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Are 1200 gram wheels possible?

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Are 1200 gram wheels possible?

Old 06-07-19, 09:33 AM
  #1  
TimothyH
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Are 1200 gram wheels possible?

The front can be standard road quick release or 15 mm bolt on. I don't care.

Rear should be fixed/fixed 15 mm bolt track hubs. I have a Dia Compe Gran Compe short flange fixed/fixed track hub which could be used as a donor if absolutely necessary but would prefer not to cannibalize the existing wheelset.

Carbon or black anodized aluminum preferred. I know the anodized brake track will wear off. I'm OK with that. The bike has rim brakes and uses standard 25 mm road tires.

If 1200 grams isn't a reality then what is? 1300 grams? I've been through the configuration tools at countless wheelbuilder websites and everything comes up 1500 grams or more.

Current wheels are 1600+ grams and I'd like to shed some weight. Not going to spend money on custom wheels to save 100 grams but would spend the cash if 1200 grams were possible. I'm trying to find the weight vs cost sweet spot or determine if there is anything I could do realistically, or just stay with what I have.


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Last edited by TimothyH; 06-07-19 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 06-07-19, 09:46 AM
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you can get Chinese carbon tubs are 1300g for not a lot of money. Seems like a potentially scary proposition.

I think some light-ish track hubs like Record Pista, All City SL, or Paul could drop some weight vs. the standard Novatec hubs.

I think you could spring for even lighter rims, too. But you are loosing functionality at some point depending on rider weight and use.

I don't think it's possible with clincher given the relative heavyness of track hubs. Using a superlight road front hub will help drop ~100g
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Old 06-07-19, 10:00 AM
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I've seen roadie wheelsets that come in well below that mark. When I was considering a lightweight wheel build a while back I was looking at Kinlin XR200 rims -- I think they weigh in around 380g. Seems to be a bit harder to find them now though.
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Old 06-07-19, 10:57 AM
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Old 06-07-19, 11:50 AM
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Lol
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Old 06-07-19, 11:58 AM
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I personally know a guy who claims he can tell the difference between the weight of different brake rotors, and that he doesn't run tubeless because of the "weight of the sealant."

Pertinent to the topic, even getting below 1,300g is pretty much gonna require tubulars. And a wicked low spoke count. Zipp 202 road tubs are under 1,200 if memory serves.
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Old 06-07-19, 12:00 PM
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"Feel the difference" are other people's words, not mine.

I never said anything about being able to feel the difference.


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Old 06-07-19, 12:09 PM
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You don't have to defend yourself, or justify the wheels. That's the beauty of wants. I want plenty of things I don't actively need. If you want 1,200g wheels, go for it. Light hubs, low spoke counts, low/mid-profile carbon tubs and you're there. It's gonna cost.
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Old 06-07-19, 12:30 PM
  #9  
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Actually, I'd say that any serious rider who can't feel it is either oblivious or numb

Because reasons I have been rotating 2 wheelsets that are about 300g difference between a couple of bikes for the past month...and it is very obvious. If one has the resources to buy or build a light wheelset that will hold up to their riding - ignore the envious haters and more power to you.

In answer to Tim's question:

Using alu/alloy clinchers, even with low spoke counts on track hubs - No! I have been playing around with this same idea for months myself - like I already said, I feel the difference in my wheels so I want another light set, just with a wider interior than I have - and the best I could do (theoretically by adding claimed weights) on my latest plan using new, not unobtanium, not inexpensive bits is 1365g.

I guess you might get where you want to go with shallow crabon toobies, but since I haven't actually shopped/researched those - it is just a...guess
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Old 06-07-19, 01:08 PM
  #10  
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@IAmSam, Do you have a parts list?

Boyd 28 carbon clinchers are 390g x2
Gran Compe SF hubs are 176 and 224 grams
Sapim Laser butted spokes
Brass nipples rear/alloy front

This comes out to 1410 grams claimed but will be well over $1000. Alloy wheels would drop the price and probably lower the weight.

Then I see something like the 1460 gram Wabi Sub 15's for three hundred or whatever they are charging now and just can't justify the price of custom. Wabi's are only 13.2 mm internal width though, but still.


