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  1. #1
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    Any thoughts on these?

    I am looking to upgrade the stock wheels on my Specialized Roubaix. I have ridden these for a few years and they are pretty heavy and nothing special. I ride solo, club, charity rides, etc, no racing. I am a tall guy and weigh around 200 lbs. I realize that wheel sets come in numerous configurations and price points. I am trying to figure out a kind of sweet spot, where I will get some benefit in feel, responsiveness and performance without breaking the bank. I also don't want to waste money on something that may be only a marginal upgrade and find myself upgrading again in a couple of years. I have been looking around at some of the custom wheel builders so I can get a nice nice quality that can be tweaked to fit my needs.

    In looking around, I came across this set:

    https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...-6800-wheelset

    Any thoughts on these and whether they would be a decent choice or whether I would be better off bumping up to something a little better?

  2. #2
    A wheelist
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    Well.........those wheels in the link will be nothing exciting with their Ultegra hubs and 32/32 spokes and you won't "get some benefit in feel, responsiveness and performance" over your stock wheels but they will be a fine basic set all depending on who built them and how well they did it. Aftermarket wheelsets are all diminished returns over stock wheels but there is a big satisfaction for riding on wheels that are just right for you. Heck, this morning I just put my home-built do-all wheelset back on my bike after they were gathering dust for two years and I can't wait to ride them - Pacenti SL23 vII rims/24-28 radial & x2 Laser spokes/Dura-Ace hubs.

    I have a couple of suggestions for you in two different pricepoints. Both from people who have been around for years and have stellar reputations and experience. If you call them they will advise you and not upsell you.

    Chris @ bicyclewheelwarehouse.com
    Blackset Race 26 700c Wheel Set

    Dave @ https://novemberbicycles.com/
    .
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding site - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilders with motivation, information and resources.

  3. #3
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    I'll take a look. I read Dave's blog over at November and he has a lot of great info.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    Well.........those wheels in the link will be nothing exciting with their Ultegra hubs and 32/32 spokes and you won't "get some benefit in feel, responsiveness and performance" over your stock wheels but they will be a fine basic set all depending on who built them and how well they did it.
    ^This.^ All excellent components, but the builder can make or break this wheelset. Be especially weary of any wheel builder who tells you that you will need to re-true your wheels after the first 100 or so miles. A good build should not need this!

    Another thing to note is while the H+ Son Archetype is an excellent rim, the brake tracks are finished after they are machined, so the first 500 miles or so, they will look really ugly until the brake tracks are worn down to bare metal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    Aftermarket wheelsets are all diminished returns over stock wheels but there is a big satisfaction for riding on wheels that are just right for you. Heck, this morning I just put my home-built do-all wheelset back on my bike after they were gathering dust for two years and I can't wait to ride them - Pacenti SL23 vII rims/24-28 radial & x2 Laser spokes/Dura-Ace hubs.

    I have a couple of suggestions for you in two different pricepoints. Both from people who have been around for years and have stellar reputations and experience. If you call them they will advise you and not upsell you.

    Chris @ bicyclewheelwarehouse.com
    Blackset Race 26 700c Wheel Set

    Dave @ https://novemberbicycles.com/
    I find it interesting that while the rims on the Blackset Race 26s are a reasonable modest 450g each and they don't play the ultra-low spoke count game, they can get these wheels to 1500g for the pair. Those hubs must be uber-light!

    For a 200lb. person, I would definitely go for the higher spoke count of 24/28, not the 20/24.

    This being all said, a lighter wheelset may make you feel a little faster and give you greater confidence, but won't be night and day. If you think you will be able to pass your buds on climbs that they used to toast you on, you will be disappointed.
    Last edited by Lombard; 07-03-2018 at 03:19 AM.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  5. #5
    changingleaf
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    A custom build with those rims and DT Swiss 350 hubs is a better option.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by changingleaf View Post
    A custom build with those rims and DT Swiss 350 hubs is a better option.
    Why do you think DT Swiss 350 are better hubs than Shimano? Other than more points of engagement, I only see negatives to the DT hubs - higher cost and alloy freehub more prone to gouging.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  7. #7
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    What wheels came on your Roubaix?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetdog9 View Post
    What wheels came on your Roubaix?
    DT-Axis 2.0

    I have have been told that these are also sold in the boating world to be used as anchors

  9. #9
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    That might be true but be prepared for the possibility of marginal gains if any regardless of how much you spend. Ultimately if they look and feel good and make you want to ride more they'll be worth it though.

