far.... I talked to a guy who recommended trying to find an American Classic hubset on eBay and lace them up with some Matrix ISO C-II using some double butted DT's. They should come in at less than 1600g and be pretty inexpensive. Any opinions on this set up??
AC hubs are not something I'd want to put on general-use wheels. Neither the bearings nor the freehub ratchet have a good reputation. I don't know anything about those rims... never seen them.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
rruff said:
Weight is basically the same no matter where it is... on your body or on your bike. So it's good to keep that in mind. If you don't have a lot of money to spend, it doesn't make sense to weight-weenie your bike... especially when you weigh 190 lbs. Saving 1 lb of weight will make you ~0.4% faster on a steep climb... is it really worth it?
I had the same opinion as you before trying these wheels out... and I agree to some extent that weight loss of 1lb on a 190lb frame is negligible, however there is a distinct difference when that weight is "rotational weight". A 1+lb lighter wheelset made a big difference whereas I can't tell too much a difference when I have a full vs. empty water bottle.
 

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handsomerob said:
I had the same opinion as you before trying these wheels out... and I agree to some extent that weight loss of 1lb on a 190lb frame is negligible, however there is a distinct difference when that weight is "rotational weight". A 1+lb lighter wheelset made a big difference whereas I can't tell too much a difference when I have a full vs. empty water bottle.
The "rotational weight" issue has been thoroughly thrashed, and recently too. Do a search here and on the other bike forums (weightweenies for sure) if you'd like some light reading...

Actually, I'd bet that the great majority of the weight difference between your wheels and the Ksyriums *isn't* rotational weight... it's in the hubs. The only weight that would potentially matter is the rims and tires and tubes... and the last two are not part of the wheel.

I *have* tried light wheels and tubulars, etc. I also used to ride a cheap MTB with slicks on the road (weighed around 28 lbs)... and when I bought a Ti road bike with Dura Ace I timed myself on the same TT courses, and my speed improved just 2-3%. I wanted it to be more... but I really wasn't surprised. That was with Ksyrium SSCs BTW... and I promptly sold them and got something cheap and durable. I tested again, and there was no appreciable difference.

Another possiblity is that your Sora hub bearings are too tight... that is something that could slow you down a bit.
 

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Bike weight when out of the saddle.

handsomerob said:
I felt the biggest difference on the longest climb on the loop I ride, but I could feel the difference the whole time, ESPECIALLY out of the saddle. The bike felt like jumping ahead of me on the downstrokes.
I think it's good that you highlighted that you felt the difference in weight "ESPECIALLY out of the saddle". Thisis where differences in bike weight can be detected the most - but it is the impression of the difference in weight that is amplified, not the true peformance affect.

When stomping out of the saddle, we tend to rock the bike back and forth. Since the weighs only a small amount to begin with, it is easier to detect small changes in weight of the bike. This is even more the case with the wheels, which have gyroscopic forces in addition to their mass. But differences in weight can be deceiving here. Firstly, rocking the bike back and forth doesn't propel it forward, so the mere fact that you can rock it back and forth more easily doesn't mean you necessarily go faster. Secondly, although one pound may feel large in proportion to the weight of the entire bike, you still have to move both the bike and you forward, so the extra pound is still very small compared to the total amount of mass moving forward.

The same is true regarding a lighter bike feeling like it is "surging". Since the bike still has to drag your much larger mass forward, this surging doesn't necessarily make you any faster - it just means that the bike moves more forward and back with each pedal stroke.

I'd go with the suggestion that any speed increases you experienced were more likely due to the tires than the wheels. Consider - rolling resistance is between 15-20% of drag on a bike, and tires can vary by as much as 30-40% in rolling resistance, or a difference of 4-8% of total drag between different tires. By contrast, an extra pound of mass is only 0.5% if the weight of the rider + bike is 200 lb.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Ok, so let me get a few things straight.

1.) Rotational weight is not that big a deal

2.) The biggest difference was probably tires

3.) When you feel more "surging" you are not really going any faster

4.) Weight reduction gains are proportional to the total weight reduction % not just the bike weight.


Does anyone know about the hypnotherapy thing.... if someone could just make me think that I was on K's then I guess I wouldn't need any. I could also make up the difference between my normal 16.8-17.2mph average when riding with my buddies to the 18.2mph that I did on the solo ride with the K's. :(

ETA.... To clarify, I beat my previous personal best average speed with a group (17.2mph) by a full mph on a solo ride with the K's (18.2mph). This was on a 25 mile ride and the circumference of the K's with tires was actually a fraction more than my wheelset, so the actual difference would have been a little more than 1mph.
 

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handsomerob said:
Does anyone know about the hypnotherapy thing.... if someone could just make me think that I was on K's then I guess I wouldn't need any. I could also make up the difference between my normal 16.8-17.2mph average when riding with my buddies to the 18.2mph that I did on the solo ride with the K's. :(
Well... obviously your riding buddies are slowing you down...

There was a guy on here recently talking about how he went over 1 mph faster after putting new tires on his bike. Some of that could have been real since it was a good upgrade, but most of it was probably attitude.

