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I have read that some prefer hand built wheels over factory wheels. I was in Colorado Cyclist yesterday talking wheelsets with one young salesman. I bought a bike back in May and I am considering upgrades. Starting with wheels. When I bought the bike it was weighed and it came in at 19 and a quarter pounds. So, I need a wheelset that will at the very least take off a 1/2 pound over the Mavic Aksium set I have now.

Can this be achieved with Colorado Cyclists inventory of hand built wheels?

The salesman brought out a custom set from the back. DT Swiss rims with Dura Ace hubs and weight them without skewers. 1800 grams. I am shooting for 1500 to 1600 gram range. I am 50 years old, six foot even, and weigh 186 pound. And I don't intend to race.
 

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Check out the Blackset race 11 wheelsets from Bicycle Wheel Warehouse. They weigh in at 1495 grams and the price is hard to beat.

I just installed a set yesterday morning and have about 80 miles on them so far. Love um.
 

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I have 3 pair of wheels made with XTR hubs straight laced to Bontrager vantage rims coming under 1450grams for rimbrakes, front 28 spokes radial laced ,rear radial laced non-drive side 3 cross drive side 32 spokes and 2 pair of WTB Lazerdisc light hubs laced to mavic 317 disc rims 32 spokes coming under 1500 grams for disc brakes.

 

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I prefer hand built wheels over machine built because of the quality, not because I'm trying to save a few grams. I just purchased a new 26" 36 hole ALEXRIM DA16 and a new Shimano Tiagra 36 hole rear hub and had my bike shop hand build it for me with stainless steel spokes. It should be "bomb and bullet proof" for a very long time and out last most if not all other wheels I could use on my bike.

The predecessor was a 32 hole ALEXRIM DA16. It has developed half moon shaped cracks around the spokes. This happens over time as the spokes are tightened from being trued. It starts to pull the nipple head through the rim. A 36 spoke wheel will hold its true a lot better and thus will not need to be tightened/trued as often.

A 36 spoke wheel is a lot stronger than a 32 spoke wheel too. I really don't car about weight and am not a weight weenie. I had a custom seat frame built for my bike. The original was aluminum and 5 of the 8 welds broke within 8 years time. The new one is the exact geometry but is made of cro-moly 4130 steel. My front rim is also now 36 spoke.

Before any of these modifications my bike weighed 29 pounds. Now I bet it weighs about 35 pounds. I don't need a bike that weighs less than a fart.
 

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the spokes would not pull through if the rims have eyelets. cheap rims with just holes drilled in them are junk. K-mart quality.
 

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Check out the Blackset race 11 wheelsets from Bicycle Wheel Warehouse. They weigh in at 1495 grams and the price is hard to beat.
I just installed a set yesterday morning and have about 80 miles on them so far. Love um.
What Poolie said. The BWW BSR are the best bang for the $ out there considering weight versus cost. Mine, with Sapim CX-Ray spokes, weigh 1410 grams. I've had them for two years and thousands of miles and they're still perfect. If you don't judge wheels by their fancy decals, these wheels are for you.
 

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I built a few wheels and I like them better than stock wheels. I don't know if they are really any "better" but I haven't had problems from them and it makes me feel proud to ride them. The price of spokes and components from shops is usually insane, so you will likely have to use online spoke calculators and order your things online. You may have to buy more spokes than you need if they come in packs of 20, but you'll have spares for the future. I liked using the long nipples and "aero" rims.
 

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I've only ever had one set of factory wheels, the Rolf Vector Pro of some years back. The rear failed when one of the paired spokes pulled through the rim 2 months out of warranty. A hundred bucks to fix, and then about seven months later the same wheel failed when a spoke pulled through the hub. Before and since I 've been on handbuilts, most recently Mavic Open Pro with Chorus on a road bike, and Ambrosio Nemesis with Record on a fixed gear.
 

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The Back Row
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I've been doing a lot of research on Williams, Boyd, Revolution, Neuvation (spelling?). So far for service and quality Boyd seems to be winning out. I think I may pull the trigger on a set of Vitesse after some email correspondance with Boyd. http://www.boydcycling.com/vitesse-alloy-clincher/
 

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Two skinny J's
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I've been doing a lot of research on Williams, Boyd, Revolution, Neuvation (spelling?). So far for service and quality Boyd seems to be winning out. I think I may pull the trigger on a set of Vitesse after some email correspondance with Boyd. http://www.boydcycling.com/vitesse-alloy-clincher/
I ride with a guy has a set of the 50mm clinchers. He likes them well enough. He has commented they seem to flex alot climbing. They seem durable enough and he has ridden them for 2 years now that I know of with no issue including a crash when he hit my chain stay on a flat out sprint :)
 

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Two skinny J's
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Didn't you look at the November wheel sets as well?
 

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The Back Row
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That's why I am looking at the Boyd alloy clinchers, most (if not all) of my riding is rolling and/or tough hills. I rarely see flat ground, it's a nice treat when it does come around, all twenty seconds of it. haha

I've heard of November but I don't know anything about them.
 

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GiddyUp
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The Boyd's look like a nice option. Why them over the new wide rim from Neuvation which are $150 cheaper?
 

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I don't remember all of my reasoning but it came down to weight, hubs, hub noise, spoke count, reputation, and service. Service was pretty critical to me because if something goes wrong I want to be able to count on the wheel builder to be there for me after the purchase.

EDIT: Price was also considered just not as heavily.
 

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retromike3
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spoke are "good"

I've lost count on the number of wheels I have built.I have come across really good wheels built by man and machine.i remember crashing on a pair of machine built wheels , i got up spun the wheels and they were true but, i bent the frame. i kept those wheels for another 15 years and i've used them on my cyclocross bike and my fixed gear. I believe the rims were Aria with Suntour hubs.

Those wheels were built with 36 spoke wheels. Granted were probably a little over built... But I would usually like to error with more spokes. The trend I have seen lately has been to go with a very heavy rim and dropping the number of spokes. To me this seems like not such a good idea.

It seems to me that if you drop the number of spokes then the corresponding stresses on the remaining spokes are more than they can handle. I see this when i read about spokes being pulled through the rims on a none isleted rims.

Mike Frye A.K.A. Frye Bikes
 

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Anyone have experience with Williams or Flo wheels?

I really like where Flo comes from and the engineering in their wheels. Williams seem to have some nice spec'd hubs.
 
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