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  1. #1
    Senior Member Dolamite02's Avatar
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    Wheels to avoid, or not

    So word on the street (per the Ask Carleton Thread) is that one should be able to get a reasonable set of wheels for up to $700, and after that you start moving into diminishing returns. I'm currently running a set a Alex rims that came stock with my 2010 Pista. With a wedding, honeymoon, and other similar expenses coming up within the next 12 months, I don't have the coin to drop on a new set of wheels.

    I'm curious about entry level wheelsets, and curious about what I already have, as I've not been able to find any real reviews about my existing set.

    I know this isn't the place for personal shopping, but I am curious about what brands to avoid. The major brands, Mavic, Zipp, Easton, etc, I certainly know about, and I'm familiar to a lesser extent, with 2Qick and a couple others. I see wheels like Velocity Deep V's, and I can only think that they're crap, but I could be completely wrong. Am I?
    I'm the guy that wins the group ride. That's dumb. It's time to win the race.

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    Perkins seems to like his Deep V's + Dura Ace hubs


  3. #3
    Senior Member Kayce's Avatar
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    Velocity deep vs are a very nice basic wheel, as long as they are put on good hubs. The velocity a23s are also real nice.
    If You Meet The Buddha On The Road, Kill Him

  4. #4
    Senior Member Quinn8it's Avatar
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    The Velocity Pro Elite (tubular version of the Deep-V) is my all time favorite training wheel.. get a set of those laced to Dura Ace High Flange hubs and you wont ever need another set of training wheels- and when you flat your race wheels they wont feel horrible to race..

    I have a set of China-88mm rims laced to low flange DA hubs- and these are really awesome wheels.. at around $200 for the hubs and $300 for the rims- get them laced up by a pro at your LBS- you are in with a fast bomb-proof wheel set for under $700...

    I got my 88's a few years back before it was easy to get custom drilling- so i couldnt get 28h.. i have 32h and they are laced up with heavy straight gauge spokes. not a light wheel the way i have them built, but really solid under my fat ass! and fast.. they are my fast training wheels/ Omnium wheels/ back-up race wheels..

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    Velocity Deep Vs laced to Dura Ace can be had for $379 over at Velomine.

    I'm making a journey down the new race wheelset route. I have my DA hubs and am waiting for the 88mm carbon tubular rims to turn up. All up I should have a nice set of high profile carbon tubs with DA hubs for around $A800 built!

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    I'm building a set next month with mack hubs + firecrest china crabon rims + cx-rays, light and kinda cheap

  7. #7
    Senior Member Number400's Avatar
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    I am enjoying a $500 set of Paul Curran Planet X 60mm clinchers. Not the lightest but roll just as well as the more expensive wheels around me. I did have to have them tensioned once after the first few rides but they have been perfect since.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TrackMonkey7's Avatar
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    I hope no one minds if I hijack this thread a bit.

    Recently I swapped parts from my Fuji to build up a commuter and as a result, the Fuji now lacks a set of training wheels. I've been wanting to get these for about a month now: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Weinmann...31064054901%26
    They are largely similar to the wheelset I had raced with before that is now on my commuter. Is there any reason I should avoid these as a set of cheap training wheels? I can get Ellipses fairly cheap, but not nearly as cheap as these.

  9. #9
    Elitist carleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrackMonkey7 View Post
    I hope no one minds if I hijack this thread a bit.

    Recently I swapped parts from my Fuji to build up a commuter and as a result, the Fuji now lacks a set of training wheels. I've been wanting to get these for about a month now: http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Weinmann...31064054901%26
    They are largely similar to the wheelset I had raced with before that is now on my commuter. Is there any reason I should avoid these as a set of cheap training wheels? I can get Ellipses fairly cheap, but not nearly as cheap as these.
    Those are fine. They come stock on a lot of off the shelf track and fixed gear bikes.

    People have reported good experiences from VeloMine (the ebay seller). I've recommended that people go there.

    http://www.velomine.com/

    Maybe contact them and tell them what your needs are and they will put you on a great set of wheels at a great price. That's better than figuring it out on your own.

