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  1. #1
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    Replacing hybrid wheels with road wheels?

    I ride a ten year old Dawes Discovery 601 hybrid for commuting, averaging around 90 miles a week commuting in London [edit - for the last few years so aprox 12k miles total]. It does the job fine, but the wheels are worn out (rims worn through and creaky hubs). So the question is, what to replace them with?

    The original wheels are hybrids of the following;
    Rims: 700c Alesa X Plorer ETRTO 622x19 Alloy Double Wall
    Front hub: Shimano Deore HB-M510 (MTB) 100mm spacing
    Rear hub: Shimano Deore FH-M510 (MTB) 135mm spacing
    700x28c tires

    My priorities are;
    • speed; I only ride on roads and tend to be trying to get places quickly
    • longevity; it's for commuting so I'd rather they don't wear out too soon
    • for use with a 9speed SRAM (Shimano compatible) rear cassette.
    • Total budget of not more than 140 for both wheels. I'd be perfectly happy to spend less for the right product!


    I was wondering...
    • Do I have to use MTB hubs like the original ones, or could I use road wheels instead?
    • The rear spacing is 135mm, are there any road wheels available at that width?
    • Which quick, highly puncture resistant tires would you recommend?



    FRONT Attachment 155790 REAR Attachment 155792
    Last edited by MarkN; 06-17-10 at 05:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    Road specific hubs are all 130 mm OLD so you would either have to respace them to 135 mm, reset your frame or compress the stays evey time you installed the wheel.

    Actually, for commuting, 135 mm MTB hubs are better since they build up into a wheel with less dish which is inherently a bit stronger. Also, good quality MTB hubs don't weigh much more than their road counterparts and are better sealed.

    You could fit lighter rims which would still take 700x25 or 700x28 tires but as to tires, speed (low weight, high pressure) and longevity tend to be at cross purposes. Good durable commuter tires can't be too light or they would wear out fast and puncture often.

    You are going to have problems staying within that budget if you want good hubs, rims and spokes. If your current wheels lasted 10 years, I'd buy some equally good replacements which means Shimano LX hubs at a minimum.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Frankgt2's Avatar
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    And you can also switch to road tires, while staying with those mtb rims. Check in a LBS for tires. I switched my mtb to slick tires, and they were slimmer and lighter

  4. #4
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    Frankgt2; they're 700c road rims but I take your point, I do intend fit slimmer tires

    HillRider; well it has only been used for regular commuting for about two and a half years. I'd estimate the total mileage is somewhere around 12,000 miles.

    Thing is, I've been struggling to find a decent set of replacement hybrid wheels... there doesn't seem to be much to choose from.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkN View Post
    Thing is, I've been struggling to find a decent set of replacement hybrid wheels... there doesn't seem to be much to choose from.
    Not surprising since hybrids tend to be sold to very casual riders who won't pay for upgraded wheels and don't tend to wear out the OEM wheels either. You may have to have a set of proper wheels built up by a custom builder. I'd use Shimano LX hubs, Mavic CXP-33 rims or equivalents and 32 DT or Wheelsmith 2mm spokes laced 3X. They will probably exceed your budget but should be durable, reasonably light and very strong.

  6. #6
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Your Deore hubs could probably be overhauled and the rims replaced for that price, although if the new rim didn't match exactly then new spokes would be needed, making a new wheelset probably the better option.

    Since you're in the UK, bike-components.de should have reasonable shipping prices from Germany, and they have a selection of wheels that they label as Trekking, rim brake here. This pair are similar to your old ones and only cost 80 euros, but you could get something pricier, which would probably have tougher rims.

  7. #7
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    HillRider - ok, right. We are looking at;

    Shimano LX rear hub 20 http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=18482
    Shimano LX front hub 17.50 http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...px?ModelID=861

    Mavic CPX 33 rims 49.99 x2 http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=17152

    spokes 20 x2 (help! No idea what I'm looking at here; http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/C...CategoryID=818 )

    25 x2 for my local bike shop to put them together

    So about 230 in total (277Euros / $339). Ouch!

    Chris_W - cheers for the link! I'll think carefully about those.
    Last edited by MarkN; 06-14-10 at 08:23 AM.

  8. #8
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    I discovered this thread from a search on very much the same topic.

    I have a c.1999 Trek 7500 that is in good shape, apart from the wheels which are showing signs of falling apart, the rear in particular is a bit out of shape. I found some good prices on the Shimano WH-R500 wheels, but I'm not sure if these are really suitable for a commuting hybrid bike?

    Based on the above information I can see that I'd need to cater for the potential 5mm difference in hub axle width - is there anything else I should worry about before fitting the WH-R500's to the Trek?

    Thanks

    Jon

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    MarkN - I looked at the more road oriented WH-R500 as a possible replacement, they are coming in at <100 for the set from a number of sellers in the UK/Europe.

    Jon

  10. #10
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    Jonnyboy77 - Yeah, I looked at those too but wasn't particularly inspired and as you say, wrong spacing at the back.

