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  1. #1
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    Question WHEELSET HELP! - Cervelo R3

    Hello friends, I'm looking for some help with identifying some good quality/value wheelset upgrade from my bike. There are too many options on the internet, and I'm now officially overwhelmed.

    • Why do you want new wheels? What's wrong with your old ones?
    I want a new wheelset that will help to make me faster. I’m still riding on the stock wheels that came with my bike. They’ve served me well for the past 4 years, but I know they aren’t a very good wheelset and are quite heavy. The rear spokes also make a distinct pinging sound when I’m climbing out of the saddle on a steep hill.

    What are you old ones? (rim name, hub name, spokes, their numbers)
    Shimano R500, Matching shimano hubs.

    How much do you want to spend?
    $500-$1500++. Still trying to figure out how much I realistically should spend on this upgrade.

    • How heavy are you?
    ~200lbs

    • Do you ride "light" or "heavy"? Are you powerful or smooth?
    Umm…probably powerful and smooth.

    • Have you had problems with your current wheels and if so, what?
    Just the pinging noise as previously mentioned. Seems to happen when I’m in my largest cog at high wattage.

    • What condition are the roads in that you ride?
    Very mild winters where I live, so the roads are generally in pretty good shape.

    • What tires, widths and pressures are you using?
    I’m currently using Specialized Espoir Elite 23c tires, but planning on a new set with my new wheels. Run ~100-105psi front and ~110psi rear.

    • What do you expect from your new wheels that your old ones can't deliver? (be reasonable and realistic here!) I’m hoping a higher quality aero wheelset will help my quest in becoming faster. I also enjoy having good quality gear. It gives me more satisfaction and enjoyment when riding. I am really drawn to carbon wheels and these would be my preference (call me shallow, but I love the way they make a bike look). I would also like to run wider tires for additional comfort if tire clearance isn’t an issue.

    • What are you going to use the wheels for - recreational riding, touring (loaded), training, racing, general purpose?
    Personal fitness and fast group rides. Not interested in racing, but I do love to go fast and sexy wheels/bike make me want to ride more often. I’m riding in the A group of my local group ride (~35km/h avg.) and I’d like a wheelset that can help me sustaining higher speeds more efficiently.

    • Do you want custom hand-built (designed for you) or factory pre-built?
    Was thinking factory built (name brand) since that’s all I’m familiar with.

    • 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?
    I’m fine with having to ship wheels back for required repairs if that means I get a better wheel.

    • Do you need 11spd compatible wheels (can be used with 8 ~10spd cassettes too by using a spacer) or are 10spd wheels ok?
    I’d like 11 spd in case I also upgrade my groupset to 11.

    • Do you want the wheels to be oriented towards "aero" or "light"?
    Aero

    • Do you want to use regular clincher, tubeless, or tubular tires?
    Regular Clincher and/or tubeless

    • Aluminum or carbon rims?
    Prefer the idea of Carbon, but still wrestling with value for the money.

    • Rim brakes or disk brakes?
    Rim brakes

    • Rear hub width? (120, 126, 130, 135MM)
    ??? No idea.

    • Do you want adjustable loose ball bearing hubs (almost exclusively Shimano) or cartridge bearing hubs (almost everything else)?
    Not sure.

  2. #2
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    If you are looking for aero wheels I think one of the best values right now is the Hed Jet 6+ for under $1000: https://www.competitivecyclist.com/h...NhbGU6MTozMzo=

    You will be hard pressed to find a wheel with better aerodynamics and you retain the excellent braking properties of an aluminum rim. If you are set on a full carbon rim they also have some Reynolds wheels for really good prices like these: https://www.competitivecyclist.com/r...NhbGU6MTo0Og==

    I also like Flo Cycling a lot, they make both full carbon wheels and carbon/aluminum wheels for very good prices and either their 45 or 60 model would work well. FLO Cycling - Home

    You also may want to check out the November Bicycles blog for some recent tests they did showing you gain very little over some of the new 25-30 mm deep alloy rims with a deeper set of carbon wheels. Here's one of their articles: November Bicycles: Race smart. - November Bicycles Blog - MeaningfulÂ*Differentiation . November is one of this forum's favorite custom wheel builders.

  3. #3
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    I wrestled with the carbon vs AL rims for quite some time before deciding on AL rims (RFSW3 "ceramic" build from November wheels - November Bicycles: Race smart. - RFSW3). More on that wheelset in a bit.

    warning - long post ahead!

    Carbon's questionable braking, durability, higher maintenance, inability to quickly switch out wheels to another set (AL rims), and value for the $$ all weighed into my decision. It almost sounds like you have made up your mind on carbon but want validation on that decision to silence the part of your inner dialogue that says go with AL.

