Road Wheels - for getting to the Goat Farm

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  1. #1

    Exclamation Road Wheels - for getting to the Goat Farm

    I think I already know the answer to this one but I just need some fellow roadies to verify my concern and tell me to pony up the money and stop being such a cheap skate.

    My bike came with Shimano WH-R500 wheels in a 20/24 spoke configuration. I was so concerned with getting good drivetrain components when I bought the bike, I never thought to ensure the wheels were quality.

    They got me through a few hundred base miles just fine (surely better than my 25 year old bike that I used to ride!). But earlier this month, the rear wheel just felt completely out of whack. Brought the bike in for a tune up, had the wheels trued, and things seemed good again. Then just a week or two after the trueing, the rear wheel just felt sloppy again. I have no experience with spokes, but comparing the front wheel to the rear wheel there is noticeable difference in tension, worse on the drivetrain side. So far, I have not broken a spoke but a quick search online suggests that this wheel starts to completely fall apart at 2k miles or so. I am about 1/3 the way there.



    Down to 212 lbs (woo! down almost 15lbs so far this spring)... I am still damn heavy and the consensus online seems to be someone my weight needs to have at least 32 spokes in the rear for a traditional wheel. I am pusher and not a spinner and can really go after the pedals pretty hard which is often when the wheel feels its worst, sliding around under me. When I stand up and pedal hard while tilting the bike over, it feels really unstable in the rear. Could just be sloppy technique.

    So I need some justification for spending a few hundred bucks on a wheelset after having only recently purchased the bike. My biggest concern is stability and strength under my heavy frame and my lack of skill, mashing the pedals and all. The roads around here are mostly in really good condition and I almost never hit pot holes, mostly concerned about my own weight and how the rear wheel performs under weight. Recommendations?
    -Steve
    TheSnowWay.com "Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs

  2. #2
    mondeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverc0il View Post
    I think I already know the answer to this one but I just need some fellow roadies to verify my concern and tell me to pony up the money and stop being such a cheap skate.

    My bike came with Shimano WH-R500 wheels in a 20/24 spoke configuration. I was so concerned with getting good drivetrain components when I bought the bike, I never thought to ensure the wheels were quality.

    They got me through a few hundred base miles just fine (surely better than my 25 year old bike that I used to ride!). But earlier this month, the rear wheel just felt completely out of whack. Brought the bike in for a tune up, had the wheels trued, and things seemed good again. Then just a week or two after the trueing, the rear wheel just felt sloppy again. I have no experience with spokes, but comparing the front wheel to the rear wheel there is noticeable difference in tension, worse on the drivetrain side. So far, I have not broken a spoke but a quick search online suggests that this wheel starts to completely fall apart at 2k miles or so. I am about 1/3 the way there.

    Down to 212 lbs (woo! down almost 15lbs so far this spring)... I am still damn heavy and the consensus online seems to be someone my weight needs to have at least 32 spokes in the rear for a traditional wheel. I am pusher and not a spinner and can really go after the pedals pretty hard which is often when the wheel feels its worst, sliding around under me. When I stand up and pedal hard while tilting the bike over, it feels really unstable in the rear. Could just be sloppy technique.

    So I need some justification for spending a few hundred bucks on a wheelset after having only recently purchased the bike. My biggest concern is stability and strength under my heavy frame and my lack of skill, mashing the pedals and all. The roads around here are mostly in really good condition and I almost never hit pot holes, mostly concerned about my own weight and how the rear wheel performs under weight. Recommendations?
    Same wheels, same weight, haven't had any problems, about 2000 miles at this point.
    2009-2010:
    Killington: 11/7, 11/21, 12/5, 12/6, 12/10, 12/12, 12/13, 12/22, 12/23, 1/1, 1/2, 1/9, 1/10, 1/23, 1/24 (15)

    Ski Sundown: 12/18, 12/19, 12/20, 12/24, 12/30, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/8, 1/11 - 1/22, 1/26-1/30 (27)
    EH XC: 12/21 (1)
    WNY XC/NELSAP BC: 12/29 (1)

    Total: 44

  3. #3
    For a decent set of wheels you may need to up your budget a little. A middle of the road set of mountain bikes wheels starts around $400, and from what I have been told road wheels are more expensive. The best place to get wheels online is chainreactioncycles.com. They are based in the UK and always have the best deals on wheels.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by MR. evil View Post
    For a decent set of wheels you may need to up your budget a little. A middle of the road set of mountain bikes wheels starts around $400, and from what I have been told road wheels are more expensive. The best place to get wheels online is chainreactioncycles.com. They are based in the UK and always have the best deals on wheels.
    I was assuming at least $300 for something decent. Maybe a little more. Though mondeo seems to suggest it is me and not the wheels.
    -Steve
    TheSnowWay.com "Skiing is not a sport, it is a way of life." - Otto Schniebs

