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Which is the best top of the line clincher wheelset?(24 posts)

Which is the best top of the line clincher wheelset?zorxc
Mar 26, 2003 10:25 PM
Help, I'm looking for the best all around top of the line clincher wheelset (Ksyriums,Velomax, Am Classic, Speed dreams ?) I weight 150 lbs. Thanks.
re: Which is the best top of the line clincher wheelset?russw19
Mar 26, 2003 11:47 PM
This is not only kinda vague as written, what kind of riding are you doing, do you want climbing wheels, race wheels, everyday wheels *that's what I think you are asking* or aero wheels. But you are going to get a whole helluva a lot of subjective opinions.

That said, the nicest wheels I have ever riden for an extended period of time are Cane Creek Aero Head Team Ti's.
They rule!

Mar 27, 2003 7:58 AM
These would be good:

Ksyrium sL
Campy Neutron
Rolf Vigor

Of course, lots of people say just go with standard DA or Record hubs and Open Pro or Velocity rims. That's fine, unless you want low spoke count.

Don't get Campy Neutronsalansutton
Mar 27, 2003 11:01 AM
I hate mine. It's nearly impossible to fit tires on the rims, unless you like Pariba tires. I hate Pariba tires. They last 3 months and flat more than frequently.
Don't get Campy Neutronsmmaggi
Mar 27, 2003 12:31 PM

I agree that there are many tires that don't fit well on them. But that doesn't mean they're not a great set of wheels.

I have had mine (actually it's the Nucleons) for over 4000 miles and I have flatted only once when I was using Conti 3000 GPs and they're a btch a to get on (I was using Vittoria tubes with the Conti's).

If that's the price I have to pay not to flat out, then that's fine w/me since they're a great wheelset for just about anything.
re: Which is the best top of the line clincher wheelset?zorxc
Mar 27, 2003 9:11 AM
I want something lite fore traning, fast group rides and road racing. Are the Ksyriums SL the best or should I consider something else? Thanks.
Campy Neutrons (nm)mmaggi
Mar 27, 2003 12:32 PM
re: Which is the best top of the line clincher wheelset?kenyonCycleist
Mar 27, 2003 12:54 PM
I own both a pair of ksyriums and hed alps, which are lighter than the ksyriums and more aero. the ksyriums seem stiffer, but they are not aero any way u size it. u need at least a 50 mm rim for that. although the ksyriums are stong as nails, so thats a plus
well, this is roadbikeREVIEW.comcollinsc
Mar 27, 2003 11:15 AM
now that you have a list of options, maybe you should invest some time in reading the reviews of said products posted on this site. They are often quite helpful.
re: Which is the best top of the line clincher wheelset?kenyonCycleist
Mar 27, 2003 12:51 PM
Zipp Z4's sound pretty awesome and have an ideal combination of weight vs. aerodynamics.
Kokosing Gap Trail?Alex-in-Evanston
Mar 27, 2003 1:05 PM
Ever heard of it?

A familar but dissenting voiceKerry
Mar 27, 2003 4:52 PM
Despite all the boutique worship out there, none of the wheels you list will offer any performance improvements over a Record/DA hub with a Velocity Aerohead or MAVIC OP.
Give me a breakLeGrimper
Mar 28, 2003 1:43 AM
I have a set of 105/Velocity and also a few others.

So I have to disagree with Kerry. Less rim weight and lower spoke count will improve performance.

I have been riding timed TT's of late in controlled conditions and the wheel weight, aerodynamics and tyres make a difference.

Its noticeable.

Kerry old mate what qualifies you to push training wheels at every opportunity. Dont tell me you work for a shop that sells lots of these CR/DA Velocity/OP wheels?

A lot of your advice on this board is sound but as much is just old stuff reprinted ad nauseam from your hard drive.

Do you race? What Cat? Please do tell.

Give me a breakrussw19
Mar 28, 2003 8:03 PM
Yeah but think of this... as much as Kerry says what he says about those wheels... and I push the Cane Creeks being that I loved them, the question is still asked once every other day.

But for everytime you and I have read his remarks, it's only because we read this board all the time. If everyone who visits here read every thread (as I suspect you do, like myself) then we wouldn't have a "what's the best wheel" thread every other day. Think about how many times that question is asked... would you think it was better if Kerry answered a different wheel everytime? The question gets asked a lot, too much if you ask me, but everytime it's asked, it's answered. And becuase Kerry reads the board frequently, I would bet you are going to continue to see that advice. All I can see is that Kerry is saying that you do not NEED a pair of Ksyriums to be fast, unlike what Mavic would have you believe. You can get a really nice handbuilt wheelset for half the cost with most if not all the performance and no special parts. What's so wrong with repeating that piece of information? I think it's solid advice for people to hear you don't have to buy into Mavic's marketing machine and spend $800 on wheels to be fast or have a nice bike.

