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Any recommendation for strong, reliable road wheels?

Hi

I've had a Boardman Pro Carbon 2017 for nearly 2 years. Original wheels weren't great (freehub kept prematurely wearing) so upgraded to Fulcrum Racing 5 disc brake wheels. These have been even less hard wearing - had the since last September, now on the third freehub (original and on the second replacement) and front hub bearings now worn out for the second time (so getting a third set already). This seems ridiciulous, even given the fact that I ride in all weathers (around 150-200 miles a week on average). I seem to be throwing good money after bad, so wonder if there is such a thing as a reasonably reliable set of wheels i.e. ones that have freehubs/bearings that will last for years rather than months? I'm thinking about the Hunt 4 Season disc wheels, which sound durable in theory but I don't want to be spending another £300 and have the same issues crop up. I'd be glad to hear of any recommendations, or am I better off just accepting things as they are?

Posts

  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 943
    edited 26 June
    Get a wheelbuilder such as DCR wheels or the Cycle Clinic to build you something, it won't cost much more and they can build you a much more robust set of wheels with things such as a higher spoke count and tougher hubs which will be easier to maintain.

    I've got a set of disc wheels from DCR and I'm very happy with them, 28 spokes front and back means they're super tough but also stiff and quick.

  • i.bhamrai.bhamra Posts: 115
    Sounds like you need good quality hubs with chunky sealed bearings and maybe a steel freehub body too. Speak to a wheel builder (there are a few who post on here - or look at the handbuilt wheel thread for some ideas) but I'm sure you could get something suitable for your needs built up for around that kind of budget, even if you have to spend a bit more it'll beat the false economy of cheap factory wheels that don't last. Added bonus is that when things do eventually wear out they are generally easier to source spares and refresh than factory wheels.
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 943
    edited 26 June
    Sorry, double post

  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,398
    There you go FTFY

    https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/collections/road-disc-brake-wheelsets/products/borg22-disc-road-cx-wheelset-front-and-rear-heavy-rider-touring-28-spoke

    Bang on budget at £285 from Malcolm at Cycleclinic - a regular contributor on this site. I have a set of his rim braked wheels and they have been excellent. Many other forumites will testify to the quality of his wheels
  • dynamokevdynamokev Posts: 15
    Brilliant - many thanks all! The Borg wheels look interesting, though I worry the shimano freehub sounds a bit lightweight. I have had a different campag freehub recommended for the current wheels which is steel rather than alloy (wish I spotted it sooner), so may give them a try. Doesn't do much about the censored bearings on the front though! I'd only be happy forking out for new wheels if I know they're going to be a significant improvement - don't want to be spending £300 and find I'm in the same position!
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,483
    Borg 22,s as suggested or go to the 31,s for a bit more bling. I had the 31,s from Malcolm at cycleclinic and they're bang on. 3k on them since Christmas with no problems.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • CargobikeCargobike Posts: 136
    Hope 20fives.

    There's another thread on here right now about how bombproof Hope hubs are

    https://forum.bikeradar.com/discussion/13112023/robust-hub-to-build-a-wheel-around#latest

    I'm 260lbs and ride the same kind of distances every week come rain or shine and they've stood up to the hammering I give them. Slightly over budget at approx £350 before any discounts but if they do the job then it's a good investment.
  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 2,169
    Plus 1 for cycle clinic. If you're doing big mileages in all weather I'd head to Youtube for some How To videos and invest in some good tools for drifting out and replacing sealed cartridge bearings (if that's the sort of hubs you're using). Wheel bearings are cheap and easy to replace. Never done freehub bearings myself although they appear to be a bit fiddly in some cases. Factory wheel spares are often difficult to get hold of and bl00dy expensive whereas most wheelbuilders will use parts that are widely available and relatively cheap.
  • cruffcruff Posts: 1,480
    edited 26 June
    I've had two sets of racing fives as winter wheels. Both lasted a good four years and around 18,000 km before the freehubs went - and I live in Lancashire, where it rains pretty much nonstop in winter, and the roads and lanes are covered in STOP EDITING ME, IF I WANT TO SAY SH11T I SHOULD BE ABLE TO SAY SH11T and diesel. No idea how you've managed to kill yours so quickly, as they woukd be my go-to recommendation for solid winter wheels that don't cost the earth and aren't heavy as lead
    Fat chopper. Some racing. Some testing. Some crashing.
    Specialising in Git Daaahns and Cafs. Transplanted Laaandoner.
  • dynamokevdynamokev Posts: 15
    Many thanks all - been in contact with Malcolm at Cycle Clinic and the Borg22 with the BorgDX hubs look just the ticket - bit over budget but Malcolm is suitably reassuring about how bomb proof they are as they have apparently never had a replacement freehub ordered. Fingers crossed I don't end up bucking that trend!
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,483
    You won't be disappointed. When I can get past my financial controller I'm chucking a pair of 22,s on my CX bike. The 31,s I have are faultless and done around 3k since Christmas.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • dynamokevdynamokev Posts: 15
    Reassuring stuff - now got them ordered so hope to have them in 3/4 weeks time. May have bypassed the financial controller here - now having to calculate the "tell them cost" ;)
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,483
    I was ok until social media started flashing up cheap wheelsets on the OH,s tablet. I had to explain would she want me on cheap Chinese stuff of unknown quality going downhill at 40 plus. I won and got decent tyres as well.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • dynamokevdynamokev Posts: 15
    edited 30 June
    Well, quite! Just had another query on the Borg's - I'll be using tubed tyres and wonder how easy/hard they generally are to get on the rims. I currently have Durano Pluses on the Fulcrums and they're almost impossible to get on. Looking at possibly using Grand Prix 4 Seasons on the Borgs which I guess might be a bit easier to fit? I guess tubeless could be an option but fear the consequences out in the middle of nowhere with a puncture/split I can't repair.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 7,483
    I'm running tubeless and just carry stuff to repair them. I've only had one tyre that I couldn't repair on route and even if it had been tubed and had a tyre boot I would still have had to walk. Malcolm is best to ask on how easy, certainly my IRC Formula pro xguards are easy enough.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • yellowv2yellowv2 Posts: 180
    You won't have a problem with tubeless. As oxoman says speak to Malcolm and the IRC Formula Pro RBCC and xguards are both excellent tyres.
  • markdurdlemarkdurdle Posts: 8
    After seeing this thread, I have decided to pick up the Borg 31s too (didn't realise that was Malcolm's name, thought he was just making a statement of how indestructible they are) :)

    I see his delivery times have gone from 3-4 weeks to around a month. So thought I better get in quick if I want them for when I have a long ride planned in 6 weeks.
  • dynamokev said:

    Well, quite! Just had another query on the Borg's - I'll be using tubed tyres and wonder how easy/hard they generally are to get on the rims. I currently have Durano Pluses on the Fulcrums and they're almost impossible to get on. Looking at possibly using Grand Prix 4 Seasons on the Borgs which I guess might be a bit easier to fit? I guess tubeless could be an option but fear the consequences out in the middle of nowhere with a puncture/split I can't repair.

    I've just built a pair with the Kinlin XR22T rims, GP4000s were very tight, had to lever them on which I never have to do.
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