Handbuilt vs factory wheels for racing

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richiegwy
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Handbuilt vs factory wheels for racing

Postby richiegwy » Sat Jan 18, 2014 20:47 pm

I'm looking at buying some new sets of wheels for a new race bike build and wondering what are the advantages/disadvantages to buying hand built wheels from the likes of wheel smith vs shimano 9000 C35 or C50. There is quite a price difference between both, which would you recommend?

They need to be 11sp dura ace compatible.

I'm 70kg building a scott foil with dura ace and debating between 38 or 50mm deep for road racing. I am also looking at a light pair such as the race 24 or equivalent.

I know there are plenty of wheel threads but I have narrowed it down to these.

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ugo.santalucia
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Re: Handbuilt vs factory wheels for racing

Postby ugo.santalucia » Sun Jan 19, 2014 16:40 pm

Have a look in the classified section... there is always someone selling near new carbon wheels... once the "look good" effect wears out, they realise they're a PITA to live with and sell them... lots of bargains to be had

Among those you mention, I would say replacing a rim if you crash on the Wheelsmith offering is going to be cheaper, probably less than half the price over the DA C50.
For circuit racing in cat. 3-4 I recommend something like the Shimano R 500... just keep the bearings clean of muck and run them on thin grease... :wink:

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Buckles
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Re: Handbuilt vs factory wheels for racing

Postby Buckles » Sun Jan 19, 2014 18:42 pm

In two separate road races, a very good rider in my club snapped a spoke in his Shimano C24 wheels . He was unable to continue due to the rim moving over so far it got stuck on one of the brake blocks. That's the problem with having so few (20?) spokes and a medium depth rim.

The deeper ones you have mentioned will be stiffer so might not move over as much if a spoke snaps, and I'm sure plenty of people race these wheels without any problems, but witnessing one of the above incidents first hand has put me off low spoke factory wheels forever.
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thecycleclinic
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Re: Handbuilt vs factory wheels for racing

Postby thecycleclinic » Sun Jan 19, 2014 23:25 pm

Buckles you rider high spoke count wheels built with touring rims though I don't think you are in the market for low spoke count factory anyway.

Low spoke count helps aerodynamics, and for racing a deeper rim enhance that effect. I would go with handbuilts. Gigantex clinchers are now available through a U.K distributor so there are more options than wheelsmiths offerings (although they are probably quite good). Also for racing gigantex tubular 50mm deep rims have long been available through a U.K distributor and for racing tubs rule as if you puncture your race is over no matter what type of tyre you have. I will be racing on tubs this year, 50mm gigantex tubular rims.

R500's are cheaper though.
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Buckles
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Re: Handbuilt vs factory wheels for racing

Postby Buckles » Mon Jan 20, 2014 08:59 am

thecycleclinic wrote:Buckles you rider high spoke count wheels built with touring rims though I don't think you are in the market for low spoke count factory anyway.

Wrong, I built those wheels for fun, haven't even used them due to long term injury. I raced on Shimano R500 and was looking to replace them with either Shimano RS80 C24 24mm Carbon Laminate Clinchers or Shimano Ultegra 6800 Clinchers. Decided against it after seeing the aforementioned incident. So actually I was 'in the market' for such wheels at one point and could still be persuaded by a set of 24/20 j-bend spoke wheels on rims stiff enough to keep spinning if one of those spokes snapped...
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