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Which wheels for my weight?

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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

Which wheels for my weight?

Old 08-19-14, 02:26 PM
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Which wheels for my weight?

So I wasn't sure if this is the right place but I suppose it deals with weight and which wheel so here goes. I just recently bought a new groupset for my Giant Defy 3 going from Sora 9 speed to Shimano 105 5800 11 speed. My wife's bike is a 7 speed with pretty sub par components. My ultimate goal this off season is to put my old sora parts on her bike and update mine. Since I basically need to update my wheel to 11 speed and have to give her my rear wheel(her's is a freewheel and not a free hub)I might as well do a whole new wheelset while im at it.

I'm about 5'11, 220lbs but still losing weight. My goal is to get to 200 at least. Right now I'm riding Giant sr-2 - 32 spoke wheels front and back but. I'm not trying to spend a ton of money because I use cycling as a means for fitness and commuting. So I already have a rack and bag with built in panniers so weight isnt a huge issue. But if a set of nicer wheels will help me roll faster then I'm all for it. These are the few wheels I've been debating on.

Shimano 105 5800 built on Mavic Open Sports 32h

Vuelta Corsa HD 32h

Fulcrum Racing 7 with 20F/24R

The Mavic and Vuelta's I'm not too concerned with in terms of my weight but its the last one that I'm unsure of. Is that too low of a spoke count for a guy my size?

I know I may be asking a lot out of sub-$200 wheels but will any of these wheels give me a noticeable difference in what I currently have or should I just pick one and go with it?

One thing my father always said was I cant miss something I've never had so i guess it isnt a big deal if I'm getting the same performance out of the higher spoked wheels like I am with my SR-2's.

If anyone has any better suggestions I'm all ears. I'm trying to stay under $250 if possible. Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-19-14, 02:42 PM
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My two cents ... I have Fulcrum Racing 7s on my Trek. I'm 6'3, currently 265, was as high as 290, and possibly beyond earlier this year. I've had those wheels for about three years now, and I've never had an issue. I had one go out of true, but that was due to me hitting a pothole I didn't see, and if I'm not mistaken it was the front one.

I love my wheels. I don't know if they make me appreciably faster, but I feel faster, and I love the way they look.
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Old 08-19-14, 04:16 PM
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Honestly, it depends on how you ride. If you let your arms and legs absorb most of the impacts of riding, i.e. "riding light in the saddle", you don't have to worry too much about any wheel. But if you ride like the saddle is a "seat", i.e. like a sack of potatoes, the higher spoke count helps but you are still going to have wheel problems. Also don't be fooled into thinking that the low spoke count equals low weight. The Fulcrums are light wheels but they have to beef up the rim to take the stress of the lower spoke count. If money is no object, you can build a set of wheels that are as light as the Fulcrums but with more strength from a higher spoke count. I recently built a 32 hole White Industry T11/Pillar spokes/Velocity A23 wheel to replace a low spoke count wheel and lost 2 lbs in the bargain. They weren't cheap but they are superb.
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Old 08-19-14, 08:12 PM
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If it were me, I'd be looking at 23mm wide rims. Something like this Velocity A23 Black Shimano Ultegra 6800 Hubs 8 9 10 11 Speed [0072774642021] - $249.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike from Velomine could fit the requirements. They're not "nice" wheels, but more of an eveyday if that suits your needs. I replaced some A23 rims recently with Open Pro rims after the A23s cracked after 3 years of hard use under my 130 down to 120kg butt. I honestly am not that sold on them and may get rid of them and ride my "race" Kinlin XC279 wheels instead.

