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Lemond Rider
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a solid, dependable,basic, affordable wheelset. I am a 155 lbs recreational rider. I like to go fast, but I don't race. I ride between 3700 - 4000 miles / year. I am not looking for a low-weight wheelset --> my current bike weighs about 22 lbs, so saving 200 grams won't make any difference to me. I want to ride my bike, not spend time fretting about my wheels.

Here is what I am thinking for the wheelset:

Hubs: Shimano 105 Silver 32 Hole
Nipples: DT Brass
Rim Color/Finish: Mavic Open Sport Blk
Spokes: Black Stainless 2.0mm​

This seems like solid dependable choices, affordable (to me), and just under 2 kg. I have an OEM front wheel (on my 2004 Lemond Reno triple), and have replaced the OEM rear with a wheel like the above on a recommendation from my LBS when my OEM wheel cracked. I am sure my current set weighs about 2 kg as well.

Perhaps there isn't much to comment on, but I welcome any thoughts.
 

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That's pretty close to the stock build on my LeMond. It came with CXP 32s, though. That was ten years ago, and I finally had to rebuild my front hub last winter.

Double-butted spokes are cool, and supposedly make a stronger build (if you don't screw it up.)
 

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Mike, I'm assuming your wheels have Open Pro rims and not Open Sport rims, right? I think Open Sports are heavier and not made in France.

I also agree on getting double butted spokes. The new Shimano 105 5700 hubs came out. I think they use the same seals as Ultegra hubs now.
 

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A wheelist
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valleycyclist said:
Mike, I'm assuming your wheels have Open Pro rims and not Open Sport rims, right? I think Open Sports are heavier and not made in France.
I also agree on getting double butted spokes. The new Shimano 105 5700 hubs came out. I think they use the same seals as Ultegra hubs now.
Yep mine are O-Pees.
 

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Mike T. said:
They will be a fine wheel even though a bit heavy for your weight. Go with DT Comp spokes over the plain gauge 2.0mm ones. BWW has them but with better Ultegra hubs -

http://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/index.php?_a=viewProd&productId=4

Mine are 1852 grams.
Agree - go with OP's. Get Ultegras. Go double butted spokes. (I like the brass nipples though).

The small upgrades really should not cost much money and in the long run, might actually be cheaper.

Nice spot on the wheelset there - seems like a good price unless Performance has a build that goes with a 20% off like they used to.
 

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cgilker said:
I'm looking for a solid, dependable,basic, affordable wheelset. I am a 155 lbs recreational rider. I like to go fast, but I don't race. I ride between 3700 - 4000 miles / year. I am not looking for a low-weight wheelset --> my current bike weighs about 22 lbs, so saving 200 grams won't make any difference to me. I want to ride my bike, not spend time fretting about my wheels.

Here is what I am thinking for the wheelset:

Hubs: Shimano 105 Silver 32 Hole
Nipples: DT Brass
Rim Color/Finish: Mavic Open Sport Blk
Spokes: Black Stainless 2.0mm​

This seems like solid dependable choices, affordable (to me), and just under 2 kg. I have an OEM front wheel (on my 2004 Lemond Reno triple), and have replaced the OEM rear with a wheel like the above on a recommendation from my LBS when my OEM wheel cracked. I am sure my current set weighs about 2 kg as well.

Perhaps there isn't much to comment on, but I welcome any thoughts.
What is your budget? If you are strictly limited to around $200, your choice is OK. Like the others have said, I would find another $10 and get some double butted spokes.

If you can go up to around $250, you could upgrade the rims from Mavic Open Sport to Mavic Open Pro which have a very solid reputation. For $260 to $280, you could get the Open Pros with Ultegra Hubs which is probably the best value of the bunch.

It is going to be tough to beat the overall value offered by Bicycle Wheel Warehouse.
 

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Lemond Rider
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70 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your thoughts so far. Very helpful. Now I know what a double-butted spoke is. BWW is a nice site to play around with different build choices.

My budget is under $300 delivered. Not a strict limit, but it seems like a good cut-off point that still buys a good value wheelset. So for the build I first posted, the price is ~$250.

