Wheel set recommendation

Doc James
Doc James Posts: 22
edited April 2014 in Road general
Looking to upgrade from the factory fitted Giant wheels on my Defy Advanced bike running 105. Looking at a £500 budget. Any recommendations other than Fulcrum Racing 3s? Wasn't sure whether stretching to the Racing 1s was worth the extra cost? Ride once or twice a week upto 100m per week no TT stuff
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Comments

  • 23mm rims with the best hubs you can afford.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • gubber12345
    gubber12345 Posts: 493
    mavic krysium elites....just got a new set and they are deadly for the money,bit less than £500 so you can upgrade to good tyres as well.
    Lapierre Aircode 300
    Merida
  • CXrider
    CXrider Posts: 141
    On a similar note, and something the OP would also likely wish to know...

    What exactly is the real world advantage in upgrading to better wheels and tyres?
    In percentage performance gains...

    I am half- considering it but wondering if the money spent is better used on other upgrades, such as groupset items.
    Pedal to Paris blog at http://RideToParis.co.uk
  • gubber12345
    gubber12345 Posts: 493
    best upgrade to a bike is the wheelset for me anyway.

    stock wheels are ok but since I put on my elites ive found a difference...maybe not a lot percentage wise but to me the wheels did it....maybe its all in the head!!!!!
    Lapierre Aircode 300
    Merida
  • lawrences
    lawrences Posts: 1,011
    CXrider wrote:
    On a similar note, and something the OP would also likely wish to know...

    What exactly is the real world advantage in upgrading to better wheels and tyres?
    In percentage performance gains...

    I am half- considering it but wondering if the money spent is better used on other upgrades, such as groupset items.

    It's generally the best place to upgrade in terms of performance gain for money spent especially the tyres. Even if you don't care about performance gain, a nicer wheel set will make your bike more enjoyable to ride.

    Also OP have you looked at what Swissside have on offer. They are a UK company that make decent wheels and I've heard good things about their customer service.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,230
    I am running a few tests with different tyres and different spoke count. Richmond park is an ideal circuit to time yourself using different equipment.
    Interestingly, there is no difference whatsoever in going from the extreme of a set of 24 aero mini bladed spoked wheels fitted with Corsa CX tubulars at 110 PSI to a set of 32 spoked wheels fitted with fast cycle cross tyres at 60 PSI. None.
    The difference start with knobbly tyres and it's not as big as you might think (30 seconds over 20 minutes, bit more reducing the pressure to 40 PSI).
    What is more interesting is that the light wheels feel a lot faster, but the stopwatch gives the same result.
    It is disappointing, but numbers don't lie.
    Upgrade? Yes, but not for performance. Get something more reliable, something that allows you to run lower pressure (more comfort) or get bigger tyres that corner better. Maybe try tubeless technology if punctures are an issue for you.
    There are some interesting things out there, but none of them make you faster, unless you start splitting seconds
    left the forum March 2023
  • Barteos
    Barteos Posts: 657
    CXrider wrote:
    On a similar note, and something the OP would also likely wish to know...

    What exactly is the real world advantage in upgrading to better wheels and tyres?
    In percentage performance gains...
    The internet says your are going to be faster by 1-1.5mph by upgrading to better wheels (and another 1-2mph by upgrading to a carbon frame) :wink::wink::wink:
    Seriously though, in terms of performance tyres and pressure will make a difference (even 20 or more watts). Wheels not so much.
  • I am running a few tests with different tyres and different spoke count. Richmond park is an ideal circuit to time yourself using different equipment.
    Interestingly, there is no difference whatsoever in going from the extreme of a set of 24 aero mini bladed spoked wheels fitted with Corsa CX tubulars at 110 PSI to a set of 32 spoked wheels fitted with fast cycle cross tyres at 60 PSI. None.
    The difference start with knobbly tyres and it's not as big as you might think (30 seconds over 20 minutes, bit more reducing the pressure to 40 PSI).
    What is more interesting is that the light wheels feel a lot faster, but the stopwatch gives the same result.
    It is disappointing, but numbers don't lie.
    Upgrade? Yes, but not for performance. Get something more reliable, something that allows you to run lower pressure (more comfort) or get bigger tyres that corner better. Maybe try tubeless technology if punctures are an issue for you.
    There are some interesting things out there, but none of them make you faster, unless you start splitting seconds

    Numbers don't lie, but perhaps methods deceive. I can really understand the sentiment of what you are doing, but are you happy with the science?

    Surely you cannot trust a human riding a circuit to do it the same way every time so that the results are comparable? You would need the same power input at the same time, with the same wind.

    How close do you think you got those variables? You say the difference is 2.5% but to get within 10% of the power accuracy would be good by "feel" alone so you may be a factor of five out.

