Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

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Dieharder
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Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Dieharder » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 pm

I am planning to upgrade my stock wheels on my mid-high end carbon fiber bike early next year. Looked at various options and reviews online, talked to fellow cyclists, and LBS wheel guys, etc. Many different outputs, still undecided, but somewhat sure that I am not spending on high end all carbon wheels. I put in anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 miles a year and ride throughout the year so long as it is above 40 degrees and the roads aren't wet. Average speed in a group around mid 18mph and maintain 20+ mph on flats with stock wheels. Slower though on the hills compared to rest of group for reasons I still haven't figured out fully. May be it is the stock wheels, may be it is gearing and technique, or just not enough experience in the group.

Anyhow, need wheels, and not looking to spend upwards of $2K as I don't see value in spending more than that on wheels that I won't race on. I will do regular trainings and events with a group, keep around 18-19 mph and need to keep up with group on hills. Would like to do a very hilly full century ride next year with 7K-8K ft of climbs, and like to finish in 6 hours if possible. I do 3 to 5 centuries that average 4k ft climbing and finish in 6 hours riding time. This year did a fairly flat century in under 5 hours. Next year goal is to ride more hillier events with same time, and reduce time for this year's routes.

I also train indoors on a smart trainer in the winter.

Like to hear from Boglehead fellow cyclists.

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FraggleRock
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Bicycle wheels - build your own

Post by FraggleRock » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:49 pm

I would build your own set. It is very enjoyable.
Hubs - Campagnolo Record or Shimano Ultegra
Rims - Mavic Open Pro
Spokes - DT Swiss double butted

You need some tools - Park Tool
Last edited by FraggleRock on Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

AntsOnTheMarch
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by AntsOnTheMarch » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:56 pm

I built my own for many years. It’s not hard at all but I suggest buying or borrowing a truing stand. You could make one or buy a good one if you think you’ll be doing a lot of wheel building. Having a feel of how a wheel derives it’s incredible structural strength helps you also maintain them and keep them in true for a long life. Anyone interested in things bike should familiarize themselves with the incomparable Sheldon Brown.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/wheelbuild.html

If you decide to go with more modern wheel design that cost lots of $$ keep in mind that they often can’t be trued (or very difficult to do) due to low spoke counts or other construction techniques. The speed advantage is negligible except in triathlons where you must ride solo and the wheel may provide an aero advantage over conventional 28-36 spoke wheel. In racing and training, the speed comes from the peloton. In hilly events, it’s all lungs, overall weight (rider and bike) and the ability to handle the pain.
Last edited by AntsOnTheMarch on Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Shallowpockets » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:57 pm

Well, you have talked to your cycle friends and the the LBS. Surely those people would have given varied and good advice.
I usually mountain bike, many past race and triathlons. For my tri bike I got some HED carbon fiber deep rim wheels. In tris most of us think of wind resistance. Guess that is another thread.
Competition is what drives cyclists to such things as wheels and components. How to get that edge.
A very active group is Slowtwitch.com. The forum there will, most likely, have many threads on wheels and aero stuff. You can do a search.There will be lots of input. Of you look at Dan Empfields topics about gear and aero you will be intrigued. The details that go into better and faster are myriad. Dan is the inventor of the Quintana Roo Brand. Wetsuits and bikes.
So, maybe for you it isn't about the wheels, alone.
Otherwise spend that 2k you have alloted and buy whatever wheels you desire in that price range and try 'em out.

WhyNotUs
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by WhyNotUs » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:01 pm

I will never build another set of wheels. I would go with recommendation from a LBS that will stand behind those wheels.
My last wheel was about $250 so I cannot help you with high end wheels but I value having my LBS input more than other riders.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

Shallowpockets
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Shallowpockets » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:02 pm

If you want to build those wheels.

The Bicycle Wheel. By Jobst Brandt

Will make your life easier.

lightheir
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by lightheir » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:12 pm

http://www.flocycling.com/index.php

Legit aero, and price effective. Go 45s or deeper

blastoff
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by blastoff » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:14 pm

http://www.neugentcycling.com

I know Neuvation used to be a good deal for a quality product, especially closeouts.

Not sure if this new iteration (neugent) is good, but seems to be and worth checking out.

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Tycoon
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Tycoon » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:54 pm

Shimano Ultegra WH-6800 Tubeless Clincher Wheelset @ biketiresdirect $326.75 shipped to your door.
...I might be just beginning | I might be near the end. Enya | | C'est la vie

chuckb84
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by chuckb84 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:14 pm

Dieharder wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 pm
I am planning to upgrade my stock wheels on my mid-high end carbon fiber bike early next year. Looked at various options and reviews online, talked to fellow cyclists, and LBS wheel guys, etc. Many different outputs, still undecided, but somewhat sure that I am not spending on high end all carbon wheels. I put in anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 miles a year and ride throughout the year so long as it is above 40 degrees and the roads aren't wet. Average speed in a group around mid 18mph and maintain 20+ mph on flats with stock wheels. Slower though on the hills compared to rest of group for reasons I still haven't figured out fully. May be it is the stock wheels, may be it is gearing and technique, or just not enough experience in the group.

