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  1. #1
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    Top 3 wheels sets where reliability is key?

    I want new wheels and I don’t want to pay a premium for features that have little value to me. I know that a lot of the high end wheels are expensive because the are super light with features that are attractive to racers. However, I am not in that category. I am about 190 lbs and I ride about 100 mi per week for exercise and pleasure plus occasional short trips (light load)....no racing. I just want a good quality reliable wheel set that will perform well for many trouble free miles.

    After browsing thru past threads on wheel sets, I have not found the right info to address my question. I suspect the right wheel for me would also be desirable for someone doing light touring or extensive commuting. Low weight is nice but reliability is more important. I don’t think that price alone is a good indicator. Just because a set of wheels cost a lot does not mean they are right for me if that price was driven by features that do not fit my riding requirements.

    If you were looking for a set of wheels (under $500) with reasonably low weight plus good performance and reliability while avoiding wheels targeted at racers or weight fanatics, what would be your top 3 wheels sets to focus on?
    Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

    06 C'dale SR500
    96 Bianchi San Remo for touring

  2. #2
    cs1
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    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
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    For a Campy bike, Scirocco offers a lot of bang for the buck. Want to spend more money, Colorado Cyclist has really nice Chorus and Record hubs laced to Mavic Open Pros for $300 - $350.

    As far as Shimano goes, you really can't get anymore versatile than Ultegra hubs laced to Open Pros. Colorado Cyclist has them for around $300 also. They aren't weight weenie light but you can get them serviced and trued at any shop in the US.

    32 hole 3 cross quality hubs from Shimano or Campy laced to an OP is good enough for 95% of the riders out there. Good luck


    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Open Pro rims on Ultegra hubs are hard to beat for reliability. If you do happen to pop a spoke, you can get replacements anywhere. If you crash and completely taco a rim you can get a new one laced onto your existing hub. The hubs are user servicable and they use a Shimano freehub body that can be easily obtained and replaced if it ever becomes necessary.

    Sometimes boreing is good.

  4. #4
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    I have been doing research and have concluded that a pair of DT Swiss 1.1 rims and shimano ultegra hubs are the way to go. 32 hole rims and 3x lacing, 14/15 butted spokes. I priced them out last night on Colorado Cyclist custom build and they were $342. I am not sure if that includes shipping. Might consider the 1.2 for the rear

    I have seen comments from wheel builders that have built Open Pros and 1.1's say that the 1.1's are better quality.

    why are DT Swiss RR1.2 rims so expensive?
    Go to this thread and read bikewise1's comments - He is a wheel builder
    http://bikewiseoxford.com/page.cfm?PageID=71
    His website

    www.oddsandendos.com
    Mike Garcia does DT Swiss also and is a good builder. He likes Speedcific hubs but I am sure he would do Ultegra. Price both and ask the pros and cons.

    Either one of these guys would be good consultants and make recommendations based upon your weight and riding style.
    What is better than getting your heart rate up and saddle time?

  5. #5
    acciaio is real Wurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldokie
    If you were looking for a set of wheels (under $500) with reasonably low weight plus good performance and reliability while avoiding wheels targeted at racers or weight fanatics, what would be your top 3 wheels sets to focus on?
    I would buy either anything made by Campy, or go to ligerowheels.com if I wanted a custom build.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    I don't know exactly where you live, all you list is Oklahoma. If you are near a city or town with a good bike shop, maybe they could build you a set of wheels. I had a set of 600 (ultegra) hubs that my LBS laced a set of Open Pro rims to by the master wheelsmith that works there. Total was $275, but I had the hubs in hand walking in the door and did not have to buy hubs. He warranties his work for one year.
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  7. #7
    acciaio is real Wurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan
    He warranties his work for one year.
    That's nothing to write home about. Campy's warranty is 3 years. They put their wheels through a settling in process, and check them for even spoke tension all around a couple of times during the process. No LBS shop rat's wheels can compare to this.

    It is one reason why Campy's rarely break spokes or go out of true. I've owned 8 Campy wheels, a pair each of '00 Nucleon tubular, '00 Shamal tubular, '02 Bora tubular, and '03 Zonda clincher, and I weigh in the 195 lb. range. No problems from any of them, except the rear Zonda needing a touch up truing after about 2000 miles.

  8. #8
    George Krpan
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    Don't get prebuilt wheels. Get some old school hand built wheels.
    I have Dura Ace and Open Pros with 32 14 guage spokes.
    In terms of rotating weight the Open Pro is as light as it gets.
    Wheels with deep dish rims and low spoke counts actually have more rotating weight because of the weight of the rim.
    Get Campy hubs if you bike is Campy equipped, get Shimano hubs if you bike is Shimano equipped.
    Lighter hubs reduce the bikes overall weight but do nothing in terms of rotating weight.
    I'll be building some new wheels soon. They'll be for my 29er mountain bike but since the 29er rims are actually 700c I'll also be able to use them on my touring bike as well.
    XTR hubs, Mavic A719, Wheelsmith spokes. I'm going with 36 spokes because of their intended use. I'm going to use disk brake hubs. I'll have a set of wheels that I can use with rim brakes or disk brakes. The disk mounting system on the XTR hubs is stealthy. They look normal without the disks installed.

  9. #9
    Senior Member filtersweep's Avatar
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    Sure, I have Campy wheels as well, but it really isn't what the OP is looking for.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wurm
    That's nothing to write home about. Campy's warranty is 3 years. They put their wheels through a settling in process, and check them for even spoke tension all around a couple of times during the process. No LBS shop rat's wheels can compare to this.

