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  1. #1
    meet the mets chicagoamdream's Avatar
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    CHI: What wheels have you bought here/ridden here?

    The impetus for this is: my birthday's coming up soon, and if I don't sort of indicate something I want to my parents, I'm going to end up with another Cuisinart. Really, the only thing I can think of is a nice new fixed wheelset, as I've been riding on a cheap Suzue Basic/Weinmann setup that I got off of Craigslist early in the season. I haven't had any problems at all with this rig, but...yknow, I might, and the birthday comes but once a year.

    I'd like to buy something already built up, in the interest of having it while the weather's still nice, so I'm wondering what people have bought from Yojimbo's/Boulevard/Uptown/whatever, or if they've comissioned stuff, how long it's taken and at what price, and how well it's suited for our pavement and weather.

    I don't ride on a track, just around the city, and I'd prefer a fixed/fixed hub rather than a flipflop, but that's not a big deal. I can't justify Phils. Pricewise/what I'm looking for, I like the $319 Suzue ProMax/Mavic Open Pro set on Harris Cyclery's site. Does this seem like a good price to you folks?

  2. #2
    . monkey's Avatar
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    AM, I bought a Surly fixed/fixed/MA3 rear wheel from Marcus this summer.
    I love it so far. Stop in and talk to him. He probably has a few different wheelsets
    sitting in the shop.

  3. #3
    . monkey's Avatar
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    Oh ya, and I'm pretty sure the price includes lifetime re-truing and re-tensioning.
    You're not going to get that from Harris.

  4. #4
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    I bought a set of used Phils/Old Deep Vs (re-tensioned and checked bearings) from Marcus and he stuffed them full of rancid hamburger.

    I also had him build up a set of Promax SBs to Mach2 Tubulars and he shivved me at the checkout stand.

    Both wheelsets are serving me well.

    Marcus has great service and last time I was there, he had a few wheels pre-built, waiting for someone to buy. Go local first, then check around. You might pay a little more, but it is worth it in the long run. Nothing like getting a wheelset on eBay and having it come loose as f**k and overall crapulent (hasn't happened to me, but I have read about this with certain shops - not Harris though).
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  5. #5
    meet the mets chicagoamdream's Avatar
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    Monkey, are they these high-flange ones? Those are sharp. What'd they run you?



    I'm going to see Marcus on Sat. about a new bottom bracket, and I will definitely inquire about these.

  6. #6
    meet the mets chicagoamdream's Avatar
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    I definitely would prefer to stay local.

    So, I think I know a reasonably amount about hubs since they're sexy and I read about them all the time, but know a lot less about rims. I have a friend who's got MA3s but hasn't been riding long enough to be able to tell a difference from anything else. Deep Vs are sweet-looking, but didn't I read elsewhere on BF that they're heavy and not really suited to road riding? Or is that just hating?

  7. #7
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Marcus should have that basic wheel for about $150 or so? Don't quote me on that.

    Stickerguy had Marcus build up a rear Miche Primato on FIR rim's (in black, red or blue) that has worked out really well for him for about $200 with cog and lockring. I suspect the front shouldn't be that much more.

    I'm sure Marcus can get you a wheelset build for about $300-$350 that's solid.

    Mine was Deep V's to Phil's and because they're fixed/fixed and pink, well, no one really wants to know how much those cost.

    If you're a member of the CBF ($15-25 to join!), you get a 10% discount. Which when you're buying a lot of stuff from Marcus, is a real money-saver.

    And yes, truing and re-tensioning for life. But if you ask Marcus about when to come in to get your wheels trued (not stress-relieved/tensioned), he's say, "What do you mean?"

    Quality handbuilt wheels will last. Support local!

  8. #8
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Deep V's - heavy yes, but they're a solid road rim. I wanted a wheelset that was going to get me through everything -- track, Chicago's winters, potholes, little bunny hops, curbs, you name it.

    Consulting with Marcus, we both came to a Deep V/Phil/32 hole combo. It's more money but it's a wheelset that'll be around for a while. My father was always a believer in the "Buy it right, buy it once" philosophy and he's right. You might pay more now, but it'll be with you a lot longer.

    I'm not saying other hubs won't last as long either but that's my take on that.

    Take a look at the Fusion rims (less V) or the FIR's that Marcus has, both are solid tough rims. A little cheaper too.

