I have already narrowed my choice down to a 50mm'ish wide tubular rim. Take it as a given that my needs are therefore identified. The only choice is between a Zipp and a Gigantex/King build. I have already excluded other components, other rim depths, clinchers, etc etc.
I intend to clamp both wheels between the frame and fork dropouts and go for a ride. These will be every day riding wheels, not raceday specials. I have never run clinchers and don't intend to start now, so I won't consider clincher rims. Both wheels fulfil the same purpose, both are roughly the same price.
I do consider the Kings to be superior to the Zipps in finish, bearing quality (and yes, in fact King do make their own bearings), design (j bend) and free hub system. I do consider Zipps to be superior to Gigantex in terms of aerodynamics, finish, quality and 'feel good' factor.
The question ultimately is between great hubs/OK rims (Gigantex/King), or OK hubs/great rims (Zipp).
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Since we are talking tubulars there will be no delamination issues which takes some of the advantage away from the Zipps.
If budget really is a consideration then I would go with the Gigantex handbuilts. If budget isn't an issue and you're after bling go Zipp.
Both will serve you equally well.
If none of this makes any sense to you then clearly you were more after affirmation than information.
On a personal notice, I feel the CK hubs (old ones, haven't tried R45j have alot of freewheel drag, and I don't care much for super fast engagement on a road bike, but find it superior on MTB's/CX's... On the other hand even the slightest bearing play drives me mad, and I don't mind be pushed around a bit by side winds... And where I ride brake performance isn't key.
Optimal wheels in the end, Zipp rims on another hub, failing that - Gigantex rims but not on CK hubs... Unless R45's would be better regarding freewheel drag, but as I don't value the quick engagement for road use, I think there are better options... Maybe you are different, but I feel that hub drag (both freewheel and bearing/axle seals) make a huge difference. Bigger than the Zipp vs Gigantex rim.
solarider wrote: I do consider Zipps to be superior to Gigantex in terms of aerodynamics, finish, quality and 'feel good' factor
Regarding the quality of these mentioned 2 rims, I'm curious what the finishing quality difference between these rims is.
I can only compare Zipps to X-Bike light rims. Frankly the word compare shouldn't be used in that respect. Both rims represent completely different worlds.
Zipp rims are ok but not as amazing as most think
King hubs are awesome, might not spin so freely in your hand but thats because they have desent seals
gigantex rims i have no experience with but i cant see them being bad
If was building a wheel it would be either DA, King or DT hubs. DT spokes either comps if your big/strond or revolutions if you smaller.
50mm rims is a tricky one, xentis if you can just buy the rim ??
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Personally I think DA hubs are a better choice dimesnons of that hub are better than the DT 240's but as the gigantex rims a 20 and 24H drillings that rule Dura ace hubs out. So that means the CK hubs are actually one of the better hubs to use as they come in the drillings you need.
However you may be suprised at how nice a cheaper pair of Novatec's feel, they also come in the drillings you need.
It's no minimal difference either, if you clamp the bike to a work stand, set the wheels spinning and go out to do your weekend grocery shopping, they'll be spinning when you get back home... (well almost, you get the picture), with CK's you won't even get your shoes on before they stop...
I am a mechanic and i dont think the Zipp hubs are any worse/better than most other high end hubs.
this is coming from someone who is currently building a pair of gigantex tub's to race on. this is only down to the fact that even though i can buy Zipps at discounted wholesale, the Gigantex wheels im building will cost well under half (with Tune hubs) of what the zipps would.
Chris King R45 hubs
Sapim CXRay Spokes
Gigantex 23mm/50mm tubular rim
27mm Vittoria Pave tubulars
The idea was to use these as everyday wheels and keep my Zipps fresh for nicer days and race days. I wanted a wider rim to take a wider tub, and so that I didn't need to constantly adjust the brake pads. Plus, given the knocks of everyday riding, I wanted something with a rim that would be relatively cheap to replace.
Unfortunately these are just too nice! In many ways they put the Zipps to shame in terms of weight, hubs (side-by-side, the Kings spin for more than twice as long as the Zipps) and trueness (partly because of the build, and partly because the braking surface is actually more parallel on the Gigantex than the Zipps).
Great wheels, great build (thanks Derek at Wheelsmith.com!). And the decals even match the tubs!
23mm wide at the brake track, vs the Zipp at 25mm, but I still don't need to adjust my brakes when I swap wheels. It is however much wider than a 'normal' rim, so the tubular bed is wide and supportive, and quite a bit more robust. Fits the 27mm Pave tubs nicely. Just wish they made these tubs all black. They ride nicely, but do they really have to be green?!
It then tapers to a normal V shape. No bulging and whilst it is slightly wider at the nipple bed, it nowhere near as wide as a Zipp.
Aerodynamically, probably not as good as the Zipp, but better than a box section, probably better than a narrow V, and for the money and the intended use, a very nicely made, inexpensive to replace and decent all round rim.
I like the wheels alot.
I'd welcome input from all.
In terms of the rim depth, the weight difference between 30mm and 50mm is minimal, but in terms of aerodynamics, looks and stiffness, the 50mm wins.
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