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Rebuilding cheap OEM wheels with Light Bicycle rims

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Rebuilding cheap OEM wheels with Light Bicycle rims

Old 09-26-23, 04:31 PM
  #1  
ppg677
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Rebuilding cheap OEM wheels with Light Bicycle rims

I bought a Canyon Endurance CF bike that came with some cheap OEM stock alloy wheels: Fulcrum 900 DB. They are 28h hubs both front and rear. Kind of heavy at 1950 grams. Apparently the hubs are a sub-brand of Campagnolo. I do like the 30/32mm clincher tires on them.

I've been waffling on whether to upgrade to nicer wheels. I'm not racing. Been riding about 80-100 miles/week the past couple months. Solo rides are 15-16mph. Group rides are 18mph with occasional sprints. I don't think upgraded wheels will make much of a difference...it would make my bike look a bit cooler, would drop a pound from the total weight, might feel a bit faster on acceleration, and perhaps might make me ever so slightly faster when sprinting to keep pace with my faster group.

I had the chance to buy some lightly used Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51 wheels for $900. Waffling because I'm just not sure it is worth $900 the expense for my riding.

But I had another idea-- I have wheelbuilding experience (having built about 10 sets over the years that have all been bombproof).

Seems I could buy a couple carbon rims from Light Bicycle and get them shipped to me for $375 or so. And then just rebuild using the same hubs from the OEM wheelset. Would obviously need to buy spokes too. I was thinking AR46 for the front and AR56 for the rear. I would have to get both front and back custom drilled to 28 holes each. I know that 28 holes on the front is overkill, which perhaps costs me a bit in weight and aero. 28h for the rear might be good for my weight of 205 lbs (down from 220+ lbs in June!). Would do 2x lacing.

Rationale:
* Total cost to get me on carbon rims would be roughly $475 (assuming nice spokes like Sapim CX-Ray)
* Always the pride factor in building your own wheels.
* 28h front and back isn't that bad and would make a strong/robust wheelset at a small weight penalty
* The Fulcrum hubs are probably good enough
* The resale value of the OEM wheels seems lousy. Maybe $150 if I'm lucky.
* I don't think I need a backup set of wheels. I have backup bikes for rough-weather-riding. Plus I would have to buy new rotors/discs/tires.

Alternatives:
* Do nothing and just ride.
* Nab those Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51s if still available at $900
* Same Light Bicycle rims, but buy some hubs (I do like Shimano cone/cup) and try to sell off the stock OEM wheels to pay for hubs.
* Find something else. I don't like loud freehubs which eliminates offerings from Hunt and Zipp.

Any thoughts/comments?

Last edited by ppg677; 09-26-23 at 05:45 PM.
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Old 09-26-23, 09:38 PM
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I think the Bontragers will be quite loud.

Shimano 105 wheelset can be had for about $1k new, if not less when on sale. Should be quiet, as Shimano hubs are.

I went from 1900g Vision Team 30s to Light Bicycle R45 on DT Swiss 240 hubs. Saved just over 1lb from the bike, and the bike accelerates so much better, going from dead feeling to comfortably lively off the line. FWIW, I’m about 195 lbs, so even being a bit bigger doesn’t dull the wheels down.

In my opinion, as long as the frame is half decent, wheels matter more for typical riders on typical rides, meaning having to stop at intersections and then starting back up.
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Old 09-26-23, 09:54 PM
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I’d say build your own but new everything. Then you can get the hubs and spoke count you want.

I’d lean towards shallower rims. Maybe 36 mm. While there is some aero advantage to deeper, they may ride a bit stiffer and they will be more susceptible to crosswinds.

Also, put Continental GP 5000 tires on there. They are about the fastest tires you can get.
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Old 09-27-23, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
I think the Bontragers will be quite loud.

.......to Light Bicycle R45 on DT Swiss 240 hubs. ......
Exact combo that I have, and about 1500 miles in, they are great. The DT Swiss 240 hubs are quite loud, which I like.

But I kept my old set of American Classice wheels, 'cause ya never know when you need an extra wheel/bike....better quit there...
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Old 09-27-23, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bblair
Exact combo that I have, and about 1500 miles in, they are great. The DT Swiss 240 hubs are quite loud, which I like.

