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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    Reynolds Attack vs. Rolf Prima Vigor vs. Ksyrium SL - Help!!

    I just purchased a new bike, have it all spec'd out, but can't decide what to do on the wheelset! Any advice you can give would be very useful. I'm really trying to decide between the Reynolds Attacks and the Ksyrium SL's, but threw in the Rolf Prima's because i have heard good things about them. I already own a set of Ksyrium SL's with ~2000 miles on them. They have treated me very well and I have no problems with them. While I'm buying my new bike though, I have the chance to get a very good deal on a new set of wheels if I want them. If I get new wheels, I want to go for an aero wheel, although not a deep aero wheel as I want this new wheelset to be my primary wheelset regardless of training, climbing, etc. For convenience, I want a clincher wheelset although I know the performance benefits of tubular. Here is what I know or at least what I think I know about each one. If i'm misguided somewhere, please let me know. What would you do if you were me?

    Reynolds Attacks:
    Pros: all carbon. 32mm deep aero rim. relatively light rim weight at 430 grams. supposed to be both stiff and comfortable because it's carbon with a high spoke tension.
    Cons: all carbon?
    question: what is breaking performance on a carbon wheelset like in the rain and on long descents? I'll be doing a trip in the Pyrenees this summer. Any issues with long fast descents with tons of breaking? Anything else I should be thinking about with the Attacks?

    Ksyrium SL's:
    Pros: bomber wheel. good wheelset.
    Cons: not aero? no real negatives that I'm aware of as I've had a good experience with the wheels.
    Question: I couldn't figure out the rim weight of the Ksyrium SL's. Mine are 2006's. Anyone have any experience of this wheel vs. the Attacks or a similar wheel? Will the Attack really be faster accelarating? Will the Attack really be faster in flat to rolling? Will the Attack be faster climbing?

    Rolf Prima Vigor:
    Pros: I haven't done as much research on these. Good reputation. aero wheelset. Aluminum breaking surface which is a known quantity to me. I just don't know enough about the positives and negatives of carbon breaking surfaces.
    Con: rim weight is 470 grams. so 40g more rotating weight per wheel than the Attacks with only a 20 gram total weight savings of the wheelset.

    Rolf prima Vigor SL:
    Pros: another 40 grams lighter than the standard Vigors
    Cons: the entire 40 grams seems to come from the hubs as the rims claim the exact same 470 gram weight.
    Question: are they too light weight for an every day wheel? I weigh 160 and ride fairly hard.

    Not that it matters too much, but these will be sitting under a Look 585. Any advice you can give to help me make my decision would be great. Even if you have experience on a different set of Carbon wheels. for me, one of the biggest questions is what it's like to ride and brake on Carbon rims and whether the performance difference will be notable between my current Ksyrium SL's and the new set of wheels.

    I've done a good amount of research and am pretty sure that I'm picking between those 3 wheelsets, but if you think I've missed something that I really should look at, please let me know. My mind is far from closed. Thank you!

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    so from what i see, you're looking for three major points:

    low-ish rotating weight

    to me, that completely eliminates the kysriums. They're durable, yes, but aero is not their thing, and are way too heavy for how aero they actually are.

    Durability wise, i would take off the reynolds....carbon is just not gonna take a hit as well as aluminum

    That leaves the Vigors, which are an excellent choice. I have experience with Rolf Vectors, not Vigors. From my experience, i found them to be aerodynamic, and not very stiff. Paired spokes do increase stiffness, yes, but you're using so few spokes that it just doesn't make up the difference.

    MY personal recommendation would be a custom hand built. This will allow you to hand choose exactly what you're looking for, with little sacrifice. For example, i just built up my own wheelset, with 30 mm rims, 20/28 spoke front/rear, weighing in at 1450 grams. it's way stiffer than my vectors, and i don't notice the loss of aerodynamics from the extra spokes (seriously, how much can a spoke slow you down?)

    There are a couple names floating around that will do an excellent job for you....and can do a variety of builds, including 2 to 1 spoke ratios on the rear wheel, which i feel is completly awesome.

    as a bonus, these wheels cost wayyyyyyyy less than the brand names you're currently looking at.

    so, if you're really bent on your 3, i'd go with the rolfs. But, i would highly suggest having some built for you.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    I am riding the 585 and have both the Ksyrium SL's and Reynolds Stratus Carbon clinchers.

    The wet weather breaking is the real downside to the carbons. Even using the supplied SwissStop Yellows, which are supposed to be as good as it gets in the rain with a full carbon wheel, it is more a matter of getting home. I wouldn't leave for a ride anticipating rain on the Reynolds. I don't know what corners they cut in the hub and rim to get the cost of the Attacks down but the Stratus have proved to be a durable and aero wheel. They are not much lighter than the SLs but they spin up faster and hold speed well. If I was travelling and could only take one set with me though it would be the Ksyriums. It only takes one bad hit on a railroad track or a large pothole to take a carbon wheel out of commisssion where the Ksyrium would have a much better rate of survival.

  4. #4
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: toronto-rider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    If you want bonbproof get the SL, in terms of weight, stifness and aero, the Ksyriums have been tested and come almost last in those categories.

    I am also in the same boat as you as i plan to upgrade my Ksyriums and am going the custom route.

    Either of the builders mentioned above can build you a great set.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    I wanted a non corbon aero clincher. I got a used set off ebay with shipping for $350. I ride them every day and am pleased with them. I use the Conti 4000 tires and light tubes to help off set the rim weight. Downside-if I break a spoke, I'll be walking. If I were to spend a lot more money, i would have a custom wheel build as discussed above.
    "The problem with losing your mind is that by the time you realize it's gone, it's too late to get it back."
    Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

  6. #6
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007

    New thought - Custom wheels

    Ok, so a lot of people have told me to go the handbuilt wheel route. I'm now strongly leaning that direction. Heard the name Ligero wheelworks from a number of different people as well.

    So the custom set that I'm now considering is a 30mm rim (same rim as the Easton Tempest and a bunch of other wheels), Sapim CX ray bladed spokes, and Tune hubs.

    They'll weight 1400 grams, have rims that weigh 455grams each, and be fairly aero. Also cost less than any other option I was looking at before.

    Any ideas on a better handbuilt wheelset than that? The desire is for a light, aero, stiff, and good climbing wheelset. I'm greedy and want it all. Thanks for all your advice.

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