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How worthless are these wheels?

Old 02-22-12, 12:33 PM
  #1  
formicaman
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How worthless are these wheels?

Insomnia and the Internet can be a bad combination. I just took delivery on this impossibly cheap wheelset:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...00_i00_details
https://www.amazon.com/Avenir-Joytech...ef=pd_sim_sg_1

It was only later that I questioned whether something single-wall 32h chinese factory wheels could possibly hold a 220 lbs rider on an old steel frame on potholed city streets. I only bought them because I have a really nice pair of 700x32 tires and the bike has 27s with enough brake reach for 700 and the rear wheel is heavy steel with a bunch of missing spokes and both tires needed replacement.

Should I just send these back and shell out double for a decent factory-built set like the CR18s I have had great experience with on several bikes, or should I chance it? I'm not doing loaded touring here, just recreational and commuting.
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Old 02-22-12, 12:42 PM
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Another question to ponder, will there be clearance for the 700x32 tires? How do those compare with the old 27s, especially at the brakes.
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Old 02-22-12, 12:45 PM
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joytech hubs are supposed to be decent. They used to make hubs for other OEMs like Velocity. Ride them til they break for sub $100 wheelset or look around Ebay for some older used stuff that might work at the same price point
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Old 02-22-12, 12:45 PM
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If they can build iPads in China, I'm sure they can come up with a decent bicycle wheel or two. Never mind that Weinmann design is a classic, I had one set for over 20 years.
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Old 02-22-12, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by RubberLegs View Post
Another question to ponder, will there be clearance for the 700x32 tires? How do those compare with the old 27s, especially at the brakes.
Not worried about fit, just about breaking spokes every ride.
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Old 02-22-12, 12:57 PM
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The factory built wheels I've seen had Weinmann rims (which aren't bad), but very chintzy chrome-plated spokes.
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Old 02-22-12, 01:03 PM
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Considering everything, they're probably worth the $85. I have 2 sets of 700c hybrid wheels with good hubs but sketchy rims, I could the value in those for the parts, 2 rims and 64 spokes for $85 that I can transplant to my good hubs? Not too bad at all....
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Old 02-22-12, 01:09 PM
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Just make sure the spokes are evenly torqued. They all work together as a unit and ARE very strong, but one or two being too loose or too tight COULD be trouble. I would say, slap it together and ride it! And check those spokes regularly, especially if roads are rough.
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Old 02-22-12, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Considering everything, they're probably worth the $85. I have 2 sets of 700c hybrid wheels with good hubs but sketchy rims, I could the value in those for the parts, 2 rims and 64 spokes for $85 that I can transplant to my good hubs? Not too bad at all....
Wheelbuilding is not a skill I expect to learn anytime soon - I'm afraid it would push out something else in my brain I need more.
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Old 02-22-12, 01:24 PM
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I've been riding a pair of those, about a year, in 590 (26A) and I weigh 225. I tensioned up the spokes a bit when I got them.
The spokes corrode fairly quickly, but haven't rusted.
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Old 02-22-12, 01:45 PM
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I had a set of OEM wheels that were built with Joytech hubs and similar rims/ spokes to what you have. The hubs were fine, but the wheels were heavy and rode like crap. I swapped out a different set to make sure it was the wheels and not the bike and then sold them the next day. In conclusion, life is too short to ride crap wheels.
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Old 02-22-12, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by formicaman View Post
Wheelbuilding is not a skill I expect to learn anytime soon - I'm afraid it would push out something else in my brain I need more.
What could you possibly need more than wheel building skills?
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Old 02-22-12, 01:55 PM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by eippo1 View Post
In conclusion, life is too short to ride crap wheels.
+1

Those wheels may be fine, but my bet is they will arrive with improperly tensioned spokes and will be unround and untrue to some degree. That's not terrible if you maintain your own wheels. But, if you don't, I suppose all you're out is another $25 or so to your LBS to get them in good shape.
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Old 02-22-12, 02:28 PM
  #14  
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Interestingly, I ordered a set of cheap wheels & cassette last Wed. through Amazon and they arrived about an hour ago.

Alex X101 36H Shimano Altus Cassette 8S QR 700C Silver/Silver Wheel Rear
Sold by: Niagara Cycle Inc
Condition: new
Quantity: 1
$33.98 each

XLC X101 Front Wheel 700c 36H Alloy QR Silver/Silver
ditto
$27.18 each

Shimano CS-HG50 Tiagra/105 Bicycle Cassette (9-Speed, 12/23T, Silver)
ditto
$28.00 each

Item Subtotal : $89.16
Shipping & Handling : $19.34
Total : $108.50

The front hub has absolutely no brand identification, but it's "grooved" surface finish "matches" the Shimano rear.
Note these are 36 spoke wheels.
I weigh between 215-240 depending on the time of the year and don't expect any problems with these, but they are intended more as a "back up set.
I do ride pretty smooth streets though, with the occasional driveway "lip".

The only concern on your wheels I'd have would be the 32 spoke rear.
IF you only do smooth surfaces, you might want to have the rear trued and TENSIONED.
They are Presta valves, so that will be a new experience.

These do have a Free Hub rear instead of Freewheel, which is an advantage.
https://sheldonbrown.com/free-k7.html

Last edited by Bill Kapaun; 02-22-12 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 02-22-12, 03:21 PM
  #15  
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formicaman, I had a set of similar wheels when I was at your weight and no problems once I retensioned, which a LBS can do. As you already have them, ride them unless buyer's remorse is too great.

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Old 02-22-12, 03:29 PM
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I suggest you stress relieve the spokes and then true the wheels. Go to Sheldon Brown for instructions in his wheelbuilding article.

Here, I added this to make it easier:

https://sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html#seating

Building wheels is fun and not that hard. Try it some time. Sheldon's instructions are straightforward.

If the frame and brakes have clearance for 27 x 1 1/4, 700 x 32 should be fine. In fact some 35s run closer to 32.

Last edited by Mercian Rider; 02-22-12 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 02-22-12, 04:35 PM
  #17  
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+1 to what's been stated. Take them right out of the box, check and retension as needed, and adjust the cones in the hubs. Given your weight, I'd have opted for a freehub rear wheel instead. Perhaps you had freewheel constraints. Expect rear bent axles if your rides are bumpy. 32H will work but 36H would be better suited for a stronger rear wheel.

These are wide 25mm hybrid rims, the single wall should be thick and 32mm tires usually only run 85 psi.
And the spokes are listed as stainless 14GA. Good enough.

But Bill Kapaun found what I deem as the better buy.
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Old 02-23-12, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by eippo1 View Post
I swapped out a different set to make sure it was the wheels and not the bike and then sold them the next day. In conclusion, life is too short to ride crap wheels.
Well, at the very least, I can experiment and swap out the nice rims on a bike I'm selling and get a comparison - thse ones are actually really light.
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Old 02-23-12, 08:47 AM
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Thanks for your input, all. I am having the LBS do a tuneup, new cables, etc so I'll have them tune up the wheels too. The bike won't get a lot of use - I mainly bought it for long recreational rides because it is the most comfortable bike I have ever owned (I owned the same model as a fixie conversion for years), but most of my recreational riding is hitting the trails on my mountain bike.
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Old 02-24-12, 12:47 PM
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The two most important parts of a bike are the frameset, and the wheels....
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Old 02-24-12, 12:55 PM
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Whether you do it yourself or have the LBS do it, make sure the spokes on these machine built wheels are properly stress relieved before they get trued, or they may go back out of true very quickly.
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