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  1. #1
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    Shimano WH-S501 wheel set vs Mavic A319 + Alfine

    Hi!

    I want to refresh my old touring with new wheel set and alfine hubs.

    For exactly the same amount I can order Shimano WH-S501 wheel set or wheels made of A319, alfine hubs and DT champion spokes.

    I didn't find a lot of information about Shimano wheels. They are lighter, but rear wheel has 32 spokes vs 36 on A319. I'm not light guy, so I decided to go for 36 spokes, which means A319.
    But yesterday occasionally I've seen Shimano wheels in real life. They looks quite impressive.

    Does someone have information about their durability etc?

  2. #2
    imi
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    Welcome to the forums...

    I would definitely recommend going with 36 spokes for the rear wheel, especially if you're not a light guy and are going to be fully loaded.
    Correct build, and tensioning, are paramount for the reliability of wheels.

    A319s are fine. As are DT swiss champ spokes. I'm sorry, I don't have any experience of Shimano wheels or Alfine hubs
    Last edited by imi; 06-27-10 at 02:40 AM.

  3. #3
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    I researched alfine when I wanted to build my internal gear wheel, and there are a lot of people saying the bearings wore out really quickly or that something cracked...
    This wouldn't really be a problem if it weren't for Shimano refusing to cooperate and provide replacement parts (you have to send it in and have it fixed for a huge amount of money). Sturmey archer is much better in this regard, you can find replacement parts for any component in the hub.

  4. #4
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    I don't think I will have problem with servicing this hub in local workshops. Although price is a bit unclear till you really come with the problem.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by imi View Post
    Welcome to the forums...

    I would definitely recommend going with 36 spokes for the rear wheel, especially if you're not a light guy and are going to be fully loaded.
    Correct build, and tensioning, are paramount for the reliability of wheels.

    A319s are fine. As are DT swiss champ spokes. I'm sorry, I don't have any experience of Shimano wheels or Alfine hubs
    Actually, I also thought that 36 spokes is a way to go. But after I saw shimano wheels I got impression of really good build quality, which confused me a bit, as assembling can be more important than formal number of spokes. And I no idea how good will be build quality of custom wheels with A319. Have kind of tendency to trust shimano. From other side, it is clear that they don't produce rims and they didn't really build their wheels.

  6. #6
    Senior Member diesel_dad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antst View Post
    Hi!

    I want to refresh my old touring with new wheel set and alfine hubs.

    For exactly the same amount I can order Shimano WH-S501 wheel set or wheels made of A319, alfine hubs and DT champion spokes.

    I didn't find a lot of information about Shimano wheels. They are lighter, but rear wheel has 32 spokes vs 36 on A319. I'm not light guy, so I decided to go for 36 spokes, which means A319.
    But yesterday occasionally I've seen Shimano wheels in real life. They looks quite impressive.

    Does someone have information about their durability etc?
    All I can say is -- ride a bike with an Alfine before making any changes. It is really heavy and the range is limited. Not a bad product but not something I would not like to ride for thousands of anything.

    I have a Surly LHT with a typical derailleur setup and a Steelwool Tweed with an Alfine. If I have a long distance to go -- I would take the LHT with the derailleur any day of the week.

  7. #7
    Eater of Food WillJL's Avatar
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    First of all, I think that 36 spokes should be a no-brainer in this situation, particularly if you are a large guy. Some people will tell you that 32 spokes is enough...particularly on a internally geared rear hub with no dish (so all the spokes are the same length, and the wheel build is theoretically stronger than a dished cassette hub), however, 4 more spokes are not going to weigh any significant amount more, but the strength of the wheel will be significantly higher.

    Secondly, the A319 is an excellent rim; far, far better than the Shimano. I'm not sure what "gave you the impression of really good build quality" when you saw the Shimano wheel, but seeing a wheel and thinking "ooh, that looks nice" does not mean that it is strong or soundly built. I build wheels, and I mainly use Mavic or Velocity rims. I've built two sets of wheels with A319 and I can assure you they are the best bet for your money.
    Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia. ~ H.G. Wells

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by diesel_dad View Post
    All I can say is -- ride a bike with an Alfine before making any changes. It is really heavy and the range is limited. Not a bad product but not something I would not like to ride for thousands of anything.

    I have a Surly LHT with a typical derailleur setup and a Steelwool Tweed with an Alfine. If I have a long distance to go -- I would take the LHT with the derailleur any day of the week.
    Actually, at first I have commuter with nexus-8 habs, and I have no problem to cycle up to 100km per day on it.

    And I already converted my old touring into alfine setup, day ago.

    If you really check weight of everything you can remove from bike with this conversion (old wheels with hubs/sprockets, both derailleurs, both shifters/cables, old crank-set, and few brackets, and screws, which usually forgotten when people compare weight, plus bottle-dynamo in my case) with weight of new complete package (new wheels with alfine hubs, new crank-set, cable, shifter, all screws etc) difference isn't really huge. About half kilo (and would be even less if I would go for Shimano wheels).

    I can't say that now this new-old touring better than it used to be during it's glory days (which was really some time ago), but it is definitely good bike and I like it. I did 80 kilometers to test it, and I definitely enjoyed riding this bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillJL View Post
    First of all, I think that 36 spokes should be a no-brainer in this situation, particularly if you are a large guy. Some people will tell you that 32 spokes is enough...particularly on a internally geared rear hub with no dish (so all the spokes are the same length, and the wheel build is theoretically stronger than a dished cassette hub), however, 4 more spokes are not going to weigh any significant amount more, but the strength of the wheel will be significantly higher.

    Secondly, the A319 is an excellent rim; far, far better than the Shimano. I'm not sure what "gave you the impression of really good build quality" when you saw the Shimano wheel, but seeing a wheel and thinking "ooh, that looks nice" does not mean that it is strong or soundly built. I build wheels, and I mainly use Mavic or Velocity rims. I've built two sets of wheels with A319 and I can assure you they are the best bet for your money.
    I agree that you can only guess about quality of wheel, before you ride it for some time. And, yes, I finally opted for 36 spokes, as I realized that with 32 spokes I would be never sure about the road in front of me.

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