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Worth getting a second OEM wheelset?

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Worth getting a second OEM wheelset?

Old 11-08-18, 12:45 PM
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musicmaster
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Worth getting a second OEM wheelset?

A week back, I purchased a Women's Fuji Finest 1.1 on clearance from Performance to use as a Winter/Commuter/Gravel bike -- my first bike with disc brakes. I want to pick up a second wheelset where I can leave some cyclocross tires on it and have a lower geared cassette.

I'm able to get a second set of the OEM wheels, Vera Corsa DPD22, with tires and tubes locally for $100 as new-takeoffs. From my first few rides, these wheels aren't anything special and are heavy at ~2200g, but the tires I could use for my summer commuting (worth say $15/each) and tubes (at $3/each) brings the price of the wheelset down to only 65 or so. However, I'm having a hard time convincing myself it's worth it to spend more money on a better wheelset for my winter/gravel bike.

The biggest advantage I see is that I've read a number of complaints that it's hard to switch wheelsets on disc bikes due to caliper alignment. If I have 2 of the same wheelsets, wouldn't it be a lot more "plug and play" and I'd not have to worry about it as the spacing is the same?

My only hesitation is that the few rides I've had with the bike, I've been markably slower throughout the ride. Even on downhill sections where I'd hit 33+ on my summer road bike, I was having trouble getting past 30MPH. I haven't determined if that's due to the tires (running 23/25c vs 28c) or the wheelset itself.
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Old 11-08-18, 01:06 PM
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I have two wheelsets - a 700C one with 700x28 and a tubeless 650B with 650x48 that I use for offroad. They both are the same axle 100x15 and 142x12 and have the exact same 11-36 cassette and rotors and switching between the two is seemless.
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Old 11-08-18, 02:13 PM
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If they're the same wheels I'd expect that alignment shouldn't be a problem. I have two different sets of wheels for my bike. They don't align perfectly, but it takes two minutes to make the small adjustment to the calipers.

Your speed on the descent is due to the tires, not the wheels.
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Old 11-08-18, 02:40 PM
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Your post reads to me like you don't really like the wheels on your bike now. Why buy another set you don't like?
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Old 11-08-18, 02:48 PM
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musicmaster
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Originally Posted by joelcool View Post
Your post reads to me like you don't really like the wheels on your bike now. Why buy another set you don't like?
Price. Compatibility (since I have QR front and back). @mcours2006 says the speed is due to the tires, which is easily fixable. That's my biggest drawback I'm having. Given it's a winter bike, I'm having a hard time spending $200+ on a wheelset, which is what I would end up spending if I went for a lighter ~1800gr wheelset.
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Old 11-08-18, 03:12 PM
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And a lighter (not a whole lot) wheelset would do exactly what for you? Well, other than lighten up your wallet?

Same everything (hubs, rotors) should be plug & play. You might have issues with lever feel or modulation based on different levels of rotor wear, but at worst it would only be annoying. Differences in speed like you've described are probably tire related. I doubt you're that aero where you'd notice a speed difference based on the rim profile alone. Surely there are other factors at play.

A second wheelset for quick and easy tire swap is nothing new. I've done it with several bikes over many years. Frankly, disc brakes have made the process easier, but hub/rotor similarity is key. But as somebody already asked, are you sure you want two sets of wheels you don't particularly like? I suppose you could buy two better wheelsets but then it is a winter bike. Choices.


-Kedosto

Edit: So right after I hit ENTER, I realized I have a flat bar bike with 3 wheelsets. One go-fast street tire setup (28's), one fat street tire setup (47's), and one dirt tire setup (50's). All on Specialized Stout hubs with el cheapo Shimano rotors. Only thing I notice is a slightly different feel at the lever because the rotors are worn out slightly differently.

Last edited by Kedosto; 11-08-18 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 11-08-18, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by musicmaster View Post
My only hesitation is that the few rides I've had with the bike, I've been markably slower throughout the ride. Even on downhill sections where I'd hit 33+ on my summer road bike, I was having trouble getting past 30MPH. I haven't determined if that's due to the tires (running 23/25c vs 28c) or the wheelset itself.
33mph versus 30mph is an extremely large difference.