  10. #10
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    Yes, I am aware of that. While I see lots of media that talks of all of the benefits, it is still the same pair of legs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lallement View Post
    Yes, I am aware of that. While I see lots of media that talks of all of the benefits, it is still the same pair of legs.
    Exactly. It's all in the engine.

    However, if a new set of wheels makes you more enthusiastic and make you ride more, well, you will become a stronger rider and therefore faster. So indirectly, new wheels will make you faster, but not because of inherent characteristics of the wheels. See where I'm going?
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  12. #12
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    I have a history of rear rim cracks around the spoke nipples, I'm a little heavier than you(215/225) and I ended up with a set of wheels with the HPlus Son Archetype rims I am very please so far with them, I tried several slightly lighter rims before trying these.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura Roubaix View Post
    I have a history of rear rim cracks around the spoke nipples, I'm a little heavier than you(215/225) and I ended up with a set of wheels with the HPlus Son Archetype rims I am very please so far with them, I tried several slightly lighter rims before trying these.
    This can be a problem especially with heavier or stronger riders. If you go with a lighter rim, a higher spoke count is recommended.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    This can be a problem especially with heavier or stronger riders. If you go with a lighter rim, a higher spoke count is recommended.
    Yes, I agree, went thru about 6 rear rims(24, 2-28's and three 32 spoke, before trying a 32 spoke H-Plus Son, I also have a 32 spoke Hed Beligum rim that I ride some on and it also has held up so far.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura Roubaix View Post
    Yes, I agree, went thru about 6 rear rims(24, 2-28's and three 32 spoke, before trying a 32 spoke H-Plus Son, I also have a 32 spoke Hed Beligum rim that I ride some on and it also has held up so far.
    The HED Belgiums and H÷ Son Archetypes are two excellent quality rims. I would not espect either of these to fail except under some rediculously low spoke count or a lousy build.

    I would be curious which rims cracked. Can I take a wild guess something made by Bontrager or Mavic?
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  16. #16
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    honestly, if I were in your weight class, I'd go for rims that are in the 25mm wide range, like then HED Belgium Plus rim (with 28-hole rear). Then get 25c tires to go with these wide rims and you're golden, forever.

    The Flo 30 wheelset uses wide 25mm rims too, although I don't think Flo will well just their rims, you'll need to get it as a wheelset. These rims have nice profile for shallow aluminum rims.

    on a sidenote, Shimano should have made their rims at least 23mm if not 25mm wide. I can't believe they stay with the 20.9mm wide iteration all this time when basically everybody has gone to 23mm-25mm wide. Shimano missed the boat here.
    Last edited by aclinjury; 07-06-2018 at 12:55 PM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    honestly, if I were in your weight class, I'd go for rims that are in the 25mm wide range, like then HED Belgium Plus rim (with 28-hole rear). Then get 25c tires to go with these wide rims and you're golden, forever.

    The Flo 30 wheelset uses wide 25mm rims too, although I don't think Flo will well just their rims, you'll need to get it as a wheelset. These rims have nice profile for shallow aluminum rims.

    on a sidenote, Shimano should have made their rims at least 23mm if not 25mm wide. I can't believe they stay with the 20.9mm wide iteration all this time when basically everybody has gone to 23mm-25mm wide. Shimano missed the boat here.
    You're talking about external widths which are meaningless when it comes to tire profile and performance. The HED Belgiums and H+ Son Archetypes are both 17mm internal width which is around 23mm external. Whether the OP can go wider with his preferred tires will depend on the chain stay clearance on his bike. And IMO, there is no reason to go with any less than 32 spokes on a rear wheel. Either of these rim choices with a 32 spoke count will give the OP a long life. Another excellent rim for the buck is the DT R460. It is less expensive because it is sleeved rather than welded. In theory welded is better, but in reality, it really doesn't make much difference other than $$. You may get a cyclical brake thud for the first 100 miles or so, but it will go away as the brake track wears a bit.

    Shimano generally lets others dip their toe in the water before they jump on it. Yes, it's surprising they have stayed with 15mm (20.8mm) rims this long. I can't imagine it will be too much longer before Shimano jumps on the wider rim bandwagon.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    You're talking about external widths which are meaningless when it comes to tire profile and performance. The HED Belgiums and H+ Son Archetypes are both 17mm internal width which is around 23mm external. Whether the OP can go wider with his preferred tires will depend on the chain stay clearance on his bike. And IMO, there is no reason to go with any less than 32 spokes on a rear wheel. Either of these rim choices with a 32 spoke count will give the OP a long life. Another excellent rim for the buck is the DT R460. It is less expensive because it is sleeved rather than welded. In theory welded is better, but in reality, it really doesn't make much difference other than $$. You may get a cyclical brake thud for the first 100 miles or so, but it will go away as the brake track wears a bit.

