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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:23 am 
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It's a great story.... But it does not explain the preference of some very high rated builders. And the opinion on the Chrono isn't universally positive either on this or on other forums.

I'll cede this point as the minds are made up, but a parting shot to anyone making a choice; search this and other fora for other threads :wink:


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Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:23 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 9:50 pm 
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Franklin wrote:
It's a great story.... But it does not explain the preference of some very high rated builders. And the opinion on the Chrono isn't universally positive either on this or on other forums.

I'll cede this point as the minds are made up, but a parting shot to anyone making a choice; search this and other fora for other threads :wink:


Who are the builders who recommend Mavic over Ambrosio rims? There are several who like certain Mavic rims, as I do. The old green/yellow GP4's are great rims and both Ergott and I grab them when we can -- I think we singlehandedly have driven up the price on them. And the comments above are for Ambrosio Nemesis rims. The Cronos are good rims but are a bit light for many riders, hence the hesitation about them.

It's a democratic country. You have the right, written into the Constitution, to use whatever rim you want. And the Supreme Court has ruled countless times against persecution of Mavic Reflex users. We're just getting the facts out and then people can try the rims they want. So let's lighten up here.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:41 pm 
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11.4 wrote:
I think we singlehandedly have driven up the price on them.


I take offense to that remark! :mrgreen:

I must thank 11.4 for tipping me off on these rims.

Image

I have another set on the way and there's a set on Ebay as we speak (I have my fill for now).

I still call this the best tubular alloy rim Mavic has made to date (weight, average price, ride quality, strength, durabillity). After that, I'd look elsewhere. Nemesis rims or even a Nemesis rear and F20 front would be a good current option. I have no experience with the Montreal rim, but the weight is right and they are less expensive. Someone else could possibly chime in with first hand experience with them.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:00 am 
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The Montreal is a weird critter. Ambrosio actually made at least four completely different rims under the Montreal label. None were anything special to write home about -- most commonly available in 28 and 36 hole drillings, pretty narrow side to side, and definitely very shallow braking surfaces. I've built some wheels with them and used them a fair bit, but these days their best use is to stretch rims. They seem to be popular in builds for vintage bikes, but I can't honestly recommend them overwhelmingly given what people charge for them and the alternatives available.

About the braking surface issue: One of the points about some rims that isn't addressed enough is the height of their braking surfaces. Back in the days of Nuovo Record, the brake blocks were long and thin, and rims had correspondingly shallow braking surfaces. As component manufacturers sought to improve braking, they increased braking surface by increasing the height of the brake blocks. Pretty soon, this overwhelmed the height of the braking surfaces, so brake blocks would wear a bit and the top of the blocks would be rubbing on the tire sidewall and the bottom of the blocks would be hooking around onto the inside surface of the rim and sometimes catch there, without releasing properly. Mavic SSC Bleu's were great rims but simply don't accommodate modern brake blocks well. Mavic Paris Roubaix rims were on a par with Ambrosio Nemesis rims, but didn't have the braking surface height to deal with this issue. We simply have to use newer rims unless we're working with older brakes and willing to handle the compromised braking performance.

About Reflexes: One point folks should know is that Reflexes came in different versions. The original Reflex label came on both tubulars and clinchers. The tubular rims were quite nice, a bit soft in the alloy but very durable if you didn't get a flat spot on them. I think they were the first rim to go for a taller braking surface, but it was still without machining. Machining is something I never saw the use for, because any decent rim did fine without it and the machining simply removed material from the very surfaces of the rim that needed it most. If your rim was uneven, it was going to be so after spoke tension was added, which meant that factory machining wasn't going to be productive. Anyway, Mavic then went to a machined Reflex in the same profile with a differently styled label. Then they went to a completely new extrusion with a sharper, squarer shape, and this is the rim that most of us know as the Reflex. Unfortunately as the dies grew old, the extrusions became very irregular and Mavic released a new one that was even more square in shape, but so much so that it had stress issues and tended to crack and fracture -- both at the spoke holes and also sudden complete fractures across the rim. The latter weren't that common, but I had a half dozen examples at various times. If you get the ones with the foil label and the spoke hole label, you're dealing with the next to the last version. If you get the ones with the revised mostly-black label, you have the very last one. So we don't want to make comments arbitrarily about a rim when there have been different varieties. Sadly, none of the Reflexes was all that appealing. The original ones that I liked the most were within spitting distance of the weight of the GP4, which was a much better rim than anything else in a decent braking surface depth. And I rode GP4's and Paris Roubaix's for years in Holland and Belgium on real cobbles in road races and kermesses, and they both did just fine.

