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Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??(19 posts)

Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??Kunfoochi
Oct 8, 2002 11:30 AM
What is the difference between a manufacturer's wheel set, like the Ksyriums, and a built up wheel, like an Open Pro rim on an Ultegra/Dura Ace hub?

I know the Ksyrium is more aerodynamic, but what's better, the mavic hub, or the shimano hubs?

If I wanted to build up a cheap wheel, but still wanted something good, what would be a good combination of a rim/hub? How do the Open Pros, CXP 33s, and 21s compare?

What are the overall advantages/disadvantages of premade and built wheels?

re: Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??MXL02
Oct 8, 2002 11:42 AM

Unless you are racing, a high end wheel is not maybe, but certainly not needed. A built up wheelset with open pros or CXP 33's may weigh a little bit more, but will probably be stronger and more durable in the long run. (Mind you, there are a lot of people who have had trouble with the open pro rims. I have CXP 33's and open pros and have no trouble with either so far.) The best bang for your buck are the built wheels (order from Excel) with Shimano or Campy hubs and Mavic rims. Stay away from CXP 21's...they are the only Mavic rim I have broken. Good luck.
re: Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??PEDDLEFOOT
Oct 8, 2002 11:49 AM
I've had Open Pro's with Ultegra hubs for three years and haven't had a single problem with them.Like the previous reply stated they may be slightly heavy for racing but they certainly will do the job for training or recreational riding.I have about 6000 miles on mine and haven't needed to true them yet.No wobbles.
re: Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??weiwentg
Oct 8, 2002 11:58 AM
'botique' wheels almost always look better and cost much more. they offer varying advantages over 'standard' wheels. these advantages range from minute to reasonably significant.
for example, comparing to a 28-spoke DA/OP wheel with DT Revolutions, a Ksyrium will be more aerodynamic, but heavier, and probably a hell of a lot stronger. a Velomax Ascent Comp will be more aero (not as much as a Ksyrium) and lighter, but it might not be as stiff. a Zipp 303 will be far lighter and more aero. remember that aerodynamics don't matter very much when you're in a pack. I have demoed a set of Ksyriums, and have a set of 32-spoke CXP33s on Ultegra hubs. the difference was not huge.
in terms of hubs, Mavic hubs are very smooth and have sealed bearings. they will last a long time and require little maintenance. Shimano/Campy hubs use loose cup/cone bearings. they are also of high quality, but will require maintenance. the tradeoff is that they cost a lot less.
if cost is an object, I would get Ultegra/Centaur on Open Pros, spoke count depending on your weight. at my weight, 28 spokes would be OK. most people would want 32, Clydes 36. used standard wheels can be found for quite reasonable prices (if one is lucky) on ebay or rec.bicycles.marketplace. the lesser known botique wheels can also be found for not much. I use Cane Creek Aeroheads myself.
Fine for memass_biker
Oct 8, 2002 12:13 PM
I have a set laced to Hope hubs and Sapim x ray spokes (32 hole). Fairly bombproof. Plenty light. Nice and comfortable and reliable to boot. If you are more concerned about aerodynamics over weight, you could go with the CXP33s. Rims eventually fail (an old MA40 of mine finally gave up the ghost) as do spokes, so plumping for a really nice hubset (DA, Chris King, Mavic) which can be rebuilt and rebuilt (and always, smoothy smooth like butter) ends up costing a whole lot less in the long run. I like built wheels (not prebuilt) for ease of (potential) service. But then again, I ride and race a lugged steel bike, so maybe I am just a dinosaur.

re: Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??Bikewithadam
Oct 8, 2002 12:28 PM
I'll make two quick points pertaining to your wheelset question...

1) Performance. I haven't ridden many full aero factory rims, but I can compare between open pro and mid aero wheelsets such as ksyrium from having ridden demos and friend's bikes. I have a set of open pro/record hubs laced with 32 DT rev butted spokes, and they seem to be at least equally as versatile as other wheels I've ridden. Ksyrium may be a little better in climbing, Zipp certainly for trialing, but for general use/training, open pro/record is a fine choice. This assumes that you have someone to properly build them. (And to avoid aforementioned rim "clicking" problems.) Summary: In my empirical observation, I have found that the open pro/record combination is indistinguishable from other factory wheelsets, taken in the overall context, for my serious amateur riding.