Anyhow, need wheels, and not looking to spend upwards of $2K as I don't see value in spending more than that on wheels that I won't race on. I will do regular trainings and events with a group, keep around 18-19 mph and need to keep up with group on hills. Would like to do a very hilly full century ride next year with 7K-8K ft of climbs, and like to finish in 6 hours if possible. I do 3 to 5 centuries that average 4k ft climbing and finish in 6 hours riding time. This year did a fairly flat century in under 5 hours. Next year goal is to ride more hillier events with same time, and reduce time for this year's routes.

I also train indoors on a smart trainer in the winter.

Like to hear from Boglehead fellow cyclists.
I haven't yet gone to deep carbon wheels, still on Aluminum (Zipp 30 course). If you're only going to buy ONE set of wheels, you want something that is all rounder, and, for me, the Zipp 30 course fits the bill, without being absurdly expensive. Before that, I had and loved, the Zipp 101s, but those had a catastrophic hub failure, so I will add just one "for sure" caveat on ANY wheels you buy: NEVER radially lace the spokes on the drive side of the rear wheel".

http://forums.roadbikereview.com/wheels ... 828-3.html

Perkunas
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Perkunas » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:38 pm

Dieharder wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 pm
Slower though on the hills compared to rest of group for reasons I still haven't figured out fully. May be it is the stock wheels, may be it is gearing and technique, or just not enough experience in the group.
...
Anyhow, need wheels, and not looking to spend upwards of $2K
Why do you need new wheels?

High-end wheels will make virtually no difference in your climbing. Aerodynamics and wheel-weight are not major factors when you're traveling 3-7mph up a big climb. Similarly, group dynamics have virtually no bearing on climbing. There is no draft-effect; it is just your engine, your bodyweight and your power output. There is not much you can pay for/upgrade that will change your ability to ascend. If you ride compact crankset, there is probably nothing to improve upon with gearing. Only thing might be if you're on a full size crankset and your cassette only goes up to ~23 then you'd be better served by something going up to 27-28 teeth.

With wheels you want something that will hold up to your bodyweight for day-to-day use: perhaps 20/24-spoke if you're on the lighter end of the spectrum, or 24/28 if you're slightly heavier.

ROL wheels are a pretty nice option for non-name-brand. They have a "race" model slightly lower in weight (and an option with +4 spoke count for "heavier" riders), as well as a D'Huez (or something like that) that will be marginally heavier and more durable. Prices for all of these are in the $500-700 range IIRC.

IMO, there is not much reason to pay for fancy wheels outside of racing or desire for a more aero-wheel which will only really help if you ride on flatter terrain. TT/triathlon people have a big incentive for nice wheels when spending hours riding solo on flat terrain at higher speeds (20+). The rest of us don't really need 'em. Just save the money for your next bike!

tigermilk
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by tigermilk » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:48 pm

Wheels aren't your problem. On a flat road at constant speed there are two sources slowing you down - aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance. Your body is the biggest drag component. Aerodynamic wheels (deep section) will certainly help some, but honestly mostly if there is a crosswind, and particularly if riding solo. In a pack, the wheels matter less. The other component wanting to slow you down is rolling resistance, where the wheel doesn't matter. But if you want the biggest bangs for the buck to increase your speed on the flats:

1) Position - get lower and flatter and ride in the drop. This is $0!
2) Tires and tubes - what tire are you running? If using a run-of-the-mill road tire and butyl tube, you are leaving speed on the road. Latex tubes perform much better and actually give you an increase in speed for the same power. Likewise, a better tire, such as Conti GP 4000s, will reduce rolling resistance. Just do a search for "bike tire rolling resistance" and look for some better combinations. This is a ~$80-$120 upgrade for the front and back. Also, matching the tire width to the rim can help with the aerodynamics of the tire/wheel.
3) Aero helmet - you can now get more aero road helmets. They will give you some free watts. Or rather, at least some watts for your $150-$250 purchase.
4) Tighter jersey/aero road jersey - loose jerseys will rob you of speed. $200+.

I've got a ton of wheels. I've got a few discs (one for the road bike, one for the fixed gear track bike) for time trialing and track racing. I've got some deep ~40mm aero wheels for the road bike, trispokes for road/time trial/track, and traditional 32-spoke box rims. If I'm riding by myself, for the same power I am faster with the aero wheels than I am with the cheapos. But in a paceline, there's minimal difference.

Going uphill, the wheel weight is the least of your issues. Again, you are the biggest drag on speed. As the grade increases, basically it comes down to rolling resistance and weight. A set of wheel at a few pounds is nothing compared to a 120-250 lb human atop the seat.

