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Help working out which wheel to buy for commuting

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Help working out which wheel to buy for commuting

Old 08-21-23, 06:08 AM
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Help working out which wheel to buy for commuting

Hi, I've got a Trek Zektor 2, which I use for commuting. The back wheel is beginning to go (3 broken spokes, getting more wobbly by the day), so I need to replace it. I'm happy to get my hands dirty, but haven't done this this particular task before. I've got a chain whip & cassette removal tool, as well as a set of Torx screwdrivers for the disc. As far as I can tell, it's just a matter of switching over the disc & cassette onto a new wheel? Assuming so, I now need to buy a new wheel. However I'm struggling to work out what specs I need to follow, to make sure it fits. It's a 700c wheel, and I have a 700x32c tyre & inner tube. What are the key values that I need to search for to make sure if fits the frame, the disc/cassette, and the tyre/inner tube? If anyone has any favourite models, that would be helpful too - the entire bike is on worth 700, and most 'best of' websites seem to list wheels costing 1,000+. I can't find a decent list of recommended reasonably priced commuter wheels!

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Old 08-21-23, 07:31 AM
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My first suggestion would be to find a bike shop that's locally owned, and probably not wedded to a single manufacturer. The one you're looking for is the one in a working class neighborhood, the kind of LBS that'll work with laborers (or labourers, if you prefer) to get them to work on time tomorrow morning. There's a fair chance you can buy a wheel, or a set of wheels, for perhaps 200 -- and they may switch the disc and cassette over for you as well.

I suspect that the current problem is the cheap machine-built wheels, and that might be the case with an inexpensive wheel from your LBS, as well. If you're musically inclined, you can increase the tension on your current wheel (after you replace the spokes) or your new wheel in line with
Check Spoke Tension by Ear (sheldonbrown.com) When you get close, put on some heavy leather gloves and squeeze the heck out of pairs all around both sides of the wheel to stress-relieve them.

Final suggestion, if there's a bike coop in your area, see if they have a wheel that can replace your current wheel -- or see if they can help you rebuild it.
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Old 08-23-23, 07:16 AM
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Do you not just want to fix the wheel you have? Unless you hit a curb or something, there is probably nothing wrong with the wheel except that the spokes were not properly tensioned leading to broken spokes. Your LBS can probably fix it as good as (and maybe better than) new for much less than the cost of a new wheel.

If you do end up needing a new wheel, look for a used (or new) wheel, one that came off a bike that is 8 or 9 or 10 speed. All of these will accept your 8-speed cassette. Look for one that has a similar width as the one you are replacing, or had a 32c tire on it.

BTW: Once one spoke breaks, it affects the integrity of the wheel so it is a cascade effect.
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Old 08-26-23, 03:51 PM
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I replaced by back wheel with a Bontrager Affinity TLR from Trek's website a couple of months ago.
It's too early to tell if it's a good wheel. However I ride almost daily and so far it has been working fine.
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Old 08-27-23, 11:53 AM
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Rear wheels on inexpensive bikes are notorious but it's not really the rim and hub's fault, it's the spokes and the build. They only spend a few seconds in the wheel machine to get true and the tension can be pretty random. Straight gauge spokes are stiffer, so they are not stretched as much, so they can come completely out of tension once each rotation as you ride, which causes metal fatigue to break the j-bends. The same attack is happening to the rim and hub at either end of the loose spoke. A better wheel has butted spokes which are thinner in the middle so they are stretched further, and has been carefully, evenly tensioned either by a better robot or a human. Everything remains in tension and does not get fatigued.

You have a slight problem that the combination of parts you need (QR axle and disc hub) is slowly going out of style and moving down-spec. Even just five years ago there would have been a lot more and better complete wheels for you to choose. Now it's mostly replacements that are pretty much the same as what you have. It would be best to have a wheel built for you. You could have a bike shop do it. They could use your existing rim and hub, but I'd go for new ones. You could look into doing it yourself which is kind of fussy but satisfying if you like fussy
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