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  1. #1
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    Pay MSRP or haggle the price for a set of $1700 wheels? Whats the protocol?

    Obviously, if you pay full MSRP for a car or an expensive bike you are a dork.

    What is the deal with high end wheels? I have been saving up for months and finally am close enough to start thinking about the purchase of some Roval Control SL 29 wheels.

    For the record, they are coming from a Specialized/Cannondale dealer and I dont ride either of those bikes, so I have never made a big bike purchase with the shop. But I do buy little things, hang out around the shop, and ride with the owner/employees sometimes.

    Because of that, I dont want to seem like a stinker* asking for them to give me a deal, but I dont want to pay way more than I have to!

    What is the protocol?
    What is your experience?
    No need to mention shop names, but are we looking at 5% or 10% or something else?

    Thanks guys. I am excited to read the responses!
    Sheepo

    *edited to maintain PG rating
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  2. #2
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    I bought a set of Enve 26" AM's on DT 240's for not much more than that … negotiate.

  3. #3
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    MSRP is for suckers.
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  4. #4
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    I don't think MSRP is necessarily for suckers. For some people $1700 is chump change and they are often happy to pay full retail without blinking an eye. The shop they like benefits and they walk out with a cool set of wheels, I don't this qualifies them as suckers because they know full well that they could haggle a deal if they wanted to.

    For others $1700 is a ****load of cash and a lot of shops do not mind cutting a deal at all. It depends on the wholesale cost of course but I used to sometimes discount items like that up to 20% for a good customer. It sure doesn't hurt to ask IMO, and remember that for some people cash still talks!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DWill View Post
    I bought a set of Enve 26" AM's on DT 240's for not much more than that … negotiate.
    Ditto, except mine are 29er/AM/aerolite.

  6. #6
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    I don't pay MSRP but my bike shop discounts big ticket items enough to make haggling a mute point. That being said, I would haggle the price of a slurpee if 7/11 would let me.

  7. #7
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    I would ask if there is a New Years Day special. Then say you are paying with cash and I would think they would take 10% off.

  8. #8
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    Cool, thanks guys! Now I know what needs to be done.

    We will see if the shop owner will budge any.

    I would at least like the % of sales tax to be taken off the price. Hopefully he will!
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  10. #10
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    Cash talks and BS walks. I always pull out a handful of cash (less than the asking price) and ask what they can do for me. I have yet to have someone turn me down. If they can't budge on price, they work a deal on labor.

  11. #11
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    If you know what shop cost is try to offer shop cost plus what you think is fair. Alot of times what I think is fair works for the shop plus I'll bring in non $$$ goodies like beer or similar items that are good for me - in my case it's fruit like apples, pears, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, and cherries. (I grow tree fruit for a living)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by boostin View Post
    If you know what shop cost is try to offer shop cost plus what you think is fair.

    Really? Seriously?
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkley View Post
    Really? Seriously?
    Yea, probably not the best plan for weekend warriors who don't have intimate knowledge of product costs and tight-knit relationships with their LBS.

  14. #14
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    Only in America does anyone question paying MSRP. The haggle is a way of life pretty much everywhere else. We are like poor trained monkeys that are too scared of not being PC and offending the owner of the item we want. I try to haggle pretty everything unless it is from a friend and I think they are giving me a great price already. I say start at 30% and go from there.

  15. #15
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    Some product lines have "MSRP policies" which require the dealer to sell for MSRP. Fun fact of the day.

    I still plan on talking to him about getting some $ off. With every single $$$$ in hand for sure!
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    For me-- when it comes to big ticket items-- i always allow the shop to offer me their best deal.. When i buy something big i go to a few shops and tell them im getting X product-- and ask what their best price is.. When they know your going to shop around a bit-- they know what the other guy can offer it to you for-- they usually stop the BS and come right down.. Im all about the win win.. They get a sale and make some $-- i get the big ticket items at the best price i could-- good for me-- good for them..


    An example was when i got my last car.. I went into the dealership and asked to talk to the sales mgr.. I told him that i was going to buy a car today paying cash---and i was going to go to all 3 honda dealerships in the area regardless to the price he gave me--best price got the sale.. All in a friendly matter and just talking straight up... Car was $24,500-- he came right back @ $19,9.. Almost 5 k off right there.. Went to the next dealer-- $19,750 but thew in a arm rest and a few other things.. That let me know that was about as low as i was going to get-- so i took the deal.. All was happy..

