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  1. #1
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Wheelset dilemma

    I have a Giant Defy and a Cannondale Superx, each with 10 spd ultegra and stock wheels (Giant P-SL1 and Fulcrum 7CX). The wheels on the are fine general purpose/training wheels, but I'd love to have lighter (possiby carbon) wheels to race the Defy and a road wheelset for the CX.

    2 wheelsets are out of my budget.

    So I'm considering the following options:

    1) Buy a hybrid (carbon with aluminum braing rim) wheelset that could do double duty on either bike, and wouldn't require changing brakepads to swap wheels.

    2) Go ahead any buy a set of full blown race wheels for the Defy and use the Giant wheelset as my road wheelset for the CX bike. I primarily ride on the flats, so cross wind performance is a priority.

    FWIW, I AM on a budget, so any recommendations for relatively cost effective ways to do either would be welcomed.

    Thanks,

    BB
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    It'd be helpful to know what the overall budget actually is since that will make a big difference in recommendations. I'm not a big fan of carbon with alu brake track or alu with carbon fairing since they tend to be almost as expensive as carbon clinchers and usually weigh substantially more than a good set of "traditional" alu wheels or full carbon wheels...aka the pros don't outweigh the cons.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    I'd like to get set up under 1200, but could go up to 2000 for the right deal.
    www.beancotton.com
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  4. #4
    Senior Member patrickgm60's Avatar
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    You may want to see if your LBS will lend/rent a set of carbon wheels to you, before you plunk down ~$2,000. Unless the looks, alone, justify the expense for you, an upgraded set of aluminum wheels may well be the better choice.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patrickgm60 View Post
    You may want to see if your LBS will lend/rent a set of carbon wheels to you, before you plunk down ~$2,000. Unless the looks, alone, justify the expense for you, an upgraded set of aluminum wheels may well be the better choice.

    A test ride is a prerequisite for any purchase, but I'm looking for some ideas on what I might want to test.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member TexMac's Avatar
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    I had the same dilemma a few weeks ago. I know boyd carbon wheels are highly recommended and super customer service. My budget was below 1k so I ended getting Williams 58mm aero carbons for $900 and man those wheels are awesome! I also live in the flats and I noticed a slight side wind effect but not much to affect my riding ( I weigh 175lbs). The bike feels superlight and extra responsive. The wheels come alive when you have headwind or if you are riding above 21mphr.
    First carbon wheels so not much experience. Good luck !

  7. #7
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Let me dial this in a bit: If I decided to simply cut weight and go with a lighter set of aluminum wheels, I'd be inclined to go with a set of Fulcrums to keep the rim and cassette spacing similar to my stock setup on the CX bike. Is there a "sweet spot" in the Fulcrum line where the price/weight/features stand out?

    BB
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  8. #8
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
    Let me dial this in a bit: If I decided to simply cut weight and go with a lighter set of aluminum wheels, I'd be inclined to go with a set of Fulcrums to keep the rim and cassette spacing similar to my stock setup on the CX bike. Is there a "sweet spot" in the Fulcrum line where the price/weight/features stand out?

    BB
    New F5's are 16xx grams. You can get them for 300 bux out of the UK. Twice that for F3's at 15xx grams. So 100 grams = twice the cost.
    OP...any focus on a few grams of weight for the average rider is ridiculous. I ride F5's and pass guys on carbon wheels all the time.
    Lose twenty pounds and hit the gym and save your money. Can't buy game.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Lose twenty pounds and hit the gym and save your money. Can't buy game.
    Thanks. I lost 160+ lbs to get to my current 165. I don't see 145 in the cards.
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  10. #10
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
    Thanks. I lost 160+ lbs to get to my current 165. I don't see 145 in the cards.
    Congrats on your amazing weight loss. I would like to see your riding weight closer to 120 lbs. So even though you may not see it now,
    you have demonstrated the discipline to drop big weight. Start training 200 miles a week and ride with the A group and get back to us.

  11. #11
    Senior Member TexMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    Congrats on your amazing weight loss. I would like to see your riding weight closer to 120 lbs. So even though you may not see it now,
    you have demonstrated the discipline to drop big weight. Start training 200 miles a week and ride with the A group and get back to us.
    Unless you are climbing/cat2 racer 120lbs is too skiny scary in my book.

