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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-15-14, 02:43 PM   #1
PatrickGSR94
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New wheels!

woohoo finally got the Vuelta Corsa Lites from Nashbar I've been wanting for MONTHS now! My road bike that I use for commuting came with heavy Mavic CXP22 wheels. Those weigh in at 915/1,178g front/rear for the rim and rim tape alone. Total of 2,093 grams.

I've already weighed the new Vueltas, and they came in under the advertised weight of 1,578 grams. They are 663/884g for a total of 1,547 grams. A total savings of 546 grams, over 1.2 pounds of rotating weight!

I also did some testing to see how long the Mavics and the Vueltas will spin freely. Mavic front wheel averaged 1:47 while the Vuelta front wheel averaged a whopping 2:58! Granted this isn't a scientific test and the initial force I used to spin the wheel each time wasn't exactly the same, but I tried to keep it pretty close.

Rear wheel with the freehub spun for an average of 24 seconds for the Mavic, and 31 seconds for the Vuelta.

Riding them feels pretty good so far. I only rode to the bike shop and back, 5 miles, but yeah I haven't found anything bad yet. Commuting to work will be the real test. I'm not sure yet if this will improve my average speeds or not.

Some have suggested I remove the logo stickers, but for now I think I'll leave them on.







Other recent changes include the Topeak pump and I swapped out the 17 90mm stem for a 7 stem. I might end up moving it up one spacer and flipping it down, just depending on what looks better. Plus that will make it easier to get my computer mounted on the stem, which I've wanted to do for a long time but couldn't because of the sharp rise of the 17 stem.

Next order of business will be fitting a rack. I already had the bike shop order me the Problem Solvers seat post clamp that gives me rack mounts. Just need to get some P-clamps for the seat stays and the rack itself. The Bontrager BackRack at the LBS seems reasonably light, and I like that it has tubular aluminum struts that attach to the Problem Solvers seat post clamp instead of the usual flat metal pieces that you have to bend into place.
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Old 02-16-14, 07:50 AM   #2
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Nice. I've been eyeing those. Any idea about rim width and maximum tire size?
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Old 02-16-14, 07:54 AM   #3
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The new wheels look great on your bike. Normally I say take the stickers off the wheels, but on your bike they look really good, I wouldn't take them off. Wheels are almost always the best investment to upgrade your bike. Have fun commuting.
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Old 02-16-14, 08:10 AM   #4
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I forgot to say that the new wheels are 1mm narrower than my old ones. Old ones are 21/16mm outside/inside. New ones are 20/15mm. I'm running Conti Grand Prix 4 Seasons 700x25c tires. No idea what the maximum tire size is.
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Old 02-16-14, 04:51 PM   #5
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I forgot to say that the new wheels are 1mm narrower than my old ones. Old ones are 21/16mm outside/inside. New ones are 20/15mm. I'm running Conti Grand Prix 4 Seasons 700x25c tires. No idea what the maximum tire size is.
So according to http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html 700x32 is the upper limit - and this chart supposedly errs on the side of caution.
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Old 02-16-14, 06:51 PM   #6
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The Bontrager BackRack at the LBS seems reasonably light, and I like that it has tubular aluminum struts that attach to the Problem Solvers seat post clamp instead of the usual flat metal pieces that you have to bend into place.
I recently stopped recommending the Bontrager BackRack. My panniers are wearing away the metal and creating holes in the rack legs. These are Ortleib Sport Packer Plus panniers, which have a hard plastic track on the back for the lower retention clip. It's this track which is wearing through the BackRack.

What's more, the rack is only two years old, and I use the panniers only twice a week. Further, it's my second commuter. My primary commuter sees most trips, so there can't be many actual trips with the panniers on this bike. Even if it was my only bike, 52 weeks times twice a week times two years is only 208 trips, and I know the actual number must be well below this. Besides, plastic shouldn't wear away metal. C'mon.

One of these days I'll have to get over to the LBS where I bought it to see what they can do.

BTW, nice-looking rig you got there.
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Old 02-17-14, 01:47 AM   #7
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So I am guessing the fewer spokes on the rim is lighter and also for lighter biker? Any idea what is the max weight for person to have this wheel set?

This wheel set looks nice.
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Old 02-17-14, 02:08 AM   #8
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A spare set of wheels is useful. Keep inflated tires on it, for when you go to start the morning ride and find your tire is flat. In winter you could have a set of winter tires on the old rims. Or swap between wide and skinny.
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Old 02-17-14, 06:26 AM   #9
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Well that would require another cassette unless I only swap the front wheel.

