Another "Fat Guy, New Wheels" Thread

fatdaz Posts: 348
edited April 2013 in Road buying advice

I'm 100kg and currently have Fulcrum Racing 5s and I do a lot of miles at a moderate pace (15-18mph average depending on terrain over rides up to 80 miles). I'm not a good enough cyclist to benefit particularly from new wheels (certainly not benefit as much as dropping some of the 20kg I could easily afford to lose) but I have the cash for an upgrade so I'm looking to treat myself now that the sun is (apparently) going to come out.

I've been happy with the Racing 5's and they've stayed true despite hitting a few pretty solid potholes so, with my limited knowledge of what's out there, the next logical step would seem to be Racing 3 or Racing 1. I have heard that the Racing 3 is strong enough for a heavy rider but what about the Racing 1 or am I better off looking at something from Mavic or Campag? Obviously I want wheels that will perform (feel?) better than the Racing 5s but it's most important that they are safe under a fat bloke.

Thanks and apologies, I know this topic has been done to death but it's starting to get to the point on BR that a simple search reveals so many hits that you can't see the wood for the trees



  • buzzwold
    buzzwold Posts: 197

    I'm deeply envious that you can upgrade from R5s as I've only just managed to upgrade to these from my base set.

    Anyhow, I would suggest that given what looks like a half decent budget get some hand built. That way you'll get what you want and they'll be guaranteed to work for you.
    Someone's just passed me again
  • pitchshifter
    pitchshifter Posts: 1,476
    Go hand built.

    Get in touch with Ugo on the forum. Built wheels for me and they have been superb.

    His website:
  • natsnoz
    natsnoz Posts: 235
    I am over 100kg and Paulo built me some great wheels, happy with them. I had Fulcrum 3's and whilst looked good and light, not man enough for my riding!! or weight!!
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    You can do 18mph average speed rides of upto 80 miles and your existing wheels are performing fine.

    Just keep them and save your money.

    Oh and your riding is far from moderate by many folks standards
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • fatdaz
    fatdaz Posts: 348
    Thanks for all the responses, I'll have a look at handbuilt. TBH I've steered away from it to date because I don't know what I'm talking about so I was concerned about not knowing what to ask and not being able to offer sensible input
  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Any hanbuilt wheel that ugo or any one else (me for example) would do for your weight would have 32 spokes or even 36 at the rear depending on your riding style and history with kit (if you break spokes on well built wheels alot them more spokes is advisable). Also such a wheel would be a similar weight to your current wheels [racings 5] (perhaps a bit lighter but not enough to make a difference). So why we wheel builders will happily build you a set of wheels that will meet your needs, the question you should be asking yourself is if your current wheels meets your needs why "upgrade". What are you hoping to get out of more expesive wheel. Better needs to be defined!

    I will let you into a hint going to fulcrum R3 or R1's will gain you nothing but shaving 300g of the wheelset weight. Hanbuilts will be reliable I can think of a good few options but none will be much lighter than what you have and as you have pointed out loosing weight of the wheel will not make much difference to you. All of these options will be reiable but your current wheels are currently reliable.

    Also a Racing 5 will roll as well as a racing 3 or racing 1. They are all round and therefore all roll as well. The hubs in each wheel are as smooth as each other typically absorbing less than 1W of power at 25 mph (both wheels), i.e don't worry about that. Also do not worry about aero wheels unless you can sustain speeds above 25mph without going downhill. Aero wheels are for fast racers really.

    Also consider I have a customer with racing 3. The bearings a shot, he has been waiting 1 month for the hub reabuilt kit to come back into stock with I-ride (bearings and cones) and it won't be in until the 16th April. That is some wait. Fortunatley new grease and a bit of setting up got them running a bit smoother which is keeping him going. Parts supply can be an issue for prebuilt wheels.

    So define what you want out of you wheels, extra reliability, ease of service, low weight (that will not happen rebailibly for you). You will have to talk to someone. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Has anyone suggested Mavics?
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • LittlePlums
    LittlePlums Posts: 139
    Question for you:

    If you are doing 80 milers with average speeds between 15 and 18 mph, how do you remain at the best part of 16 stone?

    What are you fuelling yourself with, or are you also 6' 6"?
    Pride and joy: Bianchi Sempre
    Commuting hack: Cube Nature
  • fatdaz
    fatdaz Posts: 348
    Thanks for all the responses, thecycleclinic in particular has given me real pause for thought about whether to spend my money. Just because (at the moment) I have it doesn't necessarily mean I have to spend it.

    Littleplums - the weight fluctuates, currently 15 stone 12 but in the last 3 years it's been as high as 17 and as low as 13'10. I've been a competitive swimmer, water polo player and reasonable standard rugby player in the past so, whilst I really, really struggle up hills, I seem to have an engine
  • surfgod
    surfgod Posts: 97
    Your rear wheel is bearing 70% of your body weight, it also is also driving you forward. Plus a rear wheel is inherently weaker than a front, due to the disparity of spoke tension between the drive and non-drive sides.

    For the ultimate bomb-proof rear wheel, I would suggest using a velocity Synergy O/C or if you prefer something a little lighter..a Velocity A23 O/C rear rim...with 32 or even 36 spokes... The assymetric rear rim allows the non-drive side spoke tension to be increased to 75% of driveside tension...making for a much stronger rear wheel....

    I would suggest buying a highest quality rear hub you can a Hope-pro3 Or a Chris king...R45
    These components should be able to withstand anything you can throw at them...

    Front wheel component selection isn't nearly as critical....
  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    The off centre rear wheel does not make a wheel stonger! What does stronger even mean. An off centre rim (I use them) will improve tension balance so more lateral or radial flex is required to completely unload the NDS spokes. If the NDS spokes are unloaded due to lateral flex when pedaling this will fatigue them quite quickly. Lateral flex can often occur when pedalling while standing up and rocking the bike from side to side i.e as fast hill climb or sprint.

    Improved tension balance provided by an off centre rim does not make a wheel stiffer (is that what you mean by stonger?) it just means more lateral flex is required to make the NDS spokes go slack and when this occurs wheel stiffness drops alot as most of the lateral stiffness of a wheel is provided by the NDS spokes given there higher bracing angle. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • LittlePlums
    LittlePlums Posts: 139
    fatdaz wrote:
    I've been a competitive swimmer, water polo player and reasonable standard rugby player in the past so, whilst I really, really struggle up hills, I seem to have an engine

    I'm fully in touch with that! As an ex-rugby player, I'm all chest and shoulders - OK, a bit of a gut too! Hills are daunting for me, but the longer the distance, the higher my average speed - the old engine just keeps ticking over.

    Didn't mean to be rude, but I find that whist regular commuting keeps my weight in check, when I start doing endurance events in the better weather, the weight just falls off.
    Pride and joy: Bianchi Sempre
    Commuting hack: Cube Nature
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    In your case you either go for deepish section rims (no necessarily carbon) or for high spoke count... any other solution won't be particularly perofrming. The "low number" Fulcrum don't tick either box... they are meant for somebody lighter than you. Whilst they will carry your weight around, they won't carry it faster of for very long.
    If you have a big engine you need adequate chassis, it is very difficult to design a very light yet durable machine with a big engine...
    left the forum March 2023
  • fatdaz
    fatdaz Posts: 348
    Many thanks for all the responses, I will either leave it for a while and see if I can shift some weight in the triathlon season or look at handbuilt following the advice here. More likely I'll do both.

    Thanks again all for taking the time to respond