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Old 05-01-07, 12:19 PM   #1
Motorad
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Benefits of Hand-Built Wheels?

Okay, change number 75 for wheel setup, to not go with road tubeless at this time. Some of the primary reasons I considered going with the Shimano 7801-SL:
* It's part of the Dura-Ace gruppo ... since I'm getting the 7800 series.
* Although it's not a superlight wheelset, both wheels are light in the rim-aspect where it counts the most ... because of spoke nipples mounted at hub instead of at rim.
* Can ride at reduced PSI with tubeless tires, which should provide more comfort
* Much less possibility of pinched flats.

Reasons for not going with 7801-SL:
* Mechanics hate spoke nipples mounted on the hub.
* Apparently difficult to inflate the tubeless tire with a floor pump, so it might be a bear to inflate on the road with a portable pump.
* Low spoke count (16/20) + radial spokes = uncomfortable.
* Too new on the market. The verdict is still out on whether these would be good on club rides, and my LBS has yet to sell any of these wheels.

The main pleasure I want to get out of the bike I'm building is for club rides. The most I would ever shoot for would be for Class B club rides. But I would also want to be able to do occasional 50 mile rides and an annual century.

Could I get some feedback on what to consider, when talking to my LBS about building some wheels? The usual ingredients would be good rolling ability, reasonable number of spokes ... while being somewhat light, quiet, comfortable ... and compatible for Dura Ace 10-speed?

I know "Mavic Open Pro" has been mentioned several times, but I have no idea what that means except that I'm guessing it involves Mavic rims?

My bike setup will be Legend ST frame with carbon accessories (forks, handlebars, stem, seatpost). For club rides: How to choose rim, hub, number of spokes per wheel, and type of spokes? I'm 5'3" and will soon weigh 160 lbs, and will weigh 150 lbs in a few months. And will be 51 years old in August.
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Old 05-01-07, 01:33 PM   #2
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I cannot praise a good wheel builder enough. I have two that I use and Their wheels are works of Art. The choice on what to have as a wheel is impossible to define. You have 3 components- Hub, Spokes and rim. I am too new to road riding to give you the spec of a good road wheel but I recently had a pair built to replace the cheap OM wheels that came with the bike. They gave me a different bike to ride- it was that different.

Then I gave the OM wheels to the builder to "Tweak". They are now a respectable wheel. Hubs are not good- rims are true and barely used but apparantly flex a bit. The spokes he did replace with double butted spokes and he laced the wheels to give me spokes that cross x 2. The same as he built on my new wheels but these will be a spare pair of wheels for if I ever need them.

The thing to do is find your wheel builder. They are not hard to find and your LBS may be good enough to build them for you. Discuss what you want- How experienced you are and what sort of riding you expect to do. Also discuss your doubts as to the types of wheel build. Radial spokes will give a harsher ride than crossed x2- What type of spokes to fit- And then what hub. Also give an indication of how light you want them and I know we all want the lightest wheel possible- but is the comfort and strength there and How big does the bank loan have to be to get them.

I take more care over my wheels than I do the rest of the bike- so you are right to find out the options that are available.

My new wheels are what most serious riders would call a trainer set. 36 double butted spokes on a 105 hub and mavic CXP33 rims. Little bit heavy possibly but they will last a long time before having problems, and were Down to the price of the Mavic Aksium wheel set, and only weigh 20 grammes more. They are a lot more comfortable to ride though.
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Old 05-01-07, 02:56 PM   #3
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Find a good wheelbuilder. That may or may not be your LBS. You can ask around for a local wheel master or there are many good wheel builders who will ship custom wheels to wherever. The key is to discuss with the builder what you want and what he suggests to accomplish that.
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Old 05-01-07, 04:06 PM   #4
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I'll join the chorus -- find a good wheelbuilder who will work with you to spec and build the right wheels for your application. Hand-built wheels are just better.

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Old 05-01-07, 05:39 PM   #5
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Thanks everyone. I'll scout around and provide a report on what I wind up with.

