Topolino Wheels



Feanor

New Member
Jul 21, 2003
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Greetings All,

I had a quick question for the tech minded people of the group... From what I have read, the topolino wheels are great performers, light, stiff with good handling characteristics.

Here is my perhaps newbieish question. From what I know of other applications of kevlar, Kevlar breaks down under exposure to UV radiation (i.e. direct sunlight), now understanding that the Topolino spokes are a composite of kevlar and carbon fiber, what does this bode for the longevity and safety of these wheels?

Any long time users of these?

I fence, and fly dual line stunt kites, and in both of these activities kevlar has been abandoned because of what happens to it under prolonged exposure (in the case of fencing it is also exposure to sweat)

I'm curious to know if there are issues of this kind concerning the Topolino's kevlar spokes?

Thanks in advance!

Feanor
 

lokstah

New Member
Sep 30, 2003
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That's a good question, especially considering a spoke malfunction is an $80 repair (materials only) for an unlucky Topolino owner. I've been interested in these wheels too, but a bit spooked.
 

rljones

New Member
Sep 14, 2003
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I'm very interested in any feedback on Topolino wheels, as I've been considering them (now using 2003 Ksyrium SSC SL). I seem to keep reading about hub/spoke issues with the Topolinos. But as for Kevlar, I don't think it should be a problem.

Kevlar, aka polycarbonate, is used in most eye glasses sold in the world. (CR39 is the other, older plastic lens also used in eye glasses.) Polycarbonate inherently blocks UV light by absorption and is not broken down by UV light (otherwise eye glasses wouldn't last very long). So if there is any problem with Kevlar spokes, UV light should not be one of them.

Regards, Robert
 

HarryS

New Member
Jul 16, 2003
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I have logged about 2000 miles on mine. My second pair are Mavic Kryssum SSCs. My topos weigh 1410g and spin up very quickly. They are stiffer than the Mavic wheels and feel very solid. Great ride overall. Also, they have a very nice braking surface. I have hit quite a few potholes and these wheels are perfectly true. So all in all, I am very happy. Will they last forever? I have no clue. The spoke issue has not been an issue for me thus far. Also, I might mention, their tech support is very responsive. They have answered all my questions and mailed me a spoke magnet in a jiffy.
 

Duckwah

New Member
Oct 30, 2002
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Originally posted by rljones

Kevlar, aka polycarbonate, is used in most eye glasses sold in the world. (CR39 is the other, older plastic lens also used in eye glasses.) Polycarbonate inherently blocks UV light by absorption and is not broken down by UV light (otherwise eye glasses wouldn't last very long). So if there is any problem with Kevlar spokes, UV light should not be one of them.

Regards, Robert

Ok i don't often say this but in this case you are flat out wrong

1. kevlar is a polyamide not a polycarbonate and it has been shown to have poor UV resistance and significant strength losss when constantly exposed. In bikes this is probably not an issue unless you were riding 5+ hours a day every day

2. Polycarbonates absorb plenty of UV and also degrade badly through continuous exposure, again polycarbonate lenses don't get used in the sun for hous on end every day and the life of most glasses is a couple of years before they get replaced

3. Polycarbonate is used in bullet proof screen etc and car windows, in those applications outdoors it is replaced every 12 months or it suffers from significant brittling

end result, kevlar spokes should last at least a few years of average use and by then you will probably be looking to upgrade to the next wonder material
 

dhk

New Member
Sep 1, 2003
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This looks like a great wheel design to me. I think we're looking at the wheel of the future here, at least for the high-end market.
Dan
 

EagleVT94

New Member
Apr 27, 2004
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Very light wheelset and very stiff for sprinting and climbing. They have stood up wheel through potholes and the dirt road sections at race speed at the GMSR. Thumbs up!

I can also say they do have a great customer service response time. They have responded to every email within the day, and have sent any repair pieces & the magnet free of charge. Great group of guys to deal with.
 

EagleVT94

New Member
Apr 27, 2004
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Very light wheelset and very stiff for sprinting and climbing. They have stood up wheel through potholes and the dirt road sections at race speed at the GMSR. Thumbs up! Very smooth ride as well...

I can also say they do have a great customer service response time. They have responded to every email within the day, and have sent any repair pieces & the magnet free of charge. Great group of guys to deal with.
 

rljones

New Member
Sep 14, 2003
29
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I finally bought a set of Topo's for tubular a few months ago and have found them to be an incredible ride. I don't wish to ride any other rims at this point. They do seem to accelerate faster and absorb road vibrations. The ride is stiffer espcially with the Tufo tires at 140+ psi.

Duckwah,

I missed your response from almost 2 years ago, but thanks for the correction: I was very mis-informed.

Robert