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  1. #1
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    Boyd Vitesse and Ultegra WH-6700 comparison

    Just ordered a new frame and am debating between these 2 wheels. The Ultegras caught my eye at a local shop and I love the look of them and everything else on the bike will be Ultegra. I'm a real Ultegra fan. I have also been told by a few dealers that they are very comfortable wheels and comfort is my #1 priority. I don't want anything harsh.
    This forum seems to love the Vitesse and they look really good also.

    Has anyone ridden BOTH and can tell me a fair comparison? I will not be riding the Ultegras tubeless. I've been using Ultegra/Open Pro cd for years and they have always served me well, but I'm just looking for a change to go with the new build.

    I should point out that I weigh about 180 and although the Ultegras are 16f/20r, Shimano insists that there is no weight limit on the wheels, although they did say that they would call the cutoff at 250.

  2. #2
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    I just ordered a Vitesse set. A friend has them and when I rode them I couldn't believe the quality for the price. I am glad he had them I almost spent double.

  3. #3
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    Buy the Boyds. I had a set of Ultegra wheels. They were heavier than advertised, didn't roll all that well and weren't terribly stiff. I broke a rear spoke on a night ride and had to limp home with a potato chip wheel. Fixed the wheel and sold them...
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  4. #4
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    I have both, but the Vitesse is new and I don't really have any track record for it. But the Vitesse offers benefits over the Ultegra set:

    - Wider rims (23mm vs 21mm) that provides a wider profile tire. That results in several benefits, such as ability to run lower pressure (90 psi), more comfort from fatter tire and lower pressure, better handling in turns (wider profile means great contact with road), and lower rolling resistance (while tire contact is wider, it is not as long as on narrower rims).

    - Less weight. My Vitesses came in at 1550 grams exactly with rim tape, so figure about 1510 grams without rim tape and skewers.

    - More aero but ever so slightly due to greater rim depth

    - Vitesse uses standard parts that can be fixed by any LBS.

    - Cost is about $120 less (assuming $670 for Ultegra).

    The Vitesse run very similar to my HED Ardennes on my few rides. Time will tell about durability. I weigh 175 lbs and went the ligher version because I am easy on equipment.
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  5. #5
    jta
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    Anybody able to provide some follow-up on this thread after a summer of riding? Looking at Vitesse and Ultegra, but with one caveat - Ultegras available at chainreaction for 360 USD, vs. the 550 you'd have to drop for the Vitesse.

    Thanks in advance.

  6. #6
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    I'm the OP and have some feedback on the Ultegras. Personally, I did not like them. I found that they were very flexy - so much so that the rear of the bike felt bouncy and the steering was very twitchy. Any little move and the bike was off in any direction other than straight. FWIW, I weigh about 180 so maybe I had no business being on a 16/20 spoke set of wheels in the first place. But Shimano insisted there was no weight limit so I gave them a try. I also found that the front spokes seemed to loosen quite a bit and they would vibrate against each other on any pavement that wasn't perfectly smooth. So I sent them back and started my wheel search all over again. This time, I knew I wanted more spokes and the Boyds only offer a 24/28 option as their highest count. I had decided that I wanted 28/32.
    I ended up with a toss up between Velocity A23 comp build (direct from Velocity for $549.00, and they will build them 32/28 at no extra charge if you call and ask them)-
    Velocity - A23 Comp Build Wheelset
    or having a set built up by a reputable builder. The builder recommended HED Belgium C2 rims (or Velocity A23 - he likes them both), Velocity Race hubs, and Wheelsmith DB14 spokes 28f/32r 3x. I went with the HED combo and couldn't be happier. First of all, the wider rims really make a difference. I rode the same road, the same tires, and the same pressure between my old Mavic OpenPro/Ultegra hub wheels vs the HEDs and the HEDs are MUCH more comfortable. When you lower the pressure in the HEDs, they get even better.
    It may be because the HEDs are stiffer (either due to the rim, the extra spokes, or both), but I feel as though they corner much better than the Shimanos. I also feel as though the HEDs tamed the steering a little and that twitchy feeling is gone. The HEDs are much more stable feeling to me, but that's subjective. I wanted to like the Shimanos and still think they were a heck of a good deal for what you get - I had paid $399.00 for them. But despite Shimano saying there is no weight limit, there aren't too many wheelbuilders that would put someone weighing 180 on a 16 spoke front wheel, so maybe that was my problem. Either way, it worked out for the better because I like the HEDs much more even at the $600.00 price that I paid for them.
    You may like the Shimanos - a lot of people do. But after riding a 23mm rim, I would recommend going that route if you can swing the $$$. If the spoke count on the Boyds works, they look like a good wheel and I think the Velocities would be equally as good. I really like the hubs that came on mine and they are the same hubs that come on the A23 Comp build.
    Lastly, mounting a tire on the Shimanos was torture. They tell you not to use tire levers (but they won't tell you why), but I couldn't get my Vredestein TriComps on without using levers. On the HEDs, I can put them on with no levers, no problem.

    Good luck.

  7. #7
    jta
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    Thanks much Steve. The info you've provided is really helpful. Looking for something that's durable, comfy and livelier than the stock Shimanos on an aluminum backup/training bike. I tip the scales at about 160. At my weight I may be fine on the Vitesse with the 20/24 spoke count. The Rouleurs may even fit the bill.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMinSC View Post
    Buy the Boyds. I had a set of Ultegra wheels. They were heavier than advertised, didn't roll all that well and weren't terribly stiff. I broke a rear spoke on a night ride and had to limp home with a potato chip wheel. Fixed the wheel and sold them...
    QFT. I have had the exact same issue. Hoping to build up a new set through Zen soon.

  9. #9
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    Ulterga vs Vitesse

    I rode WH 6600 wheelset for over a year, set up with GP4000 24mm tires. These are the 180tpi tires, not the 330TPI.
    I bought a set of Boyds in June and set them up with GP 4000s,25mm.
    I loved (and still love the Ultegra wheel set), note the it was the earlier version. The Boyds however have been awesome. I truly believed that a properly adjusted loose ball bearing wheelset would roll better than the best caged bearings.Not so, the Vitesse roll faster, ride a little smother, although its hard to be sure with the different tires. I'm avg .2/mph faster on the Boyds.
    Never had a problem with the Ultegra's, the Boyds have been perfect from day 1.
    YMMV
    dave

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