How well are you sampling and controlling your data? If you're only looking at a single downhill stretch over a couple of rides, and especially without controlling for season, speeds can be dramatically affected by weather conditions, especially wind.

Aerodynamics are by far the largest source of resistance at these speeds, and your body is responsible for the vast majority of air drag on the bike+rider system. So you'll want to check that your descending posture on the winter bike is similar to that on the summer bike. (And make sure that the fit in general is appropriate. Comfortable, stable, and allows you to pedal powerfully from the postures you want to pedal powerfully from.)
Are you dressing differently right now than in the summer? Some baggy winter clothing has very poor aerodynamics.

The other big thing to look at is the tires. More their construction than their size. Supple racing tires can be a lot faster than beefy commuter tires, even if both are slicks and have the same width; up to a couple mph at the extremes. The Vera Helios tires that come on the Finest likely aren't that slow, but they might still be costing you some speed, depending on what's on your summer bike.

Wheel aerodynamics can make some difference to descending, but typically more on the order of fractions of a mph than several mph. Again, depends on what's on your summer bike.
Wheel bearing drag is usually of marginal importance unless the bearings on one set of wheels are improperly assembled or destroyed. And a wheel being lightweight likely won't improve your downhill speeds at all (mostly it'll make your bike handle lighter, and like all weight reduction, improve climbing).

Originally Posted by musicmaster View Post
Given it's a winter bike, I'm having a hard time spending $200+ on a wheelset
If, during the summer, you care about some benefit that high-quality wheels offer, why do you stop caring about it in the winter?

I don't understand why "winter bike" is a special category at all. I don't have any winter bikes. I do have a few bikes that see little use outside of summer because they lack fenderage, but the bikes that I ride in the winter also get ridden in the summer, because I like riding them. I mean, if I didn't like riding those bikes in the summer, why would I want to ride them in the winter?

Not that I think you need to buy good wheels or anything. An enjoyable bike doesn't necessarily require a huge investment. Rather, it's the reasoning that confuses me.

Last edited by HTupolev; 11-08-18 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 11-08-18, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
33mph versus 30mph is an extremely large difference.

How well are you sampling and controlling your data? If you're only looking at a single downhill stretch over a couple of rides, and especially without controlling for season, speeds can be dramatically affected by weather conditions, especially wind.

Aerodynamics are by far the largest source of resistance at these speeds, and your body is responsible for the vast majority of air drag on the bike+rider system. So you'll want to check that your descending posture on the winter bike is similar to that on the summer bike. (And make sure that the fit in general is appropriate. Comfortable, stable, and allows you to pedal powerfully from the postures you want to pedal powerfully from.)
Are you dressing differently right now than in the summer? Some baggy winter clothing has very poor aerodynamics.

The other big thing to look at is the tires. More their construction than their size. Supple racing tires can be a lot faster than beefy commuter tires, even if both are slicks and have the same width; up to a couple mph at the extremes. The Vera Helios tires that come on the Finest likely aren't that slow, but they might still be costing you some speed, depending on what's on your summer bike.

Wheel aerodynamics can make some difference to descending, but typically more on the order of fractions of a mph than several mph. Again, depends on what's on your summer bike.
Wheel bearing drag is usually of marginal importance unless the bearings on one set of wheels are improperly assembled or destroyed. And a wheel being lightweight likely won't improve your downhill speeds at all (mostly it'll make your bike handle lighter, and like all weight reduction, improve climbing).


If, during the summer, you care about some benefit that high-quality wheels offer, why do you stop caring about it in the winter?

I don't understand why "winter bike" is a special category at all. I don't have any winter bikes. I do have a few bikes that see little use outside of summer because they lack fenderage, but the bikes that I ride in the winter also get ridden in the summer, because I like riding them. I mean, if I didn't like riding those bikes in the summer, why would I want to ride them in the winter?

