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There are wheels and other wheels and some more wheels...(16 posts)

There are wheels and other wheels and some more wheels...Speedy Donderbal
Oct 17, 2001 1:26 AM
I'm already looking forward to the new season and the annual upgrade of my bike. This year it's time to replace my Elcheapo wheels with some wheels that make the difference.

There is a lot of stuff available, it's hard to find the wheel that I need. Going from Mavic Kysirium to Cosmic, Shimano DuraAce or DuraAce Carbon, Compagnolo Shamal, Rolf Vector Comp or Pro, Spinery Xaero or Rev-X (are they reliable??)...

Which weels are most suited for my favorite 'The flatter the better' ride??
You don't need lightness, so go for aero.Stattoman
Oct 17, 2001 2:29 AM
Cosmics are a nice blend of aero and strength and are good bang for the $ too. I'd just advise something that you don't have to spend $100 and wait a month to get fixed if they bang out - what have they got in your LBS?
You don't need lightness, so go for aero.Speedy Donderbal
Oct 17, 2001 3:53 AM
LBS has all the wheels I named. It does not mean that they are the only candidates to become my new wheelset.
re: There are wheels and other wheels and some more wheels...morey
Oct 17, 2001 4:46 AM
I have a set of Mavic Kysyriums, which came on the bike I have. I love them, they are indestructible. I have ridden on them for almost 1 year without having to true them. I am 5'10", 200lbs. I think these wheels are A-OK! They look cool also!
re: There are wheels and other wheels and some more wheels...cyclequip
Oct 17, 2001 6:19 AM
I own a few sets of wheels from Ksyrium thru to handbuilt Wolber's on DA hubs. I train on Open Pro's laced to DA hubs. They are all great for what they're intended to accomplish. BUT I positively yearn for a set of Cosmic Carbone SSC's after having the opportunity of riding a tubby pair on a high-speed jaunt. I've never ridden anything that went fast so well. But I've yet to spend any time on Shamal's.
re: Cosmic CarbonesChen2
Oct 17, 2001 6:39 AM
I ride Cosmic Carbones every day (when I'm on my primary bike). Mine are 4 years old and have 16 bladed spokes front and back. I think going to 20 spokes on the rear with the SSC model was a good idea for keeping the rear tru. These wheels are definitely fast, you can feel the difference and the computer will show it. With the 57mm deep profile I use Performance tubes with 60mm stems, no extenders needed. The rim is an aluminum box, the composite farings are bonded on the rim. Spoke tension adjustments requires removing the tires, tubes, and rim strips (mine are clincher wheels). The spokes are adjusted with a special skinny socket wrench that comes with the wheels. With normal care these wheels are bomb proof. They are not especially light and there are better climbing wheels. Gusty cross-winds above 20 mph can add some unwanted thrills, especially when riding in a crowd.
Oct 17, 2001 11:07 AM
Unless you are doing some serious time-trialling, I would not bother with a pair of wheels like Cosmic Carbone or Zipp 404. They are a lot of money and definitely more fragile. The Shimano wheels are OK, but again the carbon rimmed version is rather pricey. Plus, they are not the most laterally stiff wheels (see

The best all-around boutique wheelset, IMO, is the Ksyrium. They are reaosnably aero and from my perspective faster than a conventional 32 spoke wheel. They are affected less in crosswinds than deeper section wheels and they are also not so heavy as to be a disadvantage for climbing. Plus they are very strong in my experience (having raced them this year).
Oct 17, 2001 12:53 PM
I think I agree with you as to the Ksyriums being a better, maybe the best, all around wheel. But I don't agree with the idea that the Cosmic Carbone wheels are fragile. And the rims are not carbon at all, they are aluminum and very sturdy. Only the profile fairing is composite "carbon". I've hit some serious chug holes with mine with no ell effects. In fact I think the rim is stronger than many conventional wheels which is probably why they are heavier than many of the competitive wheels. They're good tough wheels, just not climbing wheels like Ksyriums. The reason I suggested Cosmic Carbones is because the original poster was asking about wheels for flat rides. That's where the Carbones shine. I don't think I'd want either the Carbones or Ksyriums in a crit race though, maybe the K's.
Parade rain comingKerry Irons
Oct 17, 2001 4:51 PM
As I often state, I strongly suggest using wheels built with stock parts. There are two (and a half) problems I see with "boutique" wheels (I own Electrons - they are my only wheels). First, many of them push the envelope on reliability in an effort to be different or light. First (and a half), because of the first issue, they often change frequently during their product life cycle and it becomes nearly impossible to get parts or repairs.

