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Best lightweight rims? Open Pros?(21 posts)

Best lightweight rims? Open Pros?niednagl
May 8, 2002 8:53 AM
I am looking to build up the ultimate do-anything wheels.
Climbing performance is first priority (= low weight).
Reliability is second. Bang-for-the-buck third. Lateral stiffness fourth, and aerodynamics dead last.

I am currently considering building up Mavic Open Pros around Chris King of Hugi hubs (28 radial front, 32 hole 3x/2x rear, butted spokes, alloy nips).

I'd like to find a (sub-)400g rim that is still reliable for a 170lb rider with good handling skills.

Does anyone have good experiences with Sun, Velocity or Campy rims?
re: Best lightweight rims? Open Pros?goldsbar
May 8, 2002 9:19 AM
American Classic has a 350g rim that they claim is good for riders up to 180lbs. No idea on the reliability.
Open prosgrandemamou
May 8, 2002 9:32 AM
are a great all around rim. If you build it up with the right spokes/hub you can get a rim thats light enough to race and sturdy enough to ride every day.

Can't help you with the other brands Mavic OP are the only ones you listed that I have any experience with. Mavic either makes the best rim or has the best marketing/distribution system. Other than factory wheels I rarely see any other type of rims Suns,Ambrosio etc.
Open pros vs Ambrosio Excellightsboneman
May 9, 2002 7:14 AM
grandemamou makes a good point in that the Open Pro is a great all around rim. Having put about 10,000 on a set, my first set of clinchers, I agree that they're trouble free, reasonably light and easy to build. I've not had the click problem others have noted.

As for Mavic's being the best rim, I believe it's a function of their fine marketing/distribution system. For me the Ambrosio equivalent, the Excellight, is better made, albeit more expensive rim. I have two sets of wheels made with Ambrosio rims, the aforementioned Excellight's and a set built with Balance's, semi aero rims which are heavy (500gr) but bomb proof. Worth looking at if you can find them.
Excellight weight, cost, retailers?niednagl
May 9, 2002 9:04 AM
On the Excellights:
What do they weigh & cost? Where can I get them?
As for "better made," do you mean more durable or just better quality rim joint?
Excellight weight, cost, retailers?boneman
May 9, 2002 1:26 PM
Weight is 430gr, ie Open Pro equivalent. Cost, I'll give you the UK cost net of VAT which is about $125/pair, no bargain. Durability versus Open Cd, I wouldn't know as I've only trashed two rims in 30+ years, one bunny hopping a pot hole, coming up short and the other in a collision with a car. They do seem to stay very true but generally I've found that to be more a function of the builder. Better made as in finer machining of the brakings surfaces and based on what the builders I've used, stiffer box section and better ferrules both as it relates to their stampings and their pressing into the rim. The normal Excell is 460gr, much cheaper and comes with a neat counterweight by the valve hole. Same fine quality. Retailers? I have no idea having been out of the States for over 3 years. Their distribution sucks in Europe so I can only imagine how bad it is in the States. LaBicicleta in Canada sometimes carries them and both that shop, and the manufacturer have web sites.

Worth looking for and it's also a rare day when the guy next to you is on Ambrosio's.

Open Pros and CK hubsTrekFurthur
May 8, 2002 10:29 AM
This is a great combination--

Chris King Hubs
Mavic Open Pros
28 spoke 3x front and rear/1.8-2.0 dbl butted with alloy nipples.

Resulted in a 3/4 lb. weight reduction on my bike, so they're certainly light enough. Another added benefit of such a "traditional" wheel is they're very comfortable.

Sorry I don't have any comments on the other rims you listed, although lots of guys in my neck of the woods also use Velocity rims.

