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  1. #1
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    In the market for a set of climbing wheels

    I am interested in a set of climbing wheels.

    They won't see a lot of general purpose miles. Maybe 800-1000 miles a year. Mostly just climbing centric rides. They will be going on my 'light' rim brake road bike with Ultegra 6800 caliper brakes.

    I had a set of C24 clinchers that I really liked, but reluctantly sold them to a friend who needed a set of wheels in a pinch.

    I just about pulled the trigger on a new set of C24 9100 clinchers, but thought I'd see what the denizens of the RBR Wheels and Tires forum might suggest that is in the $800 - $1100 price range.

    I really liked the C24's light weight, aluminum brake track, and smooth rolling. I thought they were a great value at the price I paid for them new.

    Alloy or carbon is fine as long as I get similar riding characteristics ( and a safe braking experience).

    Custom, Boutique, Off the Shelf.. all options are on the table...

    Edit: For the custom wheel builders and sellers who read this, if you aren't comfortable posting your suggestions in the thread, feel free to PM me.

    P.S. I HATE loud hubs (i.e. DT240's with high engagement).

  2. #2
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    Campagnolo Shamal/Eurus, Boyd Altamont Lite.

  3. #3
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    If you hate loud hubs, you want Shimano hubs. That is unless you want to spend gobs of $$$ and get something like Stealth or Onyx hubs.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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  4. #4
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    I get the idea, but not all that into the concept of super light climbing wheels. A set of Kinlin SR26 rims with Bitex hubs and good spokes will be around 1450g. You could build them yourself for around $460 or have them built for you for under $600. With lighter rims like these I prefer a hub with better flange geometry than Bitex (or even Dura Ace) have, but take your pick of White Industries, Industry Nine, King and some other good options and you're still under your budget in a lot of cases or mid-range of it at worst. PLENTY light to play the role of a "climbing clincher" but very much an all use set as well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migen21 View Post
    P.S. I HATE loud hubs (i.e. DT240's with high engagement).
    I haven't found these to be loud really if they are kept lubed well - they are definitely loud if not. I end up cleaning and lubing them every 500 miles or so to keep their noise equal to an average hub.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I haven't found these to be loud really if they are kept lubed well - they are definitely loud if not. I end up cleaning and lubing them every 500 miles or so to keep their noise equal to an average hub.
    My Dt 240s have been obnoxiously loud since day 1. They came installed in a set of Enve wheels. I had my local wheels guy put the high engagement ratchet ( why I did this I have no earthly idea). It was lubed when it was installed and has been loud enough to wake the dead ever since)

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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migen21 View Post
    My Dt 240s have been obnoxiously loud since day 1. They came installed in a set of Enve wheels. I had my local wheels guy put the high engagement ratchet ( why I did this I have no earthly idea). It was lubed when it was installed and has been loud enough to wake the dead ever since)
    Interesting, mine are on Enve 4.5 wheels and really pretty quiet - maybe they didn't use the DT Swiss lube or put enough in? Maybe try getting some of their lube and try it yourself, it's pretty simple to do. I do like the faster engagement a lot better than the stock set up which sucks IMHO.
    Moderation is boring - do epic s##t

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I haven't found these to be loud really if they are kept lubed well - they are definitely loud if not. I end up cleaning and lubing them every 500 miles or so to keep their noise equal to an average hub.
    I certainly would not want to have to lube my freehub every 500 miles to keep it reasonably quiet. I would rather just get a quieter hub in the first place. Nothing wrong with Shimano Dura-Ace. Other hubs have better engagement, but with better engagement comes more noise unless you get a Stealth or an Onyx.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I certainly would not want to have to lube my freehub every 500 miles to keep it reasonably quiet. I would rather just get a quieter hub in the first place. Nothing wrong with Shimano Dura-Ace. Other hubs have better engagement, but with better engagement comes more noise unless you get a Stealth or an Onyx.
    Yeah, it is a bit of a pain - but it's better than the late engagement from the standard setup.
    Moderation is boring - do epic s##t

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Yeah, it is a bit of a pain - but it's better than the late engagement from the standard setup.
    Somehow, I have never felt severely disadvantaged from the standard 18 point hub engagement. Though maybe if I tried something better, my tune would change. But I still don't want a freehub that sounds like a band of cicadas.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    I get the idea, but not all that into the concept of super light climbing wheels.
    I just did a ride with 12,000 climbing today. If ever there was a ride where I would NOT want a superlight wheel it was that. The thing about going up hills is they all go down. And the thing about hitting pot holes at 40 is you don't want super light wheels. Unless the reason you will have limited miles is that you will be getting a ride down I'd suggest forgetting the idea of super light wheels unless your body weight is also super light and they can handle it.
    Last edited by Jay Strongbow; 08-19-2017 at 06:59 PM.

