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  1. #1
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    Light Wheel for heavy rider- Ascent 2 vs Mavic Ksyrium vs Bontranger race x lite

    I am a new user so please excuse the inexperience
    I have just bought new wheels for my Cannondale Synapse, the Easton Ascent 2 wheelset.
    I had been looking at Bontrager Race X Lites and Mavic Ksyrium when the LBS sold me on the Ascent 2 wheels. I am at 220# but am working towards 200# before the MS150 in April.

    Will this set be a good choice? How about the others?
    I am not sure now after reading some of the posts in this forum which suggest they are rated for less than 180#. Any insight would be greatly appreciated so that I can return if necessary.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    What is your spoke count?
    32 or 36 would be best.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  3. #3
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    I plan on getting the Mavic Open pros with ultegra hubs from bicyclewheelwarehouse.com when i upgrade my wheelset. They have 32 spoke count and are highly reccomended by many in the road forums. They are $240 for the set.

  4. #4
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    If spoke count is both front and rear, then it's 32, 24 rear, 18 front.

  5. #5
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    No he is referring to each wheel.

  6. #6
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    Yikes!

  7. #7
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JettRink View Post
    Yikes!
    I weight 205 lbs. Have 36 spokes in front and rear.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  8. #8
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    32 spokes seems high from all I have read for a road bike. I went and looked at my original Shimano wheels and they have 20 front, 24 rear. They have performed well, but I want a faster wheel with sealed bearings.

  9. #9
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JettRink View Post
    32 spokes seems high from all I have read for a road bike. I went and looked at my original Shimano wheels and they have 20 front, 24 rear. They have performed well, but I want a faster wheel with sealed bearings.
    Come back when you start breaking spokes.
    I started on wheels with 28 spokes. They started to break.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  10. #10
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JettRink View Post
    32 spokes seems high from all I have read for a road bike. I went and looked at my original Shimano wheels and they have 20 front, 24 rear. They have performed well, but I want a faster wheel with sealed bearings.
    32 is a high count if you're a 150 pound Cat-3 racer looking to shave a few seconds off your time trials. 32 is not unreasonable for a 200+ pound rider, racer or not.

    Now, if you've got a pair of 24/20 wheels that have held up well, then you can probably get away with another pair of similarly built wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Equipe or equivalent.

    What's the reasoning behind going for a lighter wheel?
    If you're racing, then it makes sense. If you're not racing, then a 24 or 28 spoke wheel will give you higher strength. The main concern that I have about low count wheels is what happens when a spoke fails. A 20 spoke front wheel is usually radially laced, and I don't trust that structure under myself. If one spoke goes out, there's a high likelyhood that the rest of the wheel can fail quickly. For a 24 spoke rear, it's less prone to a catastrophic collapse but if a single spoke goes out, it will go further out of true and a higher spoke count wheel. I've popped a spoke on a 36 spoke wheel, and still managed to ride the bike to a shop for a spare. With a lower count wheel, even opening the brake release may not give enough room for an out-of-true wheel to spin freely.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    My Giant OCR1 has 20 spokes front, 24 rear. I weight 215. So far, so good at 1600 miles, but the day I break a spoke is the day I order new wheels. Most of my riding is solo out of cell tower range and my primary concern is that these low spoke count wheels can be difficult to true sufficiently on the road to keep going. I'll probably go with 32 spoke count front and rear when the time comes.
    Rick T
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  12. #12
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    CXP33 rims, Ultegra or Durace hubs. If they survived me, they can survive anything short of WW3. I use 32 spokes, but straight gauge. Straight gauge will
    give you a torsionally stronger wheel. When you are coming off a mountain and going around a tight corner way too fast, you can thank me.
    Your friendly, local, minor god of information.

  13. #13
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    I guess I just want to keep up with my friends. Its pretty flat to rolling hills in Texas and I thought an upgrade to a sealed bearing wheel would get less resistance. The Mavics and Bontrager were first mentioned. Losing 20# of body weight may help also but LBS personel seem to say these type wheels would help. I guess I need to do more checking.

  14. #14
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JettRink View Post
    I guess I just want to keep up with my friends. Its pretty flat to rolling hills in Texas and I thought an upgrade to a sealed bearing wheel would get less resistance. The Mavics and Bontrager were first mentioned. Losing 20# of body weight may help also but LBS personel seem to say these type wheels would help. I guess I need to do more checking.
    Changing tires or wheels will not help you keep up with your friends.
    Work on your motor.
    Riding is 10% Bike, 90% Motor.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JettRink View Post
    LBS personel seem to say these type wheels would help. I guess I need to do more checking.
    yeah they are trying to stay in business

  16. #16
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    My bonty x lites cracked at the rims after 2000miles but as the warranty is 5 years they replaced the rims.
    For a 200lb rider they are not strong enough with too few spokes. Next time I will buy at least a 28/32 spoke combo.

  17. #17
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    OP: Ksyriums are a pretty good choice, if you can afford it. The Aksiums are a great choice as well for budget conscious. I've put thousands of miles on my aksiums and they're still in true.

    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    I weight 205 lbs. Have 36 spokes in front and rear.
    Anecdotal evidence is just that, anecdotal. Just because you had a bad experience with 28 spoke wheels doesn't mean they're all bad. I weigh 270 lbs and have two separate sets of 20-spoke wheels, one of which is on a bike which I ride with loaded panniers; commuting with them daily. You made your point, leave it at that; no need to repeat it so many times.

  18. #18
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    I guess I just want to keep up with my friends.
    Not an unreasonable goal.

