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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-16-08, 05:17 PM   #1
zambaccian
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What's the point of nice wheels on a fixie?

This is my first build and I'm trying to decide between a cheapo Alexrims wheelset for $100 and this Weinmann deep-V wheelset with some nicer (sealed-bearing etc) hubs for $180.

What would I actually get out of nicer wheels, though? I can understand light / aerodynamic wheels for road biking and racing but what's the point for street fixies?




Here are the two sets. If you wanna recommend something else I'm all ears.



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Old 03-16-08, 05:20 PM   #2
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go here for more options
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Old 03-16-08, 05:20 PM   #3
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nice wheels are lighter, assembled better, stronger and odds are won't go out of true as fast.

cheap wheels may not even be true when you buy them.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:24 PM   #4
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So it's mostly a matter of longevity?

Do good hubs actually make you go faster or what?
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Old 03-16-08, 05:25 PM   #5
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you could argue less friction. nice wheels are also lighter. lighter bikes handle and accelerate better.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:27 PM   #6
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Sealed bearings are nice, especially if you want to ride in the wet. Repacking a hub isn't a big deal, though.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:30 PM   #7
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All that being said, the weinmanns are going to be heavier.

I would highly suggest a formula hub to a mavic open sport wheelset. It should cost you 200 bucks, and WAY better in quality than those 2 wheelsets.

no colors.

very light, fast and durable.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:30 PM   #8
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I like good things in life, whether if they're rims for a street fixed gear or a coffee bean grinder for home use.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:32 PM   #9
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IMO, depeding on the frame you are using and the type of riding you are doing, will determine what kind of wheels you need. I, for example, primarily use my bike to get around my campus, and traveling in the bay when i go down, and cheap wheels do the trick just fine. If you are planning to try and do trick, hopping, curb jumping, i would recommend something with a little more strength.

If you would like recommendations from people, you might also want to provide what you are planning to do.

But best of luck on the first build.

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Old 03-16-08, 05:32 PM   #10
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since this is your first fixed bike, buy the cheap ones see how you like riding fixed.

But yes nice wheels are built better, manufacturing is better, stay true longer, and depending on the wheel can absorb road shocks , bumps and etc on the road.

I have a set of Deep V's and Open Pro's , I would say both are nice wheels, but have a different feel when riding.

Now when i comes to hubs (which nicer wheels usually have better hubs) my cheap Formula hubs and my high flanged Phils Wood's are very different, Phil's spin like butter *drool* , versus my Formula's spin nicely.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:34 PM   #11
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OK I understand lighter wheels - and the advantage of something like deep-Vs is strength?

I mostly want my bike for decently aggressive urban riding. Not planning on doing tricks but I guess it'd be nice if the wheels didn't fall apart if I did. But put the emphasis on speed / handling rather than tricks.

Price is definitely an issue and I couldn't justify spending an extra $100-200 if the advantage wasn't significant.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:35 PM   #12
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None.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:39 PM   #13
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strength.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:40 PM   #14
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The first upgrade made to any bike, regardless of how awesome or how crappy it is, would be the wheels. Take that for what it is worth.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:44 PM   #15
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The title of this thread is flame bait.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:48 PM   #16
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My first fixed wheels were a pair of $135 Alex AT450's with Suzue Jr. hubs. While they were not terrible, I did have to true them every month or so and the cones never stayed in place. My next set was built with Velocity Aero's on NOS Campagnolo track hubs for around $700. I've had them for almost a year now and they are just as true and smooth as they were the day I brought them home. I've never regretted spending the extra money.

Quality matters, but start with a decent and affordable wheelset so you have a place for comparison when you upgrade.
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Old 03-16-08, 05:58 PM   #17
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The title of this thread is flame bait.
Seriously. This is like asking what's better. A bad factory wheelset, or another bad factory wheelset. Only when you remove this out of the equation with handbuilt stuff do you really start appreciating what makes a nice wheelset, a nice wheelset.

Buy the **** wheelset to start out with, learn how to rentension, stress relieve and true a wheel. Then go to a better stuff (note: better, not necessarily more expensive).
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Old 03-16-08, 06:17 PM   #18
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Sorry, didn't mean to flamebait, I'm just clueless and trying to make a decision I'll be happy with for a few years. Is there a handbuilt wheelset that would be better than those that would still be decently affordable?

As for hubs, does the main difference lie in maintenance and longevity? Nicer hubs feel better when I spin them by hand, but I'm not sure if that'd be noticeable when riding them.
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Old 03-16-08, 06:43 PM   #19
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The most important trait you should be looking for in a decent wheelset is whether or not they were hand-built by an actual person. Hand-built wheels are sturdier and will last you more than a couple years without getting all wobbly and hoppy.

