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Colorado Cyclist/Topolino Ad: "Lightest Clinchers Ever!" ???(4 posts)

Colorado Cyclist/Topolino Ad: "Lightest Clinchers Ever!" ???Bianchi4Me
Oct 4, 2003 7:42 AM
Got the new CC catalog in the mail. They've got those Topolino carbon spoke wheels in there...with a blazing red headline on top "Lightest Clinchers Ever!"

Then you look at the claimed weight...1390 grams.

Uh, that IS a very light set, but it's not really that exceptional for clinchers these days. It's certainly not remotely close to being the "lightest ever" even if you are only looking at "off the shelf" production wheels.

American Classic's CR350 set in the "standard" 28/32 spoke set-up is 1362g. If you are a Mini-Me and can go with a 24/28 spoking, they will be even lighter. Also costs $349 less than the $849 Topos. (And I believe Am Classic will be going even lighter for 2004...maybe it IS a good time for CC to move those Topos.)

Here's one spec you (or your shop) can build yourself that's lighter:

Am Classic Hubset: 67g/236g
Sapim CX-Ray Spokes for 24/32 build:266g
Sapim Poly-Ax Alloy Nips: 20g
IRD Cadence/Cadence VSR (asym) Rims: 390g/395g (actual)
Total:1374g

Betcha a shop could do these for a lot less than $850 too! They use easily replaceable off-the-shelf parts any bike shop has access to. I mention this because the Topo design requires disassembling the wheel and replacing one complete side of the wheel as a unit if you break a spoke. They always forget to mention that in their ads for some reason...

Okay, Topolino has a right to design however they see fit. Perhaps their wheel design has other significant advantages besides weight, such as enhanced stiffness compared to light steel spokes. The repeated "lightest ever!" stuff smacks of total desperation though. (They published the same nonsense in Bicycle Retailer and Am Classic called them on it right away with a letter to the editor. Nothing like getting busted for fibbing in an industry-wide publication to enhance one's credibility...)

My question to them is this: If you've REALLY got an exceptionally good product (and maybe they do) then why do you have to misrepresent it to make sales? It just makes it hard to accept their other claims at face value. If they are blowing smoke on the "lightest" claim, how can you fully rely on their stiffness claims? They may in fact be really stiff for their weight. If so, I'd ditch the inaccurate "lightest" claim and focus on stiffness. A lot of people would cheerfully give up a few grams for a steadier platform.

As far as Colorado Cyclist, I'm not trying to bust on them. They are one of the best mail-order places out there and I am a satisfied CC customer. I actually just bought some new 2004 Dura-Ace bits from them this morning. I'm just disappointed because they are a lot more knowlegable about wheel products than this catalog ad claim makes them look. In particular, their custom wheel building has an excellent reputation. I bet they could put together something with the same weight as these Topolino wheels themselves.
re: Colorado Cyclist/Topolino Ad: "Lightest Clinchers Ever!" ???CARBON110
Oct 4, 2003 9:08 AM
There are a few clinchers lighter then both the Topolinos and the AMC but that Topolino ad is old and they just havent corrected it. Its not uncommon for the bike industry or any industry in sales to make a BROAD assement thats contestable like that. Here are some facts:

Lightest isnt ncessarily the best :)

Lightest clinchers: Rolf Elan wheelset until 2004 when Bontrager and Reynolds come out with their carbon clinchers

Lightest Tubulars: Zipp Z3

Lightest Seat Post: Alien Carbon

Lightest Production Frame: Giant/Trek are tied but I think it gos to Trek since they come in more sizes and the 50 cm 5900 2004 SL is weighs less then a small Carbon TCR...until Giant releases its Adv. Carbon Frame

Lightest Stem: ITM Magnesium stem but that will be contested at the Vegas show when many 90-100gram stem come out

Lightest Bar: I think Easton still holds the position

Lightest Crankset/BB : ADA BB with FSA Carbon cranks

Lightest chain: SRAM

Lightest Cassttes : Dura Ace Ti

Lightest Bottle Cage that wont break pulling out ur H2O: Taxo

Im not going into Deral. or shifters or carbon spacers or tires or skewers or saddles

What would be interesting is a list of the most practical/light/comfortable components

The list above is just off the top of my head and is subject to change anytime I feel like it or someone feels like producing something silly light so I could be wrong....reader descretion advised LOL
re: Colorado Cyclist/Topolino Ad: "Lightest Clinchers Ever!" ???Ye Olde Balde One
Oct 4, 2003 11:45 AM
There is a test in one of the Italian mags (I forget which one, it not long came out - I put the weights in my light stuff file) for a clincher wheelset from Spada that weighs 474gm front, 606gm rear (1080gm). The article mentions as well that there is another set, the Stiletto which is 1292gm.
Extralite's ExtraClimb SLC wheels are also lighterDIRT BOY
Oct 4, 2003 2:13 PM
Specs:
Hi-sprinting, 28' low rotation mass, 32+32 Sapim Laser black spokes, Ergal ABS nipples, radial lacing, black anod. with laser etched graphics, 1360gr. (pair)

FRM's FL-R22 CARBON Wheelset will also be lighter coming in around 1340g +/-

DIRT BOY
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