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New wheels worth it?

Old 06-26-18, 01:04 PM
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Cyclecrazy
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New wheels worth it?

I have a 2013 Specialized Sirrus Expert Carbon (flatbar hybrid) with stock Axis wheels. My rides are on hilly terrain, although usually only 10 miles a couple of times a week--30 miles max. In the past I've had an 18lb road bike with Campy wheels and loved the responsiveness. I'm interested in how upgrading your wheels has improved your ride and if you feel it's been worth it. My LBS sells a set of Giant carbon wheels for $1,000 and says it's a reasonable way to get into some real quality.
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Old 06-26-18, 01:11 PM
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Wouldn't be worth $1,000 to me. YMMV.
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Old 06-26-18, 01:23 PM
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got the cash burning a hole in your pocket?

I have no desire for carbon rims ..


you got disc brakes so not dependant on friction braking on the carbon rim itself?





.....
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Old 06-26-18, 02:18 PM
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I do have disk breaks. Not in any hurry to spend that much money but the hills are getting harder to climb the older I get! That's why I'm asking for other's experiences.
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Old 06-26-18, 04:38 PM
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you might just want to ride more and get stronger, my riding buddy is 76 and he's faster than I am on the hills and I'm 20 years younger. it's about fitness and saddle time.
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Old 06-26-18, 04:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclecrazy View Post
I do have disk breaks. Not in any hurry to spend that much money but the hills are getting harder to climb the older I get! That's why I'm asking for other's experiences.
I would say gearing would be a cheaper, and more effective change if you're having trouble in the hills.
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Old 06-26-18, 04:57 PM
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I have a 2007 Roubaix, that came with Mavic Open Sport wheels. A couple of years ago, the rear developed cracks around two spoke nipples. I found a set of aluminum Reynolds Stratus Elite for under $200 including shipping, from Nashbar, on one of their closeout + coupon deals. I didn't expect much, but they transformed the bike from something that I was just OK with, to something that was fun to ride. I think the Mavics were too flexible, and seemed to get knocked around by every stone or road imperfection. I hit a pine cone, crashed and broke my arm several years ago on those wheels. The Reynolds seem much more secure, handle better, climb better, and really transformed the bike. Don't spend $1000, but shop around, and you can do a wheel upgrade that will really help your bike. I don't know if the weight is that much different, but I'm a 200 lb guy, and stronger is more important that super lightness. I also upgraded my disc brake bike to Reynolds Assault carbon wheels, and think they are a great upgrade too. Also under $1000, just barely. If the bike is more fun to ride, you will ride more.
I'm 69 and do around 100 miles a week. Best upgrade: ride more miles.

Last edited by Slightspeed; 06-26-18 at 05:11 PM.
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Old 06-26-18, 05:03 PM
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30 miles max... dude, I commuted 4X that distance, AND did another 60 on Saturdays... and I believe you'll find a LOT of folks here ripping up a LOT more miles...

Work on the motor, not the wheels. The returns will be vastly greater.... and cheaper.

Good suggestion on changing gearing... then, learn to up your RPMs and really spin.

When those 10 mile jaunts start to feel like a "warmup," then consider new wheels.
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Old 06-26-18, 05:17 PM
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The stock wheels on that bike are less than desirable in my mind, however once you are able to flex the rim enough to rub the brakes or frame, and climb without chuffing like a locomotive, then upgrade the wheels.

PS. you may want to have the spokes tensioned on the stock rear wheel as they are often delivered under-tensioned and loosen up over time.
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Old 06-26-18, 09:48 PM
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Way to much money for miles you are riding. There are lighter options for about half the cost out there.
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Old 06-26-18, 10:27 PM
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$1,000 is a lot of green for casual rides. If you are time trialing and need to shave a minute off your time, I could see it, but I don't see the worth. Maybe save up for a complete bike upgrade. If you are not satisfied with your bike, you could look at a new high performance bike. Trade-in + grand would get you on your way to a performance bike
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Old 06-27-18, 12:49 AM
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I got my GF a bike with those wheels- they're pretty porky.

Bought some alloy wheels on Craigslist about a pound lighter for $150.

So I say upgrade, but don't spend the big bucks.
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Old 06-27-18, 09:14 AM
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What's the weight difference between your current wheels and the carbon wheels? As an experiment, take twice that weight off your bike. Perhaps go out and leave your water bottles at the bottom of those hills and then ride them out and back to your bottles. Do you notice anything?

Perhaps if you are getting older and not as strong in the legs you might need to change your gearing. Particularly if you are having to use your lowest ratio gear to do a lot of your current climbing.
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Old 06-27-18, 10:40 AM
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New wheels worth it?

