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Suggestions on Rolf Wheels & Specialized Frames(9 posts)

Suggestions on Rolf Wheels & Specialized FramesBenH
Dec 27, 2001 9:27 AM
I've seen Rolf wheels on sale, both the Sestriere and the Comp. I'm about 160lb. Are these good wheelsets ? I'm NOT a racer anymore but an avid day rider who likes reasonably fast stuff.

I've also seen the M4 frames on sale for $550. Are these so stiff they're harsh or can they be tamed with a carbon post. My other bike is a Trek 5200. I've also seen the Schwinn Fastback (Aluminum) and KHS frames deeply discounted.

Thanks for the opinions.

re: Suggestions on Rolf Wheels & Specialized Framesjkh
Dec 27, 2001 11:20 AM
I have both the Fastback and M4. Both of them are light and stiff. The Fastback is a little too stiff for my taste on long ride. If you want M4, make sure to get the 2001 model. The piror models have a design fault (IMHO) on the rear dropout for the derailleur hanager where there are two screw holes and will crack. The 2001 has eliminated one hole and thus make the dropout stronger.

Just for your info if you are interested, I have the Fastback frame/fork for sale. Look under the frame/fork section.
re: Suggestions on Rolf Wheels & Specialized FramesWoof the dog
Dec 27, 2001 10:11 PM
good to hear about this feature in 2001 models. Can't wait till I crack my frame now. I always thought it was the stupidest idea to have two holes for the der. hanger. They actually got someone with brains at Specialized to change that now.

Dec 27, 2001 10:20 PM
Thanks for the reply,

So what do you think of the M4 for longer day rides. Is it a comfortable bike as well ? I know the older aluminum frames were too rigid to be comfortable. I've also seen KHS bikes on sale made out of 853 so that's an option.
Dec 28, 2001 12:07 PM
It is comfortable enough for me. I have never owned any steel bike, but have ridden a couple of them for a short time. Of course, steel is more comfortable than aluminum. But it really depends on how you can handle the stiffness.
Just like cars, some people think the suspensions of a BMW is harsh, but some people find them quite comfortable and are willing to sacrifice the comfort for performance.
My newly built M4jkh
Dec 29, 2001 11:52 PM
This is my first time building a bike on my own. I parted the Schwinn Fastback and put them onto this new 2001 M4 frame.

Here are some pictures:

I put on a pair of 170mm crank arms (the stock ones from Schwinn is 172.5mm). Plan on getting another carbon fork as I found this Look carbon fork (a used one came with the new frame) flex too much.
Fast wheelsKerry Irons
Dec 27, 2001 4:24 PM
A set of aero wheels will save you maybe 3-4 minutes in 100 miles. Significant if you're time trialing, not so significant for a fast recreational rider. If you can get these wheels for significantly less than a set of typical built wheels (e.g Open Pro/Ultegra for $209, Open Pro/Chorus for $275 at Colorado Cyclist) and you don't mind what may be a challenge of replacement parts in the future, then go ahead. Otherwise, a "standard" wheel is probably a better value.
Fast wheelsmclements
Dec 27, 2001 6:49 PM
Aero wheels will save you that only if it's a relatively flat course. On a hilly course with twisty descents the aero wheels may actually slow you down if they are heavier than an equally strong, non-aero wheel (which they usually are).

For example, if you run the numbers on you will find that the light Mavic wheels are faster than the Specialized aero wheels up any grade steeper than 5%.

Of course that means the aero wheels are faster on anything flatter than 5%.

As for the Sestrieres and other light wheels, check out the reviews. Some people have reported them self-destructing during rides. I would avoid the super light stuff and go for a stronger wheel. Even if they're heavier and less aero, they're still faster than an ambulance ride to the hospital after your wheel disintegrates on a 40 MPH descent 8^O
NOT aero wheelsgimondi
Jan 1, 2002 8:17 PM
Remember, the rolf/bontrager/shimano wheels are NOT at all aero. A couple spokes missing of whatever does not an aero wheel make. John Cobb best handles this by placing wheels into categories based on a narrow range of performance in the wind tunnel, the all of these wheels occupy the same space as a traditional wheel because a few missing spokes might cut some spoke drag, but does not address the larger issue of pressure drag due to box shaped rim, and that 80% of spoke drag occurs in last 2inches of spoke length, so these rims are doing very little to solve this. Same with Mavic Ksyrium, it has few spokes, but they are thick, and the box rim actually makes it a higher drag wheel than most any standard wheel. So be careful, many manufacturers put 'aero' in the product bio hoping you won't put any independant thought into it, but think to yourself, does the rim/tire form a fluent wing-like shape, how far do the spokes extend to the perimeter? any rim less than 30mm deep is pointless, and none of these rims come close.

Buy them for quality, durability, color, cool spoke pattern, whatever, but dont convince yourself for a minute you are gaining anything when you open your wallet.