  17. #17
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    I was going to say the two worst companies to get a deal on are Cannondale and Specialized. You can't just hop on Jenson and buy them. You're kinda stuck buying them from a dealer. I'm sure they'll give you a deal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Some product lines have "MSRP policies" which require the dealer to sell for MSRP. Fun fact of the day.

    I still plan on talking to him about getting some $ off. With every single $$$$ in hand for sure!
    Yes, but you got some room to haggle on labor cost.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Some product lines have "MSRP policies" which require the dealer to sell for MSRP. Fun fact of the day.

    I still plan on talking to him about getting some $ off. With every single $$$$ in hand for sure!
    I doubt it considering that is price fixing and highly illegal. The best the mfg can do is disallow them from advertising a non msrp price.

  20. #20
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    Haggling is pretty standard, but like someone else mentioned Specialized products aren't the best for this because access to them is more limited. I found myself in the same predicament as the OP at the end of the summer for the same set of wheels. I was comfortable with full retail for the following reasons:
    *I had just bought a new high end bike a few weeks prior at a large discount.
    *I have a great relationship with the shop and get unexpected discounts a lot of the time.
    *Full retail on the Rovals is less than comparable competitors.
    *They've got a program where you earn store credit discount for every dollar you spend (at full retail). I later put this towards a burley set of studded tires.
    Some may say that these aren't good enough reasons to pay full retail. $1700 is a lot of money, but in my case it had been ear marked for this so the sting wasn't as painful. And the wheels rock!

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    Last edited by ewarnerusa; 12-24-2012 at 08:35 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    I doubt it considering that is price fixing and highly illegal. The best the mfg can do is disallow them from advertising a non msrp price.
    I agree with you that it is price fixing and is or should be illegal.

    However I can tell you from direct experience with owning a dive shop that it is a fact; at least in the dive industry. Not only that but many of the manufacturers in that industry meet to share order history, credit history including shop owners personal credit history and set pricing and credit/pricing policy.

    All of which is not "legal" but yet happens. I suspect this happens because the vast majority of dive shops are sole proprietors " mom and pop" businesses and can do nothing about it.

    The dive industry even has a trade organization DEMA!, set up to help dive shops market.
    Guess who established and controls that organization?

    My guess the bike industry is much the same.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 50calray View Post
    Yes, but you got some room to haggle on labor cost.
    No need for that! I do all my own labor. I know a LOT of people in the industry, and honest to dog, I would only trust about 10% of them to touch my bikes.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodmojo View Post
    I doubt it considering that is price fixing and highly illegal. The best the mfg can do is disallow them from advertising a non msrp price.
    This is straight off a large (brink and mortar only) online distributers website:

    MSRP and MAP Policies

    Many manufacturers have unilaterally adopted Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) and Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policies to further the continued support of Independent Bicycle Dealers. These policies encourage dealers to effectively promote and invest in these brands while preserving the brand image and value.


    Enforcement
    Brands are solely responsible for monitoring and enforcement of their policies. ******* will honor brand requests to cease sales of that brands products to accounts found to be in violation.


    If that doesnt mean what I thought it did, than I am mistaken.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa View Post
    Haggling is pretty standard, but like someone else mentioned Specialized products aren't the best for this because access to them is more limited. I found myself in the same predicament as the OP at the end of the summer for the same set of wheels. I was comfortable with full retail for the following reasons:
    *I had just bought a new high end bike a few weeks prior at a large discount.
    *I have a great relationship with the shop and get unexpected discounts a lot of the time.
    *Full retail on the Rovals is less than comparable competitors.
    *They've got a program where you earn store credit discount for every dollar you spend (at full retail). I later put this towards a burley set of studded tires.
    Some may say that these aren't good enough reasons to pay full retail. $1700 is a lot of money, but in my case it had been ear marked for this so the sting wasn't as painful. And the wheels rock!

