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Wheel upgrade? Aero or climbing?

DarrenGTiDarrenGTi Posts: 68
edited August 2013 in Road buying advice
My Cube Agree GTC SL (2012) came with DT Swiss RA 2.0 wheels which, in my opinion, don't seem too terrible. I do however come from a rugby background so am quite a powerful rider and the DTs do flex under sprints or out of saddle climbing so thinking of an upgrade:

First up I'm not sure whether to go for a deep section aero rim (because they look cool) or something like Fulcrum Racing 0 as, in theory, should be better on the hills. My riding can be quite varied, sometimes a TT-esque effort, others a climb accross Dartmoor. So a compromise of some sort would be good.

My budget would be c.£500-£600, stretching to a little more if it was worth it. Alternatively second for similar money would not be ruled out. Initial thoughts are:

Fulcrum 50mm Carbon: http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/k632/a ... l?mfid=451

Fulcrum Racing Zero: http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/k632/a ... l?mfid=451

Dura Ace C24: http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/k632/a ... ml?mfid=43

Any opinions, advice, experience would be great.

Thanks

Darren
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Posts

  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    Get a pair of hand built wheels using H Plus Son Archetype rim, 28 DT Comp/Sapim race spokes and Shimano 105 or Ultegra hubs...?
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • Any merit of going up to a Dura Ace hub? A pair of 9000 are just over £300 and the bike already has DA components. When you consider that full DA wheels at a smidge over £600 can't be bad value?

    What are custom wheels like in terms of costs to build? And reliability? I know they are servicable but will I be going back to the LBS more often??
  • Zeros are excellent wheels. Very, very stiff. I love mine.

    NB – Wheel builders will not agree.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    DarrenGTi wrote:
    Any merit of going up to a Dura Ace hub? A pair of 9000 are just over £100 and the bike already has DA components.

    For £100 why not...if you can afford it, go for it.
    DarrenGTi wrote:
    What are custom wheels like in terms of costs to build? And reliability? I know they are servicable but will I be going back to the LBS more often??

    Cost to build is typically less than £100 for build and standard spokes (CX-Rays add £100 and its not worth IMHO). So total cost is around price of hubs + rims + £100 say so £300 total. Bargain! They will be more servicable due to using standard available parts (if you do break a spoke you won't be waiting weeks), better built (by hand) and the wheel builder can advise of the best combination of components for your needs - so overall will be a much better wheel made for YOU. Choose the right wheel builder and you shouldn't need to go to your LHS at all. Try http://www.harryrowland.info/ although I'm not sure if he can get the Archetype rim...there are others he will recommend though. Wheelsmith and Ugo on here also come recommended http://www.wheelsmith.co.uk/road-wheels-prices.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • KubotaiKubotai Posts: 20
    I've been going through all the wheel options for a few weeks and decided I would have a set built for me.

    Deeper aero wheels at your budget (not too different from my own) are difficult, but you might keep a look out for the Shimano RS81 wheels. Those will have a 50mm deep wheel (RS81 C50), a 35mm (RS81 C35) and a 24mm (RS81 C24), but these are not yet available everywhere. Fulcrum wheels are popular as are Mavic Ksyriums.

    I will have a set built on alloy H plus Son Archetype rims, which are generally seen as very high quality and stiff rims. A wheelbuilder can help you decide on the parts, but I'm going for high quality, light weight racing hubs. (I have a thread going with discussions about various hubs.) It's all very personal and that makes it a great choice. You can get strong and stiff wheels that will not flex. (I have the same problem with my stock DT Swiss Axis 2.0 wheels, which feel flimsy under power.) Plus, you can make it suit any budget.
  • xscreamsukxscreamsuk Posts: 318
    I bought handbuilts 18 months ago. Done about 10,000 miles on them, zero problems, nice and light, Ambrossio Excellight, Royce Hubs, and Sapim Laser spokes. My request was for something that was a good all rounder but with an emphasis on hills ie weight.
    Never needed touching, plus the wheel builder will do a yearly check and re true for the cost of postage. I do put them away for winter and use some Fulcrum 5's, just to save the rims from the grime. They were within your budget. hubs have a lifetime warranty.
  • Thanks for the opinions so far. So no one would recomend deep section rims at this price? No offence to wheel builders out there but why would a handbuilt wheel made by an individual be better than a complete wheel from a top line manufacturer? Are corners really cut on a Dura Ace or Racing Zero wheel to meet a price point? It's not like we're talking budget items.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    DarrenGTi wrote:
    Thanks for the opinions so far. So no one would recomend deep section rims at this price? No offence to wheel builders out there but why would a handbuilt wheel made by an individual be better than a complete wheel from a top line manufacturer? Are corners really cut on a Dura Ace or Racing Zero wheel to meet a price point? It's not like we're talking budget items.

