Friday, May 15, 2009

Changes to Carbon Wheels

We're making a few slight but important changes to the REV-50 and REV-50x. First off, price. Going forward, they will be $960 instead of $900. So what do you get for the extra $60?

Spokes.

Yes they came with spokes before and the spokes we used (and will continue to use on our alloy wheels for now) are excellent. Going forward, however, we will be using Sapim CX-Ray spokes which are widely recognized as the best spokes on the planet. So what's the difference?

Well, on the face of things, not much. Although they both start out as a block of stainless steel in Sweden and they both end up as a bladed spoke weighing about 4.5 grams, the Sapim gets there in a more refined manner. When examined up close, you can tell the Sapim has a nicer finish to it so aesthetics is one advantage. As a builder, they are easier to work with and even though you probably don't care about that, I do. They have a slightly more aero profile. If you cut one in half you would see that the profile is actually ovular instead of rectangular and an oval is more efficient through the air than a rectangle any day. They have also been tested and approved by just about every top level pro team out there and perform exceedingly well in fatigue tests. Unfortunately, they are also the most expensive spoke on the planet (carbon spokes don't count becuase they are stupid). In our initial estimation, they would have added about $100 to the price of a wheelset and we couldn't justify the cost. Since then, forces of economics have combined to make switch affordable so we are going for it.

Plus, they're made in Belgium so you'll have that much more mojo going for you in cyclocross or over cobbles.

But that's not all

Along with the best spokes in the world, we are also including the best brake pads in the world. Swissstop Yellow King pads will be included with every set of our carbon wheels. These pads provide incredable performance in both wet and dry conditions and eliminate a lot of the braking issues that are commonly associated with carbon rims.

They can also be used with great success on alloy rims and are a great choice if you are switching between the two. Whereas most pads would require you to sand off a layer before using them with carbon rims, the Yellow King compound resists picking up shards of alloy. Just take a quick look to make sure nothing offensive is in pad, wipe with a damp cloth and put on your race wheels. Please note that if you are using them with some gnarly old alloy rims that have been around the block a few times, this may not apply so always take a close look at the pads before using them on your carbon rims.

We stock all models of pads available so we can accommodate just about any kind of brake you are using for either road or cross. Just make your selection on the drop down menu when ordering. These pads themselves generally sell for about $60 per set so right there, you're getting your money's worth.

But wait, there's more!

We will also be including a set of valve extenders with each of our carbon wheels so that should save you $15-$20 by not having to buy them somewhere else.


I should also note that we will eventually be transitioning all our wheels to Sapim CX-Ray spokes (and therefore raising prices), probably by the end of the year. If you want a pair of any of our alloy wheels built with these before then, just email me. It will take a few extra days and cost a bit more but we can work it out.

2 comments:

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Allison SMITH said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I found it very informative as I have been researching a lot lately on practical matters such as you talk about.. carbon fiber road bike wheels