    Here's where I landed on each question:

    Questionable braking: Carbon is renown for having shall we say not as good braking as aluminum for rim brakes. Zipp, Mavic, and others are continually altering their resins to better their performance. Many have textured brake tracks to address the braking issue - especially in the wet. There are plenty of reviews stating how X brand braking is terrible in wet conditions. Heat buildup is still an issue for many brands - rim delamination and deformation are still problems that are prevalent enough to be concerning with carbon rim brakes wheels.

    Durability: Carbon rims should be quite durable, however if you ding the rim at all, it calls into question the integrity of the carbon. You don't know if it has been compromised below the top layer or not. You may have a wheel that looks ok with maybe a scratch to the finish but may actually be damaged and structurally compromised. Durability also ties into the heat, delamination, deformation I mentioned before.

    Higher maintenance: You have to stay on top of carbon wheels more. Inspect them more often IMO, clean brake tracks more often to preserve better braking.

    Inability to switch wheels to another set: Unless you exclusively ride carbon wheels or have disk brakes (which I don't) and you mentioned rim brakes, you will be using carbon specific pads with your carbon wheels. If you ever need to change wheels (ie your carbon wheels need service and you want to ride so you put your old wheels on the bike), it will not be a quick switch. You will need to switch your pads if you switch your wheels to AL rim ones. If you don't you risk contaminating them with aluminum which will likely damage the brake track on the carbon rim if you continue to use that pad. You may be able to clean the pad before that but do you really want to risk damaging your expensive carbon rim?

    Value for the money: When I was looking at carbon rims that I felt I could trust, I eliminated any rim older than 2015 models because of the continually improving brake track that most mfg's work on. Now I wouldn't go older than 2016 if I were to even consider it. Also I wanted to go with name brands that I felt I could trust. I was looking at 2K or higher really. Then I considered all the other issues and came to the conclusion that I didn't feel comfortable laying out the cash for that. I could buy 2,3 or even 4 wheelsets that for the same money and have a quiver to address all needs if I wanted - light climbing, all-around, or full on deep aero.

    What I did: I went with 24/28 RFSW3 build from November. They have the black "ceramic" brake track that looks like carbon but is not. Granted I know that the surface will wear off eventually but right now they are still holding up great. The rims are A-force AL-33 rims that tested very well for aerodynamics. While they are not super light, they are still quite reasonable, and I have set many new personal bests on them. I have no issues with keeping up or even pushing the pace with the spirited group rides (B group for the record). They spin up well, handle cross-winds like a champ (I weigh 170 lbs currently down from 180), corner on rails, and feel absolutely bomb proof. It doesn't hurt that they look darn sexy on the bike. I couldn't be happier with my decision - absolutely no regrets.

    If you want to go fairly aero deep wheels, I would consider the HED Jet 6's. Backcountry has them on sale right now for around $1K. Aluminum brake track with a carbon fairing. They are higher on weight than all carbon or shallower rims but that's the trade off for deeper more aero rims. They have good reviews that I have seen.

    Good luck with your decision. I totally understand if you just gotta have carbon though. I'm waiting to go with carbon until I get a disk brake bike.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobra_kai View Post
    If you are looking for aero wheels I think one of the best values right now is the Hed Jet 6+ for under $1000: https://www.competitivecyclist.com/h...NhbGU6MTozMzo=
    Thanks. I've looked briefly at those Heds, but Competitive Cyclist states that they best for riders under 195 max.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinball View Post
    It almost sounds like you have made up your mind on carbon but want validation on that decision to silence the part of your inner dialogue that says go with AL. .
    Hahaha. So true. I',m glad I'm not alone in this. Thank you for all the great info. What I find most difficult is that everyone seems to have drastically different opinions on what is best.

  6. #6
    dcb
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    I am the same weight as you and ride an R2. I built up a set of Kinlin XR31 rims that I got from the bikehubstore and I'm really happy with the build. I think the rims are strong enough to support me with a 24/28 spoke build and they probably don't give much away in the aero department to some deeper wheels.

    If I were doing it again I'd get a set from November built up with the Aforce 33mm rims. With your budget you could get two sets built up and keep one set up with fast tires, latex tubes for fast rides in good weather and get a less expensive set built with XR31's or 279's with Gatorskins and regular tubes for training rides/bad weather.