If you are struggling on hills, it's power/weight ratio. Either lose weight (easiest to do on your rather than the bike) or increase your power (i.e., train properly). I've got a good aerobic engine. My 5+ minute power is pretty darn good. But when it comes to anaerobic efforts (sprints) to anaerobic/aerobic efforts (i.e., 1-2 minute efforts), I've got the fitness of a couch potato. I can thank my parents for dealing me a lousy card in that regime. In races I'd struggle to keep up on hills since most of the climbs were of the 30-120 second variety. That duration is my weakness on flat roads and it doesn't magically go away if I hit a hill. But on a 10+ minute climb I will leave others behind because my physiology is just that way.

Do you have a power meter or at least access to one? That will help identify your relative strengths and weaknesses. If it shows you are relatively weak in a certain time regime, training may help. But it may not if limited by genetics.

By the way, I've got an old pair of Shimano 20-spoke wheels with bladed spokes. They came with the bike I bought from my FIL and probably retailed for around $300/set. They actually are as "fast" as my more aero wheels.

stoptothink
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by stoptothink » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:00 pm

tigermilk wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:48 pm
Wheels aren't your problem. On a flat road at constant speed there are two sources slowing you down - aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance. Your body is the biggest drag component. Aerodynamic wheels (deep section) will certainly help some, but honestly mostly if there is a crosswind, and particularly if riding solo. In a pack, the wheels matter less. The other component wanting to slow you down is rolling resistance, where the wheel doesn't matter. But if you want the biggest bangs for the buck to increase your speed on the flats:

1) Position - get lower and flatter and ride in the drop. This is $0!
2) Tires and tubes - what tire are you running? If using a run-of-the-mill road tire and butyl tube, you are leaving speed on the road. Latex tubes perform much better and actually give you an increase in speed for the same power. Likewise, a better tire, such as Conti GP 4000s, will reduce rolling resistance. Just do a search for "bike tire rolling resistance" and look for some better combinations. This is a ~$80-$120 upgrade for the front and back. Also, matching the tire width to the rim can help with the aerodynamics of the tire/wheel.
3) Aero helmet - you can now get more aero road helmets. They will give you some free watts. Or rather, at least some watts for your $150-$250 purchase.
4) Tighter jersey/aero road jersey - loose jerseys will rob you of speed. $200+.

I've got a ton of wheels. I've got a few discs (one for the road bike, one for the fixed gear track bike) for time trialing and track racing. I've got some deep ~40mm aero wheels for the road bike, trispokes for road/time trial/track, and traditional 32-spoke box rims. If I'm riding by myself, for the same power I am faster with the aero wheels than I am with the cheapos. But in a paceline, there's minimal difference.

Going uphill, the wheel weight is the least of your issues. Again, you are the biggest drag on speed. As the grade increases, basically it comes down to rolling resistance and weight. A set of wheel at a few pounds is nothing compared to a 120-250 lb human atop the seat.

If you are struggling on hills, it's power/weight ratio. Either lose weight (easiest to do on your rather than the bike) or increase your power (i.e., train properly). I've got a good aerobic engine. My 5+ minute power is pretty darn good. But when it comes to anaerobic efforts (sprints) to anaerobic/aerobic efforts (i.e., 1-2 minute efforts), I've got the fitness of a couch potato. I can thank my parents for dealing me a lousy card in that regime. In races I'd struggle to keep up on hills since most of the climbs were of the 30-120 second variety. That duration is my weakness on flat roads and it doesn't magically go away if I hit a hill. But on a 10+ minute climb I will leave others behind because my physiology is just that way.

Do you have a power meter or at least access to one? That will help identify your relative strengths and weaknesses. If it shows you are relatively weak in a certain time regime, training may help. But it may not if limited by genetics.

By the way, I've got an old pair of Shimano 20-spoke wheels with bladed spokes. They came with the bike I bought from my FIL and probably retailed for around $300/set. They actually are as "fast" as my more aero wheels.
This...and the previous post. If you want some high-end wheels, get them, but don't be disappointed when they inevitably make zero difference in your climbing performance. You'll improve your climbing performance more by forgoing the post-workout snack for a while then by spending $2k on new wheels.

123
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by 123 » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:15 pm

If you want lighter weight to go faster it is likely easier, healthier, and cheaper to lose weight yourself then to spend $$$ to save an extraordinary small amount of weight with replacement wheels and tires.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

TonyDAntonio
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by TonyDAntonio » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:30 pm

Shallowpockets wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:02 pm
If you want to build those wheels.

The Bicycle Wheel. By Jobst Brandt

Will make your life easier.
That's the book I used 38 years ago to build my first set of wheels. They made it cross country and then some. Last year I had my new rear wheel built by my local bike store guy. I think I spent $300 or so for a good solid wheel:. Shimano, Mavic, DT. The new wheel is for stoutness not speed

georgenator
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by georgenator » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:29 pm

I'd get a set of hand built Joe Young, Eric Ergott or Pete Chisholm wheels (should run <$1K) and a power meter.

fishboat
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by fishboat » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:31 pm

Ask your questions at bikeforums.net...lots of discussions about wheels & folks are willing to help

Velomine has some nice wheelsets at a reasonable price.
http://www.velomine.com/

There's quite a few custom wheel builders around the nation that can help you decide what to go with..and they are not terribly expensive.

