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I need some advice on new everyday wheels

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

I need some advice on new everyday wheels

Old 12-15-10, 04:21 PM
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I need some advice on new everyday wheels

I have 2011 Bontrager Race wheels on my Madone, and I'd like to upgrade. I was thinking of new Bontrager Race X-Lites, which have been going for a little under $500 (new) on eBay.
What about some Race-Lites, or Mavics? (which models?)
I'm ~175 lbs, and I don't mash that much.
I ride around 100 miles a week.

What's a good wheel for ~$300? For ~$500?

How light should my wheels be? I want to find a balance between weight, durability & price.

Thanks,

Peter
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Old 12-15-10, 05:54 PM
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My school of thought on everyday wheels is that durability is more important than weight. Especially since you've got a reasonably light bike, for training purposes it's probably ok to make a bit of a sacrifice in the wheel department. 1500g is probably the lowest you'd want to go for the set, just because much below that you get into race wheelsets that aren't going to be as durable. 1500g also happens to be pretty much the weight cutoff for going to the next price point in wheelsets, so within your price range that's about the lightest you can expect to get.

I feel like I've been recommending this to everyone lately, but the Mavic Open Pro laced to an ultegra hub is a pretty awesome wheelset. It's nothing special, and it's not ultra light (around 1800g, I think), but they're tank wheels that'll last a good long time. Plus, if you're tech saavy, the Ultegra hubs are not sealed bearing, so they're pretty friendly to being user-serviced.

I would stay away from Mavic factory wheels though. They're hubs tend to not be of the best quality.
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Old 12-15-10, 06:34 PM
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I feel like I've been recommending this to everyone lately, but the Mavic Open Pro laced to an ultegra hub is a pretty awesome wheelset. It's nothing special, and it's not ultra light (around 1800g, I think), but they're tank wheels that'll last a good long time. Plus, if you're tech saavy, the Ultegra hubs are not sealed bearing, so they're pretty friendly to being user-serviced.
+1. I've got this setup on my CAAD9. I've only been doing this for three years, and based on recommendations from various quarters I bought a set. The only bad thing I've heard about them is that they're relatively heavy. I like the idea of thirty-two spokes/wheel, since I'm a relatively heavy rider (6'2", 200 lbs). You can get them for $250-$450/set, depending on whether they're on sale, and whether you can live with mass-produced/hand built or want them built-to-order. I got mine with the CD rims from Performance on sale for $241 delivered.
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Old 12-15-10, 06:47 PM
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+1 for Mavic wheels.
(1) Mavic Ksyrium Elites for fast weekend warrior rides. Strong, light, fast, but not as comfortable as #2
(2) Open Pros rims with dura ace hubs for butter smooth century rides. Quiet and smooth.

Colorado Cyclist built my Open Pro wheelset and they have been perfect.
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Old 12-15-10, 06:49 PM
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Open Pros ftw.

The wheels are good for: commuting, randonneuring, racing (I won on 'em!), and training too.
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Old 12-15-10, 07:20 PM
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mavic open pro wheelsets are nothing special. not very light, not very strong, and not very aero. i've had good experience with shimano wheels (whr6500, whr6600), but their lower level stuff receive poor reviews. i've also heard good things about the mavic wheels (aksium race, ksyrium elite).
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Old 12-15-10, 07:52 PM
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My everyday wheels are Velocity A23 rims, Shimano 105 hubs, 32 DT Swiss Competition spokes/wheel. Those wheels ride much better than much more expensive wheels.
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Old 12-15-10, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by tFUnK
mavic open pro wheelsets are nothing special. not very light, not very strong, and not very aero. i've had good experience with shimano wheels (whr6500, whr6600), but their lower level stuff receive poor reviews. i've also heard good things about the mavic wheels (aksium race, ksyrium elite).
They may not be special, but they're solid and trustworthy, and for a good price.

And you can bet that when I won my race on OPs, the field was full of all kinds of "special" wheels..
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Old 12-15-10, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Razor From KC
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I would look into Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheelsets. Mavic makes some good stuff that lasts forever.
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Old 12-15-10, 08:14 PM
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My everyday wheels are Bontrager Race Lites. I weigh 225 and ride 6000+ miles a year. My current set of Race Lites have around 12,000 miles on them and have stayed straight and true. I know there are plenty of good wheels out there, but my experience with these wheels has been great.
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Old 12-15-10, 08:14 PM
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https://bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/roa...g/prod_34.html

1451 grams for the set, 195 pound weight limit, 24 spoke front, 28 rear. I have close to 1,000 miles on them and have had zero issues with them.
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Old 12-15-10, 08:14 PM
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Thanks for starting this thread. I was using the search feature the other day but I didn't quite find what I was looking for. I will be watching this one. I'm looking for something that will hold up to three season commuting in this same price range.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mattm
They may not be special, but they're solid and trustworthy, and for a good price.

And you can bet that when I won my race on OPs, the field was full of all kinds of "special" wheels..
+1, I love my OP's w/ ultegra hubs. Got mine from Performance bike for under $200 (watch for sales). They have not been touched with over 6,000 miles on them and remain perfectly true after several pothole/pinch flat encounters. I've heard they are somewhat prone to cracking at the eyelets, but Performance will swamp them out for a new set if you have any issues and I make sure to keep an eye on them. Hard to beat for the $.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Madridjoe
My everyday wheels are Bontrager Race Lites. I weigh 225 and ride 6000+ miles a year. My current set of Race Lites have around 12,000 miles on them and have stayed straight and true. I know there are plenty of good wheels out there, but my experience with these wheels has been great.
for every one story like this there is probably two stories of people having cracked rims on bontrager wheels. i have first hand pictures if you would like. my guess is this is why they are so cheap on ebay.

edit: i should mention that i have not seen any issues with their new "non paired" spoke wheels. hopefully the new ones are better.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:44 PM
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Easton Circuits on BT for $200.
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Old 12-15-10, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sbxx1985
Easton Circuits on BT for $200.
perfect
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Old 12-15-10, 10:10 PM
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soul 3.0's or soul 4.0'S would fit the bill
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Old 12-16-10, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by thirdgenbird
perfect
What site is BT?
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Old 12-16-10, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by xqwisit
What site is BT?
Bonktown.
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Old 12-16-10, 03:16 PM
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I love my Specialized Pave SL's. Really more of a CX wheel, but works great on my road bike. I can go anywhere on these and not worry whether I should be doing what I'm doing. Weight is good, but the strength is what makes me happy.
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Old 12-16-10, 03:32 PM
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Psimet
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Old 12-16-10, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by grwoolf
+1, I love my OP's w/ ultegra hubs. Got mine from Performance bike for under $200 (watch for sales). They have not been touched with over 6,000 miles on them and remain perfectly true after several pothole/pinch flat encounters. I've heard they are somewhat prone to cracking at the eyelets, but Performance will swamp them out for a new set if you have any issues and I make sure to keep an eye on them. Hard to beat for the $.
I've only had one set of OP's and never had problems with them. But there are quite a few posts/complaints here about cracking at the eyelets like you said.
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