/ Wheel Upgrade
I’m looking to upgrade from the Mavic Aksiums that have served me well for the past three years.
I ride club runs, the odd time trial, prefer going uphill to down. I’d want to get something that I’ll notice the difference on on climbs.
Any recommendations? Bike is an Orbea onyx.
Well, the first question has to be what are you prepared to spend?
Alloy not carbon fibre I guess as you want them for the climbs.
I'm still using my standard issue Aksiums but like to drool over better wheels from time to time. Fulcrum Zeros look nice. As do the Mavic Kysrium Elites.
Getting a bit megabucks, but DT Swiss R22 look very nice, and are very light.
I seem to remember Wiggle had an own brand called Cosine, that were pretty lightweight and cheap, but I think they have stopped them (??)
Having upgraded my wheels from fulcrum racing 5s, which are decent anyway, to mavic tubeless Pro carbon sl's (at a sensible ish price) I can detect the difference in feel to some extent but there's a lot of snake oil about when one starts reading cycling websites or magazines. Faster? Maybe, but tiny increments...
I have Ksyrium Pros and Ksyrium Elites on my two 'good' bikes. The Ksyrium pros are absolutely great, would recommend. Light and stiff, good for climbing, pretty indestructible with regards to potholes etc so far.
The Elites are cheaper and you can tell the difference, but they're certainly not bad by any means.
> Having upgraded my wheels from fulcrum racing 5s, which are decent anyway, to mavic tubeless Pro carbon sl's (at a sensible ish price) I can detect the difference in feel to some extent but there's a lot of snake oil about when one starts reading cycling websites or magazines. Faster? Maybe, but tiny increments...
Whilst I agree on the snake oil chit chat I can vouch for the difference a superb (and I mean top of the range) wheels make. I strap on a pair of £3000 Enves with Chris King hubs for my main races (borrowed not bought I should add!) over my training wheels and the difference in feel is huge and in speed I would guesstimate 1-2kmh at IM pace (not at all insignificant)
Trying a pair of Lightweights might change your mind, no wheel I've ever tried is even close to them. Silly money for a pair of wheels though.
My next set of wheels will be Hunt, they seem to have it dialed. Decent prices, and quality with a direct to consumer model.
Approx 350 quid for some alloy wheels or 800 for carbon.
Or some UST open pros built onto bitex hubs.
They own ChainReaction who do their own wheelsets called Prime, which are pretty good. I’d go for some 28 or 38mm (if they’re the options) versions of them.
Mavic Kysrium Pros are reasonably light and very very stiff. I have been using for 2 years for commuting and general riding and they are true as. I think if you are heavier (I'm 80 kg) then stiffness is more important than weight.
Plus they have a trick yellow spoke to let the punters know you have all the gear and no idea.
In order of "actually being worth it".
Cero AR30 Evo or Hunt Aero Wide Light
Imported Chinese 40mm clinchers on the better novatech hub
Posh imported chinese 40's on 240's or 350's.
Lightly used 303's / CLX's / Reynolds Aero / random stuff.
I've had Cero AR30 for a view years and they have been great, sensible money too. The LBS fount it easy to straighten one after being knocked off my bike.
Depends on how much you want to spend, but I’d go for Chris King or Royce hubs, and then get a wheel builder to put some light, semi-aero rims on them (H plus or similar) Carbon wheels and rim brakes seem daft in the uk to me. Carbon with disc brakes ok.
I’ve got one bike with fulcrum racing 0 and another with Chris king hubs. As the rims wear, the CK pair are going to be easy to refurbish
Thanks all - I’ll check out the Ceros and Hunts.
Ksyriums are fine wheels, light and stiff thanks to high quality metals but they are built with a finite life designed into them; the freehub runs on a plain boss machined on the hub and if you don't keep it well lubricated with fresh oil it wears the boss and eventually dies and you get the Mavic Howl of Death as it oscillates madly. Secondly, Mavic destroy all stocks of spares five years after they discontinue a model so if, like me, you've got an old Mavic rear wheel that needs a new rim, bad luck. TBH it probably isn't worth fitting a new rim anyway thanks to the freehub problem but it pains me to throw away a wheel. The front will be good for many years though, maybe I can pair it with a later gen Ksyrium.
My best, summer bike has Fulcrum Racing Zero Nite wheels, which are absolutely superb. They are light and stiff and the special finish on the rims means braking is incredibly good, as long as you use the soft blue pads and keep them very clean by wiping off accumulated dust after every ride.
Going from cheap wheels to expensive wheels makes a noticeable difference to the feel of a bike especially when cornering because better quality alloys allow greater tensions and hence a stiffer wheel. We experimented with some Superstar wheels, which only cost about £195 and were super-light and super-stiff but they wore out very fast and the rims dented for fun on Lancashire's potholes. As somebody said, you can have light, strong and cheap but only two of those qualities at any time.
> As somebody said, you can have light, strong and cheap but only two of those qualities at any time.
> I've had Cero AR30 for a view years and they have been great, sensible money too. The LBS fount it easy to straighten one after being knocked off my bike.
Really good wheels....been using them for the past year and impressed!
After a few years of cheap Shimano and mid priced Mavic wheels I bit the bullet and got some Fulcum Zero Nite. Very stiff, very light, look good on the bike. Had them three years and whilst the mileage is fairly modest (I’m a runner first and foremost and I ride my XC bike in the winter) I’ve not had a single issue. Like any light, stiff wheel it’s those bursts of effort when you really feel the difference.
Campag Zondas are the most popular 'lightweight' wheelset in our club - under 1600gm for the pair, bombproof and wont break the bank. Fulcrum do an equivalent - but they are basically rebadged Campags with a slightly different spoking pattern -- they come out of the same Italian factory!
Try Ryan's wheels just btw old market and tca for a lightweight build - he's great with sound advice so will work through options for a build of rims, spokes etc and whether you can use your hubs. Really good value.
Thanks for the tip, Matt. I got some Ksyrium pros though, and they seem pretty good so far.
The nice wheels I’ve had, ksyrium sls of various years. Light, strong, super stiff, hard wearing but as mentioned you need to pop them apart and oil the free hub now and again and any new bits are expensive. They are also very, very un aero. I’ve loved them and for Critérium racing great.
Dura ace cl c24. Utterly love these, lighter than the ksyriums, much more aero (the joy of no longer seeing my friends roll off into the distance free wheeling down hills). They are not as stiff by a long stretch and I’ve heard of people sending them back due to rim issues. The ultegra version is a lot cheaper and almost the same.
I like racing up hills hence my love of the c24s despite them not being as stiff.
remember 90% of the enjoyment is in the choosing.