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#17378 - 12/02/05 04:20 PM Wheel upgrade
pitfall Offline
old hand

Registered: 11/01/00
Posts: 1165
Loc: Albany
Okay, another guy looking to guild a turd, as ML so eloquently put it.
I am using an entry level MTB for commuting and even with slicks, it's slow as hell (as am I but that's another story). From reading through other posts the consensus seems to be that wheels are the best upgrade. Does anyone have any recommendations on what wheelsets are the best deals and more importantly, what to avoid? I'm not looking to spend too much, maybe 2 bills. After all, Christmas is coming and splurging on myself just can't happen.
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#17379 - 12/02/05 05:08 PM Re: Wheel upgrade [Re: pitfall]
CrackBoy Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 2435
Loc: Republic of Davis
christmas is the best tie to splurge on oneself. 'oh i must have left that in the cart by mistake'.

i upgraded my wheels and i tmade a huge difference so iwould go for that. i found my wheels on craigslist for way cheap, though some peole don't agree with that, just make sure to get them trued etc. if you go that way
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#17380 - 12/02/05 06:05 PM Re: Wheel upgrade [Re: pitfall]
stimpy Offline
Site Supporter

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 243
Try this link:

Cambria Bikes, Sick Deals

There are a bunch of wheelsets with Shimano hubs and Mavic rims for around 100 bucks (around pg. 11). Non-disc mtn. bike wheels are pretty cheap these days. I bought a nice wheelset with WTB hubs/rims from them earlier this year. There's also a bunch of wheels (pairs) on e-bay in that price range.

Of course If you're feeling sluggish, check the bottom bracket and other bearings. I felt very slow in a race once, and found out later my BB was almost ceased up. Duh!
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#17381 - 12/02/05 06:08 PM Re: Wheel upgrade [Re: pitfall]
edk Offline
addict

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 441
Loc: allentown, NJ
If it's an MTB with 27" wheels then any upgrade will leave you sort of flat (HA!). The wheels on MTBs are just to small to get good road speeds. 700cc or 29" wheels really let you fly.

My racing MTB has tubeless Cross Country "light" wheels and when I use it to go to work I average something like 16-17MPH. Contrast this with even my road bike I average 20-24MPH very often have good TT days where I cover the 17 miles in just around 36 minutes. there is a lot more to the difference than ust the wheels, but they make a good portion of that)

So I say if you want a wheel upgrade check if the frame can accomodate a larger wheel (probably 29", but 700cc is easier to find) and even a craptastic set at that size will be faster than a light set of 27" with light slicks.

Oh and if you haven't inflated the tire to the max PSI rated by the tire do that. Rolling resitance really does make a dif.


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#17382 - 12/02/05 11:25 PM Re: Wheel upgrade [Re: edk]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
"upgrading" your wheels wont necessarily make you any faster if all you do is put "nicer" more expensive 26" wheels on your bike...what you need to do is reduce your rolling resistance and the weight at the outside of your wheel.....

the simplest thing you can do is put on some light and skinny 26" tires and keep the tire pressure up high...

dont forget to ditch stupid things like thorn-proof tubes or tuffy strips if you have those in there....remember though if you go with too skimpy a tire you might flat out more than you like....

you cant just throw bigger wheels on your mountain bike...if you put 700c wheels on then your brakes wont work....a 26" mtn bike wheel has a rim diameter of 559 where a 700c wheel has a diameter of 622....thats in mm so thats 63 mm diff in diameter which will leave your brake calipers 3cm below the rim......

if you really want to be a faster commuter then buy a bike with road-bike size (700c) wheels, or a mtn bike with 29" wheels....for the record 700c and 29" are the same diameter....those names are just marketing terms, though 29er specific rims may be beefier than road specific rims....and the tires that come branded 29 will often come in much larger and knobbier forms than those branded 700...

as for buying off craigslist or anything other than a bike shop.....if you dont know what you're looking at then you should either bring someone with you who does or go to a bike shop....lots of people get ripped off on craigslist and ebay with bikes especially.....

the other most common problem people have that prevents them from faster commuting is low gearing....on a crappy entry level mtn bike you're likely to have a pretty low gear as your top gear (biggest chainring plus smallest cog)......

the taller the gear the faster you move.....if you find yourself spinning out a lot when you are going as fast as you can then you are geared too low for maximum speed.......

if you like your bike and want to keep it then put on light skinny tires and either a smaller smallest cog in the back and/or a larger largest ring in the front.......if you cant do this yourself it might cost you about as much as buying an entry level or used road bike.....

27" for the record is a different size wheel/tire altogether....most often found on older road bikes (70s/80s bike boom bikes).....and has an iso diameter of 630

in your particular case if it were me i'd buy a used road bike and fix it up nice...for $200 you can get some pretty sweet deals especially this time of year.......

in the case of a new wheelset for your mountain bike if you decide to go that route.....the only way to make something really light that will noticeably make you 'faster' is to get some high end stuff that will cost you a lot more than $200.....since your entry level mtn bike might actually have some pretty crappy wheels on it (cheap hubs and single wall rims) i would look for a lower end set of sealed cartridge bearing hubs or decent loose ball/cone (shimano deore would be the best option probably for you) and a decent double wall aluminum rim (mavic are always nice, but sun and weinmann make good stuff too)...at least then they'll stay true longer and spin much smoother.....make sure they are laced up with stainless spokes, preferably wheelsmith or dt swiss....and put some nice shoes on them.....something good for the road...high pressure, pretty slick.....panaracer, continental and schwalbe all have some really nice street tires........good luck doing that for $200 though you can find deals especially this time of year...

and one more thing.....wheels are often the 'best' upgrade, but only for a frame thats worth upgrading....and for a 'problem' that they will actually solve......

and as with climbing at the end of the day the gear doesnt matter nearly as much as the person using it.....so if you find you are too slow.....just pedal harder.....

