Replacement Wheel advice for a NEWBIE!

Dom McCormack
Dom McCormack Posts: 22
edited March 2013 in Road beginners
Hi all.
I've been riding my Halfords Carrera TDF since January, building up the miles each Sunday from 20 to now 45 in preparation for a 300 mile 3 dayer in May for Autistic Children. I'm loving my new found pastime and hooked.

I had the unfortunate experience of being hit by (a very nice) lady in a car last week and was extremely lucky to ride away totally unharmed. However, after taking the bike for its free service yesterday, it turns out the rear wheel is buckled and (probably) beyond repair.

So, with absolutely no knowledge of bikes, and sceptical of the Halfords guy telling me he can sell me a replacement for 60 quid, where do I start?

Do I need just one wheel or a matching pair?

I'm skint, how much is an adequate but reliable wheel going to cost?

By paying slightly more than the basic cost, am I going to notice any difference with an upgraded wheel?

Is it just simply a case of going online and choosing a wheel or is there an element of compatibility in this area of components?

Thanks for anybodys help, its really appreciated - I'm desperate to get this sorted so I can go out at the weekend.



  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,245
    Count the number of spokes and report back.
    If it turns out to be 32 or 28, you are lucky and the rim can be replaced with something similar... total cost around 40 pounds.
    If you are unlucky, you need a new rear wheel and you can buy any 700c rear wheel which has a freehub matching the brand of your groupset... so if yours is Shimano or SRAM as it is likely to be, you need a rear wheel fitted for Shimano.
    There are a number of them around the 60-70 pounds mark
    left the forum March 2023
  • Cheers Ugo.
    Because my bikes still in the shop, just done a quick Google image search and it appears there's 36 spokes at the front and 36 at the rear.

    Just checked the spec off the Halfords site and it says "Shimano 16-speed gearing with RD-2300 rear mech". So I guess that means a need a Shimano compatible wheel.

    Is it a good idea to get a new set in terms of performance? or does it not make a difference?

    A quick search tells me that these Mavic Askium wheels are a recommended entry level set that (I think?) seem compatible with my bike: ... lset-2013/

    ...I really don't want to pay that much but if it means its a better investment in the long term then I may have to find the money.
  • BazQuirk
    BazQuirk Posts: 17
    Hi Dom. You do not need to replace both wheels. A replacement rear wheel for my Triban 3 cost £35 from Decathlon and it was easy to fit myself. Unfortunately I don't know if the same wheel would fit your Carrera, although I would suspect that they are very similar specs (i.e. 700c with a Shimano freehub)

    If you managed to ride away from the bump then presumably the rim is not too badly buckled. Why not have a go at fixing it yourself, as a bit of a learning experience? There are loads of instructional videos on YouTube. I'm no expert but managed to straighten (kind of) a wobbly rim. If you can't fix it then you're no worse off. If you do fix it then you can save some dosh or have a handy spare wheel.

    To be honest, in your position I wouldn't bother upgrading. A friend of mine with the same cheap bike recently upgraded his wheels from Decathlon cheapos to Fulcrum Racing 7s and when I had a curiosity ride on his bike I didn't notice much difference, and certainly not £100-worth of difference.

    Good luck with the 300-miler.
  • Fantastic Baz. Thanks very much.
    The guy at Halfords mentioned a new wheel would be the worse case scenario. He's going to try and fix the buckled one for a tenner... so fingers crossed. I'm just preparing myself for the worst so I can make a considered decision and purchase before the weekend so I don't lose out on valuable training time!
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,245
    32 or 36 same thing... it is possible to fix the wheel.
    Does it make sense? Difficult to say as spokes might be cheap and prone to snapping and the hubs might not be long lasting, so spending money on that wheel might turn out to be wasting money.

    If you can get it trued for 10 pounds, great, although a halfords mechanic truing a wheel is something to dread...

    Otherwise a 35 pounds rear at Decathlon will do the job. All you need is a 700c rear wheel with Shimano type splines on the freehub for road use... that is pretty much the only requirement.

    I would not bother upgrading the wheels at this stage, unless the lady's insurance is paying
    left the forum March 2023
  • Cheers Ugo. Sound advice. Unfortunately I was a bit shook up when she came over to see if I was alright, and because I was ultimately fine, I didn't think to get her details.

    Thanks again.
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    lots of used wheels on ebay if you ned to get one.Also ask at any lbs if they have any used ones knocking around.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    Just a though. The wheel you have/had would have been very basic (no offence) but to get a very noticeable decent upgrade over what they were would probably be too expensive. A new basic, half-decent set of wheel like the Aksiums you mentioned may be more than you want to or should pay when the old rear can be fixed - and the improvement in performance will probably not be worth the outlay.

    However, the Mavic Aksiums and similar (Fulcrum Racing 7 etc) are on a lot of decent bikes and these are often the first upgrades people make, so there are loads knocking about in decent condition on ebay. Might be worth a punt if you can find a pair or a rear going locally?
  • Cheers Goose, no offence taken... its my first bike so it was never gonna be anything more than entry level. Thanks for the advice about ebay too. I'll take a look.
  • paul2718
    paul2718 Posts: 471
    Because you are going to be doing a lot of miles it may be worth considering some better wheels regardless, and the Mavics are, IME, pretty good. This isn't about performance but about reliability.

    I'm basing this on a sample of two. A friend wore the bearings of his entry level Trek in a year of reasonably high mileage, replaced them with Aksiums and they're still going strong as his winter wheels two years on. My bike came with Aksiums and I've not managed to get them to go out of true however many potholes I've hit over several thousand miles mostly of non-summer use.

    The Aksiums are cheaper at Other entry level wheels are available...

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Aksiums are also cheap at decathlon. There's a brand new pair for sale here at 135

    Also a very new pair of 32/32 handbuilts for 125 on ultegra hubs (very good hubs!)

    Check the for sale section.