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Campy Protons vs Chorus w/ Open Pros(11 posts)

Campy Protons vs Chorus w/ Open Prostarwheel
Nov 14, 2003 5:54 AM
I've been using Open Pros laced to Chorus hubs (32 spoke) on my bike for 2-1/2 years, 11,000 miles. Just broke the first spoke about a week ago and have only had to get minor truing twice. The wheels have been pretty bombproof and are reasonably light. I'm no lightweight myself, ranging from 185-190+ depending on the season.

I'm thinking about getting another set of wheels for Christmas, but want to keep the total price around $300. I would like for them to look different than my current wheels, so I can tell them apart if nothing else. My current OP wheels have black rims, silver spokes and hubs. I will keep the older wheels with a 13-29 cassette for climbing, and put a 12-25 or 13-26 on the new wheels for everyday use.

Anway, my choices so far are boiling down to either some Campy Protons or another set of Open Pros laced to either Chorus or Record hubs. I could buy a set of Protons or OPs/Chorus for about $300. One of the reasons I'm considering alternatives to OPs is that both sets I have owned have developed the dreaded OP click and I'm sick of the noise. Supposedly Mavic has fixed the problem, but I'm not convinced. Here are my questions:
-- Would Protons be strong enough for someone my weight?
-- Will Protons hold up for everyday use? I ride about 7,000 miles a year, split evenly between two bikes. I don't race, mainly doing solo and group rides ranging from 20-65 miles.
-- Is it hard keeping black hubs, spokes and rims clean?
-- What are the advantages of CD rims in Open Pros? I like the appearance, but are they any better than regular?
-- If I buy another set of OPs, could I get buy with 28 spokes in the front at my weight?
-- Do silver rims reflect sunlight in your eyes? Sounds stupid, but I tried a silver stem for a while and went back to black because I didn't lick the sunlight reflecting in my eyes.

Please don't try to talk me into buying a set of $500+ wheels. My budget is pretty fixed at $300.
re: Campy Protons vs Chorus w/ Open Prosrcarbs
Nov 14, 2003 8:06 AM
Stay with the Chorus w/Open Pros. I have a set of Eurus and a set of Chorus w/Open Pros and the O Pros have a smoother ride. I like the Eurus for fast group rides/races but they tend to be noisy and harsh compared to my O Pros. I switch wheels back and forth on the same Look 361 frame and the Mavics provide a smooth, quiet ride. If I had to chose only one wheel it would be the Mavics. I know that your question was in regards to the Proton and not the Eurus but I believe they are similar in ride characteristics.
Nov 14, 2003 8:42 AM
I'm no lightweight and have found my Protons to be great wheels, don't let the low pricetag (relatively!) fool you. They came and have stayed perfectly true with the caveat that I don't have extended mileage on them yet.
The bearing feel nice and all the components look and feel like typical Campagnolo quality, nice durable finishes and maintainable.
The matte black does get dusty easily but nonetheless they have a stealthy custom look with the silver nipples.
consider DT RR 1.1 rims instead of OP (not much more) nm.divve
Nov 14, 2003 8:52 AM
re: Campy Protons vs Chorus w/ Open ProsBenR
Nov 14, 2003 10:22 AM
I like the protons, don't notice any smoothness difference in the way they ride between my open pros, think tires make most of the difference if any. The protons are a good blend of lightweight and durability. I've had mine since last March with no problems, despite several races on them. Hubs are painted-over stock centuar hubs and work quite well. Both seem smoother than my open pro chorus hubs, maybe due to different grease, I don't know. Will find out for sure after the annual overhaul.

You shouldn't have any problems with the proton rear wheel as the rim is asymmetrical and beefier than the front. In fact, I think it has been as durable as my 32 hole open pro, and significantly stiffer with better power transfer.

The front proton is quite a bit lighter than an open pro and I knocked mine slightly out of true (only once) on a very rough crit course. I'm a fairly fit 170lbs. I don't think it is any worse than my 28 hole open pro which I have knocked around quite a bit. The proton flexes more than a 32 hole open pro, but is more nimble and lively, and is certainly better than most lightweight wheels out there. If you're 190, I might stick with a 32 hole front at least on days when you know you'll be on rough roads.

Might want to see if you can get open pros with Centaur hubs for less than $300, mechanically, they're identical to Chorus and Record hubs with less refined skewers and no grease holes. Otherwise, I'd get the Protons if they're the same price. I've never broken a spoke on them, but I bet it would be difficult to ride home on the protons if this happened. On the other hand, they should at least be easy to fix, and they're more fun to ride and slightly flashier. It's kind of a toss up. Protons don't click.
Had same question and called Campy for the answer.T-Doc
Nov 14, 2003 11:11 AM
They recommended the built wheels versus the boutique set...said they would be stronger for everyday use. If you are having trouble with the Mavic rims, try Velocity rims instead. Good luck.
Second the Velocity rims - go with Aerohead (nm)Kerry Irons
Nov 14, 2003 6:18 PM
why do you like Velocity rims (Aerohead) ?tarwheel
Nov 18, 2003 6:28 AM
I talked to Mike at and he can build me a set of wheels with Chorus hubs and Velocity Aerohead rims for about the same price as Open Pros or Protons would cost. The Aeroheads are available in a lot of different color combinations, which is something to think about. However, I am concerned about using a rim without eyelets. Is this a legitimate concern or a non-issue? The Velocity rims are a little lighter than Open Pros and offset in the rear, which Mike says allow the rear wheel to be built stronger. I'll take his word on that. Would the Aerohead be significantly more aerodynamic than Open Pros?
why do you like Velocity rims (Aerohead) ?russw19
Nov 18, 2003 1:50 PM
The aerodynamic issue would be minimal at best. I seem to recall that a rim needs to be 3x as tall as it is wide to have any noticeable aerodynamic benefit. Otherwise the trailing edge that would clean up the turbulance isn't big enought to make a difference. I seem to recall that came off of Zipp's website from a while back.

As for the Aerohead's lack of eyelets, they have a welding procedure that eliminates the need for them. They claim that eyelets are old technology, their process is newer and better... so they say, but they are nice rims.

I have riden their Aeroheats (ATB rim) for a while now and I would have to say the lack of eyelets is a non-issue.

These rims are a great alternative to what everyone rides... the Open Pro. It's lighter, some say stronger, and cheaper.. why wouldn't people try it? I have a set of the Cane Creek Volos wheels that use the same rim (almost, they drill it differently so the heads are at the rim and the nipples at the hub) and it's a super strong wheel. Take Mike's advice and give these rims a try, you'll like them.

thanks for the feedbacktarwheel
Nov 14, 2003 11:20 AM
I've heard good reports about the Protons, but there's something to be said for sticking with something that works. Performance has Open Pros w/Record hubs and 14/15 spokes selling for $300, and Excel comes pretty close to that price. ... I just like the stealthy all-black look of the Protons, but I might get sick of it after a while, particulary if they are more prone to showing dirt than silver.
I have both and...Roger H
Nov 14, 2003 5:17 PM
I had been riding Open Pro's with Mavic hubs and just picked up a set of used Protons on Ebay for $200. The biggest difference for me is the Proton's look a cooler, but, it is way more difficult to remove the tire to fix a flat. I never needed tire tools with the OP's but have to use them on the Proton's. Still, they ride nice and are my everyday wheels right now.