Recommendations for Upgrading Wheelset- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Recommendations for Upgrading Wheelset

    So I am looking to upgrade the wheel set on my Nashbar Steel CX bike. (130mm rear spacing) After about a year of use and abuse the stock Alex DC19 have paid their dues.

    I weigh about 160-170 and plan to do a couple CX races next season, but mostly ride road and singletrack. I would not like to switch out wheels and I am looking for one that can do it all. The local trails here are pretty rooty and I am not always the best picker of lines, so I need something that can handle a little abuse.

    I talked with a local Trek shop and they recommended the Bontrager Classics, seen here:
    Bontrager: Classics (Model #06331)

    I have also read good things about the Velocity A23 rim and have been looking at something like these, laced to a Shimano 105 hub.

    32H rear: Tree Fort Bikes - Online Bicycle Parts and Accessories, Bicycle Tools and Maintenance

    36H rear:Handspun 700c Rear Wheel - 105 Hub Laced to Black Velocity A23 - 36H in Tree Fort Bikes Wheels (cat113)

    32H Front: Handspun 700c Front Wheel - 105 Hub Laced to Black Velocity A23 - 32H in Tree Fort Bikes Wheels (cat113)


    Another option I was considering was picking up a used set of Mavic Ksyriums from Craigslist or Ebay, but I am concerned about off road durability and spoke replacement.

    The shop mentioned the biggest upgrade would be to go to a sealed bearing hub and I think obviously weight. (Weight is not as much of a concern as is durability and serviceability)

    I guess I am looking for opinions/suggestions on where my head is at... I am also open to any other options you can throw out there. I am looking to limit my budget to $500, obviously cheaper is better for me.

    TIA for any responses!
    "I have one speed. I have one gear: Go." -- Charlie Sheen

  2. #2
    I dd what you see there.
    Reputation: XLNC's Avatar
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    I have no specific experience with Velocity wheels, but according to many posts I've read on this forum, they appear to be pretty popular and dependable. Probably your best choice especially because through the links you listed they will fit easily under your budget.

    The problem with the used wheels is ensuring they aren't MORE used than the ones you're replacing.
    2002 Cannondale Jekyll 800
    2011 Trek Cronus CX Ultimate

  3. #3
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    Don't get a factory built wheelset unless you get a crazy deal on them.

    I have no experience with Velocity but reviews seem good.

    I'd get whatever Shimano hubs you can afford/DT spokes/Mavic rims. They'll work forever and if anything does go wrong any decent bike shop can fix them.

  4. #4
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    FWIW, I race a dozen or so times a year on Velocity Escapes/Shimano 105 hubs and they have been wonderful. If I was going to get one set of wheels in the clincher variety, I would go the A23/105 route. Like said above, they should last forever and any decent bike shop can fix 'em.

    For that price, I don't think you can do wrong.

  5. #5
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    I think Velocity/105 is a solid build.

    I usually order the parts online and let my LBS actually build them. They charge $40/wheel for the work and $1/spoke (regular doublebutted with brass nipples). At this moment, for a budget CX/road build, i'd go for:

    Mavic CXP 23 Rim $37.18 USD x 2
    Mavic CXP 23 Rim | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

    Shimano 105 Hub Front 5700 $32.70 USD
    Shimano 105 Hub Front 5700 | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

    Shimano 105 Hub Rear 10sp 5700 $47.59 USD
    Shimano 105 Hub Rear 10sp 5700 | Buy Online | ChainReactionCycles.com

    (Free shipping... all available in black 32h)

    Total: $300 + tax (at $1 x64 DB spokes/brass nipples incl. $80 labour)

    Weight: Probably heavier than you wanted... You can always get Ultegra hubs and/or lighter gauge spokes/alloy nipples on the front wheel and rear non drive-side.


    PS. You could save more by getting spokes/nipples online too, using the DT calculator...

  6. #6
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    I don't see sealed bearing per se as an upgrade over a good loose ball hub. That would mean Shimano and, I think, some Campagnolo and a few other boutique brands. Over a crappy loose ball hub... is a good hub better than a crappy hub? There are some pretty crappy sealed bearing hubs out there too.

    I have Velocity Aerohead rims on one bike. They took me a little while to get true and settle down, but they've been great since then. I think the A23/105 build sounds like a really good choice.

    If your stock hubs are in good shape, you can also build new wheels around them. But it's nice to have a 'B' wheelset. Even if you're not racing for long enough for it to matter, it may save the next weekend's race.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
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    If your looking to go tubeless, look at the Ultegra tubeless wheelset. I picked up a pair for this past season and loved them. Weight is good, tubless setup was easy or just use a tube if wanted/needed. Not sure the MSPR as I get a discount at my LBS but for me well worth the money.
    I weight 175 and raced on them, no issues with burping and stayed as true as the day I took them out of the box.

  8. #8
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    What tires have you tired with the Ultegra wheelset?

  9. #9
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    Tubeless, go stan's 355 rims. They are blowing out the white rims right now. You should be able to get a local wheel builder to build up a set in your budget or get the stock stan's hubs in $500 range. I'm liking mine.

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