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Ultegra 6800 wheels(spokes)new wheels needed

dave35dave35 Posts: 1,124
edited May 2015 in Road buying advice
on the verge of buying a pair, i know they are tubeless ready but my question is IF a spoke goes-how easy are they to replace as the rim on the inside is smooth so no rim tape needed?
Before anyone says-i could go down the handbuilt route but need new wheels by saturday and on a £230 budget, wheels are for training/commuting. and having cancelled an order with superstar today its a toss up between the ultegras or something like the forza cirrus.

Posts

  • hegyestomihegyestomi Posts: 504
    For 6700 it's all external, you should be OK to service it easily however (!) I recently got a replacement rim and took it to my LBS to replace it. They couldn't do it and said the I need new spokes for the rear wheel. Now 20x£5/spoke+build+rim makes it not very economical to repair so there is something to be said for a custom build from standard parts.
  • I can't tell you much about replacing a spoke as I got my LBS to do it, but I can tell you about the availability of them. I've had the 6800 wheels for over a year (I don't use run them tubeless) and have been really happy with them.

    About a month ago, I had a rear drive side spoke break on a descent, the bike was completely unrideable and I had to get recovered by the good wife. I took the wheel to my LBS who called me to tell me that he couldn't get a replacement spoke for at least 2 weeks as Madison (distributor) hadn't got any in stock but if I could source one from someone else, he would fit it. After a few phone calls, found that no-one had them in stock and would be in the same situation as my LBS. Left some feedback on the Madison website but never received any response.

    Anyway, last week (3 weeks later), my LBS called to tell me the wheel was ready. When I picked it up, he told me of more woes with Madison in that he ordered the spokes but when they turned up he thought they were the wrong ones as he couldn't fit them. It turned out he needed to order some other part (for the hub end) before he could fit them. Maybe now, Madison won't run out of stock, but you would need to speak to them to ensure you get all the bits you need.

    I use these as winter wheels but these will be the last factory wheels I'll be buying for this purpose, I'll be switching to handbuilt with replaceable parts for my next pair.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,805
    I was surprised Shimano introduced a new nipple wrench for this, different from the DA and RS 81... basically instead of the 4 mm square nipple wrench (which already is not a standard one), you now need an hexagonal wrench, which is yet another Shimano proprietary design.

    I decided to draw a line and not buy it... as I have already 4 different splined Mavic spoke keys, a few square ones from 3.2 to 4 mm, 3 hexagonal socket type 4.8 mm to 5.5 mm, a 3.2 mm square socket type... and I think I'm fed up of buying stupid tools... I wouldn't be surprised if a few shops on the high street didn't have the tool for these
  • overlord2overlord2 Posts: 339
    I think I have the 6700's.

    A drive side spoke went last year like the guy before hand the wheel was unrideable - buckled onto the stays.

    I got replacement spokes and fixed it myself no problems but my experence with the wheel means I would not buy another and only use the wheels for short rides, races or be prepared to take a spare spoke on a ride. It doesn't fill me with much confidence.

    Oh and im a 60kg weedy so not exactly 80kg powerhouse.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,805
    Overlord2 wrote:
    I think I have the 6700's.

    A drive side spoke went last year like the guy before hand the wheel was unrideable - buckled onto the stays.

    I got replacement spokes and fixed it myself no problems but my experence with the wheel means I would not buy another and only use the wheels for short rides, races or be prepared to take a spare spoke on a ride. It doesn't fill me with much confidence.

    Oh and im a 60kg weedy so not exactly 80kg powerhouse.

    To be fair any wheel with that kind of spoke count and a shallow rim will buckle to the point of not clearing the calliper or the stays if one of the spokes pops... which means the vast majority of wheels on the market would do that.
    28 spokes is the minimum number, which can drop to 24 in case of a particularly stiff rim, if you want to be able to ride home with a broken spoke.

    As for changing a spoke on the road... it depends on the hub design, in most cases you won't be able to replace a spoke without removing the cassette. Then you need a spoke key and an aero blade holder... realistically you won't be able to perform the operation outside your garage/workshop
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