Forum home Road cycling forum Road beginners

Saving Decent Wheels For Nicer Weather?

BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
edited October 2010 in Road beginners

I need some new wheels as the basic Spesh OEM ones I have are getting a bit rough and I figure they don't warrant repairing, etc.

I was planning on spending about £400 (ish) on some handbuilts or RS80s (still dithering) but I am concerned about the number of posts I have read stating that decent wheels are being packed away until springtime. I was hoping to buy the one set and ride them whatever (I only ride up to 150m a week but in all weathers). Now I am having second thoughts and wondered whether I should go for a cheaper set (like Mavic Aksiums for £140) and then get the nice wheels in April? This would leave me with two sets of wheels (one for Nov-March and another for the remainder of the year). Ideally though, I would like to just buy the one set. I don't want wheels to last a lifetime but would like to get my money's worth from them.

Any thoughts or lessons learned?

Many thanks.


  • As long as you have got some decent hubs all should be fine. Posed the same question to the guys at Echelon in Pershore recently as I was wondering the same thing and was going to got a set of Askiums or Fulcrum 5's or 7's to use through winter.

    Got set of handbullts in the end - Ambrosio rims on Hope hubs built up buy them for an everyday long term choice. Very happy.
  • kieranbkieranb Posts: 1,674
    700c road bike wheels are almost all rim brake types so the wheels life time , assuming no crashes etc, is determined by rim wear which will be a lot worse in winter given the rain/grit/ salts on the road, so to make expensive wheels last longer people then to lkeep them for dry days and dry roads. Also in autumn/winter accidents more likely due to leaves, mud, ice etc on the road so again you don't want your good wheels ruined.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Thanks for the prompt response Rich. I am often cycling through Pershore on my way to Upton, etc., so I'll try and pop into Echelon at some point for a potter.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    By all means ride your best wheels throughout winter, just don't expect them to last as long. The combination of water, road dirt and grit embedded in your brake pads means rims get worn through - about 5 years in my experience. It's also worth fitting heavier training tyres in winter to kep the puncture fairies away - come spring and the dry weather, having a nice pair of lighter wheels and tyres will make your riding feel effortless.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • IShaggyIShaggy Posts: 301
    Yep, get some cheap training wheels. Dirt, grit, oil, and water is the recipe for grinding paste.
  • edhornbyedhornby Posts: 1,780
    if you do get new ones, just keep the specialized ones as winter wheels until they really die, usually a hub strip and regrease will be enough to get them back into reasonable use
    "I get paid to make other people suffer on my wheel, how good is that"
    --Jens Voight
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    edited October 2010
    i concur with most of this. wet weather puts a faster end to things, rim wear faster, hub bearings ground away. of course better hubs with better seals may last longer than cheap ones but as you say given the cost, i dont think you will get your moneys worth . given the cost of tiagra hubs, i just renew them when necessary and they perform well, this is what i would do with your old wheels and get some decent ones come spring when you can get the benefit and enjoy them. when i think about it, in winter im not setting any speed or bling records. a few hundred grams more weight is neither here nor there in winter, wearing heavy waterproof thermal clothing adds weight, lights and batteries add weight, thicker tyres add weight, mudguards if you run them add weight, the cold temperature slows your body down. as for the wow factor, its niether here or there either when everything is covered in oil grease muck water on a dull blustery day. ... -4500-8906
    only £28.95 for the pair of tiagra 4500 hubs, how can anything compete with that for winter riding? ... HIMHUBR680
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    I'd say get hope hubs, bearing replacement costs about a £15 for all races and bearings, you can do it with a socket set and a hammer, there is a reason a lot of mountainbikers run them (pretty colours) and they rarely stop riding them through the winter.

    The rims is the issue, as has been said, but the simple answer is not to brake all winter which is why I move onto 35mm tyres and fixed gear :twisted: purely to save on rim wear.
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204

    answer is not to brake all winter which is why I move onto 35mm tyres and fixed gear :twisted: purely to save on rim wear.

    why not just use cheaper wheels 25 mm tyres and be able to use gears and brakes. with the cost of hope hubs plus £15 when they need new bearings, you could renew with at least 10 complete sets of tiagra hubs complete with freehub and everything.
  • BarteosBarteos Posts: 657
    Surley "decent" wheels by definition should withstand normal riding :wink:
  • rakerake Posts: 3,204
    hope mono 3 hubs will cost you £180 a set.
    hope hubs + 10 bearing changes(£15) = £330
    11 sets of new tiagra hubs = £330
    and the hope freehub or flanges could give way before then. there are quite a few known incidences in the the wheel trade where hope flanges have failed around the spoke holes (very dangerous if several spokes give way when the bike is moving), they are not forged just cnc'd out of soild billet aluminium for cheapness, whereas all shimano hubs are forged with expensive equipment. :idea:
    you're fired :!:

    :wink: :idea: :!:alan-sugar-youre-fired_design.jpg
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Or try the zero rim wear option - my fixed gear bike has a disc brake on the front wheel!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    Thanks for all the useful replies. Unfortunately the Tiagra option is out since I can only find 9 speed and I need 10 (so will probably plump for 105 hubs which still look to be good value).

    As usual, no one definite way forward so will probably get some new spangly wheels soonish and then fix the OEM wheelset up at my leisure (possibly for this winter, if not then definitely for next). That way, I get to learn wheel building and wheel buying :)

  • John.TJohn.T Posts: 3,698
    Tiagra hubs will take 10sp cassettes. All current (10 years) Shimano hubs will take 8,9 or 10sp. Except some 10sp only high end ones.
  • northpolenorthpole Posts: 1,499
    I reckon it depends on your cycling patterns - I tend to avoid winter riding when I know it is going to be wet. Sometimes it's unavoidable but usually only for short distances. If you have a similar approach then I don't think you should worry about the winter wheel wear syndrom - get whatever wheels you want.

    If however, you will be cycling regularly in whatever weather comes your way, the comments above about rim wear are very relevant and entirely dependent upon the amount of censored building up on a ride and braking forces applied to the rims. I always make sure the rims and pad surfaces are cleaned after being out in wet weather - a bit of a chore but well worth the effort.

  • MossriderMossrider Posts: 226
    My winter bike wheels lasted about 5 seasons (all weathers but tried to avoid wetter days). I change the cassette and chain roughly every winter through wear. I've also changed the cranks and shifters due to wear. the wheels needed the bearings changing a few times. However my summer bike - in around 12,000 tough miles (roughly the same as the winter bike- I live in the Pennines; they've been to the Alps, Ventoux and elsewhere) the wheels are as new, I've replaced a single chain and I still use the original cassette (although alternated with a racier cassette in recent seasons). Winter wear and tear is therefore pretty heavy.

    If you want your best bike to stay pristine, you need to get yourself an old hack for winter. In fairness I suspect our Yorkshire winter is longer and harsher than yours with correspondingly more crud on the roads.
Sign In or Register to comment.