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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a new bike (2015 Scott Solace 30 - soon to have its entire groupset replaced with Di2-Ultegra) that came with RS-11 wheels stock. I will replacing them with either a November Bikes Nimbus Ti Select or the almost identical BHS Pacenti SL23 build set. The difference between the two is partly cosmetic and partly (slightly) functional. I do kind of want the experience building with CX-Ray spokes and enjoy building wheels, but...

...I'm undecided.

So of course I've come to ask you all for your opinions. Thoughts? Alternatives that I'm not considering?

I want bullet proof, as close as humanly possible to maintenance free, light, decently aero wheels. I ride about 150 miles a week and will mix it up between commutes of 40 miles roundtrip and longer rides up to several centuries a season. I don't race but I do ride fast (~18+mph on my own. Yes, that is fast for a 53 yo.) My budget is not more than $700.

I don't see Carbon wheels as being something I want or need. Although when in form I'm about 155 lb, I'm a 24/28 kind of guy so when I say light, I do mean <1500g, not crazy light. (For reference the RS-11 wheelset comes in at 1848g according to Ribble.)

Lastly, I'm very happy to give BHS more of my money. They've always been super helpful and I value them in the market. OTOH, it seems November is cut from the same cloth, although I've not bought from them, I'm confident they are also good guys. So, choices other than the ones I've listed would hopefully come from class sources as well. I know it shouldn't matter, but it does.
 

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Ha, I'm getting out the popcorn for this one. Even though I'm pro "build yer own", the November spec and N.Dave's credibility is beyond reproach. OTOH, BHS's Brandon is the prince of (wheel) parts.

It sucks to be you nsfbr !! :D

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nah, it's great to be me and back riding after a too long winter off.

No technical thoughts about the CX-Rays vs Laser / D-Lite difference? Is that basic set of T-11/Nimbus + SL23 about state of the art for alloy wheels?
 

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No technical thoughts about the CX-Rays vs Laser / D-Lite difference?
Nope, not really. It all works. I have wheels with CX-Ray and Laser and of course I can't tell what's what when riding. If someone thinks they need a thicker DS spoke (the D-Lite) then what the heck. I just use Laser all round.

Is that basic set of T-11/Nimbus + SL23 about state of the art for alloy wheels?
I'm having problems thinking of a better set for the money, especially with those White Industries/November hubs, which N.Dave referred to as "literally heirloom hubs" when he messaged me last week. If you bought the wheel parts at retail they would cost you about $100 more than his Ti Select wheelset plus he chucks in the skewers and tapes too. The main difference is the cosmetic externals of the November hubs versus T-11. BFD.
 

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I have a set of the Nimbus Ti wheels with Pacenti SL23 rims, and I'm very happy with them. Regarding the spokes, you should just save yourself $70 and stick with the Lasers. The CX-Rays will save you 1W of power, which you will never notice.
 

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I am also very happy with my Nimbus Ti wheels in the same 24/28 configuration you are considering. They are by far the best wheels I have ever owned, although I don't have a history of purchasing high end wheels.

November actually did a test comparing CX rays to round spokes and at 20 mph you lose a half watt. That was with a 38mm rim so with the SL23 it might be slightly more, like maybe .6 watts :rolleyes:. So pretty much negligible. Here's the test: November Bicycles: Race smart. - November Bicycles Blog - Aerodynamic Drag of Lasers vs CX-Rays.

I assume the BHS set you are talking about is the build kit currently on sale, which when taking shipping into account is slightly less expensive than the November set. So the way I see it your design hinges on whether you want to do the building or not since price is essentially equal as are parts.
 

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I just bought a new bike (2015 Scott Solace 30 - soon to have its entire groupset replaced with Di2-Ultegra) that came with RS-11 wheels stock. I will replacing them with either a November Bikes Nimbus Ti Select or the almost identical BHS Pacenti SL23 build set. The difference between the two is partly cosmetic and partly (slightly) functional. I do kind of want the experience building with CX-Ray spokes and enjoy building wheels, but...

...I'm undecided.

So of course I've come to ask you all for your opinions. Thoughts? Alternatives that I'm not considering?

I want bullet proof, as close as humanly possible to maintenance free, light, decently aero wheels. I ride about 150 miles a week and will mix it up between commutes of 40 miles roundtrip and longer rides up to several centuries a season. I don't race but I do ride fast (~18+mph on my own. Yes, that is fast for a 53 yo.) My budget is not more than $700.

I don't see Carbon wheels as being something I want or need. Although when in form I'm about 155 lb, I'm a 24/28 kind of guy so when I say light, I do mean <1500g, not crazy light. (For reference the RS-11 wheelset comes in at 1848g according to Ribble.)