    Sent from my XT907 using Tapatalk 2
    No explosions yet I guess? The thread on these wheels make them seem like ticking timebombs for destruction. I think people are just running their tires too low and impacting their rims on trail objects.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    No explosions yet I guess? The thread on these wheels make them seem like ticking timebombs for destruction. I think people are just running their tires too low and impacting their rims on trail objects.
    Haven't seen that thread, can you link to it? LBS used their warranty as a selling point, too. And this shop has always taken good care of me in that regard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I don't think MSRP is necessarily for suckers. For some people $1700 is chump change and they are often happy to pay full retail without blinking an eye. The shop they like benefits and they walk out with a cool set of wheels, I don't this qualifies them as suckers because they know full well that they could haggle a deal if they wanted to.

    For others $1700 is a ****load of cash and a lot of shops do not mind cutting a deal at all. It depends on the wholesale cost of course but I used to sometimes discount items like that up to 20% for a good customer. It sure doesn't hurt to ask IMO, and remember that for some people cash still talks!
    ALL my bikes roll on carbon and I have never paid MSRP. Get the point.
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  27. #27
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    I'd haggle away, there's always some leeway if you aren't dealing with the manufacturer direct.

  28. #28
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    I still think the problem is the brand he wants. If he was wanting Enve rims on DT hubs he can look those up, find deals and then go back to the store with those numbers.
    When I ask how much a Rocky Mountain costs they say " X but we'll give you a deal" usually that means hundreds less without me even asking for a better price. When I ask how much the Cannondale/Specialized thing costs they just say "X". Conversation over. Specialized and Cannondale seem to be firm on their pricing.

  29. #29
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    MSRP on Easton Haven's is about $2350....I paid $1650 ORD from my local shop

    MSRP on the 2012 Santa Cruz Tallbot LT carbon was $2699...I paid $2200 OTD

    Don't pay MSRP on any big ticket items!!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa View Post
    Haven't seen that thread, can you link to it? LBS used their warranty as a selling point, too. And this shop has always taken good care of me in that regard.
    Roval Control SL 29 Wheels - Mtbr Forums

    Apparently specialized wont warranty rim impact cracks/damage. I believe this is the main issue these rims^ are breaking though not many people in the thread are admitting to it.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Roval Control SL 29 Wheels - Mtbr Forums

    Apparently specialized wont warranty rim impact cracks/damage. I believe this is the main issue these rims^ are breaking though not many people in the thread are admitting to it.
    I only made it through the first page, but it sounds like rim dings from too low of tire pressure. I was warned about being susceptible to bad rim damage. I'm 185 lbs and run around 25 fr and 28 rr.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    MSRP on Easton Haven's is about $2350....I paid $1650 ORD from my local shop

    MSRP on the 2012 Santa Cruz Tallbot LT carbon was $2699...I paid $2200 OTD

    Don't pay MSRP on any big ticket items!!
    You got your havens for $1650? Screaming deal. Any catch? Or just a LBS wanting a sale?

    2 year warranty is okay, but the Specializeds have a lifetime warranty. I think that Is the biggest selling point for me. That, the price, and the rim width.
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    Good job!

    Quote Originally Posted by hitechredneck View Post
    Only in America does anyone question paying MSRP. The haggle is a way of life pretty much everywhere else. We are like poor trained monkeys that are too scared of not being PC and offending the owner of the item we want. I try to haggle pretty everything unless it is from a friend and I think they are giving me a great price already. I say start at 30% and go from there.
    +1. In Mexico we haggle on everything and here I do the same. Believe me they are still making a profit. Most of the time the markup is insane. I agree with pulling out your wad of cash as businesses get charged a % for using cards. I even get cash price at the doctors office because I save them money and in turn they save me some too.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SB Trails View Post
    An example was when i got my last car.. I went into the dealership and asked to talk to the sales mgr.. I told him that i was going to buy a car today paying cash--
    The term "cash" means nothing to a car dealership -
    1. They get a cut if you take out a loan through them.
    2. If you take the loan or arrange your own loan then they either get a check or money deposited. It's not like the tradesman doing a job for cash and he doesn't have to declare the income.

    and i was going to go to all 3 honda dealerships in the area regardless to the price he gave me--best price got the sale.. All in a friendly matter and just talking straight up... Car was $24,500-- he came right back @ $19,9.. Almost 5 k off right there.. Went to the next dealer-- $19,750 but thew in a arm rest and a few other things.. That let me know that was about as low as i was going to get-- so i took the deal.. All was happy..
    And if you didn't know what they paid for the car they could still have made a big profit. There are many websites where you can find what cars cost dealerships. Almost all dealers will accept 3% above their cost and some will accept cost as they get "holdback" from the maker. My daughter paid 3% above cost for her Hyundai and they grabbed the deal.

