Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I found a few decent wheelsets in my budget of 300-600 for the pair. They all have great reviews, but I know there is more to it than I know so asking you experts. I also understand going tubeless will save some weight, but not the entire weight of a tube since there is tape and sealant involved, so not sure if tubeless is really for me. A little about me

2014 Fuji GranFondo 2.5 19lbs
Rider weight is 170lb
Currently using a Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick 700x25c tire, no plans to go to another size but I will eventually change them out

What I'm looking for
700x25c or as close as I can get to an 18mm ID
~1500g for the pair
Quiet hubs
20/24 spoke (someone said to get 24/28 but seems excessive for my weight)


As a point of reference, I'll be removing these: Oval Concepts Aero Wheels - 327 Wheelset

Here are a few sets I found within my budget.

Fulcrum Racing 3 Road Wheelset 2016 | Chain Reaction Cycles (never heard of these but great specs and reviews)

Shimano Ultegra 6800 Road Wheelset | Chain Reaction Cycles (everyone says these are rock solid but not the lightest)

DT Swiss R23 Spline Road Wheelset | Chain Reaction Cycles (not many reviews on these but reputable brand and a bit wider which is what I want)

Shimano RS81 C24 Carbon Road Wheelset | Chain Reaction Cycles

Shimano RS81 C35 Carbon Road Wheelset | Chain Reaction Cycles


My LBS also has a set of Bontrager RXL wheels that might fall within my budget, but I hear mixed things about Bontrager wheels. The guy who recommended them to me is a really really nice guy, I've done quite a few rides with him. I was texting him back and forth the links above and he suggested the RXLs to me. Not sure if they are actually better, or if hes biased, but he rides on Paradigm wheels and loves them. Of the ones above, to me the Ultegra wheels are the best bang for the buck by far

Now, I also know there are the infamous China Carbon wheels, which have great reviews as well. But in the limited reading I've done, there seem to be reductions in brake power with carbon rims (especially in the wet but not a concern because I don't ride in the wet), and some companies are combatting that with special surfaces or using a combination of a carbon rim with an alloy braking surface. Brakes I am using are Shimano 105 with their factory pads, have to say the brakes are fantastic, and nearly silent to boot. There is a LOT of appeal in this for me because for instance I can get a set of 700x25c 45mm deep with J bend spokes and Novatec hub, which weigh in right at 1500g, for $600 from lightbicycle.

So, do I go for the China carbon wheels which meet all of my requirements and exceed the specs of the other wheels, but perhaps not being the BEST quality. I'm not doing any racing anytime soon, just casual riding. For reference, I recently did a 45 mile ride and climbed 2100 feet in that duration. Maybe that will help narrow down what I need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,492 Posts
BHS is offering a build service for $60.

With either of the Kinlin wheel builds, you would hit the points on your wish list. Well under $600.

Complete Build Kits

If they are willing to mix and match, then I built a similar set with the XR31T OC offset rear (for better spoke tensions and overall rigidity), and XR22T front. Both rims are the same width - 24 mm outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'll have to add up the weights and see what the set comes in at or call them. Is that $60 for both wheels? Also, is there a considerable difference between the $360 kit and the $600 kit? Seems to be mostly hubs. Definitely like the 31mm depth more than 22, but I heard I can go to 40ish before I start picking up a lot of crosswind. Not sure if true
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,492 Posts
I'll have to add up the weights and see what the set comes in at or call them. Is that $60 for both wheels? Also, is there a considerable difference between the $360 kit and the $600 kit? Seems to be mostly hubs. Definitely like the 31mm depth more than 22, but I heard I can go to 40ish before I start picking up a lot of crosswind. Not sure if true
Crosswind affects the front much more strongly. My choice was the lower profile and weight of the XR22T.

The Bitex hubs are well thought of around here.

Not sure if that's for each wheel. You'd need to ask.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,714 Posts
Although the factory build sets you listed are comparable I would go with the Fulcrum for no other reason other than being easier to find replacement parts if and when you need them. Shimano wheels are above average to excellent but finding parts for them is an exercise in frustration.

Regarding your statements about low spoke counts, do not confuse the factory wheel proprietary spokes with the conventional readily available spokes. They are of different thickness and thus different performance. It's like comparing 2x4 lumber to 2x6 lumber solely on count of studs.
 