Not sure the exact weight limit of these wheels, but I read some reviews of 190 lb. guys riding them with no problems. I was in the low 190's but am currently around 200 and they seem to be doing fine. Time will tell, though.
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Old 02-17-14, 07:40 AM   #10
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Well that would require another cassette unless I only swap the front wheel.

Not sure the exact weight limit of these wheels, but I read some reviews of 190 lb. guys riding them with no problems. I was in the low 190's but am currently around 200 and they seem to be doing fine. Time will tell, though.
Cassettes are relatively cheap for 9 speed or less.

Spoke count is somewhat subjective.
Wheel build quality can make a much bigger difference than 4 more/less spokes.
For a 200 lb. person, I would prefer at least 28 on the rear.
Much depends on your road conditions though. baby butt smooth pavement is obviously a lot easier on wheels than pot holes.

Are these wheels hand built and properly tensioned?
I build my own wheels now, so I can typically get the tension within +/- 3%.
You can get a good idea of "evenness" by plucking the spokes and comparing pitch.
NDS rear has less tension than DS, so it will have a lower pitch, but they should be equal to each other.
Fronts may be slightly less than DS rear, but should all be even.

If they don't "twang" the way they should, pay the LBS to tension them. It'd be money well spent.
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Old 02-17-14, 10:26 AM   #11
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Oh yes, another thing I should have mentioned, these wheels are just about as true as true can get. I saw many reviews of people saying they were true out of the box, and they were right! They're way more true than my old wheels were. Bike upside down, wheels spinning, I cannot detect the slightest side-to-side wobble or out-of-round at any point on either rim.

The Vuelta box states they are hand built and hand inspected. Hopefully that's true.

Also my bike uses a 10-sp cassette. I wore out my original 105 chain and cassette, and recently put an Ultegra 11-28 and KMC chain on there. I don't think I would want to use my current chain with only a couple hundred miles on it, with my old 105 cassette with over 2,500 miles on it.
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Old 02-17-14, 12:02 PM   #12
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Oh yes, another thing I should have mentioned, these wheels are just about as true as true can get. I saw many reviews of people saying they were true out of the box, and they were right! They're way more true than my old wheels were. Bike upside down, wheels spinning, I cannot detect the slightest side-to-side wobble or out-of-round at any point on either rim.

The Vuelta box states they are hand built and hand inspected. Hopefully that's true.

Also my bike uses a 10-sp cassette. I wore out my original 105 chain and cassette, and recently put an Ultegra 11-28 and KMC chain on there. I don't think I would want to use my current chain with only a couple hundred miles on it, with my old 105 cassette with over 2,500 miles on it.
i agree. can't teach an old cog new tricks.

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Old 02-17-14, 12:25 PM   #13
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I already had the bike shop order me the Problem Solvers seat post clamp that gives me rack mounts. Just need to get some P-clamps for the seat stays and the rack itself.
That will work well for you. My current bike has bosses above the brake for rack bolts but I used a clamp similar to the PS because the rack fit better. A little blue Locktite and it's great.

I used Goof Off to remove one sticker from my Vuleta wheels. At the rate of consumption it was going to be quite expensive. At the suggestion of cyccommute, I finished removing the rest of the stickers with OMS. It worked as good as the pricey Goof Off, maybe just a bit slower, and was a fraction of the cost it would have taken to use Goof Off. I waited six or eight months to remove the stickers (like you--couldn't decide) and they came off without a trace of ever being there. You have time to decide about removal. They do look great on your bike, they looked cheap on mine.

I found my Vuleta wheels to be as true as I could tell with a tie wrap and old fork. 40 years of tuning stringed instruments leads my ears to believe that the spoke tension was of no concern. 600 miles later they are doing fine.

That's the exact wheel set I had been thinking about using on my next bike. Thanks for posting!!!
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Old 02-17-14, 12:40 PM   #14
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Newer thinking, see the Schwalbe website, says you should be good up to 40mm on the tires.. My 18s(insde) came with 45s OEM.
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Old 02-17-14, 03:51 PM   #15
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On the spare-set-o'-wheels thing, am I misunderstanding the problem? I keep one spare set of wheels for use with any of my road bikes; if I need to use 'em, I just pull the cassette from the wheelset they're replacing, and pop it on there. Takes about two minutes. Then you can use the same chain without a worry, and you don't have to worry about keeping spare cassettes for all of your (presumably numerous) drivetrains.
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Old 02-17-14, 04:06 PM   #16
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As mentioned above, although the rim stickers are gaudy, it looks fine with your FELT design scheme.