The placebo effect certainly is common, but it seems like a waste of money to spend a lot on a *product* to ellicit it, when we can do the same with just a change of attitude. In order for the product to work we have to believe that we are being held back by the lack of it. So... free your mind! Believe that you are stronger...

Like I said before, cheap tires and poorly adjusted bearings could have been slowing you down for real.
 

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Check out Customs by Odds & Endos

Check out my post "Geo Got New Wheels" in this forum. I listed all the weights, but not the cost. I paid $550 for my Odds & Endos wheel set. Also note the comparison weights to my other two wheel sets later in the thread. OP with DA hubs and double butted 14/15 spokes are right at 2000 g. I personally weighed all my wheels and skewers (can post pics if you like). I only have about 200 miles (3 rides) on my new Odds & Endos wheels, but the ride sure feels good and the rolling resistance is better than both of my older wheel sets. The only downside to ordering form O&E is the wait; it took a month to get my wheels. You might not have this problem if you pick a different hub set, as problems with the AC hub resulted in about a two week wait.
 

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Check out the new Zonda's from Campy. I am on the new Eurus, and they feel the same as my old Zonda's. The new Zondas are lighter (supposedly 1610g) and right at $400 online. Campy hubs are as good as you will find. I wish I hadn't sprung for the Eurus: I could have saved $250 and been just as happy!
 

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Comp Cyclist has Ksyrium SLs at $675 right now; it might be worth considering. My feeling is that Ksyriums espeically are SUPER stiff; maybe it's the aluminum spokes, but the feeling I get on them as compared to handbuilts is more one of super-efficient power transmission than of lightness. I'm 185 lbs and pretty powerful, and I love ksyriums for that reason. Most of my last 8,000 miles have been on Ksyriums; I've never taken a spoke wrench (or that plastic POS they give you with the wheels) to any of them and they're all still working perfectly. I just picked up another pair from Comp Cyclist. FWIW...

PS-Rob, who are you riding with? I'm looking forward to my first tuesday Mud Island ride tomorrow, I hear those are pretty quick!
 

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Better Tires = Better Ride!

The posts about tires struck a chord with me. I have two same sized Ti road bikes with similar geos and component packages. On one bike I am running Velomax Orion IIs (about 1500 grams) with Veloflex Pave tires. The other is outfitted with a custom set of DT1.1 w/ White Ind. hubs from Mike Garcia at OddsnEndos.com(about 1500 gms). Initially, I mounted a pair of Vred Fortenza SEs that I got on sale for $20 from Performance. IMHO the Vreds never felt very fast compared to the Veloflex Paves. When they wore out, I replaced them with a set of ProRace2s. My first impression of the ride with the new tires was WOW! The bike felt faster, more responsive, and a quicker accellerator. I couldn't believe that a simple change of tires could make such a dramatic difference in ride characteristics. In retrospect, after reading up on Vreds, I may not have been inflating them to enough pressure. I weigh about 170 and usually inflate my tires to 115 rear/110 front. Others have said that Vreds run better with more PSI. Now, my bike with Garcia's custom wheels and ProRace2 tires feels ALMOST as quick, responsive, and as smooth as the bike with the Veloflex Paves. Your experience may vary...admittedly my sample size is only two. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Americano_a_Roma said:
Comp Cyclist has Ksyrium SLs at $675 right now; it might be worth considering. My feeling is that Ksyriums espeically are SUPER stiff; maybe it's the aluminum spokes, but the feeling I get on them as compared to handbuilts is more one of super-efficient power transmission than of lightness. I'm 185 lbs and pretty powerful, and I love ksyriums for that reason. Most of my last 8,000 miles have been on Ksyriums; I've never taken a spoke wrench (or that plastic POS they give you with the wheels) to any of them and they're all still working perfectly. I just picked up another pair from Comp Cyclist. FWIW...

PS-Rob, who are you riding with? I'm looking forward to my first tuesday Mud Island ride tomorrow, I hear those are pretty quick!
Come to think of it, the stiffness of the wheel may have been an unrealized factor for me as well. What are you doing with your old set?? :eek:

Anyway, I regularly ride with a couple BYB guys but we have guest appearances from Lemonlime from this forum and even the J's is supposed to come with tomorrow on our ride. I have two other guys that I am working on and one showed up for last Thursdays ride.

To answer a previous poster about my riding buddies slowing me down, let me assure you that they are definitely NOT slowing me down. We have a 14 mile round trip to a loop within a loop (one is 1.7miles and the other is 2.2miles) that we ride at our own pace and my neighbor is about 20-30% faster than me. When he and another guy that we meet up with are hammering, he can do the big loop in about the same time as I can do the small one. :( In fact, he did a 50 mile solo last Saturday at an average of 20+mph. Thankfully, he is gracious enough to tow most of the commute to and from the loop.
 

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Americano_a_Roma said:
My feeling is that Ksyriums espeically are SUPER stiff; maybe it's the aluminum spokes, but the feeling I get on them as compared to handbuilts is more one of super-efficient power transmission than of lightness.
Feelings can be deceiving... scroll down to #96 and 97... and compare to the conventional wheels around it. Ksyriums are roughly *half* as stiff as conventional 32 spoke wheels!
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/rinard/wheel/data.htm

But you are right about them not being very light...
 
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