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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:10 am 
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brettmess24 wrote:
If you already own the mavic ksyrium sl why would you waste money on another set of aluminum clinchers custom or otherwise.

Wouldn't the next move be to a set of carbon wheels 38+?

Budget & durability (+braking on decents? Feel free to try talk me out of this). I like to ride fast & when I'm up & about I'll ride 200-300km a week predominantly on the commute. However, due to other things in life & the time & commitment that would be required, I'll never be a racer. Got to keep things in perspective!

If anyone rates any wheelbuilders in Aus (Qld), I'd consider sourcing parts & getting the wheels built here. Just as the typical LBS tends to be way overpriced in Aus, I wouldn't be surprised if this reflects in custom build prices.

Happy to read suggestions on other lines of thought I could be taking too...

Thanks for the input so far!


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:57 am 
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That's cool as hell JKS, I am jealous :D

Do you have the time or desire to build your own wheels? You would probably save a small fortune down the line but your initial cost would be high for tools and such......


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Posted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:57 am 


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:13 am 
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I don't think so. I feel that the Ksyriums are hard to beat. I really like mavic hubs - simple sealed bearings that are very easy to adjust and really durable.

Mavics are stiff and light-ish, but very tough. I've seen very few cracked rims and unlike on a built wheel, you have a warranty that counts for something on a complete wheelset.

I would completely avoid velocity rims as recommended earlier - they have a good range of rims in terms of diameters and drillings, but they suck in terms of build quality.

Mavic spokes are available at any good bike shop, and certainly at any mavic wheel dealer. If your shop doesn't have them, get another bike shop. On the other hand, there aren't many shops that keep every length of sapim cx-rays in stock, for example.

That said, you can still get a solid wheel built up for ~$1350 (RRP in AUD on 2013 Ksyrium SLS). That money generally gets you a Chris King, DT or Dura Ace hub built to an Ambrosio, Mavic or DT rim of your choice build by hand at a good Australian bike shop.

There are also other, IMO better options than the Ksyriums. I really like Dura Ace C24s for lighter riders (say, sub 75kg or so) and Zipp 101s are a good option (although not light) if you want a wider rim - stiffness and ride quality are superb, even though in weight/$ terms they aren't much on paper.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:24 am 
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I'm roughly the same weight, from an MTB background and love hitting the descents and corners hard, so as a cross-the-globe-BFAM, I thought I'd offer the following comments... nope apparently it's an essay - sorry about the length!

I rode Ksyrium SL's in 2005. They felt stiff, delivered power well and I thought they looked good at the time. I then moved to DA C24 wheels and noticed an improvement in ride quality, with no disadvantages (even the weight was technically better, as the wheelset weight was fairly equal, but it was located more at the hubs). After that, I spent a few seasons with Reynolds sponsorship, which I'll skip commenting on.

For the last few seasons I've worked for a travel company and built up my own wheels to ensure that I have the maximum possible ride quality for long days in the saddle, while still having wheels that keep my bike light going up and strong to rip out any stresses on the way down. Because our bikes get sold each season (with wheels obviously), I've had a chance to refine things a bit year on year. As it sounds like you're looking for the same qualities I prize in my wheels, I thought I'd share my formula:

- Novatec Hubs (A291SB & F482SB are my pics), which I first rode during my Reynolds days and found to be a very good balance of weight, performance and especially price - plus their sales service has been excellent. Theses hubs held up better then my Ksyriums did in dry weather (my mavic rear hub got a banshee stuck inside after one season). If you ride often in poor weather and aren't keen to do any servicing/replacement of bearings (I did need to replace one of mine after a UK winter - but that's true of almost every hub I've had), then you might want to look for something more robust - even if you'd just prefer to have something a bit more bling. But the Novatecs definitely get my vote for quality, high-value hubs, and they allow me to spend money on rims, which have a much bigger impact on the performance of a wheelset.

- spoke count is 20h front & 28h rear. I'd done 24h rear for a racing set in the past, which required a bit more work to keep true. For the weigh of four more spokes, 28h rear keeps maintenance to a minimum, which is what you want for a set of every day wheels. As Zen mentioned, 28h seems right for guys our size - especially if you want a wheel that sprints and punches up hill without hesitation or the dreaded brake rub.

- DT Aerolite or Sapim CX-Ray spokes on the front - the best thing is they come in boxes of 20, so it's an easy purchase, but I've found these to be the best option for ride quality on the front wheel, while also offering some aero benefit where it can have the biggest impact.

