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Upgrading Wheels - A number of questions

supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
edited May 2013 in Road buying advice
Not quite ready for the upgrade yet, well I am, the wallet is not quite there yet. :evil:

I currently have stock Easton EA50 Aero's that came on my cube, apart from a few other Ultegra bits my main plan is to upgrade the wheels.

Question 1) Recommendations for something around the £500 mark

Questions 2) Are handbuilt options a good choice at this price point or stick to the more obvious choices? (I'm just not keen on Planet X for some reason, would like something different)

Question 3)If you went from Clinchers to Tubulars what difference did you find. Was it positive or negative?

Appreciate a few similar threads but I really would welcome the input.

Posts

  • pkripperpkripper Posts: 652
    The Eastons aren't a bad wheelset for the pricepoint, coming in at around 1750g from memory and being 30mm in profile so there's some aero benefit and not a huge weight penalty.

    Upgrading to something like a ksyrium may make the acceleration feel a bit snappier and there will be a positive on the scales - they're also a bit stiffer I find. Handbuilts are an option, and you can get a decent setup a bit cheaper, but I dont think they look as good! But the spec can be matched to your riding.

    Personally, tubs are a race wheel only for me, just cos I prefer the ease of changing a tube and changing tyres around, but the same can be done. Top end clinchers with latex tubes are pretty close in feel to tubs too.
  • smidsysmidsy Posts: 5,273
    Hand builts are certainly a good option at that price point. Hell they are a good option at half that price point.

    Do you require less weight, more stiffness, more durability, what are they to be used for etc etc. That will help you decide.
    Yellow is the new Black.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,677
    I like to stroke my tubulars, I don't like to stroke clinchers...
    Tubulars have a penis like consistency and if you know they are yours, it's OK to stroke them... don't stroke other people's tubulars, that's not good :wink:
    clinchers are like condoms, to be avoided if you can...
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    The OP isn't saying what he's expecting to achieve from the upgrade. Without that information its impossible to advise much I reckon.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,677
    I think he wants to move on from the dull world of open tyres, that's why he should get tubulars and enjoy the all harmonics...
  • mfinmfin Posts: 6,726
    Ah, but maybe he's running rubbish tyres, there's a big difference between low end and high end clinchers too. I reckon he just wants to spend some money? What dya reckon Mr OP?
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    I'm back! Ok so the tyres are Schwalbe Ultremo ZX, I have noticed a couple of nicks but so far they have been a good tyre. Having said that I have lost a bit of confidence with my brakes/tyres combo on the really twisty descents so a change might be good.

    In terms of what I hope to achieve, well a bit of customisation and individualisation never hurts!! But in fairness I was just hoping to get an increase in performance, possibly save a bit of weight, but essentially to feel that I've improved the bike. The new looks a pleasing side effect. :)

    Not sure of the price point for hand builts Ugo? In my mind I'm looking to set aside £500 for this upgrade but hopefully I can achieve my goal without spending that much.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,677
    Not sure of the price point for hand builts Ugo? In my mind I'm looking to set aside £500 for this upgrade but hopefully I can achieve my goal without spending that much.

    That's plenty... remember typically a builder will charge you 50 quid to build 2 wheels, that leaves plenty to buy components... rims are 80-120 for a pair, spokes 20-50 pounds... then the hubs you can afford
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Appreciate the rough price guide, that's certainly encouraging. Would a wheel builder typically keep the stock of components, or is it usually the case of the customer sourcing the bits. I really like the idea of hand builts but not technically savvy enough to know the strengths of the parts. Buying off the shelf you can read reviews to help form an opinion but the more I type the more I'm wanting something custom.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,677
    Appreciate the rough price guide, that's certainly encouraging. Would a wheel builder typically keep the stock of components, or is it usually the case of the customer sourcing the bits. I really like the idea of hand builts but not technically savvy enough to know the strengths of the parts. Buying off the shelf you can read reviews to help form an opinion but the more I type the more I'm wanting something custom.

    Most will be happy to supply components, but they might be fixated on some
  • Camcycle1974Camcycle1974 Posts: 1,356
    Appreciate the rough price guide, that's certainly encouraging. Would a wheel builder typically keep the stock of components, or is it usually the case of the customer sourcing the bits. I really like the idea of hand builts but not technically savvy enough to know the strengths of the parts. Buying off the shelf you can read reviews to help form an opinion but the more I type the more I'm wanting something custom.

