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  1. #1
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    Bontrager SSR vs. Renyolds Solitude Wheelsets

    I am looking to upgrade the wheel set on my 2012 Trek Madone 4.5 from the stock Bontrager SSR wheels to something better. The problem is that I cannot find any specs on the factory wheel set to compare them to other wheels.

    I am looking to stay in the $400-600 range (per set) for that is where my allowance has landed me. I have been doing some research and found wheels such as the Renyolds Solitude SE, some Easton wheels, and some Mavic wheel sets.

    Not knowing exactly what the SSR wheel are can anyone shed some light on a decent wheel upgrade for me? Any help is much appreciated!!!

  2. #2
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    You can measure the dimensions of the rims (depth and width) and count the spokes to compare to other wheels. That and weight (without skewers and rim tape) are the basic comparison points. THen you get into the quality of the hubs, spokes and rims which is more difficult to actually know and evaluate. My opinion though is that at the "moderate" (($300-600) price point, you're not going to see extreme differences in quality of those parts.

    What do you want to upgrade? Usual reason is to get a distinctly different wheel in terms of weight and/or aero abilities. Getting the above info will give you some comparison ideas.

    As for the wheels you're looking at: I'm somewhat familiar with the Reynolds Solitare. I have what I believe is considered it's direct predecessor, the Reynolds Alta Race. Same rim design (about 30mm deep and about 19mm wide) and spokes, very similar weight (around 1600 grams for set). I've been extremely happy with mine. They have proven to be very durable, and really handle well at speed and in winds.

    But they're not super light weight, but not bad and a good weight for the price. The hubs have proven to be smooth and trouble free for about 3-4,000 miles, maybe 5,000 over several years. The spokes on mine are standard issue J spokes. MIne have internal nipples which some don't like, but I haven't had one speck of trouble except when I had to replace ONE (yes one) when I ran the wheel over with my car. I got it fixed same day at an LBS because it's a common spoke and not a big deal to deal with.

    Can't speak for the Easton, but also encourage you to look at the long list of recommendations and discussions about wheels in this price range in this forum. If you just scan back a month or so, you'll get at least 10 recommendations and also some things to look for.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by webbmx7 View Post
    I am looking to upgrade the wheel set on my 2012 Trek Madone 4.5 from the stock Bontrager SSR wheels to something better. The problem is that I cannot find any specs on the factory wheel set to compare them to other wheels.

    I am looking to stay in the $400-600 range (per set) for that is where my allowance has landed me. I have been doing some research and found wheels such as the Renyolds Solitude SE, some Easton wheels, and some Mavic wheel sets.

    Not knowing exactly what the SSR wheel are can anyone shed some light on a decent wheel upgrade for me? Any help is much appreciated!!!
    how much do you weigh? can't add much about the SSR, but for 400-600 you've got a lot of options, depending on what you want. climbing wheels? mid profile wheels? aero wheels? I will add that going to non-proprietary spokes and hubs is a big plus for me--paying $30 for a replacement spoke is less than ideal imo. looks like the reynolds is using standard DT Swiss spokes so i don't think that's an issue there.

    if you're set on factory built wheelsets, the solitude looks like a nice wheel, but i'd also look at fulcrum racing 3's, Shimano RS80's, and mavic open pros with ultegra hubs.

  4. #4
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    PM Sent.

  5. #5
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    You can email Trek to get some info on those Bontragers.

    For your price range you can get something at BWW. I've also seen the Ksyrium Elites from Bicycle Outfitters Indy for 600.

  6. #6
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    I am 175-180lbs. Ideally I am looking for a more all around durable wheel. I ride in the saddle a lot and have had the SSR wheels go out of true during normal club rides. I am interested in the aero look, however an actual aero wheel is far beyond my price range.

    I ride in South Western Ohio and the roads are nothing extreme here. I would have thought for only have 500 miles on the wheel set that they would not have to be trued twice already. I am not set on name brand wheel sets, however I want to find something that I can purchase at my LBS.

  7. #7
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    I took the time to finally reply to the post. Currently on my Trek Madone, the front is a 24 spoke radially laced, where as the back is a 24 spoke 2x lace pattern. The rim measures roughly 22mm in depth as well. I know very little about wheels other than the fact that I ride on them. Ideally what I am looking for is a more durable, better looking, better performing wheel.

    The Bontrager SSR wheels seem to work fine for what I need, however it seems like every 200 miles I have to true them which is kind of a pain. In my recent research, I like the look of a 30mm+ deep rim, and just want something that will be less of a pain to keep true. The LBS stated that they ditch the SSR wheels for Race Lites right away, but I have read there are many issues with these wheel sets as well.

    In conclusion, I am looking for a more asethic "barely-semi aero" wheel, with improved bearings and such, and a some what afforable price. I realize this may be greater than 300-600 price range, but I would rather have someone tell me to stay away from the 400$ wheel set and save my money for a $700 wheel set because the 400 set will be trashed in 1000 miles.

  8. #8
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    The current set up on my Trek Madone is 24 spoke radially laced front, 24 2x lace rear, 22mm deep rim. I'm right around 175-180lbs, and am looking for a more durable, better performing, better looking wheel. I am interested in the look of 30+mm rims, however I realize the deeper the rim does not always mean the strong the rim will be.

    Right now, I am trying to decide if the 300-600 is the price rance I should work with, or if I should save more and buy something in a higher price range. Ideally I want to up grade, to what I am not sure yet.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by webbmx7 View Post
    The current set up on my Trek Madone is 24 spoke radially laced front, 24 2x lace rear, 22mm deep rim. I'm right around 175-180lbs, and am looking for a more durable, better performing, better looking wheel. I am interested in the look of 30+mm rims, however I realize the deeper the rim does not always mean the strong the rim will be.

    Right now, I am trying to decide if the 300-600 is the price rance I should work with, or if I should save more and buy something in a higher price range. Ideally I want to up grade, to what I am not sure yet.
    you can get a great wheelset for 600 bucks. that being said, a custom build option on your hubs and rim of choice would be a couple hundred more and open up your selection. you could definitely build a nice custom wheelset yourself for $600, if you are so inclined

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