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Thread: Road Wheels

  1. #1
    Go Boilermakers!!!!!!!!!! RunYun's Avatar
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    Road Wheels

    So now that I have been riding again for the last five months I have started looking at new road bikes. One of the big changes has been the wheels that are out there. Now you can get 16 spoke wheels. I am used to 28's & 32's, but I have to ask how easy is it to true 16's & 18's? Looking at the rims it seems they are bulked up a little to handle more load, but it seems like it would make truing the wheel very difficult. How do you get a good wheel when you cannot make fine adjustments? How long do these newer wheels last? What is the rider weight limit for wheels like this? Just thought I would ask since I do not have any experience with these yet.

    Thanks,
    " The key to a happy life is low expectations :-)"
    04' Cannondale R3000, 97' Trek 990, 93' Cannondale M400, 92' Paramount Series 5, 87' Schwinn World Sport.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cipher's Avatar
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    The truing process will be no different for a 16 spoke wheel to that of a 28 to 36 spoke wheel. (Just fewer of them to loosen or tighten).
    Speed Kills...It kills those that don't have it!

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    I went from 36 spoke Mavic Open Pro rims laced to Chorus rims with double-butted DT spokes to Mavic Ksyrium wheels last fall. Have about 1000 miles on them and have just trued them for the first time. I will wait to see how they hold up after this to decide if they are as "tough" as the Open Pro is. I trued the Open Pro set once in 5000 miles. The jury is still out. But the Ksyrium set is very 'flash' looking and I like the way they ride. They may have just required the initial tune after 1000 miles. So we will see. I weigh 200 pounds and Mavic stated that my weight is no problem on the Ksyrium Elite (which I have).

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    Oops!! That is obviousl Chorus hubs and not rims that the Open Pro's are laced to. Sorry.

  5. #5
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    In general, the rims on some of the newer designs with fewer spokes will be beefier than some traditional rims in order to handle the higher loads. From a physics standpoint, you want to avoid excess weight at the perimiter as it increases the wheels' moment of inertia. For my money, you can't go wrong with www.sunringle.com. Their wheels are traditional in design and even with their rather heavy hubs are competetive weight-wise. No one at our shop has had problems with them. Easy servicability is a big bonus with them as well. Should you have issues with a Mavic hub you will need to send it back to them as they are not designed to be user (or shop) servicable, and the tool they provide is largely ineffective for making any adjustments. If you want a flashy looking set of wheels, check out Shimano's offerings. They are also a bit more compliant than the Ksyriums. Just IMHO, of course.

  6. #6
    Go Boilermakers!!!!!!!!!! RunYun's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I usually stay away from Mavic Hubs for that exact reason. I'm going to keep my eye on the Shimano's. Since I do not plan to purchase a new bike until the fall I have some time to read up on these new wheels. By the look of the Shimano's the spokes are offset enough to make slight changes in spoke tensions result it large changes in the true of the wheel.

    Thanks,
    " The key to a happy life is low expectations :-)"
    04' Cannondale R3000, 97' Trek 990, 93' Cannondale M400, 92' Paramount Series 5, 87' Schwinn World Sport.

  7. #7
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    Yes, the Shimano wheels are not particularly fun to true. That being said, we've got dozens of people out of our shop riding them and we've barely touched any of them.

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    RunYun - At the risk of sounding like a retrogrouch, I recommend the following. There's a good selection of quality 400 gm or a bit lighter clincher rims, sub 350 gm hubsets, light butted spokes (14-17's are good, 15-16's are better, and 15-17's are best), and alloy nipples. Find a good wheel builder (or do it yourself), get the parts you want, and have a custom 32 hole, 3-cross wheel-set built. They will be very light, very strong, very fast, very easy to maintain, very reliable, and will ride very nice; and if anything less than the worst happens, you'll be able to get home on them. Good luck.

    ps: Mount up some Conti's for the ultimate finishing touch.

  9. #9
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    I agree with Gruppo on everything but the Alloy nipples issue. Brass nipples do not oxidize and chemically weld itself to a aluminum rim, nor do they round off after repeated adjustments, and they are only about 1/2 ounce heavier for 64 nips than alloy. Don't sacrifice reliability for such a small amount of weight.

    Eyelets: In box section rims, there are some which have only single eyelets, and there are others which have double eyelets. I would only buy double eyelets since I have seen cases where single eyelets have pulled thru.

    Gruppo and I may be retrogrouches but this stuff that Gruppo mentioned is true and tried stuff that is extremily reliable and almost maintenance free.

  10. #10
    On Your Right ZackJones's Avatar
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    Greetings,

    Anyone here ride Chris King hubs? After having their headset recommended I checked out their web site and the hubs look quite good as well.

    Zack
    "You never fail, you simply produce results. Learn from these" - Anonymous

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    I know that those high-zoot wheels are nice to look at, and they do offer a bit of advantage, but really, do you want to risk your keester to a 16 spoke wheel on a regular basis? Break 1 spoke, and you are going to stop so fast, you'll likely go over the bars.
    Not my idea of a good ride................
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    Shimano wheel note: The tightest tire fit out there, for clinchers. They are well designed, stay straight well, the hubs are of course flawless, but you need Harley-Davidson tire levers to change a flat! I know of several people who otherwise liked them but sold them for just that reason. Ksyriums seem like the best "designer" wheel available, and Cosmos the best deal. I build wheels and am not a Mavic dealer, but they really do deliver the goods. Hubs are mechanic serviceable as far as I know.

  13. #13
    Go Boilermakers!!!!!!!!!! RunYun's Avatar
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    I'm old school too and have always been comfortable that when I build a 32 or 28 spoke wheel it will be reliable and easy to maintain. My wheels on my soon to be training bike are old (Bought the bike in 1993) Campy box rims with 105 hubs. I have rebuilt the rear wheel and have had no problems with the front. The bike has seen a lot of training as well as many criteriums so it's not like they have been babied. Just looking at those new 16's I doubt that ten years from now I would be saying the same thing about their endurance. They may be good race wheels, but I would be more comfortable with some workhorses for training.

    Oh ya it sounds like it would be fun changing a flat on the road with new Conti's and the Shimano rims.

    Wow I can't believe I have had that road bike for 10 yrs. Starting to feel old.
    " The key to a happy life is low expectations :-)"
    04' Cannondale R3000, 97' Trek 990, 93' Cannondale M400, 92' Paramount Series 5, 87' Schwinn World Sport.

  14. #14
    Zippy Engineer Waldo's Avatar
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    Contis go on the Shimano rims relatively easily, especially compared to Michelins and the Fortezzas.

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