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Old 06-07-19, 01:43 PM
  #11  
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Stan's Alpha 340's are reputed to be 385 grams per.
DT240 hubs...
Bladed Ti spokes.
Does Ti spokes play well with aluminum nipples?

Ditch the Velox & use tubeless rim tape to save a few grams.

Ultralight latex tubes & cotton clinchers like Vittoria Open Corsa.

No valve stem cap or nut.
Helium instead of regular air?
Pull the stickers.

I'm just spit-ballin here.
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Old 06-08-19, 07:20 AM
  #12  
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Well TimothyH, and especially base2 since you mentioned Stan's A340s which is/was my intended rim...

In case anyone cares - Stan's ZTR Alpha 340 rims (which originally were promoted as 340g then revised & strengthened up to the published 385g you mentioned) and 400's were discontinued months ago. Now Stan's is offering only their leftover 18 and 20 hole versions at pretty good discounted prices, but it looks like everybody else in the world that has any left in any spoke hole variation raised their prices on them almost to the point of gouging.

But moving forward - my latest 20/24 build plan:
Stan's A340 20h rim for the front - 385g
Stan's A400 24h rim for the rear - 425g
Basic low flange Mack bolt-on front track hub - 127g
1-sided low flange Mack rear track hub 197g (or 213g for fix/fix)
44 Sapim Laser spokes ~ 200g
44 Sapim Polyax Alu nipples ~ 15g (I don't mind alu nips and have actually had a good experience with them on my existing light wheels)
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1365g @ $465 parts cost without considering spoke prep, rim tape, or any (outside) building costs

At one point I was after, and even now wouldn't mind, SILVER 20/24h Gran Compe SF hubs, but the last time I shopped for them they were not easy to find & the few places I found them were in Europe for about $150/set without shipping. So I figure what the hell, especially since it is all theoretical ATM - might as well spring for the Macks at not all that much more; and I'd rather spend an extra hundy on hubs over an extra grand on rims


And as an aside...
Many here may already have seen that I do not care for the dearly departed Scrodzilla one bit, and ordinarily I would not mention Retrogression other than to say that just about everything they sell can be bought for lower elsewhere if you search - but it seems like you can tolerate all black wheels, so I do think
https://www.retro-gression.com/colle...pe-sf-wheelset
is a helluva deal for $325 at a claimed 1550g.

If the guy would make them in silver for me - I would take them in a heartbeat, but...he won't...
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Old 06-08-19, 07:35 AM
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You could save a good few grams just by using a road hub on front instead of a track hub. American Classic used to make the Micro 58, which weighed in at a claimed 58 grams, and I don't think that was even the lightest hub out there. As for the rear, Raketa claims 205g for theirs: Premium Track Hubs ? Russianraketa
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Old 06-08-19, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by IAmSam View Post
1365g @ $465 parts cost without considering spoke prep, rim tape, or any (outside) building costs

And as an aside...
Many here may already have seen that I do not care for the dearly departed Scrodzilla one bit, and ordinarily I would not mention Retrogression other than to say that just about everything they sell can be bought for lower elsewhere if you search - but it seems like you can tolerate all black wheels, so I do think
https://www.retro-gression.com/colle...pe-sf-wheelset
is a helluva deal for $325 at a claimed 1550g.
Thanks. 1365g for $465 is impressive.

I share some of your views about that site's owner but wish him well and hope he becomes a more peaceful person.

That said, I actually own those exact wheels. They are 1610 grams actual weight - no slouch but not featherweight either. I keep asking myself if I can do better for a bike like the Rodriguez.


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Old 06-10-19, 02:00 AM
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I've been mulling over a similar idea, Tim. Except my weight expectation is not as ambitious, and I'm setting a pretty low budget.

To answer your question, I think 1200 grams is possible, but only at high cost and not very strong. The way materials technology progresses, I'm sure that will change by 10 or 20 years from now. I bet we will consider 1000 gram wheelsets to be an everyday, mid-budget option.

I have a generic front road hub that's probably less than 200 grams, including skewer. I thought I'll get a Gran Compe SF rear because they're light, cheap, and good looking. Also, because matching (they look almost like my front one).