    It is one reason why Campy's rarely break spokes or go out of true. I've owned 8 Campy wheels, a pair each of '00 Nucleon tubular, '00 Shamal tubular, '02 Bora tubular, and '03 Zonda clincher, and I weigh in the 195 lb. range. No problems from any of them, except the rear Zonda needing a touch up truing after about 2000 miles.
    When I said "Sometimes boreing is good." I wasn't talking about Campy addicts.

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I would always get in touch with a wheelbuilder. Tell him pertinemt facts like how heavy I am- how smooth a rider I am- what I want the wheels for and on what sort of surface. Then Wait for him to suggest what I need. They are the experts but Living In the UK and being a mountain biker- I cannot suggest anythging for you- but perhaps someone can suggest a builder that is good and cheap for you.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  12. #12
    acciaio is real Wurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by filtersweep
    Sure, I have Campy wheels as well, but it really isn't what the OP is looking for.
    I didn't see anything in the OP that said he wouldn't want pre-built's, other than not high price or unneeded features.

  13. #13
    acciaio is real Wurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    When I said "Sometimes boreing is good." I wasn't talking about Campy addicts.
    I guess that's your opinion. But I also said, "...or go to ligerowheels.com if I wanted a custom build."

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wurm
    I guess that's your opinion. But I also said, "...or go to ligerowheels.com if I wanted a custom build."
    Yeah. I was just having a little fun with you. I like all you Campy guys. Every time they hold a Tour de France, you guys finish second.

  15. #15
    acciaio is real Wurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Every time they hold a Tour de France, you guys finish second.
    Except when they finish 1st.

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    I recently had some wheels built at Spin-Lite, for my recumbent. (a 26 and a 20) I'm 230 lbs and we spent some time discussing ride conditions to determine strength requirements. They sent me some really nice wheels that are handling the weight issues well. I got away for $350.00, although the price reflects that fact that one wheel is 20". Check out their website, and you can get a rough idea of what you need. Then call them. bk

  17. #17
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wurm
    Except when they finish 1st.
    Yeah, but that was way back in the last century. But thanks for providing the hard data that clearly identifies the current trend.

  18. #18
    Banned.
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    The other day I saw a pair of Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels with 18 bladed spokes that the LBS claimed were extremily strong. Otherwise I prefer the old school wheels with 36 spokes; you can get the Mavics or save money and buy the Torelli Master Series or the Sun ME14a or Velocity Aerohead and Aerohead O/C for the rear. The Velocity's are an excellent choice, are lighter then the Mavic's and less expensive. Then just have them laced with DT double butted spokes and use brass nipples for dependability or alloy nips if you want to save weight and reliability is not the primary concern.

  19. #19
    acciaio is real Wurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Yeah, but that was way back in the last century. But thanks for providing the hard data that clearly identifies the current trend.
    Yep, I'm sure Lance would have lost those 7 had he been riding Campy.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wurm
    Yep, I'm sure Lance would have lost those 7 had he been riding Campy.
    What are you trying to say? Are you saying that it might not be about the bike? Or are you saying that Campy stuff works as well as Shimano?

    Normally I'd agree with either statement but it's Janurary, it's maybe 15 degrees outside with a stiff wind out of the north, and I'm bored. Needling you has been the most fun thing that I've had to do today.

  21. #21
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wurm
    That's nothing to write home about. Campy's warranty is 3 years. They put their wheels through a settling in process, and check them for even spoke tension all around a couple of times during the process. No LBS shop rat's wheels can compare to this.

    It is one reason why Campy's rarely break spokes or go out of true. I've owned 8 Campy wheels, a pair each of '00 Nucleon tubular, '00 Shamal tubular, '02 Bora tubular, and '03 Zonda clincher, and I weigh in the 195 lb. range. No problems from any of them, except the rear Zonda needing a touch up truing after about 2000 miles.
    I'm well above the Clydesdale threshold at 275 pounds, and I'm experienced enough to know I'm damn lucky to get any warrenty. Campagnolo will not warranty anything if you are a gram over 75kg (170 pounds).
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  22. #22
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the guidance. My C'dale is primarily Shimano now so I will probably stick with Shimano hubs and work toward a 32H spoke setup. Not sure yet about the rims yet but your suggestions will insure that my short list will include the Open Pro. I had looked at Velocity earlier and they are on my short list also. I have not considered any Campy stuff because I was assuming that it was leaning more toward the lightweight racer crowd...maybe I need to relook at Campy sets???
    Next step is to decide on a wheel builder to help me make my final decisions.
    Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

    06 C'dale SR500
    96 Bianchi San Remo for touring

  23. #23
    Senior Member greenstork's Avatar
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    A good solid wheelset, valued more for stability and durability than super lightness would be a set of DT Swiss - 240 hubs laced up to 1.1 or 1.2 rims. I would build these up for a road bike if I was in the market right now because I too, do not care about extreme lightweight. I'd rather have a solid wheel that I won't ever have to worry about (Example: my sport touring bike has Phil Wood hubs laced up to DT Swiss 7.1 trekking rims). As an added bonus, this DT wheelset also happens to be pretty light.

  24. #24
    acciaio is real Wurm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    What are you trying to say? Are you saying that it might not be about the bike? Or are you saying that Campy stuff works as well as Shimano?
    No. I'm saying as far as wheels go, (which is what this thread is about) Campy works as good or better than most - of whatever brand or make. So to some degree, it IS "about the bike".

    It was you who pulled the Shimano vs. Campy thing out of your ass.

    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
    Normally I'd agree with either statement but it's Janurary, it's maybe 15 degrees outside with a stiff wind out of the north, and I'm bored. Needling you has been the most fun thing that I've had to do today.
    Maybe you should get:

    1. A life, and/or
    2. a dog?

    Thanks for playing.

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