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Old 09-14-09, 04:37 PM   #1
My Next 30 Years
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New Wheels,, Please Point Me

I have a Mavic wheel set,, (Ksyrium Equipe 700's)

First,,, Weight of a wheel set is not a the first priority, quality and being bomb proof is,,,, I ride just to stay in shape,, but put a lot of miles on and like to used good equipment, I'm currently using the Mavic's listed above,,,,, What I'm thinking about,, and on the fence with,,, should I upgrade,,, maybe a step or two better,,,, not sure if a I would gain anything, etc,,,,,, I would be running 32 size tire give or take,,, I would also like to stay with a name brand,, mavic, easton, etc,,,,,,,,

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Old 09-14-09, 06:27 PM   #2
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I'm partial to custom handbuilt wheels. Often, you can get a better wheel, much cheaper when going with handbuilts over the big name brands, since you're not supporting the advertising budget and free wheels for the pro riders. You don't always get the bling factor and bragging rights, but I'd rather have the extra money in my pocket.

The other benefit is that most builders use standard parts, so it's easier to get the wheel fixed just about anywhere.

Mavic or Velocity hoops and Ultegra hubs are a popular, strong, fairly light and inexpensive choice. It's also about as generic as you can get.

I couldn't find a local builder I was comfortable with, but I found one online. I used Mike Garcia of Odds And Endos. (Note: His web site sucks. Use it only for contact info.)

I phoned and talked with his wife, who also builds wheels. I explained what I wanted, how I ride, and how I wanted it to look. (I wanted blue hoops to go with the blue trim on my bike.) She gave me a couple of options, but not really knowing what I was doing, I left the final decisions to them.

A couple of weeks and $385 later my new wheels arrived. Including rim tape, the wheelset weighs 1,609 grams. And that's with 32-spokes on the rear one. They are strong, but ride well--a much nicer ride than the wheels they replaced. (And yes, I used the same tires, tubes and pressures.) They also added a certain crispness to the handling.

It's been two years and 4,000 miles of mainly commuting on urban, inner city streets, and they just had their first truing.

Although they don't shout about the size of my ego, wallet or credit limit, the wheels are the first thing people comment on--riders and civilians alike.

I'm just now finalizing the specs for a new set for my other bike. I can't wait to dump the factory wheels.
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Old 09-15-09, 11:07 AM   #3
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Are the Ksyriums shot?

Personally, I think the Ksyrium Equipes are plenty tough if they've been very carefully trued and tensioned by a seasoned wheelbuilder. Out of the box, I'm not so sure about them. I needed my Mavic Cosmos retensioned (had the best wheelbuilder in town do it) after about 500 miles and I've since beaten the living tar out of them and my Ksyrium Elites and they're both still true after 10000 miles between them. I wouldn't use them for loaded touring but I'm not exactly tentative rumbling over railroad tracks either.

They aren't the best value though. If I had to replace them, I'd go for Mavic CXP33's on Ultegra hubs.
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Old 09-15-09, 01:02 PM   #4
Time for a change.
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Have to agree about the handbuilt wheels---But first find the builder. Others can advise on them.

You decide what you want the wheels for and the builder will build it- Lighweight- strong- good looks ( Or all 3) and they will build it for you. Just don't ask for cheap.

And like Cachehiker- Mavic CXP33 rims- 36 double butted spokes laced x 2 and I have 105 hubs. Indestructable and ride a dream.
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Old 09-15-09, 02:45 PM   #5
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You don't state what your ultimate goal is, so recommending wheels is hard. Also, you don't state your type of bike, riding, and your weight.

I also prefer handbuilt wheels, but it's hard to recommend them anymore. They always cost more than factory wheels, and now the price difference has increased a lot. Factory wheels can be made good by retensioning and retruing. If you have patience and interest, you can build your wheels yourself to ensure top quality. But you probably won't save money unless you have at least some of the components on hand already.
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Old 09-15-09, 04:53 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
And like Cachehiker- Mavic CXP33 rims- 36 double butted spokes laced x 2 and I have 105 hubs. Indestructable and ride a dream.
Except I would be using 28 DT Revos on the front and either 28 or 32 hole DT Comp drive DT Revo non-drive on the rear depending on the bike. I'm not a big guy so I'd get by just fine with 28 spokes if there are no racks involved.

I've built 8 of my 10 wheelsets and I must say that hand built is the way to go if you've got the time or a good builder who's going to give you a good deal. The roadie bike is the only place I still use "boutique" wheels. Once the spokes are optimally tensioned handbuilts are surprisingly light for their toughness. What I love most is they don't "look fast" to the uninitiated. Sometimes factoring in the shipping and the cost of the build makes it not worth the trouble though.

"Boutique" wheels like the Ksyriums are often only about 100g lighter when you're looking at similar price points. Many of them can still benefit from a little tender loving care when they come out of the box and require proprietary parts to repair as well. My Cosmos rear arrived a hair undertensioned. When I later tacoed a Ksyrium Elite, the new rim was $75 and the four spokes I had replaced were $6 each. Add labor because I won't ask to borrow tools from the shops, and (IIRC) the repair was $130. Ouch!
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