Wheel question (road)

My rear Ksyrium is wrecked and now looking to replace.

The wheels will be my main riding wheel until I can stumble on another Kysrium elite (from which I can raid the internal nipples to fix up my current rear and create a training/mid-week wheel). I ride mainly in the Dandys, Tour de Burbs, Kinglake and occassionally the NRR when I can get up earlier enough etc. Also considering the Northern Combine this year.

Question: I’ve been offered a great deal on a pair of 38mm carbon clinchers, which I’ve ridden and are light and very fast. I haven’t taken them into the hills yet. The alternative is 2011 Ksyrium SLs which are currently a steal on the net.

Thoughts on which wheels to purchase?

Get the carbon, I love carbon things.

In my experience, and this is fairly controversial, mavic pre built wheels are kinda shit. That said, there are a lot of shitty carbon wheels on the market too.
Go with what feels best to you and works within your budget.

Mavic Ksyrium- solid factory wheel (just like anything from Fulcrum, Shimano, Campag etc), but you’re eventually going to have the same problems with parts- ie proprietary internal nipples etc which are $$ to get.

Exotic carbon custom wheelset- could be good, depending on what the exact rim and hub are. Having said that there are a lot of dodgy no-name carbon rims out there. You hear things about cheap clincher carbon rims failing under heavy braking etc.

What about handbuilt- like a normal rim and a normal hub? Nothing very exciting, but great for long term reliability and ease of maintenance/replacement.

My 2cents

The carbon wheels use Novatech hubs - anyone have experience with these?

With regards to handbuilt, I’ve got no experience in this game, what level of performance could I acquire for up to $1300?

I hear you regarding crap carbon wheels - this is why I’m cautious, otherwise I would have snapped them up straight away. (speaking of which, a mate’s had horrendous experience with S60s - two pairs have failed, one the warranty replacement pair)

I guess it depends on the actual hubs but I’m a big fan of Novatech track hubs.

cheap carbon wheels = giving $'s to Dentist

ive got a mate who is racing competitively in A grade crits on $400 chinese carbon clincher wheels, no issues

C-4 components hubs to Kinlin rims via titanium spokes built by Dan at Shifterbikes…

Graeme from Endless Pedal has this setup and raves about them on his website Endless Pedal

EDIT: and the post i was talking about http://www.endlesspedal.com.au/2010/11/23/new-wheel-day-2/

those carbon wheels may not survive the shitty roads of the combine.

last year i rode most of the season on record hubs laced to open pros. not the lightest combination, but definitely strong enough.

For this money you’d be able to get a pretty decent handbuilt wheelset built up- something like Kinlin rim (if low weight is a priority), personally I’d stick with Dura Ace or Record hubs. CX Ray spokes, you’re laughing, and it will probably weigh sub 1450grams too.

mavic’s are notorious for seized nipples at work we’re constantly replacing spokes due to seizing

Thanks for all the advice. Hand-builts definitely sound the way to go.
I’ll do some investigations, but the Kinlin/C4 combo on Endless is a starting fav. I might arrange a meeting with SB.
I’ve heard great reports about the C4 hubs - so at the risk of over-analysis (what else are online forums for?) - dura ace hubs or C4?

I’ve never used C4 hubs- they should be lighter than Dura Ace, but in my opinion Dura Ace are better quality and will last many years of service. The new 7900 series DA hubs are really nice- titanium freehub which doesn’t get mangled like the aluminium ones (I suspect C4 would be Alu); and a new ‘digit click’ bearing adjustment design which is pretty snazzy.
I recall some of the early prototype C4 hub flanges failed? I’m sure they fixed the problem but that’s what can happen when you are pushing the lightness envelope… I’d rather have a few grams more material on the hub thanks. Again my opinion.

Wise words.

There’s no reason if the hubs are well maintained that they can’t be re-built to new rims 3 or 4 times (as was done in the old day). And if you needs parts Shimano are pretty good with keeping stuff stocked for maintenance down the track if needed.

The real difference in weight is but a mouthful of water (if that).

just be careful if you go dura-ace because any rebuilding will absolutely destroy you

My records are on their third set of rims and second set of bearings. You can have them when you pry them from my cold, dead fingers…

if you want tough hubs but still not very heavy the alchemy hubs are some of the nicest you can get your hands on
also if your not a fat bob the stans alpha rims are a much better quality than the kinlins and stupidly light
i’d stay well clear of ‘cheap carbon’ wheels if you wana go carbon then spend the coin and go enve/edge rims to some nice boutique hubs and carbon clinchers are fraught with issues regardless of the brand, carbon tubs = good idea

My multiple opinions:

  1. handbuilt, what the fuck guys? I know I’ve heard dan builds sweet wheels, slinky and sasha build great wheels, my mate andy is great at it, sure.
    But my mate builds 60 wheels a day on a machine and they come out close to true, then get a proper check over and truing by his lovely self!

  2. Titanium spokes, sime are you serious? Don’t they stretch as much as a pregnant teens stomach after a couple of rides?

  3. Novatech are very fucking reliable, and many of their own actual wheelsets are built with rebranded alexrims and dt swiss spokes. Also, since they’re not an italian sexy brand name, they don’t cost too much to buy, or replace (not that you’re likely to need to).

  4. Fuck wheels, hoverbikes are the cool thing now.

^ Those are possibly the wisest comments you have made on this forum, Mr Dylan, well done.
Titanium spokes don’t seem to get a very good wrap these days do they.