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And another thing.....wheels

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And another thing.....wheels

Old 12-13-11, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by big john
Most bicycle wheels are aluminum but more and more carbon rims are becoming available. Some of the lightest wheels on the market, and most expensive, are carbon tubulars.
The downside of carbon is they require special brake pads and don't stop as well as aluminum, especially when wet. Another issue is carbon overheats on some of the smaller wheel manufacturers although the big companies like Zipp seem to have overcome that issue now.
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Old 12-13-11, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ericm979
The "cheap" wheels that come with good bikes aren't bad wheels, they're just heavy and/or not as aerodynamic as expensive wheels. But they make perfectly fine training wheels, and if you are not racing you don't need expensive racing wheels.
Sadly, this hasn't been my experience. My Madone 5.2 came with Bontrager Race wheels.

1. "Race" is a misnomer, as they are really heavy, and not the least bit aero.
2. They have been trued up 3 times, but finally held true.
3. I experienced 2 catstrophic blowouts, where the tire bead came off the rim, and I had to bring the bike to a stop from moderately high speed while sliding the rim on the pavement. Looking for clues, I believe the root cause is a sloppy weld. At the weld joint, there is no lip to hold the tire bead.

It is travesty that the manufacturers put crappy wheels on good bikes. I believe it is to push post-sale upgrades, as well as to boost the initial margin on the bike sale.
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Old 12-13-11, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by big john
Clinchers are the tires most of us use, the tires have the tube that comes out. Tubulars have the tube sewn into the tire and have to be glued to the wheel. They are not interchangeable.
Tubulars are a pain if you get a flat, you have to carry a spare tire and peel the flat one off.
Or carry sealant and CO2. I haven't yet had the 'opportunity' to see how well this works. My one tubular flat so far was a "garage flat", the day after a long ride out into the boonies. I somehow got some good karma.

Some of the lightest wheels on the market, and most expensive, are carbon tubulars.
The lightest are carbon tubulars. The most expensive are carbon clinchers. I now have a set of each, as I replaced the stock wheels (that gave out) with a set of carbon clinchers I got used from someone advertising on a forum: Bont Race XXX lites. The ones I got (a friend saw them advertised on the roadbikereview forum) have only a few hundred miles, ridden by a 135# rider, and I got them for less than half retail - roughly what one would pay for new carbon clinchers from the smaller manufacturers.

I went with carbon clinchers when I had to replace the stock wheels because (a) I wanted light weight, (b) I wanted clinchers for training because you get flats a lot where I ride, and (c) I didn't want to swap brake pads when I swapped wheels. With both sets being carbon, I can use the same pads, though I'll likely have to adjust them each time, which is also a pain, just not quite as big a pain.
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Old 12-13-11, 01:04 PM
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It takes me more time to adjust brake pad holder position right than it does to change pads. I set up my brakes so they work on all my wheels then just change pads when I switch to or from carbon.
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Old 12-13-11, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by big john
I know there's a lot of information there but Sheldon's been gone for 4 years now and a lot has happened in 4 years.
5 Years ago and I was thinking some of Sheldon's views needed updating but the basics are there and they will not change much.

I have always used the original wheels on my bikes to get used to the bike- but with my wheel fetish-I have several sets of good wheels that I prefer to use. However good wheels cost money and the originals did not- they came with the bike. Come the foul winter weather and I Use those original wheels. Saves the crud of a harsh winter wearing out the good ones.
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Old 12-13-11, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ericm979
It takes me more time to adjust brake pad holder position right than it does to change pads. I set up my brakes so they work on all my wheels then just change pads when I switch to or from carbon.
I'm hoping the new wheels match up close enough to my tubulars that I won't have to adjust the pad holder position, especially now that I use just a smidgeon of toe-in with the carbon tubulars so they don't groan and are less grabby. I stick a doubled up business card under the front of the pad as I set it. We'll see how they match tonight when I swap them. If they do match up pads-wise, I'm sure Karma will dictate that my RD indexing be wildly different. There is a reason a lot of folks stick to one set for both training and racing.
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Old 12-15-11, 10:26 AM
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Ladies and gentlemen, we have a match! No pad holder adjustment needed when switching from the Zipp tubulares to the Bont carbon clinchers, nor any shifter indexing adjustment. Woohoo... all I need to adjust is the barrel adjuster on the brakes, as the clinchers are narrower than the tubulars. The wheels ride great, too. I'm a happy camper. In case it's helpful to the OP, my wheel experiences thus far:

Torelli Bormio alloy clinchers: They've been solid, provide a smooth ride, and I rode them as I went from 225# to 193#.
Bontrager "Race" alloy clinchers: catastrophic failures.
Zipp 404 Firecrest tubulars: Fast, handle well, and you feel every irregularity in the road, especially if you pump them up to 130psi for minimal resistance.
Bontrager Race XXX Lites (the pornstar wheels): So far, so good. Very light, with a ride in between the Zipps and the Torellis.
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Old 12-15-11, 10:57 AM
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^^ Great news Az, hoped it would work out for you.

Stap, I agree on Sheldon's site and time slipping away. However as you noted the Basics are in there and so much information we still use like the torque value tables and such. I just got an old edition of Eugene Sloan's " Complete book of Bicycling" it is dated but it brings back so many good memories of the 70's and learning the basics of bicycle mechanics.
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Old 12-15-11, 10:41 PM
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My experience is the two best bang for the bucks upgrades you can make are new, high end tires and replacing the wheel set. Now this isn't for everyone, but I upgraded with used wheels. I picked up Mavic Ksyrium SSC, SL wheelset with scalloped rims for $200 for my main rider and picked up an older set of Ksyrium SSCs with the older design rim for $140 for my backup rider. It's not uncommon to find yesterday's $1000 wheelset selling for way less than 1/3 their MSRP and still in good condition.
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Old 12-16-11, 06:51 AM
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What about the Ritchey wheels? I saw some decent prices, on ebay, for sets of these wheelsets and I am tempted to look into them. Anybody tried them for either clincher or tubular?

Bill
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