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Value wheelset

slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
edited March 2015 in Road buying advice
My wifes hybrid needs a new back wheel - the unbranded hub has finally given up - so looking to get her a complete new wheelset (cos I'm nice!)
This bike doesn't do huge miles, but is used as a general utility or comfort riding (eg she does Breeze rides and rode from Dieppe to Paris on it) so whilst the wheels don't need to be high performance, they do need to be reliable.

I've seen W's sale offer on Shimano WH-R501 wheelset - which looks a good price for a low end wheel, although tbh, something with 32 spokes front and rear would be more suitable ...

Any suggestions?

Ta :)


  • GrillGrill Posts: 5,610
    32h? Big wife? The R501s are actually really good for the money. I use them as a winter beater/turbo wheelset and currently have one on the audax bike as I smashed my old wheel to bits (sorry Ugo).
    English Cycles V3 | Cervelo P5 | Cervelo T4 | Trek Domane Koppenberg
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Miche reflex have more spokes and are pretty robust. better hubs too. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 26,939 Lives Here
    I've got a cheap back wheel that came off a hybrid. Yours for a 4 pack of beer if you want it and can collect form Kingston. Cassette type 7/8/9 speed and nuts rather than QR with a black rim and lots of shiny spokes.
  • darkhairedlorddarkhairedlord Posts: 7,180
    Planet X A57. 32 spokes. £99.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Cheers guys - Hybrid = on and off road ... although on road around here has quite a few potholes ...

    I though Ugo would've bitten my head off for suggesting the low spoke count R501s ...

    Thanks for the offer Veronese - it really needs to be QR as she has to change her own punctures and QR is easier than spanners ... ;) plus I'm looking for a set as the wheels need to match! It's a womans bike ... oh, actually I prefer my wheels to match too! :o
  • mikpemmikpem Posts: 139
    I run a Shimano WH-R501 wheelset on my cyclocross bike. It's taken this season well and they still run true after 10 races of me smashing them over roots, rocks, stairs and jumping onto them quite hard (people have heard many of my squeals when I've missed the pedals!) along with practice rides in between. At about 12.5 stone I'm not your lightest cyclist and don't look after these wheels particularly well but they seem to just keep going.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    A wheels staying true just means it has been tensioned evenly and properly. It is no suprise that shimano can do this the hubs however are lower cost cup and cone without the sealing you find on ultegra or higher which means regular servicing. I see these in the shop and the hubs can be toast after 4000 miles. Some suffer spoke failure too in that time. That is the weakness in the wheels. Shimano put alot of threadlock on thee spokes so there wheels rarely go out of true. 12.5 stone is not heavy. I am 6ft 1 and just under that dont tell me i am heavy too. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • tomhowellstomhowells Posts: 171
    From my own experience, I use R501's on my do - it - all bike (commuter, sportive, TT) and so far so good. Cheap as chips at £65. I cover around 150 miles per week in all weathers, mainly on road or cycle path & they have held up pretty well.
    Boardman 8.9 SLR - Summer
    Holdsworth La Quelda - Commuter
    Moda Intro - Winter
    Planet X Stealth - TT
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    thanks guys - the R501's look to be ok for our needs - I can cope with 4000 miles to trash as although the bike is used frequently it won't do that distance too quickly - she has 3 other bikes to ride too!
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    If it's a hybrid you may want to check the spacing of the rear dropouts. Some are 135mm.
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