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  1. #1
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    Am Classic 350 or Rolf Prima Elan Aero ?

    I have both at home (got them on used bikes that I bought). I want to have a lightweight set on one bike. I'm not overly attached to either set - which one should I keep ?
    Here are my observations

    * Rolf Elan Aero:
    - specs: 1280g or so (didn't check actual)
    - DT hubs are supposed to kick ass
    - don't seem to flex much
    - braking surface on the front wheel is a pain - brakes don't squeal, but vibrate A LOT. I'm using Mavic SSC brakes, maybe koolstop pads, not sure. Tried to change the orientation, it makes it a bit better but not great
    - rear rim has had a nick whioch has been fixed by my LBS. It should probably be rebuilt but is trouble-free and I don't feel it.
    - what tool do you use to true these ???
    - paired spoking.

    * Am Classic 350
    - specs: 1350g (didn't check actual weight)
    - I've been using that set for maybe 1000 miles, no issue
    - hub is supposed to be crappy and old technology. No problem so far but I ride in dry SoCal.
    - can be trued with a regular spoke wrench
    - flex: probably a bit more than the Rolf.
    - conventional spoking.

  2. #2
    pinoy thunder
    Reputation: stihl's Avatar
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    The hubs on the Rolf's are made by White Industries, no?
    Mi piace la mia pasta al dente..

  3. #3
    glutton for punishment
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    Yes, hubs made by White since 2004.

    If I had both, I'd keep the Elans- bit lighter, apparently you can solve the brake problem by using a stone like the Mavic one to smooth out the brake track. You have to pull the tire off to true, but you should do that anyway.

  4. #4
    LBK
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    I would sell that scary AC wheels.

  5. #5
    Looking for my Amish Love
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    I've been running AC 350's for two years. I would not buy them again. With the hub issues, bearing failure, and the spoke constantly needing attention they are more pain than they are worth. Plenty of friends run Rolfs and they all have been very happy. I have switched to my Kysrium SL, and even though they are heavier than the AC 350, they are so much stiffer and pretty much bomb proof. I'd keep the Elans.

  6. #6
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    Rolf Elan rims = AC 350 rims

    The Rolf Elan Aero wheels use the same rim as the American Classic 350, except for the spoke drilling (Rolf uses paired spokes).

    Were it me, I'd disassemble the American Classic wheels, ditch those problematic hubs, and rebuild the rims with a better set of hubs.

  7. #7
    pinoy thunder
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    Yeah, but why go through the hassle?
    Mi piace la mia pasta al dente..

  8. #8
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    Re-building wheels

    Quote Originally Posted by stihl
    Yeah, but why go through the hassle?
    Well, since it only takes an hour or so to build a wheel, it isn't much of a hassle. The American Classic 350 rims are very light and reasonably strong for their weight, so it is probably worth saving them.

  9. #9
    pinoy thunder
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    But you're suggesting getting a new set of hubs and then do a re-dish of both wheels.

    Not worth the time and money, IMO. Keep the Elans(very light AC rims, best in industry CX Ray spokes, solid WI hubs).
    Mi piace la mia pasta al dente..

  10. #10
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    thanks for the replies - if the 2 rims are the same, how come I get this annoying braking wobble on the front Elan and not on the AC350 ? Maybe this has to do with the pairing spokes pattern vs conventional one, i.e. pairing spokes deforms the rim locally more than conventional spoking ?

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre
    thanks for the replies - if the 2 rims are the same, how come I get this annoying braking wobble on the front Elan and not on the AC350 ? Maybe this has to do with the pairing spokes pattern vs conventional one, i.e. pairing spokes deforms the rim locally more than conventional spoking ?
    Maybe 20 spokes isn't enough for that light of a rim. How many spokes are in your AC350 front?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pierre
    thanks for the replies - if the 2 rims are the same, how come I get this annoying braking wobble on the front Elan and not on the AC350 ? Maybe this has to do with the pairing spokes pattern vs conventional one, i.e. pairing spokes deforms the rim locally more than conventional spoking ?
    The brake shudder on Rolf wheels is from the paired spokes. Because the spokes are grouped and there are large unsupported spans of rim the wheel does something that Rolf calls cloverleafing. Because of the cloverleafing there are high and low spots all around the rim and on those high and low spots the brake surface moves up and down with the highs and lows. That is what causes the brakes to shutter is because the pads are actually moving up and down against the brake pads.

  13. #13
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    Rims can be lobed, but brake track is still round

    Quote Originally Posted by Ligero
    The brake shudder on Rolf wheels is from the paired spokes. Because the spokes are grouped and there are large unsupported spans of rim the wheel does something that Rolf calls cloverleafing. Because of the cloverleafing there are high and low spots all around the rim and on those high and low spots the brake surface moves up and down with the highs and lows. That is what causes the brakes to shutter is because the pads are actually moving up and down against the brake pads.
    Why should the pads move up and down? Although the rim may not be perfectly round, it doesn't move up and down as it rotates - the rim maintains the same shape, so if you were to scribe a perfectly round line on the rim, this line would stay perfectly round as the rim rotates. Likewise, the swept area of the pad contact will also be a perfectly round line. As long as the sides of the rim are parallel, and the pads won't go up and down as the rim rotates.

    The exception of course is if the pads overlap the edges of the brake track, and and a lip wears into the pad and "hooks" the edge of the brake track. Then, as the pads "tracks" the edge of the non-round brake track, it will push the lip on the pad downward at the low points. This can be cured by either repositioning the pads so that it doesn't overlap the edge of the brake track, or by carving off the edge of the pad so it no longer overlaps the edge of the brack track.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark McM
    Why should the pads move up and down? Although the rim may not be perfectly round, it doesn't move up and down as it rotates - the rim maintains the same shape, so if you were to scribe a perfectly round line on the rim, this line would stay perfectly round as the rim rotates. Likewise, the swept area of the pad contact will also be a perfectly round line. As long as the sides of the rim are parallel, and the pads won't go up and down as the rim rotates.

    The exception of course is if the pads overlap the edges of the brake track, and and a lip wears into the pad and "hooks" the edge of the brake track. Then, as the pads "tracks" the edge of the non-round brake track, it will push the lip on the pad downward at the low points. This can be cured by either repositioning the pads so that it doesn't overlap the edge of the brake track, or by carving off the edge of the pad so it no longer overlaps the edge of the brack track.
    Yes you can scribe a line around the rim and it will be round but the brake track of the Rolf rims are barely wide enough to fit a pad on so the brake surface moving up and down cause the pad to move slightly on and off of the brake track.

  15. #15
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    Ac 350's

    I have the AC's for a year now, and while they were initialy out of true and a tad noodley, they have been great wheels after 3000km. I have the sapin spokes which are suppose to be a better route, but I would have to say that I would purchase another pair if these wear out with few problems. The price for weight ratio is more sensible than most wheels. ( I still have a hard time understanding why you can purchase a state of the art, technologically advanced 50" plasma TV for $1500, and pay the same for decent set of wheels!)

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