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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know what tires I want (Conti 4000s, thanks for the recent post/input). Now the wheels!
I ride Open Pros/Dura Ace/some spoke, about 8 years old. Non racer, 50+ mile rides, pace 16mph, 165lbs (me, not the bike), roads, mostly foothills around Mt. Rainier.
That said, I see wheel sets (non carbon) close to 1K and I see others listed, "same" weight, spokes, hubs, for $400 or so, or less. So what gives. Iv'e been interested in Flit wheels from other posts but am uncertin about durability over my Open Pros. Not ridden anything but these rims I'm ignorant how anything else might improve my ride, but don't want to sacrifice durability and I don't want a hub that sounds like it's got playing cards flapping like my long ago sting ray when I'm coasting.
How can one company offer a wheel set for less than $500 and main stream supliers like Mavic, Zipp, Shimano have virtually the same for near $1000.
Do you get what you pay for??
 

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A wheelist
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There's a lot of marketing going on to try to get you to spend your money on "new & improved" wheels. The visually eccentric wheels are a marketers' dream - you see the pros riding them and buy them. But the truth is that once you get past Open Pro rims and Ultegra hubs it's diminished returns all the way up to the $5000 wheelsets.

Check out the specs and the weights for Open Pro/DuraAce wheels compared to the fancy Mavic wheelsets. There's little or no difference to justify anything more than the $400 for the OP/DA's. But they sell boatloads of wheelsets costing 2, 3, 4x as much. I guess someone has to pay for all that marketing.
 

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In my opinion unless you are racing or below 180 pounds there is little benefit from going with ultra-light, low spoke count wheels. There are better places to trim weight off the rider/bike combo :wink5:
 

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Defintely not

dirthersh said:
I, 165lbs (me, not the bike), roads, mostly foothills around Mt. Rainier.
That said, I see wheel sets (non carbon) close to 1K and I see others listed, "same" weight, spokes, hubs, for $400 or so, or less. So what gives. Do you get what you pay for??
Up to a point, yes. As Mike T. noted, there's a pretty steep law of diminishing returns after you get to Velocity Aerohead/MAVIC OpenPro on the "standard" hub of your choice. Until you get to the super aero and super light carbon tubular rims, nearly everything in between is a mix of marketing, "the pros ride it" endorsement, and "these seem/feel really fast" anecdotes. The amount of weight you save is minimal in terms of performance (0.01 mph on the flats, 0.03 mph on the hills), and what you get instead is often reduced durability, and certainly expensive and sometimes time consuming repairs due to having to return to the factory, not to mention that a few years out, you can't find replacement parts to save your life.

The best aero wheels offer 0.4 mph at 25 mph, which is about 5 minutes saved every hundred miles. If this is important to you, spend the big bucks on the wheels. If you just want value, you already have the answer.
 

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Kerry Irons said:
Up to a point, yes. As Mike T. noted, there's a pretty steep law of diminishing returns after you get to Velocity Aerohead/MAVIC OpenPro on the "standard" hub of your choice. Until you get to the super aero and super light carbon tubular rims, nearly everything in between is a mix of marketing, "the pros ride it" endorsement, and "these seem/feel really fast" anecdotes. The amount of weight you save is minimal in terms of performance (0.01 mph on the flats, 0.03 mph on the hills), and what you get instead is often reduced durability, and certainly expensive and sometimes time consuming repairs due to having to return to the factory, not to mention that a few years out, you can't find replacement parts to save your life.

The best aero wheels offer 0.4 mph at 25 mph, which is about 5 minutes saved every hundred miles. If this is important to you, spend the big bucks on the wheels. If you just want value, you already have the answer.
How many time do you and i have to go over this? The advantage of light wheels in not in a race in which you accelerate up to 25 miles/hour and maintain that exact pace for 100 miles. It is exceedingly obvious that you have never been in a crit or a rr that requires you to accelerate. I know from personal experience that my bike is much faster accelerating out of turns and up hill when i put on my 923 gram set of wheels. The times when that weight is most important is wheen your going balls to the wall, accelerating, trying to hang onto a group. Because you know what...? Once you accelerate up to speed and fall off the group because your wheels are boat anchors you will wish that they were significantly lighter. A light set of wheels is the difference between barely hanging on and falling off in a crit. Accelerating things that move in circles is very difficult. Do the math on this one. I am in a 1 hour crit. There are 4 turns in this crit. Every corner I have to go from 25-20-25 mile per hour. I do 40 laps in this crit. The weight difference in my rims is 200 grams/rims. The diameter of the rims is about 24.5 inches. There will be a significant difference. No question. There is a reason why discs and tri spokes are heavy. Its because the math that you are doing makes sense for them.
 

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Significant? First of all, the OP clearly stated he was not a racer. Also, the OP states he/she hasn't ridden anything else and has no real point of reference.

Any of the "benefits" you describe of ultra-light wheels in a crit could be more easily addressed by better positioning.... which comes with experience--- and cannot be purchased.

I have more wheel sets than I need, ranging from clinchers to tubulars, AL to carbon, box to deep, etc. Some of them creak and pop when climbing, standing. Some rub on the brakes when cornering hard. Some are easily grabbed in crosswinds. If there is anything I have learned, wheel upgrades are like selling golf equipment--- they generally prey on people's desire for a short-cut to performance improvements. I much prefer excellent tires that ride exactly where I need them, and a decent stiff wheel for crits.

