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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm a 5'10'' 175 pound bloke looking for a durable wheel set for my road bike that will stay true and ride smooth. I want them primarily for training. Races are few and far between these days, but I don't want wheels so heavy as to be a significant disadvantage when I do, though durability is priority. My Bontrager Race wheels lasted about 10K miles before they cracked around the nipples. My Easton EA90SLXs have about 5-7K on them and the aluminum nipples are breaking and the rims cracking around the nipples. The aluminum nipples corrode quickly, especially here along the Florida coast. The EA90SLXs are definitely not durable enough. Does anyone have suggestions? Are the EA70s any good?
 

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Why, oh why, does almost no-one, in their quest for "best wheels for me" almost never post probably the most important piece of information they can provide - their body weight? The ones that do, I could kiss their feet. I was conversing via e-mail today with a Wheelbuilder and he came out with this gem - "There should be light weight for 160 lb guys, and light weight for 260 lb guys".

Throw us a crumb Joel. Help us to help you.

Edit - Joel edited his post to give his bodyweight after my rant. Newbs reading this - please include that important piece of info in your post of "what wheels for me?".
 

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Sounds like you should do a custom wheel build.

Brass nipples... will be a tad heavier than aluminum... sounds like the direction you want to go.

wheels... lots to choose from... probably can go with 28 spoke rear and 24 up front or... say 32/28 .... even with that high of a spoke count, if you choose carefully, you can end up with a light enough wheelset.

WHat is your price cap? Want aero wheels?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Aero wheels sound great if they'll be durable enough for long-term training. I'm 175 pounds. I don't know how many spokes I need. Currently, I'm running 23 spokes in the rear, and 18 in the front. I'm most interested in durability, but not totally indifferent to weight. I don't want to spend more than $300-400. I figure if I look hard enough, I can find some good deals on pretty decent wheels
 

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My, oh my, am I sorry for being human. I must have forgotten. 5'10'' 175 pounds. Here's your "crumb."
...I'm same height and 15 lbs heavier...and I ride Mavic Kysrium Elite... some say they ride rough. Maybe I can't tell a difference with a zertz-dampened fork.

But... I think it sounds like a custom wheel build nonetheless.
 

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Ahh thanks. DT Swiss RR 415 rims, 32/32, Sapim Race spokes or DT Comp, brass nipples. Hub choice to suit your budget.

Edit - I just saw your posted budget. Look here -

DT SWISS RR415 + Shimano hubs
When did BWW make a new website? Its layout seems to work better for me

SHimano 105 hubs spin real nice....despite being a tad heavy to some people...
 

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Thanks! Is there much of a benefit moving up to an Ultegra hub from a 105? Oh, and what's a "build level?" Sorry, can't help the stupidity aspect.
You're welcome. 105 is the benchmark lower-end in the groupsets AFAIC. Everything up from there - Ultegra, DuraAce is better quality but with diminished returns. BWW's Build Levels are explained here -

About Our Wheels
 

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A wheelist
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When did BWW make a new website?
Maybe 6 months ago.

SHimano 105 hubs spin real nice....despite being a tad heavy to some people...
I have both Ultegra and DuraAce and each step up for Shimano (105, Ultegra, DuraAce) brings lighter weight, better finish, more bling - for instance, DuraAce provides aluminum axles, lighter weight, better finish and a titanium cassette carrier. My next hubset would be another DuraAce.
 

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I have both Ultegra and DuraAce and each step up for Shimano (105, Ultegra, DuraAce) brings lighter weight, better finish, more bling - for instance, DuraAce provides aluminum axles, lighter weight, better finish and a titanium cassette carrier. My next hubset would be another DuraAce.
I'm happy with the 105's for my cross wheels, as I wanted a durable set of wheels (with DT Comps and Stan's Alpha 400).... also.. DA hubs allow for some lower spoke counts... unlike 105 & Ultegra (which iirc, are 32 & 36)

But... the next road wheels... I want a loud freehub... so I'm going with Chris King hubs eventually...
 

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I agree with Mike T. If you want a long lasting wheel go with higher spoke counts, if you want to save some money the 105 hub is a great hub for the money. Brass nipples will last longer then alloy. I happen to like DT Competition spokes but that's just me. Lot's of good rim choices like the DT Swiss Mike mentioned, as well as others like the Mavic Open Pro, or Kinlin XR270, or XR300 if you want more of an aero rim, or Velocity Fusion; of those the Kinlin (either the XR250 or XR300) is the best buy for price and weight in my opinion.
 

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Aero wheels sound great if they'll be durable enough for long-term training. I'm 175 pounds. I don't know how many spokes I need. Currently, I'm running 23 spokes in the rear, and 18 in the front. I'm most interested in durability, but not totally indifferent to weight. I don't want to spend more than $300-400. I figure if I look hard enough, I can find some good deals on pretty decent wheels
For your budget the BWW wheels will be hard to beat. Good rim choices are the DT RR415 and the Mavic Open Pro. The Shimano hubs are some of the best values out there and Ultegra is one of my favorites for training duty wheels for my use. The wheels built with these rims, Ultegra hubs and double butted spokes will weigh between 1750 and 1850+/-, the difference being the weight of the rim. The weight difference between the 105 and Ultegra is only 5 grams. If there is a drawback with either of these builts is that at 32/32 they may be considered way over built than they need to be. The front wheel is also quite a bit less aero that could be for your weight.

