Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
I know... another one... I would be most appreciative for y'all advice though. I was provided with funds for Christmas to purchase a nice new wheelset for weekend rides and events (some non-competetive 100km and 100mi rides and triathlons). I've had problems with wheels when commuting before due to my weight (95kg) and the amount of stuff I tend to carry, however these are to be stictly non-commuting wheels. That being said, I'm still conscious of weight being a factor. I've found a few wheelsets that I'm considering and would value any input:
Easton EA90 SL: Cell bikes have a few of these sets for $600 which seems like a steal.
Pro's: They are 24/28 spoked and slightly aero. 2 year warranty.
Con's: SP, DB, aero spokes will be hard and expensive to get. There is talk on forums of some of these wheels having been built with a dodgy set of sapim spokes; although these have all apparently been rectified by Easton under warranty.
Shimano RS80 C24: PBK have them for $441. I've had a few people reccomend these as good fast wheels that hold up well even under heavy riders.
Pro's: The lightest at 1500g (ish).
Con's: SP, DB, aero spokes. 16/20 spokes scares me a little.
Hope Pro3 on Mavic Open Pro: CRC have them for under $400. I've had Open Pro rims recommended and I have a Pommy mate who swears by Hope hubs.
Pro's: 32/32 standard DB spokes. These 'feel' like they'd be the strongest.
Con's: Warranty may be difficult as I don't think these are sold in Oz. These are the least sexy!
Pro-Lite Bracciano: This seems to be the most commonly recommended wheelset on these forums so I figured I should just include it from the start. Currently $400 from Pro-Lite Oz.
Pro's: Seem to be very well regarded. Standard spokes.
Con's: Can't find much discussion of the weight capacity of these.
I like the idea of the Easton's the best and I'm somewhat comforted by the 24/28 spoke count but they'd also be the most expensive mistake if they didn't work out. Are the Bracciano's really that good... really? Any advice would be welcomed.
Had my EA90 SL's for about 3 years. I'm 85kgs and the wheels have been true and maintenance free for much of that time. Until, a few weeks ago I hit a small pothole that put both wheels out of true. Went to get them repaired and this is the result of trying to re-ture them(front wheel).
Been told by my LBS that to repair requires cutting of spokes and replacing at a cost of $7 - $10 per spoke. So upto $240 just for spokes! The rear was fine but I doubt it'll last much longer. i will get a second opinion on the best repair and maybe rebuild with a different rim/spoke but the hub might be the problem.
Great wheels, BUT expect a limited life and expensive replacement parts regardless of which factory wheels you buy. Had the same issue with Mavic and spoke replacements.
Edit - Cheaper at Cycling Express. You could say a $200 a year investment in wheels over 3 years isn't such a bad thing. i'd buy another set but have a bigger budget this time for wheels.
Unfortunately the damage is done to that one.
Did they lube your spokes before trying to true the wheel?
Did you get a look at the spoke tool they were using?
Pro-Lite Oz recommend the Bracciano for riders up to 100kg. The Bracciano is tested in excess of that weight however bigger riders reduce the life of the wheelset so we bought the recommendation back to 100kg to allow some safety margin. Given that you want them as a weekend set and won't be putting 60km on them everyday I'm perfectly happy to recommend the Bracciano to you.
What in Freds name did they try to use on those nipples, multigrips?
London Boy 29/12/2011
Alloy nipples and they haven't been touched since I purchased them. Seen probably 15,000kms, if not a bit more in all weathers. Would that type of fracture/damage not be expected with alloy nipples after 3 years solid use?
I don't hang around to watch everything my LBS does to my bike, I'd like to instill them with some trust! Otherwise I might as well do it all myself.
Either they are seized, or he used a rubbish spoke tool on them. Either way, you're not going to get them off now without cutting...
Its a good habit to put a drop of oil down the spokes so it runs into the nipples from time to time, especially with alloy nipples which is what most higher end wheelsets use.
sorry to hijack this thread, but as I'm a similar weight I thought it made sense.
Hey Deon/jacks, I'm looking to upgrade bikes at tax time this year. Bascially, I want the best frame I can afford around the $2-2.5k mark which usually comes with 105 and cheap wheels. I was looking at your Bracchianos and Gavias. I've gotten down to 98kgs now (from 115-120) and will hopefully be around 90kgs in 6 months more. I've been riding Deep V 32 spokes and that's all I know. They're strong as anything, but heavy. I'll keep my current bike & wheels for commuting, but want something lighter and faster for group rides.
