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  1. #1
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    What to do , What to do.... (fixed wheel question)

    I am in need of a new fixed rear wheel / wheel set.
    I have lots of options.

    I can...

    Buy a handbuilt rear wheel @ my LBS for $140. (surly flip flop, MA3 rim, DT Spokes/ nips)
    or...

    Buy the iro rear wheel ($100+shipping) or wheel set for $175 + shipping (iro hubs, velocity aero rims, 14G stainless steel spokes) I think the wheels are handbuilt...
    or...

    buy one of Ben's Bikes wheel sets on ebay, various prices/ builds. (suzue basic / Alex DH-22, $135 +$20ship), (ben's hubs (iro hubs), velocity razor rims.$165+$20ship), (bens hubs / alex DV15, $150+$20ship)

    or..

    Buy a cheap machine built wheel, i.e sovos/quando/suzue basic wheel for around $60-70 locally, or on the ebay..

    argghhh!!! all these choices make my head hurt.
    people, please give me advice.......

  2. #2
    Skidmaster teadoggg's Avatar
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    i'd go for the LBS. you'll pay a tad more, but if something goes wrong, hopefully they'll take care of it for you. i used to work a LBS, and we'd service any wheels we sold. also, the surley is probably a better hub.

    IRO or Ben's also sound like good ideas, but you'd have the hassle of mail order & pay for it to have it re-tensioned or trued.

  3. #3
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    Hmm that sounds good. I think my LBS offers a 6 month warranty, provided that they tune it up amund month after purchase..
    But I still can't get over the fact for the one LBS wheel, I can buy a front wheel also, if I go the bensbike route. For an iro set, its almost the same price.
    For mail order, its not a hassle for me at all. I can wait for a wheel for a few days; no big deal.

  4. #4
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    You talking about Cambridge Bicycle School? And were you, in fact, in there this morning looking at said wheelset?

    they have a year warranty if you stop by after..umm.. 3 months for a tuneup.

  5. #5
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    Yes and Yes. I got the warranty thingy wrong, as I kinda forgot what they said aboot it. But a 6mo warranty after a 3 mo tune up sounds right.

  6. #6
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Ah, cool. I was the guy in the back with the orange track bike up on the stand. Calf tattoo... Spiffy almost new Campy Record headset.

    Ok, you might not have noticed that last bit, but I was pretty happy about it.

  7. #7
    consistent inconsistency habitus's Avatar
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    right, so if you need both wheels, then go for the iro/velocity combo. many people here have been praising iro (for wheels, frames, etc.) the last several months.
    every scar has a story

  8. #8
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, here's my take:

    1. The folks at Broadway are real nice and deserve business as much as anyone can. I throw mine their way whenever possible because I would sure hate to lose as valuable a resource as them.

    2. Any idea what shipping will be? If you throw in $25 (high, low? Beats the crap out of me) for shipping, it's not really going to be much of a win for the IRO set.

    3. I probably wouldn't buy the Surly wheel. It's not that I think they're bad, it's just that when you compare a cheap wheel with an expensive wheel, you have to look at a REALLY cheap wheel (say Sovos or Suzue jr. on cheapo rim) with a really nice wheel to really start to see any appreciable difference. Compare prices on the hubs and rims and realize that the difference between a cheap hub and cheap rim versus more quality components are the only place you'll be saving money. Instead of the Surly wheel, you could upgrade to a Suzue Pro Max on Mavic Open Pro for another $30 (which I realize is the price of the full IRO wheelset) and have a deluxe wheel with a 1-year full warranty. Out of true: they'll fix it. Broke spoke: they'll fix it. Stripped threads: they'll fix it. That's what they tell me, anyhow. I haven't had to so much as tighten a spoke since I got mine about 6 months ago. It's quality construction.

    If you don't have the scratch for the full wheelset, you can probably find a used front at Broadaway for next to nothing ($10 for a serviceable wheel last time I got one there). Save up and buy a nice front to match your nice back when you have the money.

