Rim choice for a travelling wheelset fondo's, alpine climbs, etc.

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
robertbb
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

Hi all,

I want to build a (road, rim brake) wheelset primarily for overseas travel to fondo's, alpine climbs, etc. The rationale being that my Bora Ultra tubulars are too expensive to risk taking on a flight, and my Zonda C17 clinchers aren't as well performing as I'd like for those kinds of rides. I also wouldn't expect/trust that in a pinch, whatever obscure LBS I find will be equipped/able to service them properly (or have the correct parts on hand).

I have a 28h DT240s rear hub, which is a great place to start. I suppose a matching 20 or 24 hole DT240 front hub would be the go (unless there is another option that would match the rear aesthetically, and provide a tangible price/performance benefit).

I'd obviously like the rim to be strong, but would hope to get a wheel that has decent width, decent aerodynamics, is decently light and with a good braking surface. It doesn't have to be the "best" at anything, but also not be absolutely crap at anything either. Just a solid all around performer in all categories.

I'm 178cm and weigh 70kg. Sapim CX-Rays should do the trick: 2x rear and radial front.

So, any recommendations? I like the look of:

- Easton R90SL
- new Mavic Open Pro
- KinLin XR270

Any others?
It's ALL about the bike.

by Weenie


pdlpsher1
Posts: 1311
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:09 pm
Location: CO

by pdlpsher1

I have done a lot of research to find the perfect rim for a tandem wheel build. I now have experiences with the Hed Belgium on two different tandem wheel custom builds, and I can say the Belgium is the best aluminum rim out there. You can ask any custom wheel builder, anyone with experience with the rim, and it's likely they will tell you the same answer. They are expensive ($150 USD each in the U.S.) and there's a good reason for that. The rims have perfect roundness and consistency. A very round rim produces a wheel with even tension on all spokes, and it's less likely to come out of true. The rim measures 25mm external and 20.8mm internal, and weighs 465g. each. There are two versions of this rim, the 'C2' and the 'plus'. The 'plus' is the wider version. Some people use the C2 as they can't use too wide of a rim due to limited tire clearances on their bikes. The rims are labeled 'F' or 'R' and you need to ask your retailer to ship you one of each. The spoke holes have different offsets depending on whether it's for a front or rear wheel. Here's a video describing the spoke hole offset on the Belgiums.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYnYUqXR41g

Image

robertbb
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

The all important question; can the decals be cleanly removed and what do they weigh?

:)
It's ALL about the bike.

pdlpsher1
Posts: 1311
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:09 pm
Location: CO

by pdlpsher1

I don't know about the decals but the decals appear to be painted on, in which case acetone will easily remove it. The rim weighs 465g each (actual as verified by my scale). It's a relative light for a 25mm external width rim. I use them in a tandem application with absolutely no issues (24 holes front and 32 rear). These rims are bullet-proof even on a tandem. The demand is high for this rim here in the U.S. despite the high price. This really says something about their quality. I run Conti 4kII 25mm tires and they are 28mm in actual width on these wide rims. So you may want to check your bike frame's tire clearance.

davidalone
Posts: 588
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2012 4:27 pm

by davidalone

Some rims I'd look at:

Aforce Al33 (with ceramic track)
Pacenti Forza
Kinlin XR270 (if on a budget)
HED Belgiums

istigatrice
Posts: 755
Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 8:32 am
Location: Adelaide, Australia

by istigatrice

I'd skip the Kinlin XR270 rims and look more towards the XR31T, XR26T or XR22T if you're on a budget (wider rims).

Can't really go wrong with the HED rims if you can afford them. Another slightly cheaper option to add to your list would be the DT-Swiss RR411, not quite as round as the HED rims but pretty close!
I write the weightweenies blog, hope you like it :)

My SwiftCarbon Ultravox

My Velocite Selene

Disclosure: I'm sponsored by Velocite, but I do give my honest opinion about them (I'm endorsed to race their bikes, not say nice things about them)

shimmeD
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:52 pm
Location: eNZed

by shimmeD

Why not go alloy tubular? :thumbup: Hed or Kinlin.
Less is more.

spdntrxi
Posts: 1303
Joined: Sat Jul 20, 2013 6:11 pm

by spdntrxi

HED Ardennes+ black.. very impressive wheel.. goto choice if it has to be alloy

robertbb
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

I'm really close to pulling the trigger on Easton R90SL's. They look to be 90% as good quality as HED rims, with dimensions right between their two Belgium versions. Decals are easy to remove. And they are a great price on Bike24, with no extra shipping charges above the 20euro I'd be paying for shipping the front hub anyway.
It's ALL about the bike.

pdlpsher1
Posts: 1311
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:09 pm
Location: CO

by pdlpsher1

According to November the Hed and Easton are made in the same factory. If that's the case then both rims are good choices. Here's November's blog on what makes the Heds (and hence Easton) such great rims even at their premium price. It's well worth it IMHO.

https://novemberbicycles.com/blogs/blog ... ed-belgium

fordred
Posts: 67
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 4:22 pm

by fordred

HED Belgium and Easton R90 SL are not going to be better performing than the Zonda.

