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  1. #1
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    Good road bike wheels for heavier rider

    G'mornin!
    Just bought a 2011 Specialized Roubiax Comp...haven't even ridden it yet as I'm recovering from Knee replacement. The bike came with Fulcrum 6 Wheels. The LBS advised me to look for some 32 spoke wheels as I'm about 220 pounds. My questions are these:
    1) is it true that the stock wheels may present durability problems for a guy my size?
    2) What are some recommendations for a wheel with strength and still reasonable performance for this type of wheel? The shop suggested Bontrager classics...good choice?

    I want to keep the stock wheels and tires as I'm stilling loosing weight, and would someday like to have a more performance oriented setup.

    Thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Online Wheel Builder
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    At your weight, I think there are much better options than what you are currently on. I'm not sure if the Bontragers would be considered much of an upgrade though. They would be more durable than the Fulcrums, but they are still pretty darn heavy.

  3. #3
    A wheelist
    Reputation: Mike T.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollingeezer View Post
    G'mornin!
    Just bought a 2011 Specialized Roubiax Comp...haven't even ridden it yet as I'm recovering from Knee replacement. The bike came with Fulcrum 6 Wheels. The LBS advised me to look for some 32 spoke wheels as I'm about 220 pounds. My questions are these:
    1) is it true that the stock wheels may present durability problems for a guy my size?
    2) What are some recommendations for a wheel with strength and still reasonable performance for this type of wheel? The shop suggested Bontrager classics...good choice?
    I want to keep the stock wheels and tires as I'm stilling loosing weight, and would someday like to have a more performance oriented setup.
    Thanks for any advice!
    Here is a page of wheels that would be suitable for your weight - mostly 32/32 -

    Road - Riders 232 or less - Bicycle Wheel Warehouse

    And some 24/28 but still rated by them for 220lbs -

    Road - Riders 220 or less - Pure Race SuperLight 700c - Bicycle Wheel Warehouse

    Even stronger still, but also 24/28 -

    Components - Pure Aero 700c - September Sale - Bicycle Wheel Warehouse

    And stronger still, with 32 spokes or even a 36h rear -

    Road - Riders 233+ - Pure Tour 700c - 105 - Bicycle Wheel Warehouse
    .
    Mike T's home wheelbuilding info - dedicated to providing Newby wheelbuilder information and motivation.

    I'm not cranky; I just have a violent reaction to stupid people.

  4. #4
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    Maybe you should try the Fulcrums first? They are a durable, well made wheelset. I've been on a set for almost 3000km at 240 lbs without a problem. While there are certainly better and lighter and stronger wheels out there, don't be too quick to discount what you've already have (and paid for). Ride them. See if you like them. There's plenty of time for upgrades.

  5. #5
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    My only concern is reducing the chances of a malfunction that would strand me..as I can't walk real far...the fact you have lots of miles on a similar set ata similar weight is good...thanks for the help!!

  6. #6
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    I would wait until your wheels break before replacing them. They just might not break. If you've got the fulcrum wheels, they're probably fine. Fulcrum makes decent stuff. I wouldnt worry about it too much.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by specializedallez View Post
    Pro lite bracciano rolling at 1482g, $355 at chain reaction cycles nothing but great reviews about them
    Not enough spokes for long life for a guy over 200 pounds.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollingeezer View Post
    G'mornin!
    Just bought a 2011 Specialized Roubiax Comp...haven't even ridden it yet as I'm recovering from Knee replacement. The bike came with Fulcrum 6 Wheels. The LBS advised me to look for some 32 spoke wheels as I'm about 220 pounds. My questions are these:
    1) is it true that the stock wheels may present durability problems for a guy my size?
    2) What are some recommendations for a wheel with strength and still reasonable performance for this type of wheel? The shop suggested Bontrager classics...good choice?

    I want to keep the stock wheels and tires as I'm stilling loosing weight, and would someday like to have a more performance oriented setup.

    Thanks for any advice!
    Fulcrum 6 is Fulcrum's version for Specialized. The Fulcrum 5 and 7 which are the standard Fulcrum version are rated for 240 lbs rider weight and I would not hesitate to ride them at your weight specially if I lift my weight off the saddle if I can't avoid hitting a pothole. They have less spokes but each spoke is quite massive. I believe the 6's are also rated for 240 lbs but you should check that on the Specialized site. My personal experience is with the Fulcrum 1 which I would not hesitate riding them at your weight at all.

  9. #9
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    I am between 220-230lbs. My Fulcrum6 lasted about 1500 miles before I started breaking spokes. After the second broken spoke in about 100 miles I ditched them and spent too much money on a new set of wheels.
    Personally I wasn't impressed and would recommend other people in my weight range to not keep them. Seems a 64cm frame would come with beefier wheels... But YMMV.

  10. #10
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    When you got the new wheels what kind were they, and what would you recommend?

  11. #11
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    I rode the crap out of my Mavic Ksyrium SLs at 217#. Hit a few potholes too, never broke a spoke or went out of true. Bought both sets used for about $300 each. Great wheels, IMO.

  12. #12
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    What's the deal with "Pure" wheels? I see them on bicycle wheel warehouse, and they're rated according to weight...anyone have experience with them?

  13. #13
    A wheelist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollingeezer View Post
    What's the deal with "Pure" wheels? I see them on bicycle wheel warehouse, and they're rated according to weight...anyone have experience with them?
    They're the house-brand name of their wheels on the BWW site. Yes lots of us have experience with them and there are almost no complaints. BWW are very conservative with their recommendations regarding rider weight and spoke numbers. You won't see silly-low spoke numbers there - 24f/28r is as low as they will go - or will you see 20/24 spoke wheels with an "unlimited rider weight" designation. They are just not interested in playing the "who can have the least spokes" game.

    The parts for their housebrand wheels are Taiwan sourced, except for their spokes, which are either DT Swiss (they mostly use the Comps) or Sapim CX-Ray bladed spokes. But, unlike most companies that use Taiwan as a parts source (and there are lots of them - some big well-known USA companies too) they assemble their own wheels in the USA.
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    I'm not cranky; I just have a violent reaction to stupid people.

  14. #14
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    I'm 245lbs and have realized the spoke number is the factor I look at most when buying wheels. I have broken spokes on Bontrager wheels with 20 rears. These were OEM Trek wheels with no "rider weight limit" wheels. Broken from fatigue. I won't ride less than 24 spoke rear- neither should you. I have 24 spoke wheels lasting 3000 miles.
    Front spokes matter less. I have never broken front spokes. Learn to unweighted and "ride lightly". That said, ride what you got till it breaks.
    No matter where you go....Winter is coming.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollingeezer View Post
    When you got the new wheels what kind were they, and what would you recommend?
    I think it's obvious. The Fulcrum's only have 24 spokes, they won't hold up for the long haul as I mentioned in an earlier post and as a poster witnessed with that exact wheel set. Your LBS said they recommend 32 spoke wheels, frankly their right depending on the rim their advising, but if you want an extra safety margin, and true the wheels less often, I would go with 36 spoke wheels. Lots of rims out there that can be built for reasonable cost with 36 holes like Kinlin XR300, or Velocity Pro Elite MSW, or the Velocity Chukker. There are others too but those are fairly low costing rims that will cost you less then $900 to build for the entire set and that includes building with Sapim CX Ray spokes and White Industry hubs. Use those lower costing wheels until the weight comes down then get a real nice set of racing or club rims (if you want) and save those others for training and everyday riding.

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