Sugar Wheelworks has a very good rep https://sugarwheelworks.com/

Another option, good rep: http://www.prowheelbuilder.com/cw/?step ... 5B%5D=1054

And another with a good rep: https://www.universalcycles.com/wheelkit.php

Dieharder
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Dieharder » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:56 pm

You folks are awesome! a couple of you actually hit the nail on the head. I have already figured out that fancy deep dish carbon wheels aren't going to do me any good, because I am not doing a race, TT or crit, and I am not concerned about increased speed on the flats. I am doing pretty fine on the flats in my target group thanks to the drafting advantages of the peleton. Aero advantages aren't going to do me a lot. Mostly because once I am hitting 20+ on the flats there is no further gains I see in my type of riding to increase speed. Why bother since I am not looking to win any races. Climbing however is different, as I see it very enduring and challenging to keep conquering new grounds. It brings a unique kind of happiness to be able to climb hillier routes, and I find them so fascinating, although I am unlikely to ever try a tour de france type of climb. But who knows what future may bring if you keep improving.

Anyhow, couple of you have pointed out the physics behind this, and the mental aspect of it as well. This is very true, I guess without any aero advantages and drag reduction, you are on your own on the hills. It is the burning legs that is actually slowing me down I realize :D some of it is genetics that cannot be overcome. As for weight, I am at 160 pounds and there is still more room to drop, may be another 3-5 pounds, and not very much room there after that. I run Conti GP 4000s, those are very good tires, technique and gearing are fine and improving, helmet, clothing all good, and yes considered shaving legs too, may be another day :happy

Power to weight ratio is the main culprit I figure now. I need to improve this, and will use the indoor trainer this winter to work on it. One thing I do not want to do is overtrain at my age and cause any long lasting problems which will kill all the joy and intended benefits for why I am doing this. This is why I do not want to ignore the pain too much. Slow and steady compounding as in investing is my motto in cycling too.

Coming back to the wheels topic, I think a wheel upgrade will benefit in improving overall riding experience. Something that is anywhere from $800 to $1400 for the set that is relatively light, good breaking performance for the descent, and not too aero. Shimano makes some good wheels in this range and they sell at a good discount compared to others because they deal in volumes. I may look at some of the other forums suggested by some of you for more information.

Cyclesafe
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Cyclesafe » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:00 pm

Ultegra hubs, open pro rims, DT Swiss butted spokes. Number of spokes depending on prevalence of potholes and how heavy you are.

Building wheels is lots of fun and you'll never ever have to pay your LBS to true them.

If you lose 10 lbs you'll climb faster. Shaving your legs works if your husband approves.

Dieharder
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Dieharder » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:11 pm

As for weight, I cannot lose 10 pounds as I am nearly at optimal weight relative to height. May be another 3-5 pounds top, and it is moving in that direction slowly.

cantos
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by cantos » Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:46 pm

Dieharder wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 pm
Slower though on the hills compared to rest of group for reasons I still haven't figured out fully. May be it is the stock wheels, may be it is gearing and technique, or just not enough experience in the group.
I biked about 10k miles/yr back in the day. Slow on the hills is easy to explain. It's all about power to weight ratio. Either you're too heavy or too weak. From what I've seen, at the speeds you're talking about, it tends to be weight. Looks like you can stand to lose a few pounds (though you don't mention BMI or height for us to give you an objective point of view, so that's just how honest you are with yourself), so that may be the difference right there.

Wheels-wise - agree with first reply to build your own wheels with a mavic open pro set and the Bicycle Wheel book. But I doubt it'll make any difference. The simple fact is, as Lance Armstrong says, it's not about the bike (whatever else you may think of him, he knows biking). We have lots of friends with ridiculous carbon bikes and no fitness and no skills. I regularly stomp them on my 21 pound, 32 spoke wheels, Torelli steel bike.

Dieharder
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Dieharder » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:11 am

cantos wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 11:46 pm
Dieharder wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 pm
Slower though on the hills compared to rest of group for reasons I still haven't figured out fully. May be it is the stock wheels, may be it is gearing and technique, or just not enough experience in the group.
I biked about 10k miles/yr back in the day. Slow on the hills is easy to explain. It's all about power to weight ratio. Either you're too heavy or too weak. From what I've seen, at the speeds you're talking about, it tends to be weight. Looks like you can stand to lose a few pounds (though you don't mention BMI or height for us to give you an objective point of view, so that's just how honest you are with yourself), so that may be the difference right there.

