Wheels upgrade

carling

Active Member
Looking for some advice to upgrade my wheels, currently got the wheels(supra ra comp) that came with the bike and think its time to give them an upgrade, budget would be around £300 maybe a little more
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
For that money you can get a nice set of hand builds to your own specs rather then off the peg generic wheelsets.
DC Hunt is my wheel builder of choice.
 

StuAff

Silencing his legs regularly
Location
Portsmouth
And +1 another one for Zondas. Fulcrum 3s are virtually identical (only differences branding and rear spoke pattern).
 

Freds Dad

Veteran
Location
Gawsworth.
Firstly I'll admit that I'm a novice when it comes to wheels so please accept my ignorance.

Apart from weight what are the advantages of upgrading wheels and why are hand built wheels better?
 
Firstly I'll admit that I'm a novice when it comes to wheels so please accept my ignorance.

Apart from weight what are the advantages of upgrading wheels and why are hand built wheels better?
There are several advantages, provided you get your wheels built by a competent wheel builder. You can get a reliable set of wheels that can be rebuilt when components wear out.

One definitive advantage is that with a hand built wheel all components are picked off the shelves so if you damage the wheel or you wear the rim out for example then replacement components are readily available, something that is not always possible with factory wheels, and when it is possible to source the parts then most of the time it's quite expensive. You can see this for yourself on ebay, expensive wheels being sold for spares because it cost too much to fix. Somebody I know bought a Shimano 7900 rear wheel that had a damaged rim, probably not worth repearing or impossible to find a new rim ( I dont know) so I can rebuild his rear wheel. With a hand built wheel you'd replace the rim at a very reasonable cost and you'd be back on the road in no time.
 
Location
Loch side.
Firstly I'll admit that I'm a novice when it comes to wheels so please accept my ignorance.

Apart from weight what are the advantages of upgrading wheels and why are hand built wheels better?
There usually aren't any advantages to be had. Even the best wheels don't make you faster (by more than a few seconds over large distances at high, solo speed). It is a question of pimping. What is the first thing an 18-year old does when he gets a nice little second-hand car for his birthday? Have it serviced? No, he fits 18 inch mag wheels and an ugly steering cover. The same goes for bikes.
 

Onyer

Senior Member
Firstly I'll admit that I'm a novice when it comes to wheels so please accept my ignorance.

Apart from weight what are the advantages of upgrading wheels and why are hand built wheels better?
A reduction in weight will help your riding, especially up hills. But whether this is a reality or a placebo effect I can't say. I know that they help me! Another advantage of hand built wheels to those reasons mentioned above is that they are not so harsh - so good for longer rides where comfort is paramount. I looked at Mavic Ksyrium Elite S, but decided on hand builts from DC Hunt, based in Lewes. The rims were a little wider giving a smoother ride. A little bit more expensive than the Mavics but worth it as the components can be replaced when they wear out. Also same weight as the Mavics
 

Soltydog

Legendary Member
Location
near Hornsea
There usually aren't any advantages to be had. Even the best wheels don't make you faster (by more than a few seconds over large distances at high, solo speed). It is a question of pimping. What is the first thing an 18-year old does when he gets a nice little second-hand car for his birthday? Have it serviced? No, he fits 18 inch mag wheels and an ugly steering cover. The same goes for bikes.
It's not just a question of pimping. Most new bikes are built to a certain price point & often wheels are the weakest point of a bike. Probably not much of an issue for smaller/lighter riders, but 'larger' riders like myself will have a much more reliable ride with 'upgraded' wheels. 2 of my bikes have handbuilt wheels & are still true & never had a broken spoke, unlike the factory wheels that came on the bikes. The difference between good off the shelf wheels & handbuilts might be minimal though??
 
Location
Loch side.
It's not just a question of pimping. Most new bikes are built to a certain price point & often wheels are the weakest point of a bike. Probably not much of an issue for smaller/lighter riders, but 'larger' riders like myself will have a much more reliable ride with 'upgraded' wheels. 2 of my bikes have handbuilt wheels & are still true & never had a broken spoke, unlike the factory wheels that came on the bikes. The difference between good off the shelf wheels & handbuilts might be minimal though??
Agreed, but most people don't replace broken wheels, they replace good wheels. I used to be in the wheel building business until recently and I've made good money from replacing wheels where there's nothing wrong with the originals. I even used to play a little game and tell people with money burning in their pockets to rather invest it in a pension fund. I still got the sale without fail. They would always post-rationalize the purchase.
There's something else that's powerful on the psyche as well and that is the phrase "hand built". It does the same for guys and wheels as Jimmy Choo does for girls and shoes.
More often than not there is nothing physically wrong with the wheels that came with the budget bike, yet they will get replaced. Usually, those customers also don't need a few extra seconds on their TT timing sheets - they're weekend warriors messing about. And quite often the wheels simply outshine the bike after the transplant.
 
Location
Loch side.
A reduction in weight will help your riding, especially up hills. But whether this is a reality or a placebo effect I can't say. I know that they help me! Another advantage of hand built wheels to those reasons mentioned above is that they are not so harsh - so good for longer rides where comfort is paramount. I looked at Mavic Ksyrium Elite S, but decided on hand builts from DC Hunt, based in Lewes. The rims were a little wider giving a smoother ride. A little bit more expensive than the Mavics but worth it as the components can be replaced when they wear out. Also same weight as the Mavics
Weight is weight and reducing weight does make climbing easier, but not cruising. However, a wheel is light and cutting significant weight from there is a very, very expensive exercise. Most cyclists will admit that they are perhaps 1 or two kgs overweight but want to save 100g on the wheels.
 
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