    November Bicycles: Race smart. - RFSW3
    XR31T Wheelset Kit (SL79/SL210 Hubs + CXRay Spokes) - From $359.95

    At your weight I'd be looking for 28 or 32 spokes in the back. I also wonder with a four year old R3 what kind of tire clearance you might have to go bigger than a 23mm tire. I can run 28's on mine but it's tight in the back. No problem in the front.

    By the way, that pinging with your current wheels could be your derailleur getting too close to your spokes. Mine was doing that yesterday but a half turn with the barrel adjuster took care of it.
    Last edited by dcb; 1 Week Ago at 07:54 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcb View Post
    I am the same weight as you and ride an R2. I built up a set of Kinlin XR31 rims that I got from the bikehubstore and I'm really happy with the build. I think the rims are strong enough to support me with a 24/28 spoke build and they probably don't give much away in the aero department to some deeper wheels.

    If I were doing it again I'd get a set from November built up with the Aforce 33mm rims. With your budget you could get two sets built up and keep one set up with fast tires, latex tubes for fast rides in good weather and get a less expensive set built with XR31's or 279's with Gatorskins and regular tubes for training rides/bad weather.

    November Bicycles: Race smart. - RFSW3
    XR31T Wheelset Kit (SL79/SL210 Hubs + CXRay Spokes) - From $359.95

    At your weight I'd be looking for 28 or 32 spokes in the back. I also wonder with a four year old R3 what kind of tire clearance you might have to go bigger than a 23mm tire. I can run 28's on mine but it's tight in the back. No problem in the front.

    By the way, that pinging with your current wheels could be your derailleur getting too close to your spokes. Mine was doing that yesterday but a half turn with the barrel adjuster took care of it.
    If your derailleur is too close to the spokes you should fix it with the limit screw, not a cable tension adjustment.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    dcb
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobra_kai View Post
    If your derailleur is too close to the spokes you should fix it with the limit screw, not a cable tension adjustment.

    Sent from my SM-G930F using Tapatalk
    Thanks Sheldon! I was out on a ride and didn't have a screwdriver with me though so I did the best I could.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmason898 View Post
    Thanks. I've looked briefly at those Heds, but Competitive Cyclist states that they best for riders under 195 max.
    Email HED and see what they say. I was 200-205, and they we're fine. Still riding them at 170#. Great luck with the HED Belgium's that November built for me.
    Tis the season for all of us not hard enough to play to belittle those not hard enough to win. We are a funny lot. - dave @ November Bicycles

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    There are plenty of selections in the price range.

    Here are a few that I have found that comes with CX ray spokes and tubeless ready:

    1.Irwin Cycling, I just check that Irwin is doing a promo on their site. 20% off now right with free shipping (assuming you go carbon). At the 38 deep carbon, this would probably cost around $1,280. Comes with ceramic bearing too!

    2. Boyd Cycling, is around the same price range and comes with tubeless ready. if you want to ride with a white industry hub, they have option as well!

    3. Reynolds is on sale everywhere now (probably because of TDF) on competitive cyclist.
    So that might tickle your fancy lol

    Flo is also a good option but i don't think it comes in tubeless ready.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bumpride View Post
    There are plenty of selections in the price range.

    Here are a few that I have found that comes with CX ray spokes and tubeless ready:

    1.Irwin Cycling, I just check that Irwin is doing a promo on their site. 20% off now right with free shipping (assuming you go carbon). At the 38 deep carbon, this would probably cost around $1,280. Comes with ceramic bearing too!

    2. Boyd Cycling, is around the same price range and comes with tubeless ready. if you want to ride with a white industry hub, they have option as well!

    3. Reynolds is on sale everywhere now (probably because of TDF) on competitive cyclist.
    So that might tickle your fancy lol

    Flo is also a good option but i don't think it comes in tubeless ready.
    Thanks for the suggestions. Am I missing something or are there no prices on the Irwin site?

    Does anyone anything about the Twenty Four series from Profile Designs? Can't find much info on them. https://www.competitivecyclist.com/p...ZpbGUgZGVzaWdu

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    FLO 30s are tubeless ready but other than being a fairly nicely made and inexpensive rim I don't get the appeal. They weigh 575g, are aerodynamically the same as a HED Belgium+ (i.e. competent but nothing special), and tire fit is quite tight. Their carbons may have more appeal but my position on carbon clinchers is well known around here.

    Al33s in North America have external nipples. I'm quite certain I've built more of them than anyone in NA and possibly the world (although that will change soon as we aren't building the Kickstarter wheels), and only the prototype set I built a year ago was internal drilled. They can also be had with machined brake tracks with good hubs and CX Rays for under $750, and with ceramic brake tracks for roughly $100 more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmason898 View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions. Am I missing something or are there no prices on the Irwin site?