  11. #11
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    There's a lot of decent hybrid wheels out there. But they are calling them 29'er wheels. The rims used on 700c hybrids, road bikes and 29'ers are the same diameter. The set I got takes a nice 28mm road tire.

    Other lower priced options than building up those wheels are to get a road bike set and then just swap out the rear axle for an MTB length axle and add or alter the spacer shims to the stack of cones and locknuts to achieve the 135mm spacing with the road rim. If you do this right you can put most of the new space on the non drive side to keep the cassette closer to the dropout. Then tune the spokes to lower the offset in the dishing to recenter the rim. This will give you a more equal tension for the rear wheel. And if you're like many and don't use the smaller two rear cogs often it'll even improve your chain line by doing it this way.

    A second low price option would be to just find a set of narrower rims that have the same ERD and just replace your wider rims.

    For tires that'll do excellent rough duty I'd like to suggest any of the 25mm tires from Panaracer. They make a TG tires in both the Pasela and T-serv lines with the Pasela TG being a bit lighter for a snappier get away. There's other kevlar belted flat resistant tires but these are the ones I have good experience with. The Pasela TG tires that I commuted on for about 3 years did not receive one flat that I can remember. The later T-serv set I got for a different bike went about 5 years. Again I can't remember gettting a flat with that set other than when my rim tape let me down. Can't really blame THAT on the tire though... I like the 25mm size for lightly loaded commuting. The extra couple of mm's give you a little more protection from pinch flatting on potholes or curbs while at the same time providing that slightly smoother ride. I found 25mm to be an excellent compromise between the "dainty" 23mm's that pinch flat too easily and the 28mm size that is even nicer to ride but that is noticably a touch harder to spin back up to speed due to the slightly greater tire and rim widths and weight.
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  12. #12
    Senior Member shouldberiding's Avatar
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    A wheel builder is more than likely going to be cheaper than piecing out the parts yourself and paying the LBS to build them. They've (wheel builders) already got all the parts in stock, and they can get them cheaper than you can even online.

    Shouldn't be difficult to find somebody who has mountain hubs and narrow 700c rims in stock.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BCRider View Post
    Other lower priced options than building up those wheels are to get a road bike set and then just swap out the rear axle for an MTB length axle and add or alter the spacer shims to the stack of cones and locknuts to achieve the 135mm spacing with the road rim.
    You don't even have to change the axle. A 130 mm OLD hub uses a 141 mm axle and that leaves 5.5 mm sticking out past each locknut. If you add a 5 mm spacer to the non-drive side and recenter the axle you have 3.0 mm protruding from each locknut and that is plenty to position the wheel in the dropouts. You will have to redish (actually undish) the rim a bit to center it in the new OLD spacing.

  14. #14
    Senior Member BCRider's Avatar
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    Well there ya go!

    .... grumble, grumble... should'a done the math first.... grumble grumble....
    Model airplanes are cool too!.....

  15. #15
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    29er wheels should work fine.

  16. #16
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyboy77 View Post
    I have a c.1999 Trek 7500 that is in good shape, apart from the wheels which are showing signs of falling apart, the rear in particular is a bit out of shape. I found some good prices on the Shimano WH-R500 wheels, but I'm not sure if these are really suitable for a commuting hybrid bike?

    Based on the above information I can see that I'd need to cater for the potential 5mm difference in hub axle width - is there anything else I should worry about before fitting the WH-R500's to the Trek?
    The R500s are a very basic racing wheel. They won't be as sturdy as something built for commuting, and the maximum recommend tire size on them is probably 28mm or 32mm because the rim is narrower. However, these may still be a decent wheelset for some commuters. See above for ideas of how to handle the rear axle spacing.

    A local bike shop near me who build bikes themselves (using aluminum frames from Taiwan) actually has a popular hybrid model that has a stock setup of racing wheels with 130mm rear axles on a hybrid frame with 135mm-spaced dropouts. They don't respace the frame or the axle. So it is possible to do it without making any modifications, but I wouldn't advise it (it makes getting the rear wheel in and out more awkward, makes the rear dropouts not completely vertical when the wheel is in their, and adds extra stress to the chain stays and seat stays).

  17. #17
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    I've been investigating custom wheel builders and called up a few of them for quotes. The choice basically seems to be between relatively expensive hand-built wheels (over 220) and cheap pre-built 700c hybrid wheels (under 55).

    I've just discovered parker-international.co.uk who seem to do a range of hand-built wheels;

    Mavic CXP22 Rear Wheel Mavic CXP22 Silver/32hl/Shimano Tiagra 4500 9sp REAR/DT DBB 58.14
    Mavic CXP22 Front Wheel Mavic CXP22 Silver/32hl/Shimano Tiagra 4500 FRONT/DT DB 53.39
    Postage (approx - for UK): 3.95
    Total: 115.48

    Which is pretty much spot on my price range.