Wheels-wise - agree with first reply to build your own wheels with a mavic open pro set and the Bicycle Wheel book. But I doubt it'll make any difference. The simple fact is, as Lance Armstrong says, it's not about the bike (whatever else you may think of him, he knows biking). We have lots of friends with ridiculous carbon bikes and no fitness and no skills. I regularly stomp them on my 21 pound, 32 spoke wheels, Torelli steel bike.
I totally get the last statement. I know guys and gals at my club who will beat me all day riding a beater. Some have been riding for 30 or 40years, and some are younger and stronger, and some are just plain better than me. I get it. All I care is what I can do to improve my experience given my unique situations. I know for sure I need to improve the Power to Weight ratio, just trying to do it myself without the help of a hired trainer is a lot of trial and error, so it is a learning curve. I am at 160 pounds at about 5'11, and haven't looked at BMI (online calculators put me around 22 which is about normal). I guess I could lose another 5 pounds. Again, just a lot of trial and error to arrive at a desirable body composition.

cantos
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by cantos » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:29 am

Dieharder wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:11 am
I totally get the last statement. I know guys and gals at my club who will beat me all day riding a beater. Some have been riding for 30 or 40years, and some are younger and stronger, and some are just plain better than me. I get it. All I care is what I can do to improve my experience given my unique situations. I know for sure I need to improve the Power to Weight ratio, just trying to do it myself without the help of a hired trainer is a lot of trial and error, so it is a learning curve. I am at 160 pounds at about 5'11, and haven't looked at BMI. I guess I could lose another 5 pounds. Again, just a lot of trial and error to arrive at a desirable body composition.
That helps... Your average speed for a century/with the group is decent enough. If you really want to keep up with your group that will take serious training/watching what you eat - how much time do you have/how much do you want it? Building power/weight is about interval training, short time trials, and losing weight. I think your weight is fine for a normal person, but for performance, cyclists are skinny - so keeping that in mind, at 5'11, a healthy weight ranges from 136 pounds+. That's right, you could stand to lose 20 pounds. Hard to believe right? I wouldn't do it if it were me, but if you really want to climb...

stlutz
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by stlutz » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:24 am

Campy Zonda or Eurus purchased from a UK e-tailer. Those wheels will still be true after a nuclear holocaust. Serviceable bearings are a big plus as well. Fulcrum is also a good alternative.

Cyclesafe
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Cyclesafe » Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:17 am

Athletes focus on fat content, not just weight. An adult male at 5'11' and 160 might look marvelous, but easily have 15% body fat. An athlete will have much less, a cyclist 10% maximum - probably less. The problem will be that after all the heroic measures to get to that level of fitness, all your friends will think you've contracted leukemia.

This site is helpful: https://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/ ... calculator

stoptothink
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by stoptothink » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:05 am

cantos wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:29 am
I think your weight is fine for a normal person, but for performance, cyclists are skinny - so keeping that in mind, at 5'11, a healthy weight ranges from 136 pounds+. That's right, you could stand to lose 20 pounds. Hard to believe right? I wouldn't do it if it were me, but if you really want to climb...
This is the reality. At 5'11 160, you may think you can't lose more, but you can, and that is huge for a (competitive) cyclist who wants to climb. During my competitive days, primarily triathlons, I received weird looks and was often called "The Hulk" (and other similar names) because I carried 170lbs on my 6'1" frame. FWIW, I am a former ~260lbs D1 football player with a very large frame whose natural set point is ~210. I am currently ~210 and carry 6-8% bf year around. Looking back at old pictures, I looked sickly and was still a good 20lbs from being a decent climber.

bloom2708
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:16 am

Don't just do something (to your bike). Ride it.

$1.5k or $3k or $5k wheels won't do it. I would continue to enjoy biking and admit when you won't always be the best. It is OK.

My new Runner's World magazine has a great 2 page article about being OK with average. A runner who isn't fast and doesn't want to do a marathon. I couldn't find it on the RW site to link to. If I find it I will send it along.
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

tigermilk
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by tigermilk » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:25 am

If you are dead set on getting new wheels, actually in line with my previous post get yourself a wheel with a Powertap hub. Training with power doesn't make you inherently faster, but if used properly you will have more defined workouts, which in turn can get you faster. This is a good deal for a rear wheel - https://www.excelsports.com/main.asp?pa ... 3&minor=23 You just need to pair it with a front and get a Ant+ compatible head unit (which you may already ride with). I've used PTs for over a dozen years and currently have a stable of bikes with the hubs and also a set of the P1 pedals.

$tar-Lord
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by $tar-Lord » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:42 am

"Don't buy upgrades, ride up grades." Eddy Merckx :sharebeer

spitty
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by spitty » Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:54 am

I have Dura Ace 9000 C35 on two bikes and really like em--light,good all-arounders, and alum brake tracks. With shopping you can buy at $1200/set or less. Also check out https://www.boydcycling.com/ I have a set of their wheels on a third bike (Altamont) and they are also excellent and cost less. Company was started about 10 years by a former racer.

