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  1. #1
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    New wheels: Mavic Ksyrium Equipe S or other?

    I'm a 300lbs rider with a stock 2010 CAAD8 8C. After a few hundred miles, I'm starting to break spokes on my rear tire every trip. I think it's time for a new wheelset.

    My local bike shop suggests the Ksyrium Equipe S for $440. They also recommended an $800 wheelset; while great I'm sure, for that price I might consider getting a bike w/ better overall components.

    I not sure if the Ksyriums are a good choice, or should I go with something custom from http://www.prowheelbuilder.com or similar? Thoughts?

    EDIT:
    My initial budget was $300, but perhaps that was unreasonable. I certainly want to stay under $500.
    Last edited by rwbaker; 03-01-14 at 11:19 AM. Reason: Updated w/ budget

  2. #2
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    I think the Ksyrium Equipe S wheel set is a good choice, both because I think straight-pull spoked wheels offer more lateral stiffness for heavy riders, and because my own experience with them, since Nov. '12 at probably 245lbs (and now 218lb today) with over 1800mi on them, has been excellent.

    In addition to being heavy, I'm also an aggressive rider with a fair amount of strength, so the wheels have not been pampered, yet they continue to perform flawlessly and look good. I can sprint on them without any indication of flex, and they feel pretty good, with snappy acceleration and a certain liveliness.

    Even though I paid a bit north of $500 for mine (I think they'd just come out at the time, the Equipe S wheel/tire system), I think it was a very good value. The fitted Yksion Comp tires turned out to be really excellent performers, and though I worn them out by 1800 miles, they held up great over Michigan's notoriously rough roads, gripped great, and felt great. I just replaced them this winter, and would have gone with the same tire had I moved fast enough to get them at the $21 or so sale price I saw at Competitive Cyclist or somewhere, but I missed it. I very nearly went with the up model Yksion Pro Griplink instead at about $50, but decided to pull back on the expenditure and try Panaracer Race A Evo 2s at $33, but I digress.

    I'm not personally familiar with the needs of 300lb riders, so I'll defer to those who are, but I will throw out the caveat that there are plenty of folks around here who think it's madness, prima facie, to even consider a 20 spoke wheel like the KES for Clydes. I am, of course, not the only 200lb+ rider successfully on them, so take their admonishments with a dose of skepticism.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  3. #3
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    Don't the ksyriums have proprietary spokes? That would be the first thing I'd want to avoid. Break one spoke and you're sidelined until you find a replacement, no thanks.

    I do know a lot of bigger fellas have good luck getting a set of Velocity Deep V wheels built up. Go with 36 spokes for extra security and it's unlikely you'll ever have problems. Kinlin makes a very similar rim (30mm cross section)

    You can go to PWB.com and configure up a set of 3x 36 spokes on Shimano 105 for about 341.

    They're not light but I'll tell you I have a set of 1500 gram wheels and a set of 2000 gram wheels and it makes no difference to my riding enjoyment. I do NOT like breaking spokes and wrecking my ride though. YMMV.

  4. #4
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    As TrojanHorse mentioned, don't get anything with proprietary spokes.

    You'd probably do best with at least 32 spokes up front, 36 (or even 40) on the rear, decent Shimano hubs (Tiagra is good enough, 105 is a bit better, don't bother paying for Ultegra hubs over 105 hubs - they're made from exactly the same parts...), brass nipples all around, and some good SOLID rims. Velocity Deep Vs are good, as are DT Swiss TK 540s and Mavic A719s. Don't go cheap on the rim.

    Check rim width, too. Get the widest rims you can fit on your bike. Wider tires are good when you're big.

    Nice strong spokes such as DT Alpine would also be good. Go with heavier double- or triple-butted spokes. Straight pull spokes don't last as long.

    Don't worry about how much the wheels weigh. You want them to last.

    Tiagra hubs, DT TK540 rims (or wider...) and DT Alpine spokes with brass nipples shouldn't set you back that much. About $400 should be possible.

    Again, don't go cheap - cheap won't last.

    This is about as cheap as I'd recommend:

    http://bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/Roa...Wheel-Set.html

    Rims are narrow and not the best, spokes aren't as beefy as they could be.

  5. #5
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    Broken spokes on straight pulls are less common than J bend breaks, I believe, and certainly are in my experience. I've got a set of '09 Ksyrium SLs w/ never a spoke break, and those spokes are alu, whereas the KESs are steel. Bladed straight pulls, because they reduce lateral deflection, may be the least

    It is true, though, that if you lose a spoke on a 36 spoke wheel it'll probably still be rideable, whereas on a 20 spoke, maybe not. Of course if they don't break...I guess it depends on how risk averse one is. I also agree that wheels don't detract from riding fun, but they do impact fatigue rate for me, and a good feeling wheel set can transform a bike, so I appreciate the right balance of lightness and durability.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    seems a non boutique 36 spoke wheel is unfashionable even when it is a more practical choice ..

