Is this a worthwhile upgrade

Djd3737 Posts: 82
edited July 2013 in Road buying advice

I am looking to upgrade my wheels set from the Shim R500/501s it came with to some handbuilts:

Kinlin XR-300
Novatec Hubs
CX-ray spokes

But before I commit would like to see if people think I will be able to tell any difference, in speed or feel. Obviously they are lighter and should be stiffer, but unsure as to how this will translate in terms of performance.

I am not going to be able raise any more money for more expensive wheels any time soon (years probably, young family), these are at my limit.

If it helps with the answer I am 6'1" 73kg, not a sprinter or very fast or anything like that, these will be used for training runs and hopefully a few local TTs. In terms of terrain the places I ride are really pretty flat (see my Strava

Thanks in advance



  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Yes, but my advice is to stay away from the Novatec LIGHT hubs, also called 291/482. They have given me endless problems for all the seta I have built.
    The Novatec 171/172 are a different breed, cheaper but better engineered, they come in drillings down to 24 and those have not given me any problem at all.
    Most builders will try to flog you the former, rather than the latter, luring you in with the mirage of saving 100 grams... not worth it, trust me

    As for the CX ray spokes, again, my recent review ... dated-view
    left the forum March 2023
  • cycleclinic
    cycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    The chap e-mailed me and not too surprisingly he does not like the price of CX-rays. Laser spokes will do the same job at the same weight (with alloy nipples) and save a fair bit of money. A better choice I think.

    As for the hubs. Ugo is kind of correct if they are used in the wet, in the dry/dryish condition they work fine and the only issue I have had with them is with a customer who took them out against advise on a few wet february ride when there was snow and salt on the roads. Needless to say he encountered dead bearings quickly. this is of course limiting for some. For dry day wheels the hubs are fine in my experience so far, if that changes my advise will change.

    The Miche Primato in 20H and 24H drillings will be available at some point I just have to wait now for my delivery (Italian shut down is looming so it may now be a september delivery). These hubs even with there weight penelty are a better all round option but curently are not a option to anyone. the 24H and 28H are already available.

    Obvoisuly more spokes is alway more reliable than less but with these rims a 20 spoke front and 24 spoke rear would be O.K but for training use problems are more likely to be encountered sooner than if a 24 spoke front and 28 spoke rear would be used. Still a 20F/24R pattern should give many miles of use at they have for all the ones I have built so far for ~70kg riders.

    The Novatec A171/F172 hubs are 390g/pair and the A291/F482 are 325/pair so the weight penelty for those is not even 100g and yes these are decent but I have noticed freehub body bearing go a bit quicker than they do on the Miche hubs.

    So again it comes down to are you going to ride in the wet and how much do you value low weight. If the answers to those questions are yes and not that bothered then do not go for the Novatec A291 and F482 hubs but in the drillings the OP want the currently available options are very expensive.

    The question about CX-rays come down how much money you want to spend rather than how aero you want the wheels to be as you have to be a fast rider to see any benefit. -wheel building and other stuff.