Shallowpockets
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Shallowpockets » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:14 am

You don't mention your age, but what you did say makes me think that you are in the older BH grouping.
It is possible that you may never get any better or faster on the hills. Despite lighter wheels or a lighter you. Age can tend to do that. Since you are a rider already with many miles behind you, the room for improvement is less as a percent compared to a new rider with no miles.
Unless you ride with a group or a timed climb up a known hill, you have no direct comparison. It appears you notice your climbing when riding with others. Easy to do.
As others have said, maybe a power meter, or watt meter. This would give you direct feedback for when you ride on you own.
For a fair price you can also buy a Peloton bike and ride with all the electronic feedback and the option for the classes (motivation).
There are also bikes that feature the ability to put in courses to ride. You could ride Alpe D'Huez in your home. Some of these are less than 2K. The point being that you could race yourself and get feedback that is more scientific than on the road with others and wind and weather variables. Of course the outside beats the inside any day, but it has its place.
Get your watts on.

https://www.bicycling.com/racing/tour-d ... ro-cyclist

Dieharder
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Dieharder » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:34 am

tigermilk wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:25 am
If you are dead set on getting new wheels, actually in line with my previous post get yourself a wheel with a Powertap hub. Training with power doesn't make you inherently faster, but if used properly you will have more defined workouts, which in turn can get you faster. This is a good deal for a rear wheel - https://www.excelsports.com/main.asp?pa ... 3&minor=23 You just need to pair it with a front and get a Ant+ compatible head unit (which you may already ride with). I've used PTs for over a dozen years and currently have a stable of bikes with the hubs and also a set of the P1 pedals.
Yeah, I've looked at them, and considering the pros/cons of it, and have not fully thought through whether it benefits spending the added cost for the G3 hub. DC Rainmaker has written quite a bit about these and I will give it another read.

Dieharder
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Dieharder » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:43 am

spitty wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 10:54 am
I have Dura Ace 9000 C35 on two bikes and really like em--light,good all-arounders, and alum brake tracks. With shopping you can buy at $1200/set or less. Also check out https://www.boydcycling.com/ I have a set of their wheels on a third bike (Altamont) and they are also excellent and cost less. Company was started about 10 years by a former racer.
I like them too from so far what I looked at. They are now DA 9100 C40, but Shimano flubbed up the launch according to discussions at various bike forums in the sense they first said it will be an upgrade in rim width but just released with only improved hubs. Many people who bought in early are upset, but the good thing now Shimano dropped prices on them, and so could be a good buy for me since I know they are the old C35s with a new hub.

Dieharder
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Dieharder » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:48 am

Shallowpockets wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:14 am
You don't mention your age, but what you did say makes me think that you are in the older BH grouping.
It is possible that you may never get any better or faster on the hills. Despite lighter wheels or a lighter you. Age can tend to do that. Since you are a rider already with many miles behind you, the room for improvement is less as a percent compared to a new rider with no miles.
Unless you ride with a group or a timed climb up a known hill, you have no direct comparison. It appears you notice your climbing when riding with others. Easy to do.
As others have said, maybe a power meter, or watt meter. This would give you direct feedback for when you ride on you own.
For a fair price you can also buy a Peloton bike and ride with all the electronic feedback and the option for the classes (motivation).
There are also bikes that feature the ability to put in courses to ride. You could ride Alpe D'Huez in your home. Some of these are less than 2K. The point being that you could race yourself and get feedback that is more scientific than on the road with others and wind and weather variables. Of course the outside beats the inside any day, but it has its place.
Get your watts on.

https://www.bicycling.com/racing/tour-d ... ro-cyclist
I am middle aged, and probably not going improve a lot, but still may have another 5 years until I can no longer improve. I use Zwift indoors on a smart trainer, and it gives plenty of feedback and they have challenging routes. Much less expensive than Peleton which I found is overpriced and suited for people who are really into paying for spinning classes. I pay $10 for Zwift and my smart trainer cost 1/4th of peleton bike, and I paired my old bike on this. I am going to look at adding powertab g3 hub integrated wheels to see if adding that to my outdoor training is helpful.

And, I heard those of you who commented on weight loss. I am working on it, and good to get some confirmation that it isn't too unhealthy to try and lose more, although I do not wish to look sickly and so I probably will now track every pound lost from here on carefully.

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MastersChampion
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by MastersChampion » Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:46 pm

Not directly applicable, but I will direct you to "The Rules" as kept by the Velominati: http://www.velominati.com/the-rules/

The ones that apply to you in this situation are 8, 10, 25, 40 and 60. And of course rules 4 and 5 ALWAYS apply.

:D

Shallowpockets
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Shallowpockets » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:12 pm

Thanks for the "Rules". It was an enjoyable read. I think it used to be that way, now, not so much. Too many things intercede. Cell phones on the bike, lattes, white shorts, and tattoos. People have not hardened up (rule #5). Its trophy for everyone now.
Most would not even read the rules now. Probably be on a podcast.

sschoe2
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by sschoe2 » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:26 pm

I bought a set of A23 origen 8 hubs for $200. I just needed to true and bring them up to full tension. They were literally cheaper than the individual parts and they saved me a lot of work from having to lace them and start them up. I'd just buy a decent set of wheels and if necessary detension and rebuild yourself.

fourniks
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by fourniks » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:49 pm

For pre-built wheels, you can't go wrong with Mavic wheels.