I've looked around at lots of rims. Pacenti Brevet seems to check all my boxes. They're not aero, but they're about 360 grams, about $60, they look super nice, and TUBELESS. I'll have 28 spokes on the front and 32 rear. The set should come in at no more than 1700 grams and cost less than $300, built by my own bad self.

I believe I can save a little weight by going tubeless. Tubeless version of any tire is a bit heavier than the tube version. You save weight by leaving out the tube, but that's partly negated when you add sealant. On the whole, a tubeless setup is probably very similar in weight to standard clinchers with 100 gram race tubes. But here's the caveat: I ride heavy-ish puncture-resistant tires (Gatorskins currently) and I also use heavy duty tubes--heavy being the key word here, because I pick up lots of thorns where I often ride. Compared to a puncture resistant tubed setup, I think I can shave at least 100 grams off the complete wheelset--probably more than that. Better ride quality will be an added bonus, but that's a completely separate topic.

This is what I plan to build later this summer. I think these wheels will be an ideal balance of low price, low weight, high strength and durability, and good looks... plus punctures will fix themselves! I'll probably post the finished products once they're done.
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Old 06-10-19, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
@IAmSam, Do you have a parts list?

Boyd 28 carbon clinchers are 390g x2
Gran Compe SF hubs are 176 and 224 grams <<< All City New Sheriff rear, swap stock bolts for Ti, cheap weight weenie roadie front hub w/ ti skewer---would save well over 100g
Sapim Laser butted spokes
Brass nipples rear/alloy front <<< psh, alloy rear nips as well if we're really gonna do this

This comes out to 1410 grams claimed but will be well over $1000. Alloy wheels would drop the price and probably lower the weight.

Then I see something like the 1460 gram Wabi Sub 15's for three hundred or whatever they are charging now and just can't justify the price of custom. Wabi's are only 13.2 mm internal width though, but still.


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Old 06-10-19, 08:45 AM
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To me, skewers are not a place to go all-out weight weenie.

Closed cam Ultegra steel - a few grams is worth the piece of mind.

I have a Dura Ace 9000 skewer from a smashed wheel in my parts box anyway.

For those interested in light weight skewer options for the front wheel... High End Skewer Review - Fairwheel Bikes Blog

Yeah, but dropping the wheelset from 1600 grams to 1200 grams is almost a pound. It would get the bike below 15 lb and should make 14x16 gearing a little easier on the hills.


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Old 06-10-19, 08:57 AM
  #18  
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Originally Posted by seau grateau View Post
As for the rear, Raketa claims 205g for theirs: Premium Track Hubs ? Russianraketa
I did not need to see this website.

Oh man...


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Old 06-10-19, 10:19 AM
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As far as I can tell, it’s only obtainable by spending an obscene amount of money and choosing to have a wheelset that likely won’t be as strong and stable as you’d like, over the long term. The difference between 1500 and 1200 grams is 0.66 pounds. seems like a more reasonable choice would be 14-1500 gram wheelset and some lighter weight tires and tubes. Or a slight change in gear ratio, if you’re attacking a lot of hills. If it’s more about getting the total bike weight down, it might be more advantageous to look at other areas of weight reduction.

im not hating on the idea at all, but it just seems that a lot of compromises would have to be made in order to reach that weight.

but what do I know, I run large flange track hubs, 36 spokes in a 4x pattern. But I have butted spokes! I actually dont have a clue what my wheels weigh, but if I had to guess, probably between 17-1800 grams.

Last edited by seamuis; 06-10-19 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 06-10-19, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by 50voltphantom View Post
Brass nipples rear/alloy front <<< psh, alloy rear nips as well if we're really gonna do this
+1. Since the rear wheel will be symmetrical (or close to it), tensions should be reasonable, and aluminum nipples should be feasible all around.

@TimothyH, are tubulars "out" for sure? Easy weight loss there if you're willing to use them.

In addition, I know you tend to run front and rear brakes, but if you're willing to forego the rear brake, that rim could be even lighter.