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#17383 - 12/03/05 02:34 AM Re: Wheel upgrade [Re: pitfall]
Mike Rawdon Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/29/99
Posts: 4275
Loc: Poughkeepsie
I always laugh at folks who try to go fast on a mountain bike. Everything is wrong - rider position, tires, rim diameter, frame weight, crankarm length.

Gild the turd if you must*, but going efficiently over the pavement is what a road bike is for. A racer or even a high quality tourer with fat kevlar-belted commuting tires and (gasp!) fenders will still go faster than an upgraded MTB.

* consider a lower, narrower handlebar too

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#17384 - 12/03/05 02:37 AM Re: Wheel upgrade [Re: pitfall]
Julie Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 01/16/00
Posts: 2090
Loc: SoCal
What schwortz said ....

Possibly way TMI, http://www.qbike.com/category/wheels-m.html

Decent options:
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/profile.cfm?SKU=19424&subcategory_ID=5312
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?sku=14608&PID=1204522

Some will swear by hand-built wheels only. I've had nothing but good experiences with last year's clearout version of machine-built.

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#17385 - 12/03/05 04:22 AM Re: Wheel upgrade [Re: Julie]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
handbuilt wheels are the way to go.....if they are built by someone who builds good wheels....

bad quality components aside (some spokes and even nipples are really crappy) the key to a good wheel is good spoke tension....

if you buy machine built or bulk-fab "handbuilt" wheels make sure someone who knows what they are doing puts them in a stand to properly tension and true them before you ride.....you'll be much better off in the long run....

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#17386 - 12/03/05 02:26 PM Re: Wheel upgrade [Re: schwortz]
edk Offline
addict

Registered: 05/06/02
Posts: 441
Loc: allentown, NJ
Quote:


you cant just throw bigger wheels on your mountain bike...if you put 700c wheels on then your brakes wont work....a 26" mtn bike wheel has a rim diameter of 559 where a 700c wheel has a diameter of 622....thats in mm so thats 63 mm diff in diameter which will leave your brake calipers 3cm below the rim......





Sure you can, so many MTB frames have clearance for larger wheels, brakes are not an issue now, buy some cheap discs and it's good to go.

new wheel set = lots of possibilities - think outside the box, I've got two frames with larger wheels now that originally came with an MTB wheelset.

700cc and 29 the same size? sure they are for all that it matters, but 29 wheels are usually wider and easier to shop for in the context of an MTB.


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#17387 - 12/03/05 05:21 PM Re: Wheel upgrade [Re: edk]
schwortz Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/10/03
Posts: 308
Quote:

Quote:


you cant just throw bigger wheels on your mountain bike...if you put 700c wheels on then your brakes wont work....a 26" mtn bike wheel has a rim diameter of 559 where a 700c wheel has a diameter of 622....thats in mm so thats 63 mm diff in diameter which will leave your brake calipers 3cm below the rim......





Sure you can, so many MTB frames have clearance for larger wheels, brakes are not an issue now, buy some cheap discs and it's good to go.

new wheel set = lots of possibilities - think outside the box, I've got two frames with larger wheels now that originally came with an MTB wheelset.

700cc and 29 the same size? sure they are for all that it matters, but 29 wheels are usually wider and easier to shop for in the context of an MTB.






fine, you're right....you seem to want to be anyway....

i said "you cant just throw bigger wheels on" which is true....and then explained why you cant though i didnt go into how you might since he wants to make a sub $200 upgrade to an entry level mountain bike.....so you want him to put a set of 29er disc wheels on his cheap commuter mtn bike.....show me a set of decent 29er wheels, with disc hubs, plus new tires tubes and rim tape, plus discs for 200 bucks.....

i thought i explained the 700/29 issue fairly well if briefly.....they are the same diameter, but 29er rims (either labelled as such or purpose built for mtn biking) are often larger in width and "stronger" (maybe thicker, maybe heavier, maybe SLOWER maybe not...)...

the point was _IF_ he puts 29er specific wheels on a generic mtn bike frame they might not fit as easily as 700c "road" wheels since the width of both rim and tire might be an issue for clearance on the chain stays and seat stays...but mostly on the chain stays....so actually 29er wheels arent necessarily "easier to shop for in the context of a MTB" other than rear hub spacing being an issue between a mountain frame and road wheel.....but hub spacers or even new axles for that matter are cheap as shit.....

additionally you cant just throw those big wheels on and say dude its cool just go disc since his low end mtn bike might not have disc mounts on either the fork or rear dropouts or both...hey, maybe they do but still show me a setup to do that for under 200 bucks......

how many more posts worth of arguing should we do?

peace

steve (who thinks that "out of the box" shouldnt be used to camouflage bad advice)

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