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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Folks,

After a long absence (10yrs) from having a road bike, I'm in the process of deciding on a new build.

This is going to be a carbon vs alloy question (fair warning).

My last 2 bikes had Ksyrium Pro and Pro SL wheels and I never had any trouble with them. I did reasonabyly high mileage on them...something in the range of 5000km in a year.

So, now that I'm going to get back in the game, I'm strongly inclined to go back to Mavic.

But I know the world has moved on. Not sure if I have...

I'm about 75kg (165lbs) and the roads in my area are pretty poor.

So my current struggle is to decide between Mavic Ksyrium Pro SL Disc and Mavic Cosmic Carbon SL Discs.

The Ksyrium's are less exciting, but I trust them to be able to handle the roads I'll be on (East end of Toronto, Kingston Road area, for anyone familiar), given past experience with Mavic alloy wheels.

I have no personal experience with carbon wheels and my concern with the Cosmic's is how they will stand up to being banged around. I'm not interested in my wheels just looking pretty and having to tiptoe around and slow down to protect them from bumps. I like to ride fast and hop over stuff if necessary.

Assuming I run Conti GP 4000's in 25c, will they be enough to protect Cosmics from short sharp shocks?

Thanks for help bringing me up to date.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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If you have been away from road biking for 10 years and are looking to go back to Mavic, you may be in for a rude awakening. Their quality and durability is not what it used to be.

There are much better choices from Shimano, HED and DT Swiss you may want to look into.
 

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Budget?

Rims come and go if you live where you might pick up a lot of road grit and do a lot of braking (I think Toronto would qualify unless you only ride when it's nice and dry out). For that reason I'd go with custom using really good hubs such as White Industries with whatever rim floats your boat.
That way if you break a spoke or wear out a rim it's cheap and easy to get back rolling as opposed to Mavic wheels where economically and ordering parts wise you'd probably need to just buy a whole new wheel.

Lots of rim choices out there but I'll mention H Plus Son Archetype as one good choice assuming you intend to stick with clinchers and inner tubes.
 

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A wheelist
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Here is the best deal you will find for a set of wheels anywhere - the BWW BSR 28 at $400. Complete with Sapim CX-Ray spokes too -

Blackset Race 24 700c Wheel Set

That's $100 less than most other wheels with similar sourced parts but with the CX-Rays.

Any Mavic wheelsets would be my last choice in wheels and especially Mavic with a carbon clincher rim. There is zero benefit to a carbon clincher rim. Just check on the availability and price of one of those rims if you were ever to break one on your bad roads. If you're ok with the answer to that then, what the heck, have at 'em.

For wheels with upper end quality parts, you will have a hard time finding anything better than November wheels. They are well known to us on this forum -

November Bicycles: Race smart. - Home
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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Here is the best deal you will find for a set of wheels anywhere - the BWW BSR 28 at $400. Complete with Sapim CX-Ray spokes too -

Blackset Race 24 700c Wheel Set

That's $100 less than most other wheels with similar sourced parts but with the CX-Rays.

Any Mavic wheelsets would be my last choice in wheels and especially Mavic with a carbon clincher rim. There is zero benefit to a carbon clincher rim. Just check on the availability and price of one of those rims if you were ever to break one on your bad roads. If you're ok with the answer to that then, what the heck, have at 'em.

For wheels with upper end quality parts, you will have a hard time finding anything better than November wheels. They are well known to us on this forum -

November Bicycles: Race smart. - Home
If light weight is your thing, at 1388g, you can't do better than the Blackset Race 24. I haven't tried these, but they have a good reputation and a few people around here can vouch for long service life on these. One thing I really like about their design is they don't play the "fewer spokes is better" game.

If weight is not important to you, there are many great custom options. Jay mentioned H+ Son Archetypes. These are great robust rims, but many might not like that if you get these in black, the brake tracks are also black. So they will look ugly for the first 1000 miles or so until you wear the brake tracks to the bare aluminum.

Another important thing. Many road rims are now wider than the old standard 15mm internal width. I like wider rims as I find that they feel more stable and planted. But be careful about frame clearances. If you, for example, go from a 15mm rim to a 17mm rim, your tire width will probably be 1 or 2mm wider. Make sure there is room! Note that the Blackset Race 28 is 17mm and still only 1470g!
 

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A wheelist
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If light weight is your thing, at 1388g, you can't do better than the Blackset Race 24. I haven't tried these, but they have a good reputation and a few people around here can vouch for long service life on these. One thing I really like about their design is they don't play the "fewer spokes is better" game.
Oh I absolutely agree and I had a set for 4 years and AFAIK they're still going strong under another rider. They are very light (I doubt the 1388g claim) and mine were 1410g. They took some major hits and I never dented a rim or blew a tire even though I heard the dreaded "BUNNGGG" a couple of times. One hit on a bridge steel expansion joint was enough to jettison a full waterbottle which I never did find. I must have gone over the edge of the bridge into the river.

