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Opinions please, Opinions(8 posts)

Opinions please, OpinionsCARBON110
Oct 28, 2002 9:20 AM
Hey people,
Hard avid racer here havn a hard time deciding between two wheelsets. After a bad fiaxco with my 2002 zipp 303's I have decided to try either of these to race on:
American classic 420 wheelset:
lightweight, bladed spkes optional but are good for stiffness, only $700 and have a semi aero rim oof 34mm


Topolino wheelset:
Even lighter than above, more spokes for added stiffness, carbon/kevlar spokes hard to break. reat braking surface

I thought about zipp 404's, but....well..I like these
Oct 28, 2002 10:35 AM
Good feedback from another poster (on components) on AmClassic. I like the bladed spoke option and relatively traditional construction (i.e. straightforward fix if necessary). Greaseport option is good too. All in all, the AmClassics seem set up to be ridden and fairly easily serviced. On the other hand, the Topolinos seem a little more untraditional - which is neither good nor bad, but I just don't know what their user serviceability is. A few folks say the AmClassic is not stiff enough at low spoke counts - maybe a higher spoke count is what you need. - MB
some thoughtsSmoothie
Oct 28, 2002 5:09 PM
I think mass_biker nailed it when he said it depends on the spoke count. You have look closely at what you want your wheelset to do and have realistic performance goals. Weight isn't everything. I've seen some amclassic 350's come in under 1300 grams but I don't think I would ride them. Give Amclassic a call and discuss your situation and reservations with them - they'll give you some good input. Friendly folks over there.

18 spokes front and 24 rear is plenty for my wheelset and they feel pretty solid. If you abuse your rims or weigh a bit more try a 20/24 wheelset. A couple of spokes doesn't add much - let's say 3-4 grams per spoke but the difference in stiffness is there. Bladed spokes are going to weigh more than the standard DT revos but they should be stiffer.

Also since you race you might have problems with wheel support at a race. 9 out 10 times it's all mavic and shimano. So if you have a problem during your race you might be in trouble. It's up to you to decide how much you care about that.

This doesn't stop me from running campy 10 and a 420 wheelset though. The wheelset is smooth and the grease port is a nifty feature. The profile of the hubs is pretty small so the spokes don't stick out in the wind as much. And the rim is pretty aero, I almost went with the 350's instead but 100g less wasn't big enough of a difference for me and I wanted the benefits of an aero wheelset.

Also try giving a try for some other pricing options - I know he can help you get that $700 price shock down a little bit. (search this board for the positive reviews on oddsandendos)

Never seen or ridden the topolino wheelset. But have you considered the Corima aero wheels? Major lust going on there for me!
Oct 28, 2002 6:35 PM
I like where you are going with this. The corimas are nicebut zipps 404 are 58mm and 100g lighter. I am leaning to the american, but I just found out Rolf is coming out with a 34mm deep rim thats 1485 grams with fewer spokes. Looks good, but still I like the carbon attraction and fewe spokes do cause less resistance. Anyother suggestions? And thanks
Oct 29, 2002 7:20 AM
Carbon110 - didn't check the specs between the 404 and the Corimas - sorry about that.

Hmm I'll check around on the Rolf's. Alot of my riding partners tend to buy anything new so I'm sure I'll see them sooner or later. I know people have had problems with Rolf wheels - but than again no product has 100% positive satisfaction. You can always find somebody that had a bad experience with it.

I still stand behind my 420 recommendation. I posted another novel about the 420's on the components board if you want to read that. I think the zipps and corimas are in a different league than the 420's. No doubt the finish and attention to detail is going to be higher. I would love to log some serious hours on a carbon wheelset but my own 3-4 mile laps with them don't give me enough experience to comment on them. I defiantly have an unhealthy infatuation with carbon stuff:)

Here is the bottom line - the 420's are (IMHO) the best all-around semi-aero everyday wheelset. They would be equally comfortable rolling along on your favorite training ride and than ripping through the pack at a race. Although the 350's might be a better option for pack riding since aero rims don't help much there - but we're only talking 100g difference (granted its rotating weight)

I'm not sure about the specs on the Rolf - but I can take my 420's to any good bike shop and true them up, and I can squirt some grease into the port at house anytime I want. They are buttery smooth on my campy 10 setup and just roll along. Can't comment on descents since I live in flat-land but I ride year a round (minus the hurricane warning days) and I have no doubt the 420's will see alot of miles.

Sorry I can't help more - but i'll keep a lookout for the Rolf wheels. Just to confuse you some more - how about the new amclassic carbon wheels? :)
Oct 28, 2002 6:49 PM
Stopped by the LBS this evening on an unrelated errand and saw the guys passing around a Topolino wheel.

My impressions:

Light - very light.
High spoke tension - more than I would have thought
Flat spoke profile - thought these were like "Spox"

Definitely one of the stiffer feeling light wheels I have seen. Flat spoke profile was a nice surprise, but the klunky looking nipples at the rim (each spoke runs from one end of the rim to the other, passing through the hub) can't be that aerodynamically efficient. A constructive solution to the age old problem - aero vs. weight vs. ride stiffness.

For now, I will stick with my OPs and CXP33s. But the Topolino seems like a step in the right direction.

Oct 29, 2002 5:57 AM
Do you race? I am going to do the palmer/monson races in Aprill and the Tour of he Hilltowns in June/July. Should be fun....
If you call it thatmass_biker
Oct 29, 2002 7:43 AM
Yes I do (try to) race. Palmer/Monson is always a blast (although it was a bit damp at Monson last year), and Hilltowns is one my all-time favorite courses. I remember Hilltowns from about 3 years ago when in addition to the Hawley climb they routed us down a dirt road and up another 2 mile climb before dropping down to finish by a lake. That was a long day.

The "Spring Classics" of New England are among the best races around - I think: Adelphia, Palmer/Monson, Sterling, Veryfine, Jiminy etc.

We are lucky to have such great courses and such a strong tradition of cycling here.

See you in the Spring.