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  1. #1
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    Rider weight and choosing wheels.

    I have only been road riding for about a year. I have a BH G5 with the OE Shimano RS-80 wheels. I have been a mountain biker for years and worry some of my impressions are from that experience and whether they translate.

    I am starting to look at wheels because I do not like what I perceive as flex in these wheels when descending/cornering. I weigh 190# and want an everyday wheel that feels more solid.

    I do not see much in the way of rider weight consideration in wheel discussions (at least that I have seen). Is it something that isn't really a consideration or am I just doing poor research.

    I am zeroing in on the Zipp 303/404 or Enve SES 3.4. I am leaning toward clincher for sake of simplicity.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    jim

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by twelve34 View Post
    I do not see much in the way of rider weight consideration in wheel discussions (at least that I have seen). Is it something that isn't really a consideration or am I just doing poor research.
    It's a question we ask on this forum every time someone asks "What are the best wheels for me?" For some unknown reason newbs rarely consider the variables that might affect their wheels when they ask for advice - weight, terrain (rough, smooth, hilly, flat, windy), intended use (racing, training, general riding, touring etc). I wrote up a potential stickie on this many months ago but it was ignored by the site. So, usually, we have to keep typing it out. Over & over.

    Some wheelbuilders consider this on their website and they categorize wheels suitable (in their opinion) for rider weights - Bicycle Wheel Warehouse road wheels page is a leader in this -

    Road - Bicycle Wheel Warehouse
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  3. #3
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    Neither of those wheel sets are everyday wheel sets. Don't get caught up in the hype. For a everyday wheel set get a hand made set at your weight at least 28 spokes, I would get 32 spokes but thats just me. If you don't trust your LBS to build you a set check out Peter White. Peter White Cycles Home Page

  4. #4
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    Some people ride "heavy" and some people ride "light"

    One person at your weight might need 36 hole rims, while another might ride 28 hole, or less rims.
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    If your opinion differs from mine, ..........Too bad.
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  5. #5
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    I've had Shimano C35 clinchers as everyday wheels since July, no problems, and weigh 190.
    Several teams used C35s in Paris Roubaix, so they can't be that fragile.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by twelve34 View Post
    I have only been road riding for about a year. I have a BH G5 with the OE Shimano RS-80 wheels. I have been a mountain biker for years and worry some of my impressions are from that experience and whether they translate.

    I am starting to look at wheels because I do not like what I perceive as flex in these wheels when descending/cornering. I weigh 190# and want an everyday wheel that feels more solid.

    I do not see much in the way of rider weight consideration in wheel discussions (at least that I have seen). Is it something that isn't really a consideration or am I just doing poor research.

    I am zeroing in on the Zipp 303/404 or Enve SES 3.4. I am leaning toward clincher for sake of simplicity.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    jim
    Mike T and dphoenix summed it very well. However if you are still inclined for Zipp or Enve, I would suggest the Enve 45 clincher build on CK R45, 24/28 or 28/28. With the right number and size of spokes, hub flange and the width of the 45 rim you will have a more robust set for your weight than the Zipp or the 3.4. I am of the opinion that a wheel with 16 or 20 spokes does not belong underneath a 190 lbs rider.

  7. #7
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    how do you know its the wheels that are flexy? It is the usual suspect but there are a lot of factors that contribute to flex. Try isolating it. I am not familiar with BH. Could it be your frame? How does it react when you stomp on the pedals or up hills. Is the fork/head tube solid? Have you tried other wheels?

  8. #8
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    Have been giving this a lot of thought lately. Been out of the sport since the mid-90s when everyone trained on 36 spoke 3-cross, raced on 32 spoke 3-cross, and got really nervous using a 28 spoke radially-laced front wheel. A lot has changed since then.

    You see a lot of people on these forums hating on factory wheels and recommending hand-built 32 or 36 spokes wheels for anyone over 175 lbs and warning "yer gonna die!" if anyone uses anything less. Yet on the manufacturers' sites you see, for example, 225 lb max rider weight for Zipp 404s (16 spoke front, 20 spoke rear) or 220 lb max for all of SRAMs aluminum wheels including the 18 spoke front/20 spoke rear S30 AL Sprint. Something just doesn't add up. I doubt manufacturers would be making these recommendations if they were having wheels fail left and right, due to liability if nothing else.

    The claim is often made that you get more wheel for less money with hand-built, but honestly, unless you want to spend most of your spare time shopping/comparing wheel component weight, performace etc. (rather than riding) the time expended vs. money saved just doesn't add up. I'd recommend calling up a good company with a good selection of wheels (I use Excel Sports in Boulder, CO) and get what they recommend.

    Nothing wrong with 404s as an everyday wheel if you can afford them and afford to replace them. They're fast, soak up a lot of bumps and really stiff in terms of sprinting/climbing. I've also put thousands of miles on a set of Ksyrium Eliites and find them strong, stiff and durable (did I mention, I'm about 205lbs) and not overly harsh. Lots of people here hate on Ksyriums all the time too, but they work for me.

    Good to get opinions here, but ultimately, find a good shop and it's up to you what you want to do.
    A road bike needs disk brakes like a fish needs a bicycle (with apologies to Ms. Dunn)

  9. #9
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    Obviously you have been around but I sure wouldn't trust anything Zipp says regarding wheel weight and capacity. Nor would I buy any of their products, especially carbon clinchers. Lot of people having trouble with their carbon clinchers.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldChipper View Post
    Have been giving this a lot of thought lately. Been out of the sport since the mid-90s when everyone trained on 36 spoke 3-cross, raced on 32 spoke 3-cross, and got really nervous using a 28 spoke radially-laced front wheel. A lot has changed since then.

