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  1. #1
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    Commuter Wheelset Recommendations

    I am looking for a new Wheelset. My current rims are 18-622. Can anyone recommend a good replacement?

    Here is my wishlist:

    * Front and back set is less than $100 - I am willing to consider under $200
    * Something that holds its true.
    * Accommodates my current 8-speed cog stack.
    * accommodates rim breaks.
    * Stands up to year-round conditions. (105F to 0F, dry and wet conditions)
    * Weight concerns come in behind cost and truing issues.

    The why (if interested):
    I got weary of constantly truing the WTB DX23 rims that came stock on my Marin San Rafael; one week and the wobble would return. The tech at my LBS said I could over-tension my spokes to hold it in balance longer.

    That worked, from March to November; I only needed a single truing. However, during this weekend's chain cleaning, I noticed that the nipples are splitting out of the rim. My guess: with temps in the teen's for my morning commutes (Reno, NV) the spokes have shrunk and increased the tension beyond the rim's spec.

    Lesson learned.

  2. #2
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    I got a set of Vuelta Zerolite wheels from Nashbar for under $100 shipped on a sale price. They had good reviews and have worked out well for me so far.
    Gunnar Sport
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Rancid's Avatar
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    If you like your hubs, they are 32 hole and they are still in good condition, I would recommend the Salsa Delgado Cross rim. Its a little heavy, but Salsa is a great company when it comes to building parts for abuse and the long haul. Right now google shows them for around 40 bucks. Drop 80 on that and then get them built by a shop or do it yourself to really save some cash and come in right around 100 with spokes and all.
    I've been here since 2004? I've never felt this old before.

  4. #4
    sɹɐʇsɟoןןnɟsʇıbɟɯo jdgesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yummygooey View Post
    crabon/campy/rapha/roadie-bro.

    next step is recumbent.




    my bikes | bike blog | beer blog | work 1 | work 2

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice, eofelis. (Vuelta Zerolite)

    It looks like those rims are single speed/fixie. Is that correct? Will the rear hub accommodate a mulit-cog set?

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    Rancid, Those Salsa rims sound pretty tempting. My hubs are 36 hole, but I see that Salsa makes rims in that configuration too. I will have to pull apart my existing hub to check for wear.

    jdgesus, the Mavic rims do sound tempting

  7. #7
    Senior Member scoatw's Avatar
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    Keep in mind the spokes will probably cost you anywhere from $1.50 to perhaps over $2, depending on what you get. You take 36x2 and your 72 spokes could potentially cost more than the rims and hubs combined. Not to mention what a LBS will charge for labor to put it all together for you. I checked the other day and it was $60 per wheel. I shopped around online and in a few local shops. I ended up buying a set of 26", 32 hole Rhyno lites with a decent shimano hub for $129. That's almost half of what I'd pay if I had the shop build me a pair....just something to think about.
    ..but those Salsas sound sweet! If had those I'd try to build em up myself. Sheldon Brown and other websites have easy instructions. Re-use the hubs and what good spokes were left. If I can't it get tensioned right then I just take em' to the shop and have them fix it.
    Last edited by scoatw; 11-21-11 at 04:14 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata Six Ten | 1970 Hercules Three-Two-Speed
    Wife's Bike: 2008 Globe City 7

  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n2y2 View Post
    I am looking for a new Wheelset. My current rims are 18-622. Can anyone recommend a good replacement?

    Here is my wishlist:

    * Front and back set is less than $100 - I am willing to consider under $200
    * Something that holds its true.
    * Accommodates my current 8-speed cog stack.
    * accommodates rim breaks.
    * Stands up to year-round conditions. (105F to 0F, dry and wet conditions)
    * Weight concerns come in behind cost and truing issues.

    The why (if interested):
    I got weary of constantly truing the WTB DX23 rims that came stock on my Marin San Rafael; one week and the wobble would return. The tech at my LBS said I could over-tension my spokes to hold it in balance longer.

    That worked, from March to November; I only needed a single truing. However, during this weekend's chain cleaning, I noticed that the nipples are splitting out of the rim. My guess: with temps in the teen's for my morning commutes (Reno, NV) the spokes have shrunk and increased the tension beyond the rim's spec.

    Lesson learned.
    My guess, which is not really a guess is that the wheels were poorly built and after some miles the issues have now manifested with cracks.

