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Now in 993 land ...
 
aigel's Avatar
 
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Place to buy wheels online (bicycle)?

My touring bike (Salsa Marrakesh) that I use for my commute is pulling spokes out of the rear rim. This is a deja vu from my previous hybrid bike, which partly was the reason I was getting rid of it - not holding up to the rigors of daily commuting. I sure thought a purpose built touring bike would have wheels on it that would hold up to my 190 lbs and 20 lbs of luggage. WTF would happen if I went on an actual tour to Marrakesh with 100 lbs of payload!?

Anyway, I need to fix the rear wheel. The rim is a WTB SX-19 36h. It has decent Shimano Deore hubs. I know if I go to the LBS, they will charge an arm and a leg to build a new wheel with existing hub, I don't think it may be cost effective.

So, long story short, is there an online wheel shop where I can buy something suitable to drop in? It would be great if it was a "touring" wheel set, with a high spoke count, a rugged rim and even better, if it had the option to buy a matching front with a dyno hub, as I do expect to tour this bike some day ...

G
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Last edited by aigel; 07-28-2018 at 03:33 PM..
Old 07-28-2018, 03:29 PM
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I seem to remember these guys having a good reputation but when I stopped tinkering with bikes, e commerce was in its infancy (Amazon only sold actual books).

https://www.coloradocyclist.com/custom-hand-built-road-bike-wheels

A google search turns up a bunch.


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Old 07-28-2018, 03:43 PM
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Are you tensioning the spokes too high? Did they pull out on the gear side?
I don't have to tell you tighter spokes do not make a stiffer wheel.
Some wheels may have more meat at the spoke holes but I don't know what make/model to recommend. You could try Merlincycles.com, I get stuff from them off and on - free shipping probably for wheels. They also have a USA site. I use BikeHubStore for hubs, spokes and nipples/etc. If you get a different wheel you may need different length spokes. The new wheel(s) should include the ERD - then you can order the correct length spokes.
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Old 07-28-2018, 03:43 PM
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190 lb rider + 20 lb load is not a lot. That's what my commute bike carries.

It has Mavic Open Pro rims, 32H front and rear, on lightweight double butted spokes and Mavic hubs. I built the wheels myself, they lasted for about six years of daily all-weather commuting in the city, stayed true with no broken spokes, until the brake tracks finally wore out. I had a local shop rebuild the wheels with a front dynohub - wanted to support them with business - with new Mavic Open Pro rims and new spokes and I'd expect to get another six or more years from them. The Open Pro is a fairly light aluminum shallow section training rim (about 440 grams/rim) that might have been a racing rim back when it was introduced, its not even a heavy-duty or touring rim.

So I don't think you need any special rugged high spoke count rims. Just carefully hand-built wheels with quality components.

A bike shop should charge around $80 to build a wheel, plus parts cost which should be around $90 for a high quality aluminum rim and around $2.50 per high quality double-butted spoke. Plus some trivial amount for brass nipples and rim strip. They can re-use your rear hub and lace in a front dyne hub (get SP or Son).

There are online custom wheel building places but the ones I have run across seem quite expensive. Example: https://novemberbicycles.com/collections/hed-road-wheels If you lived in the Middle of Nowhere, fine, but in the Bay Area (right?) there are lots of good shops. I could ask on some bicycle forums for a rec, if you want.

I distrust pre-built mail order wheels because who knows if they are simply machine built and whether they got any hand finishing or come to you with spokes too loose or (in your case) too tight. And they will probably cost you no less than having an experienced local guy build your wheels by hand - unless they're real cheapies, in which case they are no-name Chinese components slapped together by a machine.

For choice of rim, I'd get an alloy rim, shallow-medium profile (not a deep "aero" profile), 32 or 36 H, ideally inside width at least 17-18mm (allows using wider tires), less than 450 grams. I like rims with eyelets but they hardly make those any more. Brand/model? I use vintage rims or new Mavic Open Pros, and will build my next set on the new Mavic Open Pro UST, but others would point you to H-Son, DT Swiss or HED.

Lastly, the above assumes you make some effort to "ride light". If you regularly thump stiff-legged off 4" curbs and bash through deep potholes, then don't waste money on handbuilt light performant wheels, just buy a series of cheapies.

P.S. If you were touring in Marrakesh, you could do it on the sort of wheel discussed above, just carry some extra spokes and a spoke wrench, and know how to true a wheel.
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Last edited by jyl; 07-28-2018 at 04:36 PM..
Old 07-28-2018, 04:28 PM
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About ten years ago I was in Northern Germany for a few years working. Lots of rain, a few miles of cobbles and a few sections of semi smooth gravel were part of my normal loop, road bike. I destroyed a set of Bontrager Race X Lites in a matter of a few months. I bought a set of Mavic Kisyriums (can’t spell) off EBay, new, can’t remember the exact model, for about 400 bucks. I could not destroy these wheels. Put them on a cyclocross bike after that and used them til the brakes wore through the rims. Never re-trued them either. I am 200 lbs. Will try to find a model number. The rims are machined out between the spokes.
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Old 07-29-2018, 01:38 AM
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wiggle.com
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Old 07-29-2018, 07:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crb07 View Post
About ten years ago I was in Northern Germany for a few years working. Lots of rain, a few miles of cobbles and a few sections of semi smooth gravel were part of my normal loop, road bike. I destroyed a set of Bontrager Race X Lites in a matter of a few months. I bought a set of Mavic Kisyriums (canít spell) off EBay, new, canít remember the exact model, for about 400 bucks. I could not destroy these wheels. Put them on a cyclocross bike after that and used them til the brakes wore through the rims. Never re-trued them either. I am 200 lbs. Will try to find a model number. The rims are machined out between the spokes.
Those would be Ksyrium SSC wheels. I have two sets. I am usually pretty rough on wheels and run over everything in the city pretty hard. They stay true and are pretty stiff off the saddle. Eventually, wheels break just from fatigue and the eyelids pop. I fine breaking spoke are really the first sign of wheels going south.

