Saturday 2 November 2019

Alloy wheels better than carbon?

This is not one of the adverts of the system wheels. This is the essence of custom wheel building where wheels are designed and handcrafted specifically to rider's needs

I ride with Menno and I know how he rides. His initial idea was to go with carbon wheels (rim brake) but knowing where he rides I thought it won't be a good idea. Riding in Swiss Alps on local and steep roads you better have well-performing and braking wheels in all conditions. 

Yes, I do have in my offer carbon rims with texture which gives excellent braking performance but that comes with the cost of short brake pads lifecycle. In addition, those are ideal for light riders so being above 80kg rider alloy rims are usually a better choice.

My advice to Menno was - instead of investing > 1300CHF to carbon rims, go with top-class hubs and decent alloy rims. 

Wheels weight was one of the priorities, therefore, my choice went to one of the lightest, beautiful and strong hubs on the market: Carbon Ti.

You can hate Italians for their style of riding cars, gestures during speaking and not always clean cities/streets but you cannot deny the fact that Italians are pure artists in terms of cycling and car design. 

Carbon Ti hubs are like Ferrari. They look awesome, ride awesome and make sound like no other hubs. Crazy light, strong and with excellent bearing play adjustment system. No other hubs can do that!

Bearing play adjustment system is one of the best in class.

Taking into account Menno's power and weight I went with 24 spokes on the front and 28 spokes on rear. Specifically Pillar Wing 20 on front given the hub's geometry and Wing 21 / 22 on NDR/DR side to cope with Menno's power legs. Such combination allowed me to make the strongest possible wheels and still very light. 

Combining that with Kinlin XR22T rims (rear with offset) I achieved 1400g set which for 24/28h strong and thick spokes is an excellent result.

In order to make wheel even stronger, I crossed rear spokes 

Wheels itself wouldn't work without proper tires. For best performance and lightweight feeling, I went with continental GP5000TL tires which have the lowest rolling resistance on the market. That thing allows you to fly over the mountains...

Strong, fast, stable and lightweight set. Price tag - 1100 CHF for a complete system including tires and installation. Stans sealant and spare spokes+nipples included. Saved money for cycling epic trip (or two). 

P.S. I recommend to have tubeless tires installed by the wheel builder. Almost every time a minor truing is required after tubeless system installation. This is due to the fact that tubeless tires are squeezing the rim much stronger than normal tires. Even an excellent wheel will go out of true when lightweight components are used. Therefore wheels + tubeless tires are one system (ex. Mavic)

Interested in such or similar setup? Just drop me the note. 


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