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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Any consensus of which are better wheels for overall riding, long group rides, some centuries with climbs on a carbon fiber bike? I am 190 lbs.

Are the Mavid wheels stiffer and/or a harsher ride for someone my weight? I don't expect to drop below 180 lbs. alternately, are the Bontrager's as durable, or maybe even better than the Mavics. I've ridden both on a test ride and the Mavic hubs were louder. Not annoyingly loud, but I like the quieter Bontrager hubs. I thought the Bontrager wheels freewheeled a bit better. But hard to tell.

So ....

1. Bontrager Race-X Lites Special edition with Laser etched graphics

or
2. Ksyrium SSC SL's?
 

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trek5200cs said:
Any consensus of which are better wheels for overall riding, long group rides, some centuries with climbs on a carbon fiber bike? I am 190 lbs.

Are the Mavid wheels stiffer and/or a harsher ride for someone my weight? I don't expect to drop below 180 lbs. alternately, are the Bontrager's as durable, or maybe even better than the Mavics. I've ridden both on a test ride and the Mavic hubs were louder. Not annoyingly loud, but I like the quieter Bontrager hubs. I thought the Bontrager wheels freewheeled a bit better. But hard to tell.

So ....

1. Bontrager Race-X Lites Special edition with Laser etched graphics

or
2. Ksyrium SSC SL's?
The rear drive side hub flange on Race X Lites has a propensity for breaking. Mavics....well.....they're a little overpriced IMHO. So, my choice would be neither.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
alienator said:
The rear drive side hub flange on Race X Lites has a propensity for breaking. Mavics....well.....they're a little overpriced IMHO. So, my choice would be neither.
Ok, So I'll bite. What would be a highly desirable alternative at a similar price point? Thanks!
 

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I weigh in at 200...do lots of recreational centuries...long rides in the mountains...bad NH roads....and I'm in a similar situation, as I currently own a set of race lites that have about 10K on them. These have been very good to me....haven't had to do a thing to them....the low spoke count does ge tme thinking, though. But with my weight, I'm considering a higher spoke count (and keep the race lites as my back up/crappy weather wheels)...

....My current choice, and I'm ready to order.....

Mike Garcia built Velocity Aero OC with White H1's.....28F/32R...looks to be just under $600 for the set.
 

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trek5200cs said:
Ok, So I'll bite. What would be a highly desirable alternative at a similar price point? Thanks!
Highly desirable would be a set built up by one of the wheelbuilders that people 'round these parts yak about: Ligero, Ergott, Mike Garcia. From those guys, you'll get the rims, spokes, and hubs of your choice (Campy, Shimano, DT, White Industries, and etc.). You'll get to talk to someone who'll build a wheel to your needs. And the best part, you can easily have this done for less than the cost of Race X Lites or SSC SLs, and you'll end up with a wheel that is lighter AND just as durable.

I got a set from Ligero: Alex Crostini R3.1/3.2 rims, Sapim CX-Ray spokes 24 2xf and 28 2x/3x r, and White Industries H1 hubs anodized black (He's also had hubs anodized pink, blue, and other cool colors). I weigh 175lbs, and my wheelset weighs in at 1380g: 150g less than the Race X Lites that proceeded them and 244 g less than SSC SLs. The cost was well under the price for either of those factory built sets.
 

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Never ridden any race lites, but I have two sets of Ksyriums SSCs that have been very good since I bought em both, used, off Ebay. I, too, was about 190lbs and rode lots of rec. century rides on those wheels. Still have em, along with some sets of lighter more pricey wheels..The Mavics are pretty stiff, yes. And if you keep em for a while, get the good spoke wrench, not the 'enthusiast' cheapo one. If you are an ebay er, you can come up with a good buy on them. I think they're a good choice, though I probably wouldn't buy any new ones at full retail price. Pretty dang 'bomb-proof' in my experience. I rode the crap out of both sets of mine without any problems ever. Still have em as spares and road trip wheels..
Don Hanson
 

