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Commuting Wheelset Suggestions

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Commuting Wheelset Suggestions

Old 10-22-12, 03:15 PM
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Commuting Wheelset Suggestions

The question has probably been asked before.

Looking for a bulletproof set of wheels that i can use for commuting purposes on my cyclocross bike. My ride ranges through a small amount of gravel and city pot holes. But most of it is on well maintained asphalt. I try to ride every day rain, snow, or sun. So my bike gets dirty. I'm at 190lbs.

Right now I've got my stock set of wheels which are formula hubs, maddux 6000s rims and experimenting with Gatorskin 700x28 tires. They get me where i need to go, but the problem is my LBS has problems servicing the rearhub. A couple of the spokes have broken on the wheel too. I'm not looking to do cyclocross races anytime soon, although I am partial to speed as i am racing either to get to work or home. I've never ridden on a grouppo higher than 105.

after considering the different combination of hubs and rims, i've narrowed it down to mavic open pros with ultegra hubs 32 spokes from BWW. Which seem too good to be true.

But before i pull the trigger, just wanted to check people's experience with this config and if they had better success. My concerns are durability and sizing of the rim and maintenance of the hubs.
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Old 10-22-12, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by commputer View Post
after considering the different combination of hubs and rims, i've narrowed it down to mavic open pros with ultegra hubs 32 spokes from BWW. Which seem too good to be true.
I had the exact same wheelset on my commuter (Jamis Aurora) and they lasted about 5000 miles. A good, solid choice, about as bulletproof as you can get, I had no problems, no broken spokes and never out of true. Had to finally retire them last month because the braking surfaces were getting too worn. I'm an all-weather commuter (so lots of road grit) with a hilly route so I'm pretty tough on the braking surfaces. I've had rims last less than 3000 miles so the Open Pros did very well. I was thinking about getting the Open Pro CD since it's supposed to be even more durable but ultimately went with the BWW Venus RT. On sale it was $160 so it was hard to resist, and at 150 lbs I think I can get away with a lighter, 24/28 wheelset.
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Old 10-22-12, 07:32 PM
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I just bought a set of Fulcrum Racing 7 for my main commuter. Had my first commute on them this morning, and they're smooth as silk with a super quiet freewheel. Reviews say they're pretty bombproof, too.
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Old 10-22-12, 09:34 PM
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I've read a lot of great reviews on Peter White built wheels. I'd go with a wheelset built by him. He'll consult with you on the phone and build them himself.

I'd do it if I had I was thinking of upgrading my wheels.
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Old 10-22-12, 09:40 PM
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I have that same wheelset from BWW. It was great out of the box. I put my rear derailleur in the spokes during a CX race and even that didn't break a spoke (though it did do enough damage to require a rebuild).

That said, my current favorite wheels are Velocity A23's with Ultegra hubs. I don't know if they are better in any way that I can actually feel, but the wider rims play nicer with wider tires.
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Old 10-23-12, 08:12 AM
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commputer, the wheels you are considering should work out very well. Mavic is an excellent rim maker, and Shimano is an excellent hub maker. Ultegra is almost top of the line, so it's probably the sweet spot between price and durability, leaning towards durability. You probably won't have to do anything to maintain the hubs.

If they hand build the wheels, even better.
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Old 10-23-12, 12:04 PM
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I just had my Peter White wheelset rebuilt by Peter White. They have Phil Wood 40 spoke hubs and I just had a new Mavic rim and spokes put on the front wheel after 24,548 miles. I needed a new rim on the rear after 11,533 miles. I had new bearings put on both hubs. The rear needed it, but since I had the front in, I had him replace that set of bearings also. You need a special tool to replace the Phil Wood bearing sets. I have never had a spoke break. The rim on the front was paper thin due to break wear, but had not failed. The rear rim failed as a result of running over a squirrel that couldn't make up its mind which way to turn to avoid me. The previous rear rim failed after about 12,000 miles due to rider error......the idiot riding the bike (me) hit some road debris at a high rate of speed and dented the rim.

I weigh 208 +/- and commute 23 miles R/T about 200 to 220 days per year for the last 7 years. I also did the Southern Tier in 2009. Carried about 28 lbs plus 4 water bottles on the credit card tour. The Jamis Aurora has yet to fail me.