    Basically, tell them:

    - How you intend to use the wheels (track training/racing)
    - Your weight
    - Your riding style (sprinter/enduro)
    - Your level of strength (scrawny legs or tree trunk legs)

  10. #10
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    Campagnolo Pista wheelset can be had for around the $700 range with some smart shopping

    If I was on the cheap, I'd scour Ebay for high flange Suzue Disco hubs and lace to a pair of NOS GL330 Mavic rims for general purpose riding --- If you weight 200 lbs or above, skip the GL330's and look for a pair of CXP-30's instead

  11. #11
    Senior Member wens's Avatar
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    Why GL330's? I'd do something deeper and more modern that can be found easily cheaper, like a 25 or 30 mm kinlin.
    Do you think we're gonna make it? / I don't know unless we try \ you could sit here scared to move / or we could take them by surprise

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    Quote Originally Posted by wens View Post
    Why GL330's? I'd do something deeper and more modern that can be found easily cheaper, like a 25 or 30 mm kinlin.
    Kinlin makes one tubular rim that I could find, -- a 25mm at 440 grams ---- 25mm wont offer any appreciable aero gains, and personally,, I'd rather save 110 grams per side for a general purpose enduro or omnium wheelset --- couple that with a Sprinter 250, and your saving serious tonnage over a stock clincher setup

    The GL 300's and 330's aren't that hard to find (but the GL280 is) -- but Mavic has the UBP which is a stock, modern rim with a welded seam at 360 grams

    I found a set of CXP-30's NOS for $150 today just in a quick check -- those are burly and I'd skip 'em unless , like I said, you weighed over 200 or were hard on equipment, (I am both) but I have had a front built with these for 13 years -- its used as a road front too , so I have subjected it to more than just a smooth track

    Mavic and Campy make good component hoops -- the rest I cant honestly speak for , but if Shane PErkins' equipment manager is fine with Velocity rims for training, I'd likely be fine with 'em too

  13. #13
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    You doing most of your racing at Alkek? Any focus on events?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Dolamite02's Avatar
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    That's right. As you know, the surface is pretty rough, but I know I'm fortunate to have it here. I'm mostly going to be doing the mass start, Friday night Omniums. There should be a Madison or two this season as well. I'll probably avoid the the Sprint just because of the time commitment. Last time, I was at the track for 9+ hours and raced for something like 2 minutes and a few seconds.
    I'm the guy that wins the group ride. That's dumb. It's time to win the race.

  15. #15
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    I'm not a big fan of clinchers for the track, heard too many BANG and crash noises especially if you move to a steep track like Frisco.

    Some pretty good carbon prices coming out of China right now. Pretty standard rim/hub stuff you find under a lot of different labels. Due diligence and all that. For a "one size fits all" you may want to stay at the 50mm level or below for the front unless you're dropping coin on one of the proprietary rims that are designed with crosswinds in mind. Both Frisco and Alkek can get windy, and the jump at Alkek adds to the excitement. I always ran a disc rear at both tracks regardless of conditions and changed the front out as needed.

    Aluminum tubulars in Texas...iffy. I've picked up aluminum tubular wheels that had been sitting in the sun and had them actually burn my hands in the summer at Frisco. Had other sets of clinchers blow out from heat in the car or in the wheel pit. Tubes don't like hot rims (another reason to go tubular down there).

    The impact of weight in track wheels is almost not worth thinking about. BTR did an analysis of this a while back and the results were miniscule in a crit. Aerodynamics are huge though. Pretty much why everyone at worlds is on relatively heavy disc wheels and 5 spokes in the mass start stuff.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 01-03-14 at 01:29 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Velocirapture's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    The impact of weight in track wheels is almost not worth thinking about. BTR did an analysis of this a while back and the results were miniscule in a crit. Aerodynamics are huge though. Pretty much why everyone at worlds is on relatively heavy disc wheels and 5 spokes in the mass start stuff.
    I'm very interested by this observation. Agreed that most guys are on five spoke and discs - but many comments on this forum seem to indicate less of a priority on aero goodies (helmets, bars etc), for mass starts. My coach is also a supporter of this idea, and his preference is deep sections for mass starts, being aero without too much weight. Lighter wheels being quicker to accelerate and decelerate, so less fatiguing where there are lots of movements as happens in bunch racing.

    I'd be interested in your experiences, since they seems different?

  17. #17
    aka mattio queerpunk's Avatar
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    Racer Ex was saying that aero is important, and so does your coach. The reason that people on this forum say that aero helmets and bars should be a low priority is because there is a low ratio of aerodynamic advantage to cost for these parts.

    An aero mass start helmet is what, three hundred bucks? And the aerodynamic benefit of one is a tiny fraction of a set of wheels that costs only twice that.

    That stuff is marginal gains. You go for the big gains first.

    A while back somebody published a spreadsheet of cost:benefit of different aerodynamic gear - oriented toward TT positions, so, note that there'll be differences between that and mass-start aerodynamics. An interesting perspective... you'd have to make some new calculations to reflect current prices of certain items, but the point remains that there is a bang-for-your-buck thing going on with aerodynamic benefits.