    Some good articles here including this one http://paolocoppo.drupalgardens.com/con ... nd-fiction
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • trek_dantrek_dan Posts: 1,366
    When you describe yourself as 'powerful' do you really mean heavy, you didn't mention your weight on original post? I'd def go handbuilt if this is the case.
    I went for American Classic Aero 420 on my build, got them second hand though and not sure I'd pay £600 for them new. I wanted something with a deep-ish section rim (mostly for looks to be honest, at least I admit it unike others) but didn't want to go full carbon due to braking issues in the wet. Carbon clinchers with alloy brake track in my budget were all pretty heavy, and to be fair somewhat pointless.
  • trek_dan wrote:
    When you describe yourself as 'powerful' do you really mean heavy, you didn't mention your weight on original post?

    Weight: Approximately 13st / 80kg. I'm not sure if that is too heavy in cycling terms. I have broken a spoke whilst touring but on this bike/wheelset I only get flex under effort rather than any specific damage to the wheels.
  • There is absolutely nothing wrong in buying a set of ‘factory’ built wheels. Wheel builders need to tell you why you shouldn’t because they’d lose business. Queue horror stories and spokes that can only be found on Saturn’s third moon. The truth is that there are great factory built wheels out there (like the Zero ;-)) and terrible factory wheels – there are also good wheel builders and ones who shouldn’t be allowed near a spoke key.

    I’ve got a lovely pair of classic looking hand built wheels on my Colnago, I’ve also got some great 303 FC’s and my faultless Zeros – which are made in Italy using care and attention.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIGm7pKx3rs

    Buy what you want.
  • drlodgedrlodge Posts: 4,826
    Buy what you want.

    Just be aware of the implications in buying any particularly wheel - good and bad, factory or hand built.
    WyndyMilla Massive Attack | Rourke 953 | Condor Italia 531 Pro | Boardman CX Pro | DT Swiss RR440 Tubeless Wheels
    Find me on Strava
  • trek_dantrek_dan Posts: 1,366
    Deep section but heavy - Shimano RS80 50mm
    Lightweight but not aero - Fulcrum Zeros
    Something in the middle - American Classic Aero 420

    Happy days.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,969
    drlodge wrote:
    Buy what you want.

    Just be aware of the implications in buying any particularly wheel - good and bad, factory or hand built.

    good insight.
  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    handbuilts are good for all the reasons given above and a great for general wheels but the factory wheels outperform them in absolute terms, in my experience. The Archetype for example, is a solid rim and well made but isn't that light. I run a set on my commuter and they were heavier than the 29er wheels they replaced.

    DA9000 TL, Fulcrum R1 and maybe the tubeless Eastons would be my starting shortlist I suspect.

    I had some RS80 C50s for a while but they were a right handful on windy days so I sold them on.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • Thanks Maddog. I do think I'll probably go manufacturer wheels. I don't need a wheel to last me 10,000 miles, as best wheels on my best bike that'd take me over 5 years to reach that!

    On an American Classics theme, they do look awesome. How much has build quality and design moved on over the years? There's a cheap set on ebay from 2003 which could be a good buy at the right price.
  • maddog 2maddog 2 Posts: 8,114
    The RS80 C24 for £300 from ribble are a good buy IMO. Not tubeless like the DA9000 but essentially the same rim.
    Facts are meaningless, you can use facts to prove anything that's remotely true! - Homer
  • Hmm. Reading up the RS80's do flex a little with riders in my weight region. Do sound like a bargain, but due to the flex, I'm out.

    Down to AC's or FR zeros I guess.
  • Also, given the bike cost £2.3k how much should I expect to pay on a wheelset to get a noticeable difference. This has to be a worthwhile upgrade.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,707
    maddog 2 wrote:
    handbuilts are good for all the reasons given above and a great for general wheels but the factory wheels outperform them in absolute terms, in my experience.

    That's probably because builders don't have the budget to buy lots of advertising space and offset the numerous reports of failures that brands experience... in other words, they can play to the limit, while we need to be a bit more conservative, hence hand built are typically a little heavier and have more spokes, being less aerodynamic as well. That said, I have built wheels of 1 Kg for the set and lighter than anything available in the Campagnolo range, after long discussions to make sure they knew what they were getting... while Mavic doesn't seem to put a great deal of effort in discouraging potential customers from buying the SLR... :wink:
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,969
    DarrenGTi wrote:
    Also, given the bike cost £2.3k how much should I expect to pay on a wheelset to get a noticeable difference. This has to be a worthwhile upgrade.

    Wheels on their own won't give you any 'noticable' difference, other than a small weight saving, perhaps. Tyres will make more of a real world difference to ride feel.
  • maddog 2 wrote:
    while Mavic doesn't seem to put a great deal of effort in discouraging potential customers from buying the SLR... :wink:

    So it's a conspiracy now? Next you'll be telling us that the Rothschilds control all factory built wheels...;-)
  • Imposter wrote:
    DarrenGTi wrote:
    Also, given the bike cost £2.3k how much should I expect to pay on a wheelset to get a noticeable difference. This has to be a worthwhile upgrade.

