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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 1:10 am 
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Posts: 7
This is my first post,

I have been saving the last 18 months for my bike and I finally have the cash to finish it. I will be ordering parts end of next week and would like to have everyone’s input on my greatest concerns, namely money and wheels.

A little personal info:

6'4"
225lb (usually 205-215)
160 - 200 miles wk.
Primarily a spinner, but still a masher sometimes
60% training, 25% fun, 15% race
Roads mostly good asphalt/concrete, typical cracks/crevices, a couple rough weathered areas

Wheel durability is very important. I am looking for a set of wheels that will be reliable. I don't mind frequent routine maintenance, but I refuse to deal with frequent parts failure and replacement.

Wheel performance is very important. I want them to be stiff and I want them to be fast. I love to ride my bike and fast = fun. Road vibration is not really a problem in the places I ride. I am spending the lion’s share of my component money on wheels, so I want them to be much better than I am or than I need.

I am still undecided between clincher and tubular, but leaning towards tubular.

I have $1200 budgeted. I can spend more but then I'll have to wait a little longer to finish the bike and the anticipation is killing me already.


Here's what I have narrowed it down to:

American Classic CR420 / Mid V carbon

I've never ridden these nor directly spoken to anyone who has.

Sound like the perfect wheels, on paper. Light, fast, semi aero, stiff etc. Exactly what I want, on paper.

Dependability? After reading lots of reviews and opinions on everything American Classic, wheelsets, hubs, seatposts, bottom brackets I see that a significant portion of the people who purchase their equipment have reliability problems. Some reviews are more recent, some are older, but the bad ones seem to appear evenly throughout. Most problems sound like they are related to QC issues, poor quality components from overseas manufacturers resulting in incorrect tolerances etc, and no pre-delivery inspection by AC personnel.

Customer service sounds excellent, warranty work is honored, and they will work with you if you have problems. What is AC like on refunds if I am completely unsatisfied? I am not really worried about what will happen if I have problems, I am sure they will take care of me. I just don't want to have problems if I spend this kind of money.

If I get the custom build CR420 wheels with Sapim spokes I am looking at $1000 +, and $1300 + for the carbon mid v custom build.


Custom

I've ridden some open pro combos. No complaints, but I would like something more. I will use Joe Young if I go this route and more than likely use a tubular rim.

I am looking at Hugi 240 hubs with Sapim cx-ray spokes. I am open to recommendations on rims. Looking for something tuff and light.

So far I have been considering Corima Winium tubular rims. Corima feels they will work well for me. Their reputation seems pretty good, but their company and products have been hard to find information on.

I don't really know what other carbon rims or high-end aluminum rims are available, so I need some recommendations to look into.



So... that's where I'm at.

What I am looking for is input, opinions, experiences, facts, rumors, and recommendations. Anything and everything is appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

Chris S


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 1:24 am 
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Location: Colorado
I personally ride the 16/20 version of the 420's and I love it, those can handel up to 200lbs, I only weigh 132lbs. 18/24 with DT bladed spokes can take 225lbs, so unless your planning on lossing weight it might not be the best idea to get these wheels. Call AM classic to make sure.

As for the carbon wheels the recomended weight limit is 200lbs for the 38mm with 24/28 build. Again, call AM classic, they will go over the options with you.

If neither wheel will work for you, I recomend getting Mavic ksyriums, one word... bomb-proof.

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Posted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 1:24 am 


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 1:59 am 
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Location: SE USA
Hi Chris,

This is my first post also. I have not ridden the 420 wheels, but I can tell you what I saw happen in Orlando, Florida, at the Festival of Speed event last weekend.

An American Classic team rider, probably 210lbs? folded a 420 rear wheel from a standing start. That guy had some incredible power, and the wheel folded like a pretzel. The rim would appear to be very weak. Also, I was chatting to one of the Pro field guys who was riding the same wheels, and they were completely out of true after one race! This was his first ride on them. This course is pancake flat, and very smooth. These wheels appear to be of poor quality, in build and component quality.