Thanks Slightspeed. Cool bikes! I'll look for cheaper wheels—hopefully something I can find reviews on.
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Old 06-27-18, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
30 miles max... dude, I commuted 4X that distance, AND did another 60 on Saturdays... and I believe you'll find a LOT of folks here ripping up a LOT more miles...
You commuted 120 miles? Was that one way or round trip?
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Old 06-27-18, 11:16 AM
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Your bike appears to have 10 speed in the back, so you don't need to spend extra for newer 11 speed wheels.

My Specialized Allez came with heavy stock wheels like yours, and I upgraded to Easton EA 90 SLX for around $600 a few years ago. These weight about 1500 grams.

Compared to the stock wheels, it saved a pound of weight, and the ride was noticeably better.

At the time, I was commuting under 10 miles, but it was totally worth it.

I retired the Eastons recently in favor of HED Belgium tubulars, which I got used in eBay for $400. Tubulars are amazing and ride better than my $1000 Dura Ace c24 wheels.

I also have Fulcrum 5 that are slightly below the Eastons but nicer than the stock wheels. You can find these new around $300.

Anyhow, I think some mid-level alloy wheels in 10sp like the Eastons would be about right.
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Old 06-27-18, 11:52 AM
  #17  
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In my experience, wheel price has very little relationship to quality or value. You can get very good deals on new wheels anytime from many online sources. Easy DIY upgrade. Check out the wheel prices at bikesdirect .com
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Old 06-27-18, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
You commuted 120 miles? Was that one way or round trip?
12 miles each way, 5 times a week. Then the 60+ mile jaunts on weekends.

For a while, I did 30 miles each way, 5 days a week.

My point is that 10 miles per ride, based on the OP, is nothing... and the OP should spend more time in the saddle before “investing” in fancy new wheels.
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Old 06-27-18, 08:35 PM
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Both of my last two road bike came with boat anchors for wheels and I upgraded them both pretty quickly. Great investment if you spend a lot time on the bike. I don't know anything about those Giant carbon wheels but I would say shop around. With a little shopping I found really good deals.
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Old 06-27-18, 10:38 PM
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if it's high spoke count and sturdy wheels sure. I don't see the spoke count advertised much if at all or is it just me missing it?

​​​​​​​anyway
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Old 06-28-18, 01:39 PM
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I appreciate the brand names and have looked at a few. Definitely better prices. I don't really want to spend $1,000. I've bought plenty of bike parts off eBay, so that's not a deterrent. One challenge for me will be getting my brakes, cassette, and any other parts onto wheels I might buy outside of my LBS. I'm not a bike mechanic, but perhaps it's not that complicated.
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Old 06-28-18, 01:54 PM
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A lot of good responses here. I'm 72 and in past years have ridden about 100 mi/wk. I have 3 wheelsets that are various weights. Switching between wheels is not that big a deal. However, this year my riding has been about 50-60 mi/wk for a variety of reasons. But, I'm also 10 lbs lighter than in the past. Now that makes a difference. I am faster and more fluid on the bike than ever before. My favorite wheels are some Mavic Ksyrium Elites that I have had for several years. I think about another wheelset from time to time but I don't think I need to spend $1000 to be happy. (Just for point of reference....a typical 30 mi. ride for me would include 2,000 ft of elevation and I'd do it around 15 mph)
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Old 06-28-18, 03:32 PM
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I upgraded from my OE wheels to Bicycle Warehouse's aluminum Pure Podiums. The PP's were considerably lighter, accelerated quicker, and handled better. The price was right also, during a late in the season sale. I considered those wheels an upgrade.
A few years later I got the carbon wheel bug and purchased a set of Prime carbon wheels from Chain Reaction Cycles. They are a few ounces lighter, which can't be felt while riding, otherwise there isn't any appreciable improvement besides looking better than the PP's. Although, there is the buzz from the textured brake track while applying the brakes.
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Old 06-28-18, 04:07 PM
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It was so easy when my LBS recommended the Giant wheels. Now that I'm looking for something less expensive the choices seem endless! I'm hoping that taking all your suggested brands and then comparing them with online reviews will guide me to the best choice for me. In addition to different manufacturers, I don't know whether to look at carbon or aluminum. What about spoke count? Any suggestions?
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Old 06-28-18, 05:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclecrazy View Post
It was so easy when my LBS recommended the Giant wheels. Now that I'm looking for something less expensive the choices seem endless! I'm hoping that taking all your suggested brands and then comparing them with online reviews will guide me to the best choice for me. In addition to different manufacturers, I don't know whether to look at carbon or aluminum. What about spoke count? Any suggestions?
Consider your weight when choosing spoke count.

I would decide on a budget, then find the best lightweight wheels in that range. Probably aluminum.
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