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Newb Question About Buying Wheel Set

Old 08-12-17, 09:50 PM
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Charismatron
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Newb Question About Buying Wheel Set

Hi,

I'm someone that rides to work daily, rain or shine. I don't race, but I do enjoy a nice ride.
In 2013 I picked up my first road bike, a Trek 1.5. It's nice, and it suits me.

Unfortunately, I need a new wheel set, and don't have the foggiest idea where to begin to look for such a thing.
I've poked around online, and visited two local bike shops today asking how to buy a new wheel set for this bike.
Is second-hand okay (this has been advised)? eBay? If it's not new, what questions should I ask a seller, or what should I look for?

I don't want anything super-fancy, but also want something moderately light. The wheels that came with the bike are no longer produced by Bontrager (afaik), and I don't need to buy Bontrager tires. Just good, kinda light tires that isn't going to decimate my bank account.

Any input would be warmly welcomed and acted upon. I don't have anything else to ride, so I gotta get back on the road ASAP.

What should I buy?

Thanks, everyone.

Last edited by Charismatron; 08-12-17 at 11:27 PM.
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Old 08-12-17, 11:51 PM
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I'd start by having a chat with your lbs. They'll have access to wheels that you don't. I've bought two sets made by local wheel builders and if little ol' Adelaide can support wheel builders, your neighbourhood probably can too. In both cases, this was the most cost effective way of doing it though shipping from someone like Bikeisland to you may not be as ridiculous as it was for me.
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Old 08-13-17, 12:51 AM
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If you don't want to assemble yourself, sites like wheelbuilder and chainreaction do have options for wheelsets and "custom" builds. I'd still want to check how true and well tensioned they are on arrival though. I don't trust most shop mechanics and I trust online shops even less. Going used is an option, but I generally advise people not to unless they have some idea as to what they're really looking at.

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Old 08-13-17, 06:03 AM
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You visited two shops and neither could set you up with a wheelset? Were you holding out specifically for Bontrager-brand wheels? I'd go back to one of the shops, or find a third that's able to serve your needs. Ask them again for options that will fit your bike. Road bike wheels are easily sourced from distributors.
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Old 08-13-17, 06:42 AM
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First of all: You said "wheels" and you said "tires". Those are two different things. I think it's best not to confuse the topic. Which are you asking about?
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Old 08-13-17, 08:38 AM
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Velomine.com

- Hplus son archetype or tb14. Match to whatever level hub and spoke count you want.
- Mavic cxp elitr, cxp33, or open pro. Match to whatever level hub and spoke count you want.
Velocity a23. Again, match to whatever level hub and spoke count you want.


All will be machine built and cost between $115 and $280 depending on hubs.
Generally speaking, shimano 105 hubs will be excellent quality for daily use and provide a good mix of weight and seals(to keep water out). There will be some options that are cartridge bearing by Formula. Those will be good if the wheelset is $185 or more...generally speaking.

32 spokes should be plenty for most road riders.
I have h plus son archetype rims laced with butted spokes to 36h 105 hubs on a gravel bike from velomine. Still perfect after a year of rough surface use.



As for tires- there are dozens of quality tires and the variable is flat protection....how much do you want to ensure you dont flat?
I dont like Continental Gatorskin tires because i find thwm to be hard and lack feeling. But many love and swear by them.
I use Clement Strada LGG road tires on most of.my road bikes. For the price, they are relatively light, have a relatively supple casing, and i haven't gotten a flat in who knows how many miles.

Just get a quality tire that has 120tpi casing and some sort of flat protection built in.
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Old 08-13-17, 08:44 AM
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How about a bike shop * ? they have wholesaler built wheels combining good parts, for less than a person can build them.

* you asked 2? I disbelieve they did not have replacement wheels .. it a common repair for damaged wheels.. put in a new one.

did you ask them what they can get and not if they had the perfect set in stock.

Trek 1.5 is a basic road bike .. freewheel or cassette? how many 'speeds' on the back hub?






....

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Old 08-13-17, 10:38 AM
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Sorry for errors in my original post.

I'm looking for a wheel set, not tires.

No, I am not holding out for a Bontrager wheel set.

I visited two shops: the first was a community bike shop which gives advice and helps you fix your bike. They sell some products, but felt they didn't have anything suitable to my bike. The second shop sold and repaired bikes, and told me to look online to order the wheel set that I needed. They told me to look for a Shimano wheel set, as Bontrager are basically dressed up Shimanos. The local LBS nearest me has crazy bad reviews on Yelp, so I'm really hesitant to go in there.

