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Zipp, Mavic or other composite wheel upgrade or stay stock ?

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Zipp, Mavic or other composite wheel upgrade or stay stock ?

Old 12-20-14, 06:28 AM
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Zipp, Mavic or other composite wheel upgrade or stay stock ?





Specialized Bicycle Components


Trying to decide if there is a need to upgrade my 2015 SPECIALIZED TARMAC ELITE Fulcrum stock wheelset.

I want the wheels to be able to stand the most punishment possible.

I don't race [not yet] but am training the a Triathlete.

Dont want to spend more than $500 a set.

Is it even worth it ?
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Old 12-20-14, 06:47 AM
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No
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Old 12-20-14, 06:47 AM
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Not yet.

Maybe in 1-2 years.
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Old 12-20-14, 07:11 AM
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I don't discuss the durability of specific wheels for road bikes so I have to beg off that aspect of your request. You might as well forget about durability for two reasons. First you already have an inexpensive pair of wheels you can train on and not worry about what happens to them. They are cheap and you don't really care for them anyway. What difference does it make if you trash them. They are perfect training wheels. Your OEM wheels aren't going to just asplode rolling down the road. Second, for your race-day wheels durability doesn't matter either since the conditions do not usually put your wheels at risk. It isn't gravel, it isn't cross, it isn't rocky trail riding, and it isn't a criterium where you have to worry about crashing in a pile up.

Now for triathlons, basically smooth road riding, nothing is more important than aero, but you will be hard pressed to get a carbon-rimmed, aero wheel (at least 50 mm deep) with a reputable brand name on it for what you are willing to spend. That is what you need for your race-day wheels. I would suggest training on what you have for now, and save for the race-day wheels you need. Considering that weight isn't all that important for triathlons as you ride at constant speed mostly, you can maybe save a little money, but carbon rims are really expensive if they are name branded. To stay anywhere near your budget, you would have to buy no-name Chinese carbon wheels from AliExpress or ebay, etc. They are fairly light anyway. If you can save while training on the stock wheels, you can maybe get by under $1000 with a close out from Boyd, November, or other medium size wheel builder with a very good reputation. November has some 50 mm carbon tubulars on sale now for $790. Not bad and very light. Although the builders I just named can be trusted for carbon clincher reliability under heavy braking duty, that doesn't have to worry you so much as triathlons don't usually feature lots of heavy braking into turns or screaming descents.

You do need to decide on either clincher, tubeless or tubular. For race-day I would suggest tubular for best ride qualities and low rolling resistance.


Good luck.
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Old 12-20-14, 07:27 AM
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my bike came with fulcrum's wh-cex 7.0's. they are pretty heavy, i swapped them for mavic ksyrium elites w/tires for $500. the weight difference was noticeably different. cannot comment on them for racing but i could not be happier with my purchase. colorado cyclist has them on sale. i think they are under 1600 grams or so.
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Old 12-20-14, 07:58 AM
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How much do you weigh? What's the road conditions you ride on? What kind of punishment will the wheels get?
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Old 12-20-14, 08:20 AM
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Great replies.

Im a Clyde at 265lbs, ride combo of paved trails, blacktops & hiways, usually 50 miles and daily commute.

Think i had GAS [gear acquisition syndrome].

I ride my bikes hard and break stuff so ...
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Old 12-20-14, 08:43 AM
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You probably need to save then because $1,000 is more along the price for a good upgrade. Boyd, November, and some others all are a good choice. Sticking with your current wheels a while is a good training motivator to.
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Old 12-20-14, 09:22 AM
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OP, you should have mentioned your weight at the outset. Just saying you want durable doesn't really get the necessary point across. Lots of flyweights talk about wanting durable just because they think everything they buy should last forever. Your case is a bit different. You need DURABLE! Under the circumstances I would ride the stock wheels into the ground and hope that takes long enough to save what is needed for wheels more appropriate to your weight. Go to the reputable custom builders like Psimet, Boyd, November and consult with them about what to get within your budget making sure they appreciate your size. Keep in mind what I said above about your principal requirement being aero (after durability), considering triathlons but especially considering your weight. So low wheel weight won't be big driver for you. Follow the builders' advice in the cheapest way that can be managed.
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Old 12-20-14, 09:30 AM
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My EVO came w/ Mavic Aksiums. I've touted them here before as VERY durable but since you already have Fulcrum 5's on that as stock (that's a good wheel, imho) I wouldn't change a thing. In fact, you might see if you can swap wheels with anyone or demo some wheels at your LBS (sometimes they have open houses where you can demo all kinds of stuff). You might be surprised at how good your F5's are already!!!