But I kept my old set of American Classice wheels, 'cause ya never know when you need an extra wheel/bike....better quit there...
I kept my Visions in my parts closet until I realized I had most of a cockpit and bits of a drivetrain in there, too. Picked up a frame, crank, and some flat bar shifters and wuddya know, another bike!
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Old 09-27-23, 09:45 AM
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AR46 is too narrow a front rim by modern standards. With an outer width of only 28mm, you're stuck with using a 25mm tire for optimal aero and to reduce crosswind effect. The Bontrager is better in that respect. A 28mm tire is also going to be a lot more comfortable, and work better if you run tubeless as you won't need to pump them up nearly as high a pressure.

OP, you're more than 50 lbs heavier than I am. I use a WR50/AR56 front/rear combo. They're extremely comfortable for me as I run a 32mm tire on the rear. The only downside is that the WR50 has an internal width wider than the new ERTRO standard says is safe to run 28mm tires. The Bontrager is again better there, since its internal width is narrower.

Lastly if you're going ahead with the LB rims, I've seen people lace the rears with CX Sprint spokes for better stiffness. CX Rays may be too flexy for heavier and more powerful riders.
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Old 09-27-23, 11:33 AM
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Been there. Id only swap rims if they are worn out. A second set of wheels is the better way. Built or buy. One for wide comfort tires like for gravel and a second set aero and faster.
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Old 09-27-23, 12:50 PM
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Just buy some fully built wheels.
https://btlos.com/cx-gravel/gravel-h...-carbon-wheels
$647 gets you a fully build wheelset with 45mm deep rims that are 29mm wide, 24h bitex hubs, and Pillar Aero Xtra spokes. 1513g weight



Keep in mind...Sapim CX spokes are $3.50(or more) each. So 56 of them will cost almost $200.
I have some rim brake Fulcrum 900 wheels...they are perfectly fine, but hardly something I would want to use to build a new wheelset from. Based on what I have experienced, all the bitex hubs I have owned are solid- light and good quality. Your stock wheelset is not light and based on the rim specs I would guess a good bit of the weight is in the hubs.
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Old 09-27-23, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Just buy some fully built wheels.
https://btlos.com/cx-gravel/gravel-h...-carbon-wheels
$647 gets you a fully build wheelset with 45mm deep rims that are 29mm wide, 24h bitex hubs, and Pillar Aero Xtra spokes. 1513g weight



Keep in mind...Sapim CX spokes are $3.50(or more) each. So 56 of them will cost almost $200.
I have some rim brake Fulcrum 900 wheels...they are perfectly fine, but hardly something I would want to use to build a new wheelset from. Based on what I have experienced, all the bitex hubs I have owned are solid- light and good quality. Your stock wheelset is not light and based on the rim specs I would guess a good bit of the weight is in the hubs.
Do you have any experience with these wheels?

Looks like you can't choose different spoke counts for front and rear. 24/24 or 28/28 for my 210lbs ??
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Old 09-27-23, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by ppg677
Do you have any experience with these wheels?

Looks like you can't choose different spoke counts for front and rear. 24/24 or 28/28 for my 210lbs ??
I have a set of BTLOS, yes. They are one of the main internet DTC carbon wheel brands that is well reviewed and trusted. Light Bicycle being another.
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Old 09-27-23, 11:19 PM
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The only reason I've ever done this, and I just did it, was because I couldn't find another set of hubs that would work, otherwise I would never bother rebuilding a set of OEM hubs as they usually aren't anything special enough to not replace in the process. In my case I picked up a set of Pub carbon MTB rims for my single speed cross bike. If shaved a little over a lb off the wheelset and improved the overall ride.
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Old 09-28-23, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by surak
AR46 is too narrow a front rim by modern standards. With an outer width of only 28mm, you're stuck with using a 25mm tire .
Maybe.

But here's the problem: some of us have bikes outfitted with rim brakes and the frame clearance is too tight. I have to run 23mm front and 25mm rear Continentals or the rubber hits the frame. Or the clearance is so tight that pebbles and leaves get stuck. It's nice to have an alternative until the time is right for a new bike.
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Old 09-28-23, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by bblair
Maybe.

But here's the problem: some of us have bikes outfitted with rim brakes and the frame clearance is too tight. I have to run 23mm front and 25mm rear Continentals or the rubber hits the frame. Or the clearance is so tight that pebbles and leaves get stuck. It's nice to have an alternative until the time is right for a new bike.
Completely irrelevant to this thread, which is about upgrading a disc wheelset.
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Old 09-28-23, 10:26 AM
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Yes, there will be marginal gains in optimizing tire/rim aerodynamics. It's much less than making sure your jersey's fitted, or that you're able to get low on long, straight stretches.