    Wheels on their own won't give you any 'noticable' difference, other than a small weight saving, perhaps. Tyres will make more of a real world difference to ride feel.

    Well I run Ultremo ZX tyres so can't get too much better in my opinion.

    I was always under the impression reducing rotating mass is going to make a difference to acceleration and climbing?

    Also I want something with a little less flex. How does that happen going from 28 spoke DTs I have to say 20 or 24 spoke wheels I'm looking at?
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,707
    DarrenGTi wrote:

    I was always under the impression reducing rotating mass is going to make a difference to acceleration and climbing?

    Also I want something with a little less flex. How does that happen going from 28 spoke DTs I have to say 20 or 24 spoke wheels I'm looking at?

    Reducing rotating mass is good, not much in climbing, but definitively in acceleration.

    Fewer spokes = more lateral flex. If you are a former rugby player, you should look at more spokes rather than less. People who are happy with their 20 spoked Dura Ace 24 typically don't put many watts in the cranks. You also would benefit from a bit of profile, not much for aerodynamic reasons, but rather for the stiffness a tall rim provides... 30 mm or so is plenty.
    Rule of thumb for a powerful rider and 19-20 mm wide rim:
    35 mm + deep rim 24-28 spokes rear
    28-35 mm 28-32
    27 or less 32-36
  • KubotaiKubotai Posts: 20
    DarrenGTi wrote:
    Also I want something with a little less flex. How does that happen going from 28 spoke DTs I have to say 20 or 24 spoke wheels I'm looking at?
    It depends on many factors. Deep carbon wheels are going to be stiff due to the depth and type of material. Some hubs are optimized to build a stiff wheel. Spoke type will have an effect too.

    I'm looking at hubs that build a stiff wheel, the Archetype rim that is stiff itself and a 24 front/28 rear spoke count. Should build a mighty stiff wheel. My current wheels have the same spoke count, but are flimsy due to the individual parts.

    But there are many options. Take your time and see where your preferences are. Maybe you end up preferring a nice set of carbon aero wheels or Mavic Cosmic SL (my preference in terms of high wheels along with the RS81 C50).
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,707
    Kubotai wrote:
    But there are many options. Take your time and see where your preferences are. Maybe you end up preferring a nice set of carbon aero wheels or Mavic Cosmic SL (my preference in terms of high wheels along with the RS81 C50).

    Not sure the SL is a good rim in terms of stiffness... have you seen the new Mavic Cosmic C 40? That seems a much better concept, although I suspect very expensive!
  • KubotaiKubotai Posts: 20
    Not sure the SL is a good rim in terms of stiffness... have you seen the new Mavic Cosmic C 40? That seems a much better concept, although I suspect very expensive!
    Very nice wheels and very expensive, Zipp Firecrest expensive. But then I understand Mavic claim they beat Zipp in terms of aerodynamics. I certainly like them, but simply can't justify the cost.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,707
    Kubotai wrote:
    Not sure the SL is a good rim in terms of stiffness... have you seen the new Mavic Cosmic C 40? That seems a much better concept, although I suspect very expensive!
    Very nice wheels and very expensive, Zipp Firecrest expensive. But then I understand Mavic claim they beat Zipp in terms of aerodynamics. I certainly like them, but simply can't justify the cost.

    I wouldn't go as far as saying nice wheels, but certainly nice rims... those C 40 carbon with an alloy rim bed solve a few of the typical issues of carbon clinchers... not all, but a few
  • Thanks ugo. Very helpful. What would a set of handmades on archetype 24 spokes (bladed preferably) with ultegra hubs weigh in at? PM me if you don't want to go public. A price would be good too...

    And how come no one has mentioned the planet x's http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/WBPX52CCLHBPC/2013 Seen a few on bikes around here.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 27,707
    DarrenGTi wrote:
    Thanks ugo. Very helpful. What would a set of handmades on archetype 24 spokes (bladed preferably) with ultegra hubs weigh in at? PM me if you don't want to go public. A price would be good too...

    And how come no one has mentioned the planet x's http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/WBPX52CCLHBPC/2013 Seen a few on bikes around here.

    You can't have them on Ultegra... Ultegra only come as 32... and at your weight I would not use mini bladed spokes... Archetype at 24/28 with saying DT comp/Revolution on typical hubs will weigh 1600 grams.
    Price of wheels is dictated by the hubs, roughly speaking, no matter who builds them as prices are levelled (with a couple of exceptions), for archetype on Sapim/DT Swiss spokes you are looking at ca. 200 pounds + the retail price of the hubs
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