PRODUCTS ORDERED AND TIME TO RECEIPT
Wheelset: 40mm clincher wheelset with new U/Aero shape, 20/24 spoke count, UD Matte Finish, Novatec Hubs F482s and F291s,CN 424 spokes, shipped to the USA. Total to the door price was $522.00
Supplier: DengFu - Kathy Jin
First Email: 7/7/2013
Stated Specific Order: 7/9/2013
Paid via Paypal: 7/10/2013 (Kathy confirmed receipt the same day)
Received Tracking Number: 7/16/2013
Received in US Customs: 7/21/2013
On Doorstep: 7/23/2013
Ordering was simple and all done though email. As is stated on all the forums, but bears repeating, when ordering keep in mind that you are ordering from China and they are likely in a different time zone; don’t expect instantaneous responses to emails. There is also likely a language barrier, so be clear and specific. If you are not specific they may fill in the blanks for you and you may, or may not, like their choices. The order was sent by EMS. Once you have a tracking number that same number should work with USPS tracking - at least it did for me. Both of my orders show going in and out of customs on the same day once they reached the USA.
UNPACKING, INITIAL IMPRESSIONS, WEIGHTS, AND MEASURES
The wheels were packaged very well and securely. There was no damage and in good condition. Everything was as expected and as ordered with the exception of a problem with the rear wheel spokes - three spokes were "wound up". Dengfu is sending me replacement spokes so I'll swap those out once the spokes are received. They use CN Spokes and I can't find a place to order just a few spoke so in hindsight I should have asked for several extra spokes for each wheel.
The front wheel weighed 655 grams and the rear weighed 809 grams without quick releases. The rims measured 25.40mm at the brake track and 27.28mm at the widest point on the rim. Rim depth is 40mm.
Both wheels spin true although the rear has a very slight, almost not noticeable, wobble which I will true up later and I have ridden the bike more. The spokes sounded with very similar tones when plucked.
The brake pads were hard to put on because with the wider wheels I had very, very, little clearance with my older Sram Force brake calipers. I actually sanded the pads down a little bit to get just a millimeter more of clearance to work with.
I put 119 miles on the bike over Saturday and Sunday (July 27, 28,) and another 40 on Tuesday over a variety of road surfaces from rough country to smooth concrete city.
I also got an FM066SL frame. I’m coming from a CAAD9 with Neuvation wheels so that is pretty much my only point of reference. Frankly it rides very much like the CAAD9 although the “sound” it makes is different and it does feel like it is absorbing road noise and vibration more so than the CAAD9. I also don’t get any “noodley” feel - it seems like a very stiff frame to me. I sprinted (if you can call it that) and even with the brake pads very, very, close to the wheel I never heard or felt it rub under power. Can I quantify a performance difference whether from the wheels or frame? No - but I like the bike and how it rides and how the wheels feel.