Zonda uses record hubs, so that's already one of the best hubs u can get. Zonda rims are excellent as well. No spoke holes means no rim tape needed = less rim weight.
Most of Zonda's weight comes from the hubs as record hubs aren't as light and hub weight doesn't count towards the 'all important' rotational weight.

My experience with Zonda's toughness has been excellent. The bombproof wheels never needed any truing.

While I'm sure the Belgium/R90 custom wheels would be good if built properly, I don't think u need to spend the money because it's not going to better the Zondas.

shimmeD
Posts: 355
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:52 pm
Location: eNZed

by shimmeD

I'd totally go with fordred's :up: advice, if I didn't go tubs.
Less is more.

dim
Posts: 115
Joined: Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:25 am
Location: Cambridge UK

by dim

pdlpsher1 wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:25 am
I have done a lot of research to find the perfect rim for a tandem wheel build. I now have experiences with the Hed Belgium on two different tandem wheel custom builds, and I can say the Belgium is the best aluminum rim out there. You can ask any custom wheel builder, anyone with experience with the rim, and it's likely they will tell you the same answer. They are expensive ($150 USD each in the U.S.) and there's a good reason for that. The rims have perfect roundness and consistency. A very round rim produces a wheel with even tension on all spokes, and it's less likely to come out of true. The rim measures 25mm external and 20.8mm internal, and weighs 465g. each. There are two versions of this rim, the 'C2' and the 'plus'. The 'plus' is the wider version. Some people use the C2 as they can't use too wide of a rim due to limited tire clearances on their bikes. The rims are labeled 'F' or 'R' and you need to ask your retailer to ship you one of each. The spoke holes have different offsets depending on whether it's for a front or rear wheel. Here's a video describing the spoke hole offset on the Belgiums.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYnYUqXR41g

Image
+1

I had a wheelset built for my Giant TCR .... I opted for HED Belgium Plus rims, Chris King R45 hubs (ceramic bearings) and Sapim Cx Ray spokes .... brilliant and are as true as the day I fitted them. I run tubeless tyres on them but can use normal clinchers ... wasnot cheap (they cost me £1300)

I'm busy buying a new additional bike, mainly to use as my daily commuter and for some audax rides .... First thing that I will do is change the wheels. The bike that I am about to pull the trigger on is a Whyte Suffolk (gravel bike), with hydraulic disc brakes. I want tubeless ready rims and my budget wont be much. Best that I have seen so far in the UK for ready built wheels are the Hunt:

HUNT Aero Light Disc .... 1498 grams and only cost £399 for the wheelset:
https://www.huntbikewheels.com/collecti ... eep-22wide

for the Giant, I looked at the Zonda but they did not appeal to me as there are not enough spokes for the roads I travel on :)
Giant TCR
Canyon Endurace AL
1981 Koga Miyata Full Pro

robertbb
Posts: 202
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:35 am
Location: Melbourne, Australia

by robertbb

fordred wrote:
Wed Feb 14, 2018 10:08 am
HED Belgium and Easton R90 SL are not going to be better performing than the Zonda.

Zonda uses record hubs, so that's already one of the best hubs u can get. Zonda rims are excellent as well. No spoke holes means no rim tape needed = less rim weight.
Most of Zonda's weight comes from the hubs as record hubs aren't as light and hub weight doesn't count towards the 'all important' rotational weight.

My experience with Zonda's toughness has been excellent. The bombproof wheels never needed any truing.

While I'm sure the Belgium/R90 custom wheels would be good if built properly, I don't think u need to spend the money because it's not going to better the Zondas.
Zonda C17 uses record hubs? I didn't know that.. can you pls show me a link with that info?

Not going to argue on their strength - they are strong. They really aren't any good at all in an aero sense though.
It's ALL about the bike.

Matt28NJ
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 3:16 am

by Matt28NJ

Well, if you need aero, go for the HED Jet 6+.

Same dimensions as the + rim above with a carbon fairing, proven over multiple independent tests to be really fast. Great braking in all conditions. Great for travel, no surprises coming off mountains braking wise.

Downside- not the lightest, but with some light hubs and quality spokes not too bad either.

Are you racing as you travel?

by Weenie


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