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Advantage of upgraded wheels?

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Advantage of upgraded wheels?

Old 02-04-22, 11:07 AM
  #76  
prj71
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Lots of good discussion here!!!
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Old 02-04-22, 11:44 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by pipeliner View Post
Last post, I promise… OP is looking at dropping 600g or 21 oz of wheel weight and some posters opine that at 240lbs, that won’t amount to diddly squat. Speaking as a Clyde with quite a bit of experience, I can assure any fellow Clyde that 21oz of wheel weight is going to be felt immediately if they are competitive at all. Even on a FS mountain bike that weighs 35 lbs but for damn sure on a gravel rig. If you gain a full 30 seconds on a 2 mile climb, I think that’s pretty big… and that (or better) is the sort of result I’ve seen.
I totally agree that regardless of rider weight and measurable performance gains, 600g of weight savings on wheels will definitely be noticed. The bike will feel lighter, faster, handle better and accelerate quicker.

Weight may not matter as much in terms of actual measurable performance gains (30 seconds on a 2 mile climb is highly dependent on a number of variables) but to be sure a bike with 1500g wheels is going to feel a lot faster than a bike with 2100g wheels in most situations.
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Old 02-04-22, 01:52 PM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by pipeliner View Post
Last post, I promise… OP is looking at dropping 600g or 21 oz of wheel weight and some posters opine that at 240lbs, that won’t amount to diddly squat. Speaking as a Clyde with quite a bit of experience, I can assure any fellow Clyde that 21oz of wheel weight is going to be felt immediately if they are competitive at all. Even on a FS mountain bike that weighs 35 lbs but for damn sure on a gravel rig. If you gain a full 30 seconds on a 2 mile climb, I think that’s pretty big… and that (or better) is the sort of result I’ve seen.
I agree!
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Old 02-05-22, 10:59 AM
  #79  
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Thanks for all of the input, both reasoned and opinionated!

After a LOT of reading and looking and thinking, I ordered a set of Roval Terra C wheels this morning from my LBS that will be in next week. They are hooked, 25mm inner rim width, and can take up to 275 lbs. in rider weight. Lifetime warranty, 2 years crash warranty. $1,100 + new rotors (center bolt) + a new set of 44mm WTB Raddler tires.

It's funny - as much as I *love* the Raddler tires (have a set on my "old" gravel bike, a Soma Double Cross), I can't stand the WTB i23 aluminum rims. Same company, but wow.

I have either a 75 mile or a 100 mile dirt road ride coming up 2 weeks from today (Thomasville <GA> Clay Road Classic), followed up by a 72 mile dirt road ride (Honey Bee Stinger) in Valdosta GA the next Saturday. What I didn't want is to be halfway out on either of these rides in the COUNTRY and the WTB i23 rims fail, like they did for a friend here and for several that I've read about online. No thank you, no way.

Gary
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Old 02-05-22, 01:08 PM
  #80  
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BrazAd the i23 rims fail?!? What’s the failure mode?
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Old 02-05-22, 05:37 PM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
BrazAd the i23 rims fail?!? What’s the failure mode?
Chad,

My friend's wheel cracked in the rim - it was a total failure. He weighs about 175 lbs. In my voluminous research the past few weeks I came across several other posts where riders had the WTB i23 wheels fail. Not sure about the details of those but it's not an imagined thing.

It's an entry level wheel. The materials used aren't the best. Put it under strenous conditions with a 235 lb rider like me and it's asking for trouble, IMO.

I'll be selling these rims + the Teravail Cannonball 700c x 42 mm tires once I get my new wheelset + tires installed.

Gary
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Old 02-05-22, 07:34 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
BrazAd the i23 rims fail?!? What’s the failure mode?
The failure mode on WTB rims is cracks at the spoke holes. Happened to me on a rear wheel at about 4k miles, when I weighed <170lbs. And I have read of it happening to many others. Their rims are junk.
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Old 02-05-22, 07:34 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
Chad,

My friend's wheel cracked in the rim - it was a total failure. He weighs about 175 lbs. In my voluminous research the past few weeks I came across several other posts where riders had the WTB i23 wheels fail. Not sure about the details of those but it's not an imagined thing.

It's an entry level wheel. The materials used aren't the best. Put it under strenous conditions with a 235 lb rider like me and it's asking for trouble, IMO.

I'll be selling these rims + the Teravail Cannonball 700c x 42 mm tires once I get my new wheelset + tires installed.

Gary
Wow. I don’t think your assessment of why there has been cracking or whatever is appropriate or accurate, as there are many variables about the failures you certainly don’t know, and the fact that there are and have been scads of far cheaper, weaker rims in use under heavy riders which give very long—decades long— service lives.

But, fragile rims do happen; I recall cracking at the spoke holes was a problem for the first Ritchey Vantage rims, IIRC because they were single-wall and just didn’t handle high spoke tension well. I’d have thought those days— the ‘80s— were well behind us in terms of rim design and metallurgy, but maybe not. I guess I’m lucky my i23s are holding up under my 250lbs mass, but also my mileage is very low, and they’re 650b with 48mm rubber, so we’ll see.

