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Shimano WH-550 vs. Mavic Open Pro + Ultegra Hub

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View Poll Results: Which front wheel would you use?
Shimano WH-550
4
7.14%
Mavic Open Pro + Ultegra Hub (32 Spokes)
52
92.86%
Voters: 56. You may not vote on this poll

Shimano WH-550 vs. Mavic Open Pro + Ultegra Hub

Old 09-29-08, 06:31 PM
  #1  
semaj
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Shimano WH-550 vs. Mavic Open Pro + Ultegra Hub

The WH-R550 Shimano wheelset came with my bike and the Mavic Open Pro + Ultegra Hub (32 spoke) came with the Powertap SL I bought used on eBay.

I want to train and race on the front wheel chosen. Which front wheel would you recommend I put on, the WH-R550 or the Mavic Open Pro + Ultegra Hub (32 spokes)?

Last edited by semaj; 09-29-08 at 07:44 PM. Reason: Shimano WH-R550, not WH-550.
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Old 09-29-08, 06:47 PM
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The WH-550's are more aero, the Open Pro's are stiffer.

Take your pick.
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Old 09-29-08, 06:55 PM
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Hey this shouldn't be a poll. What on earth do we know?

Your the one with the 2 wheels so we all vote that you are going to test them out and get back to us.

Anthony
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Old 09-29-08, 06:58 PM
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Just the opposite. The WH-R550s are stiffer. I recently switched from WH-R540s to M/OP and they feel like wet noodles by comparison (all of the above properly tensioned).

The reason to choose M/OP is if you're a Clyde. The Shimano low-spoke count wheels are terrific until they wear out, then they cost a fortune to rebuild. The longer you can make them last, the better.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:01 PM
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"Hey this shouldn't be a poll. What on earth do we know?

Your the one with the 2 wheels so we all vote that you are going to test them out and get back to us."


LOL. I would like to hear an objective comparison also.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:04 PM
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I've had both....OP/Ultegra hands down.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:05 PM
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32 spokes! i barely have that on both my wheels combined!! :-)
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Old 09-29-08, 07:17 PM
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If you race it seems like a simple decision; race on the Shimano wheel and train on the Open Pro/Ultegra.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:20 PM
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just the bearings alone would tell me to ride the MOP combo.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:43 PM
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Thanks for the replies thus far...

To elaborate, I'm currently running the Mavic Open Pro + Powertap SL with 32 spokes as my rear wheel for all upcoming racing and training situations. The front wheel is the only wheel which I hold myself the option of switching back and forth between the WH-R550 and the Mavic wheels.

To clarify, yes the Shimano wheels are the WH-R550, not the WH-550.

So given the (R), should I run the Mavic combo up front or the Shimano?
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Old 09-29-08, 07:58 PM
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The Shimano 550's have no where near Ultegra quality hubs, more like Tiagra. But then the 32 spokes are going to give them poor aerodynamics.
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Old 09-29-08, 08:00 PM
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Option 3 - build a lightweight front wheel.

The r550's are total crap wheels. It's not a matter of if they will fail, but whether or not you will make it 1 season.

An OP/Ultegra combo will last long enough that you will end up giving them to your grandchildren....

....but a 32 combo front is heavy for racing and overbuilt.

Then again I fell about 3 spots short against a set of OP/Ultegras in a crit yesterday. I only know that because they were MJH2's (a teammate) and i had trued then and returned them to him the day before.

You can win on 32 spoke Open Pros with Ultegras. Whatever happens they are not what is holding you back.
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Old 09-30-08, 12:13 AM
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So what's all this hating on Tiagra? Very decent hubs, though I agree not as nice as Ultegra.

WH-R550s are definitely not "crap wheels". They're stiff and light, but like most things that are stiff and light, they have a limited lifespan. I agree with Nessism - race on the Shimano and train on the Mavic.
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Old 09-30-08, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Psimet2001 View Post
Option 3 - build a lightweight front wheel.

The r550's are total crap wheels. It's not a matter of if they will fail, but whether or not you will make it 1 season.

An OP/Ultegra combo will last long enough that you will end up giving them to your grandchildren....

....but a 32 combo front is heavy for racing and overbuilt.

Then again I fell about 3 spots short against a set of OP/Ultegras in a crit yesterday. I only know that because they were MJH2's (a teammate) and i had trued then and returned them to him the day before.

You can win on 32 spoke Open Pros with Ultegras. Whatever happens they are not what is holding you back.
Is there actually a benefit to running the m/op in the back and building a race wheel for the front? Is sort of an acceptable "budget" race build or something?
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Old 09-30-08, 05:32 AM
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Originally Posted by DMF View Post
So what's all this hating on Tiagra? Very decent hubs, though I agree not as nice as Ultegra.

