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How much before a material improvement - wheels..

rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,759 Lives Here
So I ride a 2011 Canyon Ultimate.

Decent bike, big fan, but I have always felt the wheels were the thing they skimped on.

They're 2011 Mavic Kysrium equipe's. Not great, perfectly functional - rim brakes obviously.

Anyway, they're coming to the end of their life after 10 years and I have come into a small amount of money so I am thinking about spending some of it on a new pair of wheels.

So, what I want to know, is if I'm going to spend £hundreds, how much realistically would I need to spend to find a material difference in performance?

On paper, the specs look very comparable 10 years later. Apart from the super wheels, the shallow hoops weigh about the same and the deeper wheels are a bit heavier.

Does anyone have a view and possibly any suggestions? I am inclined to go for some deeper wheels as I spend so much of my time riding along on the flat.
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  • arlowoodarlowood Posts: 2,525
    Received wisdom is that you need to go to 50mm rims minimum to experience any aero benefit and even then the gains are pretty marginal.

    With that in mind I'd suggest looking at what Malcolm at Cycleclinic has to offer. At least with a handbuilt wheel you can be confident about maintenance and servicing - should that be necessary down the road. One option would be :-

    https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/collections/road-rim-brake-wheelsets/products/borg50-carbon-clinchers-tubeless-ready-20f-24r-26-5mm-wide

    These weigh in at a claimed 1653g and cost just north of £800
  • mrb123mrb123 Posts: 3,391
    50mm Farsport or LightBicycle wheels. Depending on budget, Bitex hubs are fine and pretty light, or spend more for some Carbon Ti's or Dt 240s.

    No idea whether they'll improve your speed but they'll look good!
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,895
    Handbuilt, Rick.

    Speak to Rohan Dubash, and tell him how you plan to use them and your budget. He'll sort you out.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,229
    edited 1 July
    Welcome to the Cycleclinic free advertising page. Here you will find lots of testimonials from people who haven't had an argument with him about basic physics.
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 5,606
    mrb123 said:

    50mm Farsport or LightBicycle wheels. Depending on budget, Bitex hubs are fine and pretty light, or spend more for some Carbon Ti's or Dt 240s.

    No idea whether they'll improve your speed but they'll look good!

    this or Primes.

    big bang for buck.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,229
    RC, you won't go any faster, and those Mavics will be fairly stiff so you aren't going to really notice an improvement there either. But if you are going to replace, you may as well get something nice.

    All joking aside, MF is right for complaining about cheap hubs used on the like of Hunts. They are made of cheese so if you ride in bad weather, avoid. Perfectly good for a sunny day bike though.

    Advantage of something hand built is choice of everything. But machine built wheels have become a by-word in the world of pseudo-tech that is cycling, of lesser quality somehow. Who knows why, because it is absurd.

    If you price things up for a hand built though, for a really nice hub like a DT Swiss, weight for weight it tends to be not that much different. And if you get a carbon rim, it will be an open mould something from China, so essentially you'll be getting a pretty much identical wheel to ordering direct. Either way you shoudn't be stuck with proprietary spokes and wotnot.

    If I were you I'd go Mavic again if you can afford (or bear to spend enough) to get something worth getting.

    Wheels is what they do and I've never had to true any of mine or replace a bearing. Although they tend to be behind trend a bit (the same trends adopted by the pseudo-techhies here), (a) the "trend" makes f-all difference and (b) you have a 10-year old frame so you are already a luddite riding a house brick and should have an aero frame and a skin suit you muppet.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 7,235
    Don't rule out sticking with shallow rims - in terms of ride feel, braking, stability in high winds they still usually have a slight edge. Plus at some depth you'll need to use valve extenders. If you aren't racing then they can still be the best choice.

    [Castle Donington Ladies FC - going up in '22]
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,759 Lives Here

    Don't rule out sticking with shallow rims - in terms of ride feel, braking, stability in high winds they still usually have a slight edge. Plus at some depth you'll need to use valve extenders. If you aren't racing then they can still be the best choice.

    This could very well be right. I do certainly get whoosh envy from those on deep rims.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,759 Lives Here

    RC, you won't go any faster, and those Mavics will be fairly stiff so you aren't going to really notice an improvement there either. But if you are going to replace, you may as well get something nice.

    All joking aside, MF is right for complaining about cheap hubs used on the like of Hunts. They are made of cheese so if you ride in bad weather, avoid. Perfectly good for a sunny day bike though.

