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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm relatively new to the road bike scene coming over from mostly MTB. I have enough experience to know the adage "cheap, light, durable, pick two" holds true. I've read a ton on several forums and have narrowed my wheel set choices down to these below. Help me make an informed decision, or feel free to point me in a better direction if I missed the ball completely.

I am a 150lb rider riding in an area with lots of 1-3 min steep climbs (easily hitting 100-200ft/mile). Looking for an all around solid wheel set that I can ride and commute on and I do hit some gravel occasionally (1-2 mile sections). It needs to be easy to maintain, last a long time without breaking spokes or cracking rims, and yet not feel like a boat anchor. Currently I am running a totally shot set of Mavic cxp22 laced to coda expert hubs.

Thanks!

Current Choices:
1) Used dura ace/open pro combo with about 13k on it $150
2) New Neuvation M28 $200
3) New ultegra/open pro combo $315
4) New dt swiss rr1600 $300
5) Mavic Ksyrium Equip S light used $300
6) Velocity A23 laced to 105 hubs $245
7) Bontrager RL light use $250
 

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From the choices you listed I would pick the Ultegra/Open Pro set. However, at 32/32 you maybe be frowned upon considering present day tastes and desires. Another choice around the same price point but with different hubs and rims would be one of the 24/28 arrangements offered by BWW (their Race model with their house brand hubs). This set maybe 200-300 grams lighter and possibly quicker to accelerate if this means much to you. Hubs will be aluminum axle and freehub rather than steel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I saw BWW stuff while looking around. I didn't know if their hubs were worth an extra $200 over the ultegra/pro set up. I know ultegra hubs have a rep for being durable and easy to maintain. I don't know much about BWW stuff.

If there is anything else I would def consider looking.
 

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A wheelist
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I'd have a really close look at the DuraAce-OpenPro set and my website tells you how to evaluate a wheelset. I have great luck with OP rims but others seem not too and they claim spoke hole cracks as their downfall. I have three sets and zero cracks. Check very closely.

The Ultegra-OP would be another decent choice but, owning both hubsets, I'd take the DA any day with its titanium cassette carrier and much nicer attention to detail inside and out.

The BWW Race that Griz mentioned would be excellent for you. I had a set for 2-3 years and they were stellar. I have a set of their Blackset Race 26 rims (built 'em myself though) and they would be another good choice for you. Both are Not tubeless ready if that means anything (to me it doesn't).
Blackset Race 26 700c Wheel Set

I had their Blackset Race 24 for 4 years and they stood up perfectly under my 175lbs and the early version of that rim (that I had) was sub-400g and that's light for a clincher rim. But their narrow width is a bit dated anymore. If that means anything to you (to me it doesn't).

BWW does good wheels and they have done lots. You'd never believe how many ;o)

Be aware of very expensive replacement spokes for Mavic factory wheels.
 

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I saw BWW stuff while looking around. I didn't know if their hubs were worth an extra $200 over the ultegra/pro set up. I know ultegra hubs have a rep for being durable and easy to maintain. I don't know much about BWW stuff.
The BWW hubs are not worth $200 more than the Ultegs. In fact a similar level of hub to the BWW hub (not their own housebrand) can be bought new for about $140.
BikeHubStore.com

But the BWW are a more modern setup. The Ultegs will be 32/32 and the BWW 24/28 with a wider rim on the BS Race 26. The Race rim is 19mm like the OP's.

The BWW have easy to replace cartridge bearings and they stand up well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My only concern with the D/A Open pro set up is the 13k miles. Seems like a lot.

Looks like the cheapest BWW wheelset of their own making is around $399 or $499. Not sure if the extra cash is worth it or not for a more modern set up. You really think I should be looking that direction? They seem to know what they are doing and I know you get what you pay for usually.
 

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If you could open it up and inspect it I would consider it, otherwise I would let it go. If the races are scared, it's done and 13k miles is a bit long if the hub has not seen the proper maintenance.

If you are not in a big hurry you may want to wait until their next big sale; another 20%-25% off may be enough to convince you. At any rate, their product is good.
 

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A wheelist
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My only concern with the D/A Open pro set up is the 13k miles. Seems like a lot.
If the bearing are smooth and the rims are sound then they should be ok. The DA is a lifetime hub if it's kept lubed. They can, of course, be re-built with new rims and spokes. They're probably a dated 32/32 setup though (mine are 32/32 and 24/28)

Looks like the cheapest BWW wheelset of their own making is around $399 or $499. Not sure if the extra cash is worth it or not for a more modern set up. You really think I should be looking that direction?
Only you can answer that. The BWW BS Race 26 would be excellent.

They seem to know what they are doing and I know you get what you pay for usually.
They have built a bazillion wheelsets. Oh yeah, mine all came with nipple washers. Read my opinion of those on my site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'll look into it.

