Alternatives to Ksyrium SSL SC

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Aztec, May 13, 2004.

  1. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    All I see at criteriums are Ksyriums! I'm pretty sure my existing wheels are too delicate for crits, but I sure don't want to buy the same marketing-hyped wheel everyone else has been suckered into buying! ;-)

    So what's out there for similar (or less) money, yet equally light and durable? I hear the SSL SCs are pretty much bombproof...

    Save me...
     
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  2. orbea

    orbea New Member

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    a handmade wheelset (32 spokes)?

    My wheelset: hügi 240 hubs + DT Swiss rim + DT revolution spokes (all black) : +/- 1530 gr.
     
  3. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    The Velomax Ascent II comes to mind; folks love the way they feel, they're lighter than SSC SLs, have a reputation for toughness, and they're about the same price, or a touch cheaper.

    Longer-term durability data just ain't available, because they're too new, but the new Rolf Prima wheels -- the Vigor in particular -- fall under the same category as well. Lighter than Ksyriums, and according to those riding them, they're super stiff. Trick looking too.

    Not familiar with the Bontrager line, but enough folks are on them (what with their Trek/Lemond/Klein contract and all) that if you don't mind that they border on house-brand generic, they could be worth a look.

    Campy Eurus is in the same price category; cyclingforums.com members gush left and right about them, so they must be good, right?

    If you really want to go out on a limb (do it! do it!), Topolinos round out the bunch... the company claims extreme durability, but I still know no one who owns a pair. It'd be really cool of you to buy some and tell us all about them. I mean, they're exciting, if a little unproven.

    And of course, you can't go wrong with good built wheels, like Orbea suggested. A little vanilla, but on the right bike, super stylish in an elegant way. Servicability is unparalleled; weight can be pretty low, ride is often fantastic (if not the stiffest available), and best off, they're generally affordable.

    Gooooood luck!
     
  4. byron27

    byron27 New Member

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    campag wheels?
    siroccos are bombproof and have style, as opposed to mavic trendsetta's!
     
  5. crystal_tears_

    crystal_tears_ New Member

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    If money is no object then Zipp carbons are the best option..they have super light rims which is ideal for crits..i'd love to own a pair.

    I'm a 4th Cat racer and use Campag Eurus. Bought them six months ago with no problems and i'm hard on my wheels at 180 lbs. They're great wheels, solid built, very stiff with ultra smooth hubs. But i just get the impression they're not the best choice for crits because of their deep section rim. They feel more sluggish than, for example, Open Pro's, are harder to accelerate. But once up to speed are super fast. Hard to explain but i feel a sort of gyro effect is taking place helping me along at speeds of 25 mph + which i certainly never feel with standard wheels. Must be the combination of the deeper rims and bladed spokes i would imagine.
     
  6. midnightmoses

    midnightmoses New Member

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    A guy in our club loves his Topolinos but he just had a failure days before his one year warranty period ended. I believe a spoke snapped but because of the way the Topolinos are built, a section of the hub and other spokes must be replaced. Not sure if they can be fixed at your LBS.

    I'm still interested in them myself. I spoke with a racer whose team uses the Topolinos and he said 20+ pair used for one season without any failures or need for trueing. Is that possible?

    moses
     
  7. Randybaker99

    Randybaker99 New Member

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    Keep in mind that the Velomax use a proprietary spoke - threaded on both end and straight. It is glued into the hub with a special loktite. It sounds a little scary but the claim is that spoke breakage is virtually eliminated and there is a procedure to replace a broken (warming the loktite, and removing spoke with plyers). I was intrigued, but my LBS was not going to be able to sell or service them. I went with Ksyrium Elites, which I am very happy with.

    Can anyone report on the Velomax wheels, firsthand?
     
  8. Ted B

    Ted B New Member

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    I'm kind of in the same mental quandry. I'm not much interested in racing crits, but I have one coming next month as part of a 3-stage tour. It's a 0.8 mi loop around four city blocks, and while the streets aren't in bad shape, neither are they like a snooker table. I'm running Hyperons, and while they would be great for accelerating out of the corners, I'm a bit nervous running into trouble and screwing them up...and you can't be concerned about such things if you're going to race well. I recall a LBS telling me they'd rent me a pair of the Velomax to audition, so maybe I'll do that and try those Ascent IIs just on that stage.
     
  9. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    The Toppolinos are much too trick for me. I've seen them, and cringed at the look as well. :)

    I'm going to have a Powertap laced to 28 spoke Mavic CXP33s for training wheels. I'm going to sell my Protons and Spartacus Pro sets and use the proceeds to (partially) fund another set of wheels that I can train on, but also have for races. So, cost isn't really an issue, but I'd rather spend less than more, of course. I think the carbon Zipps push it a bit if I want to stay sub-$800.

    I'm concerned enough about aesthetics to want a deep rim, but man, that slaps on some serious weight! Almost a pound in some cases.