2) Shit happens. I'm on an unlucky streak right now and have had three crashes this season. Each time I broke, among other things, at least one wheel. Now, I'm not commenting on durability of the open pro rim--each crash was big enough that I doubt any wheel would've survived. (We're talking total tacoing, cracked forks and broken bones.) However, after every crash I was able to quickly and (relatively) inexpensively repair the wheels. I've saved untold hundreds of dollars by easily recovering the record hubs from my setup after each incident and each time the new wheels ride like new. Try that with factory wheels!

Seriously, factory wheelsets are great. They don't hurt if you have the money to buy them. Unless you race ALOT, I doubt that you really need them. There are several good arguments for getting handbuilt wheels, and the marginal performance difference isn't felt by 90% of the people out there. Then again, if you get factory wheels, nobody should criticize you because they look darn cool, and hey, if that's what floats your boat, go for it!! Good luck.
re: Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??Kunfoochi
Oct 8, 2002 1:21 PM
So to sum up everything I've learned here....

A handbuilt set of wheels may not be as light or aero, but will be much better for the money, and most people won't notice the difference. For example, the Ksyriums are more aero than the Open Pros, but are heavier, don't make much of a noticable difference, and if they break, you can't salvage the parts, because they are proprietary?

I just don't understand why they're so cheap if they're so good!

Thanks for all of the info
re: Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??weiwentg
Oct 8, 2002 1:26 PM
your summary is correct. 'standard' wheels are cheap because they are not sexy. 'botique' wheels both look sexy, and have tons of proprietary parts.
of course, if you wreck a Ksyrium, you can have the hub rebuilt with new spokes/rim. the LBS will need to order them from Mavic.
re: Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??zooog
Oct 8, 2002 12:59 PM
I like my open pro's. have over 4000 miles on mine and they have been nothing but perfect.
Open Pros -- Open 4CDsbrider
Oct 8, 2002 1:41 PM
I have one Open Pro rim -- the one on my SS commuter. The majorityt of my wheels (both training and most of my racing wheels) have Open 4CDs (precursor to the Open Pro). These are some of the best rims in my book. I use 36 spokers for training and 28 and 32s for racing. Rarely have I even had to true these things up. They're the Energizer Bunny of the cycling world.
re: Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??desmo
Oct 8, 2002 4:35 PM
32 or 36 OP's with Record (or D/A) hubs are just swell. Good for everything, even racing. I happen to like the classic look of the OP as well. Yeah there's more areo, there's more lighter, but I don't really think anyone is going to drop on wheelset alone.
re: Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??Americano
Oct 8, 2002 7:35 PM
I'll chime in here and say that in my experience my open pros aren't as perfect as I've often read here. When I ordered my bike I had the option of upgrading from open pros to ksyriums for about $300. I have to say I wish I had. Not so much because I'm such a great racer and need the performance advantage. But more so because I am a techno geek that loves cool high end technology. Therefore I will in all likelihood buy a pair of ksyriums by the end of the year or some time next.

I've put about 2400 miles on my 32 spoke open pros w/centaur hubs this year. The hubs are smooth still. But the rims themselves have left me a bit wanting. The rear wheel has already developed a clicking/creaking that I couldn't fix myself (about 800 miles ago) but my LBS was able to sort out. He said he just tightened everything up and charged me a $20.

Last week I noticed some slight weird sound coming from the wheel again and I planned on tightening all spokes and truing them up myself over the weekend. But life gets in the way and I missed doing it. On my ride yesterday the noise developed in to a rather scary sounding click on each revolution. I still haven't taken it off to have a good look yet, but I won't be riding the bike again until I figure out what is wrong.