Make your own mind up, but I will stick with my Ksyriums, even with the weight penalty.

I haven't seen Joe Young wheels first hand, but I can tell you Dave from Speed Dream wheels also builds a nice set.

Good luck.

BT


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 4:27 am 
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Location: Colorado
Quote:
An American Classic team rider, probably 210lbs? folded a 420 rear wheel from a standing start. The rim would appear to be very weak


He probley wasn't ridding the proper build up, guessing he had a 16/20 14/17 guage spokes for that to happen. With a low spoke count like that the wheel has much less laterial rigidity and any large loads not directly in line with the wheel will taco it.

I know several people with these wheels, including myself, and no problems what so ever. Also every set I have seen has so far has never needed a truing.

I forgot to lost these links on my first reply.

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=767

http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=1139

Pezcycling is one of the premier cycling sites, and when they give a product 2 thumbs up you can count on it being good. Read the reviews for yourself, then decide.

But again, call AM Classic because of your weight your boarder line on whether or not you could ride them.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 4:30 am 
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PCS74 wrote:
This is my first post....I would like to have everyone’s input on my greatest concerns, namely money and wheels.
Here's what I have narrowed it down to:

American Classic CR420 / Mid V carbon

BikeTech wrote:
Hi Chris,
This is my first post also. I have not ridden the 420 wheels, but I can tell you what I saw happen in Orlando, Florida, at the Festival of Speed event last weekend.
An American Classic team rider, probably 210lbs? folded a 420 rear wheel from a standing start. That guy had some incredible power, and the wheel folded like a pretzel. The rim would appear to be very weak. Also, I was chatting to one of the Pro field guys who was riding the same wheels, and they were completely out of true after one race! This was his first ride on them. This course is pancake flat, and very smooth. These wheels appear to be of poor quality, in build and component quality.
Make your own mind up, but I will stick with my Ksyriums, even with the weight penalty.
I haven't seen Joe Young wheels first hand, but I can tell you Dave from Speed Dream wheels also builds a nice set.
Good luck.
BT


First of all welcome to WW PCS74 and BikeTech :)
Now, regarding AC420, what BT states I can second.

1) I do not own a set of AC420's but my best friend does.
He had to return not one, not two, but three sets of the wheels because of immediate and constant problems with the rear hub and build. :!: There seemed to be an O-ring problem of some sort or another, but it kept re-occuring even with supposed replacement. He was also experiencing problems with the wheels staying true. Three times the same problem with brand new wheels is unacceptable IMO, especially when the site claims "American Classic wheels are meticulously hand-built at our facility in Tampa Bay." :roll: Righhhhhht. Try walking your bike up Pacific Coast Highway with your pissed-off best friend a couple of times....Finally, he spoke with Bill Shook dirtectly and for now the problem seems resolved. But I would advise caution: you're big, my friend is maybe 5'9", 165? or so.
An AC Team rider folded his own wheels? Man, that's embarassing.

2) The AC hubs do not seem to be the greatest, in the opinion of my LBS (it's a good shop that deals with quality products only) the AC quality control has gone down a lot. They're not impressed.

3) I'm 6'1", 185, so I'm in the big rider range like you. I bought Dave Thomas Speed Dream "AeroLite": Velocity Fusion Rim; White Industries hubs: Sapim CX-Ray; hand built for you. They are great: not super super light at 1500g (and the Speed Dream R359 is 1390, both sets lighter than Ksyriums), but fast, super strong, very true, very sure. I highly recommend you contact Dave, no email you must call. He's very accessible, knowledgable and can build anything you want. Try it, you'll like it!

http://www.speeddream.com/road.php

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 4:34 am 
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Location: Colorado
Did you read my post? Check that out, and go check out those two links.

Your friend must have had piss poor luck. :(

If anything AM Classic's quality control is going up. They have a new manufacturer producing their next generation hubs and they are going to be sweeeet, and lite!

