Wheels!

englander
englander Posts: 232
edited April 2013 in Road buying advice
I have a 2010 Spec Allez with Alex S500 wheels. I've put 1000 miles on them since Feb and I've no idea how many miles were on them before that. I'm looking in to treating myself to some new wheels for summer, to congratulate myself for completing a year of university (I'm rewarding myself in advance...). As I am a student, the budget is almost imperceptibly small, but it could just about stretch to Shimano R500s.

I'm fairly set on these, but I just wanted some clarification that they are decentish wheels. The cheapest incl. delivery is £85 from Merlin Cycles, but Ribble list them at £72 but out of stock. Interestingly, they have the bladed spokes version for £72 incl. discount... but they come in at 2kg.

Does anyone have any thoughts or advice either way? Has anyone seen them cheaper elsewhere?

Thanks for reading.
Specialized Allez 2010
Strava

Comments

  • Camcycle1974
    Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    My advice would be to save your pennies until you can afford a wheel set that will give noticeably better performance. True, the Alex wheels are entry level but so are the R500. £150-200 will buy you a nice budget set of hand built, lightweight wheels (Kinlin XR 200, Miche hubs and some laser spokes?) where you will notice a significant difference. Not easy to resist the lure of student life but you should if your "upgrade" is to be worthwhile.

    Sure Ugo or The Cycle Clinic will chime in at some point to offer their expert opinion. Until then, get saving!
  • antfly
    antfly Posts: 3,276
    You would just be swapping one pair of cheap, heavy wheels with another. The ones I had kept breaking spokes on the rear.
    Smarter than the average bear.
  • pkripper
    pkripper Posts: 652
    I would blow the money up the wall at the summer ball instead, as the wheels won't make much difference other than being shinier.
  • Calpol
    Calpol Posts: 1,039
    Completely agree with advice above. Unless you have more money than sense, then ride you current wheels until they break or you can easily afford to up you budget to c£300.
  • englander
    englander Posts: 232
    I sense a pattern emerging in these replies...
    Specialized Allez 2010
    Strava
  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    FWIW there are OK wheels & if you want to spend your admittedly tight budget on some new wheels you could do a lot worse.

    Personally I would keep your current wheels till you get down to the wear indicators and then look at replacing.
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • nochekmate
    nochekmate Posts: 3,460
    Englander wrote:
    I sense a pattern emerging in these replies...

    You must be doing something better than media studies then clearly! :wink:
  • englander
    englander Posts: 232
    FWIW there are OK wheels & if you want to spend your admittedly tight budget on some new wheels you could do a lot worse.

    Personally I would keep your current wheels till you get down to the wear indicators and then look at replacing.

    One of the things which precipitated my desire to get new wheels was that the S500s don't have a wear indicator, so far as I can tell, and as I say I don't know how much abuse they took form the previous owner (condition is pretty well used overall). My last bike ended its life with a rim failure so I'm a little over-concerned that the same might happen again. I really need to remember to whip the callipers out next time I'm at my dad's house to measure it properly. There is some clear concavity to the rim when I put a scalpel handle next to it.
    Specialized Allez 2010
    Strava
  • danlikesbikes
    danlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    Englander wrote:
    One of the things which precipitated my desire to get new wheels was that the S500s don't have a wear indicator, so far as I can tell, and as I say I don't know how much abuse they took form the previous owner (condition is pretty well used overall). My last bike ended its life with a rim failure so I'm a little over-concerned that the same might happen again. I really need to remember to whip the callipers out next time I'm at my dad's house to measure it properly. There is some clear concavity to the rim when I put a scalpel handle next to it.

    In that case if they are well worn then go for it, or you could put up an ad in the wanted section & see what people can offer?
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    QUality clothing makes the biggest difference to your riding... maybe a pair of quality bibshorts?
    Shimano R 500 are not better than what you've got already... they are actually worse in many ways
    left the forum March 2023
  • englander
    englander Posts: 232
    QUality clothing makes the biggest difference to your riding... maybe a pair of quality bibshorts?
    Shimano R 500 are not better than what you've got already... they are actually worse in many ways

    Worse? That surprises me actually. In what ways are they worse?