- For rear wheel spokes, bladed isn't really necessary (you could easily just go with DT Comps), but I've preferred it for consistent looks. I've run aerolite/CX-Ray on the NDS, and then my best discovery has been running heavier bladed spokes from Trek (Bontrager) on the DS, which are MUCH less expensive then aerolites, offerd in loads of lengths and because the Novatec hubs are slotted for aero spokes, these build very nicely into a strong wheel.

- Rims have been a more progressive adventure. At first I used HED Ardennes, which offered fantastic ride quality and performance, but were expensive and wore pretty quickly on the brake track. Second set was built with C-4 V22, and I would never deal with that company again (they even flat out lied about whether they had sent things yet) - the rim was okay, but not a full oversize rim and the pinned join was noticeable when braking. I've now built with Archetypes, which have built with excellent quality, have a proper machined brake track and solid 17mm ID to allow the tire to sit at full width - which means you have the potential to boost both comfort and cornering/braking performance versus the tire profile of the Ksyriums.

Perhaps most importantly, these wheelbuilds have cost between £250 & £400 for the sets, so it seems that even paying for a good local builder, they are all well within your budget of getting below the Ksyriums.


One additional comment if I may - if you're 80kg and feel that your front wheel gets thrown around on windy descents, I can only suspect that you aren't particularly well balanced on your bike - that you must not have enough weight on the front wheel. Are you in the drops while descending? If not, get down there, keep your weight LOW. If it feels like you have too much weight on the front wheel, then move your weight back a bit, but never up. Also try to progressively get more comfortable with increased weight on the front end, because at 80kg, you shouldn't be getting blown around on Ksyriums.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:44 am 
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brettmess24 wrote:
That's cool as hell JKS, I am jealous :D.

Not sure I follow you here, but thanks anyway :)

brettmess24 wrote:
Do you have the time or desire to build your own wheels? You would probably save a small fortune down the line but your initial cost would be high for tools and such......

Yep, I'd love to learn, but I don't think it'd be a good idea to cut my teeth on this level of wheel set. Maybe on a cheap bomb proof set for the single speed or something like that one day. Yes, the set up costs are a hold point. I reckon I'd make up my own stand some time to have a crack.

Tokyo Drifter wrote:
I would completely avoid velocity rims as recommended earlier - they have a good range of rims in terms of diameters and drillings, but they suck in terms of build quality.

Pretty sure these were suggested by a highly thought of wheel builder. Any specific suggested alternatives? Does anyone with experience on zen's suggested velocity rims want to dispute this (I don't have much idea)?

Tokyo Drifter wrote:
That said, you can still get a solid wheel built up for ~$1350 (RRP in AUD on 2013 Ksyrium SLS.

I don't think I've ever bought a full price, newly released anything. I'm more talking in the realm of well discounted, late season Ksyrium SLs (~AUD$600-$700?).


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:06 am 
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Appreciate the detailed input js.

Does anyone else have experience riding these components in a similar set up? They do seem to be around an attractive price point. What does the wheelset weigh in at?

On the descending, generally the Ksyriums have been fine. There is one particular experience over a notorious range (hours climbing, not descending) when we had crazy strong gusting perpendicular crosswinds. The first time I came to a break in the shielding trees on the climb I literally got blown off the edge of the road onto the shoulder (I wasn't ready for it). You had to lean sideways into these gusts when they came to maintain your line and not put yourself into the path of 100kph traffic. Conditions were the same on the descent. Oh, and I forgot to mention it was raining! Ok, so maybe not the typical conditions. It was enough to rattle my confidence a bit. That said, in fair weather with the rush of going downhill fast, I don't think about it in the moment! (Yes, I'm definitely low on the drops, but I'll keep the technique pointers in mind, thanks)


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 12:41 pm 
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DT swiss's new rr440 rim is a far better made alternative to the velocity a23. Nicer brake track, eyelets, rounder out of the box, better finish quality.

DT swiss's rr415 and rr465 rims are also nice if you prefer a narrower rim, as is a bog-standard Mavic Open Pro, however, as I said in my previous post, I do not think any of these are a better option than the pre-built wheel you are discussing.