  12. #12
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    I agree. I live in Fl, so we don't do much climbing but I went to CO in 2013 for a multi-day in the NW part of the state. I used a set of wheels I built around DA hubs and Kinlin 279 rims on my Strong steel frame. We had a number of passes over 11k. What goes up must come down. I hit 49.5 on a descent into Steamboat Springs and the wheels were very steady all the way down. I have DA/ 31W wheels now and wouldn't hesitate to take them to COif I could.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    The thing about going up hills is they all go down
    No, they don't all go back down.

    I'm not a huge fan of one way trips, but the ride organizers around here seem to be fond of them.

    This is the elevation profile for one example. There are some downhills along the way, the majority of the ride is UP. It starts at sea level and climbs pretty much all day.




    There a handful of these types of rides where we ride up and shuttle back down afterwards. Personally, I'd rather ride down and shuttle up, but it is what it is...\

    But honestly guys and gals, I didn't come asking for advice about whether I need, or want climbing wheels, or whether or not I should do rides like this.

    I'm wondering if anyone has suggestions for wheels comparable to the C24's at a similar (or slightly higher) price point. If calling them climbing wheels bothers you, then just call them something else. I could just get another set of C24's, but I wanted to give folks to opportunity to suggest something different.
    Last edited by Migen21; 08-19-2017 at 08:10 PM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I certainly would not want to have to lube my freehub every 500 miles to keep it reasonably quiet. I would rather just get a quieter hub in the first place..
    With a DT240, if you had a blob of grease with you, you could re-lube your ratchety bits at the side of the road, without any tools, while your riding buddy had a whizz. It's that easy.
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  15. #15
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    In that case, I would go with November Dave's suggestion.

  16. #16
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    I'm somewhat more guilty of letting calling them climbing wheels bother me. A good set of all around wheels that puts somewhat more of an emphasis on light weight may be better semantics for me.

    To go light, you have to give something else up. In the case of the C24, they're narrow and that ship has just plain sailed for me, and they have 16/24 spoking, which I just don't like. You can get somewhat crazy light with like a Kinlin 200 and Bitex spokes, but I think that that's a fundamentally compromised wheel as well - skinny, flexy rims with a rear hub that doesn't do much to downplay the rim's liabilities.

    Climbing actually stresses the rear wheel quite a lot. Lots of torque. An under built rear will turn into a source of regret.

    My suggestion is more geared toward avoiding having you buy a "one trick pony" set of wheels that isn't even particularly good at the trick it's supposed to do. I'd rather do that even on XR26Ts with the whatever penalty I'm taking on weight (150g?) but with a more solid build and a wider rim.

    If you want crazy light and fundamentally sound, carbon tubulars from a source you trust is the way to get there. 1100g isn't hard to hit there.

  17. #17
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    I have built a number of wheels using DT-240 hubs. My daily ride has them. As long as you use the std 18 tooth star ratchet lube them up and pack the relief in the ratchets with DT grease they are quiet for many, many thousands of miles. I find packung the relief, lightening grooves in the star ratchets deadens the sound a bit.

    Changing the star ratchets to higher engagement ones seems to make them louder.

    I am not a fan of loud hubs and I find the 240s hubs are totally reasonable for me in terms of noise.

    Good luck

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    I'm somewhat more guilty of letting calling them climbing wheels bother me. A good set of all around wheels that puts somewhat more of an emphasis on light weight may be better semantics for me.

    To go light, you have to give something else up. In the case of the C24, they're narrow and that ship has just plain sailed for me, and they have 16/24 spoking, which I just don't like. You can get somewhat crazy light with like a Kinlin 200 and Bitex spokes, but I think that that's a fundamentally compromised wheel as well - skinny, flexy rims with a rear hub that doesn't do much to downplay the rim's liabilities.

    Climbing actually stresses the rear wheel quite a lot. Lots of torque. An under built rear will turn into a source of regret.

    My suggestion is more geared toward avoiding having you buy a "one trick pony" set of wheels that isn't even particularly good at the trick it's supposed to do. I'd rather do that even on XR26Ts with the whatever penalty I'm taking on weight (150g?) but with a more solid build and a wider rim.