Hubs: Shimano 105 Silver 32 Hole
Nipples: DT Brass
Rim Color/Finish: Mavic Open Sport Blk
Spokes: Black Stainless 2.0mm​

  • Double-butted spokes is another ~$18
  • Ultegra hubs (both wheels) is ~$30
  • I don't see the Open Pro option, but other sites suggest $10 / rim, so $20

I don't see the value in Open Pro vs. Open Sport - appears to be a ~10 gram differerence in weight (which I don't value), but I don't know if there is some other magic in the Open Pro.

I will likely do the double-butted spokes.
 

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cgilker said:
Thanks for your thoughts so far. Very helpful. Now I know what a double-butted spoke is. BWW is a nice site to play around with different build choices.

My budget is under $300 delivered. Not a strict limit, but it seems like a good cut-off point that still buys a good value wheelset. So for the build I first posted, the price is ~$250.

Hubs: Shimano 105 Silver 32 Hole
Nipples: DT Brass
Rim Color/Finish: Mavic Open Sport Blk
Spokes: Black Stainless 2.0mm​

  • Double-butted spokes is another ~$18
  • Ultegra hubs (both wheels) is ~$30
  • I don't see the Open Pro option, but other sites suggest $10 / rim, so $20

I don't see the value in Open Pro vs. Open Sport - appears to be a ~10 gram differerence in weight (which I don't value), but I don't know if there is some other magic in the Open Pro.

I will likely do the double-butted spokes.
I'm a novice on this stuff and will let the experts tell you the real difference in Open Pro verse Open sport, but I will cite what Mavic's web site says about the two rims:

1. Open Pro is 435g, Open Sport is 490g.
2. Mavic refers to the Open Sport as an "entry level classic rim"
3. Mavic claims the Open Pro to be "the reference road rim" and "probably the best road rim available".

So for about $20 more, you can go from Mavics "entry level" rim to what Mavic feels may be "the best road rim available". Seems like a no brainer to me.

I think BWW is out of Open Pros right now which is why you are not seeing them on their website. I received an email from BWW earlier this week stating they have more Open Pros on order including a new 36h option.

Good luck in your decision.
 

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Lemond Rider
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good catch on the weight difference between the Open Pro and Open Sport rims. You are correct, I was going from (poor) memory.

So there is a 55 gram difference per wheel, 110 grams on the set by going with the Open Pro rim. Roughly a 1/4 lb. Weightwise, with my 22 lb bike and my 155 lb body, 1/4 lb makes no difference.

I guess I will need to research the differences in the build. The Open Pro does not have the "double eyelet" that the Open Sport does, and that likely accounts for the difference in weight. What that means in terms of additional durability, who knows?
 

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Have you thought about trying out any of the wider rims?
I got a set of Ultegra hubs laced to 32-hole HED Belgium/C2 rims this spring and I love them.
The HED rims are a bit pricey, so next time I would look at the Velocity A23’s.
Handspun is doing a set of 105 hubs laced to A23’s for a decent price.
 

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Lemond Rider
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
knucklesandwich said:
Have you thought about trying out any of the wider rims?
I am not sure what you mean. I run 25mm tires, and the Mavic Open Sport rim I have now fits them fine. Are there reasons you suggest wider rims, and what does that mean?
 

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Lemond Rider
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Wider Rims

Been thinking about this for awhile, have another build idea, and a few questions for you experts (if you will be so kind as to give me your opinions):

Here is what I am thinking for the wheelset:

Front Hub: Velocity Road 28 Hole (Front), laced 3x
Rear Hub: Velocity Road 32 (Rear), laced 3x
Nipples: DT Brass
Rim Color/Finish: Velocity A23
Spokes: DT Swiss Champion 14 / 15 / 14 Gauge Black

I like the idea of a wider rim, and have heard / read some positive feedback re: ride quality. I run 25 mm tires (always have), so a bit wider rim makes sense to me too.