  9. #9
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    I don't think that I saw'd you there. I came in a little later I think, when the shop was almost empty, around 4:00pm.
    I have seen pics of you bikes on this site and on the Fixed gear gallery, and they're nice.
    I actually saw your rain ride@ the sci museum yesterday. I was over there, and I happened to see it locked up out front.
    A new campy record headset, nice! Don't you think it will get destroyed this winter?

  10. #10
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Ah, yup. I was there "early" this morning. Had to have some work done...well actually, as it turned out, I was dumb and didn't need to after all...but anyhow, wanted to get in before they were busy.

    I thought about waiting until spring to install the headset, but since I really only ride that bike when it's not bad out (or on days like today when it's marginal but I would rather have the fun bike) I figured I'd probably be straight. I guess we'll see. It was only $30, my Tange was just absolutely trashed beyond salvage, and if it turns out that I nuke it this winter I can just get a Ritchey or something else for about the same money, maybe a 105 cartridge and not worry at all about it. A part isn't any good if I can't use it, especially something that's as much a pain to install as a headset.

  11. #11
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    The current wheel that I use is an old sunshine freewheel hub laced up to an old araya rim. The whee; clicks, the bearings suck, as they've probably never been rebuilt in the wheel's 20+ year life. Any wheel will be an upgrade. I think that I'd definitley feel the difference in the two wheels. Bearing smoothness for one. The other things are a little harder to notice. Will I really notice the differnce in a MA3 rim versus an Open Pro rim?
    I want this wheel to be bomb proof, so I think the MA3 rim is a good choice. I've only heard good things about surly hubs.
    Also the bike its going on is somewhat of a beater; not anything nice, so I don't think that an $180 wheel will seem right on the bike; it might seem out of place. I only have about $70 into the bike so far. I realize that a new rear wheel is a major addition to the bike, and I shouldn't skimp on it, but I think that the $180 wheel is a little much.
    Any new wheel that I buy will be the nicest wheel I own(!!), so anything is an improvement!!

  12. #12
    consistent inconsistency habitus's Avatar
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    cool. just more anecdotal "evidence": i have a rear surly hub and it's worked out fine for me for the 9 months i've been skidding with it. bearings are still smooth and the cog and lockring have never moved when i haven't wanted them too.

    Quote Originally Posted by BostonFixed
    The current wheel that I use is an old sunshine freewheel hub laced up to an old araya rim. The whee; clicks, the bearings suck, as they've probably never been rebuilt in the wheel's 20+ year life. Any wheel will be an upgrade. I think that I'd definitley feel the difference in the two wheels. Bearing smoothness for one. The other things are a little harder to notice. Will I really notice the differnce in a MA3 rim versus an Open Pro rim?
    I want this wheel to be bomb proof, so I think the MA3 rim is a good choice. I've only heard good things about surly hubs.
    Also the bike its going on is somewhat of a beater; not anything nice, so I don't think that an $180 wheel will seem right on the bike; it might seem out of place. I only have about $70 into the bike so far. I realize that a new rear wheel is a major addition to the bike, and I shouldn't skimp on it, but I think that the $180 wheel is a little much.
    Any new wheel that I buy will be the nicest wheel I own(!!), so anything is an improvement!!
    every scar has a story

  13. #13
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    No doubt, the Surly is a fine hub, not saying otherwise. I guess when it comes to rims, I love my Open Pro. The MA3 isn't a bad rim, but to me the rim is the place to really splurge. Open Pros are light but stiff and strong. Maybe I was burned because my previous rear had a cheapo single walled rim and broke so many spokes that I almost reinvested my retirement in DT. When I decided to buy a new wheel, I was stoked at getting a nice strong higher-end rim.

