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Old 03-06-10, 08:42 AM   #1
hup
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Wheelset upgrade input sought

Hey NorCal - I'm just a lurker here, but I enjoy reading the boards and admire the "neighborhood" feel of the forum. I actually live in "southern" NorCal, in Madera (central valley). I am strictly a club rider (50-80 miles/week, 15-17 mph in the summer) and hope to ride a century perhaps later in the fall. Most of the terrain here is flat, but I love climbing and pack east to the hills to ride as often as I can.
Anyway, I recently upgraded my bike via Craigslist from a generic aluminum/carbon fork KHS (which I really liked) to a Serotta CIII (which I am growing to love )
I am dialing in the fit and whatnot and am thinking that I would also like to upgrade the wheelset.
Currently my bike is running Ritchey Zero hubs with Mavic CXP21 rims. They are a solid ride and I could probably get by just riding on them until they give up (but you know how that urge to upgrade goes ....) I can't really spend a mint, upper limit would be about $600, which I know limits my choices.
I am looking for a pretty standard set of wheels, better components and lighter if possible.
I have been looking at the Williams System 30s.
http://www.williamscycling.com/sys30/sys30.html
I had a pair of Neuvation M28 Aeros on my old bike and was not unhappy with them.
http://www.neuvationcycling.com/wheels.html

I have also thought about wheelbuilding websites like http://www.prowheelbuilder.com/

Finally, I would love to check into a custom build in the NorCal area. I have looked around locally and have found some guys who build wheels, but no "wheelbuiders", if you know what I mean.

.... or, I could just continue to ride on my current wheelset.

I would appreciate any input I can get. (your experiences, suggestions, your go to wheel configuration, etc ...)
Thanks!
Henry

Sorry for the length of this post. I guess that's why I mostly lurk

Last edited by hup; 03-06-10 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 03-06-10, 09:45 AM   #2
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Hey Henry - that's a good post, you've provided more information that will help you get better answers. Is there one aspect of your current or former wheelsets that you'd like to improve upon?

FWIW, I purchased a set of Williams 19s as I wanted a lighter, more responsive wheelset for climbing (and I've also used them in a couple of crits too). For me the goals were pretty clear and I've been very happy with them. I think that the hubs and spokes are identical to the 30s, but the Kinlin rim is a little shallower/lighter on the 19s. The hybrid ceramic hubs roll very well - a nice bonus for me. They are also noticably stiffer than my older wheel set (Mavic Open Pro's 28 spokes on Specialized generic hubs). Either way, there are plenty of folks here with System 30s who can give you first hand impressions.

I can't vouch for local builders as I've not used any yet, I would consider BF'r Psimet as well - he seems to have very good prices and have a top notch reputation for quality.
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Old 03-06-10, 12:15 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply, Richard. I emailed Keith Williams (seems like a nice guy) and he explained the differences between the 19 vs 30. It boiled down to the 30 being perhaps a better all arounder, which is what I am shopping for.
BTW, I am about 5'7" 170lb and like to take long walks on the .... umm, never mind.
My current wheelset is fine and rides nicely, but is pretty heavy. I don't have the exact weights, but I put the front wheel on a little food scale that I have and it was roughly 900+ grams. I would guess that the rear is proportionately heavy as well. So I guess I am hoping to lose some weight (aren't we all? ) without giving up too much ride quality/stability. That might be asking for too much given my price point, but I am interested in hearing from others about what has worked for them as well as ideas as to which direction I might take.
Man, I am wordy, aren't I?
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Old 03-06-10, 12:34 PM   #4
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I've heard nothing but good about Williams Wheels. Enough so that I would consider the same ones that Beaker got if I ever decide to buy some lighter wheels for climbing.
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Old 03-06-10, 03:35 PM   #5
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Heh stupid marketing everything under the sun is labeled as "aerodynamic". Oh look it's a flying brick, it's hell of aero. If you are looking for custom check out what Psimet can offer, I ordered a set from him a few weeks back. http://www.psimet.com/
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Old 03-06-10, 07:31 PM   #6
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After riding some Neuvations to the point where I was breaking spokes frequently, I've had a set of Ksyriums and a handbuillt set (DT Swiss 240 hubs, 28/32 spokes, RR1.1 rims) built up by Excel Sports in Colorado. The handbuilt wheels are very nice wheels, and weigh about the same as the Ksyriums for much less money. Delivered cost was a bit more than $500. I believe that Psimet can do even better and if I was doing it over again would probably buy from him. For my money, I'm not going back to proprietary spokes or low spoke counts again - but plenty of others have had good experience with low spoke count wheels. FWIW, I weigh about 220 - lots of spokes is a good thing in my case!

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Old 03-06-10, 07:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hup View Post
Thanks for your reply, Richard. I emailed Keith Williams (seems like a nice guy) and he explained the differences between the 19 vs 30. It boiled down to the 30 being perhaps a better all arounder, which is what I am shopping for.
BTW, I am about 5'7" 170lb and like to take long walks on the .... umm, never mind.
My current wheelset is fine and rides nicely, but is pretty heavy. I don't have the exact weights, but I put the front wheel on a little food scale that I have and it was roughly 900+ grams. I would guess that the rear is proportionately heavy as well. So I guess I am hoping to lose some weight (aren't we all? ) without giving up too much ride quality/stability. That might be asking for too much given my price point, but I am interested in hearing from others about what has worked for them as well as ideas as to which direction I might take.
Man, I am wordy, aren't I?
The 30's would be a fine choice - I'm confident that you'd notice the difference from your old wheelset. Check out Psimet though - he also builds with the same Alu rims as Williams. Don't think you'd be quite in the range for medium rim carbon, but you're not too far off Rob's prices.
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Old 03-07-10, 03:25 PM   #8
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Wow, thanks for contributing, everyone. I emailed psimet to see what he can do for me. I will report back. In the meantime, I would love to hear from any or all who have some input for me.
Thanks,
Henry
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Old 03-08-10, 12:19 PM   #9
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I've used both Williams 19's and 30's for training and racing and they are both great all around wheels and you can't beat the price. The company is located in Stockton and Keith Williams offers excellent customer service.

That said, I have been racing and training on a set of Dura Ace tubeless wheels this season and love them. I haven't had a flat yet (just cursed myself), and the ride feels great being able to run a little lower pressure. (80-90 psi vs 100-110 for clinchers).

I'm still wondering if tubeless road wheels will ever really catch on or not, but I'm sold.
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Old 03-08-10, 03:12 PM   #10
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Another vote on Williams System 30s. I've had my set for over 2 years now and they still roll round and true. Even with me pushing the upper weight limit (I really should have gotten the 30x's) the wheels have not needed any adjusting. Keith is a sponsor of my team and has given us great support. He's even taken feedback from us and adjusted his designs because of it. As for aero vs weight, Keith's theory is that you're going to spend more time on the flats approaching climbs and on the descents and that an aero wheel would be more beneficial in saving energy in these situations and then you arrive at the climbs "fresher" and have more energy. He believes that this extra energy more than compensates for the weight difference to a "climbing" wheel. YMMV
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Old 03-08-10, 03:31 PM   #11
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I like a good all-around wheel. Strong, "aero", and light enough (emphasis on strong). I'd go with the Williams 30s or something with a similar profile. My latest build used Kinlin XR300 rims (28 rear/24front), Novatech hubs, and CXRay spokes. I bought the parts from psimet but I did the building. Cost was about $100 less than the Williams wheels and they came in lighter at 1530 grams. Light enough for my 180 pounds without sacrificing strength.
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