So I didn't see anybody else above ask yet: how do they RIDE? 1lb rotating mass seems significant; can you feel a difference accelerating? Do you feel any stability difference cornering? Descending? Do you feel any difference with bump absorption/comfort? How about braking?

I've ridden a few different wheelsets on the same bike, I'm not convinced I could actually objectively sense any difference between them, other than the sound of the freehub ratchet.
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Old 02-17-14, 04:06 PM   #17
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that's your commuter bike? Wow, looking sharp.
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Old 02-17-14, 06:33 PM   #18
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On the spare-set-o'-wheels thing, am I misunderstanding the problem? I keep one spare set of wheels for use with any of my road bikes; if I need to use 'em, I just pull the cassette from the wheelset they're replacing, and pop it on there. Takes about two minutes. Then you can use the same chain without a worry, and you don't have to worry about keeping spare cassettes for all of your (presumably numerous) drivetrains.
Yeah I know what you mean. I'll probably put my old stock Vittoria Zaffiro tires on the old wheels to keep around. I did discover that one of my tubes with a shorter Presta valve stem wouldn't work with these wheels as the rim section is a bit deeper than the Mavics. Luckily I had a patched tube hanging up with a longer stem that I was able to use when I installed the new wheels. Just checked and I do have 2 other tubes hanging up that I can use with the old wheels and tires.

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As mentioned above, although the rim stickers are gaudy, it looks fine with your FELT design scheme.

So I didn't see anybody else above ask yet: how do they RIDE? 1lb rotating mass seems significant; can you feel a difference accelerating? Do you feel any stability difference cornering? Descending? Do you feel any difference with bump absorption/comfort? How about braking?

I've ridden a few different wheelsets on the same bike, I'm not convinced I could actually objectively sense any difference between them, other than the sound of the freehub ratchet.
Well I've only ridden about 5 miles on them Saturday, so not real sure yet. I've felt awful yesterday and today, but tomorrow should be my first actual commute, so we'll see how it goes.

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that's your commuter bike? Wow, looking sharp.
Yep, bought it as my first road bike, but then decided I wanted to try commuting to work which is 31 miles round trip, and the road bike just makes sense with that kind of distance. I tried it once on my MTB with slick 26x1.5 tires and rigid fork. Didn't enjoy it much at all. Doesn't ride as well as the road bike (chromo fork and alu seat post, vs. carbon fork and carbon seat post), and it's just generally slower.

I'm hoping to build up a dedicated commuter from scratch as my next bike. Haven't decided on frame material, but I would like drop bars and hopefully disc brakes. Permanent fenders, rack, the whole nine.
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Old 02-17-14, 06:37 PM   #19
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Oh yeah, something else I forgot to check before and just remembered: no more cassette wobble!! Ever since I bought this bike in Sept. 2012 I was a little put off by the fact that the stock freehub (has Felt engraved on it, not sure the actual brand) made the cassette wobble, most noticeable when the wheel was freely coasting. My wife's BD bike with 7-sp freewheel does it REALLY bad.

But I just checked the new wheels/hubs (again not sure the brand, has Vuelta on the hub) and there are ZERO signs of any wobbling in the cassette whatsoever.

At this point I would say that even if this doesn't make me any faster (not holding my breath actually), I still think it was a good buy for a number of other reasons. Hard to beat at $190 shipped.
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Old 02-18-14, 01:26 PM   #20
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First commute this morning on the new wheelset. Quickest commute to work I've had in some weeks. Not as fast as when I've had a nice tail wind, but I was riding into a light headwind yet was still about 1 MPH faster average than the same commute last Thursday. However it was also 10-20 degrees warmer this morning than last Thursday morning, and I was wearing 1 less layer top and bottom. So it could have been that, or the wheels, or me putting in more effort to TRY to be faster on the new wheels. Or any combo of those, who knows.

I'll need to get more commutes in to get a true picture.
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Old 02-19-14, 07:19 PM   #21
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Patrick- love those wheels. I'm getting either the Z85 or Z5, will have to look into those. I also love the pedals- what are they?
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Old 02-20-14, 06:22 AM   #22
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Shimano PD-A530, dual-sided platform and SPD. The platform side isn't very big, but it's great for if I rode to work, and then want to run to the store at lunch without having to put my bike shoes on.
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