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Wheel choice dilemma(4 posts)

Wheel choice dilemmatremblay
Oct 28, 2002 4:49 PM
I am seeking some advice regarding the TYPE of wheelset I should choose when I decide to buy something lightweight.

First of all, I'm going to be building up rims, not buying boutique wheels.

Secondly, since I already have a nice sturdy set of Ambrosio training rims, I am thinking of buying something lightweight for when I get into races next year. It is at this point that I get stuck.

I can't decide between clinchers or tubulars. I was considering getting some Open Pro rims built with Chorus hubs, but now I am starting to think I could build some Mavic Reflex rims (or perhaps some Ambrosio tubular rims, or whatever else is out there) with Chorus hubs and avoid the added weight of a clincher tire.

So what's are your opinions people? Tubular or clincher?
re: Wheel choice dilemmaRacer C
Oct 28, 2002 5:36 PM
What's your maintenance level? To do tubulars well, it takes time. But some consider the effort worth it. They do feel more supple than clinchers, but depending on your experience the difference is probably negligible. If you're concerned about weight, I wouldn't go with open pros. The built up set usually weighs anywhere from 1750-2000 grams. For me, that's a little heavy for a race wheel. So if you're still stuck on getting hand built wheels, I suggest Speed Dream wheels by Dave Thomas. It's on the web, check them out. Best wheels around built with loving care.
As always - it dependsmass_biker
Oct 28, 2002 7:03 PM
First - I am a clincher guy. Ever since high school anyway (Ambrosio Montreal rims, Corsa CXs etc.). Great wheelset but a pain in the, well, you know. I find that Michelin Axial Pros do the job just fine - training and racing and all. Yes, they don't quite reach the nirvana like state of a well aged pair of Gommitalia Oros mounted on GL330s but, well, they work pretty darn well. And I don't have to spend all night scraping glue off my fingers.

But getting to wheelsets - I think going the handbuilt (vs. factory made/boutique) wheelset route is a good choice. Especially if you are contemplating racing where having dependable equipment ready for when you are putting the smack down counts more than waiting for some strange part to show up.

That said, you really can't wrong with either the Open Pro or CXP33 laced to any type of hub. Keep in mind that the Open Pro rim is essentially what was used in another boutique wheel of yore (the Helium). Other good rims to consider - Velocity Aeroheads and the new offerings from American Classic (350s - wicked light but not that aero, 420s, pretty aero).

I have two wheelsets I use for training and racing - CXP33s and Open Pros. The Open Pros are a touch lighter, and the CXP33s are a touch more aero, but they both work just fine. Both are laced to 32 hole hubs. The offering from ExcelSport (Chris King hubs, CXP33s, Revolution spokes) will give any of the fancy pants wheelsets a run for their money.

But I do second the thumbs up on Dave Thomas' wheels. I had a pair of Speeddreams on an old (dearly departed) ride. Those were amazing wheels. Light, fairly durable, and ride/race day in/day out.

And in the end, if you are training and racing, that is what you want.

MB
Tubulars for racingTrekFurthur
Oct 29, 2002 5:40 AM
and fast training rides. I like the way they feel--comfortable and quick. As for building a wheelset up, I've got Chris King hubs laced to 28-hole Campy Barcelona rims (tubular) with DT Revolution spokes. 800 grams for the rear and 660 for the front--pretty dang light!

BTW, Racer C, the same build but with DuraAce hubs and Mavic Open Pros weigh approx. 1600 grams. Where'd you get 1750-2000 grams? 32-36 with straight gauge spoke maybe?