    If you want crazy light and fundamentally sound, carbon tubulars from a source you trust is the way to get there. 1100g isn't hard to hit there.
    Thanks Dave,

    I really appreciate your input. However, as I think you know, I have good wheels for my bikes (some of which are your awesome handiwork), and in this case, I really am looking for a one-trick-pony. That is a fairly light wheel that would only be used a few times a year for rides like those I mentioned above.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    I'm somewhat more guilty of letting calling them climbing wheels bother me. A good set of all around wheels that puts somewhat more of an emphasis on light weight may be better semantics for me.

    To go light, you have to give something else up. In the case of the C24, they're narrow and that ship has just plain sailed for me, and they have 16/24 spoking, which I just don't like. You can get somewhat crazy light with like a Kinlin 200 and Bitex spokes, but I think that that's a fundamentally compromised wheel as well - skinny, flexy rims with a rear hub that doesn't do much to downplay the rim's liabilities.

    Climbing actually stresses the rear wheel quite a lot. Lots of torque. An under built rear will turn into a source of regret.

    My suggestion is more geared toward avoiding having you buy a "one trick pony" set of wheels that isn't even particularly good at the trick it's supposed to do. I'd rather do that even on XR26Ts with the whatever penalty I'm taking on weight (150g?) but with a more solid build and a wider rim.

    If you want crazy light and fundamentally sound, carbon tubulars from a source you trust is the way to get there. 1100g isn't hard to hit there.
    An excellent philosophical summary. Saving 200 gm on a set of wheels seems massive, but it will increase climbing speed by roughly 0.05 mph (0.08 km/hr). And for that you make all the compromises Dave has noted.

  20. #20
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    As November Dave has said, it's almost impossible to get into "light" wheels without big compromises in rim longevity and without going to tubular tires (& their rims). 1400 grams is just about the lower limit of clincher wheels. At the lower end of 1400 grams is the venerable Blackset Race wheels by BWW -

    Blackset Race 24 700c Wheel Set

    - and for dollars versus grams they're impossible to beat at their advertised 1400 gram weight. I'm not sure as I believe that figure as my Blackset Race weighed 1410g and my rims were their earlier ones before the rim was re-designed with a thicker nipple bed. But still, $399 for approx 1400 gram wheels with 24/28 CX-Rays is a combo that I've never seen beaten. Oh yeah, shipping is a dollar too.

    The rim weight for the BSR will be close to 400 grams each. Not many rims get that low and those that come close probably give up something on width, nipple bed thickness or brake track depth (and probably thickness!).

    The BSR rim is a narrow one though with a 19.5mm inner width. You can't get around wider rims adding extra weight. The BSR narrow width never held me back in the 4 years that I had my BSR wheels and I still consider wide rims the latest fad foisted upon us rather than a big step in any positive direction. I've been in the sport to remember Keith Bontrager's "new & improved" narrow rims taking the mountainbike world by storm. Those rims would now fit inside the new MTB widths. The industry sold boat loads of narrow rimmed MTB wheels that everyone just HAD to have. Hmmmm........

    Those Blackset Race with a wider rim (their BSR 28 at 22mm width) are advertised as weighing 1470 grams. Oh what compromises we face!

    If you could find a set of Ryde Pulse Sprint rims (I rode mine today!!) you would find that they are sub 400g (mine are 381 and 392 grams). But they were taken off the market due (AFAIK) to nipple bed cracking with their 1.8mm bed thickness. Adding 0.2 ~ 0.4mm gives rims more longevity - and extra weight. But how far are you willing to go for light climbing wheels?

    Anymore I think along the lines of November Dave and Kerry Irons. For us mere mortals without a Team Sky truck full of all types of special occasion wheels, a good set of do-all wheels is really where it's at for me.
    Last edited by Mike T.; 08-20-2017 at 10:36 AM.
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  21. #21
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    I like my Zipp 202 clinchers for climbing. Sub 1400g. No real problems after 15k miles and a million or two feet of elevation gain (and descent).

  22. #22
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    Enve 2.2 tubs.. 1150g with dt240.. sub 1k with some extralites
    PO is a liberal echo chamber.

  23. #23
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    If you don't mind narrow rims and DIY:-
    BDop Cycling Co

    $270 for 1350gm

  24. #24
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    The Boyd Altamont Lite Ceramic rim is a great choice for a custom wheelset!

    DT 240's with basic engagement are pretty quiet.

    American Classic hubs are very light and very quiet.

  25. #25
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    I think you are already heading in the right direction with C24's.

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