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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

Buying Wheels Online

Old 01-24-12, 10:15 AM
  #26  
X-LinkedRider
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Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
Not to speak in defense of all LBS's, but don't some wheels use a proprietary, or at least unusual spoke? My LBS has helped me with my Easton's, but they told me up front that they don't have spokes for them and that I'd have to get them from Easton if I ever had an issue. I have read that same thing with Easton's other places, so I think some LBS valid responses depend on the wheel.
You're telling me your LBS doesn't sell Easton wheels? That's their problem. But this is true to a degree. I am pretty sure Mavic wheels use proprietary spokes/nipples. The only spokes you should have to order from a dealer direct are bladed spokes. Even then, you can usually find out what they built the wheel with. People on here seem to have a lot of problems with spokes and such huh? I have never had a broken spoke even on my stock wheels and thousands of miles of touring. All of the wheels I have bought separately have never needed serviced. (I should note, i do weigh about 145lbs so weight might be an issue for others)
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Old 01-24-12, 10:25 AM
  #27  
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I don't think it's so unreasonable for a LBS to turn away jobs like that. Last time I had a wheel trued the guy charged me like $10. Is that what's keeping the lights on? No, of course not. They do little jobs like that to get you back on the road, figuring that if they treat you good you'll come back and buy something from them. If it's obvious you're going to buy your big-ticket items from eBay...well what's the incentive?

Put it another way: I'm not a charity. When I'm at work, somebody brings me something it's $100 for me to put down what I'm working on and look at it. Before you get anything, we talk about anything, it's $100. That's called a minimum charge, and most trades have one. A bike shop charging you $10 to true your wheel is doing you a favour, it's hardly "paid labour".
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Old 01-24-12, 10:27 AM
  #28  
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I have over 10,000 miles on my road bike in the past couple of years and only have had the one broken spoke. It broke right at the hub and Keith Williams told me that it was just a bad spoke. A spoke should never break in that spot unless it wasn't up to specs. That's why I said my spoke break was an anamoly.

That was 5000 miles ago and I haven't had a problem with either wheel since.
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Old 01-24-12, 10:40 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
I don't think it's so unreasonable for a LBS to turn away jobs like that. Last time I had a wheel trued the guy charged me like $10. Is that what's keeping the lights on? No, of course not. They do little jobs like that to get you back on the road, figuring that if they treat you good you'll come back and buy something from them. If it's obvious you're going to buy your big-ticket items from eBay...well what's the incentive?

Put it another way: I'm not a charity. When I'm at work, somebody brings me something it's $100 for me to put down what I'm working on and look at it. Before you get anything, we talk about anything, it's $100. That's called a minimum charge, and most trades have one. A bike shop charging you $10 to true your wheel is doing you a favour, it's hardly "paid labour".
idk. given how little profit even the most successful shops bring in i think it's pretty unreasonable to turn down truing a wheel. every dollar counts. also labor service is one of the highest returning products that shops can sell, a $15 (rate where I am) simple wheel true brings in much more money than $15 worth of physical product.

the margin on labor is higher than any other product unless a production mechanic who is paid per service does it. But a simple wheel true would typically be done by an hourly employee.

obviously more expensive products bring in more money but every dollar towards the bottom line matters and high margin products and labor services are a major step in the path towards improving that bottom line.
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Old 01-24-12, 10:42 AM
  #30  
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Accordion, what wheels do you use? System 30s?
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Old 01-24-12, 11:37 AM
  #31  
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System 30s. Not 30x. I have ridden on them from a weight of 220 all the way down to 185. No issues.
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Old 01-24-12, 12:41 PM
  #32  
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The Easton's I mentioned have never broken a spoke, and have remained true since they came out of the box. Had some hub issues that my LBS helped me with, but they do not carry Easton stuff, nor do their normal sources. My spokes aren't bladed but I believe Easton uses an odd length that most don't find readily available. Could be wrong about what makes them special, so don't quote me.
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Old 01-24-12, 03:50 PM
  #33  
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I didn't read all of the responses. My experience, and likely in general.

Hand built wheels, like Boyd, PSIMET, Zipp and the likes, should show up pretty well tensioned and ready to roll straight for a long time. Shipping issues like some guy stepping on that boyd box wouldn't help the situation though.

Big name builders, although likely machine built, but checked well and tensioned with a final inspection etc...by hand, should also be good to go.

Machine built wheels, many no names, generic name wheels you find, like Stradalli etc..are recommended by the seller, and good to do anyway, have them checked, tensioned and ensured true before riding them.

Wheels I bought online:

50mm Boyd Tubulars showed up dead straight, strung nicely tight and ready to roll. Few hundred miles later, still perfect.

50mm Stradalli clinchers, machine built, showed up with a disclaimer in the box about tensioning and truing. Needed to go to the shop and have the spokes checked/tensioned and wheels trued. Pretty sad actually. But I removed the decals under the clear coat, and after getting checked out by the LBS wheel guy, they have been good wheels ever since and rolling nicely.

Zipp 303 FC tubulars. Dead straight, strung well, still rolling true and getting better after 100 miles. But, the rear wheel bearing preload hex was loose allowing the hub to loosen. Somebody didn't tighten the hex to adjust the preload. Don't think it was an oversite at the factory, Zipp makes a point at the factory to set the preload on their bearing. Assuming it was the reseller, or guy that glued the tires on must have played with it? Few minute fix, so no worries, and good to know anyway by watching their video online about bearing preload!

Good luck.
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Old 01-24-12, 03:52 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by lesdunham View Post
I bought a set Vuelta Corsa's and a set Soul 3.0's online in the last 5 years they are still near perfect. Symetrical spoke spacing and 20 front , 24 rear is the right answer when looking at wheels.
Soul wheels - https://bikesoul.com/wheeldivision.html

Vuelta - https://www.vueltausa.com/

Sometimes you can find a deal on Amazon for last years wheels. Either manufacturer I would buy from again (online). But with 2 really good bikes now I hope that is not needed for 10+ years.
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