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Wheelset advice requested

Old 03-11-10, 07:39 PM
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Wheelset advice requested

I posted this to the road forum, but didn't get much response, so I thought I'd try here. Hope the cross-posting doesn't offend anyone.

I know there have been numerous threads on wheelsets & I have used the search function. I'm just trying to get some feedback & suggestions on my specific situation.

As my sig indicates, I ride a Trek Pilot 1.2. A relatively heavy (I think around 22 lbs) relaxed geometry road bike. It has Alex aluminum AT 450 wheels. I saw some reference that said they weigh 2200 grams (altho I'm not positive this is accurate). I have about 6000 miles on the bike. Haven't really had trouble with the wheels as far as truing, but am thinking of upgrading to a better/lighter wheel. I weigh around 150lbs, don't race, but do some group rides and generally try to push the pace when I ride. Nashbar has a set of 2008 Mavic Aksiums for $180.00. They are supposed to weigh 1855 gms. If the respective weights are accurate, this is a difference of about 12.5 oz. (the Aksiums also have fewer spokes, so I assume they would be more aero).

Am I likely to be able to tell the difference; would this be a worthwhile upgrade? Any other suggestions? I'm willing to pay more than $180, but don't really want to go above $300.00. The bike just doesn't justify it. Should I just ride what I have as long as possible & save up for a better bike? TIA.

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Old 03-11-10, 08:31 PM
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Wheel upgrades are always nice
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Old 03-11-10, 10:04 PM
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My stock wheels were similar to your stock wheels. I switched to Shimano RS20s and finally got a good deal on a set of Aksiums. Both make a difference you will notice on your fist climb after mounting them. Wheels make a bigger difference than any other change I have made with maybe the exception of going carbon fiber. Lighter stiffer wheels will be worth it and the Aksiums are strong training wheels that will last you a long time. When you are ready for the next step in wheels they will cost you two to four times more.
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Old 03-11-10, 10:26 PM
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Unless you are a sponsored racer, stick with traditional 32- or even 36-spoke wheels, which have a better strength-to-weight ratio, better repairabililty, and better durability than paired-spoke and reduced spoke count wheels.
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Old 03-11-10, 10:51 PM
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I second the idea of traditional wheels, but at 150 lbs, I think 36 spoke wheels would be overkill for normal road riding. I would think 32 rear and 28 front should do just fine.
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Old 03-12-10, 05:03 AM
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I don't think you will hear many complaints about the Mavic Aksiums. They are Mavic's entry level wheels and the make good use of the new technologies.

If you choose to go with the old school gold standard wheel, the you would probably be looking for something like an ultegra hub, 32 spokes and something like a Mavic Open Pro or CX33 rim. These have been considered the "standard" quality wheel for quite a while.

The only thing interesting to note between the two styles and the arguments of the proponents of either is that Mavic no longer makes the old school wheel and has I believe transitioned over to straight pull spokes on all of their in house wheelsets.

You will get similar results from either style.
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Old 03-12-10, 07:08 AM
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https://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com...od&productId=4
I've got over 6000 miles on these with no problem and I weigh 200#.
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Old 03-12-10, 08:14 AM
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Better wheels are always a good consideration, no matter what the bike, and the Pilot is a nice bike--nothing to pooh pooh. And keep in mind, a good wheelset is something you can take with you from bike to bike as you upgrade. (Just keep the old ones.)

The trouble with the Askiums is that they're Mavic's bottom-of-the-line. And 1,855 grams is still pretty heavy.

In my experience, there's nothing like a good set of handbuilt wheels. I have a set on my 11-year-old Trek 1000 that weigh 1609 grams including rim tape. And the rear one is 32-spokes, with 3-cross lacing. Replacing the stock wheels on my 2006 Trek Portland (about the same price point as your Pilot) restored that zippy new-bike feel it had lost in several years of every day commuting.

Hand-builts will run you a little more than the $300 budget you have, depending on your choices, but in my experience, every extra penny is worth it in road feel, comfort, climbability and just plain joy.

Still, many people prefer to buy a ready-made product. George's suggestion of Bicycle Wheel Warehouse splits the difference between them. Think ready-made hand-built.

Alternatively, I just bought an older bike with a ten-year-old set of Neuvation wheels. I'm very impressed. If the current models are anything at all like the ones that came on Blue Steel, they're well worth considering. They're as stylish as the Askiums, much lighter than them, and pretty cheap too. At this point I'm on the fence between another set of hand-builts and a set of new Neuvations for the next bike I'm planning to build up.