I really expected something from one of the first two shops that I went into, and was surprised neither had anything to offer right there. They're both bike shops in the heart of Vancouver's "outdoor sports" shopping area. I live a few cities away from Vancouver, BC in Canada. As it rains a lot here, is it important to get rain wheels for the winter? Is there such a thing, or do most folks in rainy areas just ride the same thing all year round? That's what I've been doing.

For someone completely new to road bikes and fixing them, the massive amount of variety of products is really intimidating. The one thing I don't want to do is buy the wrong thing for my bike. I'm also just learning the vocabulary for all the parts (thus the "newb" in the title). My apologies once again for the lack of knowledge: I'm an older Dad with a young daughter and I just haven't had the to learn all the great stuff there is to know about my bike.

So, I beg your pardon if my posts are sorely lacking in details. I'm learning them as I go along.

This appears to be the bike that I have: 2013 1.5 H2 (Compact) - Bike Archive - Trek Bicycle

Thanks again for all the helpful comments!

Last edited by Charismatron; 08-13-17 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 08-13-17, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Charismatron View Post

I live a few cities away from Vancouver, BC in Canada. As it rains a lot here, is it important to get rain wheels for the winter? Is there such a thing, or do most folks in rainy areas just ride the same thing all year round? That's what I've been doing.


This is the most important information. You should at least provide information about where you live in your profile. 90% of the information that will be provided by Americans can be discarded, most websites in the US are too expensive for Canadians, and most Americans have no idea about this. UK sites are much better. There is no such thing as a "rain wheel" Unless your bike has disc brakes, all rims will wear faster if ridden in the rain, no matter how cheap or expensive. When I was commuting, I rode the same wheels all the time, but that was a bike dedicated to commuting. I would not treat my recreational road bike that way. For commuting, wheels become consumables. unless you wish to learn how to build wheels for yourself, you will be best looking around for local sources to build wheels for you
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Old 08-13-17, 02:07 PM
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Thanks for the info about riding in the rain. I'll buy a winter bike. I also updated the profile, so thanks again.

Maybe I'm making this too complicated: I'd just like a couple of experienced folks to say, "This is a good set of wheels. They will work well for your bike." Then I will buy what I can afford and source easily, plus have a record of great suggestions!

I'm fine ordering from the States, so can easily drive down and pick something up, or have something shipped, as there are plenty of places which receive shipments at super-low rates.

Thanks again for the comments. It's all helping with the learning curve.

Last edited by Charismatron; 08-13-17 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 08-13-17, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Charismatron View Post
Maybe I'm making this too complicated: I'd just like a couple of experienced folks to say, "This is a good set of wheels. They will work well for your bike." Then I will buy what I can afford and source easily, plus have a record of great suggestions!

I'm fine ordering from the States, so can easily drive down and pick something up, or have something shipped, as there are plenty of places which receive shipments at super-low rates.
See post 7.

Rough couple of shops you visited. Im sure that iant how most are in the region.
Best of luck
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Old 08-13-17, 09:03 PM
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I got a set of Reynolds Stratus Elite on sale at Nashbar for $150 or so shipped. I recently saw them on Amazon for $199. My old Mavic Open Sports from 2007 had cracks around the rear spoke nipples. I'm over 200 lbs. and the new wheels arrived true, and have held up well on the rough roads of Los Angeles.
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Old 08-14-17, 04:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Charismatron View Post
Thanks for the info about riding in the rain. I'll buy a winter bike. I also updated the profile, so thanks again.

Maybe I'm making this too complicated: I'd just like a couple of experienced folks to say, "This is a good set of wheels. They will work well for your bike." Then I will buy what I can afford and source easily, plus have a record of great suggestions!

I'm fine ordering from the States, so can easily drive down and pick something up, or have something shipped, as there are plenty of places which receive shipments at super-low rates.

Thanks again for the comments. It's all helping with the learning curve.
You know mate, one of the most important tools novice (and even experienced) cyclists can have is a reliable lbs. My advice to you is to keep visiting the shops within a semi-stupid radius, asking the same question start comparing NOT the answers, but how they relate to you and answer your question. The wheels you're looking for aren't something special so what one shop recommends is unlikely to be any better than another shop's recommendation. However, discovering a good lbs that understands you and your needs is gold and THAT's what you should be looking for. Get the right shop and you don't need to shop around for stuff, you just go straight there.
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Old 08-14-17, 05:02 AM
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wiggle.com | Fulcrum Racing 7 LG Alloy Clincher Wheelset | Road Race Wheels An example of what is in the appropriate price range for your bike. Shimano has similar.
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Old 08-14-17, 06:49 AM
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Check out the Shimano 6800 wheelset, I have a set on my #2 bike and my wife has a set, they have been reliable and they actually ride really nice for <$300.

