Meilenstein vs Bora 50

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
glepore
Posts: 1160
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:42 pm
Location: Virginia USA

by glepore

TurboTommy wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:18 pm
I wonder how I’m having such a different experience when I hear really negative feedback regarding meilensteins. Maybe sungod is right in that using tubs of a similar width to the rim makes a big difference. I mean I get they can be more jittery than other rims. But I have 404’s as well as 303’s and when the 404’s catch the wind you definitely know about it more than the meilenstens. Obviously they’re a fair bit deeper rim but I don’t hear people saying they handle crappy or whatever. Or maybe having ridden so many miles on the 404’s makes me used to allowing for gusts / sudden shifts in wind in exposed areas.
I think its the manner that the Standard/Meilenstein transitions in yaw, not so much the actual amount that you get blown around. The LW transition can be particulalry sharp, especially when the bike has cornering lean. The narrower tire might indeed help.
Cysco Ti custom Campy SR mechanical (6.9);Cannondale SS Evo Di2 7970 (5.79); Willier Cento Uno Air Di2 9070 (7.0); C40 Mk2 DA 7800 ; Anvil Custom steel Etap;1996 Colnago Technos Record

wintershade
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

kgt wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:06 pm
wintershade wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:47 am
Meilensteins are the crappiest handling wheels in the world. If the rider next to you farts, you feel the front wheel jerk. The look great but ride like garbage.
Very, very far from the truth.
I’m exaggerating, clearly. And my experience is limited, having only demoed the wheels for about an hour on a windy day when I was considering them for a money is no object custom Ti Baum build still in formation stages.

But I came away feeling like they were a functional luxury object, somewhere between art and machine, where weight and aesthetics choices trumped functional ones. Which is fine, I suppose, if you’re building a piece of art rather than a racing machine.

I met a guy who was trying to convince me Meilensteins are like the Ferrari of wheels, and as someone who races cars in addition to bikes, I disagree. Yes, a Ferrari 488 is an incredibly beautiful looking and sounding package; it are also truly faultless racing machine when setup correctly. I think Leightweights are more like a Masarati — loud, beautiful, but poor handling dogs when flogged around a track.

Zipps are like a Porsche GT3. More expensive then they should be, a PITA to maintain (hub recalls) but undeniably fast and well engineered.

Boras, a Lotus, not the fastest or objectively “best” car out there, but light and a hell of a lot of fun.

by Weenie


TurboTommy
Posts: 128
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2016 12:32 pm

by TurboTommy

I get that it’s a sitiation more specific to changing yaw angles with the meilensteins. But what I mean is that maybe riding deep rims for a while makes you anticipate where you could have an issue. Like coming out of more protected areas into more exposed ones. Or the wind direction as you’re descending. And on that basis I’m more weary of descending on the 404’s than the meilensteins, just because I’ve found the 404’s less stable in changeable conditions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not questioning anyone else’s experience with the meilensteins. And I respect the opinions of a lot of the guys who’ve had bad experiences with them. It’s just the times when I read people describing them as basically death traps or unrideable I find it surprising because that’s not my experience. I’ve done around 2000 miles on them over the summer., including trips to the alpes and the Pyrenees. No doubt lots of the guys here have put in more miles than that, and it could be my opinion changes. But in my experience I’d say yes they are a little bit more twitchy than my 303’s which are a similar depth. But they ride fantastic generally so far. I’ve been caught in heavy rain, windy days and hit rough roads etc. And so far so good.

I don’t know if I’ll buy another pair of lightweights in the future. It’s a tough call when there are so many other great sets of wheels out there that tick boxes the lightweights don’t. But I do think they are more than just coffee stop wheels etc. They really are a beautiful thing to me in terms of design, construction, stiffness, ride quality etc.

User avatar
Noctiluxx
Posts: 430
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:17 pm
Location: Southern California

by Noctiluxx

wintershade wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:42 pm
kgt wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:06 pm
wintershade wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 12:47 am
Meilensteins are the crappiest handling wheels in the world. If the rider next to you farts, you feel the front wheel jerk. The look great but ride like garbage.
Very, very far from the truth.
I’m exaggerating, clearly. And my experience is limited, having only demoed the wheels for about an hour on a windy day when I was considering them for a money is no object custom Ti Baum build still in formation stages.

But I came away feeling like they were a functional luxury object, somewhere between art and machine, where weight and aesthetics choices trumped functional ones. Which is fine, I suppose, if you’re building a piece of art rather than a racing machine.

