Decent metal wheels

So, I am not N+1ing in this bike sales climate. I can wait till next year when the used market is nice and soft. That said, I have been making my Felt f80 a lot nicer. I already swapped the triple out for a modern 2x setup, replaced all the touch points and swapped over to 28c tires (HUGE difference). Now, I would really like to get some nicer wheels.

  • Rim brakes, but any future bikes will probably be disk so I am not going to go crazy.
  • 9 speed group set. This sure limits my hub options… Dont really want to change out my controls to 10 or 11 speed. Shifters are expensive and I live in the flats so the extra gears buy me almost nothing.
  • This bike is likely to get downgraded to trainer bike whenever the bike market gets less dumb so again, not buying long term investment priced wheels
  • I live in the flattest of flatlands so aero over weight.
  • The 28s I have on now are as big as I can go. I actually have to let all the air out to get them past the brakes so I am really at the very edge size wise. 25s would be okay but i would rather stay as big as possible cause our roads are crap.

Thoughts? Suggestions?

No limitations at all…Shimano freehubs are all compatible between 8, 9, 10, & 11 spd options. So you can buy an “11 spd” system and still have it work with your current drivetrain (you’ll need to sue the spacer between the largest cog and the freehub body)

I’d take a look at FLO wheels, which have an alloy rim option. Also check used…some screaming deals out there as people transition to discs.

HED Jet 5’s or 6’s are also solid options (again, alloy braking surface)

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All that being said, why do you even want to upgrade wheels on a bike that is going to be on a trainer and gets ridden on flats (I assume you’re not after aero wheels)? Seems like a waste of effort/money right now unless your wheels are simply in poor shape

My winter wheels are Prime and I’ve was impressed last year with their weight and robustness for the money when my Hunt aero wide rims (also alloy) I’ll probably replace them with a new Prime pair.

I am looking for something aero.

I live in the flattest of flatlands so aero over weight.

I also dont own a single spare wheel for this bike so if i wreck something i would be stuck waiting.

Even so, you are right it is a waste of money. I dont care, I want to have something to waste time searching for rather than the work I am really supposed to be doing cause bike inventory does not exist.

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Have a look at the Flo 30s. Alloy, rim brake, bladed spokes, aero profile rim, tubeless compatible, under $600 for the pair. I have a set and they’re pretty darn good. I’m also a big fan of a set of wheels I had made with HED Belgium+ rims and DT350 hubs. Can’t vouch for any aero benefits though.

Have fun.

I’d disreguard weight all together and get the widest deepest rim you can get away with with the nicest hubs and visual appeal. That bike was made for 25c tops, so i’d be super careful about getting too close to the seatstays in the rear. You might want to look at thinner brake pads or wider calipers (if your frame can handle the tire) https://www.swissstop.com/brakepads/rimbrakes/flashevo/blackprince/

Most of these AL wheels are going to be 22-23mm externally, you’ll want to go as wide as you can for aero, I’d suggest running a (true) 25c tire in front is you want straightline aero performance. 23c is going to work a lot better though.

Merlin Cycles usually has the best prices on OEM takeoff wheelsets -
These are good bang for the buck wheelsets :
DT Swiss P1800 / PR 1600 https://www.merlincycles.com/dt-swiss-pr-1600-spline-32-clincher-road-wheelset-700c-108395.html
Campy / Fulcrum 400 https://www.merlincycles.com/fulcrum-racing-400-lg-c17-clincher-road-wheelset-124714.html https://www.merlincycles.com/campagnolo-scirocco-c17-clincher-road-wheelset-76092.html

Wheels don’t get any nice until you hit $700 and start looking at offbrand carbon wheels or AL33 rim builds
Bontrager makes a 50mm deep faring wheel for cheap, but I wouldn’t go much deeper than 32mm with a narrowish AL rim as they’ll wander around in gusty winds.

For $1200 you’re looking at proper carbon wheelsets.

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+1 on the HED Jet recommendation. I picked up a set of HED Jet RC5 Plus with low miles for $600. They are on my 2012 CAAD10 this year and have been really happy.

  • Alloy rim brake
  • 11 speed shimano hub will run 9sp with spacer(s)
  • I live in NW Ohio which is flat as hell and also windy. 50mm carbon fairing hasn’t been too crazy with crosswinds, and I’m pretty light (140 lb / 63 kg)
  • Internal width is 21mm which is not huge but not ancient either (my previous Dura Ace C24 are 15(!) mm internal)
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