Value based Wheelset for a Clydesdale rider.

bloaker

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Nov 14, 2011
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#1
I was having a discussion with a fellow Clydesdale about wheels yesterday. He digs my Chris King/DT Swiss setup on my Ritchey, but not so much a fan of the price (neither am I, but I got over it). So we got to discussing other options and the conversation talked a bit about bling (Phil Wood) and fun stuff vs truly functional.

So in the end, he asked me my opinion what the best "value" wheelset available for a 95kg rider.

I don't think I hesitated more than 1 second when i said Ultegra Hubs and Mavic Open Pro rims 32 spoke 3 cross. Easily found online in the $300USD range.

They aren't sexy wheels, but they roll well and take a beating without breaking the bank.
Can anyone recommend a similar or better option in the same price range?

http://www.coloradocyclist.com/shimano-ultegra-6700-mavic-open-pro-wheelset
 

bloaker

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#3
With some homework, the setup mentioned can be found for 20% less than the link I gave.
It was just the easiest one to post (first google response that wasn't ebay).

How do you like the Excellights? I have limited experience with Ambrosio. They are on my Somec - but I didn't build the wheels... they just came that way.
 

bloaker

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#5
I have yet to ride a 28 spoke road wheel that does not experience flex while braking on a downhill corner.
I would personally never ride a 16 spoke wheel with confidence, ever.
It is not to say they can't do what I want, but my experience so far pushed me back to tried and true 32 hole 3 cross pattern.

That price is certainly makes those a "value" as all the reviews I have read about the WH-RS31s have been positive - but I think it is missing the mark on what I am looking for.
 
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stanc

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#6
How about these. My riding buddy uses these and he's had zero problems with them. He's only 80kg but they look like they're built to take a beating.

WH-RS31
16,000 yen


http://www.guts-cycle.com/product/5653
I'm 95 -100Kg and had a set of those. I had to pass them to a smaller rider from my club as the drive side spokes started to go. I'm with the 32 spoke brigade, the most bomb proof wheels I have had were Ultegra &Mavic Cxp33 32 spoke. I have always liked Ambrosio & keep looking at a set of Excellence/Excellight from here http://www.wheelsmith.co.uk/
 
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bloaker

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#7
I'm with the 32 spoke brigade, the most bomb proof wheels I have had were Ultegra &Mavic Cxp33 32 spoke. I have always liked Ambrosio & keep looking at a set of Excellence/Excellight from here http://www.wheelsmith.co.uk/
That ultegra Cxp33 is pretty much the same setup as the Open Pro. Often mentioned in the same breath.
The ambrosios @Sibreen mentioned has me curious as well.
Just as strong as Open Pros? Dunno... but not Mavic - and that is a plus for me.
*Note - I have nothing against Mavic, just like seeing different stuff.
 

dgl2

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#12
I would not suggest Open Pros since I prefer a wider rim -- more comfort, and potentially better aerodynamics and lower rolling resistance. I rode a set of "bombproof" Open Pros on Paris-Brest-Paris in 2011 and my little fingers were pretty much numb at the end of the event and for a week or two after, and the pain from going over chip-sealed sections late in the ride was intense. Since they I stick to wider rims and mostly 700x25 tires.

And I have read that Mavic Open Pro has had some QC issues (though mine have been fine on two sets of Open Pro based wheels I got in 2000 and 2007). See:
https://fairwheelbikes.com/c/reviews-and-testing/alloy-rim-roundup/

For a value-based wheelset for Clydesdale rider, maybe TNI CX28 wider rims, Ultegra or 105 hubs, and DT Swiss revolution (2.0/1.5) spokes for front wheel and rear non-drive, DT Competition (2.0/1.8mm) on the rear drive side? If you want to spend a bit more on the rims, then maybe H Plus Son. ... a bit more yet, then GS Astuto Continental's?
 
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stanc

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#13
And I have read that Mavic Open Pro has had some QC issues (though mine have been fine on two sets of Open Pro based wheels I got in 2000 and 2007). See:
https://fairwheelbikes.com/c/reviews-and-testing/alloy-rim-roundup/
If you are referring to "Lots of complaints about rattling slag by the joint. " I can confirm that one of my two sets of my CXP33's suffered from this as well. It was very irritating but thankfully went quiet above about 15km/h
 

microcord

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Aug 28, 2012
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#14
When I asked Tim at G S Astuto for a new pair of wheels I knew even less than I know now, and anyway most of the details are irrelevant. But I remember that he was pretty clear about the hubs: Ultegra. He stressed the quality, pointed out that they were cheap and that anything cheaper was only trivially so, and said that one had to pay a lot more to get anything better. I was welcome to choose an alternative but he suggested that I'd be nuts to do so.

I have a tangential but relevant question. Maybe 36-spoke rims are hard to find these days, but if one did find 32- and 36-spoke versions of a given sturdy rim for 700x25C to 700x32C, and 32- and 36-spoke Ultegra hubs, and had them laced 3 cross, then would the aerodynamic difference be perceptible at old-geezer speeds? (On the level, with no wind, it's rare for me to cruise at over 32 km/h.) My gut feeling (i.e. my total ignorance) says that there'd be no perceptible difference, so why not go with 36 spokes?
 

jdd

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#15
...
I have a tangential but relevant question. Maybe 36-spoke rims are hard to find these days, but if one did find 32- and 36-spoke versions of a given sturdy rim for 700x25C to 700x32C, and 32- and 36-spoke Ultegra hubs, and had them laced 3 cross, then would the aerodynamic difference be perceptible at old-geezer speeds? (On the level, with no wind, it's rare for me to cruise at over 32 km/h.) My gut feeling (i.e. my total ignorance) says that there'd be no perceptible difference, so why not go with 36 spokes?
Well, when you clip playing cards into your spokes, it'd probably sound a lot better... :eek:

How much do you weigh?

An advantage to more spokes is that if one breaks, there's at least a chance that you wouldn't notice, and if so, you could easily ride for a while instead of it needing immediate attention.
 

microcord

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#16
I weigh 75kg or so. The bike is heavier than anybody else's, and I tend to carry more crap than does anybody else. So maybe I'm effectively quite a bit heavier than the scales suggest; however, I'm still not unusually heavy.

An advantage to more spokes is that if one breaks, there's at least a chance that you wouldn't notice, and if so, you could easily ride for a while instead of it needing immediate attention.
My thoughts exactly. Indeed, hearing that 48-spoke wheels are (or anyway used to be) available for tandems, I tend to think "Great, I'll have a pair!" The slightly increased weight and wind resistance could cost me a few seconds here and there, but for me (I don't say for everybody) that would be a good tradeoff. However, I'm willing to believe that my assumptions are mistaken and that empirical research (rather than mere anecdote) shows a significant cost for 36 spokes and above.
 

hat and beard

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#17
My thoughts exactly. Indeed, hearing that 48-spoke wheels are (or anyway used to be) available for tandems, I tend to think "Great, I'll have a pair!" The slightly increased weight and wind resistance could cost me a few seconds here and there, but for me (I don't say for everybody) that would be a good tradeoff. However, I'm willing to believe that my assumptions are mistaken and that empirical research (rather than mere anecdote) shows a significant cost for 36 spokes and above.
How about 40?
I wouldn't know, but S. Brown claims that 32 front and 40 back was at one time the norm on British road bikes. I have the above rim in 36 on the rear and it's plenty fast for my purposes.
I guess the main problem would be finding an affordable hub with the right drilling.