Wheels...New bikes user lesser quality..?

Discussion in 'Components, Accessories and Clothing' started by stevenb, 27 Jan 2008.

  1. stevenb

    stevenb New Member

    South Beds.
    It seems to me that most new bikes road or MTB have cheap wheels on them.
    It's not until you start to get to bike prices of £2000 + that you start to get a truly quality lightweight set of wheels on a bike.......yet to me after the frame and fork they are the next most important and expensive parts. Most noticable on road bikes I think.

    I see MTB's suffer the same thing with suspension forks.

    I know it's easy to say 'You get what you pay for' but bearing in mind that I want to upgrade my wheels from the cheap WH-R500's I have already.....I have to spend approx £200 to get a half decent pair....for that price I'd go for the Ultegra wheels as they are light and strong.

    I wonder how much it costs to make a £2500 bike.......what kind of profit is made on it. I do appreciate there are shipping/tax/stores/manufacturers that share the profits...but it makes you wonder when you see the sale prices sometimes and just how much they go for with hundreds of pounds off the original price .

    Not a moan or anything...just curious.;)
  2. Bugger all profit on bikes in general, between 25% and 35% before overheads are taken into account. When I managed a shop we stocked one or two super bikes, not because we sold many of them but because it raised the profile of the shop. A £4K bike dressing the window draws people in. Inevitably we would sell it at cost before it got so out of date it became unsellable.

    Most bikes under a grand come with factory/machine built wheels. Its just the way it is.
  3. Tynan

    Tynan Veteran

    he might have been talking about the manufacturer's profit?
  4. OP

    stevenb New Member

    South Beds.
    I suppose they fit wheels that they are happy feeling that they are adequate enough.
    I suppose I did mean manufacturers profit.
    How does a shop like Evans sell bikes sometimes £1000 off the asking price? Are they making any profit on it?
  5. P.H

    P.H Über Member

    I don't get your point.
    Why would anyone have a budget bike with top rate wheels?
    It's not like the R500s are rubbish, they're appropriate for that quality of bike.
    There's two types of discount, one from the shop and the other from the manufacturer/supplier. To be a dealer you probably have to agree to take a certain number of bike over the year, the larger the number the better the price. If at the end of the year you haven't sold them, you still have to have them, therefore you'll sell them for the best price you can get.
    The other discount is the manufacturers, if they have extra stock they need to shift they'll offer it to the dealers at a discounted price.
    Shopping around you can spot which is which, if the price drops with all dealers, it'll be a manufacturers discount.
  6. OP

    stevenb New Member

    South Beds.
    My post relates to expensive bikes. I can appreciate budget bikes have budget wheels.
    I find that even the £2k bikes use wheels costing £200-250.

    Its just something I've noticed and is not a critisism. :idea:
  7. fisha

    fisha Über Member

    A £250 wheelset is going to be a decent wheelset, and I think at 10% of the cost of a bike, thats a reasonable apportion of the cost to apply to wheels.

    Its just the way the marketing is ... people track towards the bling and logo'ed components like the gearset. Dura-Ace over Ultegra etc etc ... must be better and so for a more expensive bike, people expect the more expensive componentry that you someone can brag to.

    " £2500 bike and you only got 105 gears ? " would be the question asked.

    Personally, I think whats more important about a wheelset is how well the wheel is made. I'd rather have a £250 wheelset hand made by someone who knows what they are doing than a £400 wheelset made by a random who doesn't
  8. stevenb has a point, in the bike reviews they have in C+ you regularly see WHR500's on bikes for ca. £1000, yet Ribble are selling these wheels at £49.99

    These bikes have 105 groupset as a minimum, possibly Ultegra, yet they come with a Tiagra-level under-£50 wheelset
    - I don't think they're appropriate for this level of bike

    Some others at the £1000-1200 price point are spec'd with WHR550's, some Aksiums, some Fulcrum 7's, but none have £250 wheels.

    Felt F75 (£1000) has 105 groupset - and WHR500 wheels
    2006 Focus Cayo (£1000) had Ultegra groupset - and WHR550 (105) wheels
    2007 & 2008 Cayo (£1000) has Ultegra groupset - and Aksium wheels
    PBK Team Issue (£1275) has full DA groupset - and Aksium wheels

    Basically I guess it's a way for the manufacturers to cut the costs down and we're not all that savvy as buyers, we just look at the groupset and think it's 'a 105 bike' or 'it's got Ultegra', etc.
    So long as the wheels are low spoke count and radial front, we'll buy them.