·
Banned Sock Puppet
Joined
·
14,445 Posts

So, do I go for the China carbon wheels which meet all of my requirements and exceed the specs of the other wheels, but perhaps not being the BEST quality.
You may want to read through this thread below before you invest in Chinese carbon wheels:

http://forums.roadbikereview.com/wh...-carbon-wheels-photos-355401.html#post5042912

And remember this:

1) Light
2) Strong
3) Cheap

Pick two.

Shimano wheels are above average to excellent but finding parts for them is an exercise in frustration.
Not to mention if you decide to go with Shimano factory wheels, be sure to get the correct spoke wrench for them. Shimano has a proprietary size nipple and the spoke wrench on your multi-tool will not work. You don't want to find that out when you're on the side of the road somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
942 Posts
It is likely almost everyone here will recommend a handbuilt (done properly) wheelset with many spokes (20/28 or 24/28 for your weight) versus factory wheels. Not many people sell proper built handbuilt wheels for $400, but there are a few. The one I like is BWW, who has very high quality builds for a fairly low price (with the coupons).
Road

A lesser known company is Hoops, who sells HED C2/CX-Ray/Novatec wheels for $570
This is an outstanding value for the price
HOOPs Wheels

Also talk to November wheels, they are starting to offer wheels built with bitex hubs. They currently have a special using them for a little over $600.
November Bicycles: Race smart. - November Bicycles Blog - What ComesÂ*Next?

For factory wheels, I think Merlin in the UK usually has the best prices. I would buy the least expensive high performance you can find, assuming you may have to retire it for at least a few weeks or months if there is a major problem/crash etc.
I think you are on the right track looking at Shimano RS-81 and Fulcrum racing 3 if you go that way. These are both ballpark $400 +/- depending on who is selling them.
 

·
Off the back
Joined
·
1,850 Posts
Amazing price of $305 delivered on that 6800 wheelset. Factory-built, yeah, except darn near bulletproof. Stiff and quiet. If you ever need replacement "parts," most likely it will be due to damage beyond repair, such as a spill or monster pothole. You will wear down the rim braking surface before anything else wears out.

Shimano's RS81 C24 replaces the 6800, but at another two hundred bucks to save a few ounces. Probably stiffer and stronger, though. I ride the Dura Ace 9000 C24's, but these run over seven bills and weigh in closer to the 1,400 gram mark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I think what I should focus on more is the depth and width of the wheel. Weight seems to make a miniscule difference in some cases, but the benefits of a more aero, stiffer, and wider wheel are apparent everywhere. In that sense, the 6800 is not a winner unfortuantely because they are not 25c wide.

I'll look at some of the handbuilt options as well. I do want to replace my 10 speed Tiagra Cassette at the same time with a 150 or Ultegra 10 speed so that should save me a few more grams of rotating mass, perhaps making up for the slightly heavier wheelset.

Part of me is reconsidering getting a wheelset and just riding these. Yes, they are heavy, but I can overcome that with more training, and if it means having a reliable wheelset that I will rarely have to mess with, may be worth it.

What does this mean?

Product Specifications


  • Aluminum rim
  • 2.5mm-butted aero spokes with brass nipples
  • 9-speed, 10-speed, 11-speed compatible
  • 24mmW x 27mmT rim
  • 20H front, 24H rear
  • 1920g

The other thing that says is the front wheel is 20h (so 20 deep) and rear is 24h (so 24 deep). While I've never measured them, they both look identical in depth.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,492 Posts
I think what I should focus on more is the depth and width of the wheel. Weight seems to make a miniscule difference in some cases, but the benefits of a more aero, stiffer, and wider wheel are apparent everywhere. In that sense, the 6800 is not a winner unfortuantely because they are not 25c wide.

I'll look at some of the handbuilt options as well. I do want to replace my 10 speed Tiagra Cassette at the same time with a 150 or Ultegra 10 speed so that should save me a few more grams of rotating mass, perhaps making up for the slightly heavier wheelset.

Part of me is reconsidering getting a wheelset and just riding these. Yes, they are heavy, but I can overcome that with more training, and if it means having a reliable wheelset that I will rarely have to mess with, may be worth it.

