Road Wheels recommendation for woman under 105 lb

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
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by jenfromzen

I know there's already been a lot said between light vs aero, but I need it specifically discussed for me, lol. I'm maybe around 103 lb right now and about 5'4, but sometimes I've seen the scale last season get down to 99.5 lb. I'm mostly just trying to hang with the fast guys, trying to ride with men who are also riding light bikes and will always be stronger than me so I'm basically drafting so I can have fun riding with stronger riders/faster group rides so I can feel cool, lol. In this situation, does aero still matter? Also, I have just I guess what you call regular rims right now, nothing aero, and I live on windy Long Island and to be honest my front end has been shaken in crosswinds with this current set up. I also tend to get dropped on the climbs even if they aren't that long so would the lighter weight be more important for me? Because anything aero anyway will just cause more of a crosswind problem for me when there are days I have to get into the drops to keep my front wheel straight and in control? Me plus bike is less than 120 lb.

If I end up wanting to like do a duathlon or something, maybe I could then get another set of wheels that are more aero, but for someone with my crosswinds problem what is the largest rim you would advise in that situation?

But just for now to do well in group rides where I'm drafting 100% of the time and there's almost always climbs or at least rollers of some sort would light, like just under 1200g carbon clincher 24mm rims be a good idea? I was considering iteration 3 of American Classic Mag wheels, but I hear they won't be out til Sept and I really want something now. I was told tons of people here get their wheels super cheap from alieexpress from China and that it is safe. The mag wheels will be $1600. Wheels seem to be around $600 on alieexpress. At that price I could get several sets for all sorts of situations. At that price, why not get some tubulars eventually too for wheels that are like 980g. I was thinking to try the heavier clinchers first so that I would always have that as back ups, then maybe eventually get the tubulars if I think the wheels from China seem decent.

So would 24mm rims be aero at all? Would that be good for me to start with and if I did ever want something more aero, what could I get being so light and blowing in the wind? Would I put something different on the front and rear like with the enve smart wheel set since I think the wind really only shakes the front?

Thanks for any helpful advice! Maybe I am a Queenie Weight Weenie. I am a very light rider with a light bike. :D

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by maggierose

Aero trumps weight unless you are going up steep gradients and I don't believe there are any climbs that steep on strong island and if there are, they are most likely of short duration.

Regarding depth of rim - what matters is how much weight you have over your front wheel. With your height and weight, I wouldn't want a deep front. I would recommend a HED Jet 4 front 6 rear or a November Rail 3 front 5 rear.

Don't you have a good bike shop or some fast person on the local ride to help you out? Lots of opinions on this board; as many bad as good!

by Weenie

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by eric

A number of people here have had decent luck with chinese carbon wheels from Farsport.

See viewtopic.php?f=113&t=108774
and viewtopic.php?f=3&t=87659

aliexpress seems kind of random. I'd contact farsports (or light-bicycle or hongfu) directly.

The 50mm narrow v-shaped farsport rims I have do get blown around some. I'm 145 lbs. But besides body weight what matters here is how comfortable you are with a bike that's moving around a little. I find it annyoing when I first put the wheels on but after a half hour or so I forget about it. Unless I try to ride no hands in a cross wind. There's only been a couple times where I have really been blown around hard and the wind was so fierce that I'd have been blown around no matter what rims I had.

The more rounded shape rims are supposed to be less affected by cross winds.

Whatever wheels you get the improvement if any will be small. Learn how to position yourself in the pack for maximum advantage. Always be on the downwind side. If there is a hill coming up that you might get dropped on, move up. If you are near the front you can lose more time and still be in the pack. Make sure your position on the bike is as aero as is comfortable. (that will help with cross winds, the only aero that makes cross winds worse is wheels). If you're getting dropped on short hills then you need to do more short intervals. On hills 5 min and under the big guys can use some of their anaerobic capacity. While on long climbs it's power @ aerobic threshold / weight.

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by Phill P

At your weight you can consider a lot less spokes than most other riders.

Pick a set of 38mm rims or there abouts, and reduce the number of spokes

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by jooo

If you decided to take a cheaper option (without an 'aero' focus), you're probably a prime candidate for a low spoke count build with XR200 rims. At your weight, you should have reasonable durability and stiffness with a 20/24 build. Very easy to get into the 1200gram range at that spoke count when using some nice cheap hubs eg: bikehubstore.

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by WMW

jenfromzen wrote:I am a very light rider with a light bike. :D

Light riders benefit the most from light equipment, and you are less likely to have any issues with stuff that is too light.

I'll second the mention of the XR200 rim. It's an old but reliable and inexpensive choice that weighs ~390g on average. Newer, wider and more rounded rims like the Stan's 340 and AC RD 2218 are in the same weight range and will be better for aero, but the 340's bead doesn't hold tires that well, and the AC 2218 has had longevity issues. Mated with hubs from BHS and CX-Rays you'd have a cheap and light set good for all around use.

But in the other hand if you wish to go with Chinese carbon, that might be fine too. Look for a rim that is rounded and wide if possible, even if it's shallow. It really does help for crosswinds to have the tire side and rim side look similar. Have an experienced builder stress relieve and check tension.