My vote is still for Shimano 105 wheels. Quiet hubs (which the OP is looking for), modern dimensions (more modern than my Light Bicycle R45, frankly), quiet hubs (which the OP is looking for), and about the same price as the used Bontrager Aeolus. Did I mention quiet hubs?

Campagnolo wheels also have quiet hubs (I have a pair of Zondas on another bike), but I don't know what they have that otherwise fits your requirements.

The DT240 hubs are great when I'm out on my own or trying to hammer out a PR, but are awful when I'm trying to hold a conversation at cafe-ride speeds. And sometimes, the scenery is better enjoyed on my much quieter Ksyrium Equipe hubs.
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Old 09-28-23, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ppg677
...Always the pride factor in building your own wheels...
Fun, Fun, FUN!

And you still have cost savings even if you have to buy your own bench drill press and make template...
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Old 09-28-23, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
Yes, there will be marginal gains in optimizing tire/rim aerodynamics. It's much less than making sure your jersey's fitted, or that you're able to get low on long, straight stretches.

My vote is still for Shimano 105 wheels. Quiet hubs (which the OP is looking for), modern dimensions (more modern than my Light Bicycle R45, frankly), quiet hubs (which the OP is looking for), and about the same price as the used Bontrager Aeolus. Did I mention quiet hubs?

Campagnolo wheels also have quiet hubs (I have a pair of Zondas on another bike), but I don't know what they have that otherwise fits your requirements.

The DT240 hubs are great when I'm out on my own or trying to hammer out a PR, but are awful when I'm trying to hold a conversation at cafe-ride speeds. And sometimes, the scenery is better enjoyed on my much quieter Ksyrium Equipe hubs.
Yes the Shimano 105 wheels are tempting and can be picked up for $900.

The BTLOS WGX45 are also quite tempting at $650 with free shipping right now. 29mm outer width, 22mm inner width. Choice of hubs, but for $650 that is Bitex 312 hubs with Pillar bladed spokes (I'll have to search how loud these are). 1524 grams. I would probably go with 28/28 spokes for a stronger wheelset given my 210lb weight.

It is cheaper than buying rims and hubs separately and building myself. Though if I built myself, I would go with silver spokes since I love the look of silver spokes!

EDIT: looks like Bitex 312 are LOUD so upgrading to DT350 makes it $787.

Last edited by ppg677; 09-28-23 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 09-28-23, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ppg677
Yes the Shimano 105 wheels are tempting and can be picked up for $900.

The BTLOS WGX45 are also quite tempting at $650 with free shipping right now. 29mm outer width, 22mm inner width. Choice of hubs, but for $650 that is Bitex 312 hubs with Pillar bladed spokes (I'll have to search how loud these are). 1524 grams. I would probably go with 28/28 spokes for a stronger wheelset given my 210lb weight.

It is cheaper than buying rims and hubs separately and building myself. Though if I built myself, I would go with silver spokes since I love the look of silver spokes!

EDIT: looks like Bitex 312 are LOUD so upgrading to DT350 makes it $787.
If DT240s are any indication, you'll still be in for a loud ride with the 350s.

Part of me wishes I sprung for the Chris Kings (already paying DT Swiss money, why not a little more for Kings?) - the DT240 is loud, but doesn't actually sound unique. The CKs definitely sound different.
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Old 09-28-23, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
If DT240s are any indication, you'll still be in for a loud ride with the 350s.

Part of me wishes I sprung for the Chris Kings (already paying DT Swiss money, why not a little more for Kings?) - the DT240 is loud, but doesn't actually sound unique. The CKs definitely sound different.
I think the 350s are quieter than 240s.

I could just go for Shimano FH-RS770 which should be quiet. But a bit heavier I believe.
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Old 09-29-23, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by surak
Completely irrelevant to this thread, which is about upgrading a disc wheelset.
I must have missed that it was a disc wheel.

Either way, my point was that which ever way you go, make sure it will fit your existing frame.
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Old 09-29-23, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by bblair
I must have missed that it was a disc wheel.

Either way, my point was that which ever way you go, make sure it will fit your existing frame.
You didn't miss it.
The bike in question has been rim and disc brake.
The Bontrager wheels mentioned have been rim and disc brake.
Both initially suggested rims come in or have come in rim and disc options.