By the way, the Ambrosio F20 Crono has had at least two versions that I know of. The first was really light and was durable and stiff, but tended to have occasional failures. The second (and current) version is really a superb rim, but it isn't the best if you're hard on rims -- whether because of weight, riding habits, roads, or whatever. I've built and raced sprint training wheels on the track with F20's and Mavic Reflexes and have seen almost all the Reflexes crack within a couple years, while the F20's just keep going. I don't like to set weight limits because it's more about riding style and habits. I don't shy away from recommending an F20. I'd just rather have more of a margin with a box-section tubular rim anyway, since we aren't talking about the cutting edge in tubular racing rims. For that, I'd insist on carbon. And frankly, at this point, comparing alloy to carbon tubular rims (or let's say, comparing an Ambrosio Nemesis to an Enve mid-profile tubular rim), the carbon rims will outlast the alloy without mechanical failures or truing problems. They're just better rims these days and I'd use Enve rims for any kind of riding, including rain or rough roads. Plain and simple.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:19 am 
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11.4 wrote:
Who are the builders who recommend Mavic over Ambrosio rims?


J. S. owner of luxe Wheelworks. J.B. staff of signature cycles.

Now of course these guys might be having a huge vested interest or don't know their stuff, but that's not the impression I have ;)

Oh and heck, Ergott isn't to hot on the F20 as a rear wheel (on any rider weight) unless he reversed that opinion ;)

So there we have it, Mavic versus Ambrosio isn't so one sided as some here make it out to be. People as Coloclimber don't like them much, Ergott advices the heavy rear rim. On VS there are experienced wheelbuilders going for Reflex. Call me crazy, but I'd say it's more of a toss up than anything else.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:44 am 
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I've been riding various Mavic Reflex's, MAC2 CD2's and GEL330's since they first came out, never had a problem with any of them except when I was hit from behind by a car...

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2012 9:00 am 
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Franklin wrote:
J. S. owner of luxe Wheelworks. J.B. staff of signature cycles.

Now of course these guys might be having a huge vested interest or don't know their stuff, but that's not the impression I have ;)

Oh and heck, Ergott isn't to hot on the F20 as a rear wheel (on any rider weight) unless he reversed that opinion ;)

So there we have it, Mavic versus Ambrosio isn't so one sided as some here make it out to be. People as Coloclimber don't like them much, Ergott advices the heavy rear rim. On VS there are experienced wheelbuilders going for Reflex. Call me crazy, but I'd say it's more of a toss up than anything else.


Justin and I have sold each other rims and components over the years. I've ridden his wheels and possibly vice versa. And I've bought from the Signature guys. The point is, in fact, that nothing is absolute. However, this comparison was between Nemesis and Reflex, and I think this thread has clarified the issues they each have. I'm not trying to win any argument here. I'm just sharing the factual info I have. Why does a builder like a rim or not? Usually it's a matter of whether it builds well without complications and the customer is happy with it. If a rider has to deal with brake blocks chafing on the tire sidewall because the braking surface on the rim is too shallow, does that get blamed on the rim? Oddly enough, usually not. And most riders don't ride hard enough on tubulars to stress them enough -- straight lines, slow speeds, fat cushy tires, and no hard banking, no hard racing, whatever. You can put most riders on anything and they won't break it. But if you watched the last several years of Paris Roubaix, you saw almost exclusively Nemesis rims and very rarely Reflexes. Even the Mavic wheels on the service motorcycles are built with either old Mavic Paris Roubaix rims or with Nemesis rims -- not Reflexes.

It's very hard on a wheelbuilder or a dealer to promote rims they can't get, and Ambrosio Nemesis rims are pretty consistently hard to find. That alone makes builders favor other rims. If the builder wants to promote offset spoke drillings for rear wheels, or wants to put riders on lighter wheels, or prefers deeper section rims like Kinlin XR300's, neither a Nemesis nor a Reflex will measure up. As I talk with many/most of the professional wheelbuilders today, they like rims that are available and also reliable. Kinlin and Velocity are winning that battle over everyone else. And of course builders prefer building with carbon rims like Enve. The point is that choices are sometimes pragmatic and have nothing to do with the actual rim itself, or are based on the audience the builder is creating wheels for. Look at the European racing circuit and ask how many Reflexes are being used, in a market that is pretty strongly influenced by Mavic, and you should be able to read between the lines.

Let's all stop trying to convince somebody about one rim or another. The facts are out. Everyone needs to make their own decision. Hell, people want equipment because some pro rides it, or wants a frame size because it looks good on someone else. Jeez, I don't need to argue anyone into anything. Let's let it rest.


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