I run Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires...700 x 28's about 85 PSI on the front and 95 PSI on the rear. This has worked for me.
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Old 10-23-12, 12:08 PM
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Broken spokes are more of a "bad wheelbuilder" problem than a problem with any of the parts.
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Old 10-23-12, 03:46 PM
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Disc Brakes? or Drum brakes in the Hubs. given its the rainy season

32 hole disc hubs and rims are commonplace.. what is the budget?

Open Sport is a bit less than the open pro

Last edited by fietsbob; 10-23-12 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 10-23-12, 04:42 PM
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I agree with noglider.

Should be plenty for commuting, and should endure road hazards fairly well.

IMHO, you wanted, you may want to use a better rim if it's within the budget. Something with a little deeper profile to add rigidity to the rim. I'm not too certain how a set of Open Pro's are going to handle 190 pounds worth of off-camber punishment in a CX environment. The height and the width of the rim is nearly the same. Not that this really means a lot, but if your going to have a set built up...

Before you spend your money, I would check out a set of H Plus Son Archtype or Velocity A23's Both are awesome rims. Would be an awesome match with the Ultegra hubs. Good for both the road and CX course alike. Little more expensive, but much, much better for what you want them for.
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Old 10-23-12, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
32 hole disc hubs and rims are commonplace.. what is the budget?
Good question. Since OP's looking into Ultegra hubs I think it's safe to assume we're discussing a rim brake wheelset. Another rim to consider:

http://www.dtswiss.com/Components/Rims-Road/TK-540

In nearly all of my conversations with respect to 32 vs 36 vs 40 spoke wheel builds others have consistently recommended sticking with 32 as the golden mean of durability and weight regardless of rider weight. Rim and hub durability continue to progress. That said, if you never want to worry about truing and want something "bombproof" take BILLB58'S advice. Use DT Swiss spokes or Wheelsmith with 12 mm brass nipples.
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Old 10-23-12, 08:38 PM
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I think the A719 would make a better cross/commuter rim as it'll handle wider tires.
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Old 10-23-12, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by maidenfan View Post
I think the A719 would make a better cross/commuter rim as it'll handle wider tires.
So will the TK540. The A 719 might be overkill in this instance, though it might not. It's a heavy, highly durable rim that'll cost a bit more than the rims previously discussed. The A 719 is routinely used for tandems.
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Old 10-24-12, 04:14 AM
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How big of a tire are you thinking about running? I would think the frame would be more of a hindrance on tire size than the rim would be. I'm pretty sure all the rims mentioned will handle 32c

All the mentioned rims would be better than the OpenPro IMHO. Especially if you are going to put them through some punishment. That's my only reservation with the Open Pro.

If you know a good wheel builder locally, I would check with them and see what they can do for you. Look at the rims mentioned and see what they might cost to have them laced up for you. You may be able to get a better wheel if you're willing to part with a little more money. Besides, you can bring them back to be checked after a few hundred miles. Unless you are familiar with the truing/tension process, and can do that yourself.

The lure of a cheaper wheelset is always strong, but I would seriously think about what you want to use them for before buying a set.

Last edited by silmarillion; 10-24-12 at 04:36 AM.
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Old 10-24-12, 04:48 AM
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maidenfan, aren't you running Velocity Deep V's or was that someone else?

My commuter/cross wheelbuild is Velocity DeepV, on Chris King Classic's DT Swiss w/brass nipples. Ride the hell out of them never had a problem. They are a little heavier, but they are very strong. I would say the only setback would be that you have to service the CK rear hub a little more frequently.
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Old 10-24-12, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by silmarillion View Post
maidenfan, aren't you running Velocity Deep V's or was that someone else?

