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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, I'm going for my first set of "premium wheels" and can't decide on what to get? Allow me to rant...

I used to race when I was younger (20 years ago) and most of my cycling life I have been riding tubular wheels -Mavic GP4 rims on Miche hubs (remember those) with various tubular tires. Never even considered clinchers. I now only ride for recreation and when I bough my Cervelo Soloist back in 2006, I opted for the stock Easton Vista SL wheels with Conti GP4000 tires thinking they would be good for training use and waited to upgrade to a nice set. I cannot justify an expensive set
as I don't race, but I still really like my gear and take great pleasure from using quality equipment. I does encourage me to get out on the bike and now I can afford some luxuries.

So, I'm now ready to get a really nice set of wheels but am overwhelmed by all the options while everything seems to be a (big!) compromise. Even spending an obscene amount on Lightweights will only get you a compromised wheel (light, sufficiently strong but definitely not an everyday, real world wheel). I've set an arbitrary budget of around 1500euro ($2000usd) which, by the way, is still ludicrous compared to what race wheels used to cost! I'm 205lbs (93kg) and ride fairly good roads in Southern Germany.

As for my experience to date? All I can say is that I hate the ride of the Eastons and the clincher tires - not even close to the ride quality of even 10year old tubulars. However, I'm well aware of the hassle of tubular as I used to glue my own. But I also find futzing with rim tape, tubes and stretching super tight tires onto a clincher rim to be equally frustrating. Now we have Tubeless, which is supposed to give you the best of both worlds but there is not much choice and the wheels seem expensive compared to similar carbon rims.

If tubular wheels and tires were easier to live with and cost the same as clinchers, would anyone still opt for clinchers? Why?

(End of rant). Bottom line: what should I get?
 

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Carbon Fiber = Explode!
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You obviously hate clinchers, and you don't like glue, so get tubeless.

Go Stan's, or Shimano. Next.
 

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Online Wheel Builder
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Edge Composites would be ideal.
They are the best rims out there... So much better than LW!
LW are not an every day wheel because you cannot true them.
If you get a good custom build on a pair of Edges you would have a super strong, light, stiff, and great riding pair of wheels. For your weight i would suggest a set of 45mm or 68mm deep rims. The Edge wheels come in tuby or full carbon clincher.
Even though they are super light they are more than strong enough for someone who weighs 93kg as along as you lace them 20/24 or 24/28 with some Sapim spokes.
If you were to build these wheels with some White Industries H2 hubs or even better...
The Alchemy ELF and ORC you would have a bomb proof very very sweet wheelset.
The ELF and soon to be released ORC will be the strongest, most durable, stiffest light weight hub set available. Plus the set will only weigh 5 grams more than a Tune Mig 75/Mag 180.
 

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A wheelist
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You don't like tubulars or clinchers? Maybe you just shouldn't be into cycling? I changed from 24 years on tubulars in '86 to a nice set of clinchers and would never go back. Get yourself a nice pair of 32 hole Open Pro rims fitted with 25mm wide Michelin Pro 3 Race tires and enjoy your riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Let me clarify...

I don't hate tubular. I do hate my clincher wheels compared to tubular wheels (I admit I have never ridden a really high end clincher wheel so I'm very biased).

Should I give a high-end full carbon clincher with latex tube a try? Are they light years better than my Eastons with Conti Grand Prix tires? Are they 95-98% of a similar tubular wheel?
 

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From the way it sounds, I don't think clinchers are going to satisfy you. I personally ride tubeless, and I love it. If you want to try something else before you spend $2000 US, either try high quality wider 25c tires (about $100 US) or stan's tubeless conversion kit (includes 2 (23c) hutchinson fusion 2 tubeless tires and conversion kit for clincher wheelset for about $150). These are both good options you may want to explore before spending a huge amount on a wheelset.