Not that I think you need to buy good wheels or anything. An enjoyable bike doesn't necessarily require a huge investment. Rather, it's the reasoning that confuses me.
You're right. It wasn't really a scientific test and it has been a bit more gloomy here the last week or two. I was more figuring that I've done these routes dozens and dozens of times, so I have a general idea of how fast I usually can go down the hills. Given it has a Tiagra crank, I could easily swap over my 105 crank arm based power meter to get a better test. As far as tires, my summer bike has Conti Ultra Sport 23mm (front) and 25mm (back). It seems like the wheelset itself wouldn't be an issue then. My summer bike has Fulcrom Racing 5's -- so nothing that special.

As far as having a winter bike, I wanted something that has discs and I can run 28mm tires in the winter and have the ability to run 32/35mm knobbies to go on dirt/gravel roads in the summer and to commute in the summer. CO uses a lot of sand on the roads in the winter which means less traction and a lot of potential grinding on the rims. With long mountain descents, I'm already cautious in the summer. In the winter, I take things even slower. I've tried the one-wheelset thing and swapping cassettes/tires. The 10-15 minutes it takes to swap it out means I just don't bother.
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Old 11-08-18, 05:22 PM
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Price seems right, why not? My only addition being if I was thinking of a winter, wet weather wheelset I'd spend a little more to get "sealed" hubs. Black Friday is coming up and I've seen a few QR disc wheelsets with Deore hubs for around $150 or less.

Of course "sealed" doesn't mean fully water proof, but it could mean servicing the hubs once a year instead of multiple times.
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Old 11-08-18, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by HTupolev View Post
I don't understand why "winter bike" is a special category at all. I don't have any winter bikes. I do have a few bikes that see little use outside of summer because they lack fenderage, but the bikes that I ride in the winter also get ridden in the summer, because I like riding them. I mean, if I didn't like riding those bikes in the summer, why would I want to ride them in the winter?
I have a sticker on the rack of my touring bike that reads "my other bike is a carbon fiber road bike"


Some people just call them bikes, others call anything but their primary road bike for ideal roadie style riding a winter bike.

Back on topic, having multiple wheels sets makes perfect sense. Many people do the same, you can even use different cassettes if needed.

Last edited by u235; 11-08-18 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 11-08-18, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
Price seems right, why not? My only addition being if I was thinking of a winter, wet weather wheelset I'd spend a little more to get "sealed" hubs. Black Friday is coming up and I've seen a few QR disc wheelsets with Deore hubs for around $150 or less.

Of course "sealed" doesn't mean fully water proof, but it could mean servicing the hubs once a year instead of multiple times.
Wouldn't spacing for MTB hubs be different?
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Old 11-08-18, 06:02 PM
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I think it makes sense to have a second wheel set, with different tires mounted. And a different cassette, too. But before you condemn the 'slow' wheels, check that they roll smoothly. Quite often wheel bearings are mis-adjusted or dry from the factory, and the LBS doesn't always catch it. They should, but they don't.
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Old 11-08-18, 08:48 PM
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I would never put money towards the cheapo oem wheels unless they can be had for $50 or less. Plus you might not be able to fit a wide tire on their road bike. I know their older stuff (2010s era) didn't have much clearance for much and while yes cross maxes out at 33 width wise you still want good clearance for mud and such. I would save up some money and have a nice set of wheels built for you (as in hand built not by a machine) and use the cheap wheels for beating around in the winter. That is what I would if I were in your situation. Run the Veras into the ground and have a nice set that will last forever. Plenty of hubs these days have different end caps for QR and 12mm thru axles so you could build something backwards compatible pretty easily and move them to a new bike which will probably be disc and 12x142 in the back. You can also swap out freehubs on many wheels so you can move to an XD driver or campy freehub and quite possibly the new Shimano 12 speed micro spline in the future?
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Old 11-09-18, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by musicmaster View Post
Wouldn't spacing for MTB hubs be different?
Well I'm in the wrong it seems after looking around! 130mm disc hubs with just QRs are scarce, unless you could get one with thru/QR adapter. I say buy the oem set, it's cheap enough. Would be nice to have two, you could drop one off at the lbs for service and not have your bike down.

It seems new 105/Ultegra have better sealing now. Also doing a little searching it seems Tiagra has the same seals as mtb, but I couldn't find a disc version.
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