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I have been riding for 3 years. I bought a 2007 Specialized Tarmac Pro last year. It came with Dura Ace wheels. Just last weekend my front wheel was stolen. I would like to get some good wheels, but can only spend under $1000. I am a recreational rider and ride between 100 and 150 miles a week. I weigh 190 pounds. What wheels should I get?
 

· A wheelist
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Whatever you get, wherever you get them from get custom handbuilts, not factory prebuilts - you get more for your money, less weight and they're much easier and cheaper to service. The only things you miss out on are flash decals, bizarre spoking patterns and seeing your wheels in full page glossy magazine ads.
 

· Online Wheel Builder
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Regardless of what you get I would definitely take Mike T's advice. Hand build is always going to be better than factory built. But for your weight, you may want to consider a set of Alchemy ELF/ORC hubs laced onto a Kinlin XR270 or 300. This is a well-constructed, durable wheelset that you can put on your bike and not have to think about. These hubs build up a very stiff wheel particularly for bigger guys in your weight range. You will really notice this when putting the fat watts down on a steep incline. The power transfer is absolutely unrivaled. Additionally these rims are a perfect blend of durability and weight. If you were to go with an XR270 you would be looking at approx. 440 grams per rim, making the total build setup in the mid 1400 gram range depending on spoke type/count. This would make your bike feel very responsive and you would have a bit of money left in your pocket with a price tag of just over $900.
 

· A wheelist
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Wheels for a rec rider? Try people who sponsor this site with their hard earned cash - Bicycle Wheel Warehouse - who make exceptionally priced hand-built wheels in many varieties and prices. If you want lightness look at their Blackset Race - 383 gram rims building up into 1451 gram wheels (almost impossible to beat for nearly 2x their cost), now in colors and more recreational wheels like the Mavic Open Pro rims laced to whatever hubs you can afford. Or DT rims - the list is almost endless.

I have their Blackset Race wheels plus OP/DuraAce and Ultegra hubbed wheels and they are flawless.
 

· AKA Old Man
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Mike,,,

For heavier riders the Blackset Race are out of the question. I priced their custom option to get a stouter wheel and the price was in line with the $900 of Zen or Ligero. I am going with Zen Cyclery,, Kinlin XR270's, White Industries hubs and Cxray spokes. Mid 1400 gram and will handle all of my 200 lbs for under $700 shipped...
The alchemy are very nice but for the money I could not pass on the White Industries option..
 

· ReviewBikeRoad Member
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Mike T. said:
I have their Blackset Race wheels plus OP/DuraAce and Ultegra hubbed wheels and they are flawless.
Hi Mike,

Any opinion on wheels using the 105 hubs? I don't race, just a recreational rider that does 100-150 miles a week.

My latest bike came with Alexrim R500s, which seem OK but I haven't heard a lot of good things about them.

I'm thinking of picking up a set of the BWW Pure Aero or Blackset Race wheels, but I don't think spending the extra money on the Ultegra hubs will make much of a difference over the 105 hubs.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. I haven't been able to find much in the way of comprehensive reviews of their wheel combinations online for some reason.
 

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I've heard rumors that the main thing you get with increasing price on Shimano hubs (below DA) is rounder smoother and harder bearing races and balls. Might be worth the small price difference going from 105-Ultegra, but I really don't know. Dura Ace has several other benefits but they are pretty expensive.
 

· ReviewBikeRoad Member
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Interesting, thanks for the insights. I'm not sure what brand of hubs the Alexrim R500's that came with my Felt are running... the Felt website just lists rear as "Felt Forged Aluminum Sealed Shimano 10, 9, or 8 speed Compatible Cassette w/ Quick Release, 32H".

I doubt they would be better than the 105, but I guess I'll need to do some more digging. I'd really like to get some Chris King hubs, but that would basically erase any savings of going with the less expensive wheels. :D
 

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The Shimano techdocs show the same bearing part number in 105 and Ultegra hubs. I don't know about the races, but I doubt someone riding would be able to feel the difference. I think with the hubs 105 and Ultegra are basically the same. With other components, such as the rear derailleur pulleys, they are different.

Dura-Ace are definitely an upgrade from either of those in terms of design/worksmanship, but it is expensive.

rruff said:
I've heard rumors that the main thing you get with increasing price on Shimano hubs (below DA) is rounder smoother and harder bearing races and balls. Might be worth the small price difference going from 105-Ultegra, but I really don't know. Dura Ace has several other benefits but they are pretty expensive.
 