    I guess the way to do it is to buy a Ribble or PBK or Flandria or something and spec precisely what build you want, including wheels of comparable quality to the frame and groupset.

    Or buy and off-the-peg bike with lower quality wheels, keep them as winter/training wheels and buy some bling wheels as 'best'
  9. jashburnham

    jashburnham New Member

    It's all about upgradeability I reckon. It's very easy to upgrade a wheelset, basically anyone can do it at home. When I bought my Wilier I wasn't bothered that the wheels weren't that great, I was bothered that the frame was good and the components were Centaur. I knew I'd change the wheels in time and I'd much rather do that than mess about upgrading the gruppo piece by piece. Also wheels are the most effective and probably cost efficient upgrade after tyres, so it makes sense to me...
  10. OP

    stevenb New Member

    South Beds.
    My Felt had a quite a good spec I though for the money. A blend of 105/Ultegra parts and even a pair of Dura Ace cups for the BB. Other bikes as Andy has said had slightly better wheels.
    For me though the frame and fork were 1st priority for my budget with a plan to upgrade the wheels in the future. Now that I am going to do so it's seeing these prices for wheels thats roused this in my mind.

    I'm happy upgrading them :girl:
    It's the best upgrade after frame/fork.
    I hope to save over a 1lb in weight with the new wheelset/tyres/tubes/cassette package. :girl:
  11. redjedi

    redjedi Über Member

    Everybody has their own preference to parts. The manufacturers probably don't bother putting expensive wheels on their high end frames, as each person will have a different idea to what wheels they want.

    Much easier to put decent wheels on, that do a job, and let the user up-grade when they see fit (or when they purchase the bike)
  12. OP

    stevenb New Member

    South Beds.
    I think Scott bikes have good quality spec wheels.
    Their Addict R4 and CR1 Pro bikes have good spec wheels. The CR1 more so on a bike costing under £1750.
    Maybe other manufacturers could therefore follow suit?
  13. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    it's like pedals (some bikes don't even come with them, such is the variety of pedal systems to choose from), at the mid-high range, you will want a certain wheelset for whatever reason (vanity among them), so it's not worth the manufacturers putting a pricy eg mavic wheelset on if it's going to put someone off because they want campag wheels.

    they put cheap wheels on to make the bike complete, fully expecting that they will be upgraded to the end users' own specifications. trying to guess what will be popular isn't worth their while. after all, would you rather buy a £500 bike with cheap wheels, knowing that the wheelset is going to cost another £150, or a £600 bike with wheels that are good, but that you'd replace anyway. £650 for the bike you want, or £750? not hard to see the logic now is it?
  14. yenrod

    yenrod Guest

    When i got my 1st off the peg bike it had 28spoke wheels on - id only ever ridden 32 spoke at the least.

    Though I had rode a friends wheels project hed put together himself which where 24spoke on a 32 spoke wheel and they where VERY 'spongy'.

    Wheels with 24 spokes etc..are only made for going up mountains and the likes.

    For thrashing round on, training 32 MINIMUM...36 even for heavier riders...

    Its horses for courses...

    Its ok if youve money to throw away...

    But to be sensible try 32's or 36'ers...

    ...and if you race; a fancy pair of wheels for the GREAT days but not everyday!

    I wouldn't think it unusual to ask a shop if I was to spend a good few bob ie over 5ton for a normal pair of handbuilt wheels...

    Likes been said - last longer, better value. :rolleyes:

    There will come a time when factory wheels will be not too popular, as oringinal equip. as they cant hack it for EVERY'BODY around esp. if your over 12stone orso...
  15. Steve Austin

    Steve Austin The Marmalade Kid

    The reason bought bikes come with cheap wheels is because they are cheap. Its a cost cutting measure. Why sell a bike with good wheels?
    Good wheels cost more money, so the bike cost will be higher.

    A £500 quid Giant or spesh will be a good bike, but the wheels will be rubbish. But if the manufacturers were to spec better wheels the price of the bike would be higher, and they would sell less bikes. This happens across all price ranges.
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