A Wheel Dilema

Fatcat1974
Fatcat1974 Posts: 24
edited June 2011 in Road buying advice
I hope it's not bad form to go diving in with request buying advice on your first post, but here goes anyway...

I'm building up my own carbon road bike with an Ultegra groupset. Initially, I was going to order Pro Lite Merano wheels at around £180 but they aren't due to be in stock until after the summer, which got me both hunting around for an alternative and giving a lot of thought to what sort of wheels I really need. I've realised that it's pointless to go for 30mm aeros for my normal type of riding.

Generally, I do short lunchtime rides of about 20 miles and longer evening and weekend rides around Chelmsford and north Essex, where the roads are plentiful but often rough and damaged tarmac. Additionally I normally do a few 60 and 100 miles events over the summer. I don't race, at the moment, at least.

I've narrowed it down to Fulcrum Racing 3s and Ksryium Elites at the top end of my budget - lightweight, stiff and great looking with bladed spokes etc. And also Ksyrium Equipes as a slightly cheaper option. But are low spoke counts and unforgivingly stiff wheels really what I need for long rides and longevity? And so at the other end of things I'm considering Fulcrum Racing 5s as an extremely well priced option and in keeping with the rest of the spec of my build. And also the Hope RS Mono road wheels - great hubs, lightweight and strong, but nothing special to look at and lacking in bling. Hell, you don't spend this sort of money often after all.

What would you do?

Comments

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I'd get Shimano RS80s.
  • Fatcat1974
    Fatcat1974 Posts: 24
    Seriously? Are they that good? I had them down as an option but I've often read negative stuff about other RS wheelsets with straight-pull spokes so they weren't top of my list.

    Thanks for the reply by the way.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Errm yes, seriously :?
  • Fatcat1974
    Fatcat1974 Posts: 24
    Figure of speech. Don't be offended!
  • Fatcat1974
    Fatcat1974 Posts: 24
    cadseen wrote:
    I would go for Ksryium Elites. Go well with Ultegra

    Cheers, time to raid the piggy bank then if I'm going to get the dearest of the bunch :) .
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    The mavics are heavier, less aero, more expensive and harsher riding than the RS80s...

    But, you crack on ;)
  • Gazzaputt
    Gazzaputt Posts: 3,227
    I'd go with the Elites. I run Equipes on my training bike and have no grumbles at all but if can afford Elites I would buy them.

    The price I bought the Equipes from Merlin Cycles was excellent and the Elites are about £100 more.
  • Fatcat1974
    Fatcat1974 Posts: 24
    Thanks all. Some helpful stuff there.
  • Bar Shaker
    Bar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    NapoleonD wrote:
    The mavics are heavier, less aero, more expensive and harsher riding than the RS80s...

    But, you crack on ;)

    I looked at RS80s when searching around last week. They were my second choice but the reviews of the Mavic Elites seemed slightly better for what I wanted (stiff, light and reliable).

    I would say the aero advantage of the RS80 is minimal and am not sure there even is an aero effect from the rim until you get over 40mm deep and until you are doing upper 20s mph.

    The Mavics, on the other hand are really stiff and climb unbelievably.

    The weight difference between them (claimed) is 29g a pair.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • estampida
    estampida Posts: 1,008
    mavic front wheels have a habit of going through bearings, check the tattle online about it

    as for the hope's they dont stick out but what a warrenty you get with them, no one can rival, and its a change from the crowd

    fulcrum get a good write up but never seen a pair in real use so dunno
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    NapoleonD wrote:
    The mavics are heavier, less aero, more expensive and harsher riding than the RS80s...

    But, you crack on ;)

    I looked at RS80s when searching around last week. They were my second choice but the reviews of the Mavic Elites seemed slightly better for what I wanted (stiff, light and reliable).

    I would say the aero advantage of the RS80 is minimal and am not sure there even is an aero effect from the rim until you get over 40mm deep and until you are doing upper 20s mph.