Shimano 6800 Wheelset on Western Bike Works
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Old 08-14-17, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Charismatron View Post
I'd just like a couple of experienced folks to say, "This is a good set of wheels. They will work well for your bike."
Jenson USA has a set of Shimano wheels that I had been about to suggest, but them I realized I wasn't sure about a few things, and didn't want to send you down a wrong path.

Some details to watch for:

1) Quick release - pretty sure your bike has QR wheels front and rear. Make sure whatever wheels you buy match what your bike frame expects.

2) Dropout spacing. 130 mm? Or do some road bikes now come setup for 135 mm?

3) Rim width versus tire width. Has anyone mentioned this yet? Are you running 23 mm tires on that bike? Whatever your tire width, you usually want your rim to be at least a few mm narrower.

4) Rim brake track. You have rim brakes, right? Make sure to buy wheels with a brake track.

I would look up that Jenson set again for you, but it is painful to find it from the phone. Jenson doesn't make the specs visible from their mobile view. I remember the set having a 15 mm inner rim width, and it cost less than $300.
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Old 08-17-17, 09:24 PM
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Thank everyone for providing feedback.

Holy bananas, so much to learn!

Yes, they're QR wheels! That much I know.

I don't even know what "dropout spacing" is!

The current tires are 23c Gatorskins

I do have a rim track.

Here's what I'm looking at snagging via CL (it's in a new thread)

https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rch/...196220336.html

or

https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/pml/...227992406.html

The owner of the second states the wheels and cassette are less than 6 months old, and that there's "normal wear" on the brake track, with no cracks--but can't say how much action the wheels themselves have seen (which seems odd to me).
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Old 08-17-17, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by europa View Post
You know mate, one of the most important tools novice (and even experienced) cyclists can have is a reliable lbs. My advice to you is to keep visiting the shops within a semi-stupid radius, asking the same question start comparing NOT the answers, but how they relate to you and answer your question. The wheels you're looking for aren't something special so what one shop recommends is unlikely to be any better than another shop's recommendation. However, discovering a good lbs that understands you and your needs is gold and THAT's what you should be looking for. Get the right shop and you don't need to shop around for stuff, you just go straight there.

So true!

I've hit two more LBS' and the difference is night and day!

This is excellent advice, and I'm glad you mentioned it. It definitely should not go without being stated!

The first was a kind of boutique bike shop which had unbelievably bad service (with an equally bad Yelp record). When I called, they said they had hundreds of wheels, many on special. By the time I got there, they offered me one wheel saying they were entirely out of stock.
The second was much more enjoyable as knowledge, familiarity, and enjoyment of bicycles was communicated just by how they spoke (no pun intended). They said they'd get back to me with a recommendation, but sadly never did.

A third shop (in Vancouver) said they'd look into making a recommendation from their stock, and actually called me back!

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Old 08-18-17, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Charismatron View Post
I don't even know what "dropout spacing" is!
Dropout spacing refers to the distance between the left and right dropouts on your frame. The distance between the outer locknuts on whatever rear wheel you buy needs to match what the frame expects. I'm more of a mountain-biker, and spacing has been changing every few years in that space. I know that 130 mm between dropouts used to be common in road bikes. Just maybe get a ruler and check to be certain what you have.

The current tires are 23c Gatorskins

Here's what I'm looking at snagging via CL (it's in a new thread)

https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rch/...196220336.html
That rim is too wide for your tires. You would end up with 23 mm tires on a 25 mm rim, and your rim would be wider than your tires.

I'm not sure about the second wheelset that you posted, because the rim width isn't given in the listing.

What did that third shop from Vancouver have to say? If they don't have something in stock, it ought to be dead easy for them to order in something from their distributor.
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Old 08-18-17, 06:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Charismatron View Post
Here's what I'm looking at snagging via CL (it's in a new thread)
https://vancouver.craigslist.ca/rch/...196220336.html
Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
That rim is too wide for your tires. You would end up with 23 mm tires on a 25 mm rim, and your rim would be wider than your tires.
Charismatron- that wheelset is perferctly fine in quality and setup. The rim is absolutely not too wide, Jonathan is misreading the listing.
The 25mm mentioned in the listing is for the tires. The rims have a 15mm inner width and a 20.8mm outer width.
Those wheels would attach to your bike just fine.


