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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-14-07, 09:09 PM   #1
VTRoadie
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Mavic Open Pro: Performance bike v. Hand Built

I found a local shop that *REALLY* seems on top of their game. They sell primarily 29er's and high end-ish road bikes. The owner seemed to know EXACTLY what I wanted (Open Pro + Ultegra), quoted a price on the spot, and promised it would hold me and stay true.

He wanted ~$200 to build it for me, vs ~$120 from Performance Bike. Is it really worth the difference (I am all for supporting local shops, but in this case I am a bit short on money lately, and biking is sucking everything i've got. If I can save $80 I'd love to).

Thoughts?
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Old 08-14-07, 09:27 PM   #2
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I got the Mavic Open Pro rear wheel sent to me via Performance. It has done a fine job for me with only one very slight truing needed after several hundred miles, which I think is fairly normal. I weigh 250+ and used to be a powerlifter, so I can put out the torque. I have had no significant issues with the Performance built wheel.
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Old 08-14-07, 09:33 PM   #3
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You'll probably get away with the Performance. However, good relations with a great bike shop is worth far more than $80 to me. I love my bike shop, they aren't the cheapest on the block, but they always take care of me. To me, the free advice, multiple free fitting sessions, on the spot fixes etc is worth it.

If you never have any problem with your Performance wheels, you get away with it. If you have a problem with them, who knows what hassles or cost you'll go through to get them fixed properly. You're less likely to have problems with a good set of hand built wheels, and more likely to get them fixed free if something does go wrong.

That's just my .02, but it's your $80 and your financial situation. I'm definitely not preaching here, cause I know how these expenses add up quickly!
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Old 08-17-07, 08:50 AM   #4
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Seems like the difference is more than $80 if you get them on sale.
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Old 08-17-07, 08:52 AM   #5
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Yea.. its $199 - 15% + $22 (over weight). I keep toying with it.. but I want them in black ($225).. but it seems silly to spend $26 for a color. Either way.. I guess I see it as the front wheel isn't going to have any issues.. and if the back one does.. it will probably cost me less to have them rebuild it.
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Old 08-17-07, 08:54 AM   #6
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Oh hot! a 20% off coupon.. glad I waited. $161 + $22 = $183 out the door.
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Old 08-17-07, 09:55 AM   #7
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The local places that build decent wheels around here use beefier spokes, and also provide free life-time truing (barring accident damage). I would find out if they do something similar at that bike shop. If they do, it may be worth the peace of mind to know that the wheel will be fixed if something goes awry later. I found all of this out because I ride a vintage aluminum road bike that won't accept modern rear hub widths, and HAD to have my rear wheel built when the old one was dinged up too badly.

If I had a more modern bike, I would probably go for the Performance wheel myself. But I do most of my own wrenching unless it is significant wheel-truing issue (true my own wheels for minor deflections), freewheel, or bottom bracket issues (don't have the tools, and does not come up often enough for me to buy them so far). If you don't feel comfortable truing a tire every now and then, then I would get the LBS wheel.

Have fun out there!
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Old 08-17-07, 12:16 PM   #8
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I also thought that it was silly to spend another few bucks for color, but if you look at it as "I'll have these for years, spend the extra $26 and get the color I want," it's far easier to justify... ;-)
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Old 08-17-07, 05:30 PM   #9
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I've got a dirty secret on Performance Bike's wheels: they buy them from mega distributer J&B Importer's.
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Old 08-17-07, 07:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronjon10 View Post
You'll probably get away with the Performance. However, good relations with a great bike shop is worth far more than $80 to me. I love my bike shop, they aren't the cheapest on the block, but they always take care of me. To me, the free advice, multiple free fitting sessions, on the spot fixes etc is worth it.

If you never have any problem with your Performance wheels, you get away with it. If you have a problem with them, who knows what hassles or cost you'll go through to get them fixed properly. You're less likely to have problems with a good set of hand built wheels, and more likely to get them fixed free if something does go wrong.

That's just my .02, but it's your $80 and your financial situation. I'm definitely not preaching here, cause I know how these expenses add up quickly!
+1

The local shop can help you out in a jam--if you have good relations w/them. Performance.com? They could care less.
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Old 08-17-07, 08:23 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by VTRoadie View Post
Oh hot! a 20% off coupon.. glad I waited. $161 + $22 = $183 out the door.
If you have a performance bike shop near you, you can use the "red phone" and have the wheels shipped to the shop for free. So $161 out the door. I have a set of the open pro's from performance... no complaints here. I like my LBS's too though... I split the business between online purchases and all the LBS's in my area.
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Old 08-18-07, 01:48 AM   #12
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200.00 for open pros is a good deal for a handbuilt set of wheels.. I have bought wheels from performance before and they are good but have always had my local wheel builder re-tension them to spec.. Machine built wheels have a tendency to be built a little soft in the spoke tension..

For 80.00 more it is worth having your lbs build them..
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Old 08-20-07, 01:04 PM   #13
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socalrider: $200 was for one, probably looking $350-$400 range for two (with tax).

InTheRain: Not in this state unfortunately. They also screwed up my order and it never apparently was fully processed. Just reordered for $189. Uhg.
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Old 08-21-07, 01:18 AM   #14
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Note that Performance Open Pro/Ultegra wheels using the older Ultegra 9 speed FH-6500 hub .
Hand build wheels for $200 probably would include newer Ultegra 10 speed FH-6600 (9 speed compatible).
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Old 08-21-07, 09:29 AM   #15
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ttopaz: Thanks for letting me know. Probably woulda been smart to go for the 6600's .. but i probably wont invest in a 10 speed upgrade for this frame ($300 STI shifters, etc).
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Old 08-31-07, 05:00 PM   #16
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$200 per wheel is a very fair price for handbuilt wheel from reliable builder if using the Ultegra 6600 hubs. I just built for myself the same wheels - Mavic Open Pros, Ultegra hubs, DT Competition 14/15 spokes, brass nipples, high tension. The wheels are smooth, braking is simply outstanding, and they track well. A great all around wheel. The parts alone are over $350 without labor.
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Old 09-01-07, 04:04 PM   #17
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I bought a set of performance open pro's- about 100 miles later, they were out of true and had to be brought back to performance- they continued to go out of true every few hundred miles until I finally learned how to build a wheel myself and learned about proper spoke tensioning. I also bought hand built open pro rear wheel with ultegra hubs from universal cycles and I've gotten 1000+ miles out of them and they are still completely true. Because they are wheels, I'd say go with the lbs- nothing worse than walking a bike in cleats! Or maybe if you have a good relationship with your lbs, buy the wheel from performance, but pay your lbs to hand tension the spokes.

One other note- Performance only sells the 32 spoke version- that's fine if you're a bit over 200- but if you're much heavier than that, 36 spokes would probably be better.
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Old 09-01-07, 09:31 PM   #18
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i'd say the 80$ is definitely worth it. you get the piece of mind knowing your wheels were built by hand, everything is properly tensioned etc. you're supporting your LBS, and who knows, maybe they'll hook you up once in a while :]
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Old 09-03-07, 07:20 PM   #19
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Performance took forever to ship em so I actually cancelled the order.. so i'll prob end up buying them local regardless... it just seems horrible they are going to charge me more in parts than Performance charged for the entire thing machine built ya know? I could probably but them from PB, strip the spokes, have them rebuild them and STILL save money. Ah well.
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