  12. #12
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexMac View Post
    Unless you are climbing/cat2 racer 120lbs is too skiny scary in my book.
    Not to worry. I've hit my goal weight, and beyond the 5-10 lbs that will likely come off over the summer from increased activity, I'm where I intend to stay. I am, however, interested in getting my bikes closer to 15 lbs than 20 lbs.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member TexMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
    Not to worry. I've hit my goal weight, and beyond the 5-10 lbs that will likely come off over the summer from increased activity, I'm where I intend to stay. I am, however, interested in getting my bikes closer to 15 lbs than 20 lbs.
    Good for you.
    I started 186 and i'm down to 174lbs, not intending to go below 165lbs.

    Putting your bike on a diet is easier and more expensive but rewarding. Anything to make you ride more and have fun the better.

  14. #14
    Bridge Burner RollCNY's Avatar
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    On your Fulcrum 7 CX wheels, I was under the belief that the only difference between Fulcrum's CX wheels and road wheels was an additional seal. Perhaps I am incorrect, but I would not expect a massive difference between those wheels and a "road" version. Your cantilever brakes probably cause more drag than the seal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man in Black
    Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

  15. #15
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TexMac View Post
    Unless you are climbing/cat2 racer 120lbs is too skiny scary in my book.
    I was kidding. See the wink?
    The guy lost half his body weight. Remarkable on two levels. One he could ever get that overweight and two, he could lose it.
    Discussion about 100-200 grams for wheel weight is silly.

  16. #16
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Campag4life View Post
    I was kidding. See the wink?
    The guy lost half his body weight. Remarkable on two levels. One he could ever get that overweight and two, he could lose it.
    Discussion about 100-200 grams for wheel weight is silly.
    And yet here you are, discussing it!

    I'm going to buy a set of wheels. I'd prefer lighter wheels to heavier. As a general rule, lighter wheels cost more than heavier wheels. At some price, I reach the point of diminishing returns. Nothing silly about it.

    An analogy - I have a farm. Putting out more fertilizer generally translates to higher yields. But at some point, I'm spending more on fertilizer than I'm getting back in crop sales. My job is to find the sweet spot where the amount I spend on fertilzer gets optimum results.

    That's what I'm doing with a second wheelset. If an extra $100 buys a lighter/more responsive/more aero wheel, I'd be a fool not to spend it. But an extra $1000 for a SLIGHTLY lighter/more aero/more reponsive wheel? Probably not.

    At any rate, didn't mean to take time away from the more productive things you were doing with your time today. But since you're here, if you see a specific sweet spot in the Fulcrum line where it seems like the price and quality work out optimally, then please let me know. To me, the 3 is looking pretty attractive.

    BB
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  17. #17
    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    Seems like two wheelsets could be in your budget. I'd ditch the Giant wheelset and buy the 3's with nice tires for racing and spirited rides on the Giant. Also grab some 5's for training and/or wet rides on the Giant and for taking the CX bike on the road. I love spending other people's money...(with my own funds, I'd probably buy just the 5's)
    "The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtrain View Post
    Seems like two wheelsets could be in your budget. I'd ditch the Giant wheelset and buy the 3's with nice tires for racing and spirited rides on the Giant. Also grab some 5's for training and/or wet rides on the Giant and for taking the CX bike on the road. I love spending other people's money...(with my own funds, I'd probably buy just the 5's)
    Why aren't you buying him some carbon tubulars with his own money. He wants to race, so that's where I'd start and then work your way back to the CX bike.

  19. #19
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtrain View Post
    Seems like two wheelsets could be in your budget. I'd ditch the Giant wheelset and buy the 3's with nice tires for racing and spirited rides on the Giant. Also grab some 5's for training and/or wet rides on the Giant and for taking the CX bike on the road. I love spending other people's money...(with my own funds, I'd probably buy just the 5's)
    If I get the 3s, they let me use my CX bike as a backup road bike, but they are only a slight upgrade from the wheels on my road bike, so I'd hold off on a 2nd set until I got a better feel for what type of racing I'm going to do (TT/Crit/RR) and have the opportunity to ride a few borrowed/rented carbon wheels and maybe find a deal at the end of the year.