If you're after a mid-price hub something like a DT340 or a hope pro3 would be nice. White industries are nicely made and have lots of very big, very nice bearings, but aren't that light and aren't that cheap for what they are.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:03 pm 
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I would recommend going custom wheelset over Ksyrium. Custom sets are easier to upgrade as well. If you decided to go White hubs now and then switch to something nicer later, you can still use the rims or vice versa. The other thing to consider on custom is investing in good hubs can pay dividends long-term. If you take care of the hubs, they can be used in subsequent builds after the initial rims wear out or you decide to upgrade. I have hubs that have been in 2 different builds now and the hubs are good as new.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:01 am 
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Ksyriums leave you stuck with a wheelset that is comprised entirely of proprietary parts. They are about as far from aero as you can get, and they are built for the masses.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:26 am 
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Zen Cyclery wrote:
they are built for the masses.


What do you mean by this and is it a bad thing?

Zen Cyclery wrote:
Ksyriums leave you stuck with a wheelset that is comprised entirely of proprietary parts.


And yet still more likely to be in stock at a local bike shop than your earlier suggestion of sapim cx-rays.

Zen Cyclery wrote:
They are about as far from aero as you can get


Has anyone done any testing on box section wheels to quantify aerodynamic qualities?

I still have not seen any halfway decent argument for built wheels, unless you just want something neat looking, already have some money invested in parts, are a big guy who destroys wheels, just want something that is different, or want, say colour co-ordinated hubs.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:21 am 
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Cx-rays may not be in stock at any old bike shop, but any old 14g spoke (cut to length on a basic Hozan spoke cutter if needed) would fit and get you riding in a pinch. Most shops have at least that.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:45 pm 
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Tune in Tokyo... :D

'Built for the masses' means that the Ksyriums have to be built to withstand a chubby guy riding aggressively on crap roads (or whoever the hardest user of wheels is) - otherwise the company will have lots of failures, and they'll lose money on the venture. The trouble is that if you aren't a heavy rider, don't ride particularly aggressively and have smooth roads, then the wheels will be horrible over-built for you.

A great example was offered on one of our trips - a 50kg female rider with rather gentle technique (aka timid), was on a pair of Campag Eurus wheels. At the same camp, a 90kg(+?) rider was on a pair of Hyperon wheels that were underbuilt for his purposes - because Campag markets that wheel as a climbing set and does not aim it at him, they have the Eurus for him! He ended up breaking a spoke on two occassions, which was proof that this wasn't his ideal wheelset and easy enough to recognize. The tougher side of the equation is that unless the female rider tried something more suited to her riding needs, she'll never know that her wheels are underperforming.

As far as the aero property of Ksyriums, Zen did lie, there is one wheel that's further from aero than the Ksyriums, but the two worst scoring wheels in this test were both well out there and it doesn't take much to build a custom wheelset that emulates the shapes of the 7850 C24 TU wheels that score so well (and yes, I know those are the tub version, but it's still not hard to emulate with custom):
Image


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:04 pm 
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Yes

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:13 pm 
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Tokyo Drifter wrote:
I don't think so. I feel that the Ksyriums are hard to beat. I really like mavic hubs - simple sealed bearings that are very easy to adjust and really durable.

Mavics are stiff and light-ish, but very tough. I've seen very few cracked rims and unlike on a built wheel, you have a warranty that counts for something on a complete wheelset.



I find this fascinating. In the last five years I've personally rebuilt probably two dozen ksyrium wheels with cracked rims. Some with lots of hairline cracks, some that looked like they were shot with a .22. The number we've had in the shop that were cracked is much greater than this, but some people chose to trash the wheels, others were done by our other wheel builder. Half the time the rims are out of stock at mavic so we have to wait usually months for them to make it across the Atlantic.

Then there's the hubs, easy to service, sure, but they need to be easy because they require so much service. And that free hub bushing that wears out after a few wet rides is just a terrible piece of design work.

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Posted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:13 pm 


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:31 pm 
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Given the problems with Krysium wheels I am surprised they sell any. As Zen said it is so easy to build something lighter, stiffer and more aero.

Other rim options apart from the A23 are the H+ son archetypre and the DT Swiss RR440. The DT Swiss RR415 would also work well but 28H drillings are the minimium they come in. However a 28f/28R RR415 wheelset built with CX ray spokes is still not too bad on the aero side.

The RR440 comes in 24 and 28H drillings ans does the black archetype rim. Novatec A291 and F482 hubs are cheap and very good than the White industry options. There is also Hope and there Pro3 hub is very good. The novatec decals on a balck hub ae colour coded to the rim so with black spokes they look very good.

So many options and Mavic should not be one of them.

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