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Wheels; to build or not to build....(9 posts)

Wheels; to build or not to build....pappy_d
Jun 11, 2002 9:58 AM
I'm thinking about getting/building some new wheels for my road bike. I'm not a racer yet, but hope to in the future.
At 155lbs I don't think wheel strength is a big issue (??), but I do use this bike for commuting around town, as well as day long rides. I'm looking to spend under $300 on wheels, any suggestions??

I've found new Bontrager Selects for $199, but I'm also considering building my own wheels (28/32, Mavic/other).

Any suggestions would be great!
re: Wheels; to build or not to build....Matno
Jun 11, 2002 12:40 PM
I just built my own wheels for the first time. It was fun. If you've never done it before, don't worry. As Mark Eaton once said, "It's not rocket surgery." However, unless you want the satisfaction and fun of building your own, you will spend less if you buy a completed wheelset. Guaranteed. Depending on how well you shop around, it could be a lot less or a little less, but it will be less. Nashbar has some good prices on components right now, particularly hubs. Icycles has good prices on spokes. I got my rims on eBay, but wish I hadn't (one of them had a gouge in the braking surface, supposedly "brand new" but bought "as is"). Oh well.
Build quality is everythingKerry
Jun 11, 2002 4:45 PM
For under $300, you can get DA/Velocity Aerohead or Chorus/Velocity Aerohead wheels from Colorado Cyclist - that's about the cost of the parts. If you're a good wheel builder, you can probably build better than CC, but most (99%?) people can't. The Bontrager's are not nearly the wheels of the Chorus or DA units would be, after all they are 1/3 less cost. If you get the Chorus or DA, you'll never look back. You have to evaluate your own wheel building skills and interest. As much as people might enjoy building their own, it's not likely you'll be building great wheels in the first few sets.
rim swap?off roadie
Jun 12, 2002 6:59 AM
If the reason you want new wheels is that the old rims are dinged up, consider doing a rim swap. You can use any rim that has the same ERD, or even on that is a bit different if you make sure your old spokes re the right length.

Doing a rim swap is a good first wheelbuilding experience, because you won't have any problems with the lacing or being unsure you have the propper length spokes.
What rims would you reccomend??pappy_d
Jun 12, 2002 9:36 AM
I've got shimano 105front hub, Shimano 600 rear, laced to Mavic Open4CD rims (36spoke).
What would be a good choice for fast light rims?? Can I drop a few spokes?(is there a way to use only 28 spokes on a 36 spoke hub?)
rim optionsoff roadie
Jun 13, 2002 5:58 AM
The mavics have an ERD of 605, so any rim with 605 would work. I've included a list (at the end of the post) from the databse in Daimon Rinards "Spocalc" of all the rims with erd 604-606, but have no idea what they weigh. Maybe the Torelli Master is a good choice? I needed such a rim a while ago, and I got the Ritchey Aero Road Pro centered for $20. No idea on exact weight, I'm guesing around 500g.

As for dropping spokes, I'd say not to, not for your first build, and not with light rims that aren't extremely deep section. Low spoke count wheels use heavy, deep rims to distriibute strain over the span between spokes; light rims need more spokes. Its also very difficult to build a wheel using rims and hubs that don't match- you normally need multiple spoke lengths per side. Also, I'll bet that once you've built a few wheels, the desire to use wacky lacing patterns will probably disapeer- although you may get a desire to use wacky, light spokes.

Matrix PN 981248 Aurora RDR (Reduced Dish Rear)
Ambrosio aero (with washers)
Mavic Mach 2CD2
Sun M19A
Rolf Vector Pro, Araya made. For Greer internal nipples + 4mm washers
Rigida TUB 25/ TUB 26 (Rigida's nipple contact dia + 3mm for nipples)
Rigida PHOENIX (Rigida's nipple contact dia + 3mm for nipples)
Ambrosio Aero Elite
FiR SC170
Matrix ISO C
Mavic 195
Mavic Open Pro (all) (Mavic's nipple contact dia + 3mm for nipples)
Mavic Reflex (Mavic's spoke support dia + 3mm for nipples)
Rigida ARIES (Rigida's nipple contact dia + 3mm for nipples)
Ritchey OCR 700 Pro (Spoke Seat dia + 3mm for nipples)
Ritchey Rock 700 Pro (Spoke Seat dia + 3mm for nipples)
Zipp 110 17mm deep box section aluminum clincher
Mavic T221 (Mavic's nipple contact dia + 3mm for nipples)
Ambrosio Excellence
FiR MT 232
Rigida HLC2000
Ritchey Aero Road Pro centered holes (nipple contact dia + 3mm for nipples)
Ritchey Aero Road Pro OCR (nipple contact dia + 3mm for nipples)
Ritchey Aero Road WCS centered holes (nipple contact dia + 3mm for nipples)
Ritchey Aero Road WCS OCR (nipple contact dia + 3mm for nipples)
Sun M14A (old)
Torelli Master
Araya NEWADX-1S
Araya RC-540
Mavic T238 (Mavic's spoke support dia + 3mm for nipples)
re: Wheels; to build or not to build....Charlie - Empire Cycle Craft
Jun 12, 2002 7:13 PM
I would agree that a nice set of handbuilt wheels with dura-ace or Ultegra hubs built on Mavic open pro rims and DT spokes is the best way to go. I would not suggest building them yourself however. You will spend hours trying to get it right and probably only end up with a fair quality wheel. It may sound like fun now but it won't be fun when you are at your local shop paying them to fix your wheels. I sell a wheel set like this for $295. If you decide on something let me know and I can probably get it for you.

www.empirebicycles.com
nice sales pitch...off roadie
Jun 13, 2002 6:18 AM
I don't doubt that thier wheels are excellent, but "Your to dumb to do it right" isn't the sort of advice that would inspire me to heights of consumer interest. Maybe the folks at Empirebicycles.com see many more messed up home builds than good ones. Well, duh- nobody needs to bring in the ones they do right, that's the point of a home build!

Granted, not everybody can build great wheels, but most folks who have some expierience in truing and maintaining wheels can build a good set if they are patient. It takes me a few hours to do it right, but I do get it right, and a big advantage of doing im myself is I do NOT have to rely on a shop to fix whatever minor troubles occur later. It doesn't save me any money or time (unless I need a fix on a day when the shops are closed), but the self reliace is worth it, to me. I've also had MUCH better luck with wheels I built myself than any I've purchased at any of several local shops, despite the shops repeated attempts at "truing" them during thier free "maintenance" period.
Thanks for the infopappy_d
Jun 13, 2002 5:20 PM
Thanks for the rim suggestions and eencouragment.
I've found an old mtb wheel that I think I'll take apart and see if I can rebuild it, just to get a taste of what I'm getting into.
I agree that self reliance and the satisfaction of building anything yourself is well worth the time. As for me I'm a winemaker, guitar amp/effect builder, coffe roaster and stained glass artist- I don't do anything the easy way!

I'm sure I'll be back to ask more questions as soon as I start the adventure.

-dan