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Thread: What do I need to know about wheels?

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    jrenaut's Avatar
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    Default What do I need to know about wheels?

    I had my Bianchi in the shop the other day because the tire sidewall was starting to bulge unpleasantly and I happened to be nearby. While he was checking it out, the mechanic noticed that I need new wheels. Years of braking have made the rims nearly sharp to the touch.

    Bianchi lists the wheels as "Shimano Tiagra hubs, Bianchi DRX6000 double wall w/ eyelets". The hubs are HB-4600 and FS-4600. On the strong-light-cheap scale I'd head towards strong and cheap, but I don't want cinder blocks on there.

    So I don't even know what I don't know about wheels. But I know many of you know a lot and love talking about it, so I thought I'd give you the opportunity.

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    In my professional opinion round wheels are the best, so go with those.
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    Both my bikes have pretty heavy wheels, easily over 2kg per set. My main bike, which is set up for gravel, also has tires that weigh about 1kg in total. I've never spun a light set of wheels but I'd love experience it. But since I want strong+light, cheap leaves the equation. Which is why I haven't upgraded. That said my heavy-ish stock wheels are fine. Since you're talking about a lovely steel Volpe, I personally think it's a good candidate for tubeless-compatible wheels and tires with decent width/volume. I think it's worth investing extra time faffing about with your wheels and tires in the comfort of your home to greatly reduce the chance of having to mess with tires on cold, dreary, rainy day.

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    I've purchased relatively inexpensive wheels from November Cycles (pacenti rims I believe). They were definitely on the lighter side although not as light as some.

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    I have a set of Shimano R500 (basically Tiagra) wheels that came with my Cervelo that you can have. I think the rear freehub may not have a ton of life left, but they're solid wheels. I won't ever use them again because all my bikes are 11spd at this point and now they're just clogging up my shed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    I have a set of Shimano R500 (basically Tiagra) wheels that came with my Cervelo that you can have. I think the rear freehub may not have a ton of life left, but they're solid wheels. I won't ever use them again because all my bikes are 11spd at this point and now they're just clogging up my shed.
    I may take you up on that, thank you

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrenaut View Post
    So I don't even know what I don't know about wheels. But I know many of you know a lot and love talking about it, so I thought I'd give you the opportunity.
    I do love thinking and talking about wheels! ... But only tubeless, disc wheels. And only non-Shimano hubs.

    But seriously, I'd just take TwoWheels up on his offer. If you were going to have some built yourself, I'd probably recommend considering the DT R460 rim laced to Hope hubs. It's a solid rim, tubeless compatible, and very inexpensive. Or Shimano hubs, if you had good experience with those (I haven't, but I know others like them). $400-500 is probably the lower end of a decent hand-built wheelset.

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    And if the freehub is near-death, you can get replacements for about $30.

    you'd need to disassemble the hub to replace the hub body (axle vise, cone wrenches, 10mm hex), but it's really easy to do. throw some new grease in there while you've got it apart and you should have no problems getting a brazillian miles out of those hubs.

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    Here is a wheel set from Nashbar for $125* if you are willing to wait till 12/29:

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...0052_603921_-1

    They feature sealed hub bearings, aerodynamic rims, but have 36 spokes both for front and back, so it's a bit heavy. There are lighter ones with 20 spokes, but they would require more frequent truing. If you can't wait, here is another option for $180:

    http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...0052_582917_-1

    Last Tuesday I ordered parts from them in the early morning, and I received it on Sunday, so it takes 5 days to arrive with the free shipping option.

    Edited to add: These wheels have 130mm frame spacing for rear wheels, which is for road bikes. If you have upright hybrid, then don't order these, look for wheels with 135mm frame spacing. Front wheels always have 100mm spacing for road/Hybrid/MTB, with or without front shock.
    Last edited by n18; 12-05-2017 at 07:09 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hozn View Post
    $400-500 is probably the lower end of a decent hand-built wheelset.
    You do crack me up. For under $300 you can get hand-built wheels from Universal Cycles with Tiagra/Deore hubs, double butted DT spokes, and the ever popular and durable Velocity Dyad rims. Switch to the classic Sun CR-18 and straight gauge spokes and it's under $200. I've been riding XT/Salsa Delgado Cross from them and have been very pleased - round, even, true, no touch ups needed, and they even lined up the label with the valve hole per what must be a Velominati rule. But then I don't break stuff anywhere near as often as you.

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