Q&A - Wheels are too sluggish
Q: I built a road bike earlier in the year around an On-One titanium frame and a Pete Matthews Roubaix wheelset to do light, fast touring with a saddle pack. I’m absolutely delighted with it and happily rode many miles during the summer and autumn.
I’m doing the Raid Pyrenean in June and in recent riding I have increased my normal’touring’pace and found that the bike is not as responsive as I would like.
When I start to stand up to climb or accelerate it feels like someone has attached a bungy rope to the saddle and is pulling me back. From what I understand this may be because the wheels, which were built for touring, have 36 spokes and could be too heavy. Does this sound right?
Please can you recommend some strong, lightweight wheels for road riding and climbing for a guy who weighs 100kg and would happily spend between £500 to £600 for a pair?
Andrew Sainsbury, email
A: Blimey! £500 to £600 will buy you a lot of wheelage. The wheels you have now are truly fantastic. I have a set myself; they’re bullet-proof, but a little on the weighty side.
Personally, I’d start with quality hubs, add in some high standard spokes, and then lace them up to a good strong rim for your weight. So maybe Tune 190 hubs, DT Aerolite spokes with brass nipples (for the spoke tension) and Mavic CXP33 rims laced up 28 radial front, 32 three cross rear, or the new double eyeleted RR1.1 DT rims laced up 32 spoke three cross all round – they’re only 30g heavier than the CXP33s for a huge increase in strength. That should fit the bill perfectly.
Poshbikes (01622 762055) along with top wheel builder Harry Rowland (01843 597443) can sort that lot out for you for the sum of £599.
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