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Wheels £500, £750 or a Grand?

willnowillno Posts: 5
edited May 2013 in Road buying advice
I ride a Pinnacle road bike (c.£700 two years ago). It's fine but not very sexy, so am considering buying a nice carbon frame when I drop the 3-5kg off my midriff to justify it.
In the meantime I am considering some new wheels that I can enjoy now on Sunny days and Sportivs, and use on the new frame if/when I get it.
So my questions are... for a 75kg weekend warrior, who rarely averages more than 15mph on a 50mil ride....
- firstly am I right in thinking at my level I should forget about aerodynamic profiles, as I'm just not moving fast enough to reap the benefits?
- secondly, is there a price point where 'quality' suddenly kicks in, or is it just a steady curve of diminishing returns?
ie if I spend £250 or £750 or even £1000 will I really notice the difference other than the 'feel good' factor of having some shiney new kit?
apologies if this subject has been done to death, but I do get the over-riding feeling that all the reviews in mags and on websites are aimed at better cyclists than me.

Posts

  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    You can get some really nice handbuilts in the 400-500 range. After that you really need to go to the 1k+ price point to find anything noticeably better.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • pkripperpkripper Posts: 652
    1 - no, you shouldn't necessarily forget about aero profiles, in fact, you'll 'technically' get more benefit than someone moving quicker over the same distance as you'd currently take longer. However, there's usually a weight trade-off unless you're spending mega money, so probably wouldn't bother.

    2 - my thought is that the real benefits start to kick in around the £400 mark. There are some great wheels under that, and some awesome wheels above that, and of course you can get handbuilts in almost any flavour you want for a price. I must admit, in my opinion, the mavic ksyrium at around £4-450 is a great wheelset, and would be my first choice (in fact it was) for performance on a reasonable budget. A handbuilt set could be more tailored for you, and may be more readily serviceable, but there are enough sets of ksyriums out there that prove they're a durable set. Obviously you can spend as much as you want, but factor in decent tyres and tubes into your budget too as they really change a ride as well.

    Above all, enjoy it. Many will disagree with my opinions above, and many won't. But also, factor in the fun and comfort into your riding - a nice pair of shorts if you don't have any may mean you ride more, hence the 15mph average becomes 17 by mid-summer etc. Ultimately at most races and cafe's you'll see plenty of people on nice bikes that can't ride for poop, but they've spanked the cash. There'll be plenty of people on poop bikes who are quick. The ones you've got to watch are the quick ones on nice bikes - then life's just not fair.
  • willnowillno Posts: 5
    Thx Grill - actually that prompts another question.
    Why do hand builts offer better quality for less money? Surely a mass produced product is able , through economies of scale etc, to offer better value. It's not often the bespoke option is cheaper!
  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    willno wrote:
    Thx Grill - actually that prompts another question.
    Why do hand builts offer better quality for less money? Surely a mass produced product is able , through economies of scale etc, to offer better value. It's not often the bespoke option is cheaper!

    Not necessarily. Many factory wheels use propitiatory rims, spokes, and hubs, so replacement parts on wheels like Mavic, Shimano, and Fulcrum either aren't available or are prohibitively expensive. Dura Ace C24? Good luck when the rim wears out in 7k miles. Fulcrum 1? How much for a spoke?!? Mavic Elites? Well that's a mighty expensive freehub...

    Say you pony up a bit more and buy ENVEs or Reynolds. You can change all those parts without hassle. All they basically do is handbuild a wheel for you as for the most part they just manufacture the rim.

    Get a specialist to do it for you and you can get a wheel with roughly the same quality and weight as Mavic Elites for less, and you don't have to worry about spares.
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • willnowillno Posts: 5
    Ok cheers
    next question - who knows a good wheel specialist in SE London?
  • letap73 wrote:

    Is Ugo on holiday? :wink:
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • Camcycle1974Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    letap73 wrote:

    Is Ugo on holiday? :wink:

    Lol. He could be cleaning up with every one recommending hand builts over £1000 factory wheel sets. :D
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,769
    Not on holiday, no.... off for an early morning ride... :wink:
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    willno wrote:
    Ok cheers
    next question - who knows a good wheel specialist in SE London?

    If only you wanted one in SW London - oh well, guess you will have to have crappy factory wheels :lol:

    PS: see Ugo's location above :wink:
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    Harry Rowland builds great wheels, he will ship them out. Something like Shimano 105 hubs and Excellight rims on 28 or 32 spoke would make a great pair of wheels. Will last for years and ride as smooth as butter. Easy to repair/replace too
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • willnowillno Posts: 5
    Thanks for those - I thought the original link from letap73 was a spam link so ignored it (sorry!)
    I might just chase up a wheel builder, that sounds a lot more interesting/rewarding experience than buying something out of an asian factory.
  • Camcycle1974Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    Welcome to the dark side!
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    drlodge wrote:
    Harry Rowland builds great wheels, he will ship them out. Something like Shimano 105 hubs and Excellight rims on 28 or 32 spoke would make a great pair of wheels. Will last for years and ride as smooth as butter. Easy to repair/replace too

    I have 32/32 Excellight wheels on Novatec Hubs with DT Competition spokes and they are like butter.

    Done about 1500 miles on them over winter and they are still like new.

    Buit with love and care by Ugo.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,769
    smidsy wrote:

    Buit with love and care by Ugo.

    Normally yes, but not yours... I had just taken delivery of some weed from a friend in Amsterdam when I built them... :wink:
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    smidsy wrote:
    I have 32/32 Excellight wheels on Novatec Hubs with DT Competition spokes and they are like butter.

    Done about 1500 miles on them over winter and they are still like new.

    Buit with love and care by Ugo.

    Very similar to mine...Excellight rims, Campag Record hubs (32 spokes) with Sapim Laser on the front and Race on the rear.

    I agree - they are like butter, really smooth. Perfect for those long rides and hills as well.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
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