    The Mavics, on the other hand are really stiff and climb unbelievably.

    The weight difference between them (claimed) is 29g a pair.

    Yes but the price difference is well over 100 quid though and as for the aero side, it's the spokes not the rim that make the shimanos more aero than the mavics. You can notice aero benefits at a lower speed than you say.
    Ksyriums are notoriously un-aero... (source- roues artinales wheel test)

    I wouldn't say that the ksyriums climbed 'unvelievably' as that's mostly down to the rider. If you are noticeably worse on other wheels then there is a set up issue.
    The only wheels I've used that I really felt helped climbing were mavic RSYS as they were mega stiff. Far stiffer than any other wheel I've tried (and I've tried a few!)

    As for stiffness, the shimanos are fine, probably not as stiff as the ksyriums but it was not an issue. I am a big rider who puts out a fair bit of power and never had trouble with the shimano wheels.
    One big difference was ride quality. The shimanos felt a lot smoother than the mavics. Some people reckon that wheels can't make a difference to ride quality but I beg to differ, the shimanos were a nicer, smoother ride. Possibly due to the carbon absorbing some of the road buzz.

    Reliability wise, shimano are a big company with high levels of customer support. Most bike shops stock shimano and they use readily available spokes rather than proprietary ones, so repairs, if ever needed, would be less hassle. Both sets of wheels however should have no problems in this area.

    The bottom line is though, it's the OPs money, he should buy what he likes! Personally I'd get the shimanos, which i consider a better wheel, with top of the range tires and latex tubes all for cheaper than the Ksyrium elites.

    I've not got a downer on ksyriums, I liked them. But I think they are overpriced compared with the likes of the RS80.

    I have had ksyriums and the dura ace version of the rs80s. I much preferred the shimanos.
  • thegreatdivide
    thegreatdivide Posts: 5,803
    I love my Fulcrum 3's. Run smoothly, lovely and light and most of all...they look fuxking great on the bike :lol:
  • Bar Shaker
    Bar Shaker Posts: 2,313
    Nap, I would have thought that a bladed spoke was a bladed spoke, within reason.

    I have recently been wondering why no one uses true foil shaped spokes. Obviously they would cost a bit more to roll into shaped but the benefits would be very noticeable. A foil shaped bar (tear drop shaped in section) has 20% of the aero drag of a round shaped bar of the same cross section diameter. Doing some research on microlights, we found that putting a loose tear drop plastic liner around a round tube improved the drag considerably, even though the liner increased the tube diameter.

    The main thing against the RS80s seems to be the soft aluminium spoke nipples. These may well flex and be what contributes to the softer ride. The carbon would have little effect as there just isn't enough of it there. The life of the spokes after a few re-tensions and 'trues' was what sent me to Mavic. Their nipples are massive and would reflect the tension these wheels can hold.
    Boardman Elite SLR 9.2S
    Boardman FS Pro
  • Barteos
    Barteos Posts: 657
    Fatcat1974 wrote:
    What would you do?

    Given UK road conditions and the weather, Hope wheels are the obvious choice.

    They are fit and forget, every LBS will stock replacement spokes, they wheels can be built pretty ligth with alloy nipples and Sapim CX spokes and the hubs come in different anodized colours for added bling.

    The only relevant difference between various wheels is not "performance" (99% imaginery benefits) but the amount of time before something goes wrong.:wink:
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Bar Shaker wrote:
    Nap, I would have thought that a bladed spoke was a bladed spoke, within reason.

    I have recently been wondering why no one uses true foil shaped spokes. Obviously they would cost a bit more to roll into shaped but the benefits would be very noticeable. A foil shaped bar (tear drop shaped in section) has 20% of the aero drag of a round shaped bar of the same cross section diameter. Doing some research on microlights, we found that putting a loose tear drop plastic liner around a round tube improved the drag considerably, even though the liner increased the tube diameter.

