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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:45 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:54 am
Posts: 25
Location: North of Boston
New here, looking to have some questions answered in one post.

I am riding a 2011 Tarmac SL2, with full Ultegra Groupo. It is my first road bike and I am very happy with it as I have nothing to compare it to.


1. I need to be fitted I am told. Where is the best shop around me to have this done, and how involved should I get? Prices range from $50-$500.
2. Would love to take all the stickers off my bike, is this easy on carbon frames?
3. I am pondering some new wheels, custom built. good shop locally, or use an online hand build wheel dealer?
3a. I LOVE loud hubs, what are my options?
3b. Looking at aluminum clincher wheels, very durable as I am 190lbs, and ride on some crappy roads. Would love to keep this build to $1k if I could, and still end up with a really nice wheel set. Is this a pipe dream?
4. Brake pads, what should i be leaning toward?

Im sure questions come to mind, I ride locally 20-50M at a ride. I am doing a few centuries this summer, and planning a 150M for late May. Not planning on much racing per se, but will be doing some half Ironman's and a few mini Tri's.

I am rough on gear, so please consider this when making suggestions.


Thanks in advance, great board!

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Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:45 am 


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:20 am 
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Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 8:14 pm
Posts: 294
That's a sweet bike for your first ride, definitely a great choice! I don't have answers for all the questions, but here are my takes:

1) You should just get a relationship going with a local shop that you like. Pick one that has fitting capabilities (I like the BG fit personally -- you can probably check specialized.com to see what shops in Boston do it); friendly approachable staff, and of course nice stuff. Having a local shop that you rely on will build your relationship with them, and help you leverage everything they can offer you like fitting and repair when you need it.
2)Not sure on your frame. Some have clear-coat over stickers, in which case, answer is no. Some also don't have stickers, but have painted graphics. Also a big 'no' on your question.
3)Nice when you can do this locally -- questions you want to ask a shop is how many wheels they build and then ask with what parts. You want one that regularly builds and sells high-end wheels (based on your price range of $1k for alu. clinchers). But, I find this is just easier to do mail-order. Usually local shops want to charge alot, and simply do not do the volume nicer mail-order shops or renowned wheel builders do - hence might not offer as good a build. I'm sure people in Boston on this site can give you recommendations for shops to have wheels built. Otherwise, I get mine built recently at Fairwheelbikes.com. Also, Ergott, who is a member on this board, is highly respected for price and quality. I'd get a few opinions from builders on what they would recommend, if nothing else.
3a) Chris king is among the loudest I know
3b) I'm 200 lbs, ride crappy roads.. My latest build is Alchemy elf/ork hubs, HED belgian rims, Sapim CX-ray spokes. Will run you just over $1k; but in my mind, you can't get a 'better' set of wheels. Lighter, yeah... but then you compromise other things. 1350g (or thereabouts) is a sweet wheelset for $1k in my mind.
4) no opinion. I ride swiss-stop.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:34 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
Swiss-stop black and Shimano DA pads work the same as far as I can tell, and the DA pads are cheaper.
Kool-stop red pads are ok as well but wear faster than the DA pads in the dry and aren't signifcantly better in the wet.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:54 am
Posts: 25
Location: North of Boston
Thanks VTBike and Eric!



I also should have said that these wheels will be my only wheel set. I will need them to be a great all around wheel that will take abuse. Of course I want them light, but not at the sacrifice of losing durability.


What lacing pattern is optimal for wheels? I don't want to pop a spoke on the road and be stranded due to the wheel being so out of true it cant be ridden. Is there a lacing patter that will lend itself to this more than another?

Carbon vs round metal spokes? Worth the extra few hundred for them? Seems like a big increase, are they that much better?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:00 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
The lacing pattern depends on the number of spokes, wheel use and fashion. You can't cross too many spokes, otherwise the spoke heads are covered by other spokes making it difficult or impossible to insert spokes. The normal rule is the cross can be up to the number of spokes divided by 9. I.e. a 32 spoke wheel would be 3x and a 36 spoke wheel 4x. The rear wheel must have some crossed spokes to transfer torque without putting the spokes through a stress cycle but the front can be radial. I don't detect any difference in performance between front radial and crossed spokes but radial is theoretically slighty more aerodynamic.

If you're interested in understanding wheel construction I suggest reading Jobst Brandt's wheel building book. You can find it free on line if you look around.

Carbon spokes? The only current ones in your price range that I know of are the Mavic Rsys. Those wheels are reasonably light but have very poor aerodynamics. They are not a good value. They also have had problems with many of the spokes breaking at the same time with catastrophic results, although there was a recal so perhaps it's been fixed. And proprietary spokes can be difficult to find when you break one. Aluminium spokes are also proprietary and have poor aerodynamics.