  9. #9
    meet the mets chicagoamdream's Avatar
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    I didn't start reading this forum until about June, and somehow I hadn't come across the threads about your bike, absntr. Jesus Christ. Those wheels look amazing.

  10. #10
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Thank you sir. I love 'em.

    You could probably build up a single sided fixed Phil set in silver with some Fusions or FIR's for around $400-425. If I have my pricing right or remembered Marcus's costs. He has a solid rim selection at the moment - Velocity's in all kinds of colours, machined and non. He also has Paul hub's which are also extremely beefy, cost a little less than the Phil's but are solid too. And the sealed bearing Suzue ProMax's are not to be overlooked - a solid good looking hub for a good price.

    You've got options at Yojimbo's for sure.

    I'd suggest:

    In the $300+ range
    Suzue Promax SB on Fusions/FIRS or Deep V's

    In the $400+ range
    Phil's or Paul's on Fusions/FIRS or Deep V's

    The best thing is that you can combine and mix and match to achieve your desired price point - that CBF discount also really helps.

  11. #11
    meet the mets chicagoamdream's Avatar
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    Ohh, man, this is going to snowball, I can tell. The power of suggestion just kills me on BF: this morning I was going to replicate Monkey's set, and now I'm thinking that JUST MAYBE I can justify Phils, and it's not even lunch?

    Seriously, though, I really appreciate the recommendations from everyone. I hadn't looked at the Paul hubs before--they look really solid, and I want to wear that lockring like jewelry.

    Other than cache (which counts for a lot in my book), what would you say are the appreciable advantages to, say, Paul or Phil over the Surly? Ease of maintenance? Significant durability and longevity? I guess the Pauls would be harder to strip since they're steel, right?

  12. #12
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Surly's a good hub and it'll do you fine.

    But for sheer longevity, the Phils will do you proud. The Paul's have a decent record, if you do a search on them, other members have had problems with them in the past but nothing Paul didn't immediately fix.

    I however, didn't want that and so I stuck with the tried and true and reputable -- the Phils.

    They are extremely strong, all-weather type hubs. The hex nuts on the ends makes tightening obscenely easy and that's one less tool you have to carry (15mm wrench). Some say that's a bit more of a theft deterrent too. Not by much in my book.

    I also liked the ability to get a QR conversion kit for the hubs so that if I were to ever consider using locking skewers, I could.

    Phils are indeed easier to maintain - take a look at them when you go down to Yojimbos and the other hubs and the difference is noticeable.

  13. #13
    meet the mets chicagoamdream's Avatar
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    That was another question I meant to ask: absntr, do you just never let the bike out of your sight, or carry two mini u-locks, or take the front wheel inside with you, or what? I've got an allen bolt skewer on my front wheel now, which has proved sufficient, but if that wheel disappeared, once I found a way home I'd have forgotten about it. Obviously, we're now talking wheels that will need additional security.

  14. #14
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    I get that a lot.

    I've always been paranoid about my gear regardless of its beater-ness or not. For the day to day and quick stops, I always have a mini u-lock and cable for the wheels. For movies, higher theft areas, longer hangout periods, etc, I carry both the mini, a NY U-lock (massive - I hate the thing but it's burly!) and the cable. It looks pretty silly all locked up but it gives me peace of mind.

    I just can't stand or carry the NY chain - that things is just a beast. I hate things on my body anyhow.

  15. #15
    downtube shifter Jose R's Avatar
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    When looking for new wheels for general fixed riding, I usually have the following criteria:

    A) Chainline

    B) Strength

    C) Comfort

    D) Cost

    With respect to hubs, this means good quality, but cheap hubs. Nothing fancy. The problem with Phils and Paul Hubs is chainline. If your BB/crankset accomodates a 43mm-45mm chainline then they work fine. If your chainline is closer to the standard 42.5mm, they may induce noise and premature chainwear.

    Since most standard hubs come in 32 holes, I usually wind up with 32 hole wheels laced 3x. Although, 36 hole wheels can be stronger and just as light using light-weight 15/17/15 spokes.

    Box section rims are comfortable. More comfortable than V-section rims. And in many cases come in lighter than deep section rims. The only purpose for deep v rims is aerodynamics. But, at 30mm Deep Vs are not only *not* aerodynamic but weight alot more than most box section rims.