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Old 06-10-19, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by seamuis View Post
As far as I can tell, it’s only obtainable by spending an obscene amount of money and choosing to have a wheelset that likely won’t be as strong and stable as you’d like, over the long term. The difference between 1500 and 1200 grams is 0.66 pounds. seems like a more reasonable choice would be 14-1500 gram wheelset and some lighter weight tires and tubes. Or a slight change in gear ratio, if you’re attacking a lot of hills. If it’s more about getting the total bike weight down, it might be more advantageous to look at other areas of weight reduction.

im not hating on the idea at all, but it just seems that a lot of compromises would have to be made in order to reach that weight.

but what do I know, I run large flange track hubs, 36 spokes in a 4x pattern. But I have butted spokes! I actually dont have a clue what my wheels weigh, but if I had to guess, probably between 17-1800 grams.

To be fair, it is a pretty high end bike and is already on the light side.

https://www.pedalroom.com/bike/2018-...z-custom-37179

A high-end wheelset wouldn't be out of place on this bike.

Tires are already 205 gram Vittoria Rubino G+ Speed and tubes are 52 gram Continental Supersonic. That's 20% lighter than Corsa with latex which the bike is pictured with at the link above.

But I really appreciate the responses here. It is helping me think it through. I'm still not in a rush to replace what's on the bike. Nothing jumps out and says, "Buy me!"


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Old 06-10-19, 12:14 PM
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Well you already have a bike that is right at the UCI minimum weight limit as is, and outfitted with nothing but high end lightweight componentry. Your rig is probably lighter than all but the most high performance aero track/hour bikes. So I suppose lighter wheels is your last stop, short of going all out on a lighter weight frame.

problem is, you’ve reached the point that that ‘extra’ lightness is going to cost you. So you can either compromise and go with a bit heavier wheelset, or start saving your pennies. You’ll really just have to ask, is it really worth it, because you have a pretty decent idea already what it’s going to cost, and what kind of wheels you’ll be getting. If i had your bike, what I would be asking myself: ‘is it worth the cost to obtain this goal, and how much will it really help my performance, or am I just doing this to make the bike lighter on paper?’ And as a subsequent question: ‘could I make up the difference in weight by working on my performance and fitness?’

if it’s all about the hills, I would argue that working on your performance would likely see better returns. If it just about weight in general, well how many pennies are you really willing to spend? If it’s about speed, then more aero wheels, wether heavier than 1200 or not, is your best bet.

of course you likely already know all this. I think sub 1500 should be your goal, but I get the feeling of never quite being satisfied. Tough choice mate.
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Old 06-10-19, 03:07 PM
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I just weighed my fixed gear front wheel (Campagnolo Record pista hub, 36 spokes, Super Champion "Arc en Ciel" rim and Hutchinson "Tempo 2" tire) at 1130g. The rear wheel (same component specs as front, but with a 17T track cog and lockring) was 1280g.

BITD, both the Arc en Ciel rim and the Tempo 2 tires were considered to be sturdy "training weight" components, not lightweight race day components.
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Old 06-10-19, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I just weighed my fixed gear front wheel (Campagnolo Record pista hub, 36 spokes, Super Champion "Arc en Ciel" rim and Hutchinson "Tempo 2" tire) at 1130g. The rear wheel (same component specs as front, but with a 17T track cog and lockring) was 1280g.

BITD, both the Arc en Ciel rim and the Tempo 2 tires were considered to be sturdy "training weight" components, not lightweight race day components.
3x or 4x?
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Old 06-10-19, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnDThompson View Post
I just weighed my fixed gear front wheel (Campagnolo Record pista hub, 36 spokes, Super Champion "Arc en Ciel" rim and Hutchinson "Tempo 2" tire) at 1130g. The rear wheel (same component specs as front, but with a 17T track cog and lockring) was 1280g.

BITD, both the Arc en Ciel rim and the Tempo 2 tires were considered to be sturdy "training weight" components, not lightweight race day components.
I rode roughly those wheels (only road) when I raced. Trained and club raced the Arc en Ciels with 300 gm cotton tubulars. Race wheels were Fiamme Ergals with 250 gm or 220 gm silks.

And yes, rim and tire weight made a huge difference for me. I was a racer with a small engine. The many accelerations of a hard race took their toll on me. Really light rims and tires for that 40th acceleration might mean making contact with that wheel going up the road instead getting to 10' back and not being able to close. Maybe a difference of 10 minutes and 40 places.

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