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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a set of Velomax Orion IIs that I really like since they're light (~1450) and spin great. I commute 70 to 110/week and ride 50 to 70 on the weekend - all on bumpy country roads in Northern Virginia or on the W&OD trail. I think 4 years of riding on these wheels plus a dozen miles on a nasty and unexpected washboard road (couldn't find another way home) recently took a toll and the rear wheel cracked badly.

I am looking for a used replacement but also thinking about new wheels. Ideally I want sub 1500 gram wheels for ~$700 give or take a little but they need to be sturdy since the roads and trail are just not as smooth as I'd like and I'm 220. Tried reading a zillion reviews and can't quite sort out which wheels are good picks for commuting and recreational riding on nice but bumpy country roads for a hefty guy. Any suggestions?

Scott
 

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Well, you had it right!!! The Orion II are the best wheels for you...

I have the Orion II and the Ksyrium SLs, and the carbon clincher 404s. Between the Mavic and the orion, the Orion have a better feel. They do not beat you up like the mavics. the mavics are brutal. Also the Mavic Ksyriums are horrible aero wheels. They truly suck at aerodinamics.

Try getting a pair of Orions on ebay for ~$500 or get the Easton EA 90.

Now the Zipps are on a whole different league, and are cost prohibitive for most married people....
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
FYI - called Easton (owns Velomax now) and found they will replace the rim with a matching original for $125. This is a straight deal - not under any warranty. I send my old wheel in and they will reuse the hub and spokes and replace the rim and nipples. Seems like a very fair deal to me.

Scott
 

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Hate to be a pessimist, but a wheel that light going over that kind of terrain under someone of your weight is likely going to take a beating and is going to show it. Personally, I'd go for something with a higher spokecount, probably keep the assymetrical rear and go from there. The wheels will be a bit heavier, but will likely last longer. Easton/Velomax makes pretty darn strong stuff, but you might have really tested the limits of it.

You could have them re-lace it, and their customer service is great, but can be a bit slow, just to warn you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
you may be right. If I can get another 4 years on the wheel (maybe more if I stay off washboard) with just a new rim, that may be worth it. Even so, I am looking at some other wheels.

Scott
 

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Scott2 said:
I have a set of Velomax Orion IIs that I really like since they're light (~1450) and spin great. I commute 70 to 110/week and ride 50 to 70 on the weekend - all on bumpy country roads in Northern Virginia or on the W&OD trail. I think 4 years of riding on these wheels plus a dozen miles on a nasty and unexpected washboard road (couldn't find another way home) recently took a toll and the rear wheel cracked badly.

I am looking for a used replacement but also thinking about new wheels. Ideally I want sub 1500 gram wheels for ~$700 give or take a little but they need to be sturdy since the roads and trail are just not as smooth as I'd like and I'm 220. Tried reading a zillion reviews and can't quite sort out which wheels are good picks for commuting and recreational riding on nice but bumpy country roads for a hefty guy. Any suggestions?
Scott
Are you joking? 24/28 spoke wheels for " bumpy country roads", "nasty and unexpected washboard road", you're 220lbs and you want sub 1500 gram wheels? And then you say "but they need to be sturdy". Excuse me while I piss myself laughing. You really do expect a miracle don't you?

I'm 170lbs and ride on "good" roads and use 1400 - 1500 gram wheels with the same spoke numbers you mention. Going lighter, for me, would be pointless.

Here's what you need - BWW 32/36 spoke wheels with Ultegra hubs and DT Comp spokes with brass nipples. Those will do ya.

Edit - oh yeah with beefy tires too - 32mm ones should do it. If the frame won't take those tires then it's the wrong frame for those riding conditions. I hope you're not using 23mm tires as those things, pumped to the pressures you need to prevent pinch flats, would jack-hammer any wheels into an early death. You need tires that will support you at 80psi.
 

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Sure, rebuilding them is a minimal expense. Just trying to manage expectations.

As for other wheels for everyday rides, I'd probably go 32 spoke, 3-cross pattern built on a decent hub. Something like an Ultegra hub set with either Mavic Open Pro, DT Swiss RR1450, or Velocity Aerohead rims. I'd probably go straight gauge on the spokes, like DT Champions. If built well, that should be a bombproof set of wheels that will last you years and thousands of miles.
 

