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Replacing wheels or not?

pll2011-03-16 02:15:34 +0000 #1
Here's my dilemma of the week... Should I replace the stock wheels in my bike or not? The situation is as follows:I am planning on buying a new bike within the next year (horizon extended from next 6 months because finding a bike I like is harder than I thought).
Currently ride a Felt F85 from 2003 (cost when bought: ~ $500). General problems with it: the geometry is too aggressive for me and it the road chatter kills my hands (all aluminum).
Last Sunday I blew the third spoke in the rear wheel (two this season, one last season). It has become harder to true -- the tech at the bike shop that fixed this last spoke said that the tension was 'funky all over'.
To add insut to injury, it seems I have worn bearings in the bottom bracket.

I will be doing the Hilly Hundred this weekend. I know I need to fix the bottom bracket issue. Estimated price tag, parts and labor: ~ $50.

My big question is whether to replace the wheels or not. Tough finding a rear wheel only on short notice (or without shipping adding too much to the cost). I have located a set of Mavic Aksium wheelset for $250. To replace or not? It would buy me extra time to search for the new bike, and also some peace of mind for my Hilly Hundred ride. Am I crazy?


OakLeaf2011-03-16 02:17:46 +0000 #2
How many miles are on those Aksiums? The price seems a little high to me.

On the plus side, they're what I have on my bike, and as far as sturdiness of spokes and rims, they've been rock solid. I might get them trued once a year but they've never really needed it.

On the minus side, my freehub bearings failed around 10,000 miles, and of course they're heavy as all get-out.

I guess to me it depends on how badly you want rid of your current bike. I think if you can live with the frame for a while, if it were me, I'd see if you could borrow a wheel from a friend for the Hilly (or even rent one from a LBS, even if you have to rent the whole rest of the bike along with it), and in the meantime have a really good wheelset built - wheels that will be an upgrade for you whenever you get your new bike - or that you can put on the new bike when you have it built.
pll2011-03-16 02:48:46 +0000 #3
Thanks OakLeaf... The Aksiums are brand new, in one of the local bike shops (lucky to have two good shops within walking distance of my place). I will ask about renting -- that sounds like a great idea.
Seajay2011-03-16 03:34:34 +0000 #4
If you rent...get something REALLY nice. Like a Zipp 303. May as well take the opportunity to know what the fuss is all about. If your LBS does not have this service... try racedaywheels.com

Fair warning...you will never be satisfied with cheap wheels again.

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