I'm an amateur rider doing about 150-200km per week of mixed hills and flats. The hills rides usually total about 1000 meters of climbing over the whole ride with not many tecnical descents which require braking.
I haven't really spent much money on my Fuji bike in the last two years and so I'm thinking of upgrading my wheels. Currently using Mavic Aksium which weight about 1800gm
I have had it locked in my head that the next step is to go carbon but now I have no idea which way to go. Carbon, aluminium or Carbon with Alu brake track
I can get a pair of 50mm clinchers, 23mm wide, 1600 grams for about $450
Or 50mm clinchers 1450 grams for $610 (including delivery etc)
A pair of aluminium Zonda wheels, 1550 grams for $450
Like I said I ride a mixture of hills and flats and the more I read the more confused I'm getting! Advice please
For the life of me, riding the small amount that you do, why bother?
I ride about 200-250km per week on my Shimano RS500 wheels. They run true and go around. Sure, they feel a bit heavier than when I took a Giant defy advanced for a test ride, but you know, I ride for exercise, and my 105 level bike does the job.
Really, from what others have already said in your other thread, there really is not any value at all in upgrading for the purposes you describe in my opinion.
Most bikes, even expensive ones often come with pretty average wheels straight out of the box.
If I'm buying a new bike I always get the shop to deduct the cost of the wheels from the price so I can use the ones I want.
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2nd best upgrade you can do for your ride is a new set of wheels
1st is a new & good set of tyres
Surprised how many good bikes come with pretty average wheels & tyres out the box
I am happy flogging a 3 year Fuji SL pro (that is the base model) with a cheap light carbon wheels and good german rubber around a race track
Personal question: how much do you weigh?
I say treat yourself and go for the lightest possible alloy/scandium wheelset your happy to part funds for (provided of course the bearings run smoothly).
Aero is over-rated at normal non-race speed. Most amertures don't travel fast enough for long enough to enjoy the full benefits.
The nay sayers will say don't bother with the spend. Those iornmen can keep riding their brick wheels as long as they like, but I've found a wheel upgrade is most enjoyable, to the point where I'm often riding tubulars just for fun
Hi DANger-is, with Reynolds soon to release there new super Blue pads, which supposedly provide CF rim braking (even in the wet) that is better than the current best alloy rim/pad combination
So perhaps CF but Zondas are nice wheels with good hubs, but then 50mm CF aero rims are a nice way to go (as long as the hubs/bearings are decent).
Although, for the price you have mentioned I guess you could replace them after a couple of years or once the sealed bearings are worn out
Better wheels are always nice to ride on
The best wheels are the ones you enjoy riding the most.
Brand name alloy wheels are likely to be more reliable than no name carbon wheels.
I've raced on Reynolds carbon wheels, about 10mm deeper than my Eastern alloy wheels (1,550gms) and while I could feel the difference its not a lot, just a little more aero.
A helmet saved my life
I weigh 70kg (154lb)
Thanks for your thoughts guys. One day I lock in Carbon wheels then the next day I say Alu wheels!! I am starting to think that Carbon might just be to much long term effort for the amount of riding I do. If i can get a set of alu wheels which are the same weight as CF wheels then the only thing I'm loosing is a little bit of Aerodynamics. At what speed does Aerodynamics really start to make a difference?
Get a set of Pro-Lite Braccianos from jacks1071, the black suits most bikes but I went silver just to be different
Lighter and better rolling than the Ultegra-spec wheels I upgraded from (RS-20s from memory)
RS20s aren't Ultegra spec and they cost around $150 versus $450 for the Braccianos. A bit of an apples and oranges comparison. The RS80 C24s are a direct competitor. Ultegra spec hubs and light rims.
You realise there is no 1 right answer to your question...
At 70kgs you can get away with a very light, and low spoke count set.
I'd probably recommend some 38mm carbon clinches for the riding you described.
Or as I suggested earlier the lightest alloy or scandium set you can find within your budget.
50mm may unnerve you in crosswinds with your light build..?
This may be something you can learn to live with.
Unless you are averaging around 30km/h then the aero advantage, while there, would probably be negligible.
...and it's plenty of fun spinning up light wheels, and even more fun dropping off those with oversized expensive wheels on the hills.
Either way enjoy.
I don't see the need for those carbon wheels.
50mm are not too bad in cross winds - I'm only 60kg and don't have troubles with them. But for ordinary riding, they are not really any benefit. You could get a nice light set of alloy wheels and do better.
I do group rides every weekend and we usually cover about 65km. The rest of the week is mostly hills. I think I would get benefit from the CF on the longer flat rides and benefit from the alu wheels in the hills. Does that sound about right?
One thing to consider is that when buying the alu wheels, such as the Pro lites, you have confidence in what you are getting but with the Chinese CF wheels you can't be sure
Agreed, no one "needs" carbon wheels.
But be honest, they look damn sexy and they are "usually" lighter in those sizes anyway which makes 'em quicker up a hill.
i am also looking for wheels & have the same dilemma as you but i am going towards the RS80 C23 carbon , they look trick are nice & light & much better then the Fulcrom Comps that came on my bike new
2012 Merida Scultura Evo 905
I am yet, after trying many different wheel sets, yet to find better bang for your buck than these wheels. Done well over 10,000 km's on mine and they are still going strong. I'm 100kg plus as well.
I ride several bicycles, but not at once.
If both Carbon wheels and Aluminium Wheels weigh and cost about the same (Chinese carbons are about $150 more over the Alu) then what is the deciding factors when picking one over the other?
Is it braking quality?
overall longevity of the wheels?
A deeper wheel will generally be more aero than a shallower wheel but a brand name shallower alloy wheel will probably be more robust and have a longer life than a generic Chinese one. The hubs in the cheaper Chinese wheels may not roll as well as the brand name ones.
I'll report a story in a few weeks about popular carbon Chinese wheels having mass failures.
It has become apparent to me at least one popular Chinese manufacturer doesn't have the systems, expertise, or ethics, to take quality control seriously.
I'd be interested to hear from anyone who weighs >75kg and has put >3000km of training rides into Chinese deep section carbon wheels....and not had problems.
For my money, the best value for money wheels are those with generic components that can be easily replaced for a decade.
This won't include Shimano, Fulcrum, Mavic, none of which supply parts for that long.
Generic by type, in other words parts to fit standard round spokes.
For low spoke count propriety wheels, I agree. But higher spoke count Shimano hubs and Mavic rims are popular in real world cycling applications.
I believe I know what you are saying, I just added a bit for clarity.
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