Road Wheels recommendation for woman under 105 lb

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

I have AC hubs on one set of wheels (Sprint 350) and like them. They're a good combination of low weight, reliability and reasonable price. But skip the ceramic bearing upgrade. I got the ceramic upgrade, but can't tell any difference in friction or smoothness between them and steel bearings.
My favorite components are the ones I never have to think about.

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by jenfromzen

Thanks for the bearing tip!

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by rmerka

jenfromzen wrote:I might go with Sapim Super spokes.

I'm not saying don't do it but those spokes are unusual with their 1.8mm ends. Just make sure whatever hub you go for can accommodate the smaller ends.

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by jenfromzen

But wait, if goin budget do I consider BHS over AC?

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Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA

by eric

I have both AC and BHS hubs. I'd chose BHS. I think they're a bit better constructed. I also like the BHS design more. The narrow flange spacing on the AC rear makes for less uneven spoke tension but a laterally flexier wheel. I can bounce the rear rim off the brake pads at will on a 32h AC 350 wheel, and I weigh 145 lbs. The BHS rear hubs have much wider flange spacing making a laterally stiffer wheel that staye true longer.

The BHS hubs are pretty light. 66g front and 190g rear for their lightest models.
The front uses the same bearings as the AC micro hub but has four of them instead of two. I use them on my training wheels and have yet to have a bearing go bad.

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Location: Perth, Western Australia

by Ozrider

Carbon wheels have come a long way, and the Zipp 303, Bontrager Aeolus 3 or Enve 3.4 are incredibly strong, light and aero.
A rider your weight would have minimal chance of cracking one of these rims. I'm 90kg plus and my edge 1.38's have seen a few seasons of racing crits, long events on rough roads and a few potholes and are going fine, as are my Zipp 404 clinchers and my FFWD F6R Tubulars.
The only downsides to carbon these days is price and with some models wet weather braking although this has improved considerably.

On the alloy wheel front there are a lot of good offerings which can be built up pretty light 1300 - 1450g for about a third to half the price of carbon wheels. On the clincher front a light rider such as yourself could ride a set of alloy clinchers that weigh pretty much the same as carbon clinchers

Post some pics and give us a report once you decide what to buy / have built

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Ozrider - Western Australia
Parlee Z5 XL (6055g/13.32lbs) Trek Madone 5.9 (7052-7500g)Jonesman Columbus Spirit (8680g)
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by veloflyte

I raced and have ridden bikes for over 25 years now. And I worked at bicycle shops for almost 18 years...with 7 of those years at the Wheelsmith in Palo Alto, CA (out of business now).
I tried every combination of wheel that exists... super light, super aero, heavy, etc. I would strongly recommend a very low profile aero shaped rim with bladed spokes. You could easily use 18 or less spokes in the front and no more than 24 in the back. There is ZERO aero advantage of a deep section rim. Don't let any body fool you. A low profile aero wheelset like Easton's EA90 SLX is a great example... 16 spokes in front, 20 in back, on a low profile rim. 1400 grams per set is pretty good for an aluminum wheelset. Go carbon if you want to save more weight and can handle glueing your tires on. Carbon clincher wheels are usually risky. But for your weight, you could consider those as well.

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by jenfromzen

So the EA90 SLX is aero shaped but stans 340 isn't? I kinda want try stans with BHS hubs for an inexpensive build that will be under 1300g. Tonite was miserably windy and chilly. I was the only woman that showed up (well there's only 3 of us when we're all there) and I could not hang with the few fast men that showed up in this wind tonite. I got dropped right away. :cry: Maybe no wheel set would have changed that. It was one of the windiest days. I felt out of control a few times. Still, I needed to ride after not riding Monday and Tuesday. :cry: Tomorrow nite might be just as bad.

Once I'm totally settled on the rim and hubs then I'm sure my builder will help me figure out which spokes. He knows what I'm aiming for.

Other than picking wheels can someone pick a place for me to move to that has great weather/roads etc for cycling and even better if there's a few single male cyclists 40-50 that like female cyclists. I'm not happy here and no great bike parts are really going to change that altho it helps ease the pain and get my mind off it temporarily I suppose.

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by jenfromzen

Also, my builder thinks despite my lack of weight that a rear wheel should still be 24 spokes. Anyone agree? But that 16 or 18 ok for front?