    On the other hand, if you are using a power meter, in still wind with no other cyclists around, following the exact same track and holding a very constant power input then that would be different. You would also qualify as a robot, but thats another matter. :D
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,230
    I am a robot. I can ride the same course in exactly the same time give or take 10 seconds.
    I am happy with my method, it's the closest thing to real life... If I am not faster with allegedly faster equipment that is self explanatory, regardless of what the wind tunnel says.
    It all started in the attempt to find the tyre that best handles Roubaix cobbles (big, low pressure and high TPI count) and allows me to keep up in a chain gang... the answer is: Any
    left the forum March 2023
  • esdel
    esdel Posts: 28
    Ah the magic wheels debate, my two pence worth.

    I ride and have ridden with people using everything from stock wheels upto £1500 ( pair ), and I can tell you that it's all in the mind. ( at an amateur level).

    Having said that I'm talking about just general riding, not an aero tt type event.

    But hey it's your money and if you can afford it then it will make your bling look nicer, the most effective thing you can do to make you a quicker rider ( if that's what you want to do), is to ride your bike more and lose weight.

    1 stone in weight ( fat) is 6350 grams, think about that when you save 300 grams on a stem or a set of wheels.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Yep, waste of money.
    In fact, sell the ones you have and go down the dump or local cycle project to get some cheaper replacements.

    Actually, just sell the whole bike to some mug and pick up a complete bike from the dump or cycle project.

    It will be just as fast (apparently) and you can look really smug as all the muppets are going no faster than you (honestly) clipped into their carbon, 105+ bling wheeled bikes.

    Have not got a clue what you should spend the cash on, but am sure someone on here will have :wink:
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    esdel wrote:
    Ah the magic wheels debate, my two pence worth.

    I ride and have ridden with people using everything from stock wheels upto £1500 ( pair ), and I can tell you that it's all in the mind. ( at an amateur level).

    Having said that I'm talking about just general riding, not an aero tt type event.

    But hey it's your money and if you can afford it then it will make your bling look nicer, the most effective thing you can do to make you a quicker rider ( if that's what you want to do), is to ride your bike more and lose weight.

    1 stone in weight ( fat) is 6350 grams, think about that when you save 300 grams on a stem or a set of wheels.

    Ah, the magic lose weight instead of having a light bike debate :roll:

    Why do you assume the OP or anyone you aim that cr4p at can actually lose any more weight?
    At what point does weight loss end and spending money on the bike start?

    Would you not agree that losing weight and having a light bike is a good idea?

    You guys make it sound as though losing 6lb of body fat will make a 22lb bike feel/handle like a 16lb one.

    The two things should be treated separately IMO. Do both if you can, and the one you can do if you can't ;-)

    Personally I would just aim to 'bling' the bike for bling's sake and take any speed (and dare I say more enjoyable riding) as a bonus.
  • Doc James
    Doc James Posts: 22
    Interestingly I'm only 76kg and at 6'3" not at all overweight! Not sure further weight loss would be of any help......

    I guess the concept of upgrading and building a more responsive bike which looks bling in the process does appeal, but then I'm also happy pottering in the park with my 3 girls on an ancient Univega steel hard tail MTB.

    I have full 105 and I didn't think upgrading to Ultegra would be at all worthwhile and going one step further to Dura-ace is a bit too expensive. I'm using Conti Gatorskins at the moment.

    Love the debate. Maybe shaving my legs will be equally effective.......
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    edited April 2014
    I would get some better tyres. Gatorskins are economy Continentals.
    You can pick up some GP4000's or Vittoria Open Corsa's pretty cheaply these days.
    How about trying latex tubes?

    Wheels are transferable between bikes so makes sense to look out for a really nice set.
    I got racing Zeros for less than £500 so maybe get the tyres now and bide your time until you see a bargain.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,230
    Replacing the gatorskin with something which feels less plastic would be a good move. Vittoria Pave' 25 is a lovely high TPI tyre, that feels quite lively and more grippy than the horrible Gatorskin... maybe even latex tubes
    left the forum March 2023
  • d_o_g
    d_o_g Posts: 286
    I like my Fulcrum Quattros because they sing to me when over 20mph or so...mostly downhill!

    Plus they were only £200.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Quattros are an easy recommendation if you like the look and they suit your bike.

    I normally sell stock wheels and tyres immediately when I get a new bike.
    Even own brand ones will fetch a good price when brand new.

    Its not worth using cr4ppy tyres at all when you can just whack on something far better and sell the stock ones as new with minimal extra cost between the two.
  • Mad_Malx
    Mad_Malx Posts: 5,000
    Replacing the gatorskin with something which feels less plastic would be a good move. Vittoria Pave' 25 is a lovely high TPI tyre, that feels quite lively and more grippy than the horrible Gatorskin... maybe even latex tubes

    For a while I thought your post earlier up the page was saying that tyres made no difference - I was really struggling with that.

