New wheelset, sweet as

Picked up the new wheelset from Ride365.

  • H PLUS SON Archetype rims
  • Double-butted black spokes with red nipples
    • 24 front
    • 32 rear
  • Novatec hubs
  • Total weight 1660g including skewers
Photo doesn’t do them justice

About $900, though I got a 10% Pedal Power discount even on the labour, bringing them down to $810. Sweet as.

What are they like?

The lighter weight (cf. 1720g + for Bontrager Race TLR) is not immediately obvious. My climbing times have improved, but I’ve been training more. I rarely do explosive efforts, so I can’t compare acceleration. And I can’t put the old wheelset on for an A-B comparison!

Surprisingly, the most obvious difference is during fast cornering. The wheels seem to hold their line so much better than my old wheels. I might improve my descending times as much as my ascending.

Braking was much improved too; however, I have only just worn through the anodised brake track so I’ll have to wear them in a second time. Might be time for new brake shoes, too.

Custom built for Clydesdales – Just get some

The wheels that came with my bike retail for $750-800 a set. Even a fairly exotic custom-built wheelset can be less than $1000; the highest quote I have found was $1200. Spec Dura-Ace hubs, bladed spokes and deep-section rims and the price will go North.

Some said the double-eyelets were the only way to ensure spokes would not pull through, even at high spoke counts; however, others (including Paul at Ride 365) say that a strong rim band is just as important. (My first Bontrager Race TLR failure was acknowledged as a manufacturing defect because the rim band was machined too much.)

Every big bloke I’ve talked too (well, George) has had many years of trouble-free service from their custom-built, 32- or 36-spoke wheels and use lighter wheels with fewer spokes for racing only, which may only last a  year or so.

If your LBS is on board, they should credit you the wheels that came with the bike against a custom set. Maybe minus a ‘restocking fee’.

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