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  1. #1
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    A Force Wheel Build

    Since no one else is talking about it... I'll share what I have so far.




    Built them up with CX rays on Industry 9 hubs 20/28. All parts purchased from Bike Hub Store. Weight came in at 1590. Very attractive rim and labeling. Installed 25c Conti 4000 tires. You can put them on by hand. I also deflatted the tires and they were easily pulled out of the beads seat and removed. Still had the tubelss tire pop when airing them up. Rim is very good quality. THey built up well, had to chase it around a little when getting close to max tension. Ended up around 116 kgf's of tension. I think it would easily handle a little more. Did not notice any bulging or deformation at spoke holes, seam was good. Had just a little, (I mean tiny) amount of waving/wiggling between spokes. Overall solid rim. I still think the Hed C2 maybe a tic better, but these are 2 different animals. And how can you not like the looks. THey look so big.









    I didn't have any ceramic brake pads so I used some blue Shimano Carbon pads until I get some. I didn't want to chance scratching the brake surface with old Alloy pads that may have had metal inbedded in them. THese rims are inhaling the carbon pads very quickly. THis how they looked after a 50 miles on a flatter ride. Yesterday hillier ride had them dusted pretty good. Blue dust was everywhere. I currently have about 110 miles on mine. I dont feel any faster on them but they do feel good and stiff. THey also seem to be un affected by cross winds un like some wheels I've ridden.

    Last edited by Enoch562; 03-26-2017 at 03:40 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thanks for sharing. They look great. I've got a set ordered from November which should arrive Wednesday according to UPS. I can't wait to put them on the bike. I've been itching for something a bit more responsive than the my old stock wheels since my Pacenti SL23 set died.

  3. #3
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    Here's my build. With Carbon-Ti hubs the set weighs 1450g. Looking forward to some better riding weather.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ergott View Post
    Here's my build. With Carbon-Ti hubs the set weighs 1450g. Looking forward to some better riding weather.
    How did you get weight so low? Even if I went 20/24 it woud still be 1560ish. THose hubs can't be 100 grams lighter can they?

  5. #5
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    They are.

    62g and 161g

    They're real nice and have been getting great reviews. I've built a few sets with them.
    Carbon-Ti X-Hub Review - Fairwheel Bikes Blog

    When you add carbon rims you get some crazy light wheels.

    These are 1262g 29er wheels.


  6. #6
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    WOW, those are crazy light hubs.

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    We got about a dozen sets out last week, with many more on tap this week.

    I think it's correct to peg the quality at the HED C2 level. Easton R90SL and HED Belgium+ are top of the pile when it comes to aluminum rims, with the C2 and now AForce coming in just a quarter step behind. If the wheel builder does his/her job properly, there's nothing in it that the owner/rider will ever notice. It is easy to put a very very nice build onto the rims, they don't fuss and fight and they are very stiff and stable. One big metric for rim stiffness for me is "if I adjust one spoke, does that affect its neighbors or is it a very localized effect?" The less localized, the stiffer the rim. These are high on that scale. Another one is when you are doing a de-stressing/seating squeeze of spoke pairs, how much does the rim kick out to one side? On these, not very much.

    Radial stability is high, and spoke tension drop with an inflated tire is as low as we see with any rims of this depth (carbon or alloy, and I built a set of Enve 3.4s very recently so some similar-depth carbon data points are very fresh).

    We'd only had one set prior to this delivery, which I think was the only set in the US but I could be wrong there. Anyway, the tooling and process have been tuned since the pre-production rims. Pre-production rims were good, these are better.

    From the tunnel test, we know that the shape of these is quite effective, on par with Zipp 303. A bigger takeaway from that may be how big of a joke it is to think anyone's going to go 1 or 2mph, or even some fraction of that, faster with a mid-depth carbon than a well-shaped +/-30mm alloy rim.

    First thing I noticed opening the boys was holy crap did they kill it on the graphics. Very very nice. The shot peened anodized finish on the rim body looks is in line with other current rims with that look. The machined brake track rims have good machining on the brake track and there's not a whole ton to talk about there.

