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Recommendations for a ultralight touring wheelset.

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Recommendations for a ultralight touring wheelset.

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Old 12-19-14, 04:15 PM
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nun
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Recommendations for a ultralight touring wheelset.

I'm going to buy a new wheel set. What would you buy for the following requirements.

Cross USA trip
Rider plus gear weight 200lbs
Rear separation 130mm
Tire size 700c x 25mm (maybe 28mm)
10 speed Shimano/SRAM
Rim brakes
Current wheelset is Dura-Ace/Mavic Open Pro, 32 spokes front, 36 rear.
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Old 12-19-14, 04:38 PM
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I'm sorry, I hate to be "that guy," but what's wrong with the current wheelset? Great spoke count for touring, great hubs, great rims... Seems fine.
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Old 12-19-14, 04:41 PM
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Old 12-19-14, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
I'm going to buy a new wheel set. What would you buy for the following requirements.

Cross USA trip
Rider plus gear weight 200lbs
Rear separation 130mm
Tire size 700c x 25mm (maybe 28mm)
10 speed Shimano/SRAM
Rim brakes
Current wheelset is Dura-Ace/Mavic Open Pro, 32 spokes front, 36 rear.
My thought is that you're fine with what you have, unless you need a wheel set anyway. 28 mm tires will help if they'll fit because items lashed onto your bike can't unload their weight when the pavement becomes bumpy like a rider can.

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Old 12-19-14, 04:50 PM
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it's obvious the OP wants lighter wheels than he has. so....

kinlin xr270 rims (20h front, 24h rear), sapim race spokes, alloy nipples, novatech hubs.

the V profile of the rims will compensate, IMO, for the lesser spoke count.

anyway, it's not as if parts aren't readily available while touring. i recently had to catch a ride due to the fact i exhausted my supply of extra tubes. it wasn't the end of the world. it didn't stop the tour. in fact, i enjoyed the challenge and probably made the tour more memorable.

on another tour, i discarded my original set of 650c wheels (built by a pro), after about 2000 miles, and built myself of a set of MTB wheels (which fortunately fit) when passing through Gainsville Fl. another memorable experience.

Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 12-19-14 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 12-19-14, 05:06 PM
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That is more spokes than necessary, but I probably wouldn't bother to buy different wheels just for the tour. They sound like a reasonable choice. How light do you want to go on the new wheels?

Are they for your Cervelo? If so what wheels came with it? I'd probably be willing to ride on low spoke count race/training wheels like what was probably original equipment. The risk of failure will obviously be a bit higher if you do though.

What is your planned route. I might be a bit more nervous with really light wheels if your planned route is on or near the Southern Tier because there was some pretty bad pavement there.
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Old 12-19-14, 06:01 PM
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nun, I'm curious, how much realistically do you think you will reduce the wheelset weight by? Off the top of my head, wouldnt the reduction be such a small amount that the diff of your total bike/you/stuff weight may not be worth the money spent? I'm thinking that as you will not want to overdo the lightness because of the inconvenience of getting into spoke problems, don't you think that you may only bring the combined two wheel weight down by a pound or so?

Assuming it is for your Cervelo, you have ridden it enough as it is to know how it feels with your setup, I just wonder how many hundreds of dollars it will cost to get a wheelset that much lighter than these ones without getting into reliability issues. Am I wrong but aren't we talking of about probably min. $500?

I certainly dont have suggestions for you, but just thinking out loud here.
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Old 12-19-14, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
I'm sorry, I hate to be "that guy," but what's wrong with the current wheelset? Great spoke count for touring, great hubs, great rims... Seems fine.
The rims are shot, lots of wear so time for some new ones.....I could service the hubs and have a new wheel built with the same rims, but that's no fun. I was maybe thinking of some HED Ardennes rims or something as wide to see if they live up to the hype, but I don't think they make them with enough holes for my Dura-Ace hubs. The Open Pros are old fashioned. I don't necessarily want lighter, maybe just a bit wider.

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Old 12-19-14, 07:48 PM
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I'd just keep what you have.

200 lbs total weight isn't too bad, but as I start adding weight to my Colnago, I start feeling some flex in the rear-end... I think, although I haven't ever really determined the source.

You could go for stiffer rims with more of an Aero/Arched profile.

The other thing that I've read is that most people consider double butted spokes to be just as strong as the straight spokes, perhaps even stronger as they have some stretch where you want it. So, if you don't have butted spokes, you could rebuild your wheels with better spokes and rims. I'm not sure about light alloy nipples. I'm just starting to experiment with the alloy nipples, but you can save a few grams of rotating weight.
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Old 12-19-14, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
I'm sorry, I hate to be "that guy," but what's wrong with the current wheelset? Great spoke count for touring, great hubs, great rims... Seems fine.
Shimano hubs are great, but not the lightest option. And the Mavic Open Pro is maybe the most over-rated rim in history. That plus 32 and 36 spokes makes for a pretty porky wheel set, fine for loaded touring but I think nun is usually running pretty light and could easily get away with something less overbuilt.

Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
it's obvious the OP wants lighter wheels than he has. so....

kinlin xr270 rims (20h front, 24h rear), sapim race spokes, alloy nipples, novatech hubs.

the V profile of the rims will compensate, IMO, for the lesser spoke count.

anyway, it's not as if parts aren't readily available while touring. i recently had to catch a ride due to the fact i exhausted my supply of extra tubes. it wasn't the end of the world. it didn't stop the tour. in fact, i enjoyed the challenge and probably made the tour more memorable.
I endorse these recommendations. The only change I would suggest is perhaps going to 24 spokes front, 28 rear.
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Old 12-19-14, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
nun, I'm curious, how much realistically do you think you will reduce the wheelset weight by? Off the top of my head, wouldnt the reduction be such a small amount that the diff of your total bike/you/stuff weight may not be worth the money spent? I'm thinking that as you will not want to overdo the lightness because of the inconvenience of getting into spoke problems, don't you think that you may only bring the combined two wheel weight down by a pound or so?

Assuming it is for your Cervelo, you have ridden it enough as it is to know how it feels with your setup, I just wonder how many hundreds of dollars it will cost to get a wheelset that much lighter than these ones without getting into reliability issues. Am I wrong but aren't we talking of about probably min. $500?

I certainly dont have suggestions for you, but just thinking out loud here.
I would guess that what nun has is 1800-1900 grams. A wheelset like the one hueyhoolihan suggests would probably build up somewhere just under 1500 grams. So the difference could amount to about a pound. That's not chump change, particularly when it comes to wheels. It's not likely to make much of a speed difference, but it will make a heck of a difference in feel.

As for the cost, yes, wheels cost money.
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Old 12-19-14, 09:40 PM
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I'd go with the Kinlin 279, 23mm wide:
BHS C472w Clincher Rim - 23mm wide - 28mm deep
Very good rims. A deeper rim makes a big difference in durability IME and wider is also nice. You could go with those rims and your old hubs. Add CX-Ray spokes for more speed on those long downhills! I build my own wheels. For one thing it's fun and for another it's cheaper, and for another then you can fix your wheels yourself should something bad happen.
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Old 12-19-14, 10:59 PM
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200 lbs weight.
Not listed rider vs gear????
So maybe....
180 lb rider
20 lb gear
25 lb bike.

Currently: 68 spokes.
Now, you want to build a set of wheels with 50 spokes????

Save the weight of 18 spokes + nipples. Maybe 100 grams worth of spokes + nipples????

Again, it depends a bit on what he is currently running, but I'd rather the peace of mind to just stick with the 36/32 wheels... Or, perhaps something like 32/28.

The Mavic Open Pro is a bit old technology. Not as "aero" as some of the new wheels. But, it is also one of the last rims with full sockets/eyelets. I just wouldn't be so quick to discount them.

How many minutes will fancy new wheels shave off of a cross country ride?
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Old 12-20-14, 01:25 AM
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Or get something , that if it fails , or you screw it up, shrug and replace it not having a big investment financially or emotionally.

mid priced parts , shop finished mass produced . wholesaler , machine assembly ..



My favorite tours were not ultra Light , they were much Longer, and, slower and in other countries across the Pond..

Mavic Mod 4 rims were fine .. not that heavy .. 2 wheels, 88 spokes.. I could have gone more expensive DB spokes ,

But I Did Not.

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Old 12-20-14, 05:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
I'd go with the Kinlin 279, 23mm wide:
BHS C472w Clincher Rim - 23mm wide - 28mm deep
Very good rims. A deeper rim makes a big difference in durability IME and wider is also nice. You could go with those rims and your old hubs. Add CX-Ray spokes for more speed on those long downhills! I build my own wheels. For one thing it's fun and for another it's cheaper, and for another then you can fix your wheels yourself should something bad happen.
+1
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Old 12-20-14, 06:25 AM
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Due to having an arguably heavy frame with dynamo hub and IGH, I wanted to mitigate the heft a bit with regards the wheels.
I decided on Velocity Dyad rims and CX-Ray spokes (though I stuck with 36H per due to being a Clyde).
I'm so far happy with my choice although if I did it all again, I'd stipulate brass nipples for the spokes having read copious whinges about alloy ones seizing.