Both wheels require minor truing right now. I find it hard to believe how someone can put 2k, 4k, and 6k miles on a set of wheels and never true them as I've seen several times here. Maybe I'm more anal than most and true road and mtb wheels whenever they are more than 2 mm out of shape.

I've heard so many good things about the ksyriums in terms of reliability and overall performance that I really wish I had just shelled out the money at the outset. The one good thing about my situation now is that when I do pop for the K's I will still have a really great backup set with the Open Pro/Centaur wheels.

Even though I'm complaining a bit about my OpenPros I will end with the comment that if you do decide to go with them, I don't think you'll be making a bad decision. Because when you factor in cost w/performance, there isn't much that beats a well put together open pro/centaur,chorus,record,ultegra,dura ace combo (unless you're a techno geek).
Ksyriums are faster and stronger...cyclequip
Oct 9, 2002 1:06 AM
but OP's are more comfortable if well built. I have both and only ever take out the K's for a race. The rest of the time I won't move off the OP's.
Personal ExperienceLen J
Oct 9, 2002 3:22 AM
I built a set of OP's 32's on Dura Ace hubs with DT double butted 14/15 and brass nipples. I've put about 6,000 miles on them without a problem. Never gone out of true. Recently, I t-boned a car on my Trek 5500 at around 21 MPH. It happened so fast I never even got my hands on the brake levers. I went to look at the bike this weekend and the frame & fork are both a total loss, the wheels, however are both still true and round. If I could ride, I could put them on my other bike without any concern.

They also weigh less than regular K's.

K's may be a bit more aero but (if built correctly) I can't imagine them being any stronger. In addition, they cost me under $300 including the time of my LBS to teach me how to build them.

They may not be as sexy as some boutique wheels, but they are cheaper and bulletproof. It all depends on what you want and what you are willing to pay for it.

everything but the dreaded "click"tarwheel
Oct 9, 2002 4:27 AM
I have two sets of Open Pros, one on Chorus hubs and the other on Ultegra hubs. They are versatile, reasonably light and inexpensive. The only drawback is the dreaded "Open Pro click." Some people never experience this problem, but most Open Pros seem to develop this noise sooner or later. It's a clearly audible click that you hear with each revolution of the wheel. Sometimes the noise is just the spokes rubbing the eyelets and can be solved by lightly oiling each nipple. However, the genuine click will not go away without some sophisticated techniques that only dedicated shop rats seem to have figured out. I have read instructions on this board from time to time, but I have been afraid to attempt it for fear of ruining the rims. Nevertheless, I have gotten used to my Open Pros clicking and hardly even notice it anymore -- unless I'm made aware of it.
Wheel w/ Open Pro lighter than Ksyrium...what am I missing?mmquest
Oct 9, 2002 9:59 AM
Everywhere I look (i.e., the K's are around 1/2# ligher than a wheel with Open Pros and Campy or Shimano hubs (i.e. @ wrenchscience, Open Pro on Record hub = 4.13#, K's = 3.37#). What am I missing? Even if you add 1/2# for skewers, the K's are still lighter.
Real weights vs published weights.Len J
Oct 9, 2002 11:45 AM
Actual weights of the following:

-K's 750 fr 952 r total 1,704 gr
-Excel D/A O/P's 32's 683 fr 933 r total 1,616 gr

The new K's (ssl I think) are less than either of these.

Companies always low ball their weights.
re: Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??Me Dot Org
Oct 9, 2002 10:44 AM
I have OPs with Chorus hubs, DT spokes. Over 7,000 miles. They're like Toyotas: Not exotic, but they do a great job of transporting you every day.

Once I plowed into the back of a car going about 17 m.p.h. The front rim did not go out of true. Haven't expierienced the 'click' mentioned here, but everyone has different experiences.

Would I buy them again? In a heartbeat. Great bang for the buck.
re: Mavic Open Pros: Are they good Rims??Kunfoochi
Oct 10, 2002 2:19 PM
Well, I sure am glad to have all of this feedback. I've learned my lesson, and my next set of wheels will be Open Pros. Now I just have to learn how to build wheels:).