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Kysrium's vs. Sestriere's Which is better?(20 posts)

Kysrium's vs. Sestriere's Which is better?Helduser
Nov 1, 2001 8:46 AM
I'm about to purchase a 52 cm trek 5200 with Campy Chorus and I'm trying to make a decision about what wheels to put on it. I'm about 170lbs and the roads I ride can sometimes be pot-hole ridden. Would the Ksyrium's or Rolf Sestriere's be better or should I be looking at some other set of light weight wheels? Thanks in advance! Mike
Nov 1, 2001 9:04 AM
You buy Rolf you buy into all of their problems. People frequnetly post a whole litany of woes related to Rolf wheels on this forum. The K's are bomber and you will never regret having them - forget all the non-issues that people raise about hard to get and untested aluminum spokes. Been riding my K's over some of the nastiest mtn. roads you can imagine (recently did 11 miles on dirt - don't ask) and have even crashed a couple times Rolf is just Trek's way of keeping costs down and profit margins up and owners pissed-off.
Nov 1, 2001 9:38 AM
I have had my K's for over 1 yr. I weigh 200#, I have had several wrecks, and never had to true or do anything to the wheels.
Great quote.Colombian Climber
Nov 1, 2001 3:39 PM
"Rolf is just Trek's way of keeping costs down, profit margins up, and owners pissed-off." :-)
Nov 2, 2001 7:20 AM
I would like to thank all of you for your replies and keep them coming. I really appreciate all of this great information. It sounds like K's are the hands down favorites I just hope I can work them into the price I'm willing to pay. I'm trying to keep the whole bike under 3k. I know I can do it by going the way of the Sestriere's. It seems that a bunch of shops can let them go for a relatively low price. I'm looking at a trek 5200 with chorus and sestrieres coming in at $2750. Is it possible to get the same price with K's? I guess I'll find out when I head back to my LBS tomorrow.

Thanks again for all the input. Since it's my first time making such a bike purchase I really value the opinions of experienced riders/racers and mechanics such as yourselves.

re: Kysrium's vs. Sestriere's Which is better?Jekyll
Nov 1, 2001 10:30 AM
I've had Kysriums for about a year now and around 4k miles. I have touched them up a bit (rear only - once) otherwise no problems. After going through a number of other pre-built wheels like Velomax and Cane Creek on my bikes I'm pretty sold on the K's. For reference I'm 180ls and the local roads (I know, everyone says this) are pretty bad.
Question about the Velomax...PsyDoc
Nov 2, 2001 4:34 AM
...wheels. What happened to them? What model did you have? How long did you have them? The only reason I ask is that I have a new pair of Velomax Orions and have been extremely happy with them so far. But, if there is something I should watch out for, then I want to know what that should be.
Question about the Velomax...Jekyll
Nov 2, 2001 9:13 AM
I had Ascents, I was at the edge of the weight envelope and probably should have gotten Orions. That said, I had problems with the back wheel. I don't remember hitting anything serious, etc but the wheel developed a wobble (about 1/8 to 3/16") after about 250 miles.
As they are laced at very high tension they are almost impossible to touch up properly. I think that once you mess with their factory build you are in a world of trouble.
Local Velomax dealer could not get it straight and to stay that way either. I ended up trading the wheels back in (good relationship with the LBS).
I know a lot of others have had a positive experience with Velomax but I have had much better luck with the K's (odd spokes but easy to work with) and with my own D/A and King to Open Pro's over the years.
Nov 2, 2001 9:43 AM
...I appreciate the information. As an aside, I talked with Velomax and they indicated that if the rear wheel needs touching-up that you should leave the drive side alone and do the adjustment via the non-drive side.
re: Kysrium's vs. Sestriere's Which is better? Rolf !Cyclorocket
Nov 1, 2001 3:08 PM
I can assume you are buying a "all purpose bike";
That you DO spend money in wheelset (1k$ for the set + tires);
I assume that you like the easy replacement of clincher tires too.
Here my point of view :

Weight is not a ~big~ factor: what is important is WERE is the weight;
Strengh is THE fact when are buying "all purpose" pieces; SO

Very solid wheelset :
Hubs : Chris King Classic
Rims : Mavic CXP-33 25mm 28/32 14 gauge spokes with 2x/3x pattern
Tires : Axial Pros 23-622 @ 105 pressure

Performance wheelset :
Hubs : American Classic Micro front and Ultra Light rear
Rims : Mavic Open Pro 28/32 bladed spokes with 2x/3x pattern
Tires : Continental GP Supersonic 20-622 @ 130 pressure

OR you can also buy prebuilt wheels;
I don't like to spend 500$ for Sestriere : The rims aren't light and only the '01 rolfs have good (not best) bearings.

I don't like to spend 500$ either for Ksyriums (SL I assume) All ksyriums have a NON-AERO rim witch gives a major disadvantage over 30mm + rims, BUT has every mavic wheelset, the bearings are better then the average (they aren't Chris K hubs...).

I think you didn't check Campagnolo's wheelset !
The new Eurus is quite impressive...

If I were you I'd wait for what Rolf Dietrich will come out wih in '02 And until ten I'd buy Rolf Pro's '01 or cheaper but still very ok, Mavic Cosmic Elite, or

Hubs : Chorus
Rims : Mavic CXP-33 25mm 28/32 14 gauge spokes with 2x/3x pattern
Tires : Continental 2000 23-622 @ 110 pressure
Price : 300-400 max with tires

Until you (and me) see what can Rolf come out with.