Oh yeah, and in case it makes my opinion anymore or less valid, prior to destroying my knee playing Ice Hockey over the winter, I was a Cat 2 road racer. I don't do time trials as I hate them, and I don't race on the track as the nearest one is over 6 hours from me. I have raced MTB races, but only 12 and 24 hour races. If I am going to get muddy it is going to be in a fun group/team race like the endurance races. Do a lap, chill with another lap, chill with a third lap, pass out tired.

isn't fewer spokes an advantage? (however small) nmDougSloan
Mar 28, 2003 7:35 AM
Maybe, maybe not.Ian
Mar 28, 2003 8:23 AM
I will back you up to a point Kerry. I have a set of D/A, open pro wheels, with 14-15 gauge spokes laced 3-cross, 32 spokes per wheel. They are great wheels. I have never weighed them, but I have seen reports that wheels of that construction weigh about 1,700 grams. I also have a pair of Velomax Orion wheels. They are 24 spokes front, 28 rear and weigh just shy of 1,500 grams. The D/A open pros retail for about $300. The Velomax for $700. Where do I get more bang for the buck? The D/A open pros, no question. But take cost out of the equation, and I don't think you can make a case for them against the Velomax. We could even take this further and throw a pair of Zipp Z4's into the mix. They would be aero with the 58mm rim, have aero spokes, and weigh in around 1,100 grams. Hands down one of the best wheelsets in the world. But worth $3,000? Not to me. I think performance improvements can be had over the wheels you recommend, it is just a matter of what cost they come at.

DA/Open Pro = 4stars out of 5 for $300.Fez
Mar 28, 2003 11:14 AM
Lots of lower-end boutiques are heavier for more money, so I wouldn't consider them.

Higher-end boutiques like Velomax and Ksyrium SL may be better and lighter by as much as 200grams, but cost $700-800. Are they better in the absolute sense? Probably. Is it worth $800 as compared to $300 for the Open Pros? You decide.
A familar but dissenting voice - part 2Kerry
Mar 29, 2003 6:45 AM
I'm sorry, but with RARE exception, the rims on boutique wheels are no lighter than Aeroheads, and then there are a lot of questions about durability. Until you get to Zipp, HED, Bora, etc, you get minimal aero benefits from deeper section rims, and you have to go tubulars to get light weight in aero rims. Aero rims can offer a challenge with the real crosswinds that we all ride in. You can get Record (and DA too, IIRC) in 28 spoke, and you won't get much additional aero benefit from fewer spokes than that. Be careful about weight - wheelset weights are quoted without QR skewers, Record and DA hubset weights are quoted with skewers. That's 120 gm of the "200 gm advantage" often attributed to boutique wheels. The boutique wheels often must be returned to the factory if there are problems, whereas a conventional wheel can be maintained by any shop or skilled rider. Finally, it won't be but a couple of years before there are no spare parts available for many of the boutique wheels - the new and improved version will have erased the current model from everyone's mind. Add all this up, include the cost of the factory wheels and the fact that the original poster didn't ask for "the tradeoffs between Zipp's and Boras" and you get the picture.
A familar but dissenting voice - part 2Rob Sal
Mar 29, 2003 12:14 PM
Well put Kerry, I was going to put forward the same point about spares availability in the years to come. Another thing I would add is that spokes break (even direct pull ones), usually mid ride. The amount of distortion in the rim created by one of the 12,14,16,18 spokes breaking is far greater than that in a 32 or 36. From what I have read from other peoples experiences the distortion is bad enough to prevent the wheel rotating and roadside repairs are pretty much out of the question.
re: Which is the best top of the line clincher wheelset?Cheezhead
Mar 27, 2003 5:06 PM
Try Nimble wheels:

I just ordered a pair of Fly clinchers, 20/28 spokes, should be right around 1400g. I weigh 155 lbs. The wheels are really light weight (for a clincher), supposedly pretty aero even for a shallow rim, strong, and not everyone and their mother has them. My wheels should be here in about a week or 2, I'll post a follow-up if you'd like.

Say Cheez
re: Which is the best top of the line clincher wheelset?russw19
Mar 27, 2003 11:28 PM
Those may be nice wheels, I don't know, as I have never seen a pair in person, but the website is a bunch of marketing BS!

They are trying to sell you aero wheels based on a low moment of inertia as if that's a really good thing. Think about that for a moment... and someone with a degree in physics, back me up or cut me down, but wouldn't a low moment of inertia mean you would put more effort into keeping those wheels up to speed? Sure they may accelerate like mad, but doesn't the reverse happen equally as well? Wouldn't they decelerate just as well? That means more energy required to hold them at speed, right? Or did I miss out in physics class? I will admit that I took it in 10th grade and spent more time thinking about the hot girl, Sarah, that sat across from me than that class, but I thought I caught that part. I can only think this is an advantage when going up hills. Not riding in a straight line, not going down hill, not trying to bridge a gap or going on a solo effort. Just simply going up hill. So for an uphill mountain TT, they are probably great.