Otherwise, yes, a good buildup by a reputable source would be good but I don't think you'll do better than F5's for under $500.

(Nice bike, too, btw!)
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Old 12-20-14, 10:17 AM
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You want durable at 265 lbs?

36 spoke 3-cross rear, 28 or 32 spoke front, double-butted spokes, brass nipples, Shimano or White Industries hubs (steel or TI freehub body), solid rim - Velocity A23, DT Swiss TK540. If you don't want wider rims, DT Swiss RR585s work well.

Use a set of 105 hubs and you can probably get that for about $500 pretty easily. Dura Ace or White Industries hubs will be a bit lighter for quite a bit more money. Don't bother with Ultegra hubs - they're pretty much the same as 105. Hubs cheaper than 105 aren't 11-speed yet, IIRC, and I'm assuming your bike is 11-speed.

Will those be "better" than F5s? Define "better". They'll certainly be a lot more durable.

Here's a set for $249 in 10-speed, with Tiagra hubs, $399 with Ultegra 11-speed hubs (no option for 105 11-speed):

http://bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/Roa...Wheel-Set.html

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Old 12-20-14, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by achoo View Post
You want durable at 265 lbs?

36 spoke 3-cross rear, 28 or 32 spoke front, double-butted spokes, brass nipples, Shimano or White Industries hubs (steel or TI freehub body), solid rim - Velocity A23, DT Swiss TK540. If you don't want wider rims, DT Swiss RR585s work well.

Use a set of 105 hubs and you can probably get that for about $500 pretty easily. Dura Ace or White Industries hubs will be a bit lighter for quite a bit more money. Don't bother with Ultegra hubs - they're pretty much the same as 105. Hubs cheaper than 105 aren't 11-speed yet, IIRC, and I'm assuming your bike is 11-speed.

Will those be "better" than F5s? Define "better". They'll certainly be a lot more durable.
This is excellent advice if you don't want deep profile rims.
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Old 12-21-14, 01:18 PM
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36 spokes is unnecessary at your weight. I'm 240lbs and my 3 bikes, in the rear, have 32 (mountain), 28 (cross), and 24 (road) and I've never even knocked a wheel out of true. Not that I'd choose those spoke counts on a new wheel build, but what came with each bike has been bulletproof. I'm building a carbon wheelset for my cross bike and possibly a future XC mountain bike and I went with 32 rear/28 front.
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Old 12-21-14, 01:38 PM
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i was heavier than you when i built a set of flo30 rims on bikehubstore hubs with sapim laser spokes. 32 spoke 3x rear and 24 spoke radial front. I have been very happy with their strength and durability. Now I'm almost back down to below the weight limit on some of my other wheels, but I have no intentions of using anything but the flo30's for training and group rides.

the flo30's are also pretty aero and they score major tri-geek points.
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Old 12-21-14, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Alias530 View Post
36 spokes is unnecessary at your weight. I'm 240lbs and my 3 bikes, in the rear, have 32 (mountain), 28 (cross), and 24 (road) and I've never even knocked a wheel out of true. Not that I'd choose those spoke counts on a new wheel build, but what came with each bike has been bulletproof. I'm building a carbon wheelset for my cross bike and possibly a future XC mountain bike and I went with 32 rear/28 front.
I have had the rear wheel on my 2014 Crosstrail trued 3 times this year and the TARMAC once in 6 weeks at almost 1000 miles.

I check spokes and detail my bikes every ride.

My shop does the tweeks free with the sale of the bike.