  7. #7
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    I have Ksyrium Equipe and Elite wheelsets on two of my bicycles. They hold up fine to 250 lbs and crappy potholed NY roads. I do use Michelin 25 tires though. Honestly I bought them because they were relatively inexpensive and easy to find on sale.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    seems a non boutique 36 spoke wheel is unfashionable even when it is a more practical choice ..
    While they're certainly unfashionable, I would debate whether they're more practical, unless you're saying that's the case for a 300lb rider in particular, in which case, as I said before, I'll defer to those with personal and specific experience.

    Frankly, I'd be surprised if a modern 32 j-bend round spoke wheel gave up anything to a 36 spoke of the same in terms of real world durability, and I'm sure that the right 32 j bend build, say with DT aero bladed, would be a better wheel than the 36 j bend round.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I loaded up on a bike tour,combined .. way over 300# then ..
    the spoke count on my wheel went past 36 ..

    thing is a conventional spoked wheel is serviceable .. in most-any shop.
    a proprietary wheel may need a backup wheel on hand.

    if the only service available is online. ie buying another ..

    now a better choice for me is an IGH ... dishless .. widely spaced hub flanges are a wider base
    than the narrow space required in order to pack in that 8+ cog count cassette ..

    just in plain triangulation terms ..

    good luck with what preferences are your own .

  10. #10
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    Regardless of what you buy, ensure your wheels are perfectly aligned. Any wobble means you have a loose spoke which will get looser and eventually break. I would even check brand new wheel, I have received wheels from the factory that were not perfectly aligned. Also check the wheel every couple of hundred miles.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    Check rim width, too. Get the widest rims you can fit on your bike. Wider tires are good when you're big.
    This is a good bit of advice for optimizing performance, though there's no problem fitting 32s to 19mm wide rims; they won't feel as sure footed, but if you're not pushing it out there on the road, that's no loss.

    Another shocking fact is that I not only ride 20 spoke wheels with proprietary spokes, I ride 23s! I do have 25s on my other, Velocity built Aerohead/OC 32h wheel set, but I only run them for spring training as they feel sloppy (Micheline Pro Optimums) on these narrower rims, but I do intend to try a wide rim wheel soon, like maybe Flo 30s or Boyd Altamonts (24f/28r). Boyd does offer the Altamont in 28h front/32h rear config for 240lb+ riders, though they clock in above the OP's budget at $600.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  12. #12
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Normally, I prefer traditional wheels, but Mavic Ksyrium wheels are really impressive. Go either way. If you want traditional, you should be able to get them for less than $400. A lot less, actually.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  13. #13
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    Deep-v 36h with Shimano Tiagra or 105 hubs, and double-butted spokes (wheelsmith, DT, Sapim) with brass nipples. Hand-built...

    I'm going to be building a set of 32h Deep-v with Tiagra hubs and Sapim DB spokes. Unless your racing, light weight is over-rated when your over 200lbs I'm 223 right now, and dropping, but I still wanted super strong wheels...
    2012 Diamondback Podium 2 - Ready for spring! :D
    1995 Specialized Rockhopper Rigid - SS converted!

  14. #14
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    Thanks all for your advice.

    My local bike shop called and said they found a set of Bontrager Race Lite rims with tubes and tires at their other store across town. They gave me a seemingly good deal on them—$250 for the set installed.

    After a quick 7 mile ride they feel good, though honestly I can't tell a real difference. However the metal bladed spokes seem much stronger than the plastic ones on my stock wheel set.

  15. #15
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    Plastic spokes? You weren't riding Spinergy, were you?
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  16. #16
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    I wouldn't worry too much about the spokes, look around on club rides and see how many ridersw are on Mavic wheels and many of their line up use the same spoke. Most shops at least in my area have Mavic spokes in supply. Saying that you should be able to get a set of handbuilt wheels with decent hubs for your price range. I own a set of Elite S and they are very good wheels.
    Best thing about cycling is when I'm at work I'm thinking of cycling, when I'm cycling I'm thinking about cycling.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    4 hours after posting you already have a different set of wheels!
    Having the spokes properly tensioned ASAP will go a LONG way in making the wheels last.