Also, how in the heck can they claim the Fly has excellent side on aerodynamics when they use the 3 spoke wheel as their model?

I also do not know how exact this stat is, but Zipp used to have a section about aerodynamics on their website. It said that a rim has to be almost 2.5 times as deep as it is wide to make an aerodynamic advantage. Meaning the whole issue of rims needing to be around 50mm tall or more fits that idea. If that is true, then these wheels offer very little to no aerodynamic advantage. I guess that explains the side on stat. If the wheels are not aero at all head on, it stands to reason that they are very "thin" side on as well. I would guess all low profile rims are aero side on. It's the tall 55mm aero rims that would have a lot of drag at a 90 degree side on angle. In a crosswind like that, just ride directly next to the guy next to you and you would be fine. Just put them between you and the wind. Maybe I am reading into this site's stats too much, but they seem to throw out silly stats to confuse you and make you think they are a really cool technical company.

Don't get me wrong, those Fly wheels look cool. They look like they are to compete with the Campy Hyperion, but I don't buy their marketing hype for a second. Seems if you can read at all between the lines, they are very heavily skewing the results to sell product.

I don't have a degree in physics butpurplepaul
Mar 28, 2003 3:07 PM
I do believe you are making a mistake in thinking that a light wheel will decelerate especially quickly. In a vacuum, once heavy and light wheels are up to speed they should spin about the same amount of time given the same friction in the hubs. But the heavier wheels will take more energy to slow down when braking (more energy to spin up, more energy to slow down). Now, when going down a hill, a heavier bike/rider will coast longer than a lighter bike/rider given the same frontal area, but on the flats both should take about the same amount of energy to maintain speed. Remember, you don't get something for nothing. If heavier wheels carry momentum longer, they also take more energy to get to that point.
I don't have a degree in physics butrussw19
Mar 28, 2003 7:49 PM
Thanks, and I see what you are saying, but I don't think you caught what I was worried about... it's the fact that they claim their wheel to be low inertia. Nothing about weight, just inertia.

Inertia is the wheels resistance to acceleration or deceleration. High inertia wheels *again, this is if I am understanding the physics correctly* like a solid disc wheel will take longer to get up to top speed as the inertia works against you. However, once you get it up to speed, inertia works for you in that the wheel will stay up at that speed easier. I know you can have high inertia light weight wheels (ideal for time trials) but what is the point in a deliberatly low inertia wheel? The only thing I can think of is purely going up hills. And again, this is irrelevant of the wheel's weight. But what you said about getting something for nothing is exactly what this company's website wants you to believe. I just called it out as I saw it.

By the way, I also didn't mean deceleration under braking. I meant under coasting or riding, which is exactly when you do not want your wheel to decelerate. That's why it would take more energy (read wasted effort in real world terms) to maintain say 25 mph in the pack in your race. Not a good thing. However the opposite is true as well... you don't want a disc wheel in a sprint unless you launch your sprint from 1000 meters, or it's just too damn hard to accelerate it to top speed.

Does that make a little more sense now? That's what I was voicing concerns about this particular wheelset.

I don't have a degree in physics butpurplepaul
Mar 28, 2003 9:26 PM
Okay, I think I see where you're going astray. Once at speed, the high inertia wheel will stay there assuming no force acts to slow it down. So, it will not slow down as much as a low inertia wheel when hit with a gust of wind. However, they will slow down some. Getting the high inertia wheels back that little amount of speed will require as much energy as getting the low inertia wheels back up a higher amount of speed.

Think of a flywheel. They're very heavy. Why? So they can store more energy at a given speed. But they can't create energy. So, you could put 100 watts of energy into turning a heavy flywheel for an hour and the same into turning a light flywheel. Both would have absorbed 100W/hrs. but the lighter flywheel would be spinning faster (it would have to as the energy has to go somewhere). Then, assuming no losses, they could give back 100W/hrs. however you want them, all at once or over time. But they could never give back more than 100W/hrs. of energy.

Now here's the kicker. Instead of going over a little hill, suppose the flywheels are hooked up to a 100 watt light bulb for six minutes. Both will lose 1/10th of their energy, but the heavy flywheel will not slow down as much as the light flywheel. To get back to 100W/hrs. they will both have to speed up some, but the low inertia wheel will have to speed up more. The thing is, both flywheels require the same amount of energy to get back up to their respective speeds (again, assuming no losses for friction and drag).

I think what the manufacturer is claiming for the light wheels is that because of their lightness, less energy is required to accelerate. Otherwise, I have no idea what they'd be referring to.