    Does anyone anything about the Twenty Four series from Profile Designs? Can't find much info on them. https://www.competitivecyclist.com/p...ZpbGUgZGVzaWdu
    Thanks for the correction dave. I was going off the kickstarter info.

    For the irwins, i should have picked it from here.

    Profile Designs 24 are external 24 at whatever depth they have. I had trouble finding their internal widths. With all the wider is better trend now. i am surprised they didn't say anything about their inner width. But carbon clincher walls tends to be 4mm on each side so we are looking at around 16~17 inner widths? Profile design markets a lot of their aero bars and cockpit stuff but they have surprisingly little information on their wheels.

  14. #14
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    Considering that the R500 is Shimano's most entry level wheel set, just about anything would be an improvement.

    A great bang for the buck is the Shimano Ultegra WH-6800. At $311, what do you have to lose?:

    https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...FUdYDQodCp8PHg

    Possibly not sexy enough for you, but everyone I know that bought these, loves them. Not aero, but light at only 1640g. I know it's not what you were specifically asking for, but just thought I'd mention them. I don't recommend carbon rims for someone your weight.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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    Spoke with my LBS and they think I will have trouble running 25c tires. My frame (2013 R3) has asymmetrical chain stays and the tire clearance isn't very much on one side. This probably rules out any of the current wide rims that are on trend. (anyone have any other experience with this frame?)

    The AL33s sounds like an attractive option. Looks like they are around 24mm to the outside. Perhaps with a 23c tire these would be ok, but I wonder about the lifespan of the ceramic braking surface. Also this review (AForce Al33 wheelset first ride review - BikeRadar) makes the break pad wear seem a bit gnarly.

  16. #16
    dcb
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    You could try searching a bit on the Cervelo forums either here on RBR or on their site. I think there are people who have tried to maximize tire size on frames like yours. https://forums.cervelo.com/forums/5.aspx

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    Pad wear has been sigificantly reduced since people started using SwissStop BXP pads with the AForce rims. They appear to be the best compound for PEO coated rims (which is the correct label for all of these new 'ceramic' rims - they all use more or less the same process). We recently had one weirddata point where a reviewer found aggressive pad wear on AForce with BXPs but the pads had been used with other rims before. All other users we've heard from are seeing great results with BXPs.

    Rim wear is something of a non-issue to date, again depending on pads. Some buyers were not guided to a good pad solution by their wheel builders and used pads for ceramic rims, which is like using a cheese grater for brake pads. I've just seen a set with four months of very high mileage use and the brake tracks are like new with a very slight burnish. And several gigantic scratches from the crash they were in which is why they came back to us. Use the right pads and keep them clean and you'd be good.

    All that said, your bike has really close wheel tolerances. I'm not sure any of these wider rims are a good fit. A riding friend of mine has your same bike and he can't use most of the popular 23mm tires that inflate bigger than 23. On rainy days you can hear the gunk rubbing between his tires and frame, it's an awful noise.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmason898 View Post
    Spoke with my LBS and they think I will have trouble running 25c tires. My frame (2013 R3) has asymmetrical chain stays and the tire clearance isn't very much on one side. This probably rules out any of the current wide rims that are on trend. (anyone have any other experience with this frame?)

    The Shimano Ultegra WH-6800 I mentioned above in post #14 are the old 15mm internal road standard before the wide rim trend flew in. They shouldn't have any problems fitting.
    “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



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    The Shimano Ultegra WH-6800 I mentioned above in post #14 are the old 15mm internal road standard before the wide rim trend flew in. They shouldn't have any problems fitting.
    Yes, thank you. I haven't discounted these. I've also been considering the Dura Ace C24. I live north of the border, so the cost of buying these through my local bike shop is not that much more than the Ultegras.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    Pad wear has been sigificantly reduced since people started using SwissStop BXP pads with the AForce rims. They appear to be the best compound for PEO coated rims (which is the correct label for all of these new 'ceramic' rims - they all use more or less the same process). We recently had one weirddata point where a reviewer found aggressive pad wear on AForce with BXPs but the pads had been used with other rims before. All other users we've heard from are seeing great results with BXPs.

    Rim wear is something of a non-issue to date, again depending on pads. Some buyers were not guided to a good pad solution by their wheel builders and used pads for ceramic rims, which is like using a cheese grater for brake pads. I've just seen a set with four months of very high mileage use and the brake tracks are like new with a very slight burnish. And several gigantic scratches from the crash they were in which is why they came back to us. Use the right pads and keep them clean and you'd be good.

