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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 08-19-08, 04:48 PM   #1
shinyandfree
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Track/Road Wheel

I'm looking to buy a good lightweight wheelset to pull double duty between the track and occasional joyrides around town (NYC). I have another bike for commuting so this would not be an every day sort of thing. I just don't want to have to switch out the wheels/cogs every time I take it across town. Any suggestions?
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Old 08-19-08, 05:01 PM   #2
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Niobium 30 rims
Formula rear track hub (preferably 28 hole, but that might to find; 32 hole is common)
Speedcific (made by Formula) front road hub (24 hole) w/ bolt on skewer
Sapim cxray spokes
brass nips in rear, alloy nips in front
radially laced front, 2x rear
1550grams
~$340 for parts...probably a little more for the build. Call Mike Garcia at www.oddsandendos.com. (Don't bother with email..he doesn't answer.)

Thats what I have...super stiff, light, semi-aero and great on the track and fast road riding. I doubt you could put together a better wheelset for less $. I built mine myself. I don't know what he charges for building, but he's pretty good about giving you a good deal.

Good luck!

Hint: You could shave off another $50 using a double butted spoke rather than oval CX Rays.

Last edited by mihlbach; 08-19-08 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 08-19-08, 06:55 PM   #3
andre nickatina
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Hmm... 28/24 is a little slim for a handbuilt track wheelset IMO. Stiffness is more important than weight on the track and the added aerodynamics of less spokes are kind of negligable in this case.

I'd say get tubulars or atleast a tubular front if you plan on skidding them in the city.
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Old 08-19-08, 07:36 PM   #4
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I swear by my Alex R-450's laced to Formula TH50/51 hubs via DT swiss spokes, hand built by Ben's Cycle for $99. I think the price has gone up slightly, but I'm 240lbs & pop on & off curbs & battle NYC potholes with every ride & they are holding up perfectly. Easily the best $100 I ever spent on a bike.

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Old 08-19-08, 07:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by andre nickatina View Post
Hmm... 28/24 is a little slim for a handbuilt track wheelset IMO. Stiffness is more important than weight on the track and the added aerodynamics of less spokes are kind of negligable in this case.
I disagree. Look at higher end stock track wheelsets...they have fewer spokes than 28/24. The benefits of lower spoke counts may be minor, but lighter and more aero is still better than heavier and less aero. If you know how to build wheels correctly, a 24/28 spoke combo, with wisely chosen components, is a very good performance/strength/durability compromise.

Spoke count isn't the only thing that plays into wheel stiffness. Hub flange spacing, flange diameter, lacing pattern, and spoke tension are all relevant factors. FWIW, my 28 spoke Niobium, CXRray, Formula wheel is the stiffest wheel I own...much stiffer than 32 and 36 spoke fg wheelsets that I have built with lower profile rims and different types of spokes and hubs.

My suggestion matches the OP's request for a lightweight road/track wheelset. It would work best for someone wanting a reasonable high performance wheelset suitable for road and track at a reasonable cost and will be able to handle moderate levels of abuse. On the other hand, if extreme durability is more of a a priority (i.e. for tricks, frequent curb jumping, or offroading), definately go with more spokes and heavier components.

Last edited by mihlbach; 08-19-08 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bigbris1 View Post
I swear by my Alex R-450's laced to Formula TH50/51 hubs via DT swiss spokes, hand built by Ben's Cycle for $99. I think the price has gone up slightly, but I'm 240lbs & pop on & off curbs & battle NYC potholes with every ride & they are holding up perfectly. Easily the best $100 I ever spent on a bike.
Not exactly what I would choose, but that is an insanely great price, even considering the $20 shipping to NY.

http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...oducts_id=5622
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Old 08-20-08, 06:13 AM   #7
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Mavic CXP-22s laced to Formula hubs, 32H: http://wheelandsprocket.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=7103
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Old 08-20-08, 07:06 AM   #8
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Not exactly what I would choose, but that is an insanely great price, even considering the $20 shipping to NY.

http://www.benscycle.net/index.php?m...oducts_id=5622
Those you linked are 28H & mine are 32H. Since they hand build them, they often have different varieties, including one set with "high flange" hubs I saw for $79. Another plus is the stickers come off easily & cleanly.

Here's a tip: don't go thru their site, go to their Vendio site, it's often the same stuff they sell on ebay without the listing premium.
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Old 08-20-08, 10:04 AM   #9
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I've yet to hear anything good about those bens wheels and plenty bad from people I trust(ie not bigbris).

For cheap it's pretty hard to beat the formula/cxp22s or formula/reflexes. I would probably go with the later and just throw your commuter wheels on when you want to ride around town. If you want something a little nicer for racing the mavics, cane creeks, or american classics seem like reasonable options depending on whether or not you want a flip flop. IRD cadence(same as the rim garcia sells) with some nashbar hubs also seems reasonable. I don't know if I would go as low on the spoke count as milbach suggests. It's likely if you keep racing for a few years you'll want something faster and these will become training wheels. On the other hand kissena is flat.
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Old 08-25-08, 10:58 AM   #10
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Thanks for the help guys, I think I'll go with the formula/cxp22s. I'd be too fraid to go bombing down some of those streets in Brooklyn or (god help me) Queens with nothing between me and the ground but a 99$ wheel.
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