Mavic Ksyrium - light and bombproof for under $800.

Four

hudson
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by hudson » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:02 am

Dieharder wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 pm
I am planning to upgrade my stock wheels on my mid-high end carbon fiber bike early next year. Looked at various options and reviews online, talked to fellow cyclists, and LBS wheel guys, etc. Many different outputs, still undecided, but somewhat sure that I am not spending on high end all carbon wheels. I put in anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 miles a year and ride throughout the year so long as it is above 40 degrees and the roads aren't wet. Average speed in a group around mid 18mph and maintain 20+ mph on flats with stock wheels. Slower though on the hills compared to rest of group for reasons I still haven't figured out fully. May be it is the stock wheels, may be it is gearing and technique, or just not enough experience in the group.

Anyhow, need wheels, and not looking to spend upwards of $2K as I don't see value in spending more than that on wheels that I won't race on. I will do regular trainings and events with a group, keep around 18-19 mph and need to keep up with group on hills. Would like to do a very hilly full century ride next year with 7K-8K ft of climbs, and like to finish in 6 hours if possible. I do 3 to 5 centuries that average 4k ft climbing and finish in 6 hours riding time. This year did a fairly flat century in under 5 hours. Next year goal is to ride more hillier events with same time, and reduce time for this year's routes.

I also train indoors on a smart trainer in the winter.

Like to hear from Boglehead fellow cyclists.
I've built my own wheels using the Jobst Brandt book. I had great results...but no more; I don't have the patience to make the final tweaks....I've got a half built wheel on the truing stand. I call Colorado Cyclist and order custom wheels. I checked: https://goo.gl/xmpWdD They have pre-built and will custom build. I always talk to somebody on the phone and get their advice. For me, I've been wearing out something in the rear wheel every year or two. This time I upgraded the hub. I had been spending around $150 for a wheel. The upgrade recently cost me $322 for a rear wheel....kind of pricy...but If it goes 3 years, I'll be happy. I can't imagine how a more expensive wheel would help me....but I have a lot to learn.

tigermilk
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by tigermilk » Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:33 am

FYI - hear Powertap stuff will be 25% from Black Friday to Cyber Monday - https://www.powertap.com/catalog/holiday-sale

The link above appears to show normal prices currently. 25% off those is a great deal. As mentioned in a previous post, I've got the PT P1 pedals and a number of their hubs throughout the years, and all have served me well. Even when problems arose (e.g., one of my pedals seized up earlier this year), service was exceptional (replacement pedal set sent quickly and at no cost).

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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Sid » Thu Nov 23, 2017 6:27 pm

Dieharder wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 pm
Slower though on the hills compared to rest of group for reasons I still haven't figured out fully. May be it is the stock wheels, may be it is gearing and technique, or just not enough experience in the group.
I find it is usually the engine that is to blame... I have to replace my wheels about every 20k miles because they wear out and the rims crack. So I go for durability, not speed. I have 85,000 miles on my steel bike frame and I am on my 4th set of wheels. I go for min of 32 spokes, but I don't race either.
Sid

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randomizer
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by randomizer » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:06 pm

Dieharder wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 pm
Would like to do a very hilly full century ride next year with 7K-8K ft of climbs, and like to finish in 6 hours if possible. I do 3 to 5 centuries that average 4k ft climbing and finish in 6 hours riding time. This year did a fairly flat century in under 5 hours. Next year goal is to ride more hillier events with same time, and reduce time for this year's routes.
I feel exhausted just reading this!

tigermilk
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by tigermilk » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:43 am

tigermilk wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:33 am
FYI - hear Powertap stuff will be 25% from Black Friday to Cyber Monday - https://www.powertap.com/catalog/holiday-sale

The link above appears to show normal prices currently. 25% off those is a great deal. As mentioned in a previous post, I've got the PT P1 pedals and a number of their hubs throughout the years, and all have served me well. Even when problems arose (e.g., one of my pedals seized up earlier this year), service was exceptional (replacement pedal set sent quickly and at no cost).
https://www.powertap.com/catalog/holida ... medium=web

P1 pedals - $750 (great deal)
G3 hub (standard hub, i.e., not disc brake) - $450
Built wheels - $530 and up
Built wheelsets - $600 and up

2pedals
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by 2pedals » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:33 pm

Many options are available at Bicycle Wheel Warehouse. I have ordered from them in the past, they did an excellent job. YMMV.

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CyclingDuo
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by CyclingDuo » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:40 pm

Dieharder wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:14 pm
I am planning to upgrade my stock wheels on my mid-high end carbon fiber bike early next year. Looked at various options and reviews online, talked to fellow cyclists, and LBS wheel guys, etc. Many different outputs, still undecided, but somewhat sure that I am not spending on high end all carbon wheels. I put in anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 miles a year and ride throughout the year so long as it is above 40 degrees and the roads aren't wet. Average speed in a group around mid 18mph and maintain 20+ mph on flats with stock wheels. Slower though on the hills compared to rest of group for reasons I still haven't figured out fully. May be it is the stock wheels, may be it is gearing and technique, or just not enough experience in the group.

