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  1. #1
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    Mid-level wheelset availability . . .

    It seems that nobody currently markets the sort of pre-built rear wheel I currently want--one with a moderate quality hub (e.g, IRO/Formula) and a better quality rim (e.g., Mavic Open Pro). I've concluded from personal experience with the IRO hub on my son's fixie that I really don't need to spend four times as much money for a Phil hub and I really like Open Pro rims and double-butted spokes. There are a lot of deals out there for pre-built wheels with Formula hubs, straight-guage spokes, and lower quality rims (Mavic CXP22, Kinlin, Velocity, Alex, Weinmann, etc.) but not the combo I really want.

    Of course, I could just buy the parts and have a rear wheel built up from parts, but as we all know, the cost would be close to an IRO complete wheelset (prices with shipping: hub--50.00; OP rim--75.00; spokes--35.00; build at LBS--30.00). I would gladly pay 140.00 for such a wheel, so why is nobody selling them. It seems like a logical market niche is being ignored.

    Dr. Bill

  2. #2
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    i've never heard anything bad about velocity's product or customer service. i'm not an expert on rims, but i'd be willing to say that they probably have something comperable to the open pros. not only that, but you could probably talk to IRO and get a custom wheel with their hub laced to any of velocity's rims.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse M
    i've never heard anything bad about velocity's product or customer service. i'm not an expert on rims, but i'd be willing to say that they probably have something comperable to the open pros. not only that, but you could probably talk to IRO and get a custom wheel with their hub laced to any of velocity's rims.
    I'm not criticizing Velocity rims--I've purchased four Velocity Aerohead rims in various configurations over the years and they're good products. But this time I need an Open Pro rim, and Velocity does not have anything that really matches the OP visually--the closest is the Aero rim which is REALLY heavy (like 480 grams), and probably better suited to tandem applications.

    Dr. Bill

  4. #4
    blah onetwentyeight's Avatar
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    whats wrong with just getting your LBS to build a wheel for you? its a similar cost to the iro wheel, as you state, so why not support the guys around the corner?

  5. #5
    Senior Member piratelove's Avatar
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    My friend bought a Open Pro/IRO combo at the LBS here.. just get yours to make ya one!

  6. #6
    Permanent Amateur Mark B10Cycle's Avatar
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    I have an IRO hub and a Salsa Delgado Cross Rim that have been awesome so far (since April).
    I may be going to hell in a bucket, babe,
    But at least I'm enjoying the ride.

    -The Grateful Dead

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by onetwentyeight
    whats wrong with just getting your LBS to build a wheel for you? its a similar cost to the iro wheel, as you state, so why not support the guys around the corner?

    My point was that buying the parts and having the LBS build it up is a LOT more than a pre-built wheel like the IRO silver rear. And in my case, the LBS is about 50 miles away. In today's market, a private user can't even buy the parts for what commercial internet sellers are charging for complete built-up wheels. For example, the IRO hub would cost me 45.00, the IRO Kinlin XL-240 is about a 30.00 40.00 retail rim (if you could get it, which you can't because it is not marketed as such), and spokes are around 20.00. Add shipping and you are well over the 105.00 IRO charges for the complete build, and you still have to get the wheel built. Even if I build it myself, I can't match the price of the internet sellers. See what I mean?

    Dr. Bill

  8. #8
    Cornucopia of Awesomeness baxtefer's Avatar
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    what's your point?
    they buy wholesale. you do not.
    {o,o**
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    O RLY?

  9. #9
    like, really sloppy sloppy robot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxtefer
    what's your point?
    they buy wholesale. you do not.
    his point is he's wondering if there is somewhere he can get a BUILT formula/open pro by someone who gets those wholesale prices and passes on the savings. I don't have the answer for him.. maybe you do.

  10. #10
    Geek Extraordinaire sivat's Avatar
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    The reason the IRO is such a good deal is that he buys the rims and spokes from velocity, and the wheels are built at the velocity factory. With machine built wheels, the cost of building is next to nothing. So you're really only paying for the parts, which he gets for a low price because he buys in bulk (i would assume, i could be wrong). Any time you start doing custom stuff, the price is going to go up because the labor/set up increases a lot. Plus, it makes more sense for a business to pair the higher end wheel with a higher end hub to please a larger customer base with fewer options. High end hub/rim for the high end customer, cheaper hub/rim for the budget customer.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    Sintesi Conversion Serotta Track

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by sivat
    The reason the IRO is such a good deal is that he buys the rims and spokes from velocity, and the wheels are built at the velocity factory. With machine built wheels, the cost of building is next to nothing. So you're really only paying for the parts, which he gets for a low price because he buys in bulk (i would assume, i could be wrong). Any time you start doing custom stuff, the price is going to go up because the labor/set up increases a lot. Plus, it makes more sense for a business to pair the higher end wheel with a higher end hub to please a larger customer base with fewer options. High end hub/rim for the high end customer, cheaper hub/rim for the budget customer.

    Well, I'm suggesting that there is probably a market for the Formula/IRO hubs paired with better rims and spokes. The hubs are quite decent for the price, and a lot of people get the IRO/Velocity Deep V combination. If people can sell wheelsets with Formula hubs with CXP22 rims for 135.00, for heaven's sakes, then they should be able to do a Formula/Open Pro combo for what . . . 250.00 or so? As a point of comparison, you can buy machine built Ultegra/Open Pro wheelsets with DT DB spokes for around 200.00.

    Dr. Bill

  12. #12
    like, really sloppy sloppy robot's Avatar
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    the hubs are quite decent for the price... but so are arrowheads.. someone who is upgrading the rims.. most likely wants to upgrade the hubs to.. making the formula/openpro combo not the most popular combo

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sloppy robot
    the hubs are quite decent for the price... but so are arrowheads.. someone who is upgrading the rims.. most likely wants to upgrade the hubs to.. making the formula/openpro combo not the most popular combo

    It's the "upgrade the hubs to . . ." that complicates this picture. The next "upgrade" seems to be the Suzue Pro-Max, but you generally have to buy them in pairs and I'm not convinced that the Pro-Max is that much better than the IRO/Formula (I have both). And with Suzue going out of business, they won't be available in quantity for much longer anyway. I will say that Sheldon currently has a good deal on Pro-Max Open Pro wheelsets, but I just need the rear wheel.

    Then you move up to Dura-Ace low-flange track (great hubs but generally available only in pairs) and Phil Wood, with the latter in particular involving a huge jump in price.

    In the larger scheme of things, the basic silver Open Pro is a fairly moderately priced rim, and I still think there is a market for a Formula/IRO Open Pro combo.

    Dr. Bill

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