Wheels

j_mcd
j_mcd Posts: 473
edited June 2017 in Commuting chat
Can I ask about wheels. I know that they are an easy upgrade to most bikes and I'm thinking about spending some cash.

But...

I don't really know what is good or bad. I know that I don't want Carbon, they will be clinchers,they must fit 10/11 speed Shimano and that they should cost less than 500 quid (at the very very very most).

I'll use them for commuting, not racing so they need to be reasonably strong. My rear wheel is a 36 spoke Tiagra at the moment (it was a cheap replacement for a Giant SL that apparently was made of cheese) and it's never gone out of true but it obviously weighs quite a bit. The front is still the original SL but that is coming to the end of it's life.

So, hive mind, what's good out there and what should I be looking for?
Giant Defy Advanced 0 - Best
Planet X London Road - Wet
Montague Fit - Foldy thing that rarely gets used these days

Comments

  • dhope
    dhope Posts: 6,699
    Campag Zonda has often been the answer in the past
    Rose Xeon CW Disc
    CAAD12 Disc
    Condor Tempo
  • hopkinb
    hopkinb Posts: 7,129
    Hunts (though there's normally a bit of a lead time)? Handbuilts? I have some prolite a21 revos, which I got for £280 before they hiked the price (some lucky folk managed to get them price-matched for £180 or something). Then again, I have discs, and you don't mention it, so I assume you haven't, so I'm not being very helpful!
  • j_mcd
    j_mcd Posts: 473
    There's not many spokes on that there back wheel! Will they be strong enough to support someone who doesn't have a racing snake type figure?
    Giant Defy Advanced 0 - Best
    Planet X London Road - Wet
    Montague Fit - Foldy thing that rarely gets used these days
  • rower63
    rower63 Posts: 1,991
    J_MCD wrote:
    There's not many spokes on that there back wheel! Will they be strong enough to support someone who doesn't have a racing snake type figure?
    I recently retired a Zonda rear wheel at the end of its natural life (rim wear). It was as true at the end as it was when new. I'm 85kg.
    Dolan Titanium ADX 2016
    Ridley Noah FAST 2013
    Bottecchia/Campagnolo 1990
    Carrera Parva Hybrid 2016
    Hoy Sa Calobra 002 2014 [off duty]
    Storck Absolutist 2011 [off duty]
    http://www.slidingseat.net/cycling/cycling.html
  • london-red
    london-red Posts: 1,266
    Yep, another vote for Zonda.
  • MrSweary
    MrSweary Posts: 1,699
    I have a pair of Hunt 4 season disc wheels on the Racelite. Have been bombproof over winter. Nicely built, as far as I can tell, and they roll very smooth. Light, strong and cheap!*

    * We'll see which one of those was a lie!
    Kinesis Racelite 4s disc
    Kona Paddy Wagon
    Canyon Roadlite Al 7.0 - reborn as single speed!
    Felt Z85 - mangled by taxi.
  • DrLex
    DrLex Posts: 2,142
    Commuting with budget of a monkey? How about a dynamo set? Should get a Shimano dyno with reasonable rims & spokes plus a set of lights from ze Germans for that much, or SPA cycles have some good bundles.
    Location: ciderspace
  • DrLex wrote:
    Commuting with budget of a monkey? How about a dynamo set? Should get a Shimano dyno with reasonable rims & spokes plus a set of lights from ze Germans for that much, or SPA cycles have some good bundles.

    Dear god, not a Shimano dynamo?!

    SP is what the cool kids have these days.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    It's interesting how wheels like the Zonda and the Ksyrium have gone from sunday best/race only 10 years ago, to mid range fast club ride 5 years ago to commuting duties now...

    And that with the squeeze on living standards, 7 years of Austerity government and all...
    left the forum March 2023
  • greg66_tri_v2.0
    greg66_tri_v2.0 Posts: 7,172
    It's interesting how wheels like the Zonda and the Ksyrium have gone from sunday best/race only 10 years ago, to mid range fast club ride 5 years ago to commuting duties now...

    And that with the squeeze on living standards, 7 years of Austerity government and all...

    If it is any consolation, Ugo, I was riding Zondas as my wet weather wheels on my commute 12 years ago (dry weather wheels were Euruses).

    I always have been a bit ahead of my time though.
    Swim. Bike. Run. Yeah. That's what I used to do.

    Bike 1
    Bike 2-A
  • kleinstroker
    kleinstroker Posts: 2,133
    For a deeper more aero bombproof wheel I liked the 3T accelero ones or the newer version is discus c35.
  • DrLex
    DrLex Posts: 2,142
    DrLex wrote:
    Commuting with budget of a monkey? How about a dynamo set? Should get a Shimano dyno with reasonable rims & spokes plus a set of lights from ze Germans for that much, or SPA cycles have some good bundles.