I am guessing the bike is disc brake, but it hasn't been explicitly stated.
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Old 09-29-23, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I am guessing the bike is disc brake, but it hasn't been explicitly stated.
Originally Posted by ppg677
.
* I don't think I need a backup set of wheels. I have backup bikes for rough-weather-riding. Plus I would have to buy new rotors/discs/tires.
Rim brakes don't use rotors.
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Old 09-29-23, 02:23 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
You didn't miss it.
The bike in question has been rim and disc brake.
The Bontrager wheels mentioned have been rim and disc brake.
Both initially suggested rims come in or have come in rim and disc options.


I am guessing the bike is disc brake, but it hasn't been explicitly stated.
Yes, disc brake.

My current lean: Build myself. Light Bicycle AR46 rims ($375 shipped). Shimano RS-770 28-hole rear hub for quiet freewheeling. Bitex 24-hole front hub since (since Shimano doesn't sell a 24-hole version of the RS-770). Pillar bladed spokes. Also strongly considering BTLOS WGX45s as they have free shipping right now and are 1mm wider in both interior and exterior, but they are a bit heavier and more expensive (offsetting the free shipping).
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Old 09-29-23, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by surak
Rim brakes don't use rotors.
well look at that
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Old 10-01-23, 07:57 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by ppg677
I bought a Canyon Endurance CF bike that came with some cheap OEM stock alloy wheels: Fulcrum 900 DB. They are 28h hubs both front and rear. Kind of heavy at 1950 grams. Apparently the hubs are a sub-brand of Campagnolo. I do like the 30/32mm clincher tires on them.

I've been waffling on whether to upgrade to nicer wheels. I'm not racing. Been riding about 80-100 miles/week the past couple months. Solo rides are 15-16mph. Group rides are 18mph with occasional sprints. I don't think upgraded wheels will make much of a difference...it would make my bike look a bit cooler, would drop a pound from the total weight, might feel a bit faster on acceleration, and perhaps might make me ever so slightly faster when sprinting to keep pace with my faster group.

I had the chance to buy some lightly used Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51 wheels for $900. Waffling because I'm just not sure it is worth $900 the expense for my riding.

But I had another idea-- I have wheelbuilding experience (having built about 10 sets over the years that have all been bombproof).

Seems I could buy a couple carbon rims from Light Bicycle and get them shipped to me for $375 or so. And then just rebuild using the same hubs from the OEM wheelset. Would obviously need to buy spokes too. I was thinking AR46 for the front and AR56 for the rear. I would have to get both front and back custom drilled to 28 holes each. I know that 28 holes on the front is overkill, which perhaps costs me a bit in weight and aero. 28h for the rear might be good for my weight of 205 lbs (down from 220+ lbs in June!). Would do 2x lacing.

Rationale:
* Total cost to get me on carbon rims would be roughly $475 (assuming nice spokes like Sapim CX-Ray)
* Always the pride factor in building your own wheels.
* 28h front and back isn't that bad and would make a strong/robust wheelset at a small weight penalty
* The Fulcrum hubs are probably good enough
* The resale value of the OEM wheels seems lousy. Maybe $150 if I'm lucky.
* I don't think I need a backup set of wheels. I have backup bikes for rough-weather-riding. Plus I would have to buy new rotors/discs/tires.

Alternatives:
* Do nothing and just ride.
* Nab those Bontrager Aeolus Pro 51s if still available at $900
* Same Light Bicycle rims, but buy some hubs (I do like Shimano cone/cup) and try to sell off the stock OEM wheels to pay for hubs.
* Find something else. I don't like loud freehubs which eliminates offerings from Hunt and Zipp.

Any thoughts/comments?
I haven't read anything about Fulcum hubs which says they are horrible. What's wrong with them? I would most likely just replace the rims, respoking with CX-rays.
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Old 10-02-23, 01:46 PM
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Bikes: 2023 Canyon Endurace 7 CF Di2, 1982 Trek 957 (retro), 80s Trek 710 (retro), 1995 Trek 930 MTB (singlespeed), Surly LHT

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Does anyone think a road wheelset, with carbon rims, with 28-hole hubs from rear and front is complete overkill? Seems like 24/24 and 24/20 is more common. Again I weigh 205 lbs right now (have been up to 220 in the past year).
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