    All that said, your bike has really close wheel tolerances. I'm not sure any of these wider rims are a good fit. A riding friend of mine has your same bike and he can't use most of the popular 23mm tires that inflate bigger than 23. On rainy days you can hear the gunk rubbing between his tires and frame, it's an awful noise.
    Thanks. I've read a number of review of folks that like the rim, but would just opt for the regular aluminum break track if they were to do it over again.

    I also find it interesting that Boyd says right on their website that their ceramic coating will not wear off.

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    Absolute statements should always be taken with a grain of salt (see what I did there?).

    The coatings in AForce and Boyd rims are for all intents and purposes identical.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmason898 View Post
    Spoke with my LBS and they think I will have trouble running 25c tires. My frame (2013 R3) has asymmetrical chain stays and the tire clearance isn't very much on one side. This probably rules out any of the current wide rims that are on trend. (anyone have any other experience with this frame?)

    The AL33s sounds like an attractive option. Looks like they are around 24mm to the outside. Perhaps with a 23c tire these would be ok, but I wonder about the lifespan of the ceramic braking surface. Also this review (AForce Al33 wheelset first ride review - BikeRadar) makes the break pad wear seem a bit gnarly.
    I have a 2012 R3 and use XT31R rims (19mm inner width) with no problems. I've been able to run every 23C I've tried and even 25c tires which are small or moderately sized. I did build my own wheels and dished them as ideally as possible (accounting for tire inflation) because the fit is indeed very tight and even 1mm of dish error means dramatically increased rubbing. I also slapped some protective tape around potential rub spots to mitigate the very occasional rubbing I still do get.

    That being said, I use that bike/wheel combo almost exclusively dry conditions so mud isn't an issue for me. It would be if I needed to, but that's what beater bikes are for right?

    In short it can be done, but you have to be diligent to maintain well-dished and laterally true wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmason898 View Post
    Spoke with my LBS and they think I will have trouble running 25c tires. My frame (2013 R3) has asymmetrical chain stays and the tire clearance isn't very much on one side. This probably rules out any of the current wide rims that are on trend. (anyone have any other experience with this frame?)

    The AL33s sounds like an attractive option. Looks like they are around 24mm to the outside. Perhaps with a 23c tire these would be ok, but I wonder about the lifespan of the ceramic braking surface. Also this review (AForce Al33 wheelset first ride review - BikeRadar) makes the break pad wear seem a bit gnarly.
    My Pinerallo 2012ish (can't remember the exact year) FP2 has asymmetrical stays too. I have the A-force rims (ceramic brake track) and run 25c. It's really tight on one side but I don't get rub. Of course part of that is the wheel and part of that is the frame. I had another wheel the would rub running 23's. Go figure (of course they were lower spoke count too). I have some of the adhesive clear frame protector stickers there now just in case.

    My review of the A-force rims may have been one of the ones you have read. Yes initially the pad wear was god awful. I think I burned through one one complete set in about 3-4 weeks. I rotated pads at about half wear just in case. I found the rear wore faster than the front - probably from more feathering in pacelines. HOWEVER, now that they have bedded in, I'm EXTREMELY happy to report that it's almost normal pad wear now. Believe it or not, I'm still using the last of the original carbon pad set on the front and the Koolstop BXP set on the back. Wear may be slightly higher than regular AL rims, but not significantly so now.
    Last edited by tinball; 2 Days Ago at 08:33 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dmason898 View Post
    Spoke with my LBS and they think I will have trouble running 25c tires. My frame (2013 R3) has asymmetrical chain stays and the tire clearance isn't very much on one side. This probably rules out any of the current wide rims that are on trend. (anyone have any other experience with this frame?)

    The AL33s sounds like an attractive option. Looks like they are around 24mm to the outside. Perhaps with a 23c tire these would be ok, but I wonder about the lifespan of the ceramic braking surface. Also this review (AForce Al33 wheelset first ride review - BikeRadar) makes the break pad wear seem a bit gnarly.
    I have the same frame. I went with Easton R90SL's (19.5c internal rim) and use 23c Continental GP4000's. At 95 PSI the width is maybe ~26.7mm and the height is such that I cannot use a larger tire. The underside of the fork is too close and I've already scratched off the serial number sticker. Perhaps a 25c tire would fit in the rear since height is not an issue there, but I haven't tried.

    The rims have been a nice upgrade from the stock R500's. That said, I don't think I've made any tangible aero gains. It's mostly been less road buzz because I run a lower PSI than before.

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    By jefflimpt in forum Bikes, Frames and Forks
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    Last Post: 04-05-2006, 08:00 AM

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