If you are going to buy a tubular wheelset, at your weight, I would actually recommend you get them new for this reason: at your weight, you want a durable wheel, thats backed up with a good quality warranty. I love getting awesome deals off of ebay and whatnot, but its at the price of not having a warranty. Buy from your local bike shop or find an online company with a good reputation for excellent customer service like ROL (rolwheels.com) or Williams (williamscycling.com). Both offer carbon tubular sets for $1000-1500 US.
 

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I gotta say, it is generally more about the tire than the wheel. I don't see a high end wheel of any sort making any difference if you don't have decent rubber on it. For clinchers, I really like the feel of a Veloflex Pave--- but they are not particularly robust tires. I'm not a huge fan of Contis for their ride--- not that there is anything wrong with them. But how do you see this as a "wheels" issue, rather than a tire issue?

Also, I have used latex tubes, and find them to be overrated.

alexl993 said:
Let me clarify...

I don't hate tubular. I do hate my clincher wheels compared to tubular wheels (I admit I have never ridden a really high end clincher wheel so I'm very biased).

Should I give a high-end full carbon clincher with latex tube a try? Are they light years better than my Eastons with Conti Grand Prix tires? Are they 95-98% of a similar tubular wheel?
 

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Carbon clinchers really shine when you need deep aero wheels at a reasonable weight. So, if that's an objective - jump in!

I'll push this again: wider rims, such as on the Hed Ardennes, maximize the potential of a clincher tire. And they're a happy light/stiff/cheap solution.

Try some out if you can. Local tri shops may rent wheels, or someone may lend you a set for a ride . . .

Tire choices are a ball o wax. I've tried a bunch and enjoyed most all top end clinchers.
I have opinions, but that's another thread.
 

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Swapping

alexl993 said:
As for my experience to date? All I can say is that I hate the ride of the Eastons and the clincher tires - not even close to the ride quality of even 10year old tubulars.
When I switched to clinchers after 30 years on tubulars, I couldn't tell any difference in the ride. You need to find a different set of clincher wheels and ride on them. It could be your wheels, it could be your choice of tires, but I doubt it's some sort of fundamental issue between clinchers and tubulars. Do yourself a favor and do a bunch of wheel swaps with your riding buddies. It will be a learning experience. (Be sure to match tire pressure for your comparisons)
 

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sscooterguy said:
From the way it sounds, I don't think clinchers are going to satisfy you. I personally ride tubeless, and I love it. If you want to try something else before you spend $2000 US, either try high quality wider 25c tires (about $100 US) or stan's tubeless conversion kit (includes 2 (23c) hutchinson fusion 2 tubeless tires and conversion kit for clincher wheelset for about $150). These are both good options you may want to explore before spending a huge amount on a wheelset.

If you are going to buy a tubular wheelset, at your weight, I would actually recommend you get them new for this reason: at your weight, you want a durable wheel, thats backed up with a good quality warranty. I love getting awesome deals off of ebay and whatnot, but its at the price of not having a warranty. Buy from your local bike shop or find an online company with a good reputation for excellent customer service like ROL (rolwheels.com) or Williams (williamscycling.com). Both offer carbon tubular sets for $1000-1500 US.
I agree with your observations on tubeless. I'm not sure about using Stans on just any wheel. I have fusion 2's on dura ace 7801s (the original tubeless rim) and some mavic r-sys premium (it would be premiums if I could get my recalled front wheel back). I've only had one flat on the Fusion 2's and found them difficult to inflate on the mavic rim with co2.The tires inflated with no effort on the made-for-tubeless DA rims. I have about 7000 miles on tubeless to date.
 

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eRacer
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My story is similar having raced years ago on Tubulars and sewitching over to Clinchers.
I would never go back to Tubulars for training and recreational riding.
A set of quality wheels and a quality tire are a joy to ride and take care of.
Check the tires your buddies use; Conti, Michelin, Vittoria, all make great Tires that provide a quality ride.
 