    But yes, if both parties are happy then it was a good deal.
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  35. #35
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    Willing buyer, willing seller. My brother haggles all the time and is usually shot down in bicycle stores. He haggles all the time everywhere else and walks away golden.

    For big ticket items I just go online, ebay or wait for a big sale with coupon. But if you want those $$$$ wheels locally I'd ask "do you have a cash price" to which they will probably say "no" then you ask if they'll take X-amount for an out the door price. It may work. At the very least I ask if they'll ring the item up out of state to avoid paying sales tax if the business does online selling.

    I did that with a highend carbon 29er HT purchased locally. Of the last 20 bikes maybe 3 were bought locally with this cash price offer.

    I would not buy $1700 wheels when the likes of Boyd, Williams and Cheap Chinese exist for much much less. I went the route of the Cheap Chinese 30mm wide carbon rims, purchased lightweight nice hubs online along with spokes and had them built. Sub-1600 grams and less than $600 for a reliable tubeless setup without cheesey marketing logos.

  36. #36
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    Thanks for the advice.

    I would prefer not to order anything from china. I'm sure the quality is decent but I need the warranty, consistency, and 1450g weight of the rovals.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Thanks for the advice.

    I would prefer not to order anything from china. I'm sure the quality is decent but I need the warranty, consistency, and 1450g weight of the rovals.
    The rovals are awesome, your gonna love them. I own 3 sets of them. Don't mess with them knockoffs. Rovals SL's are hand built and worth every dime.
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  38. #38
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    In that price range, you could do much better than Rovals. The radial lacing on that wheelset is notorious for going slack which could lead to premature wear and/or spoke breakage. Additionally, you would be stuck with proprietary parts.
    If your gonna spend 2k on wheels, go with Enves. A 5 year warranty and lifetime crash replacement is pretty hard to beat. Special Ed's warranty is no where near that of the boys in Utah.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    In that price range, you could do much better than Rovals. The radial lacing on that wheelset is notorious for going slack which could lead to premature wear and/or spoke breakage. Additionally, you would be stuck with proprietary parts.
    If your gonna spend 2k on wheels, go with Enves. A 5 year warranty and lifetime crash replacement is pretty hard to beat. Special Ed's warranty is no where near that of the boys in Utah.
    I have actually considered them heavily.
    So much that I had trouble deciding in the past, and still do.

    The team I race for gets enve/ king stuff at cost.

    The only concerns I have are the 100g weight penalty of the enve/king wheels. In that case, I could use DT240s or 180s, but I am stuck with 36 POE.

    I guess I could shop around and find some light reliable race hubs with >50 POE. Zen, do you have any suggestions?

    Also, the XC rim is pretty narrow. 18mm internal may give me some casing flex in my tires. I typically race with high volume tires here in the rooty southeast.

    Ill do some math and see what they will cost with certain configurations.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    In that price range, you could do much better than Rovals. The radial lacing on that wheelset is notorious for going slack which could lead to premature wear and/or spoke breakage. Additionally, you would be stuck with proprietary parts.
    If your gonna spend 2k on wheels, go with Enves. A 5 year warranty and lifetime crash replacement is pretty hard to beat. Special Ed's warranty is no where near that of the boys in Utah.
    Based on your screen name, I'm guessing you know a lot more than I. But I asked about being stuck with proprietary parts with the Rovals and was told they are all rebranded DT Swiss. So no issues with that unless you go the 142+ route. And the Roval warranty is for life?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa View Post
    Based on your screen name, I'm guessing you know a lot more than I. But I asked about being stuck with proprietary parts with the Rovals and was told they are all rebranded DT Swiss. So no issues with that unless you go the 142+ route. And the Roval warranty is for life?
    I don't understand what specialized means when they say "240 hubs"
    The set of control sls I played with had 54ish point of engagement bone stock. Dt240s have 24 poe stock.