BTW, I'm 5'8" and 168 pounds, so that combination should be fine for you. Just be sure of the builder.
what is the availability of Campy rims these days?gtx
May 8, 2002 10:46 AM
in my experience they are pretty darn nice, but scarce. Same goes for Fir. Been hearing a lot of complaints about the Open Pros--they are very easy to build with but I'm not sure about durability--mostly eyelet issues. Mavic kind of has the high end rim market cornered--I think most people end up with them for availability reasons, not because they are a superior product.
Bang for the buck and same weight? Sun ME14A, $48Quack
May 8, 2002 12:00 PM
I would use the ME14A rims from Sun. I believe they are 420g and you can order direct from Sun for $48. I have built wheels with both Mavic OPs and Sun ME14As and honestly cannot tell any difference in quality. The Mavics, in my opinion, are just overpriced. Plus, Sun shipped the wheels directly to my door in three days. The only downside to using Sun is that you won't fit in with the Open Pro worshippers.
check out Nashbar's deal on velocity aeroheat roads...pusher
May 8, 2002 1:30 PM
As I recall they only have the 28 hole left, so that will work for your front hub.
It is a 400 gram rim with a V cross section.
They don't use eyelets. Don't need them.
$20 you can't beat that.
I have the mountain bike version on the front of my mountain bike.
It is very solid. Went 2 years before I had to true it.
check out Nashbar's deal on velocity aeroheat roads...rider5673
May 8, 2002 6:54 PM
I can't speak to the durability of the Aero head rims, but if you're building them yourself, you'll like the way the Mavics build up better. The Velocity rims are more difficult to get true and round, and since they are pinned rims, you've got that annoying thumping ridge on the sidewall for the first 1000 miles. I'd spend the extra money on Open Pros if you can. I've built several sets with both, and from that perspective Open Pros win hands down.
Velocity Aerohead (nm)Kerry
May 8, 2002 5:16 PM
durability on Velocity Aerohead?niednagl
May 9, 2002 10:17 AM
Does anyone actually own a set of Aeroheads? What is your experience? Do they stay true? I can live without eyelets if the rims hold up.
durability on Velocity Aerohead?Andy M-S
May 9, 2002 12:32 PM
I've got a couple thousand miles on mine and so far, so good. I weigh in at 195+/-, and carry 5-10 # of stuff on my commute. My other rims are Me14A's, no problems with those either!
Me14A vs. Velocity Aerohead?niednagl
May 9, 2002 5:24 PM
Which rim requires less truing? Any differences in feel / buildability?
Me14A vs. Velocity Aerohead?Andy M-S
May 10, 2002 10:56 AM
I didn't build either wheel, so the comparison isn't fair. I would say that Me14A's have held up very well over about 5,000 miles, but they were built for me locally (105 hubs, 14/15/14 spokes) and I paid fairly serious money for them. The LBS stands behind them, and has the best builders in town, and I felt that was a good idea after having some Nashbar wheels essentially come apart on me. The Me14A's have needed virtually nothing in the 2 years or so I've had them.

The Aeroheads came on a pair of wheels I got cheap from Supergo, built on Real hubs (kinda nice) with straight 14g spokes. They came with a sheet that advised stress-relieving and truing, which I did. I've had to tweak them once or twice, but that's it.

Honestly, I can't tell much difference. I bought the Aerohead/Real pair because I rely on my bike for transportation to work as well as for fun, and a backup pair was cheap insurance.
Other than MavicLeGrimper
May 8, 2002 11:38 PM
Mavic have the whole show sewn up. Rarely do people think beyond them. However if you want a little extra, lighter and something different, here are my findings.

Other than Mavic I have used and rate, Mach1 a French company that make rims and bits for the whole industry............. They have a 330 and 320-brand rim that are tough and relatively light.

Also American Classic have a 450g rim and a 350g rim that will build into a 1300g set with their hubs. Excellent, smooth and light. They also do a carbon tub 1100g the set, aero and super light, fast too. Looks a bit like work it out.

Light rim, light hubs and narrow spokes will build light wheels. Open Pro rims are not really light by todays standards.

Check out tune gear from Germany if you open ended amounts of cash. These are some seriously light wheels if cash is no object. Would you dare ride them?

Have fun riding them whatever you decide.

Anyone ever ride the American Classic 350s?niednagl
May 9, 2002 10:34 AM
Questions/comments in order of interest:

Have you (or anyone out there) actually put in miles on Am. Classic 350 rims?

I'm curious about Mach1. Can you define "relatively light" in grams? Where do you get them and what do they cost?

As for tune, I rode for years in Europe and am familiar with their components. I'm afraid that when it comes to stupid-light, one-race, disposo carbon wheelsets like the ones in your link, money _is_ an object. Even Armstrong didn't want to pay for one-shot wheels out of his own pocket at last year's tour!

I am looking for a real-world aluminum rim for about the price of the Mavics (I'd ride carbon if it were lighter _and_ cheaper, otherwise forget it). I expect the things to last longer than a single season too.
American Classic 350s, ridden and ratedLeGrimper
May 9, 2002 11:46 PM
Ridden, ride and like.

However do not remove your brain and just ride them.

Dont train on them, a pot hole will make more of a mess of these than an Open Pro granted, but on roads or courses you know which has hills in them, hills that will make or brake the race then go for it.

They ride fast and smooth, need a little attention on the stand now and again but nothing to worry about IF, IF you are a light rider, kind on gear etc. Im sure they will last years.

Im 65kg and have had no probs. They take over 500g out of my 8.0 kg bike which is a lot!

Tune and Lew make me smile, I concede your point entirely! Like I said "if money is no object", more of a joke than a recommendation.

As always its your choice.

Le Grimp
Mach 1LeGrimper
May 9, 2002 11:51 PM, sorry not .com

320 rim = 462g
330 rim = 480g

E-mail for distributors.
Mavic Open Prossingletrack
May 9, 2002 4:36 AM
Great rim that you can use for both raceing and training.
Don't let the people that talk about the mavic click scare
you away. I've got 1500 miles on mine with no problems, built up 3x front and rear DB SS spokes with brass nipples.
Best road rim on the market, just my opinion.