    Most original equipment tyres are dreadful , and upgrading these is by far the best bang-for-buck upgrade. Gatorskins are better than most OEM tyres.
  • Mr Dog
    Mr Dog Posts: 643
    The physics must be out there somewhere. Not sure that loosing a few grams would make a huge difference otherwise the marketing machine would be thrusting it in our face on a daily basis. It always makes me grin when I'm told that the latest aero frame would save me 7 watts over a 10 mile TT. Once you get the thing up to speed then I would imagine the power you need to sustain that velocity would be the factor.. but its only a guess... we need a boffin to help us. Quality is a different issue... :wink:
    Why tidy the house when you can clean your bike?
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Mr Dog wrote:
    we need a boffin to help us.

    Thats the last thing we need. You will be riding around on a used Triban 3 with toe straps if you do that.
    Some people on here are in denial :lol:

    People need to ride a decent/light bike with decent/light wheels and make up their own mind if its faster/better.

    Am not sure how cr4p/heavy/poor quality a bike/wheels need to be before some people will accept that it is slower than a very decent one :roll:

    Not much point in spending too much time working it all out on paper.
    Spend the time earning extra cash to pay for it or out training to improve on it.

    Its cycling FFS. There are loads of worse ways to spend your dosh that people on a cycling forum never moan about and probably do themselves :wink:
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    CXrider wrote:
    On a similar note, and something the OP would also likely wish to know...

    What exactly is the real world advantage in upgrading to better wheels and tyres?
    In percentage performance gains...

    I am half- considering it but wondering if the money spent is better used on other upgrades, such as groupset items.

    Well he did not ask it so not sure why you think he gives a monkeys?

    Percentage wise I would say about 1% including the fact you will simply enjoy them more.

    If you don't want new wheels for the simple fact that the OEM ones are pig ugly, heavy and were only put on the bike to keep the cost down, that can be kept to use as winter/wet weather wheels (making you itch to get the new decent one's back on), then you should stick to your original plan of upgrading the groupset........

    ....... a groupset that I am guessing you chose on your new bike when you bought it, works perfectly well, you got at a good price as part of a new bike and will be virtually worthless to you once you take it off :roll:

    People often buy a bike and say "I can upgrade the groupset later"
    Most of the time they are buying a low end bike so upgrading to the next group set up or upgrading to a much better groupset both seem silly, expensive and unlikely to happen.
    They are in denial and would be much better off getting a bike with the groupset that they want.

    Wheels/tyres on the other hand would be sensible to 'upgrade' from day one IMO.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,230
    Today's problem is that people have too much money and too little time. If money could buy time, the best upgrade would be a cycling holiday, but it seems easier to get a quick fix with a pair of wheels or a new bike altogether. The enthusiasm for a new piece of equipment is short lasting and in some cases it turns sour in finding out the new expensive upgrade is nothing but troubles.
    On the other hand, a cycling holiday rarely disappoints and memories tend to stick for a long time. I still fondly remember my first Eroica 10 years ago and so on.

    So, my advice is "buy time"... take a sabbatical, say no to that job that forces you to work long hours and be around at weekends. Work to live and don't live to work...

    Off topic enough?
    left the forum March 2023
  • Moonbiker
    Moonbiker Posts: 1,706
    I am running a few tests with different tyres and different spoke count. Richmond park is an ideal circuit to time yourself using different equipment.
    Interestingly, there is no difference whatsoever in going from the extreme of a set of 24 aero mini bladed spoked wheels fitted with Corsa CX tubulars at 110 PSI to a set of 32 spoked wheels fitted with fast cycle cross tyres at 60 PSI. None.
    The difference start with knobbly tyres and it's not as big as you might think (30 seconds over 20 minutes, bit more reducing the pressure to 40 PSI).


    Was reading your blog & it contradicts that :o


    Here I am not advocating for low spoke count wheels for everyday use and high mileage, but the benefit of a lower spoke count are evident and clear only in the competitive environment. Just to give you an idea, my PB on a 10 miles time trial on a conventional road bike with no aerodynamic features is 26 minutes with 24 spokes wheels and close to 28 minutes with 36 spokes wheels.

    Which ones right?
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,230
    Moonbiker wrote:
    I am running a few tests with different tyres and different spoke count. Richmond park is an ideal circuit to time yourself using different equipment.
    Interestingly, there is no difference whatsoever in going from the extreme of a set of 24 aero mini bladed spoked wheels fitted with Corsa CX tubulars at 110 PSI to a set of 32 spoked wheels fitted with fast cycle cross tyres at 60 PSI. None.
    The difference start with knobbly tyres and it's not as big as you might think (30 seconds over 20 minutes, bit more reducing the pressure to 40 PSI).


