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Please Advise Re: Wheelsets(6 posts)

Please Advise Re: WheelsetsHorace Greeley
Aug 2, 2001 5:45 AM
Since a new bike purchase is a few years away, I'm looking for ways to improve my current setup. Based on threads here and elsewhere, it seems that new wheels are a good step up from stock components. I started looking at the so-called boutique weels (in particular, Velomax Ascents and Mavic K's) as well as Open Pros laced to Dura Ace hubs. Weight wise, they are all in the same general area, which leads me to my two questions.

First, is there something about the wheel design in these three wheels which will make one wheel perform better than the other since weight is comparatively the same.

Second, between the three, what have your experiences been with these wheelsets, does it really incrementally increase performance (all other things being equal) and what are your recommendations. I know there is no "magic pill" (other than ride, ride, ride!).

FWIW, I have a C'Dale CAAD3 ('99) with CXP23 wheels laced to 105 hubs (have not figured out the weight). Overall the bike is relatively light, but not by today's standards given the 105 gruppo and other stock components (such as stem, bars and seatpost which are also on the agenda for replacement). My terrain is always hilly, from rolling to more severe. I ride anywhere from 100-150 miles per week.

Thanks in advance.
What do you want the wheels to do for you?Spoke Wrench
Aug 2, 2001 6:02 AM
If ultimate performance is your goal, talk to the go-fast guys. I'm sure they will offer a lot of strongly conflicting opinions.

If style is your goal, just buy whatever you think looks good. I'm sure there will be guys who don't like them anyway.

If you are the kind of guy who does week long tours and stuff like that, I'd go for the more conventional Open Pros because you are much more likely to be able to get replacement parts in obscure places.
I'm looking for...Horace Greeley
Aug 2, 2001 6:12 AM
some improvement in performance (by dropping some weight and getting more efficient wheels). However, buried deep in my question was the sense that I'm not sure what you gain from the fancy wheels (other than a nice looking set of wheels and the image thing)if you are not a racer, even if you tend to ride agressively. I'm always looking to improve just because, but for the most part I do this by riding harder and pushing myself (within my abilities).
I'm looking for...Spoke Wrench
Aug 2, 2001 6:35 AM
I admit to being a bit of a retro-grouch so that's part of where I'm coming from. But buried in my answer is my concern regarding reliability. I just returned from a week of technical support on RAGBRAI. My most vivid memories include wheels with dying cartridge bearings that are only factory servicable. Wheels with straight-pull spokes that are hard to true because you have to hold the spoke with a vice grip. Wheels with bladed, oval and other unusual spoke configurations for which nobody has exact replacements.

Other than losing style points, I think that for everyday riding, a fairly conventional well built set of Open Pros is pretty hard to beat. That's what I would do.
stick w what you haveColnagoFE
Aug 2, 2001 6:46 AM
If you're not racing and you still have some ways to go to get in better shape then stick with your current wheels. You won't gain all that much from lighter wheels.
Open ProLeroy L
Aug 2, 2001 7:16 AM
I've had good luck with Mavic Open Pros. Excel and Branford build up wheelsets - others probably do, too. I got a set from Branford w/ Daytona hubs that are real fine. Try Ult. or DA hubs. Of all the upgrades you can do, new wheels make the most dramatic difference, IMHO.