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  1. #1
    I make Eagles fly
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    upgrading wheels

    Well I ride a couple thousand miles a year , my current Madone 2.1 is staying around for another few years and I figured a wheel upgrade would be nice.

    Been looking at 2 sets of wheels. First is the Shimano RS81 and the other would be a lightbicycle custom wheel build.

    The Shimano set is simple , except for the size C24 or C35 is my hangup.

    Lightbicycle build , 45mm depth and 25mm wide carbon is what I have been looking at. Others are available, just don't know what is really needed for my riding. Other things, Hope RS4 road hubs and they recommend Sapim spokes.

    My riding, some climbing, constant 10+ mph winds , roads seem to be ok , and I currently am maxed at a 25c tire.

    Wheels will probably get transfereed to my next bike in a couple years.

    Suggestions, and recommendations please.

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    If you are dealing with consistent 10+ mph winds, 45mm aero wheels are probably not a great idea. Crosswinds will be a nightmare, not to mention if you ride where you will be passed by 18 wheelers doing 50+ mph, they could be a danger.

    Before you take the plunge on an expensive pair of wheels, it may be a good idea to familiarize yourself with the "Wheels and Tires FAQ and helpful hints" sticky, post #2. I'll cut and paste it below. This will help us tremendously:

    What wheels should I buy?

    On this forum, this question gets asked often -

    Q - I want new wheels for my bike. What should I buy?

    A - Of course, for a good answer, we need as much information as possible. Some of the info we need is -


    • Why do you want new wheels? What's wrong with your old ones?
    • What are you old ones? (rim name, hub name, spokes, their numbers)
    • How much do you want to spend?
    • How heavy are you?
    • Do you ride "light" or "heavy"? Are you powerful or smooth?
    • Have you had problems with your current wheels and if so, what?
    • What condition are the roads in that you ride?
    • What tires, widths and pressures are you using?
    • What do you expect from your new wheels that your old ones can't deliver? (be reasonable and realistic here!)
    • What are you going to use the wheels for - recreational riding, touring (loaded), training, racing, general purpose?
    • Do you want custom hand-built (designed for you) or factory pre-built?
    • Do you want wheels that are easily repairable with readily available, reasonably priced spokes and rims or are you ok with maybe having to ship your wheels back to the factory and wheels that contain expensive, proprietary spokes and possibly un-obtainium replacement rims?
    • Do you need 11spd compatible wheels (can be used with 8 ~10spd cassettes too by using a spacer) or are 10spd wheels ok? (can only be used with 8 ~ 10spd cassettes). Edit - This info is for Shimano & SRAM related cassettes; not Campagnolo.
    • Do you want the wheels to be oriented towards "aero" or "light"?
    • Do you want to use regular clincher, tubeless, or tubular tires?
    • Aluminum or carbon rims?
    • Rim brakes or disk brakes?
    • Rear hub width? (120, 126, 130, 135MM)
    • Do you want adjustable loose ball bearing hubs (almost exclusively Shimano) or cartridge bearing hubs (almost everything else)?
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  3. #3
    I make Eagles fly
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    Old wheels are heavy, and flex like a wet noodle.

    Looking for an all around wheel. Out if all those questions it's the Aero vs light that I am hung up on. I can get 25mm, 35mm or 45mm , I don't worry about big rigs coming by, but vegas does have wind. What depth make a normal all around great riding wheel.
    Last edited by Terrasmak; 3 Days Ago at 04:36 PM.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrasmak View Post
    Old wheels are heavy, and flex like a wet noodle.

    Looking for an all around wheel. Out if all those quartions it's the Aero vs light that I am hung up on. I can get 25mm, 35mm or 45mm , I don't worry about big rigs coming by, but vegas diesel have wind. What depth make a normal all around great riding wheel.
    Since you have a Trek Madone, I am assuming it came with Bontrager wheels. I can't imagine they weigh more than 1800-1900g or so. Typical weight of entry level road wheels. Flex like a wet noodle is definitely not nice. This could be for a number of reasons. Bontrager wheel quality has never been tops.

    Personally, I think 20-30mm is a good depth range for a road wheel - especially if you will be riding in windy areas. The Shimano RS81 C24 is a great deal right now:

    Shimano RS81-C24 Carbon Wheelset > Components > Wheels > Road Wheels | Jenson USA

    Another great buy right now is the Shimano Ultegra WH-6800:

    Shimano Ultegra 6800 Tubeless Wheelset > Components > Wheels > Road Wheels | Jenson USA

    Granted it weighs 120g more, but costs $220 less. They are good quality wheels and trust me, you won't notice the weight difference.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  5. #5
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    I have ridden RS80-C24, RS81-C24, and DA 9000-C24, all essentially the same. I actually like my RS80s more than the RS81s, but once I switched to 11-speed didn't have much of a choice there.

