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  1. #1
    Senior Member armybikerider's Avatar
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    Inexpensive wheel durability

    Is there really any durability difference between sub $500 wheels?

    I'm going nuts looking through brand after brand of wheels in this price category.

    An eyelet pulled out of a 2009 Fulcrum Racing 5 after 27,500 + miles and I want to replace it with something similar that I can get like mileage...or close at least.

    Is there really any durability difference between Fulcrum Racing 5's...or Vuelta Corsa Lite's.....or Boyd Roleur's.....or any of the many many different brands?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  2. #2
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    I have never had any wheel of that caliber fail for any reason. I ride several bikes so seldom put that kind of mileage on any one set of wheels, but I do keep wheels for years. They're all durable IMO.
    Robert

    My hero: "Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin'..." (Joel Chandler Harris, Uncle Remus")

  3. #3
    will stop for donuts BenPS's Avatar
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    Generally cheaper wheels are more durable than expensive wheels if built properly. More material, higher spoke counts. I'd throw Mavic Aksiums in to the mix as well. Good, cheap, durable wheels

  4. #4
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    Guess it depends what you call inexperience, would think of at machine built BSO wheel as inexperience, none of the Fulcrum range are inexpensive, for the distance you have put on the 5, would take it to have been very good value for money.

    For Fulcrum wheels, the design has changed over they years, but they do seem to be very reliable wheels, currently I am using a early model 5 for Audax riding, and have no worries about reliability, I did have a Fulcrum 7 that got bent a few years ago, but that took a car driving into me to do it.

  5. #5
    Solo Rider, always DFL
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    I think the rule of "light/strong/cheap, pick 2" applies here as with most engineering problems.
    "Having modest aspirations RULES." --patentcad
    "You know who I feel bad for? Arab-Americans with a real, genuine interest in cropdusting." -- Brian Regan
    blogging about nothing, when the mood strikes

  6. #6
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    Alex/Jalco are decent wheelsets. They're still going strong on my bikes. There's no great need to upgrade from a budget wheelset if they still work.

  7. #7
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    Wheels are something that I'd rather use a heavier set for most of my riding. On times where you want to ride with a friend every once in awhile, I'll bust out the light wheelset. All other times, something like a 32 spoke Mavic Open Pro with 105 or Ultegra hubs will do the trick.

  8. #8
    Redefining Lazy Slackerprince's Avatar
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    My stock Shimano RS10's are riding true and nicely after 3K miles. No issues.

    S
    Having things organized is for small-minded people. Genius controls chaos. J Voigt

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jiggle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenPS View Post
    Generally cheaper wheels are more durable than expensive wheels if built properly. More material, higher spoke counts. I'd throw Mavic Aksiums in to the mix as well. Good, cheap, durable wheels
    Aksiums are some strong wheels. I was riding my CX bike down a gravel track at about 18 mph when it abruptly ended into a boulder field that was cleverly disguised by some very nice looking grass. I was on the tops and couldn't risk moving my hands to the brakes, so I had to ride the whole thing out. My front tire immediately exploded. The uncushioned rim bounced from rock to rock as the seat rammed my nuts, and then the front rim wedged itself in a crevice and sent me flying over the handlebars. It was a real shame no one was there to witness, because it must have been hilarious. Anyway, my Aksiums weren't even out of true. Only the tops of the rims had some small dings.

  10. #10
    Coffin Dodger Pirkaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superslomo View Post
    i think the rule of "heavy/strong/expensive, pick 2" applies here as with most engineering problems.
    fify
    Triples are for the weak and the old.........I guess that make's me both
    If you wait until you're ready, you will wait forever.

  11. #11
    Solo Rider, always DFL
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    I'm not sure that fixed anything...

    The point being: light wheels that are cheap are not likely to be durable... light and strong are possible, but expensive. Strong and cheap are possible, but not light (ask me... I've got open Pro CD rims on my wheels on my cannondale, and while I think they're great, and they were relatively inexpensive... people say they are heavy, though I haven't minded really.)
    "Having modest aspirations RULES." --patentcad
    "You know who I feel bad for? Arab-Americans with a real, genuine interest in cropdusting." -- Brian Regan
    blogging about nothing, when the mood strikes

  12. #12
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    I believe the correct terminology is "bombproof" not durable. Unless you are talking tires, which of course should be "bulletproof."

    Anyway I agree that budget wheels should be quite durable, I mean bombproof.
    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    never underestimate the idiocy of BF.

  13. #13
    L-I-V-I-N dtrain's Avatar
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    If I got over 27k from a set, I'd likely have some brand loyalty.
    "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

    '11 Fuji SL - '04 Bianchi Imola - '99 Gary Fisher Big Sur

  14. #14
    Certifiable Bike "Expert"
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    I'd say to find a good wheelbuilder and tell him what you're after.
    I don't even use the offensive term "Fred." -- Sheldon "All Cyclists Are My Friends" Brown (1944-2008)

  15. #15
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    In addition to price points, there are characteristics you can look for in wheels, such as spoke count, spoke used, lacing pattern, etc. All these play a role in the durability of wheels, but they are things that will be difficult to gauge unless you either shop in store or are willing to do some careful research online.

    Good wheels don't have to be expensive, but you're not going to get a good custom built wheelset without spending $600 or so. I'm riding the stock DT Swiss R1700s that came with my TCR SL3 and I love them. They're well made, but not expensive. I believe you can have a set for about $400.

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