    So, a pair of Mavic Open Pros laced 3x to good quality, but cheap hubs, built up by a good wheelbuilder, will not only be just as strong as Deep Vs/Phils, but be lighter as well. For the extra $$$ the Phil Wood hubs should outlast any generic hub, but make sure your chainline is good to go.

    A pair should run you $300-350, depending on hub choice. Obviously more if you choose Pauls or Phils.

    See Torelli comments here:

    "In the past, rim manufacturers never paid racing teams money to equip their bikes because the then-used box-section rim is so anonymous. You never knew which teams were using what rims. New wheels with deep section rims can carry obvious and easily recognized advertising, but this is at a real cost to the rider. The deep rims ride very harshly. The reduced spoke count wheel have very high spoke tensions that exacerbate the problem.

    The consumer is sold the wheels because they are light. But, this is a half-truth. Because the rims have deep sections, the inertial mass (rotating weight) is greater. The result is that the bike has less snap and rides more harshly. To make it worse, tests have shown that a rim needs to be 40 mm deep to have any real aerodynamic advantage. The rims with their cross sections in the 30mm's are not aero, they are only fancy looking. Before buying one of these wheelsets that have lots of gee-whiz, consider a nice set of 32 hole, cross-three wheels with box section rims. Put a pair on your bike and give them a chance. Borrow a buddy's set if you have any. The weight is almost the same. But the ride........
    "

    See Spectrum comments here:

    "Most of the real differences between rims (other than clincher/tubular differences) center around rim profile or height. The higher profile rims are generally more aerodynamic than the lower profile rims as long as the air they encounter is "clean." They are also heavier and considerably less vertically compliant. The relative value of all these rims needs to be weighed against their drawbacks when choosing rims or wheels. There are good times to use almost any rim, but there are also bad times for using those same rims.

    First we can look at rim qualities or characteristics and then try to associate those qualities with their best uses.

    * Rims can be more or less aerodynamic depending mostly on profile (height) and to a lesser degree, shape. To keep things simple we will only discuss profile. At one extreme of height there are the traditional box section rims like a Reflex or an MA-40 or even the old Mavic six-day rims, and at the other end you will find something like a ZIPP 440 or a HED Deep. Let's leave discs out of this for now.

    * Because rim strength is determined by the qualities of the material used and the extrusion design, the rim profile has a great deal to do with rim weight and somewhat less to do with rim strength. A deeper rim profile requires more material in areas of the rim which lend relatively little to overall rim strength. Of course any additional rim material will increase rim strength to some extent, but the further away from the tire that extra material is placed, the less it contributes to overall strength. A rim's impact resistance (pot hole resistance) is not related to profile but is closely related to material strength and to the design of the extrusion at the outer edge of the rim. e.g. the rim bead on a clincher or the outer edge of a tubular rim.

    * The ride qualities of a rim itself are determined by the profile and thickness of the vertical areas of the extrusion. The more rim material there is in the side wall areas of a rim, the less vertically compliant the rim will be. This is one of the major reasons that clincher wheels are less comfortable than tubular wheels, they have taller side walls.

    OK. So where does that leave us in choosing our next pair of rims? Well, that depends on how you will be using the wheels. First, you need to decide how important each of the performance areas of the rims are to you ... Aerodynamics, weight, strength and ride quality.

    ...
    "

    Also, for general rim information here is a discussion of tubular rims (since, its not about clincher rims, take it FWIW).

    My personal street wheelset is 32H Mavic OP laced 3x to Nashbar hubs using DT Revolution spokes. Bombproof. ~$325.

  16. #16
    . monkey's Avatar
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    Ya, IMO the high flange Surly/Silver MA3 wheel is great for everyday riding. I lock up everywhere.
    Yes, you could probaby afford Fin Du Monde, but won't cold PBR on tap get you just as
    drunk? And you'll have plenty of money left for tacos at the end of the night...

  17. #17
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    Yes, Mr. I have Campy High Flange Tubulars.

    See, you already have the beater wheelset so why not get something nicer?

  18. #18
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkey
    Ya, IMO the high flange Surly/Silver MA3 wheel is great for everyday riding. I lock up everywhere.
    Yes, you could probaby afford Fin Du Monde, but won't cold PBR on tap get you just as
    drunk? And you'll have plenty of money left for tacos at the end of the night...
    cheap beer and good food - fred is a good man.

    Yo - call me on the 15t cog tonight - I will send my celly via semaphore if you didn't figure it out yet...
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

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