80's Nishiki: stock 27" wheels, or Bontrager Race Lites?
My Nishiki road bike has a nice stock old school look to it, but I have a set of Bontrager Race Lite 700c wheels that are well...light. Would the improvement be worth ruining the stock look...or is it just tacky (bladed spokes??).
Is anybody even going to notice? I have a few older bikes (mostly stuff I used to ride that wasn't worth enough to bother selling it when I bought new bikes), and i enjoy them as they are. If the older bike had steel rims, I'd replace them for sure, but I think by the '80s almost everybody had gone to alloy.
Two other points: Will new Bontragers last (I don't know anything about them, but at 240 pounds I often have trouble with light wheels), and can you make the swap without new brakes? I have an old Trek I can switch between 27 and 700 wheels just by moving the brake pads, but that's not common.
I've never tried wheels this nice before, so I don't know how they'll last (I'm 165lbs?). I really have no idea how much of a difference these wheels would make to my ride...so I guess I'm really asking if new wheels makes a big enough difference despite all the stock parts on the bike.
Depends on what you have now. From steel rims to good alloy rims will make a big difference. It's probably the most noticeable thing you can do. If your present wheels are decent quality and not too heavy, then of course the improvement would be smaller. As a rule, a reduction in rotating weight (lighter wheels) makes much more difference than a similar reduction in, say, the seatpost or something.
Originally Posted by drew romance
Could you borrow a set of wheels and try them for a few minutes? They don't have to be identical to the ones you want--if they're of similar weight, you'll get an idea of what to expect.