We finally got the new Alchemy ORC UL 10 speed in this morning. Upon initially seeing them, I was impressed with the new design. The hubshell is a bit sleeker than the old ORC, and I think they have more of a classic hub shell design when compared to the angular look on the original hub. Jeremy was also kind enough to upgrade us to the ceramic bearing option. Now, I'm not a proponent of ceramics but I must say these are easily the smoothest bearings I've ever felt. I'm anxious to see how they hold up in the long run though.
I decided to go with a bit lower spoke count on these (20/24) simply because I wanted to see how rigid they rode. I'm right around 100kg, and usually someone of my weight should be on a 24/28 or 28/32 option. For the rims, I chose the H Plus Son Archetype. This is a relatively beefy hoop that is a versatile profile with a nice finish. The spokes are Sapim Cxrays laced radial up front and 2x both sides in on the rear. I figured red alloy nips would be appropriate for the build too seeing as they would match the hubs.
Upon initially jumping on the ORC, it really brought me back. This hub has a very similar characteristics to the old hub, yet it feels even more rigid. I have the original ORC in a 24/28 hole count with Kinlin XR300 rims, and this wheelset is by far stiffer than that one, even in the 20/24 hole count.
All in all, I think this is a big step up for Alchemy. I really didn't think that this new design would show any sort of real world increase in rigidity, seeing as the old ORC was already so stiff. However, I think I was wrong.
I only have one short hillclimb in on these wheels so far, but I will definitely report back after I log some real miles.
Wheelset Weight: 1475 grams