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Wheelset recommendations - rim brakes

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Wheelset recommendations - rim brakes

Old 05-15-22, 02:11 AM
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Wheelset recommendations - rim brakes

Hi folks, I would like to get a (probably used) set of good wheels for my road bike.
What do I want?
Carbon, light (1400 grams range), wide (20-ish mm internal), 40-45 mm deep, good braking performance. All this for less than 1000 dollars. Aluminum braking surface would be nice.
Not too bright colors (matte black) preferred.

Yes, I know this might not be entirely possible.

But I don't know what to look for. Found some Mavic Cosmics in my area which would almost fit the requirements, but TBH I don't really like how they look.
What other options do I have?

Thank you


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Old 05-15-22, 02:41 AM
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I recently went through the same search but with a bigger budget. Regardless of budget, you have listed some impossible criteria: (1) a 1,400 g wheelset would not have aluminum brake tracks; and (2) a wheel having an internal width of 20 mm may be a tight fit within your brake calipers with normal brake blocks.

I first bought Mavic Cosmic 40 SLR for about $1,600 but the rear wheel was defective (Mavic Cosmic SLR 40 Wheels (Rim Brake) - Bike Forums) so I had to return them.

Then I bought FFWD F4R FCC (FFWD Wheels F4R 45mm Tubeless Carbon Clincher Wheel Set (ffwdusa.com)) for about $1,200, which I like a lot, but these wheels have now been discontinued. FFWD has recently released a cheaper, newer, and wider rim brake wheel which is now on sale (15% off) for ~$1,020: FFWD Wheels TYRO II 45mm Rim Brake Carbon Clincher Wheel Set (ffwdusa.com)
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Old 05-15-22, 07:13 AM
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Agree with above. You're combining desires that will be very hard to accomplish.
On one hand you're sorta describing a wheelset like the HED Jet 4+ ( https://www.racycles.com/product/detail/20115 ). Except these are about 300 grams heavier than you want.

For your price, you can find some full carbon sets if interested, eg. Lightbicycle perhaps or Hunt: https://us.huntbikewheels.com/produc...eep-27wide-979
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Old 05-15-22, 12:11 PM
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Road Bike Rim Brake Wheelsets | Cyclocross & More | Hunt Bike Wheels – Hunt Bike Wheels US

Yes, I also came across Hunt wheels during my search but the non-magazine reviews were mixed. For example:

THE BEST WHEELSET FOR THE MONEY - PART 2 - In The Know Cycling
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Old 05-15-22, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Road Bike Rim Brake Wheelsets | Cyclocross & More | Hunt Bike Wheels – Hunt Bike Wheels US

Yes, I also came across Hunt wheels during my search but the non-magazine reviews were mixed. For example:

THE BEST WHEELSET FOR THE MONEY - PART 2 - In The Know Cycling
Very subjective review, and despite not being a 'magazine' (presumably biased by who's buying ad space?), their revenue comes through commissions from redirecting to online stores that they have agreements with. None of which would sell Hunt wheels (or Yoeleo or Lightbicycle or Flo for that matter). Not surprising their stance is very obviously in favor of mainstream premium brands such as Zipp and Enve and Campy etc that are sold through mainstream distribution models.
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Old 05-15-22, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Very subjective review, ...
Agreed! Let me try to explain my own personal reservations about Hunt wheels:

(1) Hunt wheels are priced very competitively against apparently reputable Chinese wheel manufacturers, e.g.: Winspace - Road Wheels - Wheels; Carbon Road/CX Wheels (Non-Disc) - Light Bicycle.
(2) Hunt wheels appear often in bike magazines, both in reviews and in advertisements; I do not draw a bright line between these two categories.
(3) According to the bottom of its website (Hunt Bike Wheels USA - Wide Tubeless-Ready Performance Bike Wheels), Hunt maintains operations in both Boulder, Colorado and Sussex, United Kingdom.
(4) However, despite (2) and (3), I have not read anything about Hunt assembling or doing QC on its own wheels.

Please note that I am not saying that Hunt wheels are unsafe or do not perform well. It is merely an indirect observation on Hunt's priorities.