    Advantage of something hand built is choice of everything. But machine built wheels have become a by-word in the world of pseudo-tech that is cycling, of lesser quality somehow. Who knows why, because it is absurd.

    If you price things up for a hand built though, for a really nice hub like a DT Swiss, weight for weight it tends to be not that much different. And if you get a carbon rim, it will be an open mould something from China, so essentially you'll be getting a pretty much identical wheel to ordering direct. Either way you shoudn't be stuck with proprietary spokes and wotnot.

    If I were you I'd go Mavic again if you can afford (or bear to spend enough) to get something worth getting.

    Wheels is what they do and I've never had to true any of mine or replace a bearing. Although they tend to be behind trend a bit (the same trends adopted by the pseudo-techhies here), (a) the "trend" makes f-all difference and (b) you have a 10-year old frame so you are already a luddite riding a house brick and should have an aero frame and a skin suit you muppet.

    Re your first para - almost certainly. I guess it's more I sort of want 10 years of development to actually make a different.

    How much are those handbuilts likely going for? or is it basically they'll do whatever they can within the price constraint?
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 5,606
    Its been scientifically proven that deep rim whoosh adds 3mph top end just because it makes you smile and feel good and that's what it is all about at the end of the day.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,229
    I'd start with a budget and then see what's available. £1k can get you a lot these days. £700 starts to mean compromise. Most likely hubs made of Gouda.

    Mind you, if you have standard bits, replacing a cheese hub down the like is a smaller step than new wheels. Carbon rims don't seem to wear very fast.
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 5,606
    Merlin or Wiggle have carbon shallow rim Dura Ace on sale if that tickles your fancy.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,229
    MattFalle said:

    Its been scientifically proven that deep rim whoosh adds 3mph top end just because it makes you smile and feel good and that's what it is all about at the end of the day.

    Yup. Same as with cars. We all buy them because of how they look or sound (or at least that's a big factor) even though when we are driving them we can't see them and the soundproofing deadens the noise. Kind of the same with bikes.
  • WheelspinnerWheelspinner Posts: 5,389
    Given you are (I think) on the *ahem* lighter and shorter side, beware a bit of deep rims as you’ll get blown around a lot more than the big fat [email protected]@rds.

    FWIW easily the nicest wheels I rode were low profile but uber-light carbon tubulars on ceramic bearing hubs (DT Swiss 190). But I did a lot of rolling hilly stuff, not flat.
    Open O-1.0 Open One+ BMC TE29 Titus Racer X Ti Giant MCM One Cannondale Prophet Lefty Cannondale Super V SL Cove Handjob Cervelo RS
  • womackwomack Posts: 458
    Just to add, and I am by no means an expert, but I took off my Kysrium Equippe S and bought some lovely looking Bontrager deep carbon jobbies and it made not the slightest difference to my speed but as others have said they look nice and make a whooshing noise.
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 5,606

    Given you are (I think) on the *ahem* lighter and shorter side, beware a bit of deep rims as you’ll get blown around a lot more than the big fat [email protected]@rds or tipped, hunky, heroic gigolos like MF.

    FWIW easily the nicest wheels I rode were low profile but uber-light carbon tubulars on ceramic bearing hubs (DT Swiss 190). But I did a lot of rolling hilly stuff, not flat.

    FTFY
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,229
    Bare carbon fibre is pretty, particularly in the sun. This is the main and perhaps only reason to get carbon wheels.
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 5,606
    I know this will be a controversial comment but I still reckon you have to go far to beat a nice proper carbon deep rim with sweeeet tubs for a feel good huge smile lovely riding whoooooshy wheel.
  • So, what I want to know, is if I'm going to spend £hundreds, how much realistically would I need to spend to find a material difference in performance?


    This is the thing to focus on and always raises a question for me when people are talking about new wheels. Does the buyer actually want better performance or a wheelset they enjoy riding? The two things aren't necessarily mutually exclusive but you can pick a wheel that may have performance gains i.e. a 60mm deep carbon wheel, but you may not like the 'feel' of it or the general ride characteristics it offers.

    I would agree with most of the comments here, for performance you really want a deeper carbon rim. I know people say 50mm depth at least, but I haven't found much difference between a 38-60mm rim. When I say difference, I mean the power I need to generate and hold to maintain the same speed on the road with different rim depths.