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You might consider getting the wheel rebuilt and then having either just a sturdier rear wheel built or an entire set (depending on cost) for commuting. Use the eastons on your weekend rides and have a set of sturdier wheels for those commutes. Maybe use a wider tire (28-32) for commuting as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Mike,

What you say generally makes sense..... except - I started out at +250lbs four years ago and have logged 12k+ miles on these wheels. I only wrecked the back one by an unplanned washboard run (only happens when I get lost and have no other way home) -- you may argue that that run just finished off the long accumulated stress on the rim and it was going to crack anyway? Maybe. But I paid $600 for the Orions and have gotten great use from them - once the back rim is replaced that'll be another $125 and should be good for a couple more years at least especially since I'm not quite so porky now. If I can get that much use out of a set of sub 1500 gr wheels for that cost I'm pretty happy. Am I missing something?

I do appreciate the suggestion and will look at those - can't hurt to have another set of good wheels! The other obvious path is lose more weight and save the wheels!

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mdeth -

you're right - I've already switched to a different bike and sturdier wheels for the commute - saving the carbon bike and good wheels for weekends now.

Scott
 

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Easton rebuilt my Tempest II rear because of a broken spoke last year. The charge was $50 ish and they did a great job. For that price they replaced all the spokes and retensioned the whole thing. Having them rebuild is a great way to go.
 

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Orion II vs ksyriums sl

Just rode the back to back and the quality of the ride was better in all areas for the Orion II. The eastons were lateraly stiffer and vertically more compliant. The better hub engagement allows you to have a more efficient pedaling stroke. Aero wise, the hairpins are so bad that keeping speeds of 25 and above is an energy zaping exercise.
The Orions roll better in my opinion.

I am glad I did the test because I thought the ksyriums wer the tits before and I realize quickly that those mavins suck...
 

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Have the wheel rebuilt. Sounds like its a great wheelset for you. You'd be nuts to change. Especially at 1450 grams. I'm picking up a used set tomorrow. Thanks for post.
 

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I have a used Orion II 700c rear wheel hanging in my garage. The freewheel is shimano. I don't have the matching front so I'd consider selling it if you are interested. Send me a PM if you are. Mike
 

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considering what the OP says he is riding on them and the fact that it's been a while since they were alled velomax, they seems to have been holding up pretty good. Now go get some dry pants on.
Mike T. said:
Are you joking? 24/28 spoke wheels for " bumpy country roads", "nasty and unexpected washboard road", you're 220lbs and you want sub 1500 gram wheels? And then you say "but they need to be sturdy". Excuse me while I piss myself laughing. You really do expect a miracle don't you?

I'm 170lbs and ride on "good" roads and use 1400 - 1500 gram wheels with the same spoke numbers you mention. Going lighter, for me, would be pointless.

Here's what you need - BWW 32/36 spoke wheels with Ultegra hubs and DT Comp spokes with brass nipples. Those will do ya.

Edit - oh yeah with beefy tires too - 32mm ones should do it. If the frame won't take those tires then it's the wrong frame for those riding conditions. I hope you're not using 23mm tires as those things, pumped to the pressures you need to prevent pinch flats, would jack-hammer any wheels into an early death. You need tires that will support you at 80psi.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Decided to double down! I am getting the back wheel fixed -sent it off to Easton already. I also looked at a bunch of wheels and decided that I really like the Orion II's so I bought another set from Bicycle Buys at their $550 closeout deal.

On a related subject - I searched a bit on Ebay for used wheels and keep finding ceramic bearings - do these make sense?
 

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Scott2 said:
Decided to double down! I am getting the back wheel fixed -sent it off to Easton already. I also looked at a bunch of wheels and decided that I really like the Orion II's so I bought another set from Bicycle Buys at their $550 closeout deal.

On a related subject - I searched a bit on Ebay for used wheels and keep finding ceramic bearings - do these make sense?
Nice score!

I just went to bicycle buys and I don't see them any longer. :mad: :smilewinkgrin:

Definitely pass on the ceramic bearings.

Cheers!
 
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