Since that was a lot a questions... a recap!
1. Mavic open pro vs HED c2 clincher and why?
2. Will Alchemy elf/orc hubs hold up to everyday use (ie. gravel, rain, racing)
3. What spokes would you use?
I also have a tubular set built with Mavic's reflex rims, which are comparable to the openpro. My bikeshop said that these are a bit weaker than the Hed rims, and suggested 36/36 3x all around, again with 14g spokes.
I am not a wheelbuilder, but my LBS has a good reputation, so I trust their opinion. Since I weight 145-150 pounds, I would think 28/24 would not be strong enough for a 170-180lb rider
I've got both, C2's on a 32h Powertap , which replaced a worn out Open Pro, and had loads of OP's built on various hubs, either for myself, or I've built for others.
Here in the UK, the C2's are damn nigh impossible to get hold of, and when you can, they're nearly twice the price of the Open Pro's. If you're going to be riding in crappy conditions , thats got to be a consideration if they're not going to last...
Mavics = readily available.
Weight wise, they are about the same. From memory they were about 435g each.
Build quality;I've only ever seen 1 of these masses of open pro's with "rattley" bits or eyelets ripping out. I'm sure there is poorer quality of both parts floating around out there, but by virtue of the mavics being a far greater seller, there are bound to be more of them.
Spoke count? Well its not too hard to get an OP in 28h, but the C2's although offered in various drillings, seemed impossible to track down..
The OP is easier to get a turbo tyre on too
Purely subjective stuff but- i'm sure i've seen a few posts on here about clearance with wider rims on various frames; might be worth checking first...
and also (as he ducks for cover) im not exactly sold on this wider is better philosophy. I couldnt really tell any difference in performance.
Cant comment on your choice of hubs, but the Alchemy's are rated highly on here.
I guess which spokes you use will be determined by which hubs you use, and spoke count and build pattern.
Happy not to have cleared anything up!!
The C2's are a tad heavier than the open pro's. But more than make up for it in stiffness (acceleration, cornering) and have much better aerodynamics. Plus, you get to run your tires at lower pressure with no loss in speed. This makes up the difference in comfort between the two.
So I guess it comes down to performance or lasting forever. Double eyelets make a huge difference in wheel longevity. As does the added flex.
As far as spokes go. There's no reason not to go with a butted spoke. Nobody has ever had a spoke (a good spoke that is) break in the middle. I prefer Sapim Lasers myself. But others like DTcompetitions and revolutions. I personally found the revolutions hard to keep tensioned in the past. Not so much with the lasers.
Keep in mind that thinner spokes require more tension, increasing the likelihood of cracking a C2 rim. And don't be fooled into thinking that alloy nipples are a good place to save weight. In the front, yeah. But in the rear. What you save in weight isn't worth the headache a year later when you go to true the wheel. Brass nipples with prolock(DT) or poly-x (sapim).
Just my 2 cents. But I'm sure others will have their own ideas.
Cielo by Chris King Cross Racer
As someone said above the OPs are the best of technology from 20 years ago. They are solid but not worth the cost. To me if you are going to go for old technology rims, especially box section I would probably pick the Ambrosios, more cache. There are many better rims though for better prices, some of which there are lots of topics for on this forum. H+son Archetype and pacenti come to mind.
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