    It is well worth it to invest in the best wheel set you can afford as commuting is as extreme a use you can put your wheels to... although a sub 100.00 price on a wheel set may look attractive the odds that the off the peg wheels have been properly tuned are going to be slim to none and the extra money you pay to get a well built set of wheel will pay for itself over the long run.

    I build a lot of wheels and with decent parts the cost of a rock solid wheel set will come in at around $250.00 and would include double walled rims, DT Swiss spokes and decent quality hubs and part of this includes a discount on build fee for a set vs a single wheel.

    With decent wheels you would not be looking at a March to November service life, the wheels would need no truing, and you could look forward to as much as 15,000 miles of trouble free riding... amortize your investment by the miles you will get instead of the months and you will see how much cheaper it is to get some great wheels under you.

    Find a local builder with a good reputation who will guarantee their work and see what they can do for you.

  10. #10
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
    "Note: Our machine-built wheels are a tremendous value. Many are priced less than what the individual components would cost.
    Machine-built wheels are not tensioned and trued to the level of custom hand-built wheels. "


    This can be a good option and this is a wickedly good price... would buy these (and have bought close outs like this) and if I could not do the tuning myself would be looking at paying a wheel builder to do this and pay them for their expertise as this will take a set of machine built wheels and make them as good as hand built wheels.

    Harris will hand tune the wheels for another $20.00.... this is well worth it.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Rancid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoatw View Post
    Keep in mind the spokes will probably cost you anywhere from $1.50 to perhaps over $2, depending on what you get. You take 36x2 and your 72 spokes could potentially cost more than the rims and hubs combined. Not to mention what a LBS will charge for labor to put it all together for you. I checked the other day and it was $60 per wheel. I shopped around online and in a few local shops. I ended up buying a set of 26", 32 hole Rhyno lites with a decent shimano hub for $129. That's almost half of what I'd pay if I had the shop build me a pair....just something to think about.
    ..but those Salsas sound sweet! If had those I'd try to build em up myself. Sheldon Brown and other websites have easy instructions. Re-use the hubs and what good spokes were left. If I can't it get tensioned right then I just take em' to the shop and have them fix it.
    you're right, i undervalued spokes and nips quite a bit, I bought a big supply at cost when I was working at a shop a few years ago and forgot they do add up pretty quick.
    Those Harris ones are a great deal. I saw some aksiums online the other day for 175 which is a deal but I wouldn't call them too commuter friendly
    I've been here since 2004? I've never felt this old before.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    "Note: Our machine-built wheels are a tremendous value. Many are priced less than what the individual components would cost.
    Machine-built wheels are not tensioned and trued to the level of custom hand-built wheels. "


    This can be a good option and this is a wickedly good price... would buy these (and have bought close outs like this) and if I could not do the tuning myself would be looking at paying a wheel builder to do this and pay them for their expertise as this will take a set of machine built wheels and make them as good as hand built wheels.

    Harris will hand tune the wheels for another $20.00.... this is well worth it.
    I agree. Would be well worth it to have Harris tune the wheels.
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata Six Ten | 1970 Hercules Three-Two-Speed
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  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
    I agree. Would be well worth it to have Harris tune the wheels.
    In volunteering at the co-op and teaching wheel building have often suggested that people take advantage of some of the deals one can get on machine built wheels as it is often far less than the cost of the individual parts and then pay someone or have someone walk you through the steps needed to fine tune the wheel.

    Have seen off the peg wheels de-tension themselves when the tyre was installed and inflated and part of the fine tuning involves giving the wheel a final truing and tension check when the tyre is mounted and tube is inflated to riding pressure... this is something you will not see with most mass produced, machine built wheels and will make a great wheel even better.

    And you could just ask me how often I need to true my own wheels which is pretty much never...

  14. #14
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    I think that every serious commuter/cyclist should Learn to build and true their own wheels. What a peace of mind I have knowing that I can build and true my own wheels. I just started wheel buildying earlier this year, I've built 4 wheels so far this year, two rears and two fronts. No problems so far. It takes a lot of time and patience but it's worth learning how to build and true wheels.

  15. #15
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeybikes View Post
    I agree. Would be well worth it to have Harris tune the wheels.
    +1. Harris, or a trusted tech. You need to make sure those spokes are the right tension when you have tires on them.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    maybe get the LBS to touch up the truing,after your bargain gets to your door
    as the journey is subject to banging it about , unless you walk in to buy them.

