Winter road bike – lightweight wheels or solid and dependable?

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  • Winter road bike – lightweight wheels or solid and dependable?
  • mrmo

    just fit decent tyres, matters more, the wheels will be fine.

    Whichever are cheep, rain + salt + crap wears rims. I’m using my old shimano R-550’s, it’s not like there’s that many more potholes to avoid.

    I’ve gone for a nice pair of Mavic Open Pros on Hope Pro3s this year.
    Mind you, I’m in Yorkshire and the roads are worse than the bloody bridleways in a lot of places!


    simply for ease of replacement part and self-tuning at home after said “crashing into potholes” I would be gong for the condors.

    that said, for not much more you could probably get someone to make a pair of ambrosio zenith (pretty much the same hubs as the condor) on excellence/excursion or Archetype (better rims) with butted spokes.

    I have a pair of the above built by friend of mine and they have done Paris Roubaix, tour of flanders and two british winters. no issues what so ever.


    I use two pairs.
    I have a set of XT hubs on Mavic A719 rims.
    These run most of the time with Vittoria 35s on them ,which can take a bit of winding up ,but as I have some off road on my commute and some lumby B roads,they have been a good set up.
    The other pair ,is some Spinergy Xaero Lites that I got off ebay ,they are great for bigger road rides and weekenders .
    They have held up well and make the CX feel a bit quicker.


    I’ve never got why you’re more likely to suddenly go crashing through potholes, just because it’s winter bit? Don’t you just ride round them or hop them, exactly as you would in the summer?

    Rim wear yes, but then the front wheel on my commuter has done 7 years of 5 or 6 days a week, all year, all weather use and hasn’t died yet (quite concave though), so again, not that bad. Avoid anything superlight and you should be fine.


    Putting a winter road bike together which will be a combination of existing bits.
    I have the choice between a pair of Campagnolo Vento Reaction wheels – lovely looking, spin up to speed easily and relatively light, but possibly not so good for crashing through potholes; and some Condor Strada which are a more ‘sensible’ option – not particularly heavy, 32h wheels which I’ve been commuting on all summer, are less flexy and likely to deal with winter tarmac better.

    I ride Kent and Surrey so, Southern conditions rather than Northern…

    If I were to go on looks, I think the Condor ones suit a winter bike better… but I’m trying to be more rational and I like the feel of a zippy bike 🙂


    Handbuilt, or just pick up whatever cheap factory wheels people are flogging off that come stock on their new bikes – I’ve just sold some R500’s for a whopping £35 the pair, that’s pretty much paid for spokes and rim tape on a pair of handbuilt wheels!

    Now,cup’n’cone vs sealed is your preference, but get hubs with a serviceable/replaceable freewheel (or freewheel bearings). I’ve got ultegra hubs with cheapo rigida chrina rims for winter (these rims are only £16 a pop but with plenty of metal on the rim for decent life), but the freehub is ropy as hell after just a couple of winters. Would much prefer something like a hope knowing I could swap the whole thing out or replace bearings easily enough.

    If you get cup’n’cone, make sure you personally (or a shop you fully trust), make sure you grease up the bearings and adjust them properly – I’ve seen a few too many FUBAR’d hubs on friends bikes due to the poor state they came in from the factory.


    Oh, and get them good winter miles in, summer smiles and all that 😉

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