    They are light, priced well, and it's nice (IMO) to have the aluminum braking track along with some carbon elements. I wish I had gotten the DA C35s to be honest. They are not much heavier at all.

    Rider weight is a consideration, I'm about 180 and I think I'm at the high end for what these wheels would do well handling. There are not a ton of spokes...

    PS Not a wheel expert here, although there appear to be many on this site.
    Last edited by jetdog9; 3 Days Ago at 09:14 AM.

  6. #6
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    How much do you weigh? I weigh 170 and wouldn't likely choose Shimano wheels due to the low spoke count - but I do have an above average annual mileage probably.

    Personally, I can tell the difference easily between a 2000 gram wheel set and a 1600 gram set - they spin up much easier if most of the difference is the rim which is often the case. Stock wheels like you have are going to feel like lead weights compared to a light set. That isn't necessarily going to make you any faster though, it may just feel better.
    Moderation is boring - do epic s##t

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  7. #7
    I make Eagles fly
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    I weight between 170 and 180. I have been eyeballing the RS81 but the odd spoke count turned me off.

    I'm going to have a set built on Hope hubs ( same brand I use for both mountain bikes) and run a standard 20 front 24 rear combo. The wheels will be a 25mm wide set, and now leaning on a 35-38mm depth

  8. #8
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    How much do you weigh? I weigh 170 and wouldn't likely choose Shimano wheels due to the low spoke count - but I do have an above average annual mileage probably.
    Ordinarily, I wouldn't choose any wheels with a spoke count lower than 24 front/28 rear. However, I have known enough 200lb+ people who have been riding 16/20 Shimano wheels for a few thousand miles and never had a problem - never even needed trueing. Though IF you do break a spoke on a lower spoke count wheel, it will be next to impossible to get it true enough to get home. So make sure you're doing a ride where there will be a cell signal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    Personally, I can tell the difference easily between a 2000 gram wheel set and a 1600 gram set - they spin up much easier if most of the difference is the rim which is often the case. Stock wheels like you have are going to feel like lead weights compared to a light set. That isn't necessarily going to make you any faster though, it may just feel better.
    This.

    Lighter rims will make you accelerate faster from a stop, but once up to speed, you won't notice any difference.
    Last edited by Lombard; 3 Days Ago at 03:57 AM.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrasmak View Post
    I weight between 170 and 180. I have been eyeballing the RS81 but the odd spoke count turned me off.

    I'm going to have a set built on Hope hubs ( same brand I use for both mountain bikes) and run a standard 20 front 24 rear combo. The wheels will be a 25mm wide set, and now leaning on a 35-38mm depth
    Or you could go with a set of these:

    Blackset Race 30 700c Wheel Set

    They have positive reviews among riders on this forum, weigh only 1497g and don't play the low spoke game. They are 24/28.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  10. #10
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    OP, some years ago I run across a series of articles on the subject of the gains we get from the different wheels available that I deemed noteworthy and kept. Glad to see they are still available on the net:
    Great wheel test 2008 – Part 2 – Inertia | Roues Artisanales

    See their data and conclusions and argument on how close to non-existent the differences, in terms of inertia (which is the essence of your post), are between the high end aluminum wheels vs. the lower cost aluminum wheels. See also their argument about two wheelsets which makes a lot of sense to me if one has the circumstances to use the second set (i.e. Racing).

    I hope it helps you in your decision making where to put your money. IMO, with today's market pricing and following the premises in this article, there is not a lot to gain in terms of wheel inertia when spending over $500 for a set of aluminum wheels. The extra money goes to features of the wheel's components, often the hub. However, whether the hub freebody is Ti, Aluminum or steel, would not change much the way you feel while riding on them.
    With bicycles in particular, you need to separate between what's merely true and what's important.

  11. #11
    I make Eagles fly
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Or you could go with a set of these:

    Blackset Race 30 700c Wheel Set

    They have positive reviews among riders on this forum, weigh only 1497g and don't play the low spoke game. They are 24/28.
    Those are pretty cool, only thing holding me back on a set is the hubs. I really want to build off my hubs of choice

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