    The main thing against the RS80s seems to be the soft aluminium spoke nipples. These may well flex and be what contributes to the softer ride. The carbon would have little effect as there just isn't enough of it there. The life of the spokes after a few re-tensions and 'trues' was what sent me to Mavic. Their nipples are massive and would reflect the tension these wheels can hold.

    There's less of them and they are thinner.

    Anyhoo, I was posting my experience of both wheels. I have owned both sets of wheels (well, the dura ace ones but the same rim). Surely having experience of both counts for something? I now own neither though, so my thoughts are completely unbiased. I just think that considering the Mavics are between 80-150 quid more expensive depending on where you get them from I think the Shimano's are a very good proposition.
    The shimano wheels never needed truing in 18 months of ownership btw.
  • Evil Laugh
    Evil Laugh Posts: 1,412
    I'm gonna completely agree with nap here having also owned the same sets of wheels. I can also throw equipes into that mix. Equipes are not worth the moneyl for me, theyre a no-mans-land wheel, not cheap, not expensive and didn't feel any better to me than an rs10 for example that costs a 1/3 of the price.

    My girlfriend had just bought some planet x model b wheels and I like them for the money. They look great in the high polish too!
  • Fatcat1974
    Fatcat1974 Posts: 24
    Thanks all. Interesting to see a couple of nods for the Hopes for the same reasons I'm considering them as well. But I thought they only came in black. I actually work in the trade so can get a good discount on most of these choices through my shop (not sure about the Hopes) which is making it even harder to make up my mind!!!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Tbh I'd just get the ones you like the look of best. The performance is all very similar with subtle differences. I have an obvious preference based on value for money but as this is not in the equation, well, get whichever!
    I'm as guilty as anyone in using emotive and borderline exaggerated descriptions of the differences.
  • FSR_XC
    FSR_XC Posts: 2,258
    Fatcat1974 wrote:
    Thanks all. Interesting to see a couple of nods for the Hopes for the same reasons I'm considering them as well. But I thought they only came in black. I actually work in the trade so can get a good discount on most of these choices through my shop (not sure about the Hopes) which is making it even harder to make up my mind!!!
    took delivery of a set of Hope RSSP 3/0 Aero this week. Fitted them today ready for a ride in the morning.

    They look & feel great with super smooth sealed bearings, bladed spokes and they are hand built. I particularly liked the printing on the rim tape informing me they were built on the 24th May 2011 (3 days before delivery). The rear hub is typical Hope - noisy ratchet, which I like.

    Really looking forward to the first ride in the morning.
    Stumpjumper FSR 09/10 Pro Carbon, Genesis Vapour CX20 ('17)Carbon, Rose Xeon CW3000 '14, Raleigh R50

    http://www.visiontrack.com
  • Fatcat1974
    Fatcat1974 Posts: 24
    Great. I expect a full review then :wink:

    Many thanks for all your advice Nap. Very useful to hear from someone who's ridden/owned both of the leading contenders. Didn't realise what a tough choice it'd be. There are so many reviews out there and they all seem to contradict each other!
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    That's why I NEVER bother with online/magazine reviews...
  • FSR_XC
    FSR_XC Posts: 2,258
    A little later that expected, but here's a little summary of my Hope RSSP 3.0 Aero wheels.

    On a club ride I found them faster down hill and I felt it was easier to climb. I have fitted them with Ultremo tyres and together they definitely accelerate quicker than the Specialized / CXP22 with Conti GP4000s setup I had previously.

    The real benefit came when I did a TT10 during the week. Standard Allez with Hope wheels (still on Conti tyres) and I bget a course PB by 25 secs (and 40 secs better than previous best this year).

    It could be that I am getting lots fitter, but this is a rough bumpy course and it felt a lot smoother than normal.

    I am very happy with my wheel choice. £300 well spent.
    Stumpjumper FSR 09/10 Pro Carbon, Genesis Vapour CX20 ('17)Carbon, Rose Xeon CW3000 '14, Raleigh R50

    http://www.visiontrack.com