"Weekend wheels", a waste of money?

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"Weekend wheels", a waste of money?

Postby Hotdog » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:28 am

The Comfy Chair currently rolls on very 'sensible' wheels, 26" Alex DA16 rims, 32 spokes laced 3 cross with Formula disc brake hubs. They're solid, dependable wheels for the commuting I mostly use the Comfy Chair for (or at least they were, until I bent them on that bloody rock) but I'm thinking of getting a second set of wheels, something moderately racy in 700c, for my recreational riding. The standard arguments in favour of large wheels (lower rolling resistance, smoother ride, availability of fast tyres and aero rims, etc.) are valid but wouldn't by themselves justify buying new wheels, I see the main point of the exercise being the roughly 10% increase in the effective gearing of the bike. For commuting in the city when the bike is loaded down the current gearing is about right, but on the weekend when the bike is lighter and I'm riding on the open road I feel I might benefit from slightly higher gearing. Of course I could just change the chainrings, but by having two different sized wheelsets instead I can easily switch back and forth depending on the type of ride. Does this reasoning seem to make sense?

One of the nice features of the Comfy Chair is it's flexibility when it comes to wheels, while the stock wheels are the 26"ers I've described the fork and frame have enough clearance to take 700c wheels just fine, with tyres up to 28mm. My disc brakes means that switching between different size wheelsets would be quick and easy with minimal fiddling with the brakes, but would mean I'd probably have to get the 700c custom built as there are very few prebuilt wheelsets combining narrow 700c rims with disc brake hubs (29er wheelsets are generally for fat(ish) tyres, not what I'm after here).
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by BNA » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:52 am

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Postby europa » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:52 am

The more fiddling you have to do to use your ride, the more annoying it'll be.

This is your everyday ride - you don't need to be stuffing about with it.

If you 'need' new wheels (thanks to the beating the others got), try 700c and see how they go.

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Postby sogood » Tue Jul 24, 2007 11:54 am

That bent is on 26" wheels? I wouldn't have picked it.
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Postby Hotdog » Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:00 pm

sogood wrote:That bent is on 26" wheels? I wouldn't have picked it.

Yep. I wanted 'standard' size wheels so getting hold of tubes and tyres would be easy, and I wouldn't have to use giant chainrings to get usable gearing.
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Postby Mulger bill » Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:34 pm

At least disc brakes make for a simple changeover, as long as you've got two sets of rotors :wink:

I run two sets for the MTB, lighter and weaker with slicks for commuting, you can guess the rest. It works for me...

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Postby mikesbytes » Tue Jul 24, 2007 12:34 pm

What benefit are you looking for by using 700c
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Postby Hotdog » Tue Jul 24, 2007 1:57 pm

mikesbytes wrote:What benefit are you looking for by using 700c

Well, the basic idea is to have a performance wheelset for the weekends and a more durable one for commuting. With disc brakes the changeovers would take about a minute, no hassle at all and less time than I already spend regularly attaching and removing mudguards, etc. By choosing 700c for the performance wheels I get in effect higher gearing than with the 26" commuting wheels, which seems like a good thing as I'd be using them when I'm carrying less weight and riding faster. As a side benefit, 700c also gives me a bit more choice in fast rims and tyres for road use.
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Postby europa » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:15 pm

How easy are disc brake 700c wheels to get?

Hang on, buy the right hubs and get them made. Don't mind me :roll:

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Postby mikesbytes » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:19 pm

Yes, no doubt you have a better choice of performance parts in 700c size, but there is still a good collection of 26inch performance parts to choose from.

I wouldn't of thought that gearing would of been a problem, 80kph should be no problem what so ever with 53/11/26inch combination.

I'm guessing that you will need to get the wheels built, if you want disks, as you will need to marry disk hubs to 700c rims and I'm guessing that combination is not available.
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Postby Hotdog » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:47 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Yes, no doubt you have a better choice of performance parts in 700c size, but there is still a good collection of 26inch performance parts to choose from.

I wouldn't of thought that gearing would of been a problem, 80kph should be no problem what so ever with 53/11/26inch combination.

My big ring is 52T, by my reckoning 80kph is 146rpm with 52/11/26x1.125 or 134rpm with 52/11/700x23. The differences between 700c and 26" in terms of gearing or parts aren't huge, it's true.

I'm guessing that you will need to get the wheels built, if you want disks, as you will need to marry disk hubs to 700c rims and I'm guessing that combination is not available.