My commuter/cross wheelbuild is Velocity DeepV, on Chris King Classic's DT Swiss w/brass nipples. Ride the hell out of them never had a problem. They are a little heavier, but they are very strong. I would say the only setback would be that you have to service the CK rear hub a little more frequently.
I run Velocity Chukkers (basically a Deep V that takes wider tires). I run 28's on mine and probably wouldnt go any narrower.
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Old 10-24-12, 10:22 AM
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My current commuter wheelset has 8000 trouble free miles on it. The rear hub is a Phil Wood (36h), the front is a Schmidt Dynohub (also 36h), both from Peter White. The rims are A719s, and I built the wheels myself with DT Swiss spokes.
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Old 10-24-12, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for all of the input. after further research. I decided on the Mavic CXP-33s with the ultegra hub. Considering that my bag weighs around 15 lbs or so, the extra strength that these rims provide seem to help with the additional weight. I picked them up from BWW for about $300.

I couldn't justify price wise the additional benefits of upgrading the hubs from ultegra would provide me, even in the long term. My back up bike is a cannondale criterium 3.0 with 105 hubs matrix iso-II rims circa 1989. So any thing new is an upgrade for me.

I'll let everyone know how this works out.
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Old 10-24-12, 12:38 PM
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There you go. I have a set of CXP 33's I laced up for my kid's CX Bike. I will have to check when I get home, but I think they are on 105 hubs...I can't remember if I used those or some old Truativ hubs I had in the ol' parts box.

I think they will be good for you. My kid weighs 130 and he pounds those wheels pretty good. Good off and on the road. Haven't had to tru them since I laced them up last year. Went back and re-tensioned them after a few CX classes he participated in.
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Old 10-24-12, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Broken spokes are more of a "bad wheelbuilder" problem than a problem with any of the parts.
I would agree to a certain extent but no necessarily in the manner that you mean. Poorly tensioned wheels are a wheel builder problems but so is poor component selection. All to often...which is almost always...people spec wheels based on hubs and rims while forgetting (or not knowing) that the spokes are as important as the hubs and far more important than the rims. commputer is a prime example. "After considering the different combination of hubs and rims..." completely cuts out the spokes. Rims are along for the ride. They make a convenient place to put the spokes and mount the tires. In terms of strength, they offer little to the wheel.

If you really want a strong wheel, consider the spokes first and build around them. Wheelsmith DH13, DT Alpine III or Sapim Strongs are all spokes that you should consider if you want to build a truly strong wheel. The extra thickness of the head resists fatigue and the heads fit tighter into the hub so that there's less movement of the spoke per revolution.
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Old 10-24-12, 01:06 PM
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Thicker heads also give the spokes more purchase and spread the stress over a greater area. This, I am told, translates to a more durable wheel.

Did BWW build the wheels by hand? If so, they should serve you well.

BILLB58, that's some serious riding you do. You choose good equipment and care for it well!
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Old 10-24-12, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by silmarillion View Post
There you go. I have a set of CXP 33's I laced up for my kid's CX Bike. I will have to check when I get home, but I think they are on 105 hubs...I can't remember if I used those or some old Truativ hubs I had in the ol' parts box.

I think they will be good for you. My kid weighs 130 and he pounds those wheels pretty good. Good off and on the road. Haven't had to tru them since I laced them up last year. Went back and re-tensioned them after a few CX classes he participated in.
I was just going to suggest the CXP 33 rim. Can't go wrong with that decision.
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Old 10-25-12, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
Thicker heads also give the spokes more purchase and spread the stress over a greater area. This, I am told, translates to a more durable wheel.

Did BWW build the wheels by hand? If so, they should serve you well.

BILLB58, that's some serious riding you do. You choose good equipment and care for it well!
They do build wheels by hand. It seems like a good deal. although the low prices make me suspect of the quality of the build. it seems like overall internet forum satisfaction focuses more on their customer service and not much on the actual complaints about the wheel build quality. i will say that even if i have to have the wheels rebuilt locally, it is still cheaper.
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Old 10-26-12, 06:40 AM
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I killed the rear wheel on my road bike (24 spoke A-Class cheapies), and replaced them with 36 spoke Velocity DeepV rims, laced on 105 hubs with DT Swiss spokes. Though a bit higher on the spoke count than many roadies want, I'm a big guy and like low maintenance and long life. I plan to do the same with my Cross bike when I get the new wheel itch - I purchased from Velomine, a shop in Illinois, for $205 shipped. Haven't ridden them much, so no testimonials except for price - they are the same wheel my LBS wanted to build for me (though they wanted to use a few less spokes) for half the price.
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