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Adventure Seeker
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, before I get to the question, I know: hand-built is the best all around way to go, but...
The new object of my lustful affection is the Kona Roadhouse. Naked 853 steel adorned in gold. Once I sell my current road bike, I'm gonna order this beauty. Here's my debate: buy the complete bike, which comes with nearly all the parts I ultimately want, save the saddle (no bike comes with a Regale anyway), and the wheelset.
The stock wheels are Mavic. They are tubeless ready, so I can put on the tires I want down the road. However, if I buy the frameset only and build it with some Stan's Grail hoops (CK front, Bitex rear for savings), then it'll be exactly the way I want it right out of the gate.

So, just how bad are Mavic wheels? The only experience I've had with the company is the helmet I've got, which is complete garbage. That's made me gun-shy of their wheels too.
 

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'brifter' is f'ing stupid
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Everything is proprietary...spokes, rims, hubs. Depending on which model you can have aluminum or carbon spokes. On Mavic wheels this requires huge threaded holes in the rim which to me screams 'stress riser'...or good place for a crack to start. They use low spoke count designs that have ended up needing material added to the rims to resist cracking longer. Freehub technology is prehistoric. One cartridge bearing and a phenolic bushing on the side that normally gets most of the torque...needs to be cleaned/lubed on a pretty regular basis. All the wheels that have alloy or carbon spokes are about the very least aerodynamic wheels on the planet. I could go on but you (should) get the message.
 

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If it's round, it's a burger. If it's square, it's fish.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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I would agree mostly with CX. Mavic road wheels/rims have a reputation for spoke hole cracks. Though until this comment by CX, I had no idea how bad their bearings were. He's a very experienced mechanic who works for racers, so he should know.

Ksyriums are definitely overpriced for what you get. If they were the budget Aksiums, I would say just ride them into the ground, then get some nice wheels.

The question I have is how much are they asking for this bike? It certainly has an otherwise excellent component set - full Ultegra. You could possibly have your bike shop cut a deal where they swap them out, or sell it to you sans wheels.
 

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They suck. But it never hurts to have a back up/spare or something ready to go with different tires and cassette and they are good enough for that.
I don't know the math on that bike in particular but stuff comes really cheap when bought as part of the bike as opposed to separately. So do the math. It'll probably work out that you may as well take them even if you don't want to use them. They'll have some value on Ebay or like I said as a backup.
 

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Adventure Seeker
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the feedback. The complete bike sells for $3800. When parting it together from multiple sources, the prices are very close, surprisingly. I've priced using prowheelbuilder.com for the wheels. Downgrading to Bitex hubs in the back to save money, which I can ultimately upgrade should I want to. They're probably far superior to Mavic hubs anyway. Building it from scratch will take much longer, but will allow me to get most of the price under the wife's radar too haha.
That's the debate: have only my MTB to ride for a couple months on the road, and get it how I truly want, or have something ready to go faster, but having to spend nearly $1000 more down the road.
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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Thanks for the feedback. The complete bike sells for $3800. When parting it together from multiple sources, the prices are very close, surprisingly. I've priced using prowheelbuilder.com for the wheels. Downgrading to Bitex hubs in the back to save money, which I can ultimately upgrade should I want to. They're probably far superior to Mavic hubs anyway. Building it from scratch will take much longer, but will allow me to get most of the price under the wife's radar too haha.
That's the debate: have only my MTB to ride for a couple months on the road, and get it how I truly want, or have something ready to go faster, but having to spend nearly $1000 more down the road.
Do you happen to know what the tire clearance on this bike is? I'm just curious if you could put wider tires like 700x38c or something like that.
 

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changingleaf
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709 Posts
The Mavic wheels may be fine for you, but can be very expensive to repair so I do recommend a custom build.

If you're using a Chris King hub up front I would recommend using one in the rear, or get another set of quality hubs like those from DT Swiss. The bitex rear hubs can be a descent value, but the weak coil spring and pawl system degrades somewhat quickly in my experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
There's plenty of room for wide tires. I'm thinking 28's or 30's, and prefer a tubeless setup. Any other brands out there besides Hutchinson and Schwalbe? Wanting slicks for road use.
 
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