  17. #17
    idc
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoatw View Post
    I ended up buying a set of 26", 32 hole Rhyno lites with a decent shimano hub for $129.
    I think I may have very similar wheels for my commuter. I bought them a month ago for $95 here:

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/product.aspx?i=WH707A17

  18. #18
    Senior Member silmarillion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
    I think that every serious commuter/cyclist should Learn to build and true their own wheels. What a peace of mind I have knowing that I can build and true my own wheels. I just started wheel buildying earlier this year, I've built 4 wheels so far this year, two rears and two fronts. No problems so far. It takes a lot of time and patience but it's worth learning how to build and true wheels.
    I agree with wolf. I actually enjoy building up my own wheels.

    I built my own truing stand complete with dial indicators. You don't really have to go that route, but I never have trouble with any of my wheels.
    "Whenever you think you have something dummy-proof, someone builds a better idiot." - Wisdom overheard on the BF

  19. #19
    The Rock Cycle eofelis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by n2y2 View Post
    Thanks for the advice, eofelis. (Vuelta Zerolite)

    It looks like those rims are single speed/fixie. Is that correct? Will the rear hub accommodate a mulit-cog set?
    No, they were mtn bike wheels, 26", rim brake.
    I just looked on nashbars website and I don't see them now. They usually have them.

    I did see these:
    Sun-Ringle Rhyno Lite / Shimano Deore 525 Mountain Bike Wheelset $129
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_10000_202477
    Gunnar Sport
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  20. #20
    Fail Boat crewman
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    Mavic CXP 22s. I had a pair of 21s that was OEM and lasted darn near 20 years before they needed truing.
    Not light, not heavy. Strong dependable.
    Probably more than $100 for the set.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Fulcrum Racing 7 wheels cost around $200 for a set, and they're heavy but bombproof.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_like_cereal View Post
    Mavic CXP 22s. I had a pair of 21s that was OEM and lasted darn near 20 years before they needed truing.
    Not light, not heavy. Strong dependable.
    Probably more than $100 for the set.
    I was looking at those very rims that mikeybikes recommended earlier in the thread:

    http://harriscyclery.net/product/mav...ilver-3317.htm

    But, Harris has this ominous warning attached to them, "Note: This wheel set is not intended for riders weighing over 200 lbs. It is also not intended for loaded touring."

    I am a dime over 200, my bike is more than 30lbs and my trunk bag often weighs 20+ pounds. Also, I sometimes jump a curb and often take out-of-spec manhole covers at speed. I didn't want to risk it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by eofelis View Post
    No, they were mtn bike wheels, 26", rim brake.
    I just looked on nashbars website and I don't see them now. They usually have them.

    I did see these:
    Sun-Ringle Rhyno Lite / Shimano Deore 525 Mountain Bike Wheelset $129
    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_10000_202477
    It looks like those have the durability I am seeking, but I need a 700c rim.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    In volunteering at the co-op and teaching wheel building have often suggested that people take advantage of some of the deals one can get on machine built wheels as it is often far less than the cost of the individual parts and then pay someone or have someone walk you through the steps needed to fine tune the wheel.

    Have seen off the peg wheels de-tension themselves when the tyre was installed and inflated and part of the fine tuning involves giving the wheel a final truing and tension check when the tyre is mounted and tube is inflated to riding pressure... this is something you will not see with most mass produced, machine built wheels and will make a great wheel even better.

    And you could just ask me how often I need to true my own wheels which is pretty much never...
    Since you have wheel building experience, I will ask you:

    What do you use on the nipple-spoke interface? I've seen suggestions all over the map:
    Light-duty thread locker, heavy duty thread-locker, grease, oil, nothing, bike-specific compounds (spoke freeze, spoke prep)

  25. #25
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    Soak the nipples in linseed oil. The oil provides lubrication when building, then gets tacky holding the adjustment. And, when building wheels, after everything is assembled and reasonably tensioned, stretch the spokes with the handle of a screwdriver by pressing it down into each spoke cross. Press hard and hold it there for several seconds. Then tension and true. Remember to check dish often. If you do this, you will likely never need to true these wheels again.

    Tim

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