My only complaint about the Neuvations is the overwhelming number and size of the logo stickers plastered all over them. I'm in the market for a heat gun to remove them.

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Old 03-12-10, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx
You will get similar results from either style.
I guess that's one of the questions. Will I get appreciable results from the change?

Dan
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Old 03-12-10, 09:42 AM
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One of the confusing things that happens when a person asks a question in these forums if you hardly ever get a simple yes or no answer. People have different needs and different budgets and it is always easy to find a better wheel but at a higher price. Just look at the questions when someone has posted they have narrowed a decision down to two bikes, a specialized something or a Trek something else. Three posts after asking the question someone will suggest a Giant or Kona and a post after that someone will suggest they exceed their budget. They are simply trying to be helpful and are speaking from experience but it doesn’t answer the question originally asked.
I don’t dispute any of the post so far. There are some positive points that relate more directly to your question. The positive thing about the Aksiums is they are lighter and stronger than your stocks wheels. They are a good deal from Nashbar because they are about 40 percent off and under your budget. MY LBS couldn’t get a better deal. They also have cartridge bearings and tend to stay true longer than stock wheels. So simply the answer is yes, they are better than your stock wheels, yes you will notices the difference in ride, and yes they are a good deal. No they will not be the last wheel upgrade you ever look at and no they are not the best wheels out there. Just get a picture of a set of ZIP wheels and put it on your closet door.
Are there other good wheels out there and other options, sure but will they fit your budget and are they on sale?
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Old 03-12-10, 10:05 AM
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Here you go: https://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com...d&productId=65
handbuilt, light, and under 300 clams.

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Old 03-12-10, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by bobbycorno
Here you go: https://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com...d&productId=65
handbuilt, light, and under 300 clams.

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I can add that the wheels I got from BWW (Ulegra/CXP33) were very well built and are holding up well so far. the Ultegra/Open Pro wheels will weigh about the same as the Aksiums. But are they $90 better? That would be a hard call to make.
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Old 03-12-10, 12:34 PM
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I am also a fan of Neuvation, They have the best price to weight ratio around, and one of my bikes has over 4000 miles including daily commuting over multiple railway tracks. I have had no problems at all with them, each winter my bike shop takes 10 minutes to re-true them. I have 3 sets now on 3 bikes, the newest models have more subdued stickers and look better than last 2 years.
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Old 03-12-10, 12:49 PM
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My first road bike was a Giant OCR3 and about 6 months in I was thinking about going back to MTB's.The ride was taking a lot more energy than I thought it would and the bike was not taking corners or downhills at speed. I had a hill that I went for and got to 30 mph and had to steer round the curve. Problem is the MTB's with knobblies got to 37 mph and the corner was just a bit more lean over.

Had a chat with the LBS and they loaned me a set of respectable wheels. They transformed the bike. It handles at speed- took corners and downhills were faster than on the MTB. Had a chat with them and they built me a set of Handbuilts. Mavic CXP 33 rims- 36 double butted spokes onto 105 hubs. Basically a training wheel that is bombproof. Weight was 1660 grammes and fitted Michelin PR 2's in 23. Ride average speed went up- confidence went up and the grin widened.

These training wheels- and various combinations of them- are what a lot of riders use to save the very expensive wheels that they normally use. They are bombproof and they do improve over a stock wheel. Later on I got a set of Aksium wheels and although they are a bit heavier- they are just as good.

I weigh 150 lbs and also ride a set of Ultegra wheels- Good wheels but I can't tell the difference between them and the Handbuilts. Except that Ultegras and Mavic will take it out of me after about 60 miles- They can give a harsh ride- The handbuilts have a different spoke pattern (Called lacing) and are more comfotable after lots of miles.
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Old 03-12-10, 01:47 PM
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Here's another set to think about. I bought a set of Easton EA 50's last year and they are under $300 and the difference in ride was amazing. They are on a Trek 2.1, I also weight in at 150 lbs and my name is Dan. So I think these are the ones for you, LOL! DAN
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Old 03-12-10, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by stapfam
... they built me a set of Handbuilts. Mavic CXP 33 rims- 36 double butted spokes onto 105 hubs. Basically a training wheel that is bombproof. Weight was 1660 grammes.
You sure about that? BWW lists their 32 db spoke CXP33 on Ultegra wheels at 1890 grams.
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Old 03-12-10, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by chinarider
I guess that's one of the questions. Will I get appreciable results from the change?