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by Jaroslaw

I love this thread going from "I wanna have Tune hubs" through "nah, I decided for a budget build" to "find me a nice place to ride and a hubby".
Who would understand women... :noidea:

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Location: Canada

by Geoff

At 'race-weight', I am around 129 lbs, so you are a lot lighter than me. Still, my favorite wheels are still Ambrosio Nemesis 32's laced with Sapim CX and CX-Rays to Campagnolo and Shimano hubs (my motto being that you can't win if you can't finish). The reality is that, at your weight, you can definitely get away with really light kit.

Just because you're light, it doesn't mean you're slow. I know some gals your size who still have a pretty good turn of speed. Typically, we smaller riders need every advantage we can get, as the reality is watts are harder to come by. Accordingly, there is nothing wrong with a deeper set of wheels. I have found that the 'newer' wheels are much easier for light riders to control than the wheels that I grew-up on. In fact, the Hed Stinger 9 is more controllable than the Lightweight or ADA wheels. I think that you would be just fine with something like a Zipp 303 or 404. The 'newer' aero wheelsets are pretty light, too.

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by Wcl4

I own and have owned a wide variety of carbon rims - all tubular. In my current stable are Enve 45s/tune/20-24 spokes, Lightweight Standards, Mavic Ultimate, Easton EC90 TT, Aero and SL. The weights range from 1060g to 1450g for wheels only and the depths from 38mm to 90mm. I've also owned Mavic Ksyrium ES, Campy Boras, Zipp 202s among others.

As reference I am heavier at 185lbs and live near the water on the other side of the sound in CT, so I am thinking the elevation is relatively similar. I am the first to admit that I am not a racer or a strong rider. I love tinkering with bikes, love the engineering and design, and enjoy riding around on the weekends as my form of exercise.

The difference to me between a 270g rim on the Enve and whatever the Easton rim weighs as I ride around on flats or slight inclines is huge. The difference between low profile rims and deep wheels is also massive. I personally find the 38-40mm range a good balance between aero, spin up times, and crosswind safety. On the flats, I find the aero advantage does help keep you at speed longer. On climbs, as you can imagine, lighter rotating mass makes an exponential difference. It's the difference between making it or not making it up certain hills.

With your weight, I think you can easily get away with 16-20 spoke combo and a set of Enve 45. I don't think tubulars are a big deal, especially if you use Tufo tape vs glue (1/2 my wheels use tape). I know people will rip on this, but it makes tubular so much easier. I have never flatted on tubs yet (knock on wood). I perceive Contis to be more durable - they don't seem to get cut up as much as the vittorias I have, but as I said, none of my tires have flatted. My friend who has only ridden clinchers loves his set of EC90 tubs.

The brake track heat issue is more for clinchers as I haven't heard the same happening on tubs.

Good luck with whatever wheels you end up with. Wheels to me make the biggest difference so choose wisely!

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Location: Austin, TX

by rmerka

jenfromzen wrote:Other than picking wheels can someone pick a place for me to move to that has great weather/roads etc for cycling

Off topic but it's your topic so I suppose it's cool. If you don't mind a little heat in the summer Austin, TX is a great place to ride, especially the west side of town and out to the hill country. If you're into racing there's a crit series that goes from Spring through Fall with weekly races. Very vibrant cycling scene with a few ladies cycling teams that ride regularly. I see a fair number of women riders around and one of the larger bike shops in town is part owned by a woman. The city is also developing a master plan and dumping tons of cash into building a solid cycling-friendly road infrastructure. Year-round riding is worth a little summer heat to me.

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by 5 8 5

jen, I don't wish to alarm you but have you read this thread - Tires blowing off Stan's Alpha 340 rims

I was considering 340s before reading this. There seems to be more to it than just "incorrect tyre installation".

BTW I would of thought you could ride 38mm deep rims F & R and have a 20/24mm front for windier days.

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by jenfromzen

I think for now I'm going to go with budget stans/BHS clinchers so that later on I can spend the big bucks on super light semi-aero tubulars. I was willing to spend more now, but seems wiser after checking my bank accounts to save up more for my dream wheels and that having a good back up set is a good idea anyway in case I'd ever have damage to my carbon dream wheels and not have them to ride for a few weeks.

I've heard Austin is cool, a liberal oasis with arts and music culture. I'll put it on my dream list. As long as there are climbing rides there. I think I can hack heat better than cold.

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