What does this mean?

Product Specifications


  • Aluminum rim
  • 2.5mm-butted aero spokes with brass nipples
  • 9-speed, 10-speed, 11-speed compatible
  • 24mmW x 27mmT rim
  • 20H front, 24H rear
  • 1920g

The other thing that says is the front wheel is 20h (so 20 deep) and rear is 24h (so 24 deep). While I've never measured them, they both look identical in depth.
Means 24 mm wide (outside) x 27 mm tall.

20 spoke front, 24 spoke rear. (h = holes in hubs)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Means 24 mm wide (outside) x 27 mm tall.

20 spoke front, 24 spoke rear. (h = holes in hubs)
Oh wow, if they are 24mm wide (damn close to my 25mm goal) and 27mm tall, it may not be worth it for me to spend money on something else. I'm going to measure them. Wonder what the inner width is on them.

Google search reveals an ETRTO of 622x17, so really pretty good for a 25c tire. Seems like the Oval 327 is on the heavier side, but a bit better than I expected.
 

·
Off the back
Joined
·
1,850 Posts
Your rim sizing requirements perplex me a bit. You talk about wanting to run 25c tires and wanting to run some superwide rims. Shimano specs the 6800 to run up to 28c's - my friend rides 28's on his 6800's. You're needlessly adding weight to run these mondo rims. Makes no sense to me. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wider rim = wider tire contact patch and less movement or "squirm" on the rim. I think it's called lightbulbing or something like that. A 25c tire pinched on a narrow rim will not perform as well as one fitted to a wider rim (within reason).

Or am I wrong?
 

·
Off the back
Joined
·
1,850 Posts
Wouldn't go as far to call you wrong; just never heard of that.
Riders can experience pinch flats on any type of rim. These occur rarely, however, as punctures from road debris are much more common.
Saw your other thread about tires. The Conti's mentioned work well in the wet. Softish compound, so you won't get high mileage out of them. From my experience, I always found the softer tires to work best in the rain, as well as less tread patterns along the edges. Bike tires get their grip with more rubber to the road, since the tires do not suffer from hydroplaning.

Wider rim = wider tire contact patch and less movement or "squirm" on the rim. I think it's called lightbulbing or something like that. A 25c tire pinched on a narrow rim will not perform as well as one fitted to a wider rim (within reason).

Or am I wrong?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Wouldn't go as far to call you wrong; just never heard of that.
It's a much more prevalent complaint in the mountain biking community. Running wider >2.3 inch tires on old narrow (17mm inner) rims results in a "light-bulb" shape of the tire. The side wall is not supported properly and the tire can fold and squirm under hard turning. It's for this reason that I run 2.4inch tires on 25.5mm inner width rims, but some use even wider rims for the same size tires.

This is just really coming of age in the road biking segment. Why use a narrow Shimano rim for a 25mm tire that is near the rim's limit when you can get a wider stiffer rim for the same weight? I'm using Easton EA90 SL's on my bike which have wider deeper rims for the same weight as Shimano Dura Ace C24's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
It's a much more prevalent complaint in the mountain biking community. Running wider >2.3 inch tires on old narrow (17mm inner) rims results in a "light-bulb" shape of the tire. The side wall is not supported properly and the tire can fold and squirm under hard turning. It's for this reason that I run 2.4inch tires on 25.5mm inner width rims, but some use even wider rims for the same size tires.

This is just really coming of age in the road biking segment. Why use a narrow Shimano rim for a 25mm tire that is near the rim's limit when you can get a wider stiffer rim for the same weight? I'm using Easton EA90 SL's on my bike which have wider deeper rims for the same weight as Shimano Dura Ace C24's.
Yes, read my mind. I also MTB so yes, that's where I'm getting this theory, but it does apply to road wheels too with the aero effect and when you start leaning the bike over in turns.

My MTB runs a 2.3 Bontrager tire on a 28mm outer, 22.5mm inner rim which lets me run super low pressures, have tons of grip and comfort, and a buttery ride. My old MTB was maxxed out on 2.2 tires running on Bontrager AT650 wheels.

Pushing the tire "out" a bit makes the actual tread wider, and more stable under cornering as well.
 