Lastly, I'm very happy to give BHS more of my money. They've always been super helpful and I value them in the market. OTOH, it seems November is cut from the same cloth, although I've not bought from them, I'm confident they are also good guys. So, choices other than the ones I've listed would hopefully come from class sources as well. I know it shouldn't matter, but it does.
I bolded the prevalent points from your description of the wheel you seek.

The wheel you are looking for has not been invented yet.

Getting closer to reality, a decent wheelset for a person riding recreationally at speeds around 18mph (not sure if your 18mph is AMS or top speed) would be the so called "training/racing". The racing part is there to make people feel better on their Sunday club rides. It means absolutely nothing more than the wheels are not too inexpensive.

You are fortunate that you could build your own wheels because you could select your own parts to indulge yourself as much as your pocket book allows.
IMO, a set build with UK-procured Durace 9000 hubs (Ultegra if you are not stuck against 32/32 and the extra few grams the hubs carry), a 470-490 gram rim like the HED C2 or Archetype, double butted 14/15 ga spokes of quantity to suit your "bulletproofness" criterion will be extremely hard to outdo and will take you as fast as your legs can pedal you. After all you are not racing so a second or two or whatever dont really mean much....do they?
Either of what November or BHS sell would also be fine. Doesn't really matter and I bet you if you ride them in the middle of the night you woudnt know which is which.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, I decided to go with the BHS build kit. I am sure buying the set from November would have been a great choice too. It just comes down to wanting to stick with building my wheels and knowing their quirks etc. I do find building up a wheelset oddly relaxing, so there is that.

And i added a set of titanium skewers just so people can poke fun at me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I guess I should have mentioned that I already have built up Archetypes, including a second rear wheel with a Powertap G3. I love them, but they do look a little ratty after a couple of years due to the non-machined brake tracks.

I'm happy with the choice I made to go with building the BHS set. The wheels will be ready before I've put the 6870 groupset on, so it is all good.

(By the way, the 18 mph would be a medium length ride average. The goal is to get to 20, but I suspect that I'm further away from that than this season.)
 

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I bolded the prevalent points from your description of the wheel you seek.

The wheel you are looking for has not been invented yet.

Getting closer to reality, a decent wheelset for a person riding recreationally at speeds around 18mph (not sure if your 18mph is AMS or top speed) would be the so called "training/racing". The racing part is there to make people feel better on their Sunday club rides. It means absolutely nothing more than the wheels are not too inexpensive.

You are fortunate that you could build your own wheels because you could select your own parts to indulge yourself as much as your pocket book allows.
IMO, a set build with UK-procured Durace 9000 hubs (Ultegra if you are not stuck against 32/32 and the extra few grams the hubs carry), a 470-490 gram rim like the HED C2 or Archetype, double butted 14/15 ga spokes of quantity to suit your "bulletproofness" criterion will be extremely hard to outdo and will take you as fast as your legs can pedal you. After all you are not racing so a second or two or whatever dont really mean much....do they?
Either of what November or BHS sell would also be fine. Doesn't really matter and I bet you if you ride them in the middle of the night you woudnt know which is which.

^^^This^^^

Bulletproof, less than 1500g and less than $700?? Good luck!

Light, durable, inexpensive.....pick two.

The HED C2s with Dura-Ace 9000 hubs laced 24/28 with DT Competition spokes will weigh in around 1650g. Unless you build your own, they will be more than $700
 

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^^^This^^^

Bulletproof, less than 1500g and less than $700?? Good luck!

Light, durable, inexpensive.....pick two.

The HED C2s with Dura-Ace 9000 hubs laced 24/28 with DT Competition spokes will weigh in around 1650g. Unless you build your own, they will be more than $700
We just put a set of 24/28 Nimbus Ti in a box, they weighed 1525 with rim tape on them price tag delivered was $680 (edit - I wrote $1680 originally). I really have no idea what bulletproof even means, but the hubs will outlast the rider's body parts and the wheels will stay true through a whole lot of normal use.

If the parameter for light is within a whisker of 1500g, and inexpensive is less than $700, and durability is somewhere on the order of 15k miles MTBF on the rims (with a high degree of use-dependent variability), after which the hubs/spokes/nipples could be laced into new rim, you need a phone or an internet connection, not luck.

That said, enjoy building your new wheels, nsfbr!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
^^^This^^^

Bulletproof, less than 1500g and less than $700?? Good luck!

Light, durable, inexpensive.....pick two.

The HED C2s with Dura-Ace 9000 hubs laced 24/28 with DT Competition spokes will weigh in around 1650g. Unless you build your own, they will be more than $700
I'm curious as to which of the three things you think I'm giving up by choosing the listed wheels. They are under $700, 1490g, and I've only heard good things about the durability of the components used. Perhaps I should have made it more clear that what I was asking was if anyone knew of wheels with the combined balance of durability, weight and cost that the listed ones bring with them.