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For whats its worth

I am 6'3" 265lb and I have had no problems with the Kysriums. I have been using them for about a year on group rides etc. I am not an easy rider or agile so if it is in my way I go over or through it. The wheels have held up surprisingly well so far. My understanding is that these wheels are a little bit slower on descending due to the rear hub. IDon't know technically why but my friends that work at a high end bike shop tried explaining it to me. I bought mine on Ebay new for about 250.00 below MSRP. Another set of wheels I was looking at were Mavic Open Pro ceramin rims with Chris King Hubs. I was told these do not roll as well as the Kysriums but the hubs are better and the wheels are bombproof. The reason i was looking at ceramic rims is because I live in Seattle and that they are suppose to brake a little better when wet. I hope this helps some.

Pat
 

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Hub failures

alienator said:
The rear drive side hub flange on Race X Lites has a propensity for breaking. Mavics....well.....they're a little overpriced IMHO. So, my choice would be neither.
Yup, my Race X-Lites suffered from this fate. I only used them for ~ 3000 km, almost all racing miles and I'm not a monster at 6' and 168 lbs. I found several cracks in the drive side hub flange last fall when I was putting some stuff away for winter storage. I was not able to get warranty, they were just over 1 year old and purchased new but off of eBay. So that rear wheel has just been sitting in my basement since late September. Last week I happened to notice that a large chunk of hub flange was torn out, and I can't actually find the projectile piece that was ejected. Maybe it is embedded in the cat! I guess it makes sense that the hub would eventually fracture completely as the cracks were already formed and the hub was under tension from the spokes. Oh, and I should also mention that I found cracks in the rear rim around the eyelets on several drive side spoke locations.

I would not buy another Bontrager wheelset. For the OP, if you really want to get a "package" wheelset instead of getting something conventional/custom, then I would go for the Mavic Ksyrium SL3, the Fulcrum Racing 1, or the Campy Eurus or Neutron (can be had with Shimano freehub). The latter three are all built by Campagnolo and IMO they are much better built than either Mavic or Bontrager.
 

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Go mavic

I have a similar profile. 190-200lbs and generally more distance work in group rides with a couple of shorter ones during the week.

Have a set of current X-lites- Ti anodised with the laser etching too. Wasn't too keen at first but they came with the bike so I gave them a shot. Must say, they look very cool. Done about 5000kms in 8 months without a problem... that is, until now. Asked my dealer to adjust the spokes as the tensions were sounding a little funny when he picked up a fracture in the rim near one of the spokes. Putting it in under warranty but downtime is annoying.

On the other hand, I had a set of Ksyrium SL (v1) and did about 7000km in about 2 years on same terrain and even packed them up and took them overseas and back. No problems at all. Am spewing now because I sold them with my TCR0. I have heard they sometimes have problems but not mine and generally this doesn't seem to sound as common as with the x-lites.

Between the 2 I would go for the Ksyrium SL. They don;t look as good as the X-lites but reliabilitywise, I can't fault them. Great no fuss wheelset that are light enough for group rides and strong enough to give you no worries when miles from home. As for price, check out Bellatisport- they are pretty competitive against the RRP (in Australia anyway). Have bought a set of Ksyrium SL v3 from them no probs.

Let us know your choice! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Very helpful Post. Thanks.

Did you ever notice any difference in Free wheel rolling resistance between the Race X-lites and the Ksyriums? I've read a bunch of posts on Road Bike Review that say the Mavic SL's have more drag and tend to stop rolling / free wheeling sooner than other wheels. Was this noticeable at all?

Also, did you notice any difference in ride quality between the Mavics Versus Bontager Race X-lites? I've been told the Ksyrium SL's are a stiffer ride. But at 190 lbs, that might be just fine for me.

For everyone who says they have had troubles with their Race X-lites, I have read or heard similar things about Ksyriums SL's too But the SL's look like they are more bomb proof. My LBS says I can get Extended Warranty on them too. If anything happens, including acts of stupidity, (driving over them or whatever), the warranty will replace them no questions asked.