    Its pretty flat to rolling hills in Texas and I thought an upgrade to a sealed bearing wheel would get less resistance.
    Unless you're currently rolling on some 1970s open cone bearings that haven't been greased since the Trans-Am was cool, switching hubs isn't going to give you a lot of gain. Lighter wheels help with 2 things mainly: Lighter weight for easier climbing, and faster acceleration from lower rotating mass. Since the climbing isn't an issue, consider the necessity of a "faster off the line" wheel vs. a "stronger for the long haul" wheel.

    The Mavics and Bontrager were first mentioned.
    I won't knock either one of them. Especially the Aksium and Ksyrium Equipe wheels. A few of the C&A riders have commented on these in the past, stating how nice and smooth a ride these wheels are.

    Losing 20# of body weight may help
    May? I notice a difference when my weight fluctuates by half that much.

    also but LBS personel seem to say these type wheels would help.
    I bet if you asked them, you could get some $90 carbon fiber derailleur pulley wheels and a $100 Connex 10S1 chain that would really make you fast.
    Parts have some bearing on how fast you can go, but it sounds like you're already riding a pretty nice bike. In that case, a couple of lightweight doodads here and there aren't going to give you a performance advantage unless it's your cash-laden, extremely heavy wallet that's weighing you down.
    If like many of us here, you could stand to drop a few pounds, the less expensive solution to making your bike faster is to lose weight from the engine.

    Lighter bike = beaucoup bucks
    Ligher engine = spend less $$ on food


    (Point of reference: Last summer I rode the Seattle to Portland double century on my new 2008 Cross Check Complete. Around mile 140, after a short conversation about his bicycle, I got dusted by a very nice guy on a nicked up, mid-80s Raleigh singlespeed conversion.)

  19. #19
    Senior Member cyclefreaksix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 wheels View Post
    changing tires or wheels will not help you keep up with your friends.
    work on your motor.
    riding is 10% bike, 90% motor.
    +100!!!

  20. #20
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    Thanks CliftonGK1,
    Your breakdown was very useful and to the point. My Shimano 550's were probably fine without trying to upgrade. Your sealed bearings comments may not be subject to the bias of LBS bike salesman. Maybe I did have a fat wallet at the time, or just wishful thinking that this new wheelset would make a difference.
    I may keep them and put them to test anyway or look at changing to the Ksyriums or Orion II's, which have more spokes. Thanks to all of the others for your help also.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    My Giant OCR1 has 20 spokes front, 24 rear. I weight 215. So far, so good at 1600 miles, but the day I break a spoke is the day I order new wheels. Most of my riding is solo out of cell tower range and my primary concern is that these low spoke count wheels can be difficult to true sufficiently on the road to keep going. I'll probably go with 32 spoke count front and rear when the time comes.
    +1 I'm 240 245 ish and ride a giant OCR limited w/ probably the same 20/24 spoke wheels as rdtompki. Nearly 3000mi w/ [B]no issues[B]]. Just make sure you get the wheels serviced (trued & retensioned) by a good wheelbuilder after the 1st few hundred miles. This will go a long way to extend the life of the wheelset.
    You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. - Robin Williams

    Never be frightenend to walk out of step with others because you will walk on ground no one else touches

    Remember, hard work pays off later but procastination pays off now!

    My Rides: '06 Giant OCR Limited & '95 GT OUTPOST

  22. #22
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bone Head View Post
    Just make sure you get the wheels serviced (trued & retensioned) by a good wheelbuilder after the 1st few hundred miles. This will go a long way to extend the life of the wheelset.
    I'm convinced that one of the best investments I've made for my workshop has been a truing stand. I'm rough on my wheels, and between 3 bikes that I have now and a spare few pairs of wheels laying around, the $60 I spent on a stand and spoke wrenches has certainly been worth it.

    I use a Minoura Pro truing stand and Park wrenches.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
    I'm convinced that one of the best investments I've made for my workshop has been a truing stand. I'm rough on my wheels, and between 3 bikes that I have now and a spare few pairs of wheels laying around, the $60 I spent on a stand and spoke wrenches has certainly been worth it.

    I use a Minoura Pro truing stand and Park wrenches.
    I applaud your talent, seriously. I'm reasonably mechanically inclined, but I don't have the patience or I would do the same. In my case, having a canvas, paint and brushes doesn't make me an artist !!
    You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. - Robin Williams

    Never be frightenend to walk out of step with others because you will walk on ground no one else touches

    Remember, hard work pays off later but procastination pays off now!

    My Rides: '06 Giant OCR Limited & '95 GT OUTPOST

  24. #24
    should know better
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    If you really want insight on how your wheels are doing, a spoke tension meter is a really good investment, along with your truing stand. As far as spoke count goes, my 235# have put 6K miles plus on my 28/24 Velocity Deep Vs, with only one very minor truing on the rear. On my other bike I've got a set of 20/16 Neuvation M28 Aero 3's. My rear wheel was just warranty replaced after failing at 2K miles (rim cracked around spoke nipples). If the replacement fails I'll probably go the Bicycle Wheel Warehouse route.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Long deKlein View Post
    If you really want insight on how your wheels are doing, a spoke tension meter is a really good investment, along with your truing stand. As far as spoke count goes, my 235# have put 6K miles plus on my 28/24 Velocity Deep Vs, with only one very minor truing on the rear. On my other bike I've got a set of 20/16 Neuvation M28 Aero 3's. My rear wheel was just warranty replaced after failing at 2K miles (rim cracked around spoke nipples). If the replacement fails I'll probably go the Bicycle Wheel Warehouse route.
    I have read about a bunch of the neuvations failing at the hub. They don't seem to be very clyde friendly. Although they look sweet and the price is awesome. maybe when i lose the clyde status i'll give em a try.

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