Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
You guys seem to be knowledgeable about things Trek so do you know anything about these carbon wheels? They are the 1190 gram low profile wheels and sure look sweet. I have a shot at a pr and ride tubbies regularly so gluing isn't an issue.

I got a very favorable review from a VN poster about a week ago, but would like a little more info before I pull the trigger. I guess I get a little nervous writing a big check for wheels.

I'm sub 150 lbs, more like 142-145, so weight shouldn't be an issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
I've seen them, but I have never riden them. I am too big to ride them. I am around 220 so carbon lightweight wheels hold zero appeal to me. They look really good, and a guy I work with just got a set. He doesn't have that much time on them yet, so I can't really tell you what he thinks of them just yet. A better person to get into the discussion my be Teo (Ted) from Texas... he probably even knows what the USPS riders think of them as he seems to be in touch with a few of those guys, or at least their mechanics.

Sorry, but this is one I just don't have an answer to.

Russ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,248 Posts
My experience with them..........

I believe your speaking of the XXX-Lite carbon tubies, which also come in clincher as well. If not I will give you a review of the Carbon X-lite tubies too. I like the XXX-lite (triple x lite) alot but I think there are better wheels out there and here is why.

First they cost 1500$ which is high since they are light but they don't break the weight boundary. Velomax has carbon tubies as light and so does Reynolds for a few hundred less. Reynolds tubies I would take over Bontrager since they brake better in rain then clincher aluminum wheels brake in the sun. Bontrager demands you use special brake pads. They created a special carbon coark pad for bontrager to use so the carbon doesn't heat up as fast and the glass bead section of the braking surface grabs these special pads particularly well. This is because when you use your regular brake pads on aluminum wheels you get aluminum caught in them which can damage carbon tubular rims if you use the same pads. Changing pads everytime you go to a race isn't fun and isn't necessary but for a few manufacturer rims

Secondly, Bontrager produced the X-lite carbon Deep V wheel which had some serious issues with the front rim. It is a damn fast wheelset. But it was very common for it to wobble when using the brakes. I used a pair for about 10 days on loan from a sponsering shop and sure enough, brand new, the front wobbled. In addition to this Bontrager doesn't have the kinda customer service that Zipp or other small manufacters offer. It isn't bad but there have been quite a few upset people, I think theres a few bad reviews here actually.

Final reasons: Reynolds and Zipp. Are just simply better over all wheels. Reynolds because they offer better braking and super high performance, mono mold carbon, hidden nipples, and very very durable. They have a great reputation and do not rely on paired spoke technology. They do not require special anything. My coach has a set and he hammers them. I have ridden Reynolds and love them. Zipp 202s will be released this year and be the lightest non-deep V tubular wheels coming in just over a 1000 grams and cost 1450$. That's like 150 grams less in weight. I have owned 4 pair of Zipp now and have no complaints. I have an order for 202s in. Customer service for me was tip top, I mean excellent!
Also if you resell them you will sell Zipps and Reynolds for alot more then any Bontrager, that's just how the market is.

In the end Bontragers cost a few hundred dollars more but are not necessarily better wheels. They will be more then satifactory as I would be surprised to see anyone disappointed with a wheelset like that. In addition Bontrager is claiming to be coming out with some very new and very special wheels for Lance this year. I have had a small confermation on this but nothing will be released for months. If all goes well I'd expect the world to see Lance on a pair of unbelievable light aero rims for the TDF. But I'm sure they won't be available for 12-16 months after if at all.

Take a look at Rolf wheels to. They light clincher and tubular wheels. They have the Elan which is a clincher at 1250grams. I have a pair of these and have put them through many grueling rides including a recent ride this week in the snow at 25degrees. I love them. They use paired spoke tech. and are fast but they do not accelerate like carbon tubular wheels. Nothing does. Tubies are just faster period. But if you only do a handful of races, I'd buy clincher wheels so you can ride them whenever. Unless of course you are comfortable with the tubular tire flat kit and spare tires to accompany your daily rides.