Realistically, are Brachianos or Gavias ok for someone 90-100kgs? Or should I go for the Merano?
Litespeed Tuscany Ti, Trek Superfly AL 29er, Trek 8000 rigid MTB
I disagree with this, you can buy one of these http://i158.photobucket.com/albums/t113/Zoom_Bean/spokescrew.jpg from a hardware store and assuming it fits in the spoke hole on the rim just unscrew the nipple and replace that.
If you are in the sutherland area and want to borrow one feel free to pop me a pm.
What would the point be? No wheel builder is going to re-use that spoke and if a few of them have had the same treatment the wheel is up for a full rebuild.
Bracciano or Merano would be fine, the Gavia we recommend for lighter riders.
It would be great if I lived near or close to a well known wheel builder who I could take it to and ask, 'what do you think'? Unfortunately I don't. Given the hub is good and the rim is still okay i would rebuild if I didn't have to use Easton's Zillion dollar spokes. Access to knowledge is my problem (and I have none!).
@Jacks, I notice the Pro-Lite wheels use 'special' spokes, PRO-LITE double butted stainless aero spoke or PRO-LITE 3.2 mm stainless steel aero spoke. Are these a Zillion dollars for new ones like Easton et al?
I can answer that for you as I've spoken to Deon today re: the Bracciano's. There is a spare's kit for the Bracc's which is $45 and includes 50% of all of the spokes for the wheelset plus nipples (eg. 6 NDS, 6 DS, 10 Front). After speaking to Deon I'm sold on the Bracc's, not least because I can get them here in time for QTS round 4 at Robina this weekend! I can't find a single bad word spoken about them anywhere which I originally thought was just because they were a small distro, niche product but it appears not and they've performed well in objective testing and reviews.
Most importantly, IMHO there's nothing better than having the phone number of someone to talk to who knows the product and who is the final port of call for customer service related enquiries. Nothing worse than having to try and deal with a distributor through a reseller to get a faulty product returned and/or fixed.
NB: I'm also getting a set of the Como's which I'm assured will solve my commuting wheel issues. All in all just under $600 (with the spare's kit for the Bracc's) for new wheels all round.
They use alloy nipples to save 30g of weight when they should be using brass nipples to build a more durable wheel and (one that is easier to re-true if needed). Good wheel builders (note, not "high end" wheelsets) would use brass nipples.
Brass nipples give a greater margin for error. For that reason they maybe favoured by a home mechanic, heavy rider or dedicated training wheelset.
A skilled wheel builder won't require that margin for error as he'll know how much tension he can run and he'll have pre-lubed everything before assembly.
Brass nipples can seize up if not lubed, you can end up breaking the spoke instead of stripping the nipple head. The outcome is the same. I've never stripped an alloy nipple on a wheel, a combination of the right tools and some oil before any truing. Its not that difficult.
I've had my Bracciano's for a month now (and have put just over 750km's on them).
It is still early days but they are so much better than the CXP22's they replaced and still roll forever and are as true as the day I unboxed them.
I also like the fact that we have a ProLite rep who is very active on this forum and is happy to backup his product and answer any questions.
In the cycling world (amongst other worlds), that can be quite a rarity these days.
I cannot quantify personally that they are the best wheels around (as I haven't the money or time to try each and every wheelset to find out for myself), and reviews can only tell you what the reviewer wants to say, and doesn't always relate to every cyclist....but I am still VERY happy with my purchase and if they were stolen tomorrow I would be on the phone to Deon soon after ordering another set.
I'm sure there are people out there who bought some Bracc's and didn't like them but they are awfully quiet as I am yet to read anything bad about them (and I think I know why)
2012 Felt F75 | 105 | ProLite Braccianos | GP4000S
I don't have Braccs, I've got Gavia P44s bought sometime in 2010. I weigh about 87 and these wheels have never given me a moments trouble. Still rock solid and amazingly free spinning with minimal maintenance (Sorry Deon )
A big + Lots to the kudos for Deon. Nothing has been too much trouble in my dealings with him.
London Boy 29/12/2011
I can beat that price, no problem
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