    Dear god, not a Shimano dynamo?!

    SP is what the cool kids have these days.

    Meh- only if they can't afford a SON. Shimano is fine for commuting; plenty of stories of failed bearings in SP ones.
    Location: ciderspace
  • +1 for Hunt 4season, although they're on my good bike and the crappy stock wheels from that are on my commuter...
  • bigmat
    bigmat Posts: 5,134
    I'm with Ugo - Zondas seem a waste for commuting. I can see the argument for handbuilts, but personally I just use entry level Campag wheels which have been incredibly durable, don't weigh too much, look alright and cost under £100 a pair. Shimano equivalent probably equally good. Save the remaining £400 for something for the weekend.
  • I disagree. Almost all of my riding is commuting, and I do it because I enjoy it. On my wet-weather commuter I have handbuilt tubeless Stan's Grail rims with a tarty, red SP dynamo front hub and an equally tarty and red Novatec rear hub, which may seem reasonable (but cost more than Zondas).

    Now, on my CR1, I have Archetypes laced to Moser special-edition hubs with straight-pull CX-Ray spokes, they're a dream wheelset, cost waaaay more than the Zondas but they bring me great joy when I ride them. I even like carrying the bike up three flights of stairs to the office, as they're still spinning when I reach the top.

    Something being "a waste for commuting" can be misleading, especially as the commute can be the best part of your day.
  • imatfaal
    imatfaal Posts: 2,716
    I disagree. Almost all of my riding is commuting, and I do it because I enjoy it. On my wet-weather commuter I have handbuilt tubeless Stan's Grail rims with a tarty, red SP dynamo front hub and an equally tarty and red Novatec rear hub, which may seem reasonable (but cost more than Zondas).

    Now, on my CR1, I have Archetypes laced to Moser special-edition hubs with straight-pull CX-Ray spokes, they're a dream wheelset, cost waaaay more than the Zondas but they bring me great joy when I ride them. I even like carrying the bike up three flights of stairs to the office, as they're still spinning when I reach the top.

    Something being "a waste for commuting" can be misleading, especially as the commute can be the best part of your day.

    Exactly - 250km a week on the bike commuting means I spoil myself. Disc brakes do mean that if you look after the hubs and keep to a good maintenance schedule then wheels just last and last. Pacenti sl25s on Chris King hubs on rigid MTB and Hed Belgium+ on Chris King for Commuter Road bike. Ridiculously over the top - but I really enjoy my couple of hours a day commuting; I also enjoy building the wheels which keeps the cost down and fettling to avoid regular replacement of expensive parts
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    It's interesting how wheels like the Zonda and the Ksyrium have gone from sunday best/race only 10 years ago, to mid range fast club ride 5 years ago to commuting duties now...

    And that with the squeeze on living standards, 7 years of Austerity government and all...

    I'm not feeling oppressed by Austerity etc and my commuting wheels are Khamsins and I see no logical reason to change! Obviously my commute is miserable due to the enormous great weight of these wheels but I grin and bear it!
    Faster than a tent.......
  • bigmat
    bigmat Posts: 5,134
    I disagree. Almost all of my riding is commuting, and I do it because I enjoy it. On my wet-weather commuter I have handbuilt tubeless Stan's Grail rims with a tarty, red SP dynamo front hub and an equally tarty and red Novatec rear hub, which may seem reasonable (but cost more than Zondas).

    Now, on my CR1, I have Archetypes laced to Moser special-edition hubs with straight-pull CX-Ray spokes, they're a dream wheelset, cost waaaay more than the Zondas but they bring me great joy when I ride them. I even like carrying the bike up three flights of stairs to the office, as they're still spinning when I reach the top.

    Something being "a waste for commuting" can be misleading, especially as the commute can be the best part of your day.

    Fair enough. Commutes vary a lot I guess. My experience is that wheels make very limited difference to my enjoyment of the ride in and out of work. Tyres make far more difference. As long as wheels are lightish, run true, have a decent braking surface and don't weigh too much then I'm not going to notice any significant difference between my Khamsins, my Neutrons or my 50mm carbons. I can understand people wanting to use something a bit fancy, but I'm not convinced it makes any real difference, assuming you are using anything half decent (which you can get for a lot less than £500).
  • If I was going to drop ~£500 I'd get a set of handbuilts from a good builder using decent off the shelf parts; at least if you wear something out, break a spoke or pothole a rim you can repair rather than replace and they are likely to be excellent wheels.
    I do use Zondas on one of my bikes and they are superb wheels though.
  • j_mcd
    j_mcd Posts: 473
    I disagree. Almost all of my riding is commuting, and I do it because I enjoy it. On my wet-weather commuter I have handbuilt tubeless Stan's Grail rims with a tarty, red SP dynamo front hub and an equally tarty and red Novatec rear hub, which may seem reasonable (but cost more than Zondas).