I'm really looking forward to riding some Reynolds Deep V all carbon clinchers. I want to see if losing the aluminum will pick up the clincher wheel world to accelerate as fast as tubulars. That's why wheelsets like American classic 420s, Bontrager Aero lites and Velomax deep V aluminum aero clinchers don't make sense to me. They have MORE aluminum then any other wheel made which hinders acceleration enormously but they are still considered fast wheels because they are ""aero"" (34mm deep) That's why Bontrager and Reynolds made the first all carbon clinchers to be offered in the USA. By the way, the Reynolds clinchers are the first light (1450 grams 46mm deep aero rim) clinchers that have a NO WEIGHT LIMIT!! and can be used 365 days a year baby!

I hope you are happy with what you end up getting and I'd love a review whatever you decide to go with. I hope this helps and thanks for asking!

=)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
What about the "big old fat guys"?

So what do the big guys ride? I'm in the 210 or so range. I've seen the Zipps for guys over 230 (i think). That being said, is 210 the upper range of the normal stuff, or should I start looking for something special?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,248 Posts
For the "Heavy weights" =)

You have many options. Zipp does make an extra tough, light, stiff and durable set of 404s called "Clydesdale" series. These are made with "heavy weights" in minid. You can get them in clincher or tubular. I would look into the Reynolds carbon clincher since it has a "no weight limit" and Reynolds carbon tubulars if you want tubulars. They would be fine as well. I would not go with paried spoke technology if your a "heavy weight" Mavic Kysriums are another option if your looking for pure stiffness but they are literally anti aero. Check out NIMBLE.net for some light wheels with outstanding customer service for heavy riders too.

CUSTOMER SERVICE
--------------------------------------
If your very concerned about breaking wheels or thier longevity I would suggest you go with Reynolds, Zipp, or Nimble because you can only purchase Bontrager and Mavic wheels in pairs. Forget about a quick return from Mavic for a repaired wheel as well. Most wheel companys will back their product. If you crash them you will have to probably work something out with the company...they may ask you to pay for a new rim and they will put it together like new. This isn't very expensive and you get a rebuilt wheel that is as good as new. Of course if the rim cracks or they just fall apart (very unlikely) you will get a free wheel considering you handle it correctly. By that I mean you don't call them up in anger. Just inform them you like their product and would like them to replace it.

I owned a pair of "spider" wheels from Nimble. I broke a spoke on them and they replaced the entire wheel with a new hub and everything in 3 weeks time. I broke two pairs of 303 Zipp clinchers due to some "bad aluminum" getting to soft during the heating process when molding the carbon and brake surface. They replaced the wheels immediately and offered my money back but I took the new pair of wheels and didn't regret it. They have since corrected the "bad aluminum" issue and no longer experience it. In short, find a wheelset you like that has good braking surfaces, is aero, fairly easy to replace and is durable and light.

These things happen regardless of weight and the manufactuers expect it to a degree

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,126 Posts
Bigger guys' wheels...

I can answer this one easily because I am around 220 lbs. Now, first off, and don't be offended because it really does make a difference.... are you a fat 210 or a muscular 210? If you are a fat 210 (don't worry, I am not picking on people...) you are near the upper end of the limit for light weight wheels, but I wouldn't really worry too much about it. You could probably drop 20 pounds by summer if you put the time in on the saddle. But on the other hand, if you are a muscular 210 you should steer clear of ultra light parts. Wheels, Ti pedal and BB spindles, and maybe even carbon seat posts. Here's why I say that... if you are a muscular 210 you are most likely very strong and hammer on the bike. I used to be a big ol' sprinter type and was around 175 to 180 when I used to race. Now I play ice hockey and am in the weight room a lot more and have gotten up to 220. Because I am strong, I stress parts more than little light guys. Fact of life, and no big deal if you try to be smooth on the bike, but the problem is that because I am pretty thick in the upper body, and it's not mostly fat, I am not going to drop much weight over the season. I may get down to 210, 200 if I stopped working out, but I won't drop 40 pounds of fat because I don't have that much to drop. So even riding 15 to 20 hours a week, I will still be over 200 by the summer, and I will still need to be on stronger wheels. If that's you, stay away from ultralight wheels and stay away from carbon (for another couple years...)

I ride American Classic 420's. I had them built with bladed spokes which are stronger than round spokes, and 20 front 24 rear with brass nipples. They are still lighter than Ksyriums, but are super strong. I would recommend you get something like those. Maybe not the same wheel, but something like it. Go for an alloy deep V rim. Moderately high spoke count, and bladed spokes if you can get them. Regular bladed spokes require slotted hubs, but you can also get DT Aerospeed or Sapim CX-Ray spokes. They are both very expensive, but super strong and aero as well.

