Help me spec some road wheels pls

  • This topic has 26 replies, 17 voices, and was last updated 4 months ago by  Haze.
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  • Help me spec some road wheels pls
  • magowen100
    Member

    I’m after a set of ‘summer’ road wheels and I was hoping the STW hive mind could help. Budget is up to £750 and I’d like to try to build my own wheels.
    Current bike is a BMC SLR02 with the stock wheels (Shimano Rs10’s?) and I’d like something that is lighter and stiffer. Rim material doesn’t matter too much to me, and I ride in Norway so it’s more about the up and downs rather than the flats.
    Is Chinese carbon on novatecs the best value option? Are there alu rims that compete on weight? Any recommendations appreciated. 😀

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Subscriber

    DT Swiss PR1400 Dicut Oxic are lovely.

    magowen100
    Member

    The Dt Swiss do look lovely, and will be on the shortlist, but I’d really like to build my own wheels rather than a factory wheel set if possible.

    mrb123
    Member

    I’d look at some Light Bicycle rims if you’re considering carbon. My preference would be Bitex hubs over Novatec but both are ok for a summer build. CX Rays if budget allows.

    Loads of options if you want aluminium rims, Kinlin, DT Swiss, the new Mavic Open Pros. AForce would be the spendy option.

    Premier Icon simondbarnes
    Subscriber

    but I’d really like to build my own wheels rather than a factory wheel set if possible.

    Yeah, sorry, I clearly missed that part of your post!

    munkster
    Member

    My summer wheels are Dura Ace 9000 hubs, Pacenti SL23 rims (would now be Forza) and Laser/D-Lite (on rear DS) spokes. Parts were around £500, built them myself, and are lovely. c.1500g so about as light as I’d want to go, personally, tubeless etc etc.

    Haze
    Member

    Been riding Kinlin XR31T rims built onto Industry Nine hubs with CX-Rays.

    Very happy with the rims so far, didn’t build myself but I’m told they’re pretty easy to work with. Had to do a bit of fine tuning afterwards and they weren’t any bother.

    Hubs are a few years old now and have been decent enough, usual bearing changes are straightforward but there are probably equal if not better around for less cash.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    Mine are Bitex (I think, they’re branded “Sokin”) hubs off ebay, Stans Alpha rims, 24/28 (or 20/24 i cant remember) DT Revolution. Come to 1270g IIRC.

    Not had any problems despite me weighing 95-105kg, they were a pig to build though, getting even tension took three attempts, once there though they’ve been fine.

    Potential downside, definitely a summer rim, lot of reviews moaning about how thin the brake tracks are so they won’t last long in wet weather.

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Subscriber

    I’d go Nextie or Light Bike rims on Chris King hubs with D-light or Revolution spokes.

    I think CX rays are a complete waste of money. their aero benefits are negligible, they’re a pain to build with and re-tension and cost twice as much.

    Premier Icon hatter
    Subscriber

    I know you want to build yourself but with a budget of £750 I would still find it very hard to look past those PR 1400 OXiC’s.

    magowen100
    Member

    Many thanks for all the recommendations, I’ll do some internet sleuthing and see what I can get hold of here. I’m not super experienced with wheel building so need something a little easy to work with. Is it realistic to get the weight down to sub 1400g?

    mrb123
    Member

    Yes, should be. Something like Mavic Open Pro with Bitex and D-lights in 20/24 would be 1400g or less and well under budget.

    If you go for deep section carbon rims they’re likely to be heavier but of course have other advantages (and drawbacks)

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    I’ve got Tune Mig/Mag hubs on Farsports 38mm rims. Came to 1320g with 20/24 CX-Ray (or Aerolite, I forget) spokes. They’re very nice. Hubs are pimpy enough and come in loads of colours. They’re light and spin beautifully.

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    Interesting reading, as a user of Alpha 350s (which are still going, despite some winter rides and spokes pulling through – now repaired) I find it odd that aluminium runs now seem to all be heavier than old open pros! (albeit wider).

    Also nice to see ceramic being used on brake tracks again, which I hope aids longevity. O always thought metal matrix would be an ace rim material, but no one ever used it.

    I still think about carbon, but the braking concerns me.