Back to the OP--- there are huge variations in fit and finish in built wheels--- rims and hubs. I have seen the inside of rims that are so rough, they could slice vegetables. Also, deep carbon rims cannot really be trued, so they need to be perfectly molded. Of course, all rims should be perfectly round and true when new, but that is not always the case. Tolerances for bearings--- as well as design, are also variables. Cheaper wheels generally lack the attention to detail as more expensive wheels--- which again, comes back to supporting simple wheel designs, like standard built DA/OP wheelsets. Nothing is over-engineered.


Zen Cyclery said:
There will be a significant difference. No question. There is a reason why discs and tri spokes are heavy. Its because the math that you are doing makes sense for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Filtersweep, BWW has the option of DT240 hubs. They are more expensive than Dura ace but lighter. Do they offer the low rolling resistance and quietness of Dura ace and worth the extra money. Also, for my style of riding which is better for the front wheel, 3-cross or radial. Thanks for any input.
 

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dirthersh said:
Filtersweep, BWW has the option of DT240 hubs. They are more expensive than Dura ace but lighter. Do they offer the low rolling resistance and quietness of Dura ace and worth the extra money. Also, for my style of riding which is better for the front wheel, 3-cross or radial. Thanks for any input.
I'll have a go at this one while you're waiting for Filtersweep as I currently have DA hubs (in BWW wheels) and had DT-Swiss 240 for four years.

All my comments are for these two hubs relative to each other.

DuraAce
Advantages - cheaper, titanium cassette carrier (doesn't notch from cassette cogs and I can't remember but I doubt my 240 carrier ever notched), user serviceable without a $150-200 special tool kit, adjustable cones, beautiful jewel-like finish inside & out.
Disadvantages - if the hub cups pit then the hub is junk, ratchet system harder to lube (but can be lubed beautifully with a Morningstar Freehub Buddy), quieter, very slightly heavier.

240
Advantages - replaceable cartridge bearings, slightly lighter, ten minute tooless lubing of ratchety parts, great customer support from DT-Swiss USA.
Disadvantages - they need the special tool kit for bearing replacement, more expensive, noisier ratchety parts (this is very variable due to amount of lube).

That's about it and I might add to this list as I think of more.

Which hub is "better"? It's a bit of a wash in my opinion. I love 'em both and they're both top hubs. I'm on a DA kick right now as they are a beautiful looking hub and a few less grams of the 240 doesn't mean anything to me. Black 240 hubs are a bit "mehh" in looks.

As for the radial spoking - it brings nothing to the table except a few minor grams of weight savings (I dunno, 5 maybe). It's a "style" thing more than anything and has ZERO benefits for the likes of you & I.
 

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The OP clearly stated he isn't a racer. IMHO, for your purposes you can't do better Open Pros/Velocity rims laced to Ultegra/DA hubs. That's what I've got on three road bikes, and I roll down hills as faster or faster than any of my riding buddies. Unlike them, I seldom have problems with my wheels. Several of my friends have had Kseriums blow spokes during a ride, and it isn't pretty. Their bikes were virtually unridable and much more expensive to repair than Open Pros. My brother's Kseriums busted a rim during a tour and couldn't be repaired even though we were near a decent bike shop, so he had to buy a new wheel set to continue riding. Same thing happened to another guy riding very expensive carbon wheels on the same tour.
 

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Another vote for NO, you often do not get what you pay for in terms of performance. For your non-racing use it's hard to beat a good rim (like Open Pros) laced to proven hubs (Ult, DA, Record, White, etc.). Brand name wheels (Ksyriums, Shimano, etc) are generally poor values at anywhere near list price. I have 2 sets of Ksyriums & would describe them as just OK. I would not buy them again. I've had good experience (and customer support) with Neuvations. But for all-around non-racing use at a very decent price it's really tough to beat a well-built set of 32-spoke Ultegra/OpenPro's. DA are nicer hubs & a bit lighter, but more $$.
 

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Zen Cyclery said:
A light set of wheels is the difference between barely hanging on and falling off in a crit.
If a light set of wheels only allows you to barely hang on instead of fall off the back, then they're not much use are they? A good coach, powermeter, and decent training regime might well make the difference between barely hanging on and going off the front, and wouldn't cost much more...

For the OP - for the riding you're describing, you'd be much better with a 'standard' set of wheels. For much less money than any decent carbon wheelset you could get top end hubs - dura-ace, record, or something more exotic like royce or goldtec, decent spokes and a great rim. OTOH, if you've got the money and fancy the carbon bling, then go for it! It won't make a difference to your riding, but if they make you feel good and want to ride, then that's a good enough reason!
 

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Some numbers

Zen Cyclery said:
How many time do you and i have to go over this? The advantage of light wheels in not in a race in which you accelerate up to 25 miles/hour and maintain that exact pace for 100 miles. It is exceedingly obvious that you have never been in a crit or a rr that requires you to accelerate.

Do the math on this one. I am in a 1 hour crit. There are 4 turns in this crit. Every corner I have to go from 25-20-25 mile per hour. I do 40 laps in this crit. The weight difference in my rims is 200 grams/rims. The diameter of the rims is about 24.5 inches. There will be a significant difference. No question. There is a reason why discs and tri spokes are heavy. Its because the math that you are doing makes sense for them.
As others have noted, I was responding to the OP who SPECIFICALLY stated that he is not a racer.

Beyond that, I have actually done the math: using a wheelset that is 800 gm heavier in a one hour 4 corner crit where a rider has to accelerate 10 km/hr out of EVERY corner requires 0.5% more power (a couple of watts).

Plus I have raced crits, and know that positioning is important so that you're not getting strung out the back and having to jam it out of every corner. Light wheels are a good thing in crits, and I have always said they are. And that is the ONLY place where wheel weight is any different than any other weight.

I respond to the questions riders ask, not to what I prefer to think they should aspire to. Consider taking that approach in your future responses to people's questions.
 
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