One question I have: Pros & cons of the 2x versus 3x configuration of the spokes. Is one more suited for lightweight riders, at around 150-160 pounds?
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Old 05-01-07, 07:26 PM   #6
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Post this on road bike fourm and you will get 30 answers to your question. I like your optimistic view on the weight thing. Take it off slowly or it will come back on just as fast.
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Old 05-01-07, 07:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by oilman_15106
Post this on road bike fourm and you will get 30 answers to your question. I like your optimistic view on the weight thing. Take it off slowly or it will come back on just as fast.
Will do, oilman. I'm slowly starting to learn how to tell whether road bike forum advice is coming from a fellow fifty year old ... or a 20 year old that only rides at two speeds (really fast or Mach One).

I wish my weight loss program is my choosing, but it is not. Apparently, it is an Act of Congress that anyone over the age of fifty must not be able to lose weight easily. Dang politicians ...
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Old 05-01-07, 07:45 PM   #8
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Just another thing to think about. The Mavic Open Pro rims can be less than quiet. See this thread to read a short discussion about it. how to stop the clicking coming from a new Open Pro rim?

I have the same clicking noise mentioned in the discussion, and find it very annoying. With that said, I find the 32 spoke Mavic Open Pro on Dura Ace hubs with Wheelsmith spokes to be a very durable and comfortable wheel.
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Old 05-02-07, 06:07 PM   #9
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The Mavic Open Pro Rim in 32 spoke 3 cross form with Traditional Shimano hubs is pretty much the standard for high performance training wheels (fast, light and durable for everyday use). Much racier and you have to keep them in bags for limited appearance use.

The common alternative to the opem pro is the CXP33. This is a deeper v semi aero wheel that may produce more speed if you keep your average above 18/20mph. These and other deep v rims may (or not) provide estra strength for heavier riders and/or higher spoke tensions.
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Old 05-02-07, 06:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorad
Will do, oilman. I'm slowly starting to learn how to tell whether road bike forum advice is coming from a fellow fifty year old ... or a 20 year old that only rides at two speeds (really fast or Mach One).

I wish my weight loss program is my choosing, but it is not. Apparently, it is an Act of Congress that anyone over the age of fifty must not be able to lose weight easily. Dang politicians ...
We can loose weight as well as anyone. Its just that we have been around long enough to learn some of the finer points of food.
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Old 05-02-07, 07:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maddmaxx
These and other deep v rims may (or not) provide estra strength for heavier riders and/or higher spoke tensions.
For light to medium riders that extra, deeper V strength may be felt as a "firmer" ride. At 165lbs, my 32 or 36 spoke Open Pros have been a very servicable, all around, get you there and back with class wheel.

I have a hand built OP set on one bike, and a good ol' Performance set (tuned up at the LBS) on another. Riding them, they're indistinguishable.
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Old 05-02-07, 09:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorad
One question I have: Pros & cons of the 2x versus 3x configuration of the spokes. Is one more suited for lightweight riders, at around 150-160 pounds?
Frankly, I don't think that it has anything to do with rider weight. It has more to do with the number of spokes in the wheel. You'd like for the spoke to be tangential at the hub but not at too much of an angle where it enters the rim. I prefer to use 3 cross with 32 and 36 spoke wheels and 2 cross with 28 spoke wheels.
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Old 05-03-07, 12:21 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Frankly, I don't think that it has anything to do with rider weight. It has more to do with the number of spokes in the wheel. You'd like for the spoke to be tangential at the hub but not at too much of an angle where it enters the rim. I prefer to use 3 cross with 32 and 36 spoke wheels and 2 cross with 28 spoke wheels.
Just checked my wheels and the full downhill mountain bike 36 spoke costanarmandaleg ultra strong Tandem wheels are 3 cross. Theses wheels will and do hit everything that cares to get in their way and are still true.

The road wheels are 36 spoke are 2 cross and ride fine.
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