I also think that I may have used bulletproof incorrectly. I'm not riding cobbles for a living. As I was raised on Al bikes and have a five decade old back, I think I tend to be more gentle in terms of how I carry myself than some.
 

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We just put a set of 24/28 Nimbus Ti in a box, they weighed 1525 with rim tape on them price tag delivered was $680 (edit - I wrote $1680 originally). I really have no idea what bulletproof even means, but the hubs will outlast the rider's body parts and the wheels will stay true through a whole lot of normal use.

If the parameter for light is within a whisker of 1500g, and inexpensive is less than $700, and durability is somewhere on the order of 15k miles MTBF on the rims (with a high degree of use-dependent variability), after which the hubs/spokes/nipples could be laced into new rim, you need a phone or an internet connection, not luck.

That said, enjoy building your new wheels, nsfbr!

Hmmm, those are fairly robust rims. I think the hubs are where most of the weight savings are. I have to wonder how long a Ti cassette carrier will last before the cassette chews through it.

To me, bulletproof is something that will:

1) Last at least 10K miles or until the brake track wears down without headaches in between.

2) Something that has enough spokes that if one breaks, I will be able to adjust the others to finish at least 30 more miles without worrying that the rim might collapse under me.
 

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Hmmm, those are fairly robust rims. I think the hubs are where most of the weight savings are. I have to wonder how long a Ti cassette carrier will last before the cassette chews through it.

To me, bulletproof is something that will:

1) Last at least 10K miles or until the brake track wears down without headaches in between.

2) Something that has enough spokes that if one breaks, I will be able to adjust the others to finish at least 30 more miles without worrying that the rim might collapse under me.
um, you realize titanium is MUCH less prone to wear and notches than the alloy that come with many other hubs, right?

It doesn't make a lot of sense to hang a mile amount on brake track wear because riding conditions make sure a difference. Someone from Florida probably will never wear out a rim. Whereas someone in Seattle who rides all the time will go though rims really fast.

I wore out a pair essentially in one week. Really dirty pads and going down Mt. Whiteface in a thunder storm with 0 visibility so I had to go REALLY slow will do that. I have other rims with well over 15k and not yet worm.
 

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Well I was going to respond before the edit with "not particularly of either." We get a very normal wholesale price and we make money on wheel sales. You can buy PLENTY of $700 to $800 (and $1300) wheels that have $220 or $250 of parts cost in them. Ours have considerably more than that, but we still make money on them. Not a bonanza for sure - we don't build a set and "hooray it's martini time!!!" - this is no get rich quick scheme. We have to work fast and relatively mistake free to make it work.

When you don't sponsor teams, have low overhead, don't do a ton of promo expense, etc - basically when everything is arranged to give the customer the best product at the
lowest cost - you can do what we do, price wise. Just. We work HARD, and fast, and well.

We meet both of your criteria for bulletproof, then. As well as the OP's weight and price criteria.

Dura Ace hubs have a ti cassette body, btw.

Jay nailed whatever I didn't address.
 

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I build all my own wheels and last year built a set with White Industries T11 and Pacenti SL23 V2. I used DT Aerolites on the front and Competition DS / Revolution NDS and back.
They are great wheels you won't be disappointed. I think the T11 hubs look much nicer than the Nimbus version and worth the slightly higher cost. Since i enjoy building wheels I don't count my labor as part of the cost. I think Nimbus are a great option for those who don't want to build their owns wheels and want the lowest cost. I used Stan's tape but its a pain to worth with and not that thin. In future I will try using Kapton tape instead.
 

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If you like building your own wheels, you made the right choice. I have built wheels for several friends who bought the BHS "kit" with the Kinlin 31W rims, CX-rays, and T11 hubs and everything went together just fine. Brandon does all the work of calculating spoke lengths, etc. and all you have to do is open the boxes and bags and build your wheels. I happen to prefer using Brass nipples where we live on the FL Gulf Coast and salt corrosion can be a problem so my friends opted for the Brass nipples. Even though the site says "no substitutions", he will make that change for you if you ask. Have fun with your new build.
 

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I've been pleased with the November wheels I ordered last fall with their colors of fall promotion, so I was able to get the WI hubs, figured it was such a good deal I might as well order 2 sets. They are light 1485g about for the set with 20F28R for a road bike and a little over 1500-1525 or so for the set with 28/32 for the cross bike. The hubs roll great, the set I've put on the cross bike setup tubeless with a pair of Specialized trigger 38 tires easily, though I did use a Bontrager flash charger pump, and his rim tape job is awesome.
November didn't have the option for HED belgium or Belgium + rims at the time, but the Pacenti SL23's are close to as good.
Adam
 

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I'd rather do the blindfold test as it's much more exciting.
No problem. We will have to find you a road wide enough and have somebody to follow you with a lot of pillows just in case ......🚴🤕
 
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