    As for how much to spend? I would get something with decent hubs, and look around the £1k mark, as has been suggested.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,229
    edited 1 July
    FYI, RC, your wheels are supposedly about 1700g.

    For £1k you should be able to get a mid-depth set in the 1500g range. Possibly a bit less.

    You will not go faster, but you'll probably find wheels that much lighter feel a bit snappier and that alone will put a smile on your face. Particularly if you ignore the sheep and stick with a sensible tyre width, like 25c's, rather than riding around on a party balloons.
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,095
    edited 1 July
    I have a pair of 50 mm, 25 mm wide, U-shaped, tubeless compatible, Chinese carbon wheels with Novatec straight pull hubs and Sapim CX-Ray spokes weighing 1480g that cost a mere £545. They are great wheels and indistinguishable in terms of performance from my £1500 Campagnolo Bora WTO 60s, which are a bit heavier, but a lot blingier. Coupled with Vittoria Corsa Speed G2.0 TLR tyres (same as MVDP used in yesterday's TT), both these wheelset are blindingly fast!

    I think it's a waste to spend a lot of money on shallow wheels for any reasons other than looks and perhaps slightly more durable hubs (although bearings are cheap and easy to replace). I have built lots of nice shallow wheels for myself, mainly for winter bike use, but they are not exciting in any way!

    Deeper definitely means faster and your bike will look much better, so for speed, looks and whoosh factor, get some 50+mm deep section carbon wheels like the £500 Primes on Wiggle, which use Novatec hubs, and are great VFM.
  • ugo.santaluciaugo.santalucia Posts: 26,428
    What kind of difference are you looking for? Half a Km/h is as much as you can gain, is it enough to make you invest?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,759 Lives Here
    edited 1 July

    What kind of difference are you looking for? Half a Km/h is as much as you can gain, is it enough to make you invest?

    Just a noticeable difference in sensation when I ride (for the positive).

    Not actually looking for free km/h. I am not quite that naïve. "Feeling faster" is quite sufficient.
  • bobonesbobones Posts: 1,095
    For the same effort, I am 2-3 mph faster on my aero bike with deep sections and nice tyres than on my steel frame with shallow wheels and not so nice tyres. I am not saying it's the just the wheels, but it all adds up. I was a sceptic, but there is definitely a feeling of free speed with deep sections and good tyres. This "feeling" is borne out by Strava times and PM readings, but even if you're not actually faster, the looks and sounds will be worth the money IMO!

    This thread has some pics of my old Scott with and without aforementioned cheap Chinese deep sections so you can see the difference in looks for yourself.

    For a better ride feel, wider rims with good tubeless tyres at lower pressures or non-tubeless with latex inners may do the trick.
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 5,606

    What kind of difference are you looking for? Half a Km/h is as much as you can gain, is it enough to make you invest?

    Just a noticeable difference in sensation when I ride (for the positive).

    Not actually looking for free km/h. I am not quite that naïve. "Feeling faster" is quite sufficient.
    deep rim phat carbons from the above suppliers then.

    fun, smiles, giggles, whoooooshes and upgrading the whole look of the shebang.

    just decide whether you want tubular or clincher and off you go.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 56,759 Lives Here
    edited 1 July
    lol tubs I am not a mad man. I am a guy riding a 2011 bike in 2021. What makes you think I am the kind of person who rides tubs?
  • Ben6899Ben6899 Posts: 8,895
    My most recent pair of handbuilts:

    32h (front and rear) DT Swiss 411 on DT Swiss 350 hubs, with DT Swiss Comp spokes. These are solid wheels that are comfortable and feel lively to ride.

    £580

    You don't need deep, carbon rims.
    Ben

    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ben_h_ppcc/
    Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
  • MattFalleMattFalle Posts: 5,606

    lol tubs I am not a mad man. I am a guy riding a 2011 bike in 2021. What makes you think I am the kind of person who rides tubs?

    why would you be a mad man to ride tubs?

    gen question
  • womackwomack Posts: 458
    Ben6899 said:



    You don't need deep, carbon rims.

    I can see an MF disagreeing soon!
  • Dorset_BoyDorset_Boy Posts: 4,232

    lol tubs I am not a mad man. I am a guy riding a 2011 bike in 2021. What makes you think I am the kind of person who rides tubs?

    Just be careful about what width of wheel and tyre size combo the Canyon will take.
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