·
Banned Sock Puppet
Joined
·
14,445 Posts
I think what I should focus on more is the depth and width of the wheel. Weight seems to make a miniscule difference in some cases, but the benefits of a more aero.....
Unless you consistently ride at speeds over 20mph, more "aero" rims will make little to no difference.

stiffer, and wider wheel are apparent everywhere. In that sense, the 6800 is not a winner unfortuantely because they are not 25c wide.
Wider rims will give you more stable handling. That is a result of less "lightbulbing" as you put it, as well as a slightly wider tire contact patch. For example, I used to run 700x15 rims with 28mm tires. When I went to 700x17 rims with the same tires, those 28mm tires now measured 29mm. There are many here who will claim even larger differences in tire width when they went to wider rims. Something to consider if your stay clearances are tight.

I'll look at some of the handbuilt options as well. I do want to replace my 10 speed Tiagra Cassette at the same time with a 150 or Ultegra 10 speed so that should save me a few more grams of rotating mass, perhaps making up for the slightly heavier wheelset.
The issue of rotating mass has been so overblown. It is true that reducing rotating mass will theoretically enable you to ACCELERATE faster from a stop, but has no more influence on increasing your overall speed than static weight does. Also, you appear to be confused as to what qualifies as rotating mass. Rims and tires you could call rotating mass. A cassette is not rotating mass as it is too far at the center of the wheel.

Part of me is reconsidering getting a wheelset and just riding these. Yes, they are heavy, but I can overcome that with more training, and if it means having a reliable wheelset that I will rarely have to mess with, may be worth it.
Now you're talking! :thumbsup: Remember that time spent on the side of the road reduces your average speed. :D OK, maybe not as far as your cycle computer or Strava is concerned, but your riding buddies with their solid heavy bikes will still be way ahead of you. :D I'll take reliability and longevity over weight savings any day.

What does this mean?


  • 2.5mm-butted aero spokes
2.5mm is the diameter of the widest part of the spoke. Butted means the diameter is different at the ends than in the center.

with brass nipples
There are generally two types of nipples - brass and alloy. Brass are heavier, but are less susceptible to corrosion and failure. Weight savings is negligible, get brass.

  • 9-speed, 10-speed, 11-speed compatible
Most rims sold now have a wide enough freehub to allow an 11-speed cassette. 8, 9 and 10 speed cassettes can also be used with a spacer. Older rims are only 8, 9 or 10 speed compatible.

  • 24mmW x 27mmT rim
24mm is the external width of the rim, 27mm is the depth of the rim (how tall it is). I really don't know why rim manufacturers use external width in their specs. I would much rather know what the internal width is. It can usually be found somewhere on the rim itself, but is often not advertised in the specs.

  • 20H front, 24H rear
Spoke count.

The other thing that says is the front wheel is 20h (so 20 deep) and rear is 24h (so 24 deep). While I've never measured them, they both look identical in depth.
H stands for "hole" as in number of holes in the rim. Again, spoke count.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
93 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So a member here offered me a great deal on a set of used Boyd Altamont wheels. They are the older generation so I'll try and compare the two sets and you guys can let me know if theyd be a significant upgade from what I have.

Current: Oval 327
27mm depth
24mm outer width
17mm inner width
20/24H
Claimed weight 1950g, some have weighed their closer to 2100?

Prospect: Boyd Altamont
30mm depth
24mm outer width
18.3mm inner width
24/28H
Weight is just shy of 1600 for the pair

My goal is to run a 25c tire but to get it to sit a bit wider to get all the benefits of the wider rim/tire. Will an increase of 1.3mm inside do much to achieve that? I know there are lots of other benefits associated with upgrading wheels like the strength and added comfort of having a higher spoke count.

Price is right, specs SEEM right, so what do you guys think? Should I get these for what seems like a great deal, or pony up a bit more for a 19mm+ inner width wheel? These will not be race wheels, but just my daily use one. He's including a cassette and tires, so the other nice part is once I remove my Ovals, I'd have a fully complete second wheelset to use for...im not sure what, but if I needed service on the Boyds or anything, it would be nice to just be able to drop another wheelset in with no tooling or swapping of cassettes around
 
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top