    Is there anything majorly wrong with this option?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkN View Post
    ..I've just discovered parker-international.co.uk who seem to do a range of hand-built wheels;

    Mavic CXP22 Rear Wheel Mavic CXP22 Silver/32hl/Shimano Tiagra 4500 9sp REAR/DT DBB 58.14
    Mavic CXP22 Front Wheel Mavic CXP22 Silver/32hl/Shimano Tiagra 4500 FRONT/DT DB 53.39
    Postage (approx - for UK): 3.95
    Total: 115.48
    Tiagra is supposedly road (130 mm) standard. Not an insurmountable problem, but something you'd have to deal with. If they really are hand built to order I'd suggest you ask to have the rear substituded with a LX instead. It would make it a direct fit and save you some bodging.

  19. #19
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    We've been mostly discussing wheel options and sources but, if I may, I'd like to return to one of your statements in the OP:

    My priorities are;

    •speed; I only ride on roads and tend to be trying to get places quickly.
    If you think a new set of wheels is going to magically make you faster or you are in for a fairly expensive disappointment. Your old wheels may indeed be worn out and in need of replacement but they weren't an impediment to speed, your bike is. A hybrid pretty much forces an upright riding position and rider aerodynamics are by far the major cause of drag for any bike. A different bike with drop bars and a more aero riding position will do more for your speed than the most exotic wheels you can buy.
    Last edited by HillRider; 06-15-10 at 05:05 PM.

  20. #20
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    dabac - ooh whoops, thanks for the reminder - I did email them about LXs hubs (not an option on the website) and they said they'd do it for 150/ €180/$222 which is the best price I've seen by far.

    Hillrider - I hear you, I'm not expecting it to magically make me able to pass the guys going round the park, hunched over their ultra light-weight weekend-special racing bikes. That said, I did notice a significant difference when switching from the original 32mm tyres to 28mm tyres. I'm assuming 25mm or 23mm tyres on lighter wheels would make a bit of a difference again, wouldn't they?

    I ride every day and want to make the most of the time time spent doing it. But I like my old bike - it looks great and works fine, besides the worn out wheels, and I can't afford a new bike anyway. So yeah, I suppose I could go for the cheepy generic hybrid wheels, and might end up doing that. For the price I could just make do with replacing them more often.

    Just wanted to consider something that might add to the thrills of the daily commute (as it were )
    Last edited by MarkN; 06-15-10 at 05:40 PM.

  21. #21
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    If the 32 mm tires you replaced had a heavy tread or even small knobs and you replaced them with lighter, smooth 28 mm tires, you certainly would notice a difference. Replacing smooth 28 mm tires with 25 or 23 mm tires will probably not make a great difference. Lighter tires and wheels are indeed an advantage but they aren't magic.

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    Just to be clear, you're saying there's not much point going for custom wheels on my bike because I won't notice a significant difference from cheep generic hybrid wheels which cost 1/3rd (or less) the price?

    I mean, there's not much I can say to that (except thanks for the warning!), If that's absolutely true then you're completely right, it would be foolish to bother with custom wheels on my bike.
    Last edited by MarkN; 06-15-10 at 05:55 PM.

  23. #23
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    I can keep up with lighter road bikes on my all steel cross bike with 35mm tires.
    I think the key, as mentioned, is your body position, along with quality of tires.

    Panaracer Pasela, for instance, is a really good, low rolling resistance, semi-slick tire.
    narrower tires cut through wind better, but fatter tires have less rolling resistance, because they deform to the road surface much better than narrow tires.

    and since aerodynamic drag is about 70~80% of the resistance holding you back, a position that will get your back flat, through the use of bar ends, longer and lower stem or different bars is the best improvement.

    If your bike has wide fenders, ditch them, since they act like a bucket and add a lot of drag.
    Last edited by AEO; 06-15-10 at 06:02 PM.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkN View Post
    Just to be clear, you're saying there's not much point going for custom wheels on my bike because I won't notice a significant difference from cheep generic hybrid wheels which cost 1/3rd (or less) the price?

    I mean, there's not much I can say to that (except thanks for the warning!), If that's absolutely true then you're completely right, it would be foolish to bother with custom wheels on my bike.
    Well, I didn't say high quality wheels won't have advantages. They will be truer, stronger, more reliable and, yes, lighter than poorly made generics. However, my point is don't expect a miraculous improvement in your speed.

    AEO reiterated my point that aerodynamics are the single most important factor in bike speed and an aerodynamically poor rider position will trump every other mechanical item you can buy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkN View Post
    I've been investigating custom wheel builders and called up a few of them for quotes. The choice basically seems to be between relatively expensive hand-built wheels (over 220) and cheap pre-built 700c hybrid wheels (under 55).

    I've just discovered parker-international.co.uk who seem to do a range of hand-built wheels;

    Mavic CXP22 Rear Wheel Mavic CXP22 Silver/32hl/Shimano Tiagra 4500 9sp REAR/DT DBB 58.14
    Mavic CXP22 Front Wheel Mavic CXP22 Silver/32hl/Shimano Tiagra 4500 FRONT/DT DB 53.39
    Postage (approx - for UK): 3.95
    Total: 115.48

    Which is pretty much spot on my price range.

    Is there anything majorly wrong with this option?
    CXP22 is a good rim if there is no gap at the pinned joint. Should last a very long time if properly built. Look for 36 h hub for best reliability.

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