    Was reading your blog & it contradicts that :o


    Here I am not advocating for low spoke count wheels for everyday use and high mileage, but the benefit of a lower spoke count are evident and clear only in the competitive environment. Just to give you an idea, my PB on a 10 miles time trial on a conventional road bike with no aerodynamic features is 26 minutes with 24 spokes wheels and close to 28 minutes with 36 spokes wheels.

    Which ones right?

    That was last year... it might have been a fluke on the day I got my PB. I did get consistently better times on the "faster wheels", but this year on a greater number of attempts there seems to be no significant difference.
    If one wants to be picky, it turns out the Pave' 27 tubulars on 36 spoked wheels are still the the slowest by 10-15 seconds or so over 20 minutes... but the cross tyres (32 spokes) turn out to clock the same times as an average as the 23 mm CX tubs mounted on low spoke count wheels, which is odd.
    Basically the conclusion is that it is inconclusive, which points in the direction of the difference being a lot less than initially thought and being far less important.

    EDIT: I don't want to sell this as science, because it's not... it's just some conclusions based on a bunch of timed laps, they only matter to me as a guideline for tyre choice (e.g. do I really need skinny road tyres?)... there are external factors beyond control... I can't correct the results for the wind speed or direction or barometric pressure.. they are what they are
    left the forum March 2023
  • homers_double
    homers_double Posts: 7,999
    I've recently downgraded my regular wheelset, Mavic XM719's on Hope Pro2s with 2.1" kevlar Maxis Advantage rubbers to some Fulcrum 5's with GP4000s and found them much quicker.

    Anyway... Its to do with rotational mass blah blah blah...

    A lighter tyre/rim on a MTB will make a difference as it will do on a road bike but on road bikes (of a reasonable standard) I'd expect the gains to be much less. Cheap MTB rims are heavy as are the tyres.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,230
    I've recently downgraded my regular wheelset, Mavic XM719's on Hope Pro2s with 2.1" kevlar Maxis Advantage rubbers to some Fulcrum 5's with GP4000s and found them much quicker.

    Road tyres are faster than big knobbly MTB tyres, I think we do agree on that. As the tyre gets closer to a road tyre, then differences become subtle. Or in other words

    This is slow

    prod17346_IMGSET?wid=500&hei=500

    This is fast
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSLiSrtqi0WR9rCdKIG2v0LtPlXPSEHXG8AAybNfBZhjlsKLg7I
    left the forum March 2023
  • homers_double
    homers_double Posts: 7,999
    Sorry, I missed the [sarc] [/sarc] tags, but yes thats pretty much the point I was trying to make.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • junglist_matty
    junglist_matty Posts: 1,731
    Interestingly, there is no difference whatsoever in going from the extreme of a set of 24 aero mini bladed spoked wheels fitted with Corsa CX tubulars at 110 PSI to a set of 32 spoked wheels fitted with fast cycle cross tyres at 60 PSI. None.

    I told you this about a year ago in some other wheel debate! ....Went from "light" 20spoke factory Mavics (that broke) to using solid 32spoke handbuilt open pros that weigh about 500g more..... Didn't notice a blind bit of difference. Beat some PBs set on the "light" wheels (including climbs), also not beaten others.

    Find it funny how people always love to buy things like you said in a later post; I've a rich friend who rides aero Durace C50s because that's what Team Sky used in the TDF last year; his improvement? To go a lot slower most of the time thanks to crosswinds :shock:
  • I use a CX bike with 35m semi slicks on it on the same rides as I do on my road bike with 23mm tyres. I find the difference not to be that much over the 30 to 40 miles the rides are. But what I do notice is with bigger tyres you can pedal and roll over the bumpy sections far easier.

    Maybe the fact you can pedal all the time on rough roads is what closes the gap between 23mm tyres and bigger tyres?


    Rich....
  • veronese68
    veronese68 Posts: 27,289
    I use a CX bike with 35m semi slicks on it on the same rides as I do on my road bike with 23mm tyres. I find the difference not to be that much over the 30 to 40 miles the rides are. But what I do notice is with bigger tyres you can pedal and roll over the bumpy sections far easier.

    Maybe the fact you can pedal all the time on rough roads is what closes the gap between 23mm tyres and bigger tyres?


    Rich....
    Probably a lot of this added to the fact that you're not worried about risking damage to expensive wheels with few spokes so you don't need to be quite so obsessive about the road surface.
    I think it quite telling that Ugo says wheels don't make a lot of difference when he often gets accused of promoting his wheelbuilding. If a wheel builder tells you there's not a lot of difference...