WH-R550s are definitely not "crap wheels". They're stiff and light, but like most things that are stiff and light,
they have a limited lifespan. I agree with Nessism - race on the Shimano and train on the Mavic.
There you go. That's why they're "crap wheels". Limited lifespan would be acceptable, but less than 2K miles is more than "limited".

Also...last time I weighed mine the OP/Ultegra combo I have was quite a bit lighter than the R550's ....even at 32 spokes...

To claim the 550's are a "good race wheel" means that you guys have been sucked up by the marketing monster.
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Old 09-30-08, 01:36 PM
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Weightweenies shows the R550 as 1060/802g mounted, no skewer. They don't have an MOP/U, but elsewhere I find the numbers 1020/855g. My R540s are a little heavier than the R550, and the front (nominally 850g) weighs just about the same as my front MOP/U, so I believe the numbers.

Besides, a design goal of the Shimano wheelsets is to place as much mass as possible at the hub. The polar moment of the R550s will be significantly lower than the MOP/U, allowing better acceleration.

You're also kinda missing the point here. The OP isn't asking whether he should buy R550s - I agree that he shouldn't. He already has them and is asking whether he should ride them. Stiffer, lower rotating mass, and they're taking up space in his garage.

No they're not a "good race wheel"; I never said they were. I said they're better than the MOP/U.
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Old 09-30-08, 01:54 PM
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Weighing both of mine in real world the OP/Ultegras were lighter, granted by less than 100g IIRC.

The R550s have a much heavier rim than the OP. The hubs are lighter on the R550. They also use that crappy bonded aluminum slugged head in the rim in addition to the oversized alloy nipple at the hub. All the extra weight at the rim is an attempt to compensate for the lower strength of the wheel from the reduction in spoke count.

....and when they fail it is from spokes breaking.

As for whether or not he should run the r550 front with the OP rear (we know...you have a powertap on it...) sure....why not...hell I even did for a while and I am sure I can actually find a picture of it...hold on....

I think it's this one, but imageshack is bombing out on it so I can not verify....


I used to think they were decent wheels until they failed on me multiple times. I still rode the front until it started to creak and groan a few hundred miles later. Then I weighted everything trying to find a light combo for some climbing event and realized the OP/Ultegra set was stronger, lighter, and more comfortable to ride.

Again...you aren't losing anything here...everytime I finish beind MJH2 I am reminded of that.
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Old 09-30-08, 02:25 PM
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LOL at the overwhelming vote for OP/Ultegras.

I wonder how many people who voted have ever even ridden those wheels or even anything similar.

Not that they aren't good wheels, but their virtues have been discussed so many times here, nearly everyone here is brainwashed into thinking there's nothing better.
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Old 01-02-09, 10:21 AM
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I had my first ride on the road yesterday with my Powertap Open Pro 32 spoke wheels, having been using it on the turbo. I was using Ksyrium Equipes (still have the equipe on the front) on this bike and I have the Shimano DA 7850 carbon laminate clinchers on my super-special bike. I also have Mavic Aksiums on my TT bike at the moment.

I was utterly shocked at the open pros, they were wonderful! I'm in the process of deciding what hub to get a front built up with ASAP, I will then do my first races on this bike to see how I get on.

I have no doubt that when I get dropped it will be nothing to do with the weight / aerodynamics of the wheels...

Open Pros for the win!
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Old 01-02-09, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Cdy291 View Post
The Shimano 550's have no where near Ultegra quality hubs, more like Tiagra. But then the 32 spokes are going to give them poor aerodynamics.
actually they're 105...
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Old 01-02-09, 11:04 AM
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Old 01-02-09, 11:24 AM
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I have the r550's. Only time they've needed to be trued was hitting a brick or rock something going 35. To be fair it was covered up by a pile of leaves. But yeah, they're pretty trusty, tanks, but trusty enough for me.
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Old 01-02-09, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Youngin View Post
I have the r550's. Only time they've needed to be trued was hitting a brick or rock something going 35. To be fair it was covered up by a pile of leaves. But yeah, they're pretty trusty, tanks, but trusty enough for me.
So, taking into account the 'BF-BS Factor' you actually hit a small stone at 15mph rather than a brick at 35mph?



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Old 01-02-09, 01:46 PM
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So you guys think the 550 wheels are crap? What about the WH-R561?
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Old 01-02-09, 01:48 PM
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having used the 550s, i'd not recommend the rear wheel. although i have found the front wheel pretty bomb-proof, apart from when you are cornering fast, as you tend to feel like evel Knievel (sp?) as they flex..
so i don't know what my opinion actually is on the whole wheelset. what a sad, sad post.
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