    Clothing is a shout. I'm cruising around in a SS jersey (which is fine) and baggy shorts at the moment...
    Specialized Allez 2010
    Strava
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Englander wrote:
    QUality clothing makes the biggest difference to your riding... maybe a pair of quality bibshorts?
    Shimano R 500 are not better than what you've got already... they are actually worse in many ways

    Worse? That surprises me actually. In what ways are they worse?

    Clothing is a shout. I'm cruising around in a SS jersey (which is fine) and baggy shorts at the moment...

    Worse because those wheels with few big spokes cannot be fixed if anything goes wrong (which it does).
    Clothing... get the best you can afford... even if it is DHB... DHB makes good bibshorts for the money. Get a windproof too.
    Pedals? Are you clipped in? Clip in pedals make a huge difference... Shimano SPD-SL 105 are nice and don't cost the earth (shoes do)
    left the forum March 2023
  • englander
    englander Posts: 232
    Ok, thanks for the input everyone. I think I'm going to ditch the idea of new wheels (pending measuring the wear and finding out they're about to explode) and divert funds to finally getting some bib shorts and making the leap to clipless. I'm probably more inclined towards SPD though based on the pros and cons that I have read about.
    Specialized Allez 2010
    Strava
  • Guanajuato
    Guanajuato Posts: 399
    Try Prendas for clothing - they have last years designs for £30 at the moment.
  • decent cycling clothing will make a big difference but dont spend more than you need to on it. £100 shorts arent twice as good as £50 shorts. If you can get a first pair for £20, thats ideal as long as they arent rubbish. then sort yourself out with some decent shoes and pedals/cleats. The only thing there you may want to splash out on would be shoes in my opinion, uncomfortable shoes will stop you riding anywhere.
  • smidsy
    smidsy Posts: 5,273
    Shorts are all about the pad. Irrespective of money/brand you need ones with a decent pad.

    I have some Gore ones that are poor and some Btwin (Decathalon) which are better but the money would suggest the opposite.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • Camcycle1974
    Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    smidsy wrote:
    Shorts are all about the pad. Irrespective of money/brand you need ones with a decent pad.

    I have some Gore ones that are poor and some Btwin (Decathalon) which are better but the money would suggest the opposite.

    Agreed. That's why Assos although expensive are the best. The pad is better engineered than other brands. Saying that mid priced brands like Altura/Endura and DHB deliver much better value but the pads aren't quite as good.
  • DRBB
    DRBB Posts: 85
    Probably also depends on how long your riding for - 30 minutes on most pads will be fine, 4 hours on a cheap pad won't be much fun......

    There are usually lots of bargains to be had if you shop around.
  • Crozza
    Crozza Posts: 991
    I was in exactly the same position, and bought some of the old Planet X Model B's to replace the stock alex s500s on my allez. however at the same time I also fitted some latex tubes and nice tyres (Mich Pro Race 3 at the time). there was a noticeable difference - the ride was much much nicer, surprisingly so

    I suspect that most of the improvements came from the new tyres/tubes though. PX/Ribble often have some very good tyres going cheap, that might be a good place to spend your money
  • englander
    englander Posts: 232
    Well I've got some SPD shoes, SPD pedals and some bib shorts (in 2 different sizes!) on order from Wiggle. Total spend is around the same as what I was looking to spend on wheels, but from the wisdom gleaned from this thread it should be money more wisely spent.

    As for tyres, I've got some Gatorskins on at the moment and I consider them an absolute necessity for London roads. I have an awful tendency to go straight through glass (and not get a p******!), and judging from the chunks that I pull out my tyre, the Gators' are doing an excellent job.

    I'll run the wheels until they are just about to explode before revisiting the idea of getting a new set.
    Specialized Allez 2010
    Strava
  • Camcycle1974
    Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    A rarity on this forum. Someone who asked for advice, took it on board then made an educated decision! By the sound of the roads you are riding on it seems sensible to keep your old wheels on for now. The better kit will help for sure.