    Could the weight increase in alloy rims be explained by increases in width, depth and thicker beds to compensate for decreases in spoke count?

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    Width, definitely.

    for £750 I build the wife some Light Bicycle carbon 38mm rims on DT350s straight pull on DT Aerolight spokes and poly ax nipples. weigh in at 1420g.

    oldnpastit
    Member

    The braking on my carbon zuus rims with carbon-specific pads (swissstop) is just as good as aluminium rims on the old wheels.

    They do make an alarming screech if you really stop hard but otherwise they are just as good. Not noticed then heating up massively even on long descents.

    munkster
    Member

    Lightest I managed to build (from sensible non-exotic components) was 1360g using Kinlin XR19W rims and BHS Ultralight hubs (probably just Bitex or something?) and thought I’d cracked it, however the rubbing from the rear wheel flexing when climbing really put me off. A mate of mine bought them and has ridden them through several winters however, and he seems happy enough!!

    TiRed
    Member

    I love my dura ace hubs. Built with Spain race and cxp33s. Lighter is possible, but they are stiff as you like. 20/24 spokes. Spin forever. Other rims and spokes are available but I’d go with those hubs.

    Premier Icon twisty
    Subscriber

    You say that material doesn’t matter but as you’re running rim brake the material makes a difference to braking performance in the wet.

    But assuming your summer wheels are going to be see >90% dry weather then surely go carbon – stiffer and lighter.

    Rim depth 35mm if you are lightweight 50mm if you are bigger rider.

    I’d forget about building youself – nowadays this just adds cost. But perhaps go with something of more traditional construction (J bend spokes, regular nipples) so you can true and repair them yourself without needing to horde extra tooling.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    I’d forget about building youself – nowadays this just adds cost.

    Can you explain your reasoning behind that comment?

    IME factory wheels get nowhere near the £/g value of hand built or even just on weight. There aren’t many <1300g factory wheelsets, and mine ended up costing less than Kysriums. On top of that diy hand built is going to save a minimum of £50 labour, plus the difference in spoke prices between online and LBS is usually considerably.

    Premier Icon twisty
    Subscriber

    I’d forget about building youself – nowadays this just adds cost.

    Can you explain your reasoning behind that comment?

    Yup, the last few times I’ve looked at buying wheels I’ve spent hours trying to find source all the parts individually for a good price and then eventually worked out I can just buy a factory wheelset of similar/better quality for the same price/cheaper plus I could’ve saved myself all the hassle of calculating spoke lengths, finding good prices from various sources, lets not forget that you have to build the things too – your time is worth something.

    The DIY route works if you need something a bit unusual, or already have some of the parts, or get some of the parts super cheap 2nd hand i.e. if you are patient enough on eBay you can get some nice DT 180’s for a good price. However, based on the brief of getting a typical light/stiff upper-mid range wheelset from scratch then I don’t see the point of going custom anymore as the factory wheelsets generally come out of the box built to a good standard.

    For 700UKP I’m generally thinking of something around 1400-1500g carbon, aero/semi aero. The mavic low/mid range wheels are a bit flexy and rubbish aren’t they so they’re not a particularly good benchmark.

    Haze
    Member

    Re-use your posh hubs if going down the DIY route?

    So for the price of new spokes, a couple of rims and a rewarding few hours in the garage you have yourself ‘new’ wheels built on your favourite hubs.

    dovebiker
    Member

    Whilst factory built wheels benefit from the optimising of parts as a system, they can reap benefits in terms of weight. The downsides are the cost and availability of spares – good luck finding a replacement Mavic rim after 5 years which is great with your ‘best’ wheels which don’t get used as regularly and therefore last much longer. I would avoid super light alloy rims like Stan’s Alphas and DT Revs spokes if you want stiff – laughably flex.

    Premier Icon tomaso
    Subscriber

    Pacenti SL23s are made of cheese and mine cracked round the nipple eyes.

    I really rate the reliability and serviceability of DT ratchet hubs.

    Haze
    Member

    The original SL23’s had a thin rim bed, one of mine cracked when truing – I barely put half a turn on a spoke and pop it went.

    They were thickened up for the updated V2 and Pacenti replaced loads of the rims under warranty.

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