I received my rails friday. Put 75 miles on them Saturday, and road them on my commute yesterday (45 miles combined - I have over 100 round trips logged, so its a good comparison test).About me:
I've been recreationally riding for years, and this year decided to give racing a try. I've got 8 races under my belt, and will likely upgrade to cat 4 next month. 170lbs, 6'1", ftp ~300w, with about a ~1200w sprint per my SRM. My commute has a 2.4 mile -7% grade that has historically been hard on wheels (Velomax, Easton). The velomax wheels tore the nipples out of the rim, and the eastons got abit sketchy, and broke spokes whenever I exceeded 55mph (fwiw, they broke at a later date).
My stable of wheels consists of a pair of ultegra wh-6700, dura-ace Wh-7850SL, and Wh-7900TL C24s. I tend to run tubeless for my commuter wheels due to being able to run sealant, since part of my commute is on the freeway, and the radial wires are pretty terrible for pinhole flats that the tubeless w/ sealant seals pretty effortlessly. I've borrowed older non-firecrest zipp 303s (tubular) and 808s (clincher) on occasion.First - the weight
: Specification of the wheels is 1525g. Mine came in at 1555g without skewers and rim strips. Not far off spec, but you always wish for spec or lower on the wheels. Rim strips added 35g for a total of 1590g:
: I'm running Conti GP4000s 23mm front and rear. Tires measured at 25mm front and rear mounted @ 95/100psi.Ride impressions
: They ride very very stable. In crosswinds/turbulance, the whole bike moves a bit more than with the lower profile wheels, but there is no twisting of the handlebars, like I've experienced with other wheelsets. I'd assume the newer rim shapes all do this, but its a welcome surprise. I'd estimate from my power numbers that I'm getting around 1mph of free speed at ~20mph, and 2 mph at 30 over the c24s riding gp4000s. Perhaps there's some placebo effect going on, but my numbers were pretty consistent. An oddity that I did notice on my commute though, is my speed seemed to not increase past 45mph very well - not sure this was due to lack of traffic to move the wind off me, or some aerodynamic oddity with the wind speed. I'll need to run them a few more times on my commute to decide for sure though.
I'd say they do decently climbing, but nothing like the 303 tubulars I borrowed (they were stupidly light). Definitely climb better and are more manageable than the old 808 clinchers, and perhaps better at holding speed.
I like the wide feel of the rim - the tires perform similarly comfort wise compared to 25mm gp4000s on my 7900s, which makes sense, as the width of the tires measures about the same.
Stiffness / sprinting: Had a couple of speed limit sign sprints on Saturday: The wheels were stiff and responded better than the 7900s I usually ride. For what its worth, I won both sprints, but I was also having a good power day - probably part of the new toys to play with effect.
I'm getting some squeals from the brakes, but I think I just need to wear in the pads/brake track, or toe in the pads a slight bit.
Pic of them on my bike (I've since removed the stickers)
I've liked the approach November is taking with their wheels, and the data they are providing including wind tunnel tests. For me, the rails will be a good race wheelset at a decent price. Perhaps if I manage to upgrade out of cat 4s in the future, I'll look at going tubular.