    Buying from a builder you can get their advice on what they think suits you best given your weight, riding style and intended usage. I.e you can tailor a wheel to your needs. Buying off the shelf you are relying on sometimes biased reviews or anecdotal experience which may or may not be applicable. For £500 you could get a very nice pair of lightweight rims built up on premium hubs (ok, maybe Hope rather than Chris King but still very nice). Look at some of the examples on Ugo's blog. Grey Archetypes with black spokes and blue Hope hubs do it for me!

    The other upside is the ease of maintenance over factory built wheels where parts etc may not be available or take a long time to source.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Ugo, can you link me to the blog please. Really liking the sound of this upgrade!! :)
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,677
    Ugo, can you link me to the blog please. Really liking the sound of this upgrade!! :)

    There are a few wheels that I built recently for local folks and some articles, a few might be of interest

    http://paolocoppo.drupalgardens.com
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,677
    Fantastic! They really do ooze quality.

    Mmh, yes, thanks... The time it takes me to prepare the rims, prepare the spokes and fit the washers is probably the time it takes a Carbonzone builder to finish off 4 wheels... :wink:
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    I'll drop you a PM later, I'd like to discuss this further when I've slobbered over the images a little more. Is that the best way to get in touch with you?
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,677
    I'll drop you a PM later, I'd like to discuss this further when I've slobbered over the images a little more. Is that the best way to get in touch with you?

    Right now I am only building and fixing wheels for the locals... if you are based in Derbyshire maybe you should talk to Just Riding Along in Sheffield? They do build Archetype on a range of hubs and it's good to be close to your builder
  • dwanesdwanes Posts: 954
    If going down the handbuilt route costs can vary quite a bit.
    Some will charge full RRP for the components and then charge for building. Others will be nice enough to charge 'at shop cost' for the components and then a building charge.
    And the final price can be wildly different. So it is worth getting a few quotes.
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Ugo, I'll take a look at those.

    Dwanes, cheers, I guess that's always the best option, getting a few quotes is what I'll do. Cheers.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,677
    dwanes wrote:
    Others will be nice enough to charge 'at shop cost' for the components and then a building charge.
    And the final price can be wildly different. So it is worth getting a few quotes.

    I am only aware of that guy on ebay that does so... it is unfair competition, to be honest.
    If you don't have to live on your business, you should not have access to business accounts. Business accounts and getting parts "at cost" should be a prerogative of those who actually do own a proper business. If you do own a proper business, you cannot sell parts at cost.... If one works in a shed and has no costs, he should not get parts at cost... it is an old rat, but if you want the world to keep spinning in a sensible direction, there are some basic business rules that should be respected.
  • dwanesdwanes Posts: 954
    One i found was a normal local bike shop, so obviously wasn't reliant on wheelbuilding as an income, just something he could do as a filler i guess. Better for him than sitting around not getting paid.
    So it is worth checking your local bike shops not just specific wheel builders like Just riding Along.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,677
    dwanes wrote:
    One i found was a normal local bike shop, so obviously wasn't reliant on wheelbuilding as an income, just something he could do as a filler i guess. Better for him than sitting around not getting paid.
    So it is worth checking your local bike shops not just specific wheel builders like Just riding Along.

    I suspect if he is that un-busy to work for free he is either a hidden gem you found or one to stay well clear off
  • dwanesdwanes Posts: 954
    I think you mis-understood what i was saying.
    I didnt say he was working for free, he charges for buiding the wheels, ie. Labour, not charging extra on the components.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,677
    dwanes wrote:
    I think you mis-understood what i was saying.
    I didnt say he was working for free, he charges for buiding the wheels, ie. Labour, not charging extra on the components.

    Same thing.. getting components in is part of the work... accountancy, stock, cost of maintaining premises blah blah... plus who pays VAT?
    What he probably did is he had some stock he was willing to let go as it was hard to sell... most shops will give you a big discount on OpenPRO rims, as they get them in just in case someone comes in with a broken wheel but then they don't know what to do with them... you still find specimen dating to the early noughts

    Nobody will build you a set of Archetype providing the components "at cost"
  • supermurph09supermurph09 Posts: 2,471
    Massively appreciative of the advice so far, but looks wise I'm not really taken by what I have seen so far.

    I wondered if you'd be so kind to give your opinion on these: http://www.merlincycles.com/bike-shop/w ... ncher.html
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,677
    Massively appreciative of the advice so far, but looks wise I'm not really taken by what I have seen so far.

    I wondered if you'd be so kind to give your opinion on these: http://www.merlincycles.com/bike-shop/w ... ncher.html

    Scroll down, there was a thread specifically on these in this section.

    IF what you are after is a certain look, you should go with your instinct and what you like...
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