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Old 12-20-14, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
The rims are shot, lots of wear so time for some new ones.....I could service the hubs and have a new wheel built with the same rims, but that's no fun. I was maybe thinking of some HED Ardennes rims or something as wide to see if they live up to the hype, but I don't think they make them with enough holes for my Dura-Ace hubs. The Open Pros are old fashioned. I don't necessarily want lighter, maybe just a bit wider.
That makes sense.

Just me, but...
Being a cheapskate, I'd probably lace on some new rims probably even using the old spokes. I have found that by taping the new rim to the old one you can de-tension the wheel and move one spoke at a time to the new rim. The whole operation truing and all can be done in about 20 minutes per wheel. I have done that quite a few times and found that for me the hubs and spokes usually easily outlast two sets of rims. Also if it was me, I'd probably use Open Pros again.

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Old 12-20-14, 06:42 AM
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It never hurts to have a "spare" set of wheels, so there is some advantage of making a completely new set while the old set still limps along.

DA hubs should be nice hubs though. A little grease, and maybe new cones and bearings and they would be good as new.

As mentioned, you could lighten things slightly with double butted spokes, and the new aero rims are quite strong. So, if I was rebuilding, I'd get new spokes and rims and keep the hubs.

I don't know if there is also spoke fatigue over time. If you choose the same Mavic rims, then you can reuse spokes, if you choose something else, then you may need a different length.

For rims, so far I've been very happy with the Aerohead and Aerohead OC rims, but you might consider the A23 and A23 OC, or the DT R440 and R440 Asymmetric with the idea of slightly equalizing the spoke tension.
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Old 12-20-14, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rifraf View Post
I'd stipulate brass nipples for the spokes having read copious whinges about alloy ones seizing.
Yep, even with my "light" wheel sets I build these days, I use brass. A few extra grams can make one's life so much easier.
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Old 12-20-14, 09:20 AM
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For a lightweight "touring" wheelset (that's a bit of an oxymoron), I'd want something that can be repaired readily and can handle a bit wider tire like a 700 x 28c. I'm assuming the OP is going pretty minimalist on his touring set up. The velocity A23 is pretty sweet and strong.

Is this for a self-supported backpacking trip or is there going to be support on this trip? Just curious given the equipment choices the OP has.
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Old 12-20-14, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
That makes sense.

Just me, but...
Being a cheapskate, I'd probably lace on some new rims probably even using the old spokes. I have found that by taping the new rim to the old one you can de-tension the wheel and move one spoke at a time to the new rim. The whole operation truing and all can be done in about 20 minutes per wheel. I have done that quite a few times and found that for me the hubs and spokes usually easily outlast two sets of rims. Also if it was me, I'd probably use Open Pros again.
I was going to take a wheel building course at a local bike shop, I should look into that again, or I could just have them do it for me. I'll probably stick with the Dura-Ace hubs, but get them overhauled, repacked etc and use some Velocity A23 rims.
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Old 12-20-14, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
For a lightweight "touring" wheelset (that's a bit of an oxymoron)
That's what I had thought. This thread has been enlightening in regards to someone recommending something less less than heavyweight or bust.

Although I have given up on real light, I still remember the motorcycle days when we'd always remember that the way to save a pound, and maintain reliability, is to take a gram off of 454 places.
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Old 12-20-14, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by gregjones View Post
That's what I had thought. This thread has been enlightening in regards to someone recommending something less less than heavyweight or bust.

Although I have given up on real light, I still remember the motorcycle days when we'd always remember that the way to save a pound, and maintain reliability, is to take a gram off of 454 places.
Because I only carry 20lbs of gear and ride a Cervelo RS, which is an "endurance" bike, I tend towards the type of equipment a randonneur might use, so not a robust as a tourer, but not as light as a racer.
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Old 12-20-14, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemig View Post
For a lightweight "touring" wheelset (that's a bit of an oxymoron), I'd want something that can be repaired readily and can handle a bit wider tire like a 700 x 28c. I'm assuming the OP is going pretty minimalist on his touring set up. The velocity A23 is pretty sweet and strong.

Is this for a self-supported backpacking trip or is there going to be support on this trip? Just curious given the equipment choices the OP has.
Self supported. I've ridden my current wheels hard this year and the rim surfaces are scored and the back rim is worn down. I want to make sure the hubs are new, or good as new, for next year.

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Old 12-20-14, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by nun View Post
Self supported. I've ridden my current wheels hard this year and the rim surfaces are scored and the back rim is worn down.
Then I'd opt for something strong, easily repairable, and a little wider like the velocity a23 or the H Plus Son TB 14. There is always a trade-off between weight and durability, and I'd opt for something on the sturdy side of that trade-off (the H Plus Son weighs 490 grams, the velocity A23 450 grams). I'd run 28c tires as well.

Sounds like a great trip; will you be posting pics on BF to make us all a bit jealous?
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