George,

Like John said, get a set of hand build wheels for your touring bike. This way you know the tension on all the spokes are all within specs unlike a machine built wheel. I too like Mavic's Open Pro wheels but I would look for 36 spokes three cross or 4 cross for more durability. I had a pair of 4 cross training wheels a looooog time ago. I couldn't break them if I tried. I think they were Ambrosio, just under 500 grams per rim.
Old 07-29-2018, 09:26 PM
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wiggle.com
+1 on wiggle

Iíve also had good experiences with jensonusa.com and price point.com
Old 07-29-2018, 09:42 PM
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Where in LA do you live? There are a few GREAT Shops that can do the job right. Wheel building is an art and l would want a PRO to do it not the cheapest player.
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:48 PM
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I've had good luck with Wheelbuilder.com - Handcrafted Precision Custom Bicycle Race Wheels
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Old 07-30-2018, 11:17 AM
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Those are pretty good people and build a strong wheel and are local to me (30 min).
Old 07-30-2018, 08:32 PM
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I bought a new giant carbon fiber back in th e90's. it did the same thing, started pulling spokes.
my wheel collection back then:
tri spokes
heliums
ksyriums
dura ace
few random wheels
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:55 AM
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or... you could get a "cheap" built wheel and re-true and tension the spokes. Get a spoke tension tool and buy or make a truing stand. My first truing stand I made with some wood from OSH. I check the dish by flipping the wheel.
Read about de-stressing the wheel as the spokes are brought up to near the final tension. I think the talk about wheel building being an art is bs. If the wheel is true, the spokes within the specified tension range and close to equal and the wheel/spokes have been destressed you are done and you will have a wheel that will stay true. You can always ride for a few hundred miles and then check the spoke tension and runout.
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:14 AM
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Now in 993 land ...
 
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Thanks for all the great input. I looked low and high online including you guy's links but couldn't find a website listing for my exact wheel need. There would always be something missing, such as everything matches, but then it has a schrader valve instead of a presta etc. - of course one could start calling people, but then I may as well just give the LBS my business. The good thing there is that they are responsible if it shows up and doesn't fit.

I went to the LBS today and the options were to buy a hand built wheel from a place in NV that has an upgraded hub and is built for touring or have them build me a wheel. The NV built wheel was 225 and the in house would have been $95 for the rim, $1.50 a spoke and 120 bucks in labor. So I just went ahead and ordrered the NV wheel.

This bike stuff can get pricey, but ti is a lot cheaper and healthier than commuting by car, that's for sure. I hope this hand built wheel will be an upgrade and last. My old wheel has about 4k miles on it with me and who knows how many with the PO - at least 2000, I guess.

Thanks again - I will post back once the new wheel is here!

G
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Old 08-05-2018, 08:07 PM
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I bought parts from Sheldon Brown years ago when I was cycling.
Don't know if he still builds wheels.
.
Harris Cyclery Bicycle Wheels and Wheel Parts
.
Wheelbuilding
.
Edit: Oops...I see that you're complete. Disregard.
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Last edited by Don Ro; 08-05-2018 at 08:20 PM..
Old 08-05-2018, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Ro View Post
I bought parts from Sheldon Brown years ago when I was cycling.
Don't know if he still builds wheels.
.
Harris Cyclery Bicycle Wheels and Wheel Parts
.
Wheelbuilding
.
Edit: Oops...I see that you're complete. Disregard.
Sheldon Brown died ten years ago.
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:42 PM
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Didn't know. Time flies.
As I said, 'years ago'.
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Old 08-06-2018, 06:02 PM
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Wow, I used to charge $25 to build a wheel. I had built hundreds or more before pre-built wheels took over. I just built up 4 motorcycle wheels when I heard they charge $150. It shouldn't cost more than $50 to get a good wheel built on a bike. It takes 45 minutes to figure out spoke size, prep spoke with blue lock tight, lace and true wheel.

if they are charging $120 to build a bicycle wheel, they don't really know how to build wheels. It sure doesn't take 2 hours.
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Old 08-06-2018, 07:21 PM
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Now in 993 land ...
 
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An update here ... The wheel I ordered came in and the clowns built a disk wheel using a rim brake hoop. Not only would that be the only polished piece of metal on the bike, it also is just plain silly. So, that went back.

Next suggestion was Velocity https://www.velocityusa.com/ which are hand built wheels from Michigan. Only sets were available, so I got a front wheel too with a dyno hub as well. Put the rear on yesterday and am very happy with it on this morning's commute. It has the most quiet free hub I have had to date. I think it is an SRAM XD free wheel. Not sure who makes the hub.

Now the adventure starts on how to employ the dynamo hub! Right now I think a charge controller for USB and using my existing usb front light. Dyno lights are $$$ ...

Happy biking!

G

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Old 09-12-2018, 09:37 AM
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When I see dynamo hub somehow dynamo hum comes to mind....
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Old 09-12-2018, 08:13 PM
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