In reference to your list though, the Fulcrums would be fine under your weight as Ill points out. I have a mate that uses them for his everday training wheelset. He's a strong 110kg (about 240lb) and he definitely doesn't baby them.
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Old 08-20-14, 07:03 AM
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I can chime in with experience here. DO NOT build Mavic Open Pro with an 11 speed. I built a 36h OP Ultegra 6800 with 11-28 and was not pleased. You will have problems with the derailleur hitting the spokes and have to offset the dish in order to accommodate this (maybe not the case with 32h but I don't know for sure). I will not going into detail in this thread about the other problems. I will be building a velocity A23 OC 36 hole for my next set of wheels. I fully expect my OP to crack with no more than 5,000 miles due to the high spoke tension. If you are going to build a rear wheel I would recommend the A23 OC not the A23.
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Old 08-20-14, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by thrllskr
I can chime in with experience here. DO NOT build Mavic Open Pro with an 11 speed. I built a 36h OP Ultegra 6800 with 11-28 and was not pleased. You will have problems with the derailleur hitting the spokes and have to offset the dish in order to accommodate this (maybe not the case with 32h but I don't know for sure). I will not going into detail in this thread about the other problems. I will be building a velocity A23 OC 36 hole for my next set of wheels. I fully expect my OP to crack with no more than 5,000 miles due to the high spoke tension. If you are going to build a rear wheel I would recommend the A23 OC not the A23.
Can you link me to an explanation of this? I am trying to imagine a scenario where a rim could be at fault for the spokes contacting the derailleur. We routinely build 11 speed with offset and non-offset rims and have never encountered an issue.
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Old 08-20-14, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by brawlo
If it were me, I'd be looking at 23mm wide rims. Something like this Velocity A23 Black Shimano Ultegra 6800 Hubs 8 9 10 11 Speed [0072774642021] - $249.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike from Velomine could fit the requirements. They're not "nice" wheels, but more of an eveyday if that suits your needs. I replaced some A23 rims recently with Open Pro rims after the A23s cracked after 3 years of hard use under my 130 down to 120kg butt. I honestly am not that sold on them and may get rid of them and ride my "race" Kinlin XC279 wheels instead.

In reference to your list though, the Fulcrums would be fine under your weight as Ill points out. I have a mate that uses them for his everday training wheelset. He's a strong 110kg (about 240lb) and he definitely doesn't baby them.
Oh boy another wrench in the proverbial spokes haha. When you say 23mm rims do you mean the width in which the tire and tube sit in or the height from where the tire goes in to where the spoke comes? (I tried to measure with my calipers and the rim height is 22.89mm and the width is around 19-20mm. Does that seem right???). How much of a difference does the rim width make on performance and strength?

Originally Posted by seely
Can you link me to an explanation of this? I am trying to imagine a scenario where a rim could be at fault for the spokes contacting the derailleur. We routinely build 11 speed with offset and non-offset rims and have never encountered an issue.
yes I'm curious about this too. Especially since merlin cycles is handbuilding the wheels specifically for the new 11 speed 5800 105's.

I'm probably going to lead toward the fulcrums but all your info is definitely helpful and gives me lots to digest.

Last edited by miggy_smalls; 08-20-14 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 08-20-14, 01:50 PM
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I have the Vuelta's that you are looking at. I have had them on for 2 seasons (about 4000km on them), last season I was at 240lb, this seasons I am at 220lb. I have had zero issues with them, as straight as an arrow. I use 25mm gatorskins, no issues.

They look great, price was right, I got them on a black friday deal, after shipping to Canada I paid under 150 CAD.

They replaced a the OEM set of alex rims that I was constantly breaking spokes on, had it rebuilt and still had issues.

Regardless of what you chose, they will be nice.
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Old 08-20-14, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by asharx
I have the Vuelta's that you are looking at. I have had them on for 2 seasons (about 4000km on them), last season I was at 240lb, this seasons I am at 220lb. I have had zero issues with them, as straight as an arrow. I use 25mm gatorskins, no issues.

They look great, price was right, I got them on a black friday deal, after shipping to Canada I paid under 150 CAD.

They replaced a the OEM set of alex rims that I was constantly breaking spokes on, had it rebuilt and still had issues.

Regardless of what you chose, they will be nice.
Are the hubs loud on those? Just curious
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Old 08-20-14, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by thrllskr
I can chime in with experience here. DO NOT build Mavic Open Pro with an 11 speed. I built a 36h OP Ultegra 6800 with 11-28 and was not pleased. You will have problems with the derailleur hitting the spokes and have to offset the dish in order to accommodate this (maybe not the case with 32h but I don't know for sure). I will not going into detail in this thread about the other problems. I will be building a velocity A23 OC 36 hole for my next set of wheels. I fully expect my OP to crack with no more than 5,000 miles due to the high spoke tension. If you are going to build a rear wheel I would recommend the A23 OC not the A23.
You are mistaken about the cause of your problem. If your derailer is hitting the spokes, the problem lies in the derailer and/or the derailer hanger, not in the rim. A narrow rim like the Open Pro is going to pull the spokes away from the derailer, not towards it. The Open Pro isn't all that different from just about any other rim you'd like to choose. You may be having other problems with the rim but the rim causing the derailer to hit the spokes just isn't possible.