Rolf's wheelset are the best, there was problems because he was working WITH trek, but he has come back alone and working on new desing or

re: Kysrium's vs. Sestriere's Which is better?Len J
Nov 1, 2001 3:21 PM
Can't speak for the K's but I have the S's.

Put about 4000 miles on them this year including 500 miles in Alaska on some pretty rough roads & they have been bulletproof. Hubs are butter smooth, weight is light wheels are stiff and mine are as true as the day I put them on the bike. This is thru two crashes & some bad roads.

Just my experience.

my experienceDog
Nov 1, 2001 4:01 PM
I have two sets of Ksyriums, Campy and Shimano. I also have Campy Nucleons, Zipp 303 carbon tubular, Velomax Ascent Pro (Lew carbon rim), locally made American Classic (very light clinchers), and some Campy hub/Open Pros.

I have ridden over 20,000 miles in the last two years. 95% of that has been on the Ksyriums, including road races, time trials, crits, training, centuries, doubles, and recently a 508 mile race in the desert, over some of the worst roads on the planet.

The K's have never let me down, in fact, except for some very small bearing and spoke adjustments, which weren't even necessary, I have not even touched them. One time last spring, though, while descending over 45 mph on Highway 1 in a double century, I hit something that blew out my front tire instantly. It also put a dent in my rim all the way past the brake surface. But, I fixed the tube and completed the remaining 150 miles of the double. The wheel didn't go untrue the slightest. My LBS replaced the rim for $90, including labor.

They may not appear to be aero, but I can tell you these wheels are damn fast down hills. I've never been outpulled down a hill with them, plus they are rock solid, which inspires confidence. Much of descending is about confidence. Smooth braking, solid, predictable cornering, etc. They are great.

If I could have only one set of wheels, they are it. No doubt about it. I have much fancier wheels, but most of the time I choose to ride the K's anyway. They are reliable, which counts for a lot.

The Rolfs may be equally fine wheels, but I have no experience with them. I can vouch for the K's, though.

my experience5ive
Nov 2, 2001 6:15 AM
Hey Doug. I've always values your opinions regarding components because of sheer amount of miles you put on them. I want to know how you would rate nucleons vs. ksyriums. I have a pair of nuc's that I've been very happy with but I'm curious about how the K's ride. I'm not asking you for "which is better". I just want to know about your perceived differences between the 2 wheelsets. Could you compare them in terms of lateral stiffness, cross-wind effects, ascending efficiency, etc.? Thanx in advance.
very similarDog
Nov 2, 2001 6:45 AM
The wheels are very similar in specs and feel. I give the nod to K's for one strange, but important reason. The Nukes make tire changes very difficult. The rim channel is not as deep, making it much harder to get the tire bead over the rim. I've pinched a few tubes trying, and it takes extra time and effort, especially important while on the road.

The Nukes are a little better in cross winds, but I think the K's are slightly more aero at higher speeds downhills. Can't back that up with good data, though.

I like the fact that you can service the K's much easier, adjusting hub bearings and spokes with the wheels on the bike. The Nukes are more difficult in both respects. But then, neither one needs much adjusting.

I think they are equivalent quality.

I like the slightly more classic look of the Nukes, but then the K's have an understated good looks, too. But then, how important is that?

Thanx Doug (nm)5ive
Nov 2, 2001 10:51 AM
Hey Dog, what about VelomaxKurt H
Nov 2, 2001 10:50 AM
Hey Dog,
Didn't you post quite some time back that your LBS became a Velomax dealer just to get a set of Velomax wheels for you? I hope I have the right person! If so, how did those compare to the K's?
ok hubs, but not rimsDog
Nov 2, 2001 11:28 AM
I have the Ascent Pro's, which use the Lew carbon rims.

The hubs are nice (not Campy 10 compatible, though).

The rims, while light, sort of suck, though. They are extremely flexy laterally, and the brake surface is awful. The rear, while standing, moves all around. The brakes are very hard to modulate, either with stock or Corima cork pads. It's a very "grabby" brake surface.

I like the Zipp 303 a whole lot better. They are a little wider, maybe contributing to better stiffness, about the same weight, and the brake surface is a little better. The Velo's use fewer spokes and might be a bit more aero, though, but not perceptibly.

Doing it all over again, I'd get some HED Alps. Haven't ridden them, but they are roughy the same weight, but use an aluminum brake surface, and are a bit deeper.

One late vote for KsyriumsEric
Nov 2, 2001 10:12 AM
I have a pair of 2001 Ksyriums, which I raced on pretty much full-time this past season. They were very bombproof for me (6', 165-170 lbs). In fact the only problem I had was a dented front rim when I nailed a rock in a race, going over 70 km/h. No rim would have survived. However, I got a replacement rim from my dealer for $75 (Canadian, which is less than $50 US).
Nov 4, 2001 2:46 PM
Well.... I'm going with the Ksyrium's. I went to Shirk's bike shop in East Earl, PA on Saturday and with my bicycle club 5% discount I can get my 5200 with Ksyrium's, Chorus 10 and the ErgoBrain all for under $2900. I'm so excited that I can hit my price target with the K's. I'm really psyched!

Thanks again for all of your input!
Rolf user speaks upDuane Gran
Nov 5, 2001 6:20 AM
I own a set of Vector Comps and Vector Pros and have ridden about 10k miles on them collectively. The sestriere is a bit lighter, but I think my perception may apply. I've never needed to true these wheels unless I wrecked, and the rear wheel has never needed trueing. From what others say, the Kyseriums also are very true wheels, so it looks like you can't go wrong. I just wanted to echo a positive experience with Rolf wheels.