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 4:42 am 
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Location: SE USA
The AC guy was riding bladed spokes, not the 14/17 guage. I took a close look at the guys bike, and counted 20 on the front, and 24 on the rear. Granted, he was a heavy guy, but in my opinion these rims seem to be very weak.

I don't think a lot of their wheels are hand built. A local shop who carries Orbea bikes, sometimes equipped with the 350 wheels, mentioned to me the AC OEM wheels are all machine built, with a final true by hand? Their claim on their website of hand built wheels is laughable lol.

After seeing this taco job firsthand, and reading Cadence 90's post, I won't be riding their product anytime soon. Overpriced, and poor quality.

Mavic wheels may not be super light, but they are super strong.

Superlite, glad to hear you are having good luck with those wheels.

BT


Last edited by BikeTech on Sat Mar 20, 2004 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 4:43 am 
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Superlite wrote:
Did you read my post? Check that out, and go check out those two links.

Your friend must have had piss poor luck. :(

If anything AM Classic's quality control is going up. They have a new manufacturer producing their next generation hubs and they are going to be sweeeet, and lite!

Yes I read your posts and I had already read the links ages ago.
Just giving PCS another side, you know....
Of course it was piss-poor luck, who the hell wants to send 3 expensive wheelsets back/forth across the country, at the very least it shows nobody's perfect.... :wink:

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"Gimondi è un eroe umano, che viene sconfitto ma che continua la sua corsa fino a tornare a vincere." - Enrico Ruggeri


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 4:53 am 
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BikeTech wrote:
The AC guy was riding bladed spokes, not the 14/17 guage. I took a close look at the guys bike, and counted 20 on the front, and 24 on the rear. Granted, he was a heavy guy, but in my opinion these rims seem to be very weak.

I don't think a lot of their wheels are hand built. A local shop who carries Orbea bikes, sometimes equipped with the 350 wheels, mentioned to me the AC OEM wheels are all machine built, with a final true by hand? Their claim on their website of hand built wheels is laughable lol.

After seeing this taco job firsthand, and reading Cadence 90's post, I won't be riding their product anytime soon. Overpriced, and poor quality.

Mavic wheels may not be super light, but they are super strong.

Superlite, glad to hear you are having good luck with those wheels.

BT

I think you're prudent to check out other options. Some people, especially lighter riders, may love the ACs, but for the money/durability they don't convince me, from what I've seen, read, heard.
And as far the new hubs with new manufacturer, that's exactly what I'd stay away from: they've already continually delayed release and now new design, new fabrication, new claims to greatness IMO means: you're the guinea pig. Wait until they've been out for a good amount of time, really tested independently, and then decide. Hype is not reality.

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"Gimondi è un eroe umano, che viene sconfitto ma che continua la sua corsa fino a tornare a vincere." - Enrico Ruggeri


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 5:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 6:05 am
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PCS74 wrote:
This is my first post,

I have been saving the last 18 months for my bike and I finally have the cash to finish it. I will be ordering parts end of next week and would like to have everyone’s input on my greatest concerns, namely money and wheels.

[snip]
Chris S


Hey Chris.. welcome to WW's .. First want to ask you, what wheels are you using now and putting that kind of milege on? What made you narrow down to those two sets?

I'm surprised to hear about problems with the 420's. The 420's have been around a long time and AFAIK well engineered and with a pretty good rap .. but they're only going to be as good as the guy that built them. I think that as long as you get a custom build from an experienced shop (with good customer service) they should be fine wheels. I've heard horror stories about ALL wheels .. with the exception of Ksyrium's (anyone know a good story :?: ). You're smart to be careful about it, especially if you've saved this long. If I were you I'd check around a little more, not just here but talk to mechanics in bike shops.. clubs, etc. I like the Rolf Prima's (I have the elans) and the Vigor is a nice wheel also. I've heard a little bit of negative about Rolfs, but my experience has been different. I've hammered the Sestriere's for over 6k (miles) before my current set of Elan's that have about 5k on them .. not one problem with either, I'm 180lbs and ride on my share of crappy roads and in all weather. I've obviously got clinchers but after reading here for awhile and listening to different reasoning, you can't go wrong with tubulars, there's more positive's then negatives with choosing tubular's over clinchers. I suspect it's just a matter of time before I fork out a couple grand on some tubulars. :wink: :mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 5:41 am 
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Posts: 240
Location: St. Louis
I'm in your same weight range of 205-225 depending on the time of year. Let me start off by saying that I absolutely demand that my wheels be reliable, durable and stiff. I don't want them if they aren't. I have a set of Ksyrium SL's which are bomb-proof. These aren't the lightest or most aero wheels but they are rock solid. If I had to choose one wheel for the rest of my cycling days it would be Ksyriums.

