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All Weather Wheels

bobonesbobones Posts: 1,197
edited March 2013 in Road buying advice
Yes, another wheel thread!

I looking for some advice regarding a new set of wheels for my winter/wet bike. I've read a fair bit on here, but I'm still not sure. Here's some background:

I had Mavic Aksiums on this bike, but the rims wore out within 5000 miles, and I am currently running it with the Mavic CXP22s that came with my other bike. These wheels seem reasonably built, but they're heavy (~2100g) and the hubs are cheap sheidt. I'm looking for something that will last and/or can be repaired cost effectively and are preferably decent looking. I'm not heavy at 153lbs so they don't need to be built like tanks. I have Dura Ace 7900 C24s on my other bike, and while they're nice looking and super light, if I'm honest I think the ride is quite harsh. Thinking of selling these. I'll probably end up doing around 8-10k miles this year, split between the both bikes, mostly club runs around country lanes - no racing nor commuting.

Here's what I've considered so far:
o Cheap factory wheels like another set of Aksiums, Shimano RS10s or RS30s at around £100-150. Consider these as disposable wheels. They look good and I never really had any problems with the Aksiums apart from the poor durability.
o Planet X AL30s - semi hand built, cheap (£150), repairable, quite light, but dubious hubs for wet riding?
o Mavic Open Pro on Shimano 105 - solid but boring. Quite heavy. Going to be in the £230 region for a set from Merlin or Parkers.
o Some other rim with 105 hubs or better, e.g. Ambrosio Evolution, DT Swiss, H Plus Son Archetype. Get Big Al at Wheelcraft to build them for me? Not sure which spokes or how much build will cost.

I'd appreciate some advice, thanks!

Posts

  • dwanesdwanes Posts: 954
    Ultegra hubs (are built to last and silky smooth) with Mavic CXP33 rims (strong, reasonably light and look good) laced with DT competition spokes. I can't put into words how stiff yet smooth they feel, I just love em!
    Shop around for prices as with handbuilts it will vary a lot.
  • I always went for cheap disposable Planet X wheel but having bought 3-4 pairs for myself, girlfriend dad etc i'm getting pretty tired of replacing bearings after 2 months of use. I'm also on a third warranty replacement having had two sets with cracked rims. Getting tedious now.

    Currently riding a set of MOst wildcats, which a believe are similar to Campag Khamsins, and they're bomb proof!
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,682
    bobones wrote:
    Yes, another wheel thread!

    I looking for some advice regarding a new set of wheels for my winter/wet bike. I've read a fair bit on here, but I'm still not sure. Here's some background:

    I had Mavic Aksiums on this bike, but the rims wore out within 5000 miles, and I am currently running it with the Mavic CXP22s that came with my other bike. These wheels seem reasonably built, but they're heavy (~2100g) and the hubs are cheap sheidt. I'm looking for something that will last and/or can be repaired cost effectively and are preferably decent looking. I'm not heavy at 153lbs so they don't need to be built like tanks. I have Dura Ace 7900 C24s on my other bike, and while they're nice looking and super light, if I'm honest I think the ride is quite harsh. Thinking of selling these. I'll probably end up doing around 8-10k miles this year, split between the both bikes, mostly club runs around country lanes - no racing nor commuting.

    Here's what I've considered so far:
    o Cheap factory wheels like another set of Aksiums, Shimano RS10s or RS30s at around £100-150. Consider these as disposable wheels. They look good and I never really had any problems with the Aksiums apart from the poor durability.
    o Planet X AL30s - semi hand built, cheap (£150), repairable, quite light, but dubious hubs for wet riding?
    o Mavic Open Pro on Shimano 105 - solid but boring. Quite heavy. Going to be in the £230 region for a set from Merlin or Parkers.
    o Some other rim with 105 hubs or better, e.g. Ambrosio Evolution, DT Swiss, H Plus Son Archetype. Get Big Al at Wheelcraft to build them for me? Not sure which spokes or how much build will cost.

    I'd appreciate some advice, thanks!

    Get Big Al to build them for you if he is your local man and let him choose the spokes etc...
    Price of handbuilt doesn't vary a lot, it only varies if they are made in a sweatshop in 45 minutes, like the ones Parker International sell... :wink: or on the other side of the spectrum if you get them made in a carpet fitted boutique with a claimed lateral offset of 0.05 mm ... :mrgreen:

    How Big is Big Al?
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,197
    How Big is Big Al?
    Just off the phone to him there: what a friendly chap! He didn't divulge his size ("less than 18 stone!"), but offered to rebuild the CXP22s I have with some decent hubs for a very reasonable price. I might just keep these as a spares though and get him to build a complete set. Just need to pop into his shop with my wheels and see how it goes. Thanks!
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,682
    bobones wrote:
    How Big is Big Al?
    Just off the phone to him there: what a friendly chap! He didn't divulge his size ("less than 18 stone!"), but offered to rebuild the CXP22s I have with some decent hubs for a very reasonable price. I might just keep these as a spares though and get him to build a complete set. Just need to pop into his shop with my wheels and see how it goes. Thanks!

    I'm happy for you... it sounds like you found the right guy. Let us know how big Big Al really is... :D
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,197
    I went to see Big Al in his shop yesterday: what an Aladdin's Cave that place is! He is such a nice fellow, more tall than big - I think he rides a 64 frame. He doesn't have a car or a mobile phone and advocates a frugal lifestyle. The shop phone is always going and there seems to be a steady stream of folk he knows coming in and out: it's a wonder he actually gets any wheel building done!

    Anyway, I decided just to get a new set of wheels rather than put hubs on the CXP22s. I'm going for his basic wheelset which is Ambrosio Evolution on 105 hubs with stainless spokes (not sure what kind). They seem like fantastic value for the money he's asking and should be ideal for my winter/wet bike.

    I have gone for black rims with silver hubs and spokes, but I'm now wondering if I should have gone with black hubs or black spokes?! (Bike is black but with silver drivetrain and calipers).

    Once I've taken delivery of these wheels (early next week) I'll get him to put some basic hubs on the CXP22s so I have a half decent spare set. He advised my to sell my Dura Ace C24s on Ebay, which is probably good advice!
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,682
    bobones wrote:
    I went to see Big Al in his shop yesterday: what an Aladdin's Cave that place is! He is such a nice fellow, more tall than big - I think he rides a 64 frame. He doesn't have a car or a mobile phone and advocates a frugal lifestyle. The shop phone is always going and there seems to be a steady stream of folk he knows coming in and out: it's a wonder he actually gets any wheel building done!

    Anyway, I decided just to get a new set of wheels rather than put hubs on the CXP22s. I'm going for his basic wheelset which is Ambrosio Evolution on 105 hubs with stainless spokes (not sure what kind). They seem like fantastic value for the money he's asking and should be ideal for my winter/wet bike.

    I have gone for black rims with silver hubs and spokes, but I'm now wondering if I should have gone with black hubs or black spokes?! (Bike is black but with silver drivetrain and calipers).

    Once I've taken delivery of these wheels (early next week) I'll get him to put some basic hubs on the CXP22s so I have a half decent spare set. He advised my to sell my Dura Ace C24s on Ebay, which is probably good advice!

    I think I would get on well with Big Al... he has given you the best advice. The Evolution are one of my favourite and for the money probably the best deal around. Silver spokes make more sense economically and they tend to last longer too... hubs colour is up to you really, but the 105 silver is very pretty.
    Well done, I bet you'll love them
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