Dan
The biggest difference you will see in going with a lighter wheelset is quicker acceleration and easier climbing. Like some others have said, new wheels can make a world of difference. It's neat that you can actually feel or sense the bike "lurching forward" when you accelerate. They can make a huge difference when you're trying to close a gap or bridge up to a group. If it were me, I'd make the bigger jump to a 1400-1500 grams (1600 grams tops) wheelset. While it's probably a lot of wheels for your current frame, you can always just move them over to the next bike. That is what I do. And with your weight I wouldn't worry about the higher spoked wheels. I ride the lower spoke count wheels and am 25 lbs heavier than you and have never really had an issue. You should be able to get some huge discounts on '08's or '09's.
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Old 03-12-10, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by jppe
If it were me, I'd make the bigger jump to a 1400-1500 grams (1600 grams tops) wheelset. While it's probably a lot of wheels for your current frame, you can always just move them over to the next bike. .
Any particular suggestions in the price range?
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Old 03-12-10, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by chinarider
Any particular suggestions in the price range?
I have asked myself and my cycling friends the very same question and here is what I discovered.
You are about to cross into the doomed area. American Classic Sprinters are a great light weight wheel in the under 1600 gram area and they have a set of mag rims that are closer to 1200 grams. You can get them on sale sometimes for between $750.00 and $1000, respectively. Thinking of saving for those wheels myself. If I had the cash to throw caution to the wind I would get Zip 202 at $2200.00 with a weight of 1081 grams. Or 404 at 1590 grams but very Aero. But $2200.00 is a pretty big pill to swallow.

But do you want to put $500.00 to $1500.00 worth of wheels on your Pilot?
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Old 03-12-10, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by John E
Unless you are a sponsored racer, stick with traditional 32- or even 36-spoke wheels, which have a better strength-to-weight ratio, better repairabililty, and better durability than paired-spoke and reduced spoke count wheels.
OK, so I made a mistake when I traded my Deore disc/Mavic 223 wheelset for a set of Mavic 819's with Cannondale disc hubs? Dropped my spoke count, did I goof? Well, let's see... In the less-than-one-year on the 223's, I replaced 5 spokes. In the more-than-two-years on the 819's, I have yet to even have to re-true them! And I'm a Clydesdale who commutes on a full-suspension MTB, 4-5000 miles per year, in addition to all the utility riding and trails!

OP, get the Aksiums. Enjoy the feel of a faster wheelset.
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Old 03-12-10, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Robert Foster
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=3]
But do you want to put $500.00 to $1500.00 worth of wheels on your Pilot?
No.
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Old 03-12-10, 10:41 PM
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[QUOTE=DX-MAN;10519257OP, get the Aksiums. Enjoy the feel of a faster wheelset.[/QUOTE]

I probably will unless I find something lighter/better in the price range.
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Old 03-13-10, 07:28 AM
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I'll add my experience with the caveat that what works for me may not work the same for you. Anyway, my Masi Gran Criterium S came with Easton Orion II's when I got it 3 yrs. ago. I looked into new wheels and was informed by this list that what I had was pretty good. So, I didn't bother to keep looking. I've used Vittoria CX's and am now running Bontrager Racelites. This is all with Dura Ace hubs BTW. Three years ago my riding weight was pushing 200 lbs and now I'm closer to 185 lbs. It all works very well for me and I'm sure I'll be running these wheels for some time to come. Here are some reviews of the wheelset: https://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/wh...x.aspx#reviews

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Old 03-13-10, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by DX-MAN
OK, so I made a mistake when I traded my Deore disc/Mavic 223 wheelset for a set of Mavic 819's with Cannondale disc hubs? Dropped my spoke count, did I goof? Well, let's see... In the less-than-one-year on the 223's, I replaced 5 spokes. In the more-than-two-years on the 819's, I have yet to even have to re-true them! And I'm a Clydesdale who commutes on a full-suspension MTB, 4-5000 miles per year, in addition to all the utility riding and trails!

OP, get the Aksiums. Enjoy the feel of a faster wheelset.
You went from a poorly built traditional wheelset to a well built traditional wheelset. Well built wheels are much nicer than poorly built wheels, aren't they? Not sure how you went from this experience to recommending a factory wheelset.

OTOH, I don't see how he could go wrong with the Aksiums for $180.
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Old 03-13-10, 10:36 AM
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My current chain has about 900 miles on it and the cassette has almost 3000. I figure I'll have to change both in about 1000 miles. I may just wait till then & do it all at once.

Found 2010 model here. slighly lighter -- list @ $250 but 15% off for first order & free ground shipping.
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