FYI- Ive seen them for $300USD. The listing has a cassette, tubes, and tires- so there is that value(if you like the tires and cassette setup). But the rims are also used, even if only a bit, so take that into account. I guess figure the dollar conversion, what value there is in the extras, what value is lost in them being used, and there you have the price you would be willing to spend.
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Old 08-18-17, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Charismatron- that wheelset is perferctly fine in quality and setup. The rim is absolutely not too wide, Jonathan is misreading the listing.
My bad. I just went by the headline.
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Old 08-18-17, 08:09 AM
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Thanks, guys.

The RS20 Shimanos are down to 250 Canadian after bartering (193 USD).

If you have any thoughts on the Bontrager wheel set, let me know.

I really appreciate the feedback.
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Old 08-18-17, 08:28 AM
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How much do you weigh ? If you are over 90kg's low spoke count wheels 16h/20h like the RS20 might not be the best choice. Because that will put extra stress on the spokes and they can fatigue and break. And there would be no warranty. White wheels are also abit of an oddity and they would show how dirty they are alot more, if that bothers you ?

Those bontrager wheels have been around for years. I dont believe they are less than 6 months old.

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Old 08-18-17, 09:36 AM
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There's not much difference in the $150-$500+ range for factory wheels. They all do the same thing in the basically the same way. Weight wise between those it's 300-500 grams. The heaviest wheels will feel more sluggish at accelerating from a stand still/lower speeds, the lighter wheels will be more spritely. But once up to speed the difference is marginal.

Wheels under 1400 grams are super light
Under 1650 grams are considered light
Above 1650 to 1850 grams they are average
Above 1850 grams they are heavy
Above 2000 grams they are very heavy

Generally the higher priced wheelsets in this range like Shimano Ultegra 6800 or Campy Zonda which are currently both the sweet spot for price/value/performance. Will be built better and more attention has been made to the proper spoke tentions and truing. Shimano's cheapest entry level RS010 wheels are great value for the price. The rims are nicely machined. The only downside is they are still narrow (15mm inner rim width) and relatively heavy at around 1900 grams. But if you are only commuting and not doing any serious climbing they may be all you really need. They make a great winter wheelset. If you want something slightly better that fall inbetween those examples take a look at Fulcrum Racing 5's, Fulcrum Quattro LG's, Racing 7 LG's, Shimano RS11,RS21, Mavic Askiums which are the most popular.

What you pay extra for is things like

Lighter rims (+ wider, deeper and stiffer rims) - Also tubeless compatibility - The lightest rims can have a thinner brake wall thickness and do not last as long.
Lighter hubs
Straight pull hubs (vs j-bend hubs) - Straight pull hubs supposedly build a stiffer wheel
Bladed spokes (vs rounded spokes) - Bladed spokes are more aerodynamic and have a higher fatigue resistance.
Lighter aluminium axles (vs steel axles)
Lighter aluminium/titanium freehub bodys (vs steel) - The downside is aluminium/titanium freehubs are softer than steel so get gouged by the cassette spider easier,making it harder to remove a cassette.

More freehub pawls and teeth - faster engaging rear hub
Higher quality hub bearings like cup and cone (vs cartridge bearings)
Better sealed hubs
Easier hub cone adjustment like hex keys (vs lock nuts)
Closed rim beds - no rim tape required and no spokes holes in the rim bed to potentially puncture the tube
Nicer finishing/paint on the rims and hubs.
And the brand and warranty.

Above $500/$1000+ and you begin to get into exotica and the point of diminishing returns. And into proprietary parts territory like custom spokes, nipples, rim extrusion profiles, rim coatings and ceramic bearings. All of which add very little performance benefit and only drive up the price further for spares.

A wider rim (17mm+ inner rim width) is a nice upgrade if you are currently riding a narrow rim. Wider rims help the tyre grip the road better expecially if you combine it with a 25mm+ tyre. But some older frames might not have the clearance for 25mm tyres.

Last edited by trailflow1; 08-21-17 at 08:01 AM.
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Old 08-18-17, 09:39 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Charismatron View Post
Thanks, guys.

The RS20 Shimanos are down to 250 Canadian after bartering (193 USD).

If you have any thoughts on the Bontrager wheel set, let me know.

I really appreciate the feedback.
Bontrager is just Trek's house brand for components. In general, i wouldnt say its a very well loved name when it comes to wheels.
Just mention this so you dont feel compelled to get that brand.
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