Last edited by SoSmellyAir; 05-15-22 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 05-15-22, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Agreed! Let me try to explain my own personal reservations about Hunt wheels:

(1) Hunt wheels are priced very competitively against apparently reputable Chinese wheel manufacturers, e.g. Winspace - Road Wheels - Wheels; Carbon Road/CX Wheels (Non-Disc) - Light Bicycle.
(2) Hunt wheels appear often in bike magazines, both in reviews and in advertisements; I do not draw a bright line between these two categories.
(3) According to the bottom of its website (Hunt Bike Wheels USA - Wide Tubeless-Ready Performance Bike Wheels), Hunt maintains operations in both Boulder, Colorado and Sussex, United Kingdom.
(4) However, despite (2) and (3), I have not read anything about Hunt assembling or doing QC on its own wheels.

Please note that I am not saying that Hunt wheels are unsafe or do not perform well. It is merely an indirect observation on Hunt's priorities.
Fair enough, and I'm not saying Hunt are the bees knees or super special. I think they probably return decent value for the cost, but saying this I realize is quite subjective as well. How do you compare relative value of a $900 wheelset vs an $1800 wheelset (eg. Hunt vs Campy WTO)? Is the latter twice as good.. probably not.
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Old 05-16-22, 01:31 AM
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Thank you all, will ponder the suggestions received.
I will also have to check if sourcing these is possible in my country.

I already own a Hunt wheelset (disc brakes, that is) and I'm happy with it, so I'm definitely open to them.
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Old 05-17-22, 07:38 AM
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We have a huge thread on Light Bicycle Wheels if you're interested. They've proven to be very safe. The performance is also pretty decent.
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Old 05-17-22, 01:02 PM
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If you're not set on depth or width, Campagnolo Shamals are shallow alloy wheels that come in just over 1400g and just under $1k. Their sister company Fulcrum offers the Wind 40 in 40mm carbon for 1550g and just over a grand, but no alloy brake track. Otherwise, Dura Ace 9100 C40s fit the bill in everything but width, but are $1,650 at Competitive Cyclist.

Given that you've just about asked for the holy-grail of rim brake wheelsets, I kind of doubt you're going to find many options on the used market. People likely upgrade to a superlight, aero wheelset and stay there - there's not much better to upgrade to at that point!
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Old 05-17-22, 01:33 PM
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I am a fan of Hed wheels. The Ardennes Pro rim brakes at $900, IMO, would be a good choice. Less if you can find them on sale, or wait for a sale. They will not be under 1500 grams. but the ride and durability is outstanding. And they are sharp looking in an understated way. I just acquired a used set of Hed Belgium rims with Ultegra hubs, 32 spokes F and R. Again, not the lightest wheels, but very nice wheel set. I purchased these from a seller that has an outstanding reputation, I am very pleased, and think that $450 dollars was well spent.
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Old 05-23-22, 01:31 AM
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Turns out there are lots of options I didn't know about.
None seems to be perfect, but I was not expecting that.

Thanks again, guys.
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Old 05-23-22, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by sunday View Post
Turns out there are lots of options I didn't know about.
None seems to be perfect, but I was not expecting that.

Thanks again, guys.
Narrow it down to a few (e.g., 4) options, and we can resume this pro and con analysis here. Good luck.
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Old 05-23-22, 10:37 AM
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Right now I'm looking at two categories:

Used:
Dura Ace C40/C50
FFWD F4R
Reynolds Assault 42mm

New:
Hunt 50
Light Bicycle Falcon R45 (I need to to some reading on the various options - hubs, spokes etc).


The wife is not up to speed, but I recon she would go for used wheels.
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Old 05-23-22, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by sunday View Post
Right now I'm looking at two categories:

Used:
Dura Ace C40/C50
FFWD F4R
Reynolds Assault 42mm

New:
Hunt 50
Light Bicycle Falcon R45 (I need to to some reading on the various options - hubs, spokes etc).


The wife is not up to speed, but I recon she would go for used wheels.
I have the FFWD F4R and love them. Had them for years and never had to true the wheels (at least 2,000 miles). FFWD also just released these, which are rim brake but about $1,200:

https://ffwdusa.com/product/road/tyro-ii-rim-brake/
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Old 05-23-22, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by sunday View Post
Right now I'm looking at two categories:

Used:
Dura Ace C40/C50
FFWD F4R
Reynolds Assault 42mm
Even though this category includes my current wheels, I would personally be somewhat hesitant to buy used rim brake wheels without first have an opportunity to inspect the brake track in person.