After you've got that out of the way, deep section wheels (Deep Vs, DP-18s) take more abuse and have less wind drag, but are heavier and more sluggish in the handling. On the opposite end, rims like Mavic Open Pros and Cane Creek Volos will accelerate faster and afford more nimble handling, but I wouldn't want to hit too many potholes with them, much less hop off curbs.

As for hubs, Formulas are as good as you need them to be. Solid construction, and you can always replace the bearing cartridges with much nicer ones. Cheaper hubs are a nightmare, especially when you involve cheap cogs and lockrings.

Beyond that it's a matter of fine craftmanship, expensive material, and shaving grams, and any wheelset that costs more than $400 belongs on a bike used by a serious competitive racing cyclist.

For everyday riding around/commuting/randomly hauling ass down your favorite hill type use, I like the Formula/DP-18 wheelset from www.bicyclewheels.com
I've been using them nearly every day on my conversion for over a year now with no problems and they're still true. For my nicer frame (IRO Angus) I'm about to get a set of the IRO Cold Fusions, as they're supposed to be the best of both worlds. Haven't actually used them yet, but I've done my research and they seem like wise choice.

Whatever you get, make sure at least the front rim sidewall is machined (MSW), and use a brake.

Last edited by SuperVillain; 03-16-08 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 03-16-08, 06:56 PM   #20
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Supervillain - thank you so much. End thread.
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Old 03-16-08, 06:58 PM   #21
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...End thread.
You think that's going to stop people from offering more opinions on a topic like this?
3,2,1...

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Old 03-16-08, 07:05 PM   #22
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Sorry, didn't mean to flamebait, I'm just clueless and trying to make a decision I'll be happy with for a few years. Is there a handbuilt wheelset that would be better than those that would still be decently affordable?

As for hubs, does the main difference lie in maintenance and longevity? Nicer hubs feel better when I spin them by hand, but I'm not sure if that'd be noticeable when riding them.
Handbuilt by a competent and exprerienced wheel builder will ALWAYS be superior to machine built garbage. Even though I despise seal drag on hubs, in practice you really won't notice the difference when you go ride your bike until you start racing.

With the majority of the people riding deep-v's, the advantage of those rims comes down mainly to strength.
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Old 03-16-08, 07:11 PM   #23
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With the majority of the people riding deep-v's, the advantage of those rims comes down mainly to strength.
And color-matching.
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Old 03-16-08, 07:26 PM   #24
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Its worth pointing out that a person can stress relieve and retension the spokes on a machine built wheel and have something thats basically as good as a hand built wheel. If you go with a budget set of wheels, its worth the extra cost of taking your wheels into a shop and having the spokes stress relieved and the tension adjusted. If the shop guy does it right it will dramatically increase the longevity of the wheel. If your wheel subsequently goes out of true, then you probably need a new LBS.

Last edited by mihlbach; 03-16-08 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 03-16-08, 07:37 PM   #25
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The most important trait you should be looking for in a decent wheelset is whether or not they were hand-built by an actual person. Hand-built wheels are sturdier and will last you more than a couple years without getting all wobbly and hoppy.

After you've got that out of the way, deep section wheels (Deep Vs, DP-18s) take more abuse and have less wind drag, but are heavier and more sluggish in the handling. On the opposite end, rims like Mavic Open Pros and Cane Creek Volos will accelerate faster and afford more nimble handling, but I wouldn't want to hit too many potholes with them, much less hop off curbs.

As for hubs, Formulas are as good as you need them to be. Solid construction, and you can always replace the bearing cartridges with much nicer ones. Cheaper hubs are a nightmare, especially when you involve cheap cogs and lockrings.

Beyond that it's a matter of fine craftmanship, expensive material, and shaving grams, and any wheelset that costs more than $400 belongs on a bike used by a serious competitive racing cyclist.

For everyday riding around/commuting/randomly hauling ass down your favorite hill type use, I like the Formula/DP-18 wheelset from www.bicyclewheels.com
I've been using them nearly every day on my conversion for over a year now with no problems and they're still true. For my nicer frame (IRO Angus) I'm about to get a set of the IRO Cold Fusions, as they're supposed to be the best of both worlds. Haven't actually used them yet, but I've done my research and they seem like wise choice.

Whatever you get, make sure at least the front rim sidewall is machined (MSW), and use a brake.
Almost all high quality and low quality track hubs, particularly front hubs, are way heavier than they need to be. If you want light, go with a road hub in front.
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