· A wheelist
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mcsqueak said:
Hi Mike,
Any opinion on wheels using the 105 hubs? I don't race, just a recreational rider that does 100-150 miles a week.
I've never gone below Ultegra but I'll assume 105 are ok for the money. The internals between Ultegra and DuraAce (I have both) are light years apart.

My latest bike came with Alexrim R500s, which seem OK but I haven't heard a lot of good things about them.
I think you would have heard if there was any.

I'm thinking of picking up a set of the BWW Pure Aero or Blackset Race wheels, but I don't think spending the extra money on the Ultegra hubs will make much of a difference over the 105 hubs.
You won't be able to feel any difference at all and I'm sure they both last just fine if serviced once in a while.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. I haven't been able to find much in the way of comprehensive reviews of their wheel combinations online for some reason.
BWW won't sell any substandard stuff. They sell stuff at all price ranges but they don't go lower than the low end of the decent stuff.
 

· A wheelist
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penn_rider said:
Mike,,,
For heavier riders the Blackset Race are out of the question.
I think BWW are on the conservative side when they recommend weights for their wheels. Sure their 383 gram rim is one of the lightest but they back it up with a relatively high number of spokes for light wheels - 24f/28r. They're not the type of company that would say it's ok for a 375 lb rider to use their 16/20 spoke wheels.
 

· AKA Old Man
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Mike T. said:
I think BWW are on the conservative side when they recommend weights for their wheels. Sure their 383 gram rim is one of the lightest but they back it up with a relatively high number of spokes for light wheels - 24f/28r. They're not the type of company that would say it's ok for a 375 lb rider to use their 16/20 spoke wheels.
Mike,, I can certainly understand being conservative, but I do not believe in it as a marketing tool.

In any event, the Blackset not recommended for someone my size. My guess is that any failure because of build or defect would not be covered under warranty because I am over the recommended weight limit. Why take that risk...
 

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For a $1,000 budget, I would recommend a nice pair of tubeless wheels and tires. Shimano makes Ultegra and Dura Ace tubeless compatible wheels. If I remember correctly, Philippe Gilbert won Omloop Het Volk (a race in belgium with sections on cobblestones) on a pair of tubeless Shimano wheels. There are also nice offerings from Fulcrum Racing and Campagnolo (Campy makes their wheels Shimano compatible). If you shop carefully, you should be able to find a nice set of tubeless compatible wheels for under $700.

I own a pair of Campagnolo Zonda 2-Way Fit (tubeless compatible) wheels with a set of Hutchinson Fusion 2 tubeless tires, and it transformed the way my bike rides. Best upgrade I have done so far, by far.
 

· AKA Old Man
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fa63 said:
For a $1,000 budget, I would recommend a nice pair of tubeless wheels and tires. Shimano makes Ultegra and Dura Ace tubeless compatible wheels. If I remember correctly, Philippe Gilbert won Omloop Het Volk (a race in belgium with sections on cobblestones) on a pair of tubeless Shimano wheels. There are also nice offerings from Fulcrum Racing and Campagnolo (Campy makes their wheels Shimano compatible). If you shop carefully, you should be able to find a nice set of tubeless compatible wheels for under $700.

I own a pair of Campagnolo Zonda 2-Way Fit (tubeless compatible) wheels with a set of Hutchinson Fusion 2 tubeless tires, and it transformed the way my bike rides. Best upgrade I have done so far, by far.
Not sure I would recommend a tubular wheelset for a recreational rider, but that is just me.
 

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Before forking out $1000 on a pair of wheels, check out Nuevation wheels. You can have two pairs and several hundred bucks left over for tires and cassettes. I bought a pair of the M28's last year and commuted on them all year. I had zero problems with them. I bought a set of the aero R28's this spring. They're nice. I weigh almost 200 lbs and haven't yet managed to knock them out of true.

They're handbuilt wheels without the hype. John Nugent is great to deal with. I think his wheels are one of the best (perhaps only) bargains in cycling equipment.

http://www.neuvationcycling.com/wheels.html
 

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what about Rol wheels? they also seem to be a sponsor of this site

good, bad, just ok?
 
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