  18. #18
    Senior Member daviddavieboy's Avatar
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    I just bought a new road bike that comes with a 20 spoke rear and a 16 spoke front(shimano RS10).

    What I am doing is building a set. Shimano 105 hubs- $100 for the pair(Amazon), Mavic CXP33 - $170 for pair(Amazon), spokes -$50, $80 for my shop to build.

    So for $400 I will have a great set of wheels to use for some time. There a lots of options out there you just need to educate yourself adn spend some time looking around

  19. #19
    Senior Member TJClay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rwbaker View Post
    Thanks all for your advice.

    My local bike shop called and said they found a set of Bontrager Race Lite rims with tubes and tires at their other store across town. They gave me a seemingly good deal on themó$250 for the set installed.

    After a quick 7 mile ride they feel good, though honestly I can't tell a real difference. However the metal bladed spokes seem much stronger than the plastic ones on my stock wheel set.


    PLASTIC SPOKES? Damn, I'm behind on new wheel construction.
    ttp://pedalmybike.com/userTrackies/myTrackie3491.jpg[/img]

  20. #20
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanHorse View Post
    Don't the ksyriums have proprietary spokes? That would be the first thing I'd want to avoid. Break one spoke and you're sidelined until you find a replacement, no thanks.

    I do know a lot of bigger fellas have good luck getting a set of Velocity Deep V wheels built up. Go with 36 spokes for extra security and it's unlikely you'll ever have problems. Kinlin makes a very similar rim (30mm cross section)

    You can go to PWB.com and configure up a set of 3x 36 spokes on Shimano 105 for about 341.

    They're not light but I'll tell you I have a set of 1500 gram wheels and a set of 2000 gram wheels and it makes no difference to my riding enjoyment. I do NOT like breaking spokes and wrecking my ride though. YMMV.

    what he said...or you can even find these pre built on ebay...more likely the 32 spoke front and rear, but those are still pretty darn bullet proof....and 105 hubs are fine for what you are doing.
    There's indecision when you aint got nothin left

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by daviddavieboy View Post
    I just bought a new road bike that comes with a 20 spoke rear and a 16 spoke front(shimano RS10).

    What I am doing is building a set. Shimano 105 hubs- $100 for the pair(Amazon), Mavic CXP33 - $170 for pair(Amazon), spokes -$50, $80 for my shop to build.

    So for $400 I will have a great set of wheels to use for some time. There a lots of options out there you just need to educate yourself adn spend some time looking around
    I like the DT Swiss RR585s better than the CXP33s. They're heavier, but they sure seem to be a much-better rim. On my CXP33s I can feel the rim joint go under the brake pads when braking. Not so with the RR585s. And I swear they sure seem stiffer/stronger. Even though my CXP33 rear is 36 spokes and my RR585 rears are 32 spokes.

  22. #22
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    not knowing what the life span on wheel sets would be. I have experience with the Mavic Ksyrium Equipe fine set of wheels. But two low of a spoke count on the rear for you...in my opnion. As when I bought a new set in Dec 2011 I was like 220lbs...they road, and road like champs until last summer...I started hearing weird sounds like something was loose etc...bike shop could never figure it out. Then finally I figured it out one day cleaning the bike chain etc. The rear wheel hoop at every spoke hole had small cracks on the whole hoop. Wheel toast. The front was awesome and still is...even though it is hanging in the garage. So from Dec 2011 to Sept 2013 almost two years and about 6k miles...they were great. Bottom line I was to heavy for the rear wheel. Good luck in your search...keep riding!
    2010 Marin Alp/Lucas Valley now lives on the trainer , 2011 Marin Apline Trail 29er, 2012 Giant Defy 2 Composite

  23. #23
    Senior Member daviddavieboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    I like the DT Swiss RR585s better than the CXP33s.
    Thanks for the tip. I was going to order them next week. I already have a set of old rigida hoops that drive me crazy on my other bike.

  24. #24
    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    I've got ~8,000 miles on a set of Bontrager Race Lites, while I'm lighter 250 - 190 they've been bomb proof and still going strong.

    As for the proprietary spoke issue. Buy a couple of extra spokes, trim a cork that fits in your seat post but just clears the frame tube. Wrap spokes in paper to keep from rattling, insert into seat post, put in cork, install seat post and you're done.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Plastic spokes? You weren't riding Spinergy, were you?
    Not Spinergy; they were Maddux DRX 4000 that came with the bike. Oddly enough, Bikepedia lists stainless steel spokes, but they seem quite plastic-like to me. Even when broken, they're black throughout. I assumed this was standard on entry-level bikes, but perhaps not?

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