Yes, I'd probably have to get them built. The Mavic Speedcity is the only production wheelset that I'm aware of that has disc hubs and narrow 700 rims suitable for typical width road tyres, it's used on a few high end flat bar roadies and by some MTBers training on tarmac.
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Postby sogood » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:51 pm

Any thoughts on where you'll get it built?
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Postby Hotdog » Tue Jul 24, 2007 2:57 pm

sogood wrote:Any thoughts on where you'll get it built?

Not many, I've had work done at both Cheeky Transport and bikerepairs.com.au and know both of them build wheels but my next appeal for advice if I did decide to get these wheels was going to be for recommendations for good wheel builders.
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Postby sogood » Tue Jul 24, 2007 3:05 pm

Hotdog wrote:Not many, I've had work done at both Cheeky Transport and bikerepairs.com.au and know both of them build wheels but my next appeal for advice if I did decide to get these wheels was going to be for recommendations for good wheel builders.

A popular forum choice these days is TWE.

http://www.twowheelsenterprises.com.au/

I don't know if there's any special skills required to build wheels for recumbents. It would be worth asking. I think Mike is also keen in sourcing a set of wheels from Greg.
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Postby Kalgrm » Tue Jul 24, 2007 5:08 pm

I'm very interested in how you proceed with this quandary. I'm seriously considering the same thing with my bike.

The one thing you really should ask yourself is "How often am I currently running out of gears?" You've stated a couple of times that you desire the 10% increase in gearing. Have a look at your cluster and see where the majority of chain oil is depositing: is it on the smallest or second smallest rear cog and the biggest chain ring? If not, you can simply use your derailleur to achieve that 10% increase in gearing. What I'm saying is that you are currently likely to be using the biggest gearing you can comfortably handle and getting bigger wheels will simply force you to change to a lower gear to keep your current pace.

For myself, I find I'm spending the majority of my cruising time in the middle chain ring (a 44t Q-ring) and my second or third smallest rear gear (it's a 12-26 9 speed cluster, so I think they are the 13t and 14t rings). The only times I run out of gears on a normal ride are when I'm rolling down a hill - I find that 80kmh is quite fast enough, thanks very much!

Another consideration you may or may not have looked at is the ~1" increase in height. Do you have the leg length to still reach the ground when you're at the lights? Those who don't ride 'bents may not appreciate why I ask this question, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

Anyway, if you find the improvement works well for your own riding, I see myself doing the same thing. I'll be building the wheels myself though - it's not that hard and I got a real sense of achievement from the first set I made. You can be the guinea pig for the experiment though ..... :)

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Postby McPete » Tue Jul 24, 2007 5:32 pm

...About them disc brakes on 700c Wheels...
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Postby Halfanewb » Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:15 pm

it seems i am going to bang the drum about velocity wheels again, they will make up any combo you like if you send them the hubs. gotta love those deep v's but they have a number of different rim types to choose from.

you may have some luck sourcing the hubs through the guy you bought your bike from, and there is always the internet.

hmm its going to be a body buzz riding on those racey wheels.

good luck mate . :)
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Postby McPete » Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:41 pm

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Postby Kalgrm » Tue Jul 24, 2007 6:48 pm

I reckon when I make up my set, the hubs will be Hope XC Pro (32 hole) and the rims will be Velocity Deep Vs. I may end up skimping and going with the Hope XC hubs though - they are what I have on the bike now on my MTB wheels and they've been great so far ......

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Postby Mulger bill » Tue Jul 24, 2007 8:03 pm

I believe Wheelcraft do something in that line. None of the MTB people I yarn with have heard a bad word. Maybe the Dirtworks issue tho' :?
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Postby Hotdog » Sat Jul 28, 2007 12:54 am

Well, seems I have a few things to think about on this one.

My priorities may have to shift slightly for the time being anyway, I finally got around to taking my bike to the LBS to see if they could sort out my rock damaged stock wheels. They managed a nice job of truing them such that they're now lovely and straight. Unfortunately the fact that they're straight makes it easiler to spot that they aren't round, both have significant flat spots. Seems to be some extra drag in the front hub too, the bearings might not be happy. Looks like wheel rebuilds are in order, probably with new rims. The idea of getting an unnecessary 'bling' second wheelset will have to go on the back burner until my main wheelset is sorted.
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