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  18. #18
    Senior Member Velocirapture's Avatar
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    ^ thanks

  19. #19
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    The chart is sort of a "Dick and Jane" primer, don't take it as gospel. Aerodynamics isn't a set piece, it's really interactive and interdependent. Depending on the person I could put you in a skin suit/helmet/whatever that would be slower than your regular kit. How you're built, your position, all play into whether a helmet or suit will work for you.

    Bike hardware tends to be less contingent on the individual, but the word "tends" is certainly a qualifier.

    I've been through 4 different test facilities and including field and track testing have a hundred plus hours doing this kind of thing. I've been fortunate enough to have worked with some of the big brains on aero stuff and the mantra is mostly "test it".

    What is pretty much absolutely correct is that for track the bang for the buck is all on the aero side.

    400g on a wheel over the course of a mass start race might cost you a watt on your average power over 60 minutes. The difference in aerodynamics of your wheel might cost you 20 or more, both depending on how you ride the race. And considering most races are won in a high speed sprint, a bad wheel choice might cost you the race; drag goes up exponentially as you go faster.

    The quick practical example is to have someone put two wheels in a stand, one heavy, one light. Spin them by hand blindfolded with the same force and you'd be hard pressed to tell the heavy wheel from the light wheel, and the force would get both wheels to close to the same RPM.

    Now take those wheels and stick them out a car window at 35 MPH. After a few tries you'll quit watching them fly out of your hands and quickly tell which wheel has less drag

    Talking about the disc vs. other wheels in another thread, you also have rotational drag created from spokes as they go through the air. A lot of long, thick spokes are going to take more power to spin at (pick your RPM) than a few short, thin spokes, again, going up exponentially as the speed increases. This is part of the reason those old box 32's are slow.

    A disc has virtually no rotational aero drag. The five spoke has very low rotational drag because at some point the wheel reaches an RPM where the spokes are essentially drafting each other in cleanish air.

    The openings in the 5 spoke allow it to be turned a bit easier than a disc, where you're moving a solid wall against the air flow vs. a perforated one. If you've ridden a disc front you'll be nodding your head.

    All 50mm wheels are not alike. Spoke count, rim shape, and tire can all move the number. A really well designed 60mm might stomp all over an 88mm of a different design. Throw a little bit of wind at an angle and a rock star wheel can become a slug. So you either test or find someone who has. Be sure to look at the protocol...testing one wheel with X tire and another with Y might hide reality.

    One of the really nice things about using Jim's facility at VSC is you get an actual bike ridden so you get a sum of all the parts compared to a wind tunnel. And it's neat watching numbers change sometimes as people go from cruise mode to race pace. And because it's a sum of the parts number, it will sometimes tell you the wind tunnel was wrong.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 01-03-14 at 10:47 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    I'm not a big fan of clinchers for the track, heard too many BANG and crash noises especially if you move to a steep track like Frisco.

    Some pretty good carbon prices coming out of China right now. Pretty standard rim/hub stuff you find under a lot of different labels. Due diligence and all that. For a "one size fits all" you may want to stay at the 50mm level or below for the front unless you're dropping coin on one of the proprietary rims that are designed with crosswinds in mind. Both Frisco and Alkek can get windy, and the jump at Alkek adds to the excitement. I always ran a disc rear at both tracks regardless of conditions and changed the front out as needed.

    Aluminum tubulars in Texas...iffy. I've picked up aluminum tubular wheels that had been sitting in the sun and had them actually burn my hands in the summer at Frisco. Had other sets of clinchers blow out from heat in the car or in the wheel pit. Tubes don't like hot rims (another reason to go tubular down there).

    The impact of weight in track wheels is almost not worth thinking about. BTR did an analysis of this a while back and the results were miniscule in a crit. Aerodynamics are huge though. Pretty much why everyone at worlds is on relatively heavy disc wheels and 5 spokes in the mass start stuff.


    I'm not a fan of clinchers for much either outside of training on the road bike

    but alloy tubies being "iffy" in TX? -- come on --- both those tracks have been around for a while and thousands of laps have been put down on alloy rims

    I flat spotted an old Sugino 75 honeycomb disc at Houston, the surface was so rough

    If the budget is $700 or under, your talking about general purpose training wheels and not race wheels ------ and the fact that Houston is one of the locations even further reinforces that a decent box section 32hole with 3 cross lacing would be a solid all around wheel choice ,

    As a racer, you need a couple sets of wheels in your quiver -- I wouldn't run a disc at Alkek unless it was race day ---- If the workout was to go do 100 laps at Zone 2, the trick stuff is staying home and i'll be using an all purpose wheel like I described (I use an old 30mm alloy set - but that's due to my size )

    Race day, yes -- I almost always use a disc on the back and a Tri spoke in the front , or my Corima 4 blade wheelset ------- but the general purpose wheelset is just as important as those wheels

  21. #21
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMC707 View Post

    but alloy tubies being "iffy" in TX? -- come on --- both those tracks have been around for a while and thousands of laps have been put down on alloy rims
    Iffy compared to the alternative, based on what I've seen and experienced with aluminum in that heat. By "iffy" I'm talking low percentage of risk of course, but I'd just rather not being the one guy pulling splinters out of my butt cheeks.