I hit the ground running with lots of G's ...
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Old 12-21-14, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Edonis13 View Post
i was heavier than you when i built a set of flo30 rims on bikehubstore hubs with sapim laser spokes. 32 spoke 3x rear and 24 spoke radial front. I have been very happy with their strength and durability. Now I'm almost back down to below the weight limit on some of my other wheels, but I have no intentions of using anything but the flo30's for training and group rides.

the flo30's are also pretty aero and they score major tri-geek points.
For the majority of folks who ride them Flo 30s are absurdly overbuilt. They make an exceptionally sturdy wheel, but at the cost of a huge weight penalty. If you need the strength, you need it, but few do to that extent.
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Old 12-21-14, 04:23 PM
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at 265 pounds he really can't go carbon can he, I know zipp has a 250# limit, price notwithstanding.
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Old 12-21-14, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by zvez View Post
at 265 pounds he really can't go carbon can he, I know zipp has a 250# limit, price notwithstanding.
Not with a $500 budget. If the OP rides hills with long descents, he'd better be really good at descending if he wants to do that on any carbon wheels at his 265 lbs unless he wants to melt his wheels.

And anyone saying they're heavy and have successfully ridden low-spoke-count wheels without breakage might as well be claiming they successfully skydived during a tornado. Just because you have gotten away with pushing closer to any limit without bad things happening (up until now, anyway...) does not mean you didn't push closer to any limits. If you're heavy, there's no reason to try saving a few ounces by dropping spoke counts. Especially given that the OP specifically stated he wants durable wheels.
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Old 12-22-14, 05:35 AM
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Mavic Aksium Race 700c Shimano 8 9 10 11 Speed Bladed Wheel Set Black | eBay

What about these ? Would they be an upgrade or just the same ?
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Old 12-22-14, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by CNC2204 View Post
Mavic Aksium Race 700c Shimano 8 9 10 11 Speed Bladed Wheel Set Black | eBay

What about these ? Would they be an upgrade or just the same ?
Not an upgrade
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Old 12-22-14, 08:18 AM
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So im getting the feeling that an "upgrade" wheel has to cost between $800 & $2K is that it ?
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Old 12-22-14, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by CNC2204 View Post
So im getting the feeling that an "upgrade" wheel has to cost between $800 & $2K is that it ?
For it to be enough better than what you have already and be worth it, it probably will cost that much.

Especially if you're on 11speed, you're less likely to catch a sale.

If you want to feel better about spending $1-2k on wheels, look at what you COULD be spending

Lightweight Fernweg Weiss Edition Tubular Wheel | R&A Cycles


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Old 12-22-14, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by CNC2204 View Post
So im getting the feeling that an "upgrade" wheel has to cost between $800 & $2K is that it ?
Again - define "upgrade".

For lighter weight or better aerodynamics, you will need to spend that much.

For more durable wheels? Nope. I've already posted a link to 10-speed wheels for $250 that will be much more durable than your stock wheels and aren't much if any heavier. You should be able to get an equivalent 11-speed wheelset somewhere for $350-$400.

And at 265 lbs you're not going to get any noticeable performance improvement from lighter wheels, and if you're not racing you don't need the performance improvement you'd get from more aero wheels. No matter how much you spend.
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Old 12-22-14, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by achoo View Post
Again - define "upgrade".

For lighter weight or better aerodynamics, you will need to spend that much.

For more durable wheels? Nope. I've already posted a link to 10-speed wheels for $250 that will be much more durable than your stock wheels and aren't much if any heavier. You should be able to get an equivalent 11-speed wheelset somewhere for $350-$400.

And at 265 lbs you're not going to get any noticeable performance improvement from lighter wheels, and if you're not racing you don't need the performance improvement you'd get from more aero wheels. No matter how much you spend.
Well, light wheels can be very thrifty ($300-400) if built with BHS of BDop's parts, but not for a Clyde.
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Old 12-22-14, 09:59 AM
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Like anything else im trying to decipher between the factual & marketing hype.

Motorcycles, Les Pauls, old Marshalls, 66 SS Chevelles, ive tweaked everything ive ever owned.

Carbon fiber is spose to be lighter than aluminum and stronger than steel but the last thing i want to do on a downhill run at 45mph aboard a cycle with no engine is have the wheels disintegrate.
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