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Wheel Upgrade Options

dr2506dr2506 Posts: 8
edited November 2013 in Road buying advice
I have a Giant Defy Advanced 2 (2012) and looking to upgrade the wheel set (Giant PSL1) that came with it. I live in a mainly flat area but often travel to find a few hills to ride. Locally its very exposed so often are met with strong cross winds so was looking to avoid full area wheels. Next year I'll be riding in a charity event that covers nearly 400 miles in four days with quite a few bumps along the way so am looking for some wheels that are a little lighter than the ones I am running.
I am certainly not the fastest cyclist (and never will be!!) but working on improving my overall performance especially when going upwards. I am also looking a losing a few more pounds as I know this is the cheapest option to save weight on the bike.
Budget wise I am looking to spend no more than about £800 for the set (if possible to include an Ultegra or Dura Ace cassette in that price)

Appreciate any advice please?


  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,841
    If you want to go faster next spring then keep the wheels you have and ride your bike. If you haven't already got some, spend some cash on decent tyres (GP4 seasons, Gatorskins, Shwalbe DD, etc.) and some winter kit that will help you ride your bike through the winter.

    When spring comes, get some new all rounders with nice race tyres (GP4000S, Pro4, Ultremo ZX, etc.). Use the search function as wheels come up, oooh, every day. Might be worth using the winter to also think about the handbuilts/factory options available.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    £800 is alot. You can have a very relaible wheelset for half that. £500 would buy a wheelset with Dura Ace 9000 hubs. £800 is the money you spend on wheels with Chris king hubs and you have those becuase you want Chris king hubs not because they are better than cheaper hubs.

    Most wheels most builders builds (including me) fall into the £300 price bracket because that is all that is needed in most cases to achieve riders needs. Your weight will help determine spoke count and the type of wheel will be determined by the riding you are doing. From your post though it sound like some reliable that will do high mileage with out issue might suit, without knowing your weight I will assume 90kg. If that is the case then hubs like Miche work for c.£250-300 wheelsets. Ultegra hubs are good and if you want hubs for the next 30,000 miles or many more then Dura ace, Record or Royce hubs are options. Rims prices and spoke prices vary little between builds. What separates expensive wheels from cheaper ones (in most but not all cases) is the hubs.

    £800 is competition wheel territory though.

    Maybe a 32 spoke build with the Archetype rim, Velocity A23, DT Swiss RR440 or maybe the venerable Mavic Open Pro on any of the hubs mentioned will be a resonably light and enjoyable wheelset for a many many miles. These wheels can be resonably light too. Maybe a lower spoke count will suit you well too it is hard to say without knowing more.

    Factory wheels will be all low spoke count race orientated wheels. These however are fine if you want to look like you are racing.

    I hope that helps somewhat. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Many thanks for the responses.

    Bobbinogs - Totally agree with the tyres and have been running GP4000S for a while. They make a huge difference on the flat and down hill. Just rolling I seem to pass most of my friends without any effort.

    Thecycleclinic - Many thanks for your advice. Agree £800 is a lot but with my little knowledge and a quick google that seemed to be the price bracket for a lighter wheel set. Obviously cheaper is always a better bet but don't just want to go for a cheaper option if its not much difference. With my inexperience I was only looking at stock wheelsets but you have my thinking that perhaps I should find someone who can make build me a set. Also was wondering about the aero spokes. Would they help in cross winds? My research seems to show mixed information at present. My weight is around 80kg but aiming to get closer to 70kg before I start our big charity ride next year. Christmas is coming and know which is tough with all the rich food but I am trying to cut that out.
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