    Shimano generally lets others dip their toe in the water before they jump on it. Yes, it's surprising they have stayed with 15mm (20.8mm) rims this long. I can't imagine it will be too much longer before Shimano jumps on the wider rim bandwagon.
    the HED C2 rim is 23mm, their Belgium Plus is 25mm

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    the HED C2 rim is 23mm, their Belgium Plus is 25mm
    Those are external widths. Internal widths are 17mm and 21mm respectively.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    The HED Belgiums and H÷ Son Archetypes are two excellent quality rims. I would not espect either of these to fail except under some rediculously low spoke count or a lousy build.

    I would be curious which rims cracked. Can I take a wild guess something made by Bontrager or Mavic?
    Well, I'm old lets me see if I can remember(1-24 hole Kinlin 270, 2-28 hole 270 Kinlin, 1-32 hole Pacenti v-1, and 1 v-2, 1-32 hole Dt Swiss-440). I think thats all of it, I also have a Dt Swiss 465 32 hole, that I have put a lot of miles on and it hasn't crack, but I dont use it anymore since going to the 32 hole H Plus Son and the Hed Belguim C2, I have two road bikes that I use the last two mention rims on.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura Roubaix View Post
    Well, I'm old lets me see if I can remember(1-24 hole Kinlin 270, 2-28 hole 270 Kinlin, 1-32 hole Pacenti v-1, and 1 v-2, 1-32 hole Dt Swiss-440). I think thats all of it, I also have a Dt Swiss 465 32 hole, that I have put a lot of miles on and it hasn't crack, but I dont use it anymore since going to the 32 hole H Plus Son and the Hed Belguim C2, I have two road bikes that I use the last two mention rims on.
    Not surprising about Pacenti. My guess is the lower spoke count is what did you in on the Kinlins. A little surprised about the DT 440 with a 32 spoke count. Their rims are generally pretty good, though the 440 is a dated design.

    Did you have the same builder build all these or are they from different sources?
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Not surprising about Pacenti. My guess is the lower spoke count is what did you in on the Kinlins. A little surprised about the DT 440 with a 32 spoke count. Their rims are generally pretty good, though the 440 is a dated design.

    Did you have the same builder build all these or are they from different sources?
    Well, your testing my memory again as some were built by me some by others. The 24 spoke and one of the 28's was a Rol Volant, the second 28 spoke by me, was my first build, reuse the spokes and hub. The two Pacenti's built by me, The DT Swiss 440 purchase from Excel sports. The H Plus Son an the Hed Belgium by me.

  23. #23
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    Just an update- after reading the posts here I have spent lots of time on different sites researching options and am probably not much closer making a decision as I have expanded my search to other options. That is ok, because I am not in a big hurry. I would rather get what will be best for me than jump into something and regret it later. I try to avoid spending "good money after bad", to use an old expression.

    It seems as Mile T mentioned, there are various price points one could consider. There are the lower priced builds from a variety of sites who spec out and make decent wheel sets using a mix of import parts. There is a sort of middle ground, using some of those parts, but possibly upgrades like Shimano Dura Ace or DT Swiss hubs or perhaps a slightly higher end rim. There are the high end "boutique" sets by some great builders using all top name parts and tweaking the build to the rider.

    I am currently weighing out the relative merits for each. I realize that each will serve the same function, but am considering pros/cons. Some of it may be each buyer's own philosophy, comfort level and budget. Some like buying a bike from one of the the well known brands, some from a lesser known company or some online from places like bikes direct.

    If you can't tell, I am often one who spends a long time looking at all sides when making a decision.
    Last edited by Lallement; 07-08-2018 at 10:05 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ventura Roubaix View Post
    Well, your testing my memory again as some were built by me some by others. The 24 spoke and one of the 28's was a Rol Volant, the second 28 spoke by me, was my first build, reuse the spokes and hub. The two Pacenti's built by me, The DT Swiss 440 purchase from Excel sports. The H Plus Son an the Hed Belgium by me.
    OK, I was looking for a common denominator like possibly a builder who tensioned spokes too high. Probably not.
    "With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important."-- DCGriz, RBR.

    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein



  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    OK, I was looking for a common denominator like possibly a builder who tensioned spokes too high. Probably not.
    There's probably several factor's involve, my weight, low spoke count on some, the terrain i ride mostly hills, bad wheel design(The Pacenti's) probably some too high tension, on my part, I have use Roger Musson e-book on my last two builds, plus I use a Park Tool Tension meter, an have had better luck with them lasting so far.

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