The Rolf Vigor and American Classic 420 were compared in an earlier thread when the conversation turned to the lighter 350 rim:http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2442
How about comparing the fully built Rolf Elan vs. American Classic 350? Superlite wrote about the rims:
The first 350's and the original elan are the same rim.
The new 350's and the aero elan share the same rim.
How is the original 350 rim (Elan) different from the new 350 rim (Elan Aero)? Does Rolf use 2 vintages of the AC 350 rim for the Elan vs. Elan Aero? The 350 rims are not welded - has anybody else had problems with braking as mentioned in another thread?http://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2533
I've got the Elans (2003) and if you read the previous threads, I talked about them there also. I've never had a single problem with them and I'm 80kg, ride on all surfaces and in all weather. The brakes you use will make a difference, I was using the cane creek sl200 brakes and they sucked on those rims, so took them off and put the records back on. Supposedly the 2004 use different hub internals .. and the 2003's that I have use the AC internals. You can check their website and call the Rolf guy directly and talk to him. They stand behind their wheels. The rolf guy said they aren't the same as the 350's but I suspect they're very similar with a differnt spoke pattern. I think that the aero's and regular elans use the same rims, just the spokes are different. Don't know how they compare to the AC 350's but the hubs and spoke pairing are a completely different design, I'm not going to say it's better but I'm willing to bet they're stiffer because the spoke tensions are very high on the rolfs. Hammering hard up hills or on a fast descent, never felt unstable or too flexy.
Comparing them with other wheels I own, I've got the ksyrium equipes on another bike, they spin up faster then the equipes but I do like the braking surface better on the equipes.. durability IMO have been the same if not better on the rolfs, but I've only got about 1500 miles on the equipe's and over 6k miles on the elans. Maybe a small point, but the elans are the quietest wheels I've owned, more quiet then the rolf sestrieres I used to have, particularly the rear hub. The only thing I'm concerned about is that I replaced a spoke that busted when a rollerblader ran into me when I was stopped (20 miles from home, that was a bad day!
). I was told that once you replace a spoke on a rolf, the others tend to go because the tensions are very balanced and disrupting one on a high-tension spoked wheel can cause a domino effect as the wheel ages.
Bottom line, would I buy them again.. you bet! But my next set of wheels will be tubulars.