Last edited by chaadster; 02-05-22 at 08:45 PM.
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Old 02-05-22, 09:43 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
The failure mode on WTB rims is cracks at the spoke holes. Happened to me on a rear wheel at about 4k miles, when I weighed <170lbs. And I have read of it happening to many others. Their rims are junk.
This happened to me at about the same mileage. Almost every spoke hole. I was fortunate enough to get the whole wheel replaced under warranty and promptly sold the new wheel.
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Old 02-06-22, 08:30 AM
  #85  
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Weird, I’ve ridden i23s to hell and back with no issues. Sorry to anyone who had a failure, that would not be fun.
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Old 02-07-22, 07:39 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Wow. I don’t think your assessment of why there has been cracking or whatever is appropriate or accurate, as there are many variables about the failures you certainly don’t know...
My assessment? My friend's rim *cracked* - what is there to assess? No major bump or anything that ride, it simply failed. And he is far from being the only one who has that story, as attested here and in other places.

I hope you get 10,000 miles from your i23 rims, but I'm not taking a chance on them with the miles I ride way out in the country. They're not great rims - that's a fact. I don't say that as anything other than a rational statement.

Gary
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Old 02-07-22, 08:52 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
My assessment? My friend's rim *cracked* - what is there to assess? No major bump or anything that ride, it simply failed. And he is far from being the only one who has that story, as attested here and in other places.

I hope you get 10,000 miles from your i23 rims, but I'm not taking a chance on them with the miles I ride way out in the country. They're not great rims - that's a fact. I don't say that as anything other than a rational statement.

Gary
Your assessment being that it was to do with rider weight is likely fallacious. Poor design, over-tensioned spokes, bad metallurgy, incorrect assembly (think nipple washers), improper finishing, mileage…all that stuff could be a factor and you’ve made no accounting for any of it. That’s all.

I agree they’re not great rims, if only for the weight, but as one of the most popular OE rim specs in recent years, there are certainly many thousands of i23 rims out there, Further, there are several models of WTB i23 rims, from the CZR, KOM Light, and ProTerra which WTB sell directly, to whatever is being supplied for OE builds, including something called the ST Light i23.. WTB sells a different spec (based on weight, bead material, and tubeless designation) Horizon tire to OE, for example, so it seems likely that the same could be true for i23 rims, and here too, you make no accounting for any of that either..
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Old 02-07-22, 09:05 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
I own essentially the same bike as the OP, one year older, but with the same stock wheels. They are heavy. I replaced them with Lightbicycle WR35 (35 mm depth, 25 mm ID width) carbon rims and Novatec hubs for $660/pair.

I'm not going to argue the "is it worth it for those dollars" thing. I like my carbon wheels much better than the OEM wheels, both for the lighter weight and for the advantages of wider rims.
Was going to suggest OP look at lightbicycle. Glad to hear from someone with the same bike that it worked out.
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Old 02-07-22, 09:30 AM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Your assessment being that it was to do with rider weight is likely fallacious. Poor design, over-tensioned spokes, bad metallurgy, incorrect assembly (think nipple washers), improper finishing, mileage…all that stuff could be a factor and you’ve made no accounting for any of it. That’s all.

I agree they’re not great rims...
This is where online forums are limited, when things are taken out of context. When I stated my friend weighs 175 lbs I was *not* "assessing" that his weight was the reason the rim broke - but rather the *opposite*, that they SHOULD NOT have broken as he isn't heavy at all.

Enough about the WTB i23 rims... we are in agreement that they're "not great"!

I'm more excited about the new Roval Terra C rims that are coming in this week. A couple of riders who use them have messaged me that they are great rims.

Gary

Last edited by BrazAd; 02-07-22 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 02-07-22, 09:53 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
The failure mode on WTB rims is cracks at the spoke holes. Happened to me on a rear wheel at about 4k miles, when I weighed <170lbs. And I have read of it happening to many others. Their rims are junk.
Exactly what mine did.
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Old 02-16-22, 07:36 AM
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Well, I did it. Roval Terra C wheels with WTB Raddler 44 tires. WOW, what a difference!

The skeptics look at the overall weight (rider + bike) and think - 1.25 pounds can't make much of a difference. I wondered before ordering if I was doing a stupid thing, based on those comments.

However, it's not the overall weight that is affected. It's like a flywheel effect - a lighter flywheel spins up faster and is easier to turn. Same effect here - I rode 24 miles on dirt last night and was pleasantly surprised by how much faster I could get to speed and how much easier it is to maintain speed.

I rode the same course on Monday night with the OEM wheels/tires. Avg. speed = 13.9 mph

Last night, avg. speed = 15.1 mph

Gary

Last edited by BrazAd; 02-16-22 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 02-16-22, 07:52 AM
  #92  
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Looks great! Glad you're happy with the purchase.

I'd love to hear an update this time next year. As I recall you plan to put a few thousand miles in between now and then, right?
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Old 02-16-22, 08:12 AM
  #93  
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BrazAd yep, getting both lighter and more aero is pure winning.
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Old 02-16-22, 09:47 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by force10 View Post
Looks great! Glad you're happy with the purchase.

I'd love to hear an update this time next year. As I recall you plan to put a few thousand miles in between now and then, right?
That's fair - one time doesn't make a pattern! I normally ride 1,250 +/- miles on dirt annually, but this new Warbird will uptick that number considerably. I've already ridden 378 miles on dirt in 2022 so far.

Gary
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