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High end alloy wheelsets worth it?

Old 09-19-19, 05:35 PM
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wayne310
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High end alloy wheelsets worth it?

is it worth getting good alloy wheelsets as an upgrade ? are they much lighter than stock wheelsets? I have RD 2.0 mavic maddux wheelsets on my Synapse carbon but i feel they are quite heavy..dont notice it on flats but on climbing i notice difference.

i noticed chinese carbon is very popular lately but can one get good alloy wheelset under $700?
disc wheelset in particular
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Old 09-19-19, 05:45 PM
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seau grateau
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Ehh. If you're starting with some really heavy rims, maybe. I wouldn't spend more than $500 on alloy wheels though.
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Old 09-19-19, 06:06 PM
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I have a set of Hed Ardennes SLs, which weigh < 1600 g in the disc version and cost me about 900. I only weigh about 145 these days, but I haven’t been able to ding them in every day use on a commuting and off-pavement bike.
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Old 09-19-19, 06:28 PM
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Have had many enjoyable miles...

...on my Campy Zonda wheelset.
Ridden for 3 seasons, true out of the box from wiggle UK, still true and round.
Paid about $350USD, shipped.

Check out the link below. :0)
Wider than the wheels I bought...cheaper, but with better cornering.
Nice graphics.
Weight: 1540 grams

CAMPAGNOLO ZONDA C17 CLINCHER WHEELSET - BLACK

Probikekit USAVISIT SITE$319.99+$22.40 tax. Free shipping

Edit: oops. Missed you're looking for a disc wheelset.

Last edited by chainwhip; 09-19-19 at 06:49 PM.
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Old 09-19-19, 08:28 PM
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Depends on your use case. If you’re constantly slamming potholes and like to run your pressures low, then maybe carbon isn’t worth it. Maybe someone else can point out whether carbon rims are actually better at taking impacts than alloy but... I doubt it.

You have disc brakes, which pretty much takes away the #1 reason to go alloy. The #2 reason is cost, but China carbon can range between absurdly cheap and reasonably priced. Many people on this forum (incl me) are running Light Bicycle wheels with much success, and they’re somewhat close to creeping into the mainstream.

So I would say that for disc brakes, it makes more sense to go with China carbon than ever. I would weigh your wheelset without rim tape (meh - like 20g?) or skewers or cassette to see how much your wheelset weighs. If it’s over 1900g, has round spokes, and is only 15-17mm wide, a solid alloy wheelset with aero spokes that’s 19-20mm wide and 1500g will feel much better.

If you’re already somewhat close to ~1700g, you’ll want to go carbon in order to perceive a difference. An LB wheelset will come to less than 1400g if you go weight weenie and will cost ~$650.

Lastly, the real gains for those choosing carbon wheels come from extra wide and deep rims. Low profile carbon wheels are actually a worse value since they save much less weight over their alloy counterparts.
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Old 09-19-19, 10:20 PM
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I too picked up a pair of HED Ardennes GP plus rims for about 400$ as take offs from a Cervelo. They weigh in at 1600g. Way better than the 2000 gram stock wheels that came on the bike.

Stock wheels are used on the trainer now and will be backups as needed when the others get serviced.
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Old 09-19-19, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Maybe someone else can point out whether carbon rims are actually better at taking impacts than alloy but... I doubt it.
Depends on peak force from impact. You can break either one. But if you don't hit the wheel hard enough to break the rim, carbon won't bend, for more than a second or two. A couple spokes may unwind, but you adjust their tension and the wheel will true up perfectly.
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Old 09-19-19, 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by chainwhip View Post
...on my Campy Zonda wheelset.
Ridden for 3 seasons, true out of the box from wiggle UK, still true and round.
Paid about $350USD, shipped.

Check out the link below. :0)
Wider than the wheels I bought...cheaper, but with better cornering.
Nice graphics.
Weight: 1540 grams

CAMPAGNOLO ZONDA C17 CLINCHER WHEELSET - BLACK

Probikekit USAVISIT SITE$319.99+$22.40 tax. Free shipping

Edit: oops. Missed you're looking for a disc wheelset.
I also have these wheels and they are good solid wheels that will last. 4 years and never needed truing. Not full on aero wheels but not bad. A great value for the price.
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Old 09-20-19, 01:43 AM
  #9  
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The real world differences in speed in dropping even a relatively large amount of weight (say, 400g)from your wheels isn't great, although it does change how responsive the bike feels to a certain degree. Slightly more aerodynamic rims (including some aluminum options) will probably have a greater impact on speed. If you're interested in running tubeless I do think it makes a meaningful difference, so there's that potential to upgrading. If your stock wheels are breaking spokes that's another obvious reason to upgrade (also possibly get less racey wheels).

This all said by an overweight guy who's riding ~1250 g aluminum rim brake wheels for shoots and giggles, but I'm a pro mechanic buying at cost and consider myself a very good wheelbuilder. Truthfully I don't think it makes my bike magically very much better. The high end tubeless tires on my bike do make it noticeably better.