I would stick with high quality steel spokes such as Sapim, DT, Wheelsmith, Pilar.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:54 am
Posts: 25
Location: North of Boston
Other route would be keep the wheels I have and switch out the rear hub? Bike came with Roval Pave wheelset. From what I have read these are basically bombproof, and if weight specs are accurate, they would weigh the same as the DT585's I built up over at Prowheelbuilder website. Using CKR45 hubs and DT Competition (same spokes as the Pave's have currently).

Unless I will see some huge gain by going with a different rim, and more spokes (Pave has 20 in front and 24 in rear) am I crazy for keeping these Pave and putting the CK hubs in I want?

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:31 pm 
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in the industry

Joined: Sat May 12, 2012 7:25 pm
Posts: 1087
Location: Glermsford, Suffolk U.K
Hope Pro3 hubs are pretty loud and are a damm good hub. I do not use CK hbs as they are too expensive here for what they are.
For lacing patterns. 20 spoke and 24 spoke front wheel can be radial or 2x. 28 spoke front wheels are best done 2x. On the rear it is the same 24 spoke 2x, 28 spoke 2x or 3x (I prefer 2x) and 32 spoke 3x. £6 spoke rear wheels can be done 3x or 4x.

As for a build Hope Pro 3 hubs with CX -ray spoke 28F and 32 rear (2x front and 3x rear) would not be the lightest but it would be one tough wheelset. If the alchemy ORC and ELF hubs are used a 24 spoke front and 28 spoke rear should work well. Thos alchemy hub give the best bracing angles of any hub on the market. Shame there is no supply in the U.K. For crappy roads and someone is is hard on kit more spokes is always better than less.

The other option for you is the DT Swiss RR585 rim. It is heavy bt very stiff so low 20F/24R spoke counts are possible. Combine with DT Swiss hubs that could be one sweat wheel set. Or use alchemy hubs they would give a stiffer wheel set.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 3:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
Why do you need to change the hub? To make it louder? That's a lot of money for something that won't make your riding better.

You could take the freewheel off and remove the grease from the pawls and ratchet in the hub (leaving grease on any seals). Replace with Phil Tenacious oil or a small amount of very light grease (i.e. Krytox). That will make the freewheel as loud as it will get.

When you want to make freewheel noise, for example to warn pedestrians on the side of the road, backpedal. Or yell.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:54 am
Posts: 25
Location: North of Boston
That is one of my questions.

Are these wheels I have now worth upgrading? Since there is no major weight savings as I can tell, and these are very durable, is it worth it?

My thinking is that a Hope/DT/CK hub will perform better than the stock hubs I am on now? And yes if i am going to upgrade i will try to find something that goes clickety clack.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:02 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:53 pm
Posts: 15
on fit, if you want guidance before paying for help, this is a good resource:
http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za/CCY?PAGE=FIT_CALCULATOR_INTRO

It results in multiple options, from an aggressive race fit to a long distance or less-flexible rider fit.
It helps to have a friend to do the measuring, pretty tricky otherwise.

Don't know the build spec for your bike, but if the hubs are Ultegra the only benefit of an 'upgrade' will be weight reduction.
Just don't attack the bike with high pressure water/cleaners (this will damage the bearings), and get the bike serviced once or twice a year.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 5:16 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:54 am
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Location: North of Boston
Great link! Thanks!


Not Ultegra, they are 100% stock Roval. Here are the specs: http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftb/wh ... pave-sl-25

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:09 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 9:47 pm
Posts: 1440
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
The Competitive Cyclist fit calculator gives me whack results. It works for some people. You definately need an assistant, and the measurements are useful to have.

Your hubs aren't total crap (although the giant flanges are kind of wierd) so there is essentially no performance gain to be had from new ones. You could get lighter hubs and that would be a very slight performance improvement on long climbs. Use this: http://analyticcycling.com/ForcesLessWeight_Page.html to calculate the difference on your favorite climb.

Aero wheels would give a small improvement at higher speeds. I notice it only on descents and even there it is small. But few aero wheels are in your budget unless you go with Chinese ones. Carbon clinchers can have problems with braking on long technical descents.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:54 am
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Location: North of Boston
Basically what I gain is stiffness (I do notice flex on climbs and when I am out of the saddle), new hubs, and a lighter pocket book? Maybe a few grams lighter. :)

Expensive sport!

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Posted: Sun Mar 24, 2013 11:25 pm 


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 2:21 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 4:25 pm
Posts: 74
Location: MA
Go see Andy Palgrem at Landrys in Natick for a fit. Then go see Justin Spinnelli (Luxe Wheelworks). Andy is a great Specialized certified fitter and Justin builds great wheels.

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