I met a guy who was trying to convince me Meilensteins are like the Ferrari of wheels, and as someone who races cars in addition to bikes, I disagree. Yes, a Ferrari 488 is an incredibly beautiful looking and sounding package; it are also truly faultless racing machine when setup correctly. I think Leightweights are more like a Masarati — loud, beautiful, but poor handling dogs when flogged around a track.

Zipps are like a Porsche GT3. More expensive then they should be, a PITA to maintain (hub recalls) but undeniably fast and well engineered.

Boras, a Lotus, not the fastest or objectively “best” car out there, but light and a hell of a lot of fun.
As someone who's owned Zipp NSW 404's, Firecrest 303 & 808 (both with 177/77 hubs) and currently owns and rides two pairs of Bora Ultra 50's, I completely disagree with you. And no Zipp's are nowhere near the sublime GT3.
2018 Bianchi Oltre XR4, (Celeste Matt)
2018 De Rosa SK Pininfarina (Blu)
2019 Trek Madone SLR (Rage Red)
2019 Giant TCR Advanced SL (Chameleon Blue)
2016 Specialized Allez DSW Sprint (Gold)

glepore
Posts: 1160
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2013 4:42 pm
Location: Virginia USA

by glepore

I don't disagree with any of the comments in this thread, actually, other than the "Lightweights are useless crap" comments. There are a plethora of choices out there now, and none are truely bad. I dig Lightweights for their feel. I'm not racing, and while I like speed (to continue the car analogy, 2 12 cyl MB's and a 911 turbo in the garage) its not the ultimate speed that draws me to Lightweights. Its the unique (in my experience) combo of responsiveness to input, lateral stiffness and ride quality. Other wheel are likely more fast in the tunnel, and certainly carry speed better, and most certainly brake better in the wet, but I haven't found anything that feels quite as good. Need to try Bora's though.
Cysco Ti custom Campy SR mechanical (6.9);Cannondale SS Evo Di2 7970 (5.79); Willier Cento Uno Air Di2 9070 (7.0); C40 Mk2 DA 7800 ; Anvil Custom steel Etap;1996 Colnago Technos Record

wintershade
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

Noctiluxx wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:44 am
As someone who's owned Zipp NSW 404's, Firecrest 303 & 808 (both with 177/77 hubs) and currently owns and rides two pairs of Bora Ultra 50's, I completely disagree with you. And no Zipp's are nowhere near the sublime GT3.
For what it's worth, my Zipp NSW are on the wall, and the Bora 50s are on my bike. So, I don't disagree. I'm planning to set the NSWs up tubeless. We'll see if that changes anything.

And not to derail this and turn it into a car thread, but the Zipp/Porsche analogy has more to do with the Zipps (like Porsches) being excellent but somewhat common. Maybe they're a BMW M3, and the Boras are the GT3.... Yeah, I think that's the better analogy.

rlpaul
Posts: 148
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:25 pm

by rlpaul

My Zipps, back when I owned a set, where bought as a set of rims, something that seems particularly hard to do now. Laced them up to WI hubs, and they were indeed nice to ride. I think for a factory built set, I'd rather have Boras than Zipps, simply because of the hubs. It's pretty hard to find somebody complaining about Boras. They have a good track record.

I'd also opt for Boras rather than LWs simply from the rebuildable standpoint. I can repair a set of Boras with standard tools every bike mechanic/owner likely already owns. Not so much the LWs.

I do think the LWs are cool. They certainly have some uniqueness, in ride, sound, and feel.

wintershade
Posts: 123
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:12 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA

by wintershade

Yes, the Campy hubs have a better track record than Zipps no doubt. But as ripaul has done, you can build custom Zipp wheels (though people rarely do).

Again, love my Boras, but my attachment to them is more left brain (emotional, style, nostalgia) than right brain (rational). It's hard to deny the superior aero qualities of the ENVE 4.5 and Zipp NSWs. I've heard that Zipp has wind tunnel data showing the Zipp 202 NSWs are more aero than the Bora 50 across the majority of real-world yaw angles and could be custom built to be damn stiff.

I think the main thing is to know what you're optimizing for. Are you a rich middle-aged dude who doesn't race and just want to hang with the pack at your group rides, then just get what pulls on your heart-strings -- why would you care about that last marginal 1% gain? If you are a Cat 1 racer, well, that's a different story. And maybe it depends on the bike. For my Ironman race rig, I optimize every last detail for perfomance to the point of going down to So Cal wind tunnel next week to optimize position. I don't road race nor even do group rides really, so on my road bikes, my equipment choices are more emotionally driven.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post