Most brands have some decent disc road wheelsets under $700. Could get Rolf Echelons for a crazy looking/aero option. I've always been impressed with the spoke tension consistency of Shimano factory wheels--RS770 can be had around $700 for a aluminum/carbon rim. If you want to custom build something nice like DT R460s to Bitex/Novatec hubs (or even brand name stuff, like DT350s) with DB spokes for well under $700 even with labor, and could easily be specced under 1500g.
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Old 09-20-19, 05:54 AM
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I am totally sold on my Mavic USTs. as I recall the set w/tires cost me under $500.
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Old 09-20-19, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Wilmingtech View Post
I too picked up a pair of HED Ardennes GP plus rims for about 400$ as take offs from a Cervelo. They weigh in at 1600g. Way better than the 2000 gram stock wheels that came on the bike.

Stock wheels are used on the trainer now and will be backups as needed when the others get serviced.
I ended up with a set of those, too, which came on my NOS R3. I’ve been using them for a few months and like them. Nice to know the weight is somewhere near what’s claimed. Far nicer than what they’re putting on second tier Cervélos now.
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Old 09-20-19, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by cpach View Post
The real world differences in speed in dropping even a relatively large amount of weight (say, 400g)from your wheels isn't great, although it does change how responsive the bike feels to a certain degree. Slightly more aerodynamic rims (including some aluminum options) will probably have a greater impact on speed. If you're interested in running tubeless I do think it makes a meaningful difference, so there's that potential to upgrading. If your stock wheels are breaking spokes that's another obvious reason to upgrade (also possibly get less racey wheels).

This all said by an overweight guy who's riding ~1250 g aluminum rim brake wheels for shoots and giggles, but I'm a pro mechanic buying at cost and consider myself a very good wheelbuilder. Truthfully I don't think it makes my bike magically very much better. The high end tubeless tires on my bike do make it noticeably better.

Most brands have some decent disc road wheelsets under $700. Could get Rolf Echelons for a crazy looking/aero option. I've always been impressed with the spoke tension consistency of Shimano factory wheels--RS770 can be had around $700 for a aluminum/carbon rim. If you want to custom build something nice like DT R460s to Bitex/Novatec hubs (or even brand name stuff, like DT350s) with DB spokes for well under $700 even with labor, and could easily be specced under 1500g.
Good post!

it does prompt a follow up question - which tubeless tires are you running?
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Old 09-20-19, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by MoAlpha View Post
I ended up with a set of those, too, which came on my NOS R3. I’ve been using them for a few months and like them. Nice to know the weight is somewhere near what’s claimed. Far nicer than what they’re putting on second tier Cervélos now.
My C3 came with Ardennes. But that was almost 3 years ago and they've been lowering the wheel spec.
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Old 09-20-19, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cpach View Post
The real world differences in speed in dropping even a relatively large amount of weight (say, 400g)from your wheels isn't great, although it does change how responsive the bike feels to a certain degree. Slightly more aerodynamic rims (including some aluminum options) will probably have a greater impact on speed. If you're interested in running tubeless I do think it makes a meaningful difference, so there's that potential to upgrading. If your stock wheels are breaking spokes that's another obvious reason to upgrade (also possibly get less racey wheels).

This all said by an overweight guy who's riding ~1250 g aluminum rim brake wheels for shoots and giggles, but I'm a pro mechanic buying at cost and consider myself a very good wheelbuilder. Truthfully I don't think it makes my bike magically very much better. The high end tubeless tires on my bike do make it noticeably better.

Most brands have some decent disc road wheelsets under $700. Could get Rolf Echelons for a crazy looking/aero option. I've always been impressed with the spoke tension consistency of Shimano factory wheels--RS770 can be had around $700 for a aluminum/carbon rim. If you want to custom build something nice like DT R460s to Bitex/Novatec hubs (or even brand name stuff, like DT350s) with DB spokes for well under $700 even with labor, and could easily be specced under 1500g.
Good post!

it does prompt a follow up question - which tubeless tires are you running?
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Old 09-20-19, 11:05 AM
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Originally Posted by chainwhip View Post
...on my Campy Zonda wheelset.
Ridden for 3 seasons, true out of the box from wiggle UK, still true and round.
Paid about $350USD, shipped.