    Those 3s are sounding better all the time (unless, of course someone offers me a heck of a deal on something else of similar or higher quality).

    BB
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbbean View Post
    If I get the 3s, they let me use my CX bike as a backup road bike, but they are only a slight upgrade from the wheels on my road bike, so I'd hold off on a 2nd set until I got a better feel for what type of racing I'm going to do (TT/Crit/RR) and have the opportunity to ride a few borrowed/rented carbon wheels and maybe find a deal at the end of the year.

    Those 3s are sounding better all the time (unless, of course someone offers me a heck of a deal on something else of similar or higher quality).

    BB
    You should back off until you have raced enough to know you want carbon tubulars. That will happen.

    And after that point you won't care so much about any fancy al clinchers. Those are just what you ride when you are not on your race wheels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dtrain View Post
    I suppose that would be 'option 2' in his original post. Got a specific wheel suggestion for him?

    In follow-up posts he talked a lot about a cost-effective approach, deminishing returns, and staying with alloy.
    I think Boyds are a little over his $1200, but if he would stretch, that is where I would start. Or get a quote from Psimet.

  22. #22
    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    You sound pretty sure that you'll still be in the market for racing wheels. In that case I'd go with 5's instead of 3's this time around. Your idea of trying some other wheels and researching the larger purchase more makes a lot of sense. Good luck!
    "The older you do get, the more rules they're gonna try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin', man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson

    '14 Cannondale Synapse (carbon) - '04 Bianchi Imola (steel) - '99 Gary Fisher Big Sur (mtn)

  23. #23
    has a Large Member Campag4life's Avatar
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    What the other guys said OP....I gave you the economics in my previous thread. 5's are fantastic for the money. 3's which are 100 grams less weight are twice the price and also bombproof and excellent wheels.
    I keep an eye out for 3's from time to time in fact because they are highly regarded.
    Be sure to get the 11s Shimano hub if you are a Shimano or Sram guy.

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    I'd look into the cost of getting a pretty decent set built as well.

    I recently had my LBS build me a good set of training/everyday wheels and if it weren't for the powertap rear hub it would definitely be decently light. a proper wheel builder will build a wheel that's more reliable than what you can buy as a set. That set was a popular combination of HED Belgium C2 rims laced onto White Industry T11 hubs (another popular, more expensive, lighter option are the Chris King Road hubs) with whatever spokes they recommended w/black brass nipples. The rims are 23mm wide (wider rim) and despite being pretty comfy they're very responsive and stiff. The weight is light enough for what I intended. I imagine the set (if not for the my powertap hub) to weigh closer to 1600g or so. Not crazy light, but definitely better than what I had. Speaking of which here are my other sets and my opinions:

    Boyd 58mm Carbon Clinchers - racing set for the dry and about 1650g. I use them for races without a great need for braking. Switching pads is annoying, but it's really quick (simply using the caliper pad retaining screw)
    Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL - wet/bad weather racing set. these are the aluminum rim, carbon fairing wheel type you were referring to. great for flat, fast races/rides as they hold their speed nicely. not great for climing as they're heavier than i'd like (~1750g). I don't use this set often, but I may if I get a crank-based powermeter or just stop caring about power #s altogether.

    I also like to mix-match for races since the Cosmic Carbone SL front wheel is noticeably lighter than the Boyds Front wheel (not sure of the actual difference).

    Another option, that I like, is the mavic SLS wheelset. It's not aero, but it's stiff and it's light for a reasonable price. If building your set isn't the way you want to go I think this set is a pretty nice option. It's a complete system, so it includes tires, tubes, and rim tape (obviously you can put whatever tire you want if you buy them). A couple of my teammates use them and they love them. I need to test ride them to get a better feel for them though as I've been leaning more toward light and stiff as opposed to aero and stiff; I don't want to spend for all three qualities quite yet.

  25. #25
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    Dilemma resolved (for now). Made a low ball offer on a set of 2012 Racing 3s on eBay and didn't get outbid. So I'll ride those a while. Thanks for giving me some good recommendations and perspective.

    Now I just have to decide whether I'm going to run 23s or 25s on them.
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