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  1. #1
    Wave, dammit!
    Reputation: Opus51569's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Battle of the uber cheap wheelsets

    Browsing velo-mine looking at SS wheelsets.

    Weinnman DP18 / 36-3cross / DT spokes / Formula hubs / $109
    Sun CR18 / 36-3cross / Formula hubs / $115
    Alex DA16 / 32-3cross / Sapim Stainless spokes / Sapim brass nipples / no-name hubs / $79

    Is there anything that makes any of the choices better in terms of bang for the buck? Obviously, there's going to be some difference between 32 and 36 spoke wheels, but otherwise, what's your take on these options?
    Last edited by Opus51569; 06-17-2013 at 04:39 PM.

  2. #2
    Master debator.
    Reputation: nOOky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    With a singlespeed bike color is the most important factor, followed by the rear hub type, then price.
    "I felt bad because I couldn't wheelie; until I met a man with no bicycle"

  3. #3
    Wave, dammit!
    Reputation: Opus51569's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    I decided to go with the Alex DA16 wheels for $79, mostly for budgetary reasons.

    So, what do you get for $79???

    I'll give you more details once I pick up a freewheel and can put in some miles, but in the meantime, here's the skinny.

    I placed the order from Velo-Mine site. On the page, they mentioned they could add spacers depending on the width you needed. I specified 126mm.

    The next day, I got a phone call from Velo-Mine. The let me know that the hub I ordered was 120mm, and spacing it to 126 wouldn't give me enough thread to work with. They asked me if I'd like to order something different or keep it at 120mm. I ended up talking with one of the guys who builds the wheels and he let me know that with the steel frame I'm working with, it wouldn't be a problem to go with the 120mm hub. So, I went ahead with the order and he said it would be shipped later that day.

    The whole conversation was pleasant and I got the feeling that, even with a cheap $79 wheelset, they were concerned with helping me out and getting me what I needed.

    Shipping cost on the wheels was $10, so I wasn't expecting them to arrive quickly, but I was surprised to see the wheels arrive the next day. Granted, I don't live across the country, but it was pretty quick.

    The wheels were mummified in bubble wrap and made the trip with no scratches or dents.

    Tension on the spokes feels/sounds good and consistent. I'll know more once I'm on the bike.

    The rims are true both side-to-side and around.

    The no-name hubs are... well... no name. I gave them a spin and could immediately feel that the cones were either too tight, or had too little grease. So, I broke out the cone wrenches. I repacked the bearings (loose ball) and readjusted the cones. The front spins nicely. The rear spins well, but I can feel a "catch" somewhere in the rotation where something is not perfectly smooth/round. If I back the cones out far enough to completely eliminate the "catch", then the bearings have too much play in them.

    Overall, for a $79 wheel set I was very happy with the customer service from Velo-Mine and the wheels themselves are a little better than I expected for the price.

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