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Whats the deal with wheels?(5 posts)

Whats the deal with wheels?Natchez
Mar 1, 2002 10:03 PM
I want a new set of wheels. I was looking at the Excels catalog there sports cirrus wheels sale for 295$ they are lighter then the Mavic Ksyrium SLs. The Ks do not have an aero rim so whats the advantage? Bladed spokes must not be a great advantage Lew does not use them Zipps do not look bladed (I could be wrong). Ks have a few less spokes given but whats the performance differance. If your time trialing aero rims seem important right. Ks out. If your raceing fast group rides your drafting so aero does not matter much righ. If your climbing light is right. So why would the Sports Cirrus not be a better racing climbing wheel then the Ks even with out the price differance? Considering its lighter easyer to work on and the set is cheeper then the front wheel why buy the Ks? I am not trying to be a smarty pants.
never mind those are too small for younm
Mar 1, 2002 10:07 PM
You're pretty much correct.McAndrus
Mar 2, 2002 6:37 AM
The debate of aero vs light rages on although there is some empirical information at www.analyticcycling.com that may be of interest.

Aero rims and fewer spokes are supposed to be more efficient because they produce less wind resistance. Does this matter while climbing? Not really, you're not going fast enough.

Does this matter in fast packs? When you're on the front pulling it matters, when you're sitting in it doesn't matter much.

And lighter rims accerelate more quickly than heavier, aero rims - although if you want to spend some big bucks you can get very light aero rims as well that will accelerate quite nicely.

Your Ksyrium/Zipp/Cirrus question also comes down to quality of components and perceived value. One set may have superior hubs or spokes and thus be a longer lasting set that causes less trouble to maintain.

Recently I was pondering a wheel set purchase. I was debating Campy Neutrons and a custom set. I ended up with a custom set from Excel which weighs close to the weight of the Neutrons (less actually) and cost $300 less. They essentially are the Cirrus except they have Record hubs instead of Dura Ace.

Are they as durable as the Neutrons? Time will tell but if they're not I can buy another set and still spend less than I would have on Neutrons.
Great questioncyclaholic
Mar 2, 2002 9:16 AM
You raise a great question, one that really hits my changing point of view when it comes to bicycle wheels. For a couple of years, I really became enamored with the new "aero" wheels with limited spoking, paired spoking, etc.
Intuitively, this just had to be some kind of improvement over the traditional 3x laced bicycle wheel.

My experience and my further reading on the subject tends to lead me to the conclusion that I was misguided.

I do know that the Ksyrium wheels are good products and they will give thousands of miles of good performance. I saw one guy have a nasty crash that banged is rear wheel very hard and it didn't even phase the wheel. I surrupticiously checked the wheel after the ride and was very impressed to find them perfectly true. They have a great look, too.

I also know, from experience, that a 32h Mavic Open Pro laced 3x to Dura Ace hubs is a darned good - and relatively light - wheelset. Not aero, but then neither is the Ksyrium. Weights are probably about the same, though slightly higher than advertised in the Excel catalog.

In fact, I am really becoming a critic of the bladed spokes, due primarily to the effects that crosswinds have on fast descents. It might make a difference when pulling a paceline, but I really like the stability of traditional double butted spokes.

I would not say that the "Cirrus" (just an OP laced to a DA hub) is "better" than a Ksyrium. It may be a matter of taste, style, and ride that makes the extra cost worth it for the buyer.
re: Whats the deal with wheels?JohnIV
Mar 2, 2002 5:48 PM
Note: Before I start, this is solely my opinion, and it is based on what I have seen first hand in the bicycle wheel industry (I worked at a manufacturer for a time).

Ok, with that said, I believe you have discovered something very interesting. Why would you pay more for a set of Ksyrium SL's, when it seems that a set of custom wheels would be as good, if not better than the Ksyriums, while costing considerably less. My friend, it is because you are paying for the name. Now, I am in no way saying that Ksyriums are bad wheels. Its just that Mavic believes that you should pay more for this wheel because there are many of them in the peloton. Make no mistake, there is alot of marketing that goes into the Ksyrium. They have to cover the cost from somewhere. As for your Zipp question, the spokes are bladed. My opinion on the Cirrus wheels is that you are getting a solid wheelset. Plus, you are getting alot of product for your money. Your not paying for marketing, sponsorship, etc. So, with that said, enjoy your new wheelset, whatever you choose. Oh yeah, and PS about the Lew rims. The USPS was suppose to ride them a while back, but they kept failing. Why, you ask? Because Lew takes 2 C sections of carbon, and bonds them together. Something sound not structurally sound to you? I thought so.