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Experience & recommendations for lightweight road wheelsets?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey gang, I'm putting together my parts stash for a new bike build, and looking at the following lightweight road wheels.

 

If you've tried 'em, would love to know if you had any problems, loved 'em, hated 'em and why, etc. 

 

Also, if there are others you'd add to the list, feel free to suggest, thanks!

 

My wheel candidates:

  • Fulcrum Zero 
  • Campy Shamal (sister wheel to the Zero, but with faster C.U.L.T. bearings)
  • Mavic Ksyrium SLS
  • Shimano DA 9000 C24

 

Criteria:

  • Lightweight, under 1500g/set
  • Aluminum (carbon wrap is fine, but not essential)
  • Stiff, excellent sprinting and climbing for 175-lb+ guys
  • Smooth, easy-spinning hubs
  • Easy to service hubs (if service is needed)
  • Durable rims that can take hard training without going out of true easily
  • Sub-$750 for the set (all of these can be had for that on a good sale)
  • Compatible with Tubeless (nice to have, but not a gotta have)
     

 

Thanks for your insights if you've used some or all of these wheels.

 

Happy riding. :)

 

Dave

post #2 of 13

Not sure you'll find the Shamals at less than $750 unless you get lucky with a big clearance sale and a coupon?  

 

If you like the G3's and wanna save some money, check out the Campy Zondas.  Best kept secret out there.  They flirt with the 1500g mark, and they're almost half your budget price.  Roll very well, stiff enough for your weight no problem.  CULT bearings are nice but not convinced they'll give you a KOM for the extra $$$ LOL.  

 

Just a cheaper option to consider.  

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was looking at the Zonda before getting my current Zipp 30, seems pretty comparable and definitely a great value like you say.

I just want to get lighter is all.

KOMs are rare, just fiddling with building fun bikes is more in my sights. smile.gif

Always wanted to see what it would feel like being on a very light bike that climbs and sprints really well, so we'll see where I end up with this one. Will probably build up a C'dale Evo Hi-mod frame. Already have a DA 9000 group set and carbon cockpit stuff sitting impatiently in my garage. Not going with carbon wheels, just want to go light, stiff and sort of affordable. Rode 404s last year and they're great but I'm not too concerned with aero at the moment. If I keep my lower back flexible and fit my bike well, my position will have a big effect on aero.
post #4 of 13

I had Campy Eurus wheels for a while.  Those things were, hands down, the hardest wheels to mount a tire on I've ever had.  I can usually change a tire on the road without too much fuss, but those things?  Ugh.

 

I had Mavic Ksyrium's for a while as well...  I broke two spokes on mine (I'm 6'2", 175).  Most people rave about how sturdy they are, etc.  Maybe I got a fluky pair or whatever.

 

I just use 32-spoke 3-cross handbuilt wheels now.  Solved all my problems.

 

If you have a garage full of Dura-Ace parts, how are you going to get Campy or Fulcrum wheels to work?  I know there are various ways to make it work, but they always seemed kludgy to me.

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
 

If you have a garage full of Dura-Ace parts, how are you going to get Campy or Fulcrum wheels to work?  I know there are various ways to make it work, but they always seemed kludgy to me.

 

Fulcrum is basically Shimano compatible Campy.

 

Those all look like winners to me. I'd make sure that whatever I got is tubeless compatible. I think the Fulcrum and Campy might be the only ones that are. I know you could run the others tubeless as well, but if you do get a flat on them, the tire won't stay seated like a real tubeless rim will.

post #6 of 13

I bought a wheelset from these folks and have been happy and know other who have been.

 

http://bicyclewheelwarehouse.com/Road/Road-Climbing-Acceleration/

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 

Those all look like winners to me. I'd make sure that whatever I got is tubeless compatible. I think the Fulcrum and Campy might be the only ones that are. I know you could run the others tubeless as well, but if you do get a flat on them, the tire won't stay seated like a real tubeless rim will.

 

I'm still running tubes on road, not switching to tubeless just yet until tire development comes along a bit more. I've had mixed reviews from cycling friends who've got both tubeless and tube setups. I might build a gravel bike next Spring, and if so, I'll probably go tubeless so I don't need to worry about pinch-flatting.

 

Just decided on the DA C24 (w/DA hubs). Will report back later in the Fall once I build up the new frame.