I also have a set of 2003 Zipp 404's clinchers and LEW composites wheels. Both of these wheels are light, aero and solid. I've never had a problem with either of these wheels.

My newest wheelset is the Reynolds Stratus DV tubulars. These wheels are awesome. They are super stiff and extremely light. You wouldn't have any worries with these wheels. These are also the fastest wheels that I own.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 5:09 pm 
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I would suggest staying away from AC wheels, esp at your weight.

The sets you see around here in the morning fast rides have all had problems according to their owners. Just a week ago in fact I saw one rider break a bladed front spoke in his, he could hardly get the wheel around in the fork after to get home. There are also lots of reports of riders having problems with the tiny bearings in the Micro front hub on RBR and MTBR.

I'd have Joe build you a set of something a bit more robust if I were your weight.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2004 10:33 pm 
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Thanks for the info guys, it is extremely helpful.

Right now I'm on an MTB. This will be my first road bike in over 10 years. I started riding road about 4 yrs ago because my schedule didn't allow packing up and heading out to the trails, after I while I started enjoying the road more than the trails. About two years ago I decided to get a new bike, and in about 2 months I'll finally have it.

So, my road wheel experience is very limited. When I was test riding various bikes trying to get an idea of what I wanted in a road bike it became apparent after they were fit that the biggest difference in feel and performance was due to the wheels. So, I decided to get the best set of wheels I could possibly afford.

I've ridden several open pro combos, a couple oe bontrager sets, ssc-sl's and some low quality stuff.

I put a little over 100mi. on the ssc-sl's and liked them the best, by far. I put comparable mileage on the open pro sets and less than half that on the bontragers. They were my first choice for a clincher until I read about the AC cr420's. Now, based on the reviews and feedback on the AC's if I get a clincher they will be ssc-sl's.

I looked into the Rolfs, but my LBS who sells both Rolf and Mavic feels the ssc-sl's will be more reliable.

I'm still leaning towards tubular because, as bobalou said, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

What other tubular rims should I look into, i.e. which makes/models are universally considered high quality and performance? I read over the lightest tubulars thread, but I feel I will be much more satisfied with a custom setup, and I would like to have some good information available and some ideas in my head when I talk with Joe.

Thanks again,

Chris S


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:00 am 
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PCS74 wrote:
Thanks for the info guys, it is extremely helpful.

Right now I'm on an MTB. This will be my first road bike in over 10 years. I started riding road about 4 yrs ago because my schedule didn't allow packing up and heading out to the trails, after I while I started enjoying the road more than the trails. About two years ago I decided to get a new bike, and in about 2 months I'll finally have it.


Wow, dude.. you've been riding on the road on a MTB for 4 years? I think you're going to notice a huge difference, about 30% speed improvement with a switch to a real road bike.

Quote:
I looked into the Rolfs, but my LBS who sells both Rolf and Mavic feels the ssc-sl's will be more reliable.

I'm still leaning towards tubular because, as bobalou said, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.


Can't go wrong with the SSC-sl's. Another manufact'r you might consider: Reynolds. They make tubular's and clinchers. Health Net-Maxxis (a current top pro US team) uses them. You might find what you want around your price range (1200?).

:arrow: http://www.reynoldscomposites.com/Products-Wheels.asp


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Posted: Mon Mar 22, 2004 2:00 am 


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