    You see a lot of people on these forums hating on factory wheels and recommending hand-built 32 or 36 spokes wheels for anyone over 175 lbs and warning "yer gonna die!" if anyone uses anything less. Yet on the manufacturers' sites you see, for example, 225 lb max rider weight for Zipp 404s (16 spoke front, 20 spoke rear) or 220 lb max for all of SRAMs aluminum wheels including the 18 spoke front/20 spoke rear S30 AL Sprint. Something just doesn't add up. I doubt manufacturers would be making these recommendations if they were having wheels fail left and right, due to liability if nothing else.

    The claim is often made that you get more wheel for less money with hand-built, but honestly, unless you want to spend most of your spare time shopping/comparing wheel component weight, performace etc. (rather than riding) the time expended vs. money saved just doesn't add up. I'd recommend calling up a good company with a good selection of wheels (I use Excel Sports in Boulder, CO) and get what they recommend.

    Nothing wrong with 404s as an everyday wheel if you can afford them and afford to replace them. They're fast, soak up a lot of bumps and really stiff in terms of sprinting/climbing. I've also put thousands of miles on a set of Ksyrium Eliites and find them strong, stiff and durable (did I mention, I'm about 205lbs) and not overly harsh. Lots of people here hate on Ksyriums all the time too, but they work for me.

    Good to get opinions here, but ultimately, find a good shop and it's up to you what you want to do.

  10. #10
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    OK, fair enough, I wasn't thinking of all-carbon clinchers since I consider them to be pretty impractical both due to heat build up and need to change brake pads when you change wheels - hell, I even hate changing wheels!!! . I was thinking the 404s with an aluminum braking surface. Those could definitely be "daily drivers" IMHO.

    As for weight limits, who am I to trust but the manufacturer who knows one hell of a lot more about the engineering behind their product than anyone here, and who stands to lose a LOT in our litigious culture if they're wrong?
    A road bike needs disk brakes like a fish needs a bicycle (with apologies to Ms. Dunn)

  11. #11
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    Many companies have come and gone that took just this sort of chance.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike T. View Post
    never seen anything so common sense before, thanks for the link.
    At 215 I'm finally looking for something lighter than the old 32 spokers but not something that will last only 3 months.
    for heavier riders it looks like they offer a pure race superlight wheelset, 1525 grams for 360 bucks, that's a pretty sweet deal. Cheaper and stronger than the WH-6700 ultegra
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by draganM View Post
    never seen anything so common sense before,
    They're not into fad or hype at all.

    for heavier riders it looks like they offer a pure race superlight wheelset, 1525 grams for 360 bucks, that's a pretty sweet deal.
    They're their best general purpose, weight for cost wheelset on their site. Mine arrived two rides ago and weigh 1584 grams on my scale. They have lighter (Blackset Race) and heavier (Pure Aero) but for the average dude they're the one to beat for $350 in their basic form.
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  14. #14
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    Listen to what Mike T and dphoenix are saying there is truth & experience in those words. If you want an everyday wheel that you can trust & pound the ground on , handbuilts 32's are the way you want to go. Otherwise it's a craps shoot as to how long it will be until you either need to re-true the wheels or are walking home because you broke spokes. I 've dealt with this for the past 5 years. My everyday wheels are handbuilt Ultegra hubs & 32h 33's. I get them trued & tension once a year & simply don't have to worry about any problems. I have a set of Ksyriums Elites as well. Great for weight savings for a race or ride here & there. However, the last time I rode them, It to just 37 miles to knock the back out of wack. there's no way I'd get a week of riding out of them without doing damage. I'm no light weight (212 - 214lbs @ 6ft. 4) but am very fit and do ride about 3 grand a year on average. Get some everyday / training wheels & don't worry so much about a pound or extra weight. If you want some 1500gram wheels, get 'em for race days or special occasions.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by clydeosaur View Post
    I have a set of Ksyriums Elites as well. Great for weight savings for a race or ride here & there. However, the last time I rode them, It to just 37 miles to knock the back out of wack. there's no way I'd get a week of riding out of them without doing damage.
    Dude, there's something wrong with your wheels then. I've put >2000 miles on a set of Elites and touched up the true on the rear a grand total of ONCE just shortly after I bought them. Either that or the weight tolerance is very tight as I only weigh a few pounds less than you.

    But yeah, you're right, if you want peace of mind no matter what, go with 32-3x. Of course then why not 36-3x? Bottom line, you pay your money and you take your chances. I like to ride fast all the time (vs. training and race wheels, especially since I don't race other than TTs), hate deciding "which wheels shall I ride today" and changing them out, and tend to keep a very close eye on my gear, so I go with lighter wheels than many here would and ride them everyday.
    Last edited by OldChipper; 05-13-2012 at 09:43 PM.
    A road bike needs disk brakes like a fish needs a bicycle (with apologies to Ms. Dunn)

  16. #16
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    The problem with them is that they are low spoke count with radial lacing on the drive side. Bad combination. I can promise you if I throw a set on & go do a ride with some climbs, I'll start to knock the back out of wack pretty quick. Wheels builders have told me the same (the ones who build my wheels for me).

  17. #17
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    I am 230 pounds, ride about 18 miles per day, five days a week, with 30 or 40 mile rides on the weekend. I'm no racer, but I can run 18 to 20 mph.

    I'm riding on stock standard Bontrager-trek wheels, 28 spokes font and back, 90 psi in the tires.

    Average about 2500 miles a year, country roads and some rural streets. I change back tire about once a season, front tire is more than two years old.

    Never broke a spoke, front wheel still runs true, back wheel needs a tiny bit of adjustment. . Three years since last time wheels were trued.
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