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  1. #1
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    First Ride on the Alchemy ORC-UL Hub

    We finally got the new Alchemy ORC UL 10 speed in this morning. Upon initially seeing them, I was impressed with the new design. The hubshell is a bit sleeker than the old ORC, and I think they have more of a classic hub shell design when compared to the angular look on the original hub. Jeremy was also kind enough to upgrade us to the ceramic bearing option. Now, I'm not a proponent of ceramics but I must say these are easily the smoothest bearings I've ever felt. I'm anxious to see how they hold up in the long run though.

    I decided to go with a bit lower spoke count on these (20/24) simply because I wanted to see how rigid they rode. I'm right around 100kg, and usually someone of my weight should be on a 24/28 or 28/32 option. For the rims, I chose the H Plus Son Archetype. This is a relatively beefy hoop that is a versatile profile with a nice finish. The spokes are Sapim Cxrays laced radial up front and 2x both sides in on the rear. I figured red alloy nips would be appropriate for the build too seeing as they would match the hubs.

    Upon initially jumping on the ORC, it really brought me back. This hub has a very similar characteristics to the old hub, yet it feels even more rigid. I have the original ORC in a 24/28 hole count with Kinlin XR300 rims, and this wheelset is by far stiffer than that one, even in the 20/24 hole count.

    All in all, I think this is a big step up for Alchemy. I really didn't think that this new design would show any sort of real world increase in rigidity, seeing as the old ORC was already so stiff. However, I think I was wrong.

    I only have one short hillclimb in on these wheels so far, but I will definitely report back after I log some real miles.


    Wheelset Weight: 1475 grams
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First Ride on the Alchemy ORC-UL Hub-img_2706.jpg   First Ride on the Alchemy ORC-UL Hub-img_2694.jpg   First Ride on the Alchemy ORC-UL Hub-img_2688.jpg   First Ride on the Alchemy ORC-UL Hub-img_2677.jpg   First Ride on the Alchemy ORC-UL Hub-img_2670.jpg  

    Last edited by Zen Cyclery; 04-08-2013 at 04:49 PM.

  2. #2
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    Looking forward to your long term reports.

  3. #3
    irony intended
    Reputation: carlislegeorge's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this up. What did the new hubs weigh, and are they consistent throughout the batch you received?

    When I'm ready to get a high end wheelset built, I hope these have been proven out.
    2011 Tarmac Pro SL3 Project Black (gone but not forgotten)
    2012 Parlee Z5 SLi (because I can)
    2014 Colnago C59 AD04 (why not)

  4. #4
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    @carlisgeorge- Stupidly I forgot to weigh the ELF before I laced it up. The ORC-UL weighed out to 190 grams exactly though.

    The ELF is spec'd at 65 grams though putting the hubset weight somewhere around 255 grams (in ORC Shim 10 speed at least). I'm not really sure how freehub style/spacing is going to effect weight.
    Last edited by Zen Cyclery; 04-08-2013 at 04:51 PM.

  5. #5
    Pitts Pilot
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    Does this new version rely on compression from the skewer and loctite to settle the hub into it's final adjustment? (I've had mixed feelings/results with this on my current ORC/ELF.)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitts Pilot View Post
    Does this new version rely on compression from the skewer and loctite to settle the hub into it's final adjustment? (I've had mixed feelings/results with this on my current ORC/ELF.)
    After all the problems I had with the previous ORC I'd also be curious to know what's changed as compared to the first ORC.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    ... The spokes are Sapim Cxrays laced radial up front and 2x both sides in on the rear.
    ...I have the original ORC in a 24/28 hole count with Kinlin XR300 rims, and this wheelset is by far stiffer than that one, even in the 20/24 hole count.
    I'm getting Sapim Strong Spokes for DS to give my wheel set of Archetypes and WI H2 hubs a second chance and I'm 70kg.
    I originally laced it with Sapim Race Spokes on DS and Sapim Laser everywhere else and it didn't rode as well as my other wheel sets. There was no rubbing the brake pads on strong accelerations and the like but it didn' felt responsive.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    After all the problems I had with the previous ORC I'd also be curious to know what's changed as compared to the first ORC.
    It's totally different. I'll probably take pictures and do a right up on some of the details unless someone beats me to it.

    Also... the old Orc doesn't have any issues I'm aware of that can't be easily fixed.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitts Pilot View Post
    Does this new version rely on compression from the skewer and loctite to settle the hub into it's final adjustment? (I've had mixed feelings/results with this on my current ORC/ELF.)
    What issues have you had? IME you set it and it's done. Way better than CKs for instance, which get loose and need to be readjusted.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas_Illesch View Post
    I'm getting Sapim Strong Spokes for DS to give my wheel set of Archetypes and WI H2 hubs a second chance and I'm 70kg.
    I originally laced it with Sapim Race Spokes on DS and Sapim Laser everywhere else and it didn't rode as well as my other wheel sets. There was no rubbing the brake pads on strong accelerations and the like but it didn' felt responsive.
    Don't waste your time and money. I don't know the reason for what you are experiencing, but heavier spokes won't solve it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rruff View Post
    Don't waste your time and money. I don't know the reason for what you are experiencing, but heavier spokes won't solve it.
    But stiffer ones might ;-)

  12. #12
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    Nice looking build. Thanks for the report with pictures

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andreas_Illesch View Post
    But stiffer ones might ;-)
    Heavier spokes will certainly be stiffer... but the Archetype is a sturdy rim, and the spokes you used are a good choice too... ie the wheels should not be lacking in stiffness.

    You should start another thread if you want to explore this, because it has nothing to do with the Alchemy hubs...

  14. #14
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    And they did.
    Now these wheels run like they should.
    Sorry for hijacking this thread.

  15. #15
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    Even though the weather here has been on and off, I have gotten a chance to get out and ride the wheels a few more times. The more I ride them, the harder time I have wanting to hop back on my H2/H3s. The bearings still feel great, and I haven't had to do any break in adjustments, not yet at least.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    Even though the weather here has been on and off, I have gotten a chance to get out and ride the wheels a few more times. The more I ride them, the harder time I have wanting to hop back on my H2/H3s. The bearings still feel great, and I haven't had to do any break in adjustments, not yet at least.
    Hope you get the Campy version out soon. Ergott made me an offer too good to refuse for his last Campy ORC, so I took it.

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