I'd check the derailer hanger alignment first, then the limit screws. It's likely the derailer hanger is bent.
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Old 08-20-14, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by asharx
I have the Vuelta's that you are looking at. I have had them on for 2 seasons (about 4000km on them), last season I was at 240lb, this seasons I am at 220lb. I have had zero issues with them, as straight as an arrow. I use 25mm gatorskins, no issues.

They look great, price was right, I got them on a black friday deal, after shipping to Canada I paid under 150 CAD.

They replaced a the OEM set of alex rims that I was constantly breaking spokes on, had it rebuilt and still had issues.

Regardless of what you chose, they will be nice.
I had a Great Set, No Problems with them.



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Old 08-20-14, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
I had a Great Set, No Problems with them.

Now thats a nice looking ride. Too bad that car is distracing it
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Old 08-20-14, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
You are mistaken about the cause of your problem. If your derailer is hitting the spokes, the problem lies in the derailer and/or the derailer hanger, not in the rim. A narrow rim like the Open Pro is going to pull the spokes away from the derailer, not towards it. The Open Pro isn't all that different from just about any other rim you'd like to choose. You may be having other problems with the rim but the rim causing the derailer to hit the spokes just isn't possible.

I'd check the derailer hanger alignment first, then the limit screws. It's likely the derailer hanger is bent.
Really??, that is why when I put a properly dished Fulcrum 5 and Fulcrum 7 with a 11-28 on the same bike it doesn't hit? Ya, it must be the derailleur and the hanger. LOL Process of elimination right?
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Old 08-20-14, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by thrllskr
Really??, that is why when I put a properly dished Fulcrum 5 and Fulcrum 7 with a 11-28 on the same bike it doesn't hit? Ya, it must be the derailleur and the hanger. LOL Process of elimination right?
Well, it ain't the rim. The spoke holes are centerline on the rims of both the Fulcrum 5 and 7, just like they are on the Open Pro rim.

And it ain't the hub geometry - others have built 36h 6800 hubs without problem.
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Old 08-20-14, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by thrllskr
Really??, that is why when I put a properly dished Fulcrum 5 and Fulcrum 7 with a 11-28 on the same bike it doesn't hit? Ya, it must be the derailleur and the hanger. LOL Process of elimination right?
In this case, it would be due to the flange width of the hub. So you would find that the flange width of the Fulcrum hubs is narrower than that of the Shimanos. This actually makes the Shimano hubs a better hub for lateral stiffness.

You should just check the hanger alignmnent and also the travel of the derailleur. The upper limit should only just get you onto the largest cog. Any more than that is excess and puts the derailleur closer to the spokes. According to my LBS mech, it is fairly common for derailleur hangers to be out of alignment out of the box, even on high end brand bikes. It's one of the first things checked when he takes bikes out of the box as a result.
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Old 08-20-14, 07:51 PM
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Originally Posted by miggy_smalls
Oh boy another wrench in the proverbial spokes haha. When you say 23mm rims do you mean the width in which the tire and tube sit in or the height from where the tire goes in to where the spoke comes? (I tried to measure with my calipers and the rim height is 22.89mm and the width is around 19-20mm. Does that seem right???). How much of a difference does the rim width make on performance and strength?
Yes, you are correct in your measurement and I am referring to the width of the rim. The wider rims give tyres a more rounded profile. This has benefit in cornering and also gives a higher volume in the tyre to enable you to run less pressure. Another thing that I have noticed after going from my A23 rims to the OP is that the OPs are giving a harsher ride. Lots more buzz and bumps transferring through the frame up to me, the rider. Same tyres, same pressures, same spokes. So on that, I'd recommend the A23 rims over the OPs irrespective of the advantages of the wider rims.
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