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agree with above, but carbon clinchers wont make it more comfortable... maybe experiment with tyre pressure and manufacturer....

generally, the deeper the rim, and fewer spokes, the more harsh riding...

but if there is no real reason you wanna go clincher and you like tubular, why not some DA or record hubs on some nice ambrosio tubular rims or similar? light box section rides pretty nice, and these days there are a few tubular tyres to choose from...

these days there are decent sealants for small punctures...so i suggest if you cant find a nice ride in clinchers, maybe try high end vittoria or michi pro 3 race, then just continue with tubular on some nice wheels.... no need for carbon IMO, it often forces a low spoke count and there is not much point for recreational use, past bling.
 

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wheelbuilder
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I'm back on riding tubulars myself. You can get proper tubulars for decent prices on the net if you look around.

I've been using the Tufo Extreme tape. It's consistent and works real well.

I have a set of Competitions coming in for the warmer time of year. Just finished off a pair of Tufo Elite ride 25mm. The front has enough tread to be a spare. The rear is shot.

I personally run a set of old GP4 rims laced to King hubs. That's plenty fancy, ride like a dream and I can beat the absolute crap out of them. If you are not racing, don't be concerned with anything else.

Eric
 

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$2000 thats a lot of money

get yourself some dura ace hubs, some nice tubular rims, a good build with quality double butted spokes and take your family away for 2 weeks with the change!
 

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Two wheels=freedom!
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I'm about your weight, and last season, after asking a bunch of questions here, I built up a really great wheelset. I can't tell you how much they weigh, as I could care less. But the wheelset I ended building is: Campy Record hubs, laced 3X 32h to a pair of Ambrosio Nemesis Tubular rims, DT Competition spokes with brass nipples. I think they set me back about $800 all in. Yes, I know, nowhere near your max price point, but these are an absolutley phenominal set of all around wheels that can take just about anything you throw at them.

Now for the fun part, since you will have money left over, you can play with some great tire choices. If I'm feeling racey, I'll put either Vred. TriComp's on at 700/21 or Vitt Evo CX's at 700/23. For a REALLY fantastic, comfortable ride, I'll put on Dugast Roubaix 700/25.

I've got about 2,000 miles on these wheels and can heartily endorse them to any big rider looking for a top quality, durable wheelset.

When I've mounted the Dugast's, I call that bike the Paris-Roubaix... Colnago MXL, Chorus Group, the Ambrosio wheelset. A setup that I know has competed well in the "Hell of the North" Goes a long way towards feeding the Walter Mitty in me.
 

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A wheelist
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There's a lot of sense in that post, rdolson, for the "average" rider (meaning: one without unlimited funds, pro contract and/or following team car).

I'm not into swapping tubulars anymore so my "do-all" wheels are OpenPro/32h/DuraAce/Comp/alum nipple with three sets of tires - Michelin Ironman 23mm, Michelin Pro 25mm and Challenge Grifo 32mm. My next tires will be Challenge Paris-Roubaix 27mm handmades. Then, for me, I have all the bases covered from fast group road rides to gravel roads.
 

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Every little counts...
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You want tubulars. Futzing around with goop, flats which cannot be repaired, leaky valves and seals, etc.

Gluing is not that bad, and the ride is better than what you left. Also with your weight, tubulars will be more flat-resistant at lower (comfortable) pressures.
 

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Every little counts...
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rdolson said:
I'm about your weight, and last season, after asking a bunch of questions here, I built up a really great wheelset. I can't tell you how much they weigh, as I could care less. But the wheelset I ended building is: Campy Record hubs, laced 3X 32h to a pair of Ambrosio Nemesis Tubular rims, DT Competition spokes with brass nipples.....
My perfect wheelset. I'd race them in crits, road races (pot-hole specials), and cyclocross. I'm less than 150 lbs btw.
 

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easy

you don't race, you are heavy

DT240 hubs, DT supercomp spokes x3, ambrosio nemesis hubs 32h
veloflex roubaix tires


it will be light ~1450 gr
super sturdy
super comfy
veloflex tires are super easy to install, don't even need to prestretch
glue them with mastik one

have somebody who knows what he/she is doing built the wheels

the ride will be sublime, nothing you could achieve with clinchers

everything should cost about 700 euros
no reason to spend more for your riding

PS: riding tubies for 30 yrs and counting
 
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