    But anyhow, I still think you'd be happy with the Surly + MA3, I'm just saying that I don't know that, for me personally, I wouldn't suck it up, drop the extra $30 and get a really nice cartridge bearing hub with a super duper rim. Eat Ramen for a week or two and pay off the damage. But that's just me.

    edit: I see that the Surly's are cartridge... So whatever. You probably wouldn't notice. I probably wouldn't notice either.
    Last edited by bostontrevor; 12-11-04 at 08:27 PM.

  14. #14
    Total Hack labratmatt's Avatar
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    If I were you, I'd go with the LBS wheel if you can't true your own wheels. If you are just a little bit handy with a spoke wrench (it isn't hard at all), I'd suggest you get the ben's hubs and Vel rims. I've never used Vel rims, but I hear good things. Also, the ben's hubs and IRO are supposed to be the same thing. I use the IRO hubs and think they're great. I can't imagine the Surly's being much better.

  15. #15
    Total Hack labratmatt's Avatar
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    Thinking it over a little more - get the ben's hubs w/Vel rims and go to your LBS to buy your spoke wrench then check out the Park Tools FAQ on their website to learn how to true your wheels.

  16. #16
    Skidmaster teadoggg's Avatar
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    yeah, labrat's idea is good. learn how to true your own wheels. it's easy, it's mindless (i do mine while watching Family Guy).

    Oh, and I did some research last night (i'm looking for hubs, too) and IRO, Bensbike's are the same hubs, Formula makes them.

    Quote Originally Posted by labratmatt
    Thinking it over a little more - get the ben's hubs w/Vel rims and go to your LBS to buy your spoke wrench then check out the Park Tools FAQ on their website to learn how to true your wheels.

  17. #17
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bostontrevor
    3. I probably wouldn't buy the Surly wheel. It's not that I think they're bad, it's just that when you compare a cheap wheel with an expensive wheel, you have to look at a REALLY cheap wheel (say Sovos or Suzue jr. on cheapo rim) with a really nice wheel to really start to see any appreciable difference.
    Not even a comparison on Surly vs. Sovos. Surly will give you a solid, dependable, working man's (or woman's ) hub for a decent price. The Sovos, well, you will just be counting the days until you trash it and the bearings will feel like crap early on. I've got two Surly hubs with tons of mileage on both and they are solid performers. I had a Sovos. Stripped the threads, rolled like crap.
    Single Speed Outlaw
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  18. #18
    idée fixée iamjberube's Avatar
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    i just got a set of open pros for about half price new on ebay, and have a set of iro hubs. i opted for that route after having a set of those ben's bike wheels. i got tired of repacking my bearings and truing my wheels every week and a half or so.

  19. #19
    Senior Member formulaben's Avatar
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    I've got the Velocity Deep V rims with 14 GA spokes and they are bulletproof. Can't recommend a specific hub, since I'm using the White Industries ENO eccentric hub on the rear of my fixie.

  20. #20
    sometimes it hurts...
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    Here's another vote for the vel rims. I have the aero's on one of my bikes and I love them. I hear your beef with the pos sunshine hubs and single walled rims. I had the same wheels on mine until I couldn't take it anymore.

  21. #21
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    hello,

    in keeping with this thread...i build my own wheels, but i don't know whether i should go for 14g or 15g for fixed gear. double butted? i only weigh 120#, but my bicycle history is in bmx, so i may be somewhat rough on components. thoughts? suggestions? thanks.

    i'm going iro hubs for the no hassle sealed cartridge bearings. i sure wish bullseye made a real track hub. i currently race bmx on my bullseyes i bought new in 1980.

  22. #22
    BFSSFG old timer riderx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgringo69
    in keeping with this thread...i build my own wheels, but i don't know whether i should go for 14g or 15g for fixed gear. double butted? i only weigh 120#, but my bicycle history is in bmx, so i may be somewhat rough on components. thoughts? suggestions? thanks.
    I always use 14/15 double butted laced up 3x with 32 or 36 holes. My background from way back is originally BMX/Freestyle and I like to play rough on my bikes, take all of that for whatever it may be worth.
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