Questions:

- anyone have experience with Velocity's Veloplugs (vs. rim tape)? I buy the argument about making tires easier to mount, not concerned about the weight savings (but I don't object, either).
- I have a Mavic Open Sport rear, and some no-name "Kaz" on the front. I am guessing both are 19 mm rims. The A23 is (you guessed it) a 23 mm rim. My question is if I switch back and forth between wheelsets, will I have to fiddle with my brake settings, or is 4 mm not gonna matter. Maybe a minor issue to some, but I like to set up my bike and not mess with it.
- Last, regarding hubs. Again, if I have to switch rear wheels, will the shifting be screwed up given the different hubs (I have a 105 rear hub on my current wheel)? If so, I guess I can stay with Shimano hubs, not a big deal, but seems like I can't source a Ultegra or 105 28 hole front hub, but I haven't looked too hard.

Thanks in advance, this is becoming a longer project than I thought.

Curt
 

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Sounds good to me

I'm building up a classic retro, custom steel bike made by a builder in Tokyo.

I wanted a traditional silver look so built these as follows:

Campag Centaur 2006 hubs (I run Campag 10)
32*3x DT Comp spokes w/brass nipples
Mavic Silver Open Pro's

My current daily riders

Campag Record 2003 hubs
36*3x DT Comp spokes w/brass nipples
Ambrosio Excellence rims

I bought these built from Avon Cyclery when I lived in London and probably have about 40,000 km on them. I weigh all of 55kg but for my everyday ride, I can't be bothered with wheel hassles. As you might imagine, these are still very true and proved to be the right choice for the four years I spent in Shanghai where roads and construction are interchangeable.

Another set I had built by Paul Hewitt, also in England

Phil cassette hubs (Shimano 9)
32*3x Sapim Lasers w/alloy nipples
Ambrosio Excellight rims

I love these rims for traditional spoke count wheels. Unfortunately, these wheels are in storage.
 

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hit it
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I say stick with Ultegra hubs. I've had really good luck with mine.

Another option given your weight might be...

Ultegra hubs 28 front / 32 rear
Velocity Aerohead
DT Comp Spokes 3x
 

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NUTT said:
I say stick with Ultegra hubs. I've had really good luck with mine.

Another option given your weight might be...

Ultegra hubs 28 front / 32 rear
Velocity Aerohead
DT Comp Spokes 3x
I also think Ultegra hubs are really good, or you can even get 105 hubs which have a similar price to the Velocity hubs. The 5700 and 6700 hubs are not available in 28 holes though, so you would need 32/32 unless you find a 28h 6600 hub available somewhere.

You are talking about 2mm wider on each side of the rim, so your brakes may need a small adjustment depending on how close you like to have them to your rims. It is easy to adjust them by hand with the barrel adjustor. Or you can adjust them for the A23 rims, and it will probably be fine for the other ones too.

VeloPlugs may be nice to use for the A23 rims. There is a chance narrower rim strips will slide away from the spoke holes over time which will not happen with plugs.
 

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In discussion with professional wheelbuilders lately, the general concensus is that Mavic loose rims, like the Open seriers, are not as nicely made as they used to be. I would be more inclined to go with DT, Velocity or Kinlin. OR, find some NOS Mavic rims to build.

I would not shy away from 105 hubs - the quality is there. Ultegra is lighter, though.

Double butted spokes are not stronger than straight guage if we're talking about the same outer diameter. But they are lighter and make for a slightly livelier ride.


That said, Performance has Ultegra/OpenPro/DB spoke wheels right not for $129 rear and $99 front on sale. That's hard to beat.
 

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Lemond Rider
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Made a purchase

Talked it thru with my LBS. Gonna have them do the build.

Front:
Velocity Road Silver hub, 28 hole, laced 2 cross with Wheelsmith double butted black spokes, Velocity A23 rim (black)

Rear:
Shimano 105 Silver hub, 32 hole, laced 3 cross with Wheelsmith double butted black spokes, Velocity A23 rim (black)

105 rear hub will keep all dimensions the same if I need to swap back to my current rear wheel.

Remember my primary goal is strong and affordable. I wanted $300 delivered. LBS will charge me more, but the build includes F/R skewers, rim tape, and will perform the labor to get me on the road without delay. The "extra" for service is worth it to me, and the $$$ stays local, and I expect good support should I have any issues.

I will post some photos when they are built up.

Thanks for your help and input.
 
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