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LegendRider
06-21-2005, 12:55 PM
I want a new set aerodynamic wheels in aluminum. I recently sold my Zipp 303's because I disliked the braking - these were old wheels, prior to the ceramic compound. And, I used Corima cork pads which helped but didn't make me 100% comfortable. As noted in another thread, I just felt a little sketchy on them in corners.

So, for better braking and ride feel along with convenience, I want a set of clincher, aero alloy wheels. The choices are as follows (but not limited to):

American Classic 420 - 1455 grams
Bontrager Race X Lite Aero - 1710 grams
Rolf Prima Vigor - 1455 grams
Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL - 1765 grams

For discussion, let's assume the first three can be had for $750, while the Mavics are nearly double that.

I'm leery of the American Classics - too many stories of problems. Why choose the Bontrager over the Rolf - similar wheel except the Rolf is much lighter. However, I hear because the spoke tension is so high, the Rolfs ride rough. But, Bontrager is using a Rolf license for paired spokes, so how different could they be? The Mavics are intriguing, but the weight and expense turn me off.

So, any thoughts on my decision. The Rolfs seem to be the leading candidate now.

Thanks in advance.

vaxn8r
06-21-2005, 01:13 PM
I just had my second spoke break on my Rolf Elans. 1st was drive side, they rebuilt the entire drive side. This 2nd one was the other side. Now they are saying the first batch of aero spokes was a bad set and there was lots of apologizing. They are rebuilding the wheel as we speak.

Having said that a lot of people use the Rolfs out here. A lot of them weigh a lot more than I do and I am not hearing of recurring spoke breakages from my shop owner...who is the leading seller of Rolfs, and who I trust. I'm willing to give it one more try...but three strikes....er spokes...they are out.

The Vigors should be an even stouter wheel than the Elans. My buddy is 220 and he must have 5-10k hard miles on his. From the people that race the Vigors, I hear they are a very fast wheelset.

AC was having issues with their hubs, specifically their bearings. Rolf quit using them last year and switched to the WI hubs. I hear AC has reengineered their hubs this year.

Why not just get some ADA's? ;)

LegendRider
06-21-2005, 01:18 PM
Why not just get some ADA's? ;)

There are 3,995 reasons why I can't get ADAs. Plus, child support.

Thanks for your insights.

Len J
06-21-2005, 01:20 PM
late last year and ended up buying the Ac 420's. Light, aero, and built by the factory to my weight.

I rode the Rof's and at my weight (155) they were harsher than the others.

The A/C problems appear to be prior years. I've put about 1,000 miles on chip & seal roads on my A/C 42'2 and they are as true as the day I got them and they still roll smooth as butter.

I'd buy another set.

Len

bpm
06-21-2005, 02:32 PM
You can add the HED Alps to the list. They are carbon but have an alloy rim for a braking surface. They are reasonable light for deep section wheel (about 1600 grams) and can be had for for about $900 per set. I've been using them for about a year and they've been great. I use them on New England roads and they've held up very welll.

Fixed
06-21-2005, 03:55 PM
A.C.owner Mr.Shook is a wonderful guy who gives away alot of stuff to local racers in the area.Most of the bike riders I know love his wheels they told me they have new better bearings now.He gets my vote .

Dude
06-21-2005, 05:14 PM
I went through the same problem a few months ago and ended up with the Rolf's. Definately the lightest of the bunch and I have found them to be the strongest. I was a little skeptical when i first bought them but to my surprise they have held up really well.

They use the same rim as the amclassic and the hub design is nice and friendly - had to pull it apart when the pawls were a little dry. I don't think they are white industries hubs, unless WI makes a rolf design. You don't find those hubs anywhere else.

I don't think they are too harsh, however, i like things kind of stiff (insert joke here). Race and train on them (200 miles/week) and they see some pretty crappy philadelphia roads. THis past weekend in a race, some jerkoff on the inside of a turn misjudged and took it wide pushing everyone to the outside, I happened to be the one next to the turn, my rear brakes locked up and I began fishtailing, right before I would've goned down, the rear wheel, still locked, wacks the face of the curb and actually pops me back up and I don't even lose my position in the pack, anyway, long story short. The wheel took a BEATING and still didn't go out of true. I was truly impressed with it.

All in all, great wheels. I'm a mechanic so I see a lot of good, and a lot of crappy wheels each day and given rolf's history (vector, pro, sestriere, etc) I didn't think much of them but really like them now.

Chief
06-21-2005, 05:28 PM
I would suggest custom built wheels that can be had for significantly less than $750 and that will perform better. For example, I have a set of Joe Young built wheels with DT 240s hubs, DT RR1.1 rims, and DT super comp spokes for $620. I have put more than 5,000 miles on them and they are as true today as the day I brought them home and hubs have performed flawlessly. They are the smoothest wheels I have ever owned. No more boutique wheels with low spoke count for me--no more being stranded with a brokens spoke.

dave thompson
06-21-2005, 08:33 PM
I've been using the AC420 on my Ottrott for the better part of a year. At 195#, I like the wheels and the way they feel. So much so I've purchased a second pair for the Legend. http://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=8899

I'm also impressed with the customer service I've received from AC.

One note: the rear AC skewers don't work well on a Ti bike, not enough bite to keep the wheel from moving in the dropout, so I use Shimano and Salsa skewers.

LegendRider
06-21-2005, 10:49 PM
I would suggest custom built wheels that can be had for significantly less than $750 and that will perform better. For example, I have a set of Joe Young built wheels with DT 240s hubs, DT RR1.1 rims, and DT super comp spokes for $620. I have put more than 5,000 miles on them and they are as true today as the day I brought them home and hubs have performed flawlessly. They are the smoothest wheels I have ever owned. No more boutique wheels with low spoke count for me--no more being stranded with a brokens spoke.

I own a set of Joe Young-built wheels similar to yours, but with DA hubs. I agree that they're the smoothest wheels around. I like them a lot, but I want an aero wheel. On fast group rides and crits it makes a difference.

yarg
06-21-2005, 10:49 PM
Dito what Chief said. I have same except rims are velocity arrowhead. Can't say enough about ride/strength/weight combination.

vaxn8r
06-22-2005, 01:23 AM
...no more being stranded with a brokens spoke.
Has that actually happened to you or are you just sayin' what you've heard on this or other forums? I can speak first hand on broken spokes on high tension wheels. They are easily as ridable as any handbuilt/custom/whatever you want to call it wheel that has a broken spoke. No question.

I think this rumor needs to die.