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  1. #1
    Senior Member I'veGotABikeSyd's Avatar
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    Wheelset advice for a cheap noob

    Hi all.

    I've been lurking/searching around these forums for a few months and was hoping somebody could advise. I'm converting a early 80's Nishiki that's needing a new wheelset and like the deeper dish rims (I know, they are so 2001)...

    I found this: http://wheelandsprocket.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=7129 and can't figure out if those Formula hubs are bad hubs - therefore cheaper wheelset? Also this: http://www.nycbikes.com/item.php?item_id=553

    Does anybody have any thoughts on those or am I headed in the wrong direction with my searches?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Good for Business koyman's Avatar
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    . blickblocks's Avatar
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    Take a look here. I'm getting the top track wheelset from that site Koyman linked, and I'm getting it professionally inspected to let people know if the wheelsets they sell are of the quality they say they are.

    Most cheap wheelsets are machine built, and it takes about $20 in labor for the wheels to be rounded, tensioned and trued properly after. Most websites just sell the machine built wheels, so it would be advisable to take them to a shop or ask the shop before if they have any sets you could buy.

    Always have your cog and lockring professionally installed though. The reason "cheap cogs" strip your hubs is because the people buying these cheap cogs are too cheap to get them installed properly. If they're tightened down enough there would be no movement, no chance for any threads to get destroyed since every one would be properly interfaced.

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    Senior Member I'veGotABikeSyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blickblocks
    Take a look here. I'm getting the top track wheelset from that site Koyman linked, and I'm getting it professionally inspected to let people know if the wheelsets they sell are of the quality they say they are...
    Thanks for that thread, I hadn't seen that -- I hope you share the results of your visit and your purchase.

    Much like the recommendations on that thread, I would much rather buy a wheel-set at my LBS but I'm having trouble finding someone who will build with a deeper rim (Deep V type) and lace it to a decent hub. Some shops will do it but it will be nearly twice as much as that wheel&Sprocket link..

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    thats kinda the thing with lbses. You get convenience but you end up paying a premium. You should also get free truing so if you can't do that keep that in mind when considering the price but make sure your lbs does that for you.

    If you don't know much about the lbses in your area having them build a wheel is kinda a crapshoot.

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    Senior Member I'veGotABikeSyd's Avatar
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    If you don't know much about the lbses in your area having them build a wheel is kinda a crapshoot.
    yeah, it's kinda strange. Most shops around here aren't the urban fixie/recycled-lover-types. Every time they see my current fixed gear they tell me I should just buy a brand new track bike from Specialized or something. While I don't disagree having a brand new bike would be sweet, they all tend to miss the point. I'm happy with my older frame and just want a wheelset.

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    I'm more talking about them not having the competence to build a good set of wheels rather then not being snobby about cheap bikes. Even with free truing a ****ty wheelset still sucks.

    As I have said before I'll choose a shop full of elitist ****ups before clueless ones every time.

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    Senior Member morbot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blickblocks
    The reason "cheap cogs" strip your hubs is because the people buying these cheap cogs are too cheap to get them installed properly. If they're tightened down enough there would be no movement, no chance for any threads to get destroyed since every one would be properly interfaced.
    this is an interesting speculation but i wouldnt be so certain as to make the claim, i think the crappiness of cheap cogs contributes to the stripping in a way that poorly installed better cogs do not.
    Last edited by morbot; 03-26-07 at 09:23 AM.

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    . blickblocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by morbot
    this is an interesting speculation but i wouldnt be so certain as to make the claim, i think the crappiness of cheap cogs contributes to the stripping in a way that poorly installed better cogs do not.
    Talk to someone who had a cheap cog strip their threads. Talk to anyone who had any cog strip their threads! It's most likely poor installation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I'veGotABikeSyd
    I'm having trouble finding someone who will build with a deeper rim (Deep V type) and lace it to a decent hub. Some shops will do it but it will be nearly twice as much as that wheel&Sprocket link..
    FWIW, lacing deep-v hubs is slightly more work, because you have to thread the nipple on to an old spoke and pull it through, then unscrew it before threading the actual spoke on (this is because once the wheel is about half laced, there's not enough slack to get the spokes all the way through the deep v part to get the nipple onto them.) so a shop that won't do it is just being lazy, and charging double seems excessive, but you can expect to pay something more.

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    Senior Member I'veGotABikeSyd's Avatar
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    and charging double seems excessive, but you can expect to pay something more.
    Gotcha, thanks. I was told that it would run between $300-400 to get that particular setup. Again, I would love to get them from my LBS but I simply cannot justify spending that much more...

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    Personally I would just find out what lace you want to do, find out your spoke size and lace it yourself. Its a good learning experience and once its all laced up, just have a shop tension and true the wheels. You already saved them the trouble of figuring out all the hard work.

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    Most shops/mechanics consider tensioning and truing to be the hard work, not lacing... With enough routine, lacing is just a few minutes of mechanical work. When you're truing, you have to actually pay attention. That said, a given shop may give you a handy discount if you bring in the wheel laced up... or it may not.
    Quote Originally Posted by dutret
    Do you deny that you are clueless or do you just think that "moron" didn't need to be tacked on there?
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  14. #14
    Senior Member I'veGotABikeSyd's Avatar
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    yeah. good point. Besides, I don't know if I trust myself to lace anything up anyway, I'm really quite new to all this.