Something else to consider is to break from convention and stay away from boutique wheels all together. If you are worried about crushing them, get a pair of really good handbuilt wheels instead. Dura Ace or White Industries hubs, 28 front 32 rear, Bladed spokes, and a Velocity Deep V rim. They will be around 1750 to 1800 grams, but you won't have to true them very often and you can get them fixed by anyone should you have a problem. That wheel should also cost less than $300 for the pair too.

I think there are too many people buying into the whole pre-built boutique wheel concept when in reality they are only good for a very small percentage of the cycling community. But that's just my opinion, and it seems obvious that Mavic has a different one. But then again I am not trying to sell you any wheels either.

Russ
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Carbon Wheels

Clearly some very knowledgable people out there. Have just purchased a Trek Madone with Dura Ace 10 spd and am in the market for some top line carbon wheels, but need to be for clinchers and be real light weight-I weigh 195-200. Currently running Bontrager Aero X-lite's. Thinking of Campag Hyperon as Bontrager XXX lite not available in clincher version. Does anyone have any ideas please?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,248 Posts
Glance..............

Well first off, Congrats on your choice of machine! Va va voom LOL =)

At your weight I wouldn't push it with wheels by getting XXX clinchers or Hyperons. The only carbon clincher that fits your bill is Reynolds DV all carbon clinchers. They have a NO weight limit. Impressive since they are 1425 grams. Also consider this, American classic 420 are all aluminum. Now the weight around the edge of the wheel is most important (rotational weight) and 420s, Bontrager Aros and a few other clinchers have more weight or aluminum at the edge of the wheel then anyother wheel around. Also if carbon clinchers can accelerate like tubular wheels you will be hard pressed to buy hassle tubies over hassle free carbon clinchers in the future. I think we are at an advent of seeing some amazing developments in carbon clinchers over the next 18 months. I just bought a pair of Reynolds Carbon clinchers and will let you know what I think in time.

Zipp 404 clydesdale are another and very good option for you for fast lightweight clincher wheels. Good luck and let us know how it goes! =)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Bontrager XXX Lite carbon tubulars

Hey there,

Tom Kellogg just built me a custom compact super Ti recently. Built with Dura Ace 10 speed and all the light weight carbon component goodies. Originally built it with Bontrager Race X Lite wheels. Sold them on Ebay and bought a pair of the Bontrager XXX lite tubulars, stocked by my LBS.

Let me say this, if you dont have them....go and buy a pair. THEY ARE AWESOME.

When you do buy them, if they shipped with Dura Ace carbon break pads, THROW THEM AWAY. Too hard of a compound and WAY to much modulation.
Before you throw them away, order the BONTRAGER carbon pads, made specifically for that wheel. Softer compound....NO MODULATION....AWESOME PADS...Just remember to TOE the front of the pad IN toward the rim. IF YOU DONT, YOU WILL STOP SOOOOOOO FAST you will pee your pants, and possibly dump the bike.

Bontrager shipped dozens of wheelsets with Dura Ace pads while they were waiting to PERFECT their pads.

Email me with any questions. I will answer the email if I am not busy riding!!!

O, by the way....I am a 6 foot rider and I weigh 177 lbs. They are my primary set of wheels on this particular bike.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,248 Posts
Cool

Congrats on the wheels! I have seen them as my LBS carries a pair. They are very
apealing appearance wise. However, I went for the Zipp 202s since Zipp guaranteed me 1040-1080grams and they cost LESS then Bontrager XXX. By alot. No to mention if I wreck a wheel they can rebuild it quickly and at less cost as oppose to Bontrager replacing the wheel and you paying full price. I really like Bontrager wheels enormously, far more then Mavic wheels except open pro training wheelsets, but Bontragers' needs to perfect their customer service and replacement procedures. Wheels break, get wrecked, etc etc and that needs to be considered when your a wheel manufacturer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
CARBON110 said:
Congrats on the wheels! I have seen them as my LBS carries a pair. They are very
apealing appearance wise. However, I went for the Zipp 202s since Zipp guaranteed me 1040-1080grams and they cost LESS then Bontrager XXX. By alot. No to mention if I wreck a wheel they can rebuild it quickly and at less cost as oppose to Bontrager replacing the wheel and you paying full price. I really like Bontrager wheels enormously, far more then Mavic wheels except open pro training wheelsets, but Bontragers' needs to perfect their customer service and replacement procedures. Wheels break, get wrecked, etc etc and that needs to be considered when your a wheel manufacturer.
Did you get your 202s?. How are they?. Despite the fact that the Reynolds (which you highly recommend in a previous post) are deep aero rims which one would you recommend me as a racing wheelset? Just for the record my current racing wheelset is the Bontrager X-Lite.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,079 Posts
There's a new pic of these on cyclingnews.com. Really nice looking rims. Damn light too, but it'll set you back a pretty penny though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
The truth as I know it