I can take the D/A Hubs apart next weekend if I want to badly enough.

What about the Ultegra 6700 and 6800 wheelsets? I can get them used from 200 ish or new 350-400 ish.
 

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Subscribed.

I'm in a nearly identical situation with my CXP22's on my Roubaix. Bought it used and it's immaculate but I had the wheels trued and tensioned by my local wheel guru and he did a great job but said the nipples were done and would likely need to be replaced, which I wouldn't bother doing, on the next round.

I'm watching the ads daily for a step up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm learning from what you guys are posting. It seems like I have 2 routes...

1) look for a d/a hub based wheelset used preferably open pro rims
2) save up a little more and go with a new BWW wheelset

both have their positives and negatives, but that seems to be the fork in the road at this point. I could also consider the ultegra hub versions, but your feedback has me leaning D/A.
 

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Nothing wrong with the Ultegra. The 6800 saw a lot of the D-A features trickle down to it. The 6700 is the older design, more along the 105 lines although with better seals. Either will spin fine. We discussed earlier the limitations on spokes and the steel freehub vs. titanium for the D-A or aluminum alloy for the BWW house brand.

All the discussion so far was around wheels you had found. The "Open Pro" was listed in your selections; there are a lot of other choices as well, so it does not need to be "preferably Open Pro"
 

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I think Griz and I have given you good basic information on the stuff you were looking at and that maybe you are trying a bit too hard. IMO you would not notice any meaningful differences if any of those wheelsets were put on your bike without your knowledge.
There is no performance difference between DA and Ultegra hubs and as Griz said, DA features (non cone-wrench cone adjustment is one) are trickling down. My 32/32 DA need cone wrenches and my 24/28 DA don't. Now the newer Ultegs don't as well.

DA versus Ulteg is like a lot of other consumables in our life - diminished returns for extra money spent. But that doesn't say that high end things don't have merit. Life is full of choices. Why do some people just want a $30 headset and others want a $155 Chris King (or a Cane Creek 110 in my case) - answer - because we wanna. But even the "No-one needs a xxxxxx" people will fall into this trap. I'm sure I could go through their life and ask why they have yyyy over a basic zzzz.

All the hubs mentioned - asian origin cartridge bearing hubs, asian origin loose ball hubs (Shimano, pick your price level) and made-in-America boutique stuff will give great service. I have multiples of each (ok, just one set of in-use Ultegs) and they all work fine.

My suggestion to you out of all this is "go with a new set of BWW" (with rim weight to suit your weight, road conditions and severity of usage). I doubt you'll ever regret it.
 

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my local wheel guru and he did a great job but said the nipples were done and would likely need to be replaced.
Um what? Nipples don't wear out. They can get rounded on the flats by ham-fisted mechanics not seating the spoke wrench fully, or by using the wrong spoke wrench. And they can break if the spokes are too short. But they don't wear.


To the OP I'd recommend avoiding Open Pros. They're weak, flexy, narrow, and tend to crack at the eyelets. They might not be too flexy if they're built up with lots of spokes but they'd need to be at low tension to avoid cracking. Based on my experience with them 13k miles is a lot. I never had a rear OP last much more than half that. No matter how they're built they're still narrow. They're an old design.

I'd vote for a new wheel set. It should cost less in the long run and you can get modern wider rims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well I certainly will be considering all of the great info you guys have provided. I really appreciate the help and the good explanations!
 

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Um what? Nipples don't wear out. They can get rounded on the flats by ham-fisted mechanics not seating the spoke wrench fully, or by using the wrong spoke wrench. And they can break if the spokes are too short. But they don't wear.


To the OP I'd recommend avoiding Open Pros. They're weak, flexy, narrow, and tend to crack at the eyelets. They might not be too flexy if they're built up with lots of spokes but they'd need to be at low tension to avoid cracking. Based on my experience with them 13k miles is a lot. I never had a rear OP last much more than half that. No matter how they're built they're still narrow. They're an old design.

I'd vote for a new wheel set. It should cost less in the long run and you can get modern wider rims.
I would concur with this. Especially the part about used. I wouldn't buy any used wheels unless I could inspect in person first. And I don't think I would buy any wheels with 13K miles on them, period. The brake tracks would likely be worn pretty far down by then.

From what I'm hearing and reading, Open Pros seem to enjoy about a 50/50 ratio of love/hate stories. If you are as light as a feather and do mostly flat riding, you probably have nothing to worry about with Open Pros. Otherwise, I would say there are better choices. A 50% failure rate doesn't sit well with me. The only rims I've heard of with a worse track record for spoke hole cracks are the old Bontrager Race wheels with the double spoke design (circa 2005-2009).

Here is some good reading material on rims. Note these are just rims, not wheelsets:

Alloy Rim Roundup - Fairwheel Bikes Blog
 
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