Wheelset Buy/Build Questions
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  1. #1
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    Wheelset Buy/Build Questions

    Hey everyone, i am thinking about getting another set of wheels, and everyone says "building gets you better quality vs. buying a stock wheelset"......I know very little about wheels/hubs/spokes.
    Could somone please explain to me the wheel "heirarchy" I know components go: Sram red>force>rival>apex and Shimano Duraace>Ultegra>105>Tiagra>sora......But how do hubs/spokes/rims fall into this. Also what is better for flats, a deep rim, or shallow???

    About me and my riding:
    I weigh 170-180lbs.(10lbs i get during the frigid winter)
    I ride in Indiana, it is flat, a few small hills here and there, but mostly flat. Winds are my enemy unless they are behind me.
    I currently have a CF Trek Madone (Stock bontrager RL wheels), and a Cannondale CAAD10(stock mavic aksiums)......wheels would be mostly for the CAAD, but would be cool if i could put them on the madone too.
    I am basically looking for a Do-it-all wheel that i can ride everyday, and race on a few times a year, and that is very durable.

    What is a good setup for me?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    You have many options when it comes to wheels, especially since you are also considering custom wheelsets.

    To answer your question about rim depth, a deeper rim is usually better for flats. If you ride in a windy area rims that are too deep may give you some problems controlling the bike.

    I think one of the best all-around rim depths is ~27mm. I would probably go with 20 spokes in the front and 28 in the rear with a good hubset like Alchemy or White Industries.
    Valley Cyclist Wheels www.valleycyclist.com

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcgill View Post
    Hey everyone, i am thinking about getting another set of wheels, and everyone says "building gets you better quality vs. buying a stock wheelset"......I know very little about wheels/hubs/spokes.
    Could somone please explain to me the wheel "heirarchy" I know components go: Sram red>force>rival>apex and Shimano Duraace>Ultegra>105>Tiagra>sora......But how do hubs/spokes/rims fall into this. Also what is better for flats, a deep rim, or shallow???

    About me and my riding:
    I weigh 170-180lbs.(10lbs i get during the frigid winter)
    I ride in Indiana, it is flat, a few small hills here and there, but mostly flat. Winds are my enemy unless they are behind me.
    I currently have a CF Trek Madone (Stock bontrager RL wheels), and a Cannondale CAAD10(stock mavic aksiums)......wheels would be mostly for the CAAD, but would be cool if i could put them on the madone too.
    I am basically looking for a Do-it-all wheel that i can ride everyday, and race on a few times a year, and that is very durable.

    What is a good setup for me?
    30mm clincher will be a nice do it all.

  4. #4
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    Valley, i checked out your website, i liked the Ultegra/DT swiss combos under specials, but im not sure if they are right for my local terrain???

    Soo, a few new questions:
    How many spokes are opitmal for me? i thought 32 spoke wheels were for guys 210lbs+, but that info i read may have been wrong.
    What are the good/bad hubs?? I hear good about the Ultegra6700 hubs, but are DT or chris king hubs better? What are the levels of hubs and is there a signifacant difference in performance between them?
    Hoops, what is better the rr585 or rr465? Also anything better that dt? mavic hoops?
    Spokes--Whats the real answer to bladed vs. round

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcgill View Post
    Valley, i checked out your website, i liked the Ultegra/DT swiss combos under specials, but im not sure if they are right for my local terrain???

    Soo, a few new questions:
    How many spokes are opitmal for me? i thought 32 spoke wheels were for guys 210lbs+, but that info i read may have been wrong.
    What are the good/bad hubs?? I hear good about the Ultegra6700 hubs, but are DT or chris king hubs better? What are the levels of hubs and is there a signifacant difference in performance between them?
    Hoops, what is better the rr585 or rr465? Also anything better that dt? mavic hoops?
    Spokes--Whats the real answer to bladed vs. round
    32 spokes are not necessarily for clydesdale riders. Lots of people use them for training since they are very durable. You even see Pros use them in some Spring races that have cobblestone sections. Lance Armstrong was at a bookstore in my area, and I bought his Comeback 2.0 book to get it signed. In the book I see that he and Astana used 32 spoke training wheels too.

    Good, bad, and better mean different things to different people. RR585 and RR465 rims are both very good. RR585 rims are quite heavy and are probably overkill for your application, especially with a high spoke count. RR465 rims are good rims that can tolerate riding in many conditions. There are other rim options too such as Velocity A23 and HED Belgium rims which are a little wider than most other road rims. There are also 27mm or 30mm deep aluminum rims. I would recommend the 27mm XR-270 rim over the RR585 rim. It is much lighter, and will be fine for your application in 24f/28r spokes.

    The same goes for hubs. Ultegra hubs are one of the best values around. They will basically last forever if maintenance is not neglected. They are not the lightest hubs, and they are also only available in 32 and 36 holes. Dura-Ace hubs are nicer, weigh less, and are available in more hole counts. There are also White Industries hubs, which are very good as well as Alchemy hubs. DT hubs are good, but the rear flange spacing geometry is not as good as some other hubs. Some hubs build into stiffer wheels than others, but in terms of rolling you will have a very hard time telling the difference between hubs. Some people prefer to use hubs with cartridge bearings, and some people prefer hubs with loose ball bearings. Shimano hubs use loose bearings.

    Bladed spokes are nice, and spokes such as Sapim CX-Ray weigh quite a bit less than round spokes, but cost much more. Thinner spokes will make the wheel a little less laterally stiff than thicker spokes assuming everything else is the same. CX-Ray spokes are more aerodynamic than round spokes, but you will not notice a difference when riding. You usually do not see bladed spokes on 32 spoke wheels, but it can be done.

    So basically, you have tons of options when it comes to wheels. The standard 32 spoke wheel with low profile rims is a workhorse and can last a very long time. You will not regret getting a set like that. The other option I would look into is with semi-aero ~27mm rims in a lower spoke count such as 24f/28r or 20f/28r which will be better as far as aerodymanics is concerned. The 23mm wide rims are supposed to be more aerodynamic with 23mm tires than narrower rims, but I'm not sure how the aerodynamics compare with 27mm or 30mm rims in the same spoke count.
    Valley Cyclist Wheels www.valleycyclist.com

  6. #6
    A wheelist
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    Great post VC!
    .

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