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Wheelset Upgrade Questions(3 posts)

Wheelset Upgrade QuestionsUncleMoe
Jul 25, 2002 8:56 AM
I posted this in general discussion too, but it was spread out over a few posts. Just posting it here as well for other opinions:

Entry level road bike with Sora Components used mainly for commuting, but have done longer rides, a 650 mile tour, and one century. I don't have $1000+ to invest in a higher quality bike as most of my money is in my MTB.

However, I'm considering upgrading the wheelset to the Mavic Cosmos for a little under $300 in hopes of a smoother ride, small increase im avg MPH.

Three questions:
- I ride with Spec Armidillos cause I hate getting flats. Would I be spitting in the wind to upgrade the wheelset while still using the Armidillos that are beefy and heavy?

- If yes to the above, meaning you think I'd be wasting my time, what about the Cont Gatorskins? A little lighter in weight and a somewhat better ride, but still gets good reviews on flat protection.

- Silly question, but with a new wheelset, would it be unreasonable to expect the LBS to put on rim tape and perhaps even pull the cassette off my old whell and put it on the new one? What exactly is etiquite on this?
Are your current wheels true and round?Quack
Jul 25, 2002 11:40 AM
If your current wheelset is good, I wouldn't worry about replacing them in the hopes of a smoother ride. Properly adjusted and lubed Sora hubs should roll nearly as smooth as the cartridge Mavics. For commuting, touring, or weekend century rides, I doubt that the profile of the Cosmos wheels will gain you much in avg speed over your current rims. The Cosmos may help you in climbing if they are considerably lighter than your existing wheels but they are still average in weight for road wheels.

However, if they make your bike look cool and that makes you ride it more, go for it. They will definitely make you faster in the near future. Any LBS will transfer a cassette for free on a wheelset purchase and I think the Cosmos wheels come with rim strips from the factory.

Don't worry too much about the weight of your tires and tubes. If your not sprinting for the line or climbing Everest, they likely won't improve your speed. High thread-count race tires are comfortable to ride and lightweight, but if your flatting more frequently or wrecking a lot of tires, it may not be worth it. I would go with thick tubes and the most durable set of tires that you can tolerate riding for commuting.

Jul 26, 2002 1:55 PM
Sounds like you a budget conscious, but a new cassette of any breed is quite cheap- especially a Sora... so if you wanted to keep your old wheels... I do think you'll need an actual Sora cassette, since it is and 8?

Rim tape (Velox) is dirt cheap- a buck or two per roll.

Installing a cassette is very easy- as long as you have the lockring "tool"- and I'm assuming, so don't quote me, that Sora operates the same way as the rest of Shimano.

Getting the old cassette off is the tough part- you'll probably need a chain whip for that (you can probably make your own whip if you have an extra old chain lying around... ) but buying an extra Sora cassette is probably cheaper than buying a chainwhip.

It really is a DYI project- but again, if you buy at the shop, they should help you out.

Check out the Park Tool website if you want detailed instructions... it really is easy to swap cassettes. You might need to adjust your rear deraileur after tossing on your new wheels.