Wheel upgrade

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Wheel upgrade

Postby ngalbrai » Wed Mar 06, 2013 1:56 pm

Probably a more suitable place for this but since I only use the bike to commute I figured it was most appropriate to share my thoughts here.

Have a Kona Honky Inc. Bought it as at the time was the only non custom drop bar bike i could get with disc brakes, also wanted to see what all the fuss was about with steel frames. Loved the bike, does everything I wanted it to and bombproof but damned heavy. Was talking to guy in local bike shop about ways to make bike lighter including ti frame a mate could source from China. Anyway bike shop chap suggested I look at wheel upgrades as saving the equivalent of a water bottle worth of weight on the frame is not going to make as much of a difference as reducing rotational weight and upspeccing hubs. He showed me the wheels he had on his new commuter and I thought why not (coincided with my birthday and needing to buy a present for myself...).

So, got Stan's no tubes Alpha 340 Discs, initially thought spending near on a grand for wheels was dumb but them remembered I have spent nearly that on a sweet saddle and ay-ups, so got the credit card out.

OMGosh - what a difference they make, the bike feels (and is) so much faster and now i understand what reviewers mean about this bike accelerating better than that bike. Run 23*700 tubless tires, I forget what brand, which actually feel way smoother than the 28's i was running before. I have yet to see how true they stay on Sydneys ridiculous 3rd world tarmac but since I am really light guess they will be fine.

So long and short is if you are looking for a great commuter bike upgrade splash out on some decent wheels. If you are in Sydney go have a chat with Adam in City Bike Depot.
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by BNA » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:54 pm

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Re: Wheel upgrade

Postby Crawf » Wed Mar 06, 2013 3:54 pm

Alpha 340's for commuter rims? Not the greatest durability choice I think from an LBS.
How much do you weigh?
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Re: Wheel upgrade

Postby ngalbrai » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:09 am

67kg.


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Re: Wheel upgrade

Postby Crawf » Thu Mar 07, 2013 8:57 am

That's a bonus I guess.
Keep a very close eye on the nipples pulling through (bulging) and overall spoke tension with the tubeless tyres.
These are note a durable rim given their weight, but you have weight on your side.
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Re: Wheel upgrade

Postby simonn » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:33 am

I was looking at getting the alphas as a set of fast wheels for my CX - bought for the same reason, drop bar with discs.

Please keep us updated with how they go long term. I was concerned about durability just so rebuilt with Novatec D041SB/D042SB hubs and reusing the 32h Alex DP17 rims. Heavy but strong. Really notice the weight when climbing/accelerating compared to my roadie though.

I am a little heavier than you at ~75kgs though.
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Re: Wheel upgrade

Postby ngalbrai » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:54 pm

Will keep you updated, really hope they work out as I don't think I could go back to the original heavy wheels again now after these.
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Re: Wheel upgrade

Postby biker jk » Thu Mar 07, 2013 6:32 pm

Indeed the Alpha 340s have been beefed up and the new version weighs closer to 385 grams thanks to thickening up the spoke bed. That too me confirms that the original rim was weak, although a lot of spokes and light weight (in your case) should notably reduce the chance of problems.
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