And carbon tubulars would be the ultimate for weight and aero... but dealing with tubulars is a whole new learning curve.

And don't neglect your tires and tubes either! The difference is pretty significant for resistance. I use latex tubes for everything. Some are light, but all of them have lower rolling resistance than butyl ones.

If I was as light as you and I wanted to go fast I'd ride the Conti Attack on the rear and the 20mm Supersonic on the front or Vittorias with the 320 tpi casing in 20 or 22mm.
formerly rruff...

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by xnavalav8r

For what it's worth, I have built some really light wheels for my 10-year-old son. I've been working to balance light-weight with budget and durability. You can build (or have built) wheels in the 1000gm range for under $600.00. Go aero for a little more weight and stay in the same price range using some of the generic carbon rims discussed above. Keep in mind though that a lighter rider is going to be more adversely influenced by cross-winds on a deeper-section rim. For that reason, I keep my son on 25mm or shallower rims... except on the velodrome.

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by F45

You can get a sub 1300 gram XR200 wheelset shipped on ebay for $350.

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by pam

WMW wrote:...the AC 2218 has had longevity issues.

If you've got any further info about issues with this rim put it in the 2218 thread. I haven't found anything but positive information other than it obviously won't be as stiff and durable as a 475g rim.
Last edited by pam on Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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by sanrensho

I agree with WMW, XR200 rims with the lightest BHS hubs and CX-Ray or Laser in 20/24 would be my recommendation. I ride something similar as everyday wheels at 125 lb.

Get lightweight skewers from Ebay. Latex tubes and Diamante Pro Light or perhaps Michelin Pro 4 Comp/Light.

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by Zoro

I'd go light over aero if you ride with others and there is any wind around. My recollection of (Hicksville) LI is - there is. Not that aero doesn't matter, it does, but the profile on aero rims may be too high for you. My kid raced at 65, 85, 100 and now 145 lbs. We dealt with that big time. At 145, a 55mm on the front is still noticeable in handling.

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by WMW

pam wrote:
WMW wrote:...the AC 2218 has had longevity issues.

If you've got any further info about issues with this rim but it in the 2218 thread. I haven't found anything but positive information other than it obviously won't be as stiff and durable as a 475g rim.

Image ... eless.html

Note he says it was a NDS spoke. Since it is triplet laced I'd expect the NDS side to be most highly stressed (lateral forces) and the angle is extreme. Ideally a triplet rim should have an asymetric inner wall.

It also appears to have a small bead lip like the 340, so I suspect it will suffer from the same issue of some tires not hanging on very well.
formerly rruff...

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by jenfromzen

First I want to say thanks to everyone giving me their input to help me make a big decision! I think wheels is the toughest decision to make when customising your ride. I also talked to some local riders over the weekend so I'm definitely getting a lot of opinions and have to sort thru it all. The riders I spoke to Sunday were big on that light is not everything and that where I ride on windy LI, aero is very important and they thought I could manage up to 38mm rims. Unlike the weekday group ride rider I spoke to that says Chinese carbon rims are ok, these riders said they didn't really trust it and they knew someone with a broken one and also that they don't control heat as well when braking so that yeah I could prolly get away with it for rides on LI, but they wouldn't recommend them for the longer downhills of more serious climbing rides. They stressed fact that Zipp and Enve are two well known names, that Enve has published data on their aerodynamics and so forth. So I have so much info to sort thru now. Kind of feeling I need a whole day off work to sort this out!!! Custom built is def a consideration now too. I think peace of mind to feel as safe as possible in an extremely dangerous sport is also something I may think about and may want to skip the Chinese brands where I don't really know what I'm getting and go with a name brand and maybe something with crash replacement. So I will just have to sort out between going with 24 or so mm vs people saying I can go up to 38mm. Maybe eventualy both would be in order depending on the weather and where I'm riding, but financially I can only get one this year and so I need figure out which set is most practical to start with. I was told going custom I could go for the heavier aero rim, but go for as little as 16 spokes in the front and 20 rear? Even though the potholes are so bad here? As long as I'm light when I go over them?

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by quattrings

I'd say go with the 38mm carbon rims from a respectable Chinese brand. I've been looking into them again and it seems they have been developing and adapting their rims.
16h front and 20h rear shouldn't give you any problems. My sister is around that weight and she rides older shamals 12f/16r spokes wheels which is a deeper rim. No wheel deflection and they are holding up well. She isn't very confident in crosswinds and close to busy roads because of the depth and shape of the rim.

If you struggle to find 16h hubs, get a 32h and skip every other hole. Good hubs (cfr Shimano DA, DTswiss, Bitex) are a well worth investment.

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by kulivontot

Go as aero as you can without getting blown around by cross winds. I'm guessing 105 pound riders can't put out massive amounts of watts, so if aero gets you "free" watts, then that'll be more beneficial than dropping weight for someone who's already going to kill it uphill. It's pretty simple, do you find it harder going uphill or hanging on to the back of the fast group? Pick the wheel that aids the more troublesome situation.

by Weenie

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