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  1. #1
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    light rider seeks budget cross wheels

    Hey, all, new to the forum, but I'm embarking on building my first scratch bike. I just bought the Nashbar aluminum "X" frame and their carbon cross fork, and I'm looking at what to put on it. The bike will probably be used for winter commuting (8 miles each way that I've been doing for two summer/falls so far on a road bike), but I also think I want to try cross racing.

    My question at the moment is, can I assume, given that I weigh 110lbs, that any wheel, properly built, is going to be strong enough? Is 32 holes enough? And, this last one is almost certainly a stupid question, but what term denotes a 700c wheel that can comfortably take a wider tire? Because I can't figure out what the width marking on rims is, or maybe it's just not consistently written.

    Thanks for any pointers you'd like to bestow!

  2. #2
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Somewhere on the rim, it will say 700X19, or something similar , 19 being the interior width. Just go to Sheldon Brown, wheels, and scroll down. Check your width. You will be surprised how much leeway you have with width....

  3. #3
    ambassador of good will *new*guy's Avatar
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    you can buy cheaper wheels that will undoubtedly work fine, but the mavic open pro/dt spokes/ultegra hubs combo can often be found for around $200 and that is tough to beat, even if you build your own. just make sure that you get wheels that are hand built so that you have uniform tension, or have them re-tensioned by an experienced wheelbuilder before you ride them if you end up with machine built wheels.

  4. #4
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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    Plus one on the Open Pro/Ultegra's. I am running a couple of sets I had built up at Colorado Cyclist. Love them. I do feel a bit limitted at super high road speeds but I am pretty sure that's just psychological (trust me...I am more than a bit limitted at super high road speeds, but my equipment has little to do with it).

  5. #5
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    so would trying to build a wheel be a huge pain in the ass? or if I try and do it, am I likely to get an unridable wheel somehow or break it?

    there are a pair of WTB dual duty xc rims that I have a chance to buy, a pair for 45, new in shrink wrap. They look really sweet, but then I'd have to build them up or have the lbs build them.

    $200 or less is what I'm looking to spend on the wheelset.

  6. #6
    cs1
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    Quote Originally Posted by *new*guy View Post
    you can buy cheaper wheels that will undoubtedly work fine, but the mavic open pro/dt spokes/ultegra hubs combo can often be found for around $200 and that is tough to beat, even if you build your own. just make sure that you get wheels that are hand built so that you have uniform tension, or have them re-tensioned by an experienced wheelbuilder before you ride them if you end up with machine built wheels.
    Are the Colorado Cyclist wheels machine or hand built? The price sure is good.
    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.

  7. #7
    antisocialite dirtyphotons's Avatar
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    there's no reason why the first set of wheels you build shouldn't be perfectly useful and even more durable than machine built wheels as long as you get good instruction and build slowly and carefully.

    that being said, it's often not any cheaper than buying comparable machine built wheels and retensioning the spokes yourself or having them retensioned at a shop. build em if you want to learn, but not to save money.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
    Because when fashion conflicts with function, I vote for function.

  8. #8
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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    The CC wheels are handbuilt. Outstanding, IMO.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sawtooth View Post
    The CC wheels are handbuilt. Outstanding, IMO.
    +1. I'm a repeat customer.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TimJ's Avatar
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    Blue sky cycling has 105 and alex r400 wheels for $170. Chucks bikes has FSA rd-88 for $165. I read a couple good things about the fsa's online but no one here has used them, apparently. I've read a lot of good things about alex 400 rims, so if you want to save $50 or so that might be a good choice.
    fun facts: Psychopaths have trouble understanding abstract concepts.
    "Incompetent individuals, compared with their more competent peers, will dramatically overestimate their ability and performance relative to objective criteria."

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