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  1. #1
    V-Shaped Rut
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    What 700c commuter wheelset for $800?

    I know I'm going to get folks saying WTF, why spend money on a wheelset that will get beat up, ridden in the rain, etc. so understand a few points:

    #1: Employer gives $800/yr for sports equipment. Free money.
    #2: I ride my commuter more than my MTB these days by 2:1 or 3:1

    With that out of the way. I'm riding in to work on a cross bike, 16-20 miles round trip. Road + bike path however shoulders are often gravel, branches, etc. I also ride gravel/light trail occasionally.

    Current wheelset is some vuelta XRP disc that weighs 2000g if the internet is to be trusted. So fairly heavy but they work.

    I weigh 175, but might have 10-15 lbs of gear on the rear rack. Must be disc.

    Everything else is up in the air. Seriously considering tubeless given the debris in winter around here and the gravel/trail riding. Stan's Grail, though heavy is still lighter than my current. I'm a little worried about 45 psi max on 32c tires though? Sounds low, but maybe I'm just used to tubed PSI numbers similar to how it is with an MTB.

    Not sure about other tubeless options since I've been primarily a MTBer and don't follow roadie/CX tech. Anything else to look at?

    I'm sure also that I'll have some folks tell me tubeless is stupid and I should look at some tubed options which I'm open to. I don't flat THAT often, but no one likes changing tubes in the rain.

    Probably a ton more options in the tubed, disc specific realm right? Short list?

    Any help is appreciated, and I know everyone loves to play the 'shopping with other people's money' game anyway.

  2. #2
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    Do not use Stan's wheels if you're carrying panniers or extra weight. They're race wheels and they blow up doing that. I built wheels for a living and saw many a set of Stan's wheels destroyed by over inflation. On top of that, the thin material fatigues quickly and cracks around the eyelets.

    The H+Son Archetype or the Velocity A23 (Velocity is made in US) are great rims.

    As for hubs, Paul Comp., White Ind. or Phil Wood, make excellent hubs in the US.

    IMO, tubeless for commuting is pointless. There's still the need to carry a tube and pump, if the bead unseats or a large puncture. (I've never-not gone on a group ride with tubeless riders who don't need to borrow a tube when their system fails.) Besides that, the benefits of tubless, low psi, allows for more punctures and slows the ride considerably. Most punctures are from under-inflated tires picking up debris instead of deflecting it away.

    My personal set-up: (I use rim brakes) Velocity Synergy, though they may have stopped production of the 700c, laced to White Industries hubs; my winter wheels are Dura Ace hubs laced to NOS Mavic Reflex rims.

    Durability and reliability are inverse to weight and performance. In other words, a commuting is a happy medium.

    Good luck, wish I got $800/yr for new toys.

  3. #3
    since 4/10/2009
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    Does your $800 have to go towards one item, or can you split it up? That'd be my inclination.

    I had a pretty reliable wheelset built for my commuter for just over $400. I used Velocity Dyad rims with the reflective finish option, along with Shimano M529 hubs. Nothing super terribly fancy, but for a commuter, I'm more interested in dead reliability, and while my wheelset is fairly portly, it's something I just don't have to worry about. Period.

    All my mtb's are tubeless, but I still run tubes on my commuter. I am sketched out by upper pressure limits of using tubeless. It's rare that I'm running pressure lower than 45psi for my commute. If I take my commuter out on a gravel ride, or I'm riding chewed up ice on the greenway trails, I'll go under that (even with tubes), but for clear pavement riding, I'm usually around 60psi on 700x38's.

  4. #4
    V-Shaped Rut
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Does your $800 have to go towards one item, or can you split it up? That'd be my inclination.

    I had a pretty reliable wheelset built for my commuter for just over $400. I used Velocity Dyad rims with the reflective finish option, along with Shimano M529 hubs. Nothing super terribly fancy, but for a commuter, I'm more interested in dead reliability, and while my wheelset is fairly portly, it's something I just don't have to worry about. Period.

    All my mtb's are tubeless, but I still run tubes on my commuter. I am sketched out by upper pressure limits of using tubeless. It's rare that I'm running pressure lower than 45psi for my commute. If I take my commuter out on a gravel ride, or I'm riding chewed up ice on the greenway trails, I'll go under that (even with tubes), but for clear pavement riding, I'm usually around 60psi on 700x38's.
    Absolutely it can be split, and 2 wheelsets is an option if I can find two that fit the bill.

    With the examples above are you guys speccing the rims/hubs/spokes yourself and getting them built or buying off the shelf wheelsets?

  5. #5
    since 4/10/2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_slacker View Post
    Absolutely it can be split, and 2 wheelsets is an option if I can find two that fit the bill.

    With the examples above are you guys speccing the rims/hubs/spokes yourself and getting them built or buying off the shelf wheelsets?
    The one I referenced was spec'd completely with my local shop, and built by QBP's wheels dept. Full retail pricing on all the parts. The reflective finish cost a little more on the rims.

    At this point, I've owned a few machine-built wheelsets, some proprietary and some not, as well as a few custom-spec'd hand-built ones. The hand-built wheelsets have been superior from a reliability and ease of service standpoint. Though in fact, the hand-built wheelsets have needed far less service WRT truing than the machine-built ones. Some of the proprietary part machine-built wheelsets have been a right nightmare to work on.

  6. #6
    jrm
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    A23 s ro SL 25s laced 32H x 3 are a good rim to start with. I have my A23s laced to DT 350 hubs on the gravel-cx thing bike. I use tubes b/c there more reliable to me than tubeless AND they allow me change psi to/from 10o to 40 psi.

  7. #7
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    It sounds like price isn't an issue, but depending on what you're looking for velomine has ridiculously inexpensive wheelsets:
    29er Wheelsets Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike

    I wanted something bombproof for commuting and fake-cyclocrossing, and got a set for $100. Their stuff is so cheap that I almost want to buy a 650b wheelset just 'cuz (even though I really have zero interest in 650b)

  8. #8
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    Do you have hydraulic discs? If not, that would be a good thing to get with plenty left over for new wheels.

  9. #9
    Talentless Hack
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    I'll vote for tubeless.

    My bikes are currently a mix of tubeless and tubed, and all the flats this year and last were on tubes, and one with a tubular.

    Some tubeless punctures that self-sealed, one of which required adding some more air, but no flats.

    I was formerly a hand-built wheel devotee, but the recent Shimano factory wheel I have used have made me convert. I have over 20,000km on my old 6700 wheels, including lots of winter commuting and CX, and I've never replaced a spoke or even trued them.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  10. #10
    Human Test Subject
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    White industries hubs to Velocity Ailerons. Both polished for blinginess. Tubeless compatible, but I run tubes in my ailerons.

    Schwalbe's coming out with some tubeless Marathons. Their tires hook up great to Velocity rims in my limited experience.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  11. #11
    V-Shaped Rut
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    Because these threads usually don't have a resolution to them I figure I'd post what I went with. I decided to go with the 2 wheelset option. Both sets are saving me about a pound of rotating mass which is always appreciated.

    For the commuter I hit wiggle and found a 'regular' (aka tubed) disc specific set of no name brands called Kinesis CX disc V3. But with lots of reviews from folks in the UK beating on them and being mostly pleased, their weather is similar to PacNW.



    And for the MTB some dt swiss spline xm1500.


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