I am leaning strongly to the Ksyriun SSC SL's at this point. I look forward to your reply about rolling/ free wheeling resistance and any opinions on ride quality comparing the two. Thanks!

PedalSpinner said:
I have a similar profile. 190-200lbs and generally more distance work in group rides with a couple of shorter ones during the week.

Have a set of current X-lites- Ti anodised with the laser etching too. Wasn't too keen at first but they came with the bike so I gave them a shot. Must say, they look very cool. Done about 5000kms in 8 months without a problem... that is, until now. Asked my dealer to adjust the spokes as the tensions were sounding a little funny when he picked up a fracture in the rim near one of the spokes. Putting it in under warranty but downtime is annoying.

On the other hand, I had a set of Ksyrium SL (v1) and did about 7000km in about 2 years on same terrain and even packed them up and took them overseas and back. No problems at all. Am spewing now because I sold them with my TCR0. I have heard they sometimes have problems but not mine and generally this doesn't seem to sound as common as with the x-lites.

Between the 2 I would go for the Ksyrium SL. They don;t look as good as the X-lites but reliabilitywise, I can't fault them. Great no fuss wheelset that are light enough for group rides and strong enough to give you no worries when miles from home. As for price, check out Bellatisport- they are pretty competitive against the RRP (in Australia anyway). Have bought a set of Ksyrium SL v3 from them no probs.

Let us know your choice! :)
 

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Still go mavic!

trek5200cs said:
Did you ever notice any difference in Free wheel rolling resistance between the Race X-lites and the Ksyriums? I've read a bunch of posts on Road Bike Review that say the Mavic SL's have more drag and tend to stop rolling / free wheeling sooner than other wheels. Was this noticeable at all?
With my bikes stationary, the x-lites certainly freewheeled longer but when on the road under load, the difference was not really noticeable. Even knowing the results of the stationary test, I was really trying to spot the difference when riding but still didn't really notice. It certainly wasn't like "gees, I seem to be slowing down quicker than others". Because of my weight, I tend to roll downhill faster anyway and on the flat everyone is pedaling. In short, I wouldn't rate it as a huge concern when in a group ride.

trek5200cs said:
Also, did you notice any difference in ride quality between the Mavics Versus Bontager Race X-lites? I've been told the Ksyrium SL's are a stiffer ride. But at 190 lbs, that might be just fine for me.
Ride qualitywise, yes the Mavic's are a bit stiffer. After a long ride, I come off the X-lites fresher. A noticeable difference but not enough for me to veto the SLs. I agree with your observation, being a relatively heavier rider it is better to go with the mavics for peace of mind.

IMHO, for the kind of ride profile you suggested, these are small concerns. I'd still go for the SL's. Hope this helps! :)
 

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trek5200cs said:
...any opinions on ride quality comparing the two.
Noting that I had the rear flange on my X-Lites break stranding me 30 miles from town and also that you don't seem so interested in the "bling factor" the SL's offer, I am curious if you followed up on Alienator's suggestion? Especially considering the durability that can come from wheels custom made especially for your needs and specifications, the easier repairability they offer, and price savings.
I contacted Alienator and many others going through the list of wheels (SL's, Rolf's, Fulcrum's, etc.) before I made my desicion. IMO, I can't imagine a better set of wheels than the hand-builts I ended up with, but I would recommend you purchase what you really want and I wish you luck.
Jerry.
 

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Eric_H said:
I would go for the Mavic Ksyrium SL3, the Fulcrum Racing 1, or the Campy Eurus or Neutron (can be had with Shimano freehub). The latter three are all built by Campagnolo and IMO they are much better built than either Mavic or Bontrager.
Yes! Consider Campy wheels. I have both 05 and 06 Eurus. I have beat the snot out of the 05 set for a year and a half and they're still perfect!
 
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