    Now, on my CR1, I have Archetypes laced to Moser special-edition hubs with straight-pull CX-Ray spokes, they're a dream wheelset, cost waaaay more than the Zondas but they bring me great joy when I ride them. I even like carrying the bike up three flights of stairs to the office, as they're still spinning when I reach the top.

    Something being "a waste for commuting" can be misleading, especially as the commute can be the best part of your day.

    This is exactly the same for me, I don't get to ride at the weekends and so I ride during the week. My commute in the summer months takes me up over the Surrey Downs and through into London and is beautiful and a reasonably long journey (over 2 hours on the bike). As such, my commute is a lot of peoples 'nice sunday ride'.
    Giant Defy Advanced 0 - Best
    Planet X London Road - Wet
    Montague Fit - Foldy thing that rarely gets used these days
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Makes sense to spend a bit of cash then...
    left the forum March 2023
  • rolf_f
    rolf_f Posts: 16,015
    If I was going to drop ~£500 I'd get a set of handbuilts from a good builder using decent off the shelf parts; at least if you wear something out, break a spoke or pothole a rim you can repair rather than replace and they are likely to be excellent wheels.

    I do like this approach. Unfortunately, the problem with Khamsins is that you can get a pair new or near new for £60 if you keep an eye open and at that price the sturdy handbuilts with coated rims I'd ideally prefer would be much more expensive to run. That said, Khamsin spokes are no problem to replace not that I've ever broken one. Infact it's really only the rear rim that is the problem with an odd number of spokes. Fronts are replaceable but possibly not economically.
    Faster than a tent.......
  • bigmat
    bigmat Posts: 5,134
    Rolf F wrote:
    If I was going to drop ~£500 I'd get a set of handbuilts from a good builder using decent off the shelf parts; at least if you wear something out, break a spoke or pothole a rim you can repair rather than replace and they are likely to be excellent wheels.

    I do like this approach. Unfortunately, the problem with Khamsins is that you can get a pair new or near new for £60 if you keep an eye open and at that price the sturdy handbuilts with coated rims I'd ideally prefer would be much more expensive to run. That said, Khamsin spokes are no problem to replace not that I've ever broken one. Infact it's really only the rear rim that is the problem with an odd number of spokes. Fronts are replaceable but possibly not economically.

    Yep, handbuilts only really make sense for me at around the pricepoint the OP is looking at. Could be tempted to go that direction when I next need all-purpose race wheels, but my Neutrons are lasting well thanks to a front wheel rebuild by Ugo (who says you can't repair factory wheels?!)
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,062
    Rolf F wrote:
    If I was going to drop ~£500 I'd get a set of handbuilts from a good builder using decent off the shelf parts; at least if you wear something out, break a spoke or pothole a rim you can repair rather than replace and they are likely to be excellent wheels.

    I do like this approach. Unfortunately, the problem with Khamsins is that you can get a pair new or near new for £60 if you keep an eye open and at that price the sturdy handbuilts with coated rims I'd ideally prefer would be much more expensive to run. That said, Khamsin spokes are no problem to replace not that I've ever broken one. Infact it's really only the rear rim that is the problem with an odd number of spokes. Fronts are replaceable but possibly not economically.

    After many a happy all weather years on mine the front lost a spoke 30 miles into a 60 mile club ride, of course it would, anyway I limped it home at snails pace praying on every descent for the low spoke front not to fold, the whole time the now taco wheel rubbing.

    anyway i made it back and as you say these are now so cheap its barely worth changing bearings let alone paying for a new spoke, so i had a look and sure enough SPA had three spokes for something like £1.40, i fitted myself (a first) tightening it until the wheel was true and the replacement felt the same as the rest, so all in all a pretty damn fine bargain set of wheels and nice to ride on.
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.
  • j_mcd
    j_mcd Posts: 473
    Thanks all, I've gone for the Zondas.

    Given how they're built, it looks like they don't need rim tape, can anyone confirm (or correct) this?
    Giant Defy Advanced 0 - Best
    Planet X London Road - Wet
    Montague Fit - Foldy thing that rarely gets used these days
  • johngti
    johngti Posts: 2,508
    J_MCD wrote:
    Thanks all, I've gone for the Zondas.

    Given how they're built, it looks like they don't need rim tape, can anyone confirm (or correct) this?

    I can - you don't need rim tape
  • itboffin
    itboffin Posts: 20,062
    i'm defo going zonda disc for the CAAD12
    Rule #5 // Harden The Feck Up.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.
    Rule #12 // The correct number of bikes to own is n+1.
    Rule #42 // A bike race shall never be preceded with a swim and/or followed by a run.