    Maybe they have dt240 STYLE internals. I.e. star ratchet etc

    Mr zen may know.
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishpitbull View Post
    Don't mess with them knockoffs.
    Knockoffs? They're carbon rims, just made by a different manufacturer. They're copies as much as any other rims are these days compared to the original.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBarnaby View Post
    Knockoffs? They're carbon rims, just made by a different manufacturer. They're copies as much as any other rims are these days compared to the original.
    Anything not made in North America is a knockoff as everything was invented / made better here

    OP - It cant hurt to haggle. Worst case is they say no and you just pay MSRP.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    Anything not made in North America is a knockoff as everything was invented / made better here
    Ah, now I understand.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa View Post
    Based on your screen name, I'm guessing you know a lot more than I. But I asked about being stuck with proprietary parts with the Rovals and was told they are all rebranded DT Swiss. So no issues with that unless you go the 142+ route. And the Roval warranty is for life?
    I don't think this is the case. As mentioned, the internals of that wheelset are nothing like the DTs.

    And I checked, they only have a 2 year warranty.
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    I don't think this is the case. As mentioned, the internals of that wheelset are nothing like the DTs.

    And I checked, they only have a 2 year warranty.

    This is directly off Specializeds site.

    Rear Hub: CNC machined alloy body, high-quality DT 240 internals with ratchet system cassette, 135/142 end cap options included
    Bearing Type: sealed cartridge
    QR: Roval Ti
    Assembly Method: hand-built
    Total Wheelset Weight: 1,450g
    Rider Weight Limit: 240lb (108kg)
    Limited Lifetime Warranty
    Rim Type: clincher, tubeless ready
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    I have actually considered them heavily.
    So much that I had trouble deciding in the past, and still do.

    The team I race for gets enve/ king stuff at cost.

    The only concerns I have are the 100g weight penalty of the enve/king wheels. In that case, I could use DT240s or 180s, but I am stuck with 36 POE.

    I guess I could shop around and find some light reliable race hubs with >50 POE. Zen, do you have any suggestions?
    Wait for the new Alchemy MTB hubs to come out. I'm sure they will have massively wide flange spacing like their road lineup, and (this is pure speculation) but I'm willing to bet POE will be high too.

    Don't go 180s though. Such a waste of money. Even the 240s are a bit overpriced for my tastes.

    Regardless though, I think the Enves are worth the added weight penalty. Carbon will yield a significantly better ride quality than alloy and the 5 year warranty is hard to argue with too.

    All in all, don't get too caught up in weight or POE. Durability is paramount to anything else.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    Wait for the new Alchemy MTB hubs to come out. I'm sure they will have massively wide flange spacing like their road lineup, and (this is pure speculation) but I'm willing to bet POE will be high too.

    Don't go 180s though. Such a waste of money. Even the 240s are a bit overpriced for my tastes.

    Regardless though, I think the Enves are worth the added weight penalty. Carbon will yield a significantly better ride quality than alloy and the 5 year warranty is hard to argue with too.

    All in all, don't get too caught up in weight or POE. Durability is paramount to anything else.
    How do you think those enves will work with a 2.35 or a 2.4 up front at 20psi?

    I race rigid, so I need some cush.

    Squirmy tires are my biggest concern with the enves.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    How do you think those enves will work with a 2.35 or a 2.4 up front at 20psi?

    I race rigid, so I need some cush.

    Squirmy tires are my biggest concern with the enves.
    I think you'd want the AM rims, especially if you corner aggressively. Only 55g more for a much wider rim.

    I know you get Kings at cost, but 36 pt 240's should be fine for racing. I opted for E*thirteen XCX+ hubs- very affordable and 60 pts of engagement.

    BTW, if you want to go 650B, my wheelset is for sale (paid ad).
    Tire Design & Development Engineer. The opinions expressed in this forum are solely my own.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    How do you think those enves will work with a 2.35 or a 2.4 up front at 20psi?

    I race rigid, so I need some cush.

    Squirmy tires are my biggest concern with the enves.
    I run a 2.5 up front on my AMs. Depending on the terrain, I will drop into the low 20s with no issues.

    Squirmy tires is a tire pressure/selection issue, not one of the rim.
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