The real complaint I have about them is that they are grossly overpriced. A company comes out with a wheel that is nearly the same as can be built with stock components, and they add $300 to the price of a comparable wheel. For example, MAVIC Helium clinchers were red, Open Pro, low spoke count rims/hubs that you can't buy, but are not substantially different than a 32 (or 28) wheel you could have built or build for $350 less. Campy doesn't sell 24 spoke hubs and rims, otherwise, you could build Nucleons and Electrons yourself at a far lower cost. No one would every consider paying someone $300 to build a set of wheels or $350 for a set of rims, but that effectively is what you pay when you buy something like this. On top of this, you can't get replacement parts (spokes, rims, hubs) except through the manufacturer's rebuild operation or at outrageous prices. Last I heard, 48 spokes for my Electrons would cost me $80+!

So, in order to get these chi-chi wheels, we end up paying through the nose and don't get much or any performance advantage. And please don't tell me about the quality of "factory built" wheels. Even ignoring the problems people have had with the factory wheels, you can't convince me that the boys in the factory are any better than a good bike shop or an experienced builder. If a good wheel can be built by a factory technician, given the same parts, I can build one too, perhaps a better one. And then, if I break a spoke, I can replace it. If I dent or crack a rim, I can replace it. I'm not dependent on UPS and a 3 week vacation from riding to get a spoke replaced. IMO, you'd be much better off buying or building wheels with stock parts. Save money. Wheels just as good (better?). No brainer.
Kerry, you're right, but K's are greatPaul N. VA
Oct 18, 2001 9:13 AM
I have ksyriums, heliums, and open pros. I really like them all, but as you suggest, I can fix the open pros on the fly, but not the others. It really is more of a status symbol I bought mine used, pros are new). People just like to show off their hard ware, the American way I guess. I love the ksyriums, so far they (and my heavy friends k's) are bullet proof. They don't ride as comfortable as the heliums or open pros, but have great handling characteristics especially on the descents. Personnally, I feel they are the best all around wheel ever built, only negative is the cheap paint job.

Mavic Kysirium/Cosmic vs Rolf VectorSpeedy Donderbal
Oct 17, 2001 10:57 PM
Thanks to the postings I had reduced the list of candidates to Mavic Kysirium or Mavic Cosmic. But a friend of mine told me I can buy his Rolf Vector Comp's for a very nice price...

How are the Rolfs compared to the Mavic wheels??
Mavic Kysirium/Cosmic vs Rolf VectorEric
Oct 18, 2001 8:38 AM
I'm not sure about the 20001 Vector Comps, but previous years had poor hub quality. Check out for pricing on Ksyriums, they have them for $510 US. They also have the 2002 Campy Neutron (replaces the Nucleon) for $540 and it can be had with a Shimano freehub body.
Mavic Kysirium/Cosmic vs Rolf VectorJJ
Oct 20, 2001 4:24 AM
I have a pair of Vector Comps and they are great training wheels. Fast, once you get going, they maintain speed nicely. They are a bit heavy and that is why they will become my training wheels. They have been tru since I have had them, 2.5 seasons.

Ride a pair of Siestieres. I am looking at those, Kryseriums, Super Dream Aerolight, and Velomax Ascent. Those are the four I have narrowed it down to. The Super Dreams are my top choice because they are light at 1400 g. or just above that and are completely rebuildable.
Why notmuncher
Oct 18, 2001 1:08 AM
Save your dosh, and get 2 pairs of Open Pro on DA/Record for the same price? Excellent wheels, easy to repair (if they ever need it) and very strong and light - lighter in fact, by many accounts, than special K's?
re: There are wheels and other wheels and some more wheels...brider
Oct 18, 2001 1:35 PM
Curious -- are you racing on these? If so, I'd recommend a lighter, more aero set for racing, and a heavier, indestructible, less aero set for training. The Hed 3's are very strong wheels, very aero, and not too heavy. I've done many road races on them (and if there's a lot of wind, you can go with a standard spoked front). If you're set on spoked wheels, I'd get Jobst Brandt's book, a truing stand, and start building your own. There's nothing wrong with skipping a hole or two to match a hub to a rim -- I'm currently riding a 36 hole hub on a 32 hole rim for my commuting wheel. I've seen guys use a 36 hole hub AND RIM to build up an 18 spoke wheel, just skipping every other hole. Get creative. You can find a lot of good stuff to do this at closeouts. I built all the wheels I ride on (except the 3-spokers), and I don't have any problems with them at all.
wheel buildinggrease monkey
Oct 19, 2001 4:45 AM
I assumed that skipping holes as you suggest would be a big no-no. When you skip 4 holes on the hub,
"a 36 hole hub on a 32 hole rim for my commuting wheel,"
how do you lace it?