12x23 said:
You guys seem to be knowledgeable about things Trek so do you know anything about these carbon wheels? They are the 1190 gram low profile wheels and sure look sweet. I have a shot at a pr and ride tubbies regularly so gluing isn't an issue.

I got a very favorable review from a VN poster about a week ago, but would like a little more info before I pull the trigger. I guess I get a little nervous writing a big check for wheels.

I'm sub 150 lbs, more like 142-145, so weight shouldn't be an issue.

I have owned a set for 6 months and have logged about 1000 miles on them. I weigh a bit more than you ... about 30 pounds more than you, so your braking results should be better than mine. In short, they are very good wheels. They brake well. They handle well and they are very stiff. They are really meant for hills, I believe. Here are the things to consider.

1) They are expensive, so make sure you own a more conservative set to train with.
2) Adjusting the spokes requires a VERY experienced mechanic. I had one break while trying to adjust and Bontrager fixed it for free at the factory. My extremely talented mechanic could not get it realinged himself.

You DO NOT have to buy their brakes ... in fact, I believe that they really don't even offer them. I tried to get a set (they were supposed to be provided) and after many excuses, the representative told me that I should just use DuraAce carbon pads (I have 7800 DuraAce) ... that Keith tried to make a better pad but could not. I believe that any pad made for Carbon Wheels works. I have had absolutely no wear issues or stopping issues. I have used them both wet and dry ... and of course they work better in dry conditions.

In short, they are expensive. The tubular tires are cool and if you are using them for racing (I believe that these wheels are not really made for everyday riding) and use the sealant, they shouldn't pose any real problem. At least, they haven't for me. Would I buy them again if I had it to do over again? Probably not. I didn't quite pay $1500, but I did pay alot and I'm not sure that the value is really there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Ok, so here's what I did

12x23 said:
You guys seem to be knowledgeable about things Trek so do you know anything about these carbon wheels? They are the 1190 gram low profile wheels and sure look sweet. I have a shot at a pr and ride tubbies regularly so gluing isn't an issue.

I got a very favorable review from a VN poster about a week ago, but would like a little more info before I pull the trigger. I guess I get a little nervous writing a big check for wheels.

I'm sub 150 lbs, more like 142-145, so weight shouldn't be an issue.
I let Carbon110 influence me on this one. :D

I bought a pr of 202's and got 'em four days before 3 State/3 Mountain (first Saturday in May). I can't say too much good stuff about River City Cycles in Chattanooga, 'cause Zipp didn't have Shimano freehubs at the time and RCC said "send 'em on, we have the freehub and will swap it." Anyway, got the wheels on Wednesday before 3s/3m and set up a gluing assembly line in my living room ... good thing I'm not married.

The rear had a little hop, otherwise looked good, although I admit the XXX's I looked at were a bit better.

The Zipp hubs are soooo smooth !!!

I only have a few hundred miles on them, mixed road surfaces ... fresh asphalt to rural N.Alabama chip-seal (******* Roubaix) with a little chert road for measure, and they are still true. It's too early to say they're gonna be reliable, but we're off to a good start.

I went with Veloflex Carbons and all I can say is they are now my favorite tubular tire.

I use the black Kool Stop pads. I had to make a panic stop on a steep descent to avoid a crash and it sounded like I was eviscerating a large mammal. These were fresh pads, and later I checked and found the pads were about half-used. As for braking in the rain, they feel pretty much like my old GL330's (anodized surface, not machined like current aluminum rims), although they sound much different. :D

I have no regrets and would buy these wheels again in a heartbeat.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top