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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to road biking and just picked up an 08 carbon Lemond Versailles to use for recreation and commuting. I like it a lot so far, but the wheels are pretty sad (Bontrager SSR or something like that). So, I'm looking for a new set of wheels which will handle some commuting abuse and speed things up for me :) I'm not looking to spend too much money.

So far I've seen that it's easy to get a set of Bontrager Race Lites (Madone takeoffs) or a set of Dura Ace/Open Pros built up for fairly cheap. Any comments between these two options or other recommendations?

Thanks
 

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I would take DA/ Open Pros, very strong, reliable, stiff and fairly light if properly built. the only problem is that they don`t look as cool as other wheel-sets. I had Bontrager Race Lite on my madone 5.0 but sold them after hearing complains about the rear rim cracking at the eyelets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ilpirati said:
I would take DA/ Open Pros, very strong, reliable, stiff and fairly light if properly built. the only problem is that they don`t look as cool as other wheel-sets. I had Bontrager Race Lite on my madone 5.0 but sold them after hearing complains about the rear rim cracking at the eyelets.
Thanks, I appreciate your input. For some reason I'm seeing varying advertised weights with the DA/OP wheelsets. Bicyclewheelwarehouse advertises them at 1601 grams (without skewers), which seems very good:

http://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=47

Whereas other places advertise them a few hundred grams heavier. I dunno what the deal is.
 

· Descender
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The DA open pros I doubt come in at 1601 gm's. They are more like 1900 +

However hey are tons more durable than Bontrager - most of their wheels are not so good period. My wife rides a pair of Bonty race lites we have had to true them twice - she rides on good roads on weighs 120lbs not a good endorsement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have no idea what my stock Bontrager wheels weigh in at, but 1900 probably wouldn't be a drastic improvement, at least so far as weight goes.

I just discovered the Neuvation wheels though, which look enticing (I'm a light rider at 150 pounds so the design might work fine for me)...
 

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My Ultegra/ Open Pros with 32 h come in at 1800 grams exactly.

The Dura Ace/Open Pros should come in at close to 1700 g. About 50 g lower again if you go for lighter DT revs or CX-Ray spokes. Subtract 5-6 g per spoke if going with lower spoke count.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
flanman said:
My Ultegra/ Open Pros with 32 h come in at 1800 grams exactly.

The Dura Ace/Open Pros should come in at close to 1700 g. About 50 g lower again if you go for lighter DT revs or CX-Ray spokes. Subtract 5-6 g per spoke if going with lower spoke count.
thanks for the info!
 

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Bonty hubs are crap.Total crap.The bearings are crap, and the freehub is crap. I've even seen broken flanges.
 

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ilmaestro said:
Wow, according to this review:

http://www.bikenut.merseyblogs.co.uk/2008/01/heaven_sent_trek_15.html

...my stock Bontrager SSRs weigh in at over 3 kilos (3000 grams) !!! Unbelievable. If that's true, anything would be a major upgrade, weight wise.
Find it hard to believe those wheels are 3+kg. Maybe that was a typo, or included tubes & tires.
Back to the original question- speed and withstanding abuse are often conflicting goals where reasonably priced wheelbuilding is concerned. I doubt a 2-300g difference in wheel weight would be noticeable, but breaking spokes while commuting could be a major PITA.
OP's laced 32 spoke to Ultegra or DA hubs makes a nice, durable all-around wheelset.
 

· Just Riding Along
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I'm a fan of D/A hubs...

The new 7850 has the best of their recent products; it's 8/9/10 sp compatible and has a titanium hub carrier and a new pawl design for quicker engagement (like the old one was deficient....) and available in drillings from 24 to 36.

I also like the Open Pro. The eyelet design braces against the pull of the spoke at two points which I think make for a more durable wheel.

Generally, you can get 4 fewer spokes at the front wheel than the back or go with a super light 14/17/14 spoke at the front. I had that build on my rear wheel and it wasn't strong enough for my weight or roads (take your pick.) The guy who rebuilt that wheel for me likes straight gauge spokes so he built it with 15 ga spokes on the non drive side and 14 ga on the drive side. Haven't had a problem with it since. 14/15/14 ga spokes on both sides is a good alternative.

I'm light enough to ride a 28 spoke wheel (180) but I ride 32; it's probably irrational, but I feel better with 32 spokes.

I like brass nipples (stronger, non-reactive) but a lot of folks who post here swear by aluminum (use a good anti-seize compound on the spoke threads.)
 

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Now if you have double-butted 14/15/14 or 14/17/14 (DT Revolution) or Sapim spokes a Dura Ace-Open Pro wheelset might reach 1600 grams or less. It's going to cost you over $400. I fail to see the reason why Shimano, DT, Chris King, etc. only has 32 or 28 spoke hubs. Most riders can ride 20/24-spoke (front/rear) wheels, except for heavy riders.

Beware of buying any Velocity wheelset, because Velocity hubs (especially the rear) are crap. And their customer service is nonexistent. Their rims are fragile and get marked up with a sneeze.
 

· Stumpcake!
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saccycling said:
I don't understand why Trek sticks by bontager. The race lite wheels are crap.
I was under the impression that Trek either owned Bontrager outright or were a significant investor in the company.

The Race Lite Wheels are crap. I'll never purchase another Bontrager anything again. I'd rant about them some more but if you do a search on them you can find plenty of peeps who've had major issues with them. Some I know have had no problem with their stuff but they are in the vast minority.

For what you'd pay for the Race Lites you can get some solid hand builts.
 

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I have the Race Lites that came stock on my 5.2 Perf. Madone. So far I have 3300 miles on them and most of it on county chip/poorly maintained sufraces with no problems. After reading this post, I guess I'll re-evaluate the XXX Lites I was looking at as an upgrade (and the 5yr warranty that comes with them). BTW - I'm about 5'-10" and 150lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
nor_cal_rider said:
I have the Race Lites that came stock on my 5.2 Perf. Madone. So far I have 3300 miles on them and most of it on county chip/poorly maintained sufraces with no problems. After reading this post, I guess I'll re-evaluate the XXX Lites I was looking at as an upgrade (and the 5yr warranty that comes with them). BTW - I'm about 5'-10" and 150lbs.
Ah, I wouldn't let the forum folks scare you off from what you want to do that easily. At least if you're buying new, Trek probably has a solid warranty.

I guess the question is if you want the hassle or not. I am liking the idea of getting a durable wheelset (shimano/open pro) that I probably won't have to mess with. The sacrifice is they won't be as light as some of the other fancy stuff available..... and they won't look as cool :) But the hubs spin great and the wheels are "bombproof", at least from what I've heard.
 

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Supposedly the 2008 Race Lite hubs, rims and even spokes are new. I guess that means they are unproven--but at least it means they aren't the old crap that people report so many problems with. They're also lighter.

I wouldn't buy older Bontrager wheels.

Neuvation & Easton wheels are pretty affordable, if you want factory wheels..
 
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