    Do any of you guys have opinions on those Formula hubs that seem to appear on all the cheaper wheelsets? Anybody have any experiences with them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by I'veGotABikeSyd
    yeah. good point. Besides, I don't know if I trust myself to lace anything up anyway, I'm really quite new to all this.

    Do any of you guys have opinions on those Formula hubs that seem to appear on all the cheaper wheelsets? Anybody have any experiences with them?
    I hear that for the money they're great (I roll on Surly/ Shimano, sorry no first hand experience).

    Blickblocks what makes you so sure? Every time someone on these boards complains about stripping their threads they seem to have done it with a cheap cog.

    Furthermore, I don't see how professional installation of a cog guarantees that the threads won't strip. Your typical joe lbs guy will torque the cog down with only a normal chainwhip, almost guaranteeing that a hard ride up a hill will get the cog even tighter and effectively loosen the lockring. IMO it's a much better idea to buy or fabricate a lockring tool and learn to use it right away as your cog tightens.
    Last edited by mander; 03-27-07 at 06:12 PM.

  16. #16
    . blickblocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mander
    Blickblocks what makes you so sure? Every time someone on these boards complains about stripping their threads they seem to have done it with a cheap cog.

    Furthermore, I don't see how professional installation of a cog guarantees that the threads won't strip. Your typical joe lbs guy will torque the cog down with only a normal chainwhip, almost guaranteeing that a hard ride up a hill will get the cog even tighter and effectively loosen the lockring. IMO it's a much better idea to buy or fabricate a lockring tool and learn to use it right away as your cog tightens.
    It's like when you ride your new wheels for the first time, you need extra tightening after a couple miles. Think of it as part of maintainence.

  17. #17
    Senior Member hockeyteeth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I'veGotABikeSyd
    Do any of you guys have opinions on those Formula hubs that seem to appear on all the cheaper wheelsets? Anybody have any experiences with them?
    I have Formula hubs. I think they are decent except that I don't like sealed bearings and the grease in the bearings seems too thick. I like to clean and regrease my bike and I can't do that with sealed bearings.

  18. #18
    Senior Member I'veGotABikeSyd's Avatar
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    I have Formula hubs. I think they are decent except that I don't like sealed bearings and the grease in the bearings seems too thick. I like to clean and regrease my bike and I can't do that with sealed bearings.
    yeah, but I always thought sealed bearings = quality hubs. Am I wrong in this assumption?

  19. #19
    . blickblocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hockeyteeth
    I have Formula hubs. I think they are decent except that I don't like sealed bearings and the grease in the bearings seems too thick. I like to clean and regrease my bike and I can't do that with sealed bearings.
    Sealed bearings? Doesn't that just mean there's a rubber dustcap over the cones? We're not talking about cartridge bearings.

  20. #20
    Senior Member euphoria's Avatar
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    sealed bearings = you don't have to regrease the bearings after a wet ride

  21. #21
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blickblocks
    Sealed bearings? Doesn't that just mean there's a rubber dustcap over the cones? We're not talking about cartridge bearings.
    Formula hubs have cartridge bearings.

  22. #22
    . blickblocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    Formula hubs have cartridge bearings.
    Did not know this! I thought I was getting regular cup and cone bearing hubs.

  23. #23
    jack of one or two trades Aeroplane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blickblocks
    Did not know this! I thought I was getting regular cup and cone bearing hubs.
    Egad.

    GOSPEL: Formula hubs are pretty much the ****. They have super-awesome sealed cartridge bearings, are super-easy to service/replace bearings on, and are super-cheap. They are readily available with long axles so you can respace them to 130 or 126mm spacing super-easy too. All in all, the only real disadvantage that they pose is some people find that the locknuts break easily. Replacement locknuts are about $2. I've had mine for about 2 years, and have had no problems with them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Irwin Goldstein
    Men should never ride bicycles. Riding should be banned and outlawed. It is
    the most irrational form of exercise I could ever bring to discussion.

  24. #24
    . blickblocks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeroplane
    Egad.
    What I knew: replace 'Formula' with 'Phil".

    Quote Originally Posted by Aeroplane
    GOSPEL: Phil hubs are pretty much the ****. They have super-awesome sealed cartridge bearings, are super-easy to service/replace bearings on, and are super-cheap. They are readily available with long axles so you can respace them to 130 or 126mm spacing super-easy too. All in all, the only real disadvantage that they pose is some people find that the locknuts break easily. Replacement locknuts are about $2. I've had mine for about 2 years, and have had no problems with them.
    Seriously though I thought Phils were the only hubs with cartridge bearings. That explained to me why they are so much more expensive than Formula hubs.

  25. #25
    Senior Member I'veGotABikeSyd's Avatar
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    What I knew: replace 'Formula' with 'Phil".
    ha. you can also replace some numbers when you replace 'Formula' with 'Phil'. replace the 1 in $150 with a Phil 3 for $350.

    They are sweet hubs though.

    That explained to me why they are so much more expensive than Formula hubs.
    I always thought it was because the 'Ph' in Phil stood for Phashion.

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