Originally Posted by sunday View Post
New:
Hunt 50
Light Bicycle Falcon R45 (I need to to some reading on the various options - hubs, spokes etc).


The wife is not up to speed, but I recon she would go for used wheels.
DT Swiss 240 or 350 hubs, 20F & 24R spokes.

Just tell wife this is relatively inexpensive compared to doing the same thing with your car.
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Old 05-23-22, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliwild View Post
I have the FFWD F4R and love them. Had them for years and never had to true the wheels (at least 2,000 miles).
I recently got the same wheel and I like them a lot, although I must note (1) the freehub is fairly loud, and (2) my wheelset came with subpar QR skewers with external cams. I have been spoiled by relatively silent freehub and the excellent QR skewers on my Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels. So I bought a pair of bulletproof Ultegra 6800 skewers for $40, adding 30 g (compared to the FFWD skewers).
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Old 05-23-22, 09:51 PM
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I've ordered a pair of Scribes. British (N.Irish) brand that seem to use a Taiwanese open mold for their rims but seem to produce their own hubs.

Supposed to come in a week or two. Priced at $1,100.

I also originally considered the Aeolus Pro 5s, HED Jet Performance Black, Hunts, and Zipp 303S.

Will let you know how the wheelset is once it comes in.
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Old 05-25-22, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
I recently got the same wheel and I like them a lot, although I must note (1) the freehub is fairly loud, and (2) my wheelset came with subpar QR skewers with external cams. I have been spoiled by relatively silent freehub and the excellent QR skewers on my Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels. So I bought a pair of bulletproof Ultegra 6800 skewers for $40, adding 30 g (compared to the FFWD skewers).
Nice! Yeah, I upgraded my skewers to the new Enve titanium ones... Huge improvement. Oh, and I love loud freehubs; I use them to warn people that I'm approaching
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Old 05-27-22, 05:29 AM
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I bought a set of Mavic Ksyrium Elite USTs for approx. $500. They came with tires mounted. New from Competitive Cyclist. First time with tubeless. Best thing I've ever done to a bike.
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Old 05-31-22, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I bought a set of Mavic Ksyrium Elite USTs for approx. $500. They came with tires mounted. New from Competitive Cyclist. First time with tubeless. Best thing I've ever done to a bike.
Those are lovely wheels, and I am in the process of pairing them with a vintage CAAD4 frame, but they only fit 3 of the OP's criteria: (1) good rim braking, (2) allow brake track, and (3) low cost.
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Old 05-31-22, 04:38 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Those are lovely wheels, and I am in the process of pairing them with a vintage CAAD4 frame, but they only fit 3 of the OP's criteria: (1) good rim braking, (2) allow brake track, and (3) low cost.
I was thinking that he wanted carbon for the low weight. My assumption for sure. And, when you consider AL tubeless vs CF clincher (again an assumption) I think the difference in weight may not be much given the additional weight of tubes.

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Old 06-03-22, 12:26 AM
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I ended up buying a set of Mavic Cosmic Pro SL UST wheels, mainly based on availability and price (used, local market, they look new, the current model, about $650).
Looking back I forfeited some of the requirements, but a good deal helps switching tracks.

I am delighted so far, they feel like a major change from the Shimano RS300 I used to run on that bike, and the dry braking is great.
Wet braking is bad, but the climate around here allows me to ride 95% of the time in dry weather, and I can use the disc bike when wet.

I will not mention the greatest improvement, the looks of the bike

Thanks for your time and input.
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Old 06-03-22, 01:36 AM
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Originally Posted by sunday View Post
I ended up buying a set of Mavic Cosmic Pro SL UST wheels, mainly based on availability and price (used, local market, they look new, the current model, about $650).
Looking back I forfeited some of the requirements, but a good deal helps switching tracks.

I am delighted so far, they feel like a major change from the Shimano RS300 I used to run on that bike, and the dry braking is great.
Wet braking is bad, but the climate around here allows me to ride 95% of the time in dry weather, and I can use the disc bike when wet.

I will not mention the greatest improvement, the looks of the bike

Thanks for your time and input.
Nice wheels! Photos?
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Old 06-03-22, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir View Post
Photos?
Definitely




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