Friday, March 20, 2015

New Wheels

Two new wheelsets in the house:


Neugent Cycling 3cm Aluminum Rim 

First is the Neugent Cycling 3cm-deep, 23mm-wide aluminum rim set with the big-and-tall men's build (24/28 spoke count).  Sapim CX-Ray spokes and hand-built.  John advertises them as weighing 1495 gms with the higher spoke count.  These come with rim strips installed and, while I am not part of the tubeless club, the ones John installs sure look like they are designed to allow you to run tubeless.  John also includes his house-brand skewers, which I have never loved but which at least offer a big lever to ensure adequate tightness.  I paid $550 for these shipped to my door.

I rode these on Ascension last Sunday with the Compass Chinook Pass SL tires that Sam gifted to me for Christmas.  With what was decidedly the wrong gearing -- 39-25 at the lightest -- I can't speak to the wheels as an aid to my climbing, because my climbing was painful from the first pedal stroke.  I will note that I gave the rear wheels every excuse to pull out of true and they never did. 

I can speak to the handling.  The combination is fast and stable in the most technical of twisty turns, road-surface undulations, and broken pavement, and fast on the straights.  Whether it was the wheels, the tires, or the Specialized suspension seatpost, I'm eager to get back out on that bike!

Shimano Dura-Ace C24 Carbon Rim

Merlin sells these for $750 shipped.  They are built with a 16/21 spoke count, which might make me nervous except that I've never heard of a problem with Shimano's factory wheels, including the year-2006 Ultegra wheelset that I ride on my city bike in Indy.  They are 24mm deep and 21mm wide rims (not the full 23mm rims that apparently Shimano is now selling).  The advertising says something about "carbon laminate", which I take to mean something other than full carbon.  (Is the laminate there to add strength to a thinner metal build?)  They come with rim strips that, like those on the Neugent wheels, look like they are designed to let you run tubeless.  Shimano includes its incomparable closed-cam skewers with a new blade-like lever.  I weighed these before mounting them.  With rim strips installed, they tip the scales at . . . 1397 grams.  (I kid you not.)  Quick question:  is there anywhere else you can find a sub-1400gm wheelset with Shimano's durability and a modern profile (wider if not the widest) at that price point?  I doubt it.

I mounted these with the 28mm Schwalbe One tires and light-weight Specialized tubes.  They will go on the Neuvation bike for summer riding.  First workout will be on the 2 x 200K outside of Asheville that Damon and I have been discussing for next weekend.

After an earlier sell-off, I'm now back to lots of wheels in the closet.  Though they have been good to me, it is time to sell the Supra 60cm wheels.  (Craigslist link here if you know anybody who is looking.)


sam said...

My weights:

DA C24 w/o skewers: 1430g
DA C24 w/ skewers: 1540g

RS81 C24 w/o skewers: 1670g
RS81 C24 w/ skewers: 1540g

If I'm unable to keep up on the Glacier 1000K, I guess we'll know why. That extra 33g.

Max said...

I wonder why the variation? And perhaps the more impressive is the RS81 weight. That's comparable to a Mavic Elite. Tempted to sell the Mavics (currently on the Gunnar) and to invest the dough in a pair of RS81s.

I have had lightweight wheelsets before, but there is something special about picking up the front C24 wheel alone. Even shod it just feels featherweight.

Max said...

Mounted the WH-9000 C24 wheels on the Neuvation bike in Indy with 2mm Schwalbe One tires. I am replacing what is now the winter wheelset -- Ultegra 6600 with the 25mm Schwalbe Marathons with winter tread.

Thus, shaving huge weight, adding a fair bit more air between myself and the ground, moving to new bearings and whatever performance benefits "carbon laminate" gives over alloy, and going with a low rolling resistance tire instead of the sandpaper I've been riding all winter. Also a new cassette for the new wheels.

Lots of variables. Which one controls I have no idea. Riding that bike in this morning felt like taking off Carhartts and putting on a velvet leisure suit. If this is what the "buy the latest and greatest tech" crowd has been experiencing all this time, I'm soon to be a convert!

Max said...

Make that 28 mm Schwalbe One tires.

sam said...

I can only imagine. Sounds like a sweet ride. After several weeks of riding my Habanero with Grand Bois, and the fixie with Ultremos, going back to my 1x9 with 35mm Marathons Pluses over the weekend was pure torture.

In some sense you get a better workout though, since you /want/ to be riding fast even if your tires don't want to go fast.