  5. #5
    mondeo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR. evil View Post
    For a decent set of wheels you may need to up your budget a little. A middle of the road set of mountain bikes wheels starts around $400, and from what I have been told road wheels are more expensive. The best place to get wheels online is chainreactioncycles.com. They are based in the UK and always have the best deals on wheels.
    Road componentry is, once you get to a certain level, almost completely weight driven. Given that my bike is top end of the aluminum ladder for Jamis, and they aren't that light, I'd think their durability level would be up there with any other wheelset, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by riverc0il View Post
    I was assuming at least $300 for something decent. Maybe a little more. Though mondeo seems to suggest it is me and not the wheels.
    From the brief stuff I looked at, it seems like those wheels have a mixed reputation. Might be set to set variability, bad batch, whatever. I might just have good luck, or just don't pay as much attention.
    2009-2010:
    Killington: 11/7, 11/21, 12/5, 12/6, 12/10, 12/12, 12/13, 12/22, 12/23, 1/1, 1/2, 1/9, 1/10, 1/23, 1/24 (15)

    Ski Sundown: 12/18, 12/19, 12/20, 12/24, 12/30, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/8, 1/11 - 1/22, 1/26-1/30 (27)
    EH XC: 12/21 (1)
    WNY XC/NELSAP BC: 12/29 (1)

    Total: 44

  6. #6
    bvibert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riverc0il View Post
    I have no experience with spokes, but comparing the front wheel to the rear wheel there is noticeable difference in tension, worse on the drivetrain side.
    Different how? They should be tighter on the drive side of the rear wheel. Both sides of the front wheel should be the same and similar to the non-drive side of the rear wheel.

    Machine built wheels can be hit or miss as far as the equalness of the tensions goes (usually more miss). Perhaps your set wasn't too even to begin with, while Mondeo's was (or his LBS retensioned the wheel before he picked it up). Seems like once a wheel gets out of whack it's hard to get it to stay true, since the spoke tensions usually need to be uneven to get the wheel to be true again.

    Disclaimer: I have no experience with road wheels, but I believe the basics of wheel construction are the same between road and MTB.

    My current set of machine built wheels came with very uneven tensions in the rear wheel, so I completely untensioned it and redid of from scratch. So far the wheel has stayed perfectly trued, and I'm not easy on wheels. My last set (of the same wheel) I didn't bother to check before using them and I started breaking spokes before too long.
    Brian

  7. #7
    Have you had a look around http://www.bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/ ? I have heard from a few people who have had very good experiences with them. They build all their wheels inhouse. I'm not sure if you're racing or how high end you want to go but you can get a pair of Mavic Open Sports (32spokes) w/105 hubs for around $200. You can mix and match if you want, uprading hubs to Ultegra or DA, etc. Personally I'm thinking of just getting the Mavic CXP22 w/105 hubs for my cyclocross. Should be just fine for my needs and budget.

  8. #8
    iv'e heard good things about bicyclewheelwarehouse also but haven't bought anything there. i just bought a workstand from http://stores.ebay.com/bikeislandsite - great seller and i see they had some pretty decent deals on wheelsets as well
    "that feeling: hovering in a weightless space with honey on the tip of your tongue and pure red blood gorging your heart, soaring on a current of angelic music cutting clear mountain air." -norman ollestad, crazy for the storm

  9. #9
    bvibert's Avatar
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    Bicyclewheelwarehouse.com is well regarded in the MTB community, from what I've heard online anyway. They're all hand built, which assuming the hands building them know what they're doing, is just as important as the parts that go into them, IMHO.
    Brian

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by riverc0il View Post
    I think I already know the answer to this one but I just need some fellow roadies to verify my concern and tell me to pony up the money and stop being such a cheap skate.

    My bike came with Shimano WH-R500 wheels in a 20/24 spoke configuration. I was so concerned with getting good drivetrain components when I bought the bike, I never thought to ensure the wheels were quality.

    They got me through a few hundred base miles just fine (surely better than my 25 year old bike that I used to ride!). But earlier this month, the rear wheel just felt completely out of whack. Brought the bike in for a tune up, had the wheels trued, and things seemed good again. Then just a week or two after the trueing, the rear wheel just felt sloppy again. I have no experience with spokes, but comparing the front wheel to the rear wheel there is noticeable difference in tension, worse on the drivetrain side. So far, I have not broken a spoke but a quick search online suggests that this wheel starts to completely fall apart at 2k miles or so. I am about 1/3 the way there.

    Down to 212 lbs (woo! down almost 15lbs so far this spring)... I am still damn heavy and the consensus online seems to be someone my weight needs to have at least 32 spokes in the rear for a traditional wheel. I am pusher and not a spinner and can really go after the pedals pretty hard which is often when the wheel feels its worst, sliding around under me. When I stand up and pedal hard while tilting the bike over, it feels really unstable in the rear. Could just be sloppy technique.

    So I need some justification for spending a few hundred bucks on a wheelset after having only recently purchased the bike. My biggest concern is stability and strength under my heavy frame and my lack of skill, mashing the pedals and all. The roads around here are mostly in really good condition and I almost never hit pot holes, mostly concerned about my own weight and how the rear wheel performs under weight. Recommendations?

    To get a better set of wheels that you already have I am thinking you are going to need to spend 600 bucks or so. Wait till Mark chimes in he knows what he is talking about.

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