Check out the link below. :0)
Wider than the wheels I bought...cheaper, but with better cornering.
Nice graphics.
Weight: 1540 grams

CAMPAGNOLO ZONDA C17 CLINCHER WHEELSET - BLACK

Probikekit USAVISIT SITE$319.99+$22.40 tax. Free shipping

Edit: oops. Missed you're looking for a disc wheelset.
There is a Zonda disc wheelset also available at PBK fwiw. Though $399 and they weigh about 100 grams more. At that weight, I'd opt for another 50 grams added, but $100 less and go with the (campy-owned) Fulcrum Quattros.. hazarding a guess that the more aero profile will more than make up for the couple ounces of addt'l weight

https://www.probikekit.com/bicycle-w...?rctxt=default
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Old 09-20-19, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by wayne310 View Post
is it worth getting good alloy wheelsets as an upgrade ? are they much lighter than stock wheelsets? I have RD 2.0 mavic maddux wheelsets on my Synapse carbon but i feel they are quite heavy..dont notice it on flats but on climbing i notice difference.

i noticed chinese carbon is very popular lately but can one get good alloy wheelset under $700?
disc wheelset in particular
Alloy or composites? Anyway, the single best upgrade you can make on your bike. Provided, you're up to speed. Schlepping around town sightseeing they won't do you a bit of good - well they're lighter. But its all about wind resistance. Very, very significant for a cyclist. I wish I could afford a pair but I'm a pauper.

Last edited by KraneXL; 09-20-19 at 11:18 AM.
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Old 09-20-19, 11:47 AM
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https://www.huntbikewheels.cc/collec...material=Alloy

I have the Aero Lights, huge weight savings over my OEM Giant wheels, though I've read some mention that the claimed weights are low. Some day I may remember to weigh them without tires and rotors.
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Old 09-20-19, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by wayne310 View Post
is it worth getting good alloy wheelsets as an upgrade ? are they much lighter than stock wheelsets? I have RD 2.0 mavic maddux wheelsets on my Synapse carbon but i feel they are quite heavy..dont notice it on flats but on climbing i notice difference.

i noticed chinese carbon is very popular lately but can one get good alloy wheelset under $700?
disc wheelset in particular
OK. I came across this last night surfing you tube. You might be interested in looking at this because the author compares 650 dollar Chinese carbon wheels with 6500 carbon wheels. Not to say that it is the all to end all on the matter, but it appears that the Chinese wheels are closing the gap with the high price of a carbon wheel set. I'm probably to heavy for a set of carbon wheels but a riding friend of mine is seriously considering taking the plunge and at roughly 2-2,500, that is a lot of coin. Then as a pro friend of mine said, if you can't afford to replace it if it fails, don't buy it. That goes for anything and carbon wheels in particular.


john
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Old 09-21-19, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by rutan74 View Post
OK. I came across this last night surfing you tube. You might be interested in looking at this because the author compares 650 dollar Chinese carbon wheels with 6500 carbon wheels. Not to say that it is the all to end all on the matter, but it appears that the Chinese wheels are closing the gap with the high price of a carbon wheel set. I'm probably to heavy for a set of carbon wheels but a riding friend of mine is seriously considering taking the plunge and at roughly 2-2,500, that is a lot of coin. Then as a pro friend of mine said, if you can't afford to replace it if it fails, don't buy it. That goes for anything and carbon wheels in particular.

https://youtu.be/OskNRNsZ8ZM

john
I would not be paying too much attention to Durianrder.
He is a lunatic and a bit of a laughing stock down here in Australia.
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Old 09-21-19, 05:51 AM
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I really love my HED Ardennes SL. Light, stiff and confortable. My Vittoria Corsa 25mm have 28mm width on them.

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Old 09-21-19, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
https://www.huntbikewheels.cc/collec...material=Alloy

I have the Aero Lights, huge weight savings over my OEM Giant wheels, though I've read some mention that the claimed weights are low. Some day I may remember to weigh them without tires and rotors.
I have Hunt Aero Light Discs as well - noticeable improvement over the stock wheels on my Domane.
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Old 09-21-19, 06:53 AM
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I'm a fan of Fulcrum Racing Zeros (AL version) with a set on both of my road bikes. I've owned carbon rims and have seen no advantage over my zeros other than coffee shop posing, but YMMV.
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Old 09-21-19, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
I would not be paying too much attention to Durianrder.
He is a lunatic and a bit of a laughing stock down here in Australia.
He's eccentric -- but some people might think that about all Aussies. In any event, his quirks and colorful language doesn't mean his information is invalid, or his opinion should be summarily ignored. He's a dedicated cyclist and he plays his part.

I'll admit I'm not a big fan of his diets, but as far as his cycling reviews (and some of his advice) are concerned his opinions are as valid as any.

Just don't tune in when he's delivering one of his rants. His talks are a lot bigger than he is.

Last edited by KraneXL; 09-21-19 at 09:20 AM. Reason: punctuation
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Old 09-21-19, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by sumgy View Post
I would not be paying too much attention to Durianrder.
He is a lunatic and a bit of a laughing stock down here in Australia.
+1

He's considered a fool here in the US as well.
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Old 09-21-19, 07:59 AM
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A good deal of his information is invalid or misleading and should definitely be ignored (his "spin test" is completely meaningless). Yes you can get cheap carbon wheels. They probably come from the same place as expensive carbon wheels and perform similarly on paper. But what shouldn't be overlooked is the fact that when you buy from a company that doesn't have a public face, you buy from people who don't have to worry about accountability if something goes wrong with their product. A lot of the price tag on more expensive parts is paying for marketing, but a lot of it is also paying for quality control.
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