    I spotted Ksyriums for $499 out there! Problem... they are tubular. :-( I love tubs, but just can't see what I'd want them.
     
  10. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    Alrighty, alrighty... well, I've still only heard good things about Velomax wheels. The Orion II and Ascent II are brother and sister wheels (I believe the Orion is built for heavier riders), positioned to compete with the Ksyrium SL in both price and specs. If I could find a good deal on some, and I were building another bike, they'd top out my list of brand-name wheels.

    They're building a lot of race credability; a lot of teams are on them, from what I can tell. Jelly Belly, the Verizon women, and lots of domestic D3 teams currently race them, and Vini Caldirola–Sidermec raced them in the 2003 TDF.

    Dhk, a forum member here, has been using the Velomax Circuit Comps (a level priced to compete with Ksyrium Elites) on his new Sano for a little while now. Track him down, maybe.

    Thought about some of the nice custom-built wheels out there? Like Dave's Speeddreams, or Gravy Wheels?
     
  11. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    Gravy is in my backyard, too. Thanks for the reminder. I may check out what they have to offer this weekend.

    My dream wheels would be at least 30mm deep rim, blade spoke, all black, durable as heck, tipping the scales at 1450g. And $80. OK, $800. C'est impossible!
     
  12. crystal_tears_

    crystal_tears_ New Member

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    The Campag Eurus sound like they could be right up your street then mate.
     
  13. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    The funky spoking pattern has me spooked. Lose one and you are riding a mighty wobbly rear all the way home.

    I've checked out the Zipp 404. It's actually not QUITE as expensive as I thought (although still sickening). The hardest parts would be 1) getting myself to not train on them, and 2) having the nerve to show up at races with Ferrari bodywork and a Fiat motor.
     
  14. Ted B

    Ted B New Member

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    I looked at the Zipps, but I'm going with Corima Aero ($800). They're only about 150g heavier than the Zipps, and I am told they are less flexy and perhaps more durable.
     
  15. Rompinrhino

    Rompinrhino New Member

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    Have you guys considered the Mavic Cosmic Carbone SSC's. I've had a pair for two years. It's my only wheelset, I train on them every day, and then race on them as well. They are really fast, super sexy, never gotten out of true. Only thing is the weight, but if your coinsidering Zipp 404's, then these are def a good thing to think about. If you shop, you can find them cheaper, I got my pair on sale online for 900.
     
  16. crystal_tears_

    crystal_tears_ New Member

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    You'll encounter the same probs with all low spoke count wheels. If one breaks then the wheel is usually unrideable. The spokes, because there are less of them, have to be held at very high tension. This makes for a stiffer, more solid feeling wheel. It's a double edged sword i guess.

    If you're too concerned about breaking spokes in the middle of nowhere then you could always plump for a pair of custom made wheels from a well respected wheelbuilder of course !
    Using something like Mavic CXP 33 rims laced with 28 Sapim CX Ray bladed spokes front and rear and beautiful Campag Record hubs. Would make a strong, light, reliable wheel which could be used both for training and racing on. Just me two farthings.
     
  17. Ted B

    Ted B New Member

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    I honestly cannot figure any advantage in using these wheels in 2004, except maybe for a very flat time trial. I believe they're made of aluminum (not carbon as implied), they are quite heavy (nearly 2000g!), and they aren't cheap. What they would do that a Eurus wouldn't do with less weight and at a lower price. Am I missing something?
     
  18. drewjc

    drewjc New Member

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    Carbones are made with a low profile aluminium rim and a carbon fairing over the top. This is what contributes to the weight. If u look closely, the spokes seem to enter the sides of the black part of the rim (carbon fairing). This is due to them attaching at the centre of the low profile aluminium rim underneath. Not my ideal pair of wheels but i have heard that they roll extremely well and are suitable for fast flat TT's. Have been told that u "can't get dropped with these wheels".......unless there is a hill in the race. I would rather put the money into some Eurus', or possibly the velomax after i have read more about them.
     
  19. isdsms

    isdsms New Member

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    I would go for the Rolf Vigors if I were you. I've only heard outstanding things about them so far. I think they use a 34mm alum rim at low 1400 grams or so.
     
  20. Aztec

    Aztec New Member

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    Crystal Tears... you have just described what my Power Tap wheel will be. Record (front) hub, DT Revo spokes (1/3 the cost of Sapim's!) and CXP33s. If I'm really smart, though, I'll get Open Pro rims instead to shave 100g off EACH rim. But I don't think I'm that smart.

    Here's the other scary thing... no sense in gettin' Zipps in clincher version. They weight a ton, and got ripped by folks on roadbikereview.com. Good lord, sew ups for me?!

    BTW, I laugh at the 'can't get dropped' with Cosmic Carbones line. I could get dropped if my wheels weighed 0g and a Cat 1 pushed me from behind.
     
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