The "problem" with the BSR 24 is that it's a narrow rim - a little out of fashion these days. It never held me back though. The BSR 28 that I mentioned is a wider and deeper (and heavier) rim.
 

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Forever a Student
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The "problem" with the BSR 24 is that it's a narrow rim - a little out of fashion these days. It never held me back though. The BSR 28 that I mentioned is a wider and deeper (and heavier) rim.
26 is wider than both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Lombard,

I'm sorry to hear about the decline in quality. Mavic used to make great wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi Jay,

These will be for a dream bike, so trying to stay under/at $2000 USD.

They will be disc, so the brake track issue isn"t a worry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Everyone!

I'll look at custom wheels. I had not really considered them previously.

I'll check all the builders mentioned.

I appreciate the guidance.

A bit bummed by the news about Mavic, but This is why I asked.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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One hit on a bridge steel expansion joint was enough to jettison a full waterbottle which I never did find. I must have gone over the edge of the bridge into the river.
If that didn't knock the wheel out of true, that's certainly a great build!

The "problem" with the BSR 24 is that it's a narrow rim - a little out of fashion these days.
Out of fashion, yes. But since the OP is just coming back into road biking after 10 years away, I don't know if his bike has the clearance for the extra width, which is why I recommend he check carefully.

It never held me back though. The BSR 28 that I mentioned is a wider and deeper (and heavier) rim.
If it were me, the BSR 28 is what I would go for. And at 1470g, still no slouch in the weight department.

Where do we stop?
That's what I say. But here in America, if a little is good, too much is better. :rolleyes: As I have commented before elsewhere, when I went from an internal width of 14mm to 15mm, I could definitely feel the difference. When I went from 15mm to 17mm, oh yes. However, when I went from 17mm to 18mm, I detected no difference in feel or handling. I believe this to be a law of diminishing returns. But then that doesn't keep selling people new rims, does it?

Edit: Here is an interesting article I found with a section regarding rim widths for gravel wheels:

Custom Disc Brake Gravel Wheel Component Guide - Part 1 | Gravel Cyclist: The Gravel Cycling Experience

Rim Width
Is a popular topic these days. Wider rims open the tires up for more volume and better sidewall support, and allow for lower tire pressures for a smoother ride with improved traction and comfort. But how wide is too wide? Not that long ago road and CX rims had a 15mm inner width. Nowadays, there are options for as wide as 25mm inner rim width for gravel bikes.

When it comes to width, as with everything else on a wheelset, you have to find the right balance for you. With width comes weight and other factors to consider; as rim width increases, tire sidewalls are pushed further out, less protected by the tread and hence vulnerable to cuts. In my opinion, 21mm inside rim is about as wide as you want to go for a wheel intended for gravel use. That gives a good tire profile and volume across a wide range of road and gravel tire sizes, without totally exposing the sidewalls and keeping weight reasonable.
 

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Hi Jay,

These will be for a dream bike, so trying to stay under/at $2000 USD.

They will be disc, so the brake track issue isn"t a worry.
Thanks Everyone!

I'll look at custom wheels. I had not really considered them previously.

I'll check all the builders mentioned.

I appreciate the guidance.

A bit bummed by the news about Mavic, but This is why I asked.
You don't need to spend anywhere near $2,000 to get a great wheelset. You can do this for under $700.

If you are looking to go the custom build route, this is a very good write-up of rims:

Alloy Rim Roundup - Fairwheel Bikes Blog

I forgot you are using disc brakes. Forget what I said before about the Archetypes. They would make a great disc wheelset and price is right!
 

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Hi Jay,

These will be for a dream bike, so trying to stay under/at $2000 USD.

They will be disc, so the brake track issue isn"t a worry.

oh, yeah, sorry I did read that but spaced out on it when replying.

Custom is still a good option but I don't know enough about individual parts for disc brake wheels to make recommendations.

You can get as good as there is with $2000K unless you decide to go top shelf carbon rims. Which personally I don't think is a good investment.
 

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A wheelist
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The Pure Race wheels from BWW are another nice option. A lot of guys are happy with them.
A friend of mine (at my suggestion) got a set and has tens of thousands of trouble-free kms on them. He didn't want to spend a lot but he does high kms.
 

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Wandering
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If you are looking to go the custom build route, this is a very good write-up of rims:

Alloy Rim Roundup - Fairwheel Bikes Blog
While this may still be a good reference, it's getting dated. There have been several rims discussed in this forum that were not available when it was published & some that were (ie: Pacenti SL23) have had a few revisions (for better or worse...).
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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While this may still be a good reference, it's getting dated. There have been several rims discussed in this forum that were not available when it was published & some that were (ie: Pacenti SL23) have had a few revisions (for better or worse...).
Yeah, I realize it's getting dated. Most importantly, some newer good choices aren't rated here because they didn't exist yet.
 
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