Another way to look into this is to try to get a better balance between the durability of the rim and the number of spokes. In other words, instead of a very light or very shallow rim (read less stiff) and a lot of spokes you could use a stiffer rim and less spokes. The results will be comparable durability wise and maybe a bit less weight and a bit more aero. If you want to go down this path, 23 mm rims like the H Plus Son Archetype may be a good bet. Hubs may be the Asian variety, check the BHS website and lacing could be 24f and 28r with double butted spokes. IMO, this setup will give you a better optimized wheel for your weight but still plenty durable for the intended use. Cost may be a bit more than $400 though depending on who is building them for you. Weight will be around the 1550 benchmark. The 23mm rims will also give you the wider rim benefits that you may have been reading about.

At the end of the day, selecting the components to build a wheel is full of compromises. The trick is to understand the pluses and minuses and plan accordingly.
 

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Aero wheels sound great if they'll be durable enough for long-term training. I'm 175 pounds. I don't know how many spokes I need. Currently, I'm running 23 spokes in the rear, and 18 in the front. I'm most interested in durability, but not totally indifferent to weight. I don't want to spend more than $300-400. I figure if I look hard enough, I can find some good deals on pretty decent wheels
While many can get away with that low of a spoke count, it is by no means ideal for you. With that said, I think that bumping up to a 24/28 or even 28/28 would be a good way to go. Admittedly, I think the old school mentality of 32/32 all day is a bit overkill, but to each his own.
 

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While many can get away with that low of a spoke count, it is by no means ideal for you. With that said, I think that bumping up to a 24/28 or even 28/28 would be a good way to go. Admittedly, I think the old school mentality of 32/32 all day is a bit overkill, but to each his own.
I don't think 32/32 is overkill at all, IMO of course. But it depends on if a person wants a wheel to last 30,000 miles of rough roads, or if a lighter wheel for racing or fast club riding is more important then strength and durability. Pro Wheel Builder on the internet and Peter White all suggest using 32/32 for people between 160 and 180 pounds if they want longevity, and Mike T here recommends it as well. Neither of them are saying that less spokes won't work, their simply saying for long life more spokes make the rim last longer with less truing needed to keep the wheel trued, thus a virtually maintenance free wheel set.

32/32 is not old school, if it were you wouldn't be able to find 32 hole rim or hubs. Instead you can still find 32, 36, and 40 hole rims and hubs. My touring bike has 40 hole wheels why? because it's designed to carry a the average 180 pound rider plus his 65 pounds of average camping gear. I only weigh 162 and modern camping gear I carry only weighs 35 pounds so my wheels can more then handle what I'll ask of them thus they'll last a long time. Point is 32/32 will simply last longer.
 

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I don't think 32/32 is overkill at all, IMO of course. But it depends on if a person wants a wheel to last 30,000 miles of rough roads, or if a lighter wheel for racing or fast club riding is more important then strength and durability. Pro Wheel Builder on the internet and Peter White all suggest using 32/32 for people between 160 and 180 pounds if they want longevity, and Mike T here recommends it as well. Neither of them are saying that less spokes won't work, their simply saying for long life more spokes make the rim last longer with less truing needed to keep the wheel trued, thus a virtually maintenance free wheel set.
I don't argue with 'em especially when they use terms like "old school mentality" as a form of put-down. We both know that a few extra spokes won't make any difference, performance-wise, to normal riders (how many here are pro racers or even close to it? Raise your hand) but they will make lots of difference to wheel longevity, as there is far less stress on rim & spokes.

And Joel did say, in his original post -

- 175 pound bloke looking for a durable wheel set.
- that will stay true and ride smooth.
- primarily for training.
- durability is priority.
- two sets of his low-spoke wheels are suffering cracking around the nipples.

If Joel isn't a good candidate for a nice set of 32/32 wheels then I dunno who is (apart from someone with "old school mentality").

If I could have only one set of wheels it would be my OpenPro/DuraAce/DT Comp/32-32 wheels and I'm 170-175lbs.
 

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If I could have only one set of wheels it would be my OpenPro/DuraAce/DT Comp/32-32 wheels and I'm 170-175lbs.
All of my road bikes, except the touring bike, all have 36 spoke wheels, and I only weigh 162 and less when I got one particular wheelset. My oldest wheelset has 45,000 miles on it with 36/36 using DT Comps on the rear and DT Revolutions on the front laced to Torelli Master Series rims and I rarely had to true them (or the others I have) and when I did true them it was because I'm picky and only needed an 1/8th of turn on a spoke or two. And the 40 spoke wheels...truing? what's that? Even when I finish a tour the wheels don't need truing!

I wish Torelli still made those Master Series rims because I really like them, light, strong, and good looking.
 

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I agree Dt w/ Open pro. I use to use those when I lived in FLorida. I would also consider your riding style. Do you bomb over stuff, use body english, avoid things without swerving, etc? I use to do some serious miles and could easily put 12k+ miles on a set a year without much of an issue. I found the Ksyrium Sl to last the best for me. I could go a whole year without even truing my wheels once, but I am a very svelte rider and weigh 170-180lbs. Currently I am using two wheelsets and both are from Giant. Light and strong. At 15xxgrams each, the SLR Aero and P-SL0 are my current weapons of choice.

Consider riding with some experinced people and learn how to stay smooth and look down the road to avoid things. The Dt/open pro would be a great long term wheelset and stay in your budget.
 
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