Edited by Super D - 9/8/15 at 7:37am
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Following up on this. Built up a '14 Cannondale Evo Hi-Mod frame a few weeks ago and have been enjoying the DA C24 wheelset tremendously. They climb and sprint exceptionally, and the hubs seem to be very smooth and fast. I felt like I wouldn't need aero wheels at all, looking at the training segment times...that is, until I used them in a crit and tried to pull a single-file chase pack to bridge a gap when nobody else wanted to attempt it. While I was enjoying the searing pain, I was thinking, "Gee, it sure would be nice to have a set of aero wheels right about now." :D

In any case, great wheels. The best non-aero wheels I've ever ridden. So impressed at how comfortable they are, yet stiff under sprints and punchy climbs. 

 

While riding with a buddy who's running a set of tubeless Reynolds Stratus Pros, he got a nice sized cut, and we pulled over. He rolled the tire over the puncture to get the sealant to fill the gap, then waited a couple minutes, and we rode off and he still had probably 75 lbs in the tire! Amazing. So...I was sold on tubeless by that firsthand experience, and now I have a set of the C24 tubeless-compatible version sitting patiently in a box. I'll mount them up with the new Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tires that just came out. The tubeless wheel set is about 100g heavier than the non-tubeless version, but the tires with no tubes (albeit, with some sealant) will probably be about the same weight as the clincher in the end. I've heard tubeless and tubulars are safer when flatting in a race, so this is another good reason to make a switch. But, that super easy flat fixing I witnessed was all the reason needed really. Stack on the reportedly more supple and better handling ride, and it's hard not to take a good look at going tubeless.

post #9 of 13

^Good pick.

 

I picked up the cheaper Ultegra 6800 tubeless wheelset last year, and run the schwable ones 700x23. Might step up to 700x25 for this season, but no flats all last year, and a very tubular like ride. I personally see no down-side to road tubeless; only advantages.

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Skull View Post

^Good pick.

I picked up the cheaper Ultegra 6800 tubeless wheelset last year, and run the schwable ones 700x23. Might step up to 700x25 for this season, but no flats all last year, and a very tubular like ride. I personally see no down-side to road tubeless; only advantages.

I've had a set of the tubeless C24's sitting in a box in my garage for a couple months. Was waiting until I got my hands on a set of the new Scwalbe pro one tires. Went with 23's as they seek to run a little wide. Haven't mounted them up yet, but will soon. Now on hunt for a lightly used set of the new tubeless Reynolds Strike as well (on a budget so going used). Once I get hands on them, I'll mount both sets up with the same tires, ride 'em for a few weeks and report back with impressions. Excited. smile.gif
post #11 of 13

^seems like the rim width is a little wider on the Ultegras than my old Cane Creek Volos, which gives the tire a wider stance, at least appearance-wise. The 23's still ride like a 23; a little squirrely IMO, which is why I want to try the 25's. The good news is; the 25 pro will still be lighter than my 23 ones, but hopefully a bit more stable and cush.

 

The squirrel issue isn't really the tire's fault IMO; just seems like I've lost my nerve descending on the road bike over the past few years. Still like going fast on mountain bike descents, but that's a horse of a different color. 

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Skull View Post
 

^seems like the rim width is a little wider on the Ultegras than my old Cane Creek Volos, which gives the tire a wider stance, at least appearance-wise. The 23's still ride like a 23; a little squirrely IMO, which is why I want to try the 25's. The good news is; the 25 pro will still be lighter than my 23 ones, but hopefully a bit more stable and cush.

 

The squirrel issue isn't really the tire's fault IMO; just seems like I've lost my nerve descending on the road bike over the past few years. Still like going fast on mountain bike descents, but that's a horse of a different color. 

 

I'm kind of size limited, so have to stay with only certain widths, not a lot of clearance on my '14 C'dale Evo HM. I think the newer ones have more clearance in the rear due to wider tires getting more popular in the past two years and frame evolving to suit. 

 

With regard to lack of hell bent descents, I think that's wisdom kicking in. Something about bombing 40+ mph in spandex doesn't register with your self preservation instincts. Not a bad thing. :)

 

That said, if you're running 105+ psi, maybe try kicking it down to 95 and see how the bike handles. I've found that at 95, the tires ride and react more smoothly, and no difference in speed. A race coach told me to do this, and I couldn't believe him until I tried it. He was onto something.

post #13 of 13

^yep, started running 90/95psi F/R last year; one of the best reasons to go tubeless. I've go a 2013 Roubaix. Plenty of room for a 25 on that frame.

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