    Cost these days puts carbon at a better price point when you roll all numbers in a ball for a do everything wheel. If you got one tubular wheel set, go with the best in your price range and pick a tire that will survive training and racing. I think that's what he's really going for here so we're probably talking two different paths.

    FWIW I train a bunch on some Mavic Reflex 32h box wheels (the tubular Open Pro). They are bomb proof (I guess...been using them mostly at VSC). And slowwwwwwwwwwwwww.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 01-03-14 at 11:30 AM.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Impreza_aL's Avatar
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    one day, i would love to ride strictly tubular.


  23. #23
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impreza_aL View Post
    one day, i would love to ride strictly tubular.
    I did it for a couple of years a decade or more ago when I started road riding (my progression went BMX>Motorcycles>Pro motorcycles>retired racer>FAT>MTB (less fat)>Road/MTB(skinny)>Road/MTB/Track racer(less skinny)).

    Ambrosio Crono rims laced up to some AC hubs, Sapim spokes (back when I thought I was a weight weenie climber) with Tufo S3 Lites and sealant. Used their tape. Most of the time I didn't carry a spare tire, just more sealant and a small hand pump. I only ended up riding a flat back home once.

    There's a great bit in "Need for the Bike" about running out of tubulars. Fun book overall.
    Last edited by Racer Ex; 01-03-14 at 11:44 AM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Impreza_aL View Post
    one day, i would love to ride strictly tubular.
    Tubulars are great --- I am trying to source some GEAX Saguaro tubular mountain bike rims and tires for a single speed project I am working on ------- but for my everyday road bike, I like the clinchers just for convenience -- although a Sprinter 250 can stand up to more abuse than a lot of clinchers for a solid do-everything choice ---

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Iffy compared to the alternative, based on what I've seen and experienced with aluminum in that heat. By "iffy" I'm talking low percentage of risk of course, but I'd just rather not being the one guy pulling splinters out of my butt cheeks.

    Cost these days puts carbon at a better price point when you roll all numbers in a ball for a do everything wheel. If you got one tubular wheel set, go with the best in your price range and pick a tire that will survive training and racing. I think that's what he's really going for here so we're probably talking two different paths.

    FWIW I train a bunch on some Mavic Reflex 32h box wheels (the tubular Open Pro). They are bomb proof (I guess...been using them mostly at VSC). And slowwwwwwwwwwwwww.

    I think I am probably interjecting my personal experiences in the mix , --- but will admit I'm opinionated and somewhat "old school" in thinking ------ OP, feel free to chime in if your still checking the thread, but I have one of those Bianchi Pistas - I use it for winter training on the road -- the stock wheels roll, and the tires hold air, but that's about it , and they are fine for what I use the bike for ---

    that said, I may have assumed that the OP was looking for an entry level set of decent wheels and would likely score a set of "raceday wheels" a little later if it was thought it would be beneficial

    Me, I would go a 32 hole (or 28 ) wheelset first with a good hub and possibly up to a 30mm rim, - I already mentioned Sprinter 250's once , but there are others that work, -----I like your choice of the Reflex, --- but that's under my assumptions that I personally will spend 15 hours training for every hour of racing

    Plus --- in this sport, some of us are gear snobs, and we flit from one set of wheels to another and change frames frequently and other stuff that means its not that hard to get decent , year old kit from somebody upgrading or even getting out of track , for pennies on the dollar compared to buying new stuff straight out of the Zipp or Corima catalog---- If a person deals with a slower, general purpose wheel for a while while working on other skills, like pack riding, holding the line, and positioning, ---- they may pick up a very lightly used set of race wheels cheaper

    I probably wouldn't buy a set of carbon wheels from GArth Blackburn or anything without having them tested, -- but I wouldn't hesitate to buy a set from a dude like myself , -- a guy in his 40's who stretches his available riding time amongst 4 bikes, doesn't go very fast anymore, and cant even get to the track more than once every couple of months

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