Anyhow, need wheels, and not looking to spend upwards of $2K as I don't see value in spending more than that on wheels that I won't race on. I will do regular trainings and events with a group, keep around 18-19 mph and need to keep up with group on hills. Would like to do a very hilly full century ride next year with 7K-8K ft of climbs, and like to finish in 6 hours if possible. I do 3 to 5 centuries that average 4k ft climbing and finish in 6 hours riding time. This year did a fairly flat century in under 5 hours. Next year goal is to ride more hillier events with same time, and reduce time for this year's routes.

I also train indoors on a smart trainer in the winter.

Like to hear from Boglehead fellow cyclists.
IMO - wheels are the most important part of the bike. If doing an upgrade, I would have a wheel builder custom build a set that fits your weight, riding style, needs, and budget.

djdube525
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by djdube525 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:11 am

A couple options - Colorado Cyclist offers hand built wheels if you want to go with pretty well known/standard fare components (mavic open pro rims, dura ace/ultegra hubs, etc).

Another option would be to go with a custom wheel builder. I had bought a set for my wife with a power tap meter in the rear hub from White Mountain Wheels. Very happy about the service. Price was reasonable as well. If you go the custom route, you can tailor the wheels to match your bike or make them unique. Different color hubs, spoke nipples, spokes, etc will make the wheels unique and won't cost you more money. If you're gonna drop that much, might as well customize them to your wants. He has a "Sample Builds" page that gives you some ideas of weight, pricing, etc. I have no affiliation with them other than being a happy customer.

http://www.whitemountainwheels.com/index.html

Dieharder
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Dieharder » Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:06 am

Thanks for all the follow-up posts. A quick update on wheels. I placed order to get the new Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 Carbon Clincher wheels (tubeless ready) through my LBS at a 20% discount on Black Friday. Total cost came under $1000 for full carbon wheels and these Bontrager wheels are designed the same way the higher end Aeolus D3 wheels, with the difference in hub. Since my bike is Trek, these wheels go well together and also will get good support from Trek/Bontrager through my LBS if things go wrong. They won't arrive until a few weeks later. Meanwhile, I am improving performance, and ready to go out for a 50 mile group ride this morning.

lightheir
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by lightheir » Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:09 am

Dieharder wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:06 am
Thanks for all the follow-up posts. A quick update on wheels. I placed order to get the new Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 Carbon Clincher wheels (tubeless ready) through my LBS at a 20% discount on Black Friday. Total cost came under $1000 for full carbon wheels and these Bontrager wheels are designed the same way the higher end Aeolus D3 wheels, with the difference in hub. Since my bike is Trek, these wheels go well together and also will get good support from Trek/Bontrager through my LBS if things go wrong. They won't arrive until a few weeks later. Meanwhile, I am improving performance, and ready to go out for a 50 mile group ride this morning.
Do you have a powermeter? Honestly, at the $1000 price point, you should be thinking hard about having a powermeter BEFORE you upgrade the wheels. Fortunately, you can still add a pedal-based powermeter like the Garmin or Cycleops ones for $600-$1000. Yes, cycling is expensive, but the powermeter is a very helpful tool if you're spending in the $2000+ range for your bike.

Dieharder
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Re: Bicycle wheels - what's a reasonable budget

Post by Dieharder » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:06 pm

lightheir wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:09 am
Dieharder wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 9:06 am
Thanks for all the follow-up posts. A quick update on wheels. I placed order to get the new Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3 Carbon Clincher wheels (tubeless ready) through my LBS at a 20% discount on Black Friday. Total cost came under $1000 for full carbon wheels and these Bontrager wheels are designed the same way the higher end Aeolus D3 wheels, with the difference in hub. Since my bike is Trek, these wheels go well together and also will get good support from Trek/Bontrager through my LBS if things go wrong. They won't arrive until a few weeks later. Meanwhile, I am improving performance, and ready to go out for a 50 mile group ride this morning.
Do you have a powermeter? Honestly, at the $1000 price point, you should be thinking hard about having a powermeter BEFORE you upgrade the wheels. Fortunately, you can still add a pedal-based powermeter like the Garmin or Cycleops ones for $600-$1000. Yes, cycling is expensive, but the powermeter is a very helpful tool if you're spending in the $2000+ range for your bike.
While I don't have a power meter, I have opted to go with wheels that aren't integrated with a power meter hub for various reasons. I am getting one most likely while the sale lasts, and looking at Crank Arm or Pedal based. The two power meters I have narrowed down based on reviews and price are the 4iiii crank arm based and favero assioma pedal based. The first one is selling at a good discount this week. I have power measurement while training indoors through the smart trainer connected to zwift platform, and those numbers are accurate. Based on that I have a failry good idea when I am outdoors how much power is being output. Although indoor and outdoor can be different. The power meters I am looking at should cost $500 or less at the current sale prices.

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