    The brake track surface on the ceramic versions is similar to but not the same as Mavic Exalith, DT Swiss OXiC, and Campy/Fulcrum Mille (I think that's what they call it). Those are all the same finish, done by the same company in the same facility. The AForce finish is applied in a different way but with a similar end result. I say that because over the last several months I've read how much better Company A's finish is than Company B's, yet the two finishes are applied by the same people in the same facility. Which brings us to the subject of pads.

    The first pads I tried were just normal pads for alloy rims. Much like Enoch562 experienced, those pads sloughed off at a definitely notable rate. There was a big booger made of brake pad at the front of each brake shoe after just one ride. Switching to a generic carbon pad that we had left over from an old generation carbon rim we did, that stopped, and braking was quite good. Dead silent, no "holy cow" levels of pad wear, and really good progressive power. A little less absolute power, so I'd describe it more like an organic pad rather than a sintered pad for those of you familiar with disc brakes. Those are the pads we're shipping with the wheels we've sold to date. We also used SwissStop Black Prince pads and they worked similarly well, although with more sloughinh. Pad research continues, as we'll run out of the pads we're supplying before forever. At +/-2000 miles in, the set we tested still has the ceramic surface very much although not 100% perfectly intact.

    Although I haven't got firsthand experience, what I've heard is that Mavic Exalith rims eat the first pair of Exalith pads and then it settles down from there. You hear less about DT OXiC, which get paired with an OEM version of SwissStop blue pads, and Campy/Fulcrum gets hit with the "surface doesn't last long" and I don't know what kind of pads they use but they must not be all that effective.

    Okay enough of this saga have to get back to building and shipping these and a lot of other suckers today.

  8. #8
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    What no pictures==November Dave Fail

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch562 View Post
    What no pictures==November Dave Fail

    https://www.instagram.com/novemberbicycles/

    Busy. Currently on apple break.

    Back to work.

  10. #10
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    Very beautiful rims for sure, but they come with a pretty hefty price tag- on par with HED C2+ on BHS website for the non-treated brake tract version.

    One the one hand, $150 per rim seems reasonable given the decent wind tunnel performance compared against the much more expensive carbon ZIPP 303. However when one can get a Kinlin XR31T for half the price which gives about equal performance under most circumstances, their relative value becomes suspect. Sure the AL33 will build nicer than the XR31T, but the end user will probably not notice or care about this (the exception being those of us who build their own wheels).

    It will be interesting to keep an eye on these over time to watch how the treated brake tracts hold up and if the rims are prone to cracking. Personally I wouldn't consider them if the coating wore off before say 10K miles. Pad cost and longevity may become important considerations too.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    From the tunnel test, we know that the shape of these is quite effective, on par with Zipp 303. A bigger takeaway from that may be how big of a joke it is to think anyone's going to go 1 or 2mph, or even some fraction of that, faster with a mid-depth carbon than a well-shaped +/-30mm alloy rim.
    If it's not much trouble I'd like to ask a question to help me understand that in simple lay terms.

    If I was riding at 20 mph down the road, let's say flat no wind, with the worse rim in your test how fast would I be going with the best rim in the test?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    If it's not much trouble I'd like to ask a question to help me understand that in simple lay terms.

    If I was riding at 20 mph down the road, let's say flat no wind, with the worse rim in your test how fast would I be going with the best rim in the test?
    About 20.05, give or take. I mean, you've hit the point exactly. Not only for these wheels but for a whole lot of others. This thing has been unfolding for us since July of 2014, when we first tested the then-new to newish crop of relatively wide and reasonably deep alloys against wheels like our Rail 52 and 34, Enve 3.4, and Zipp 404. What we saw then made us really question how much "there" is there with "aero" wheels.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooskull View Post
    Personally I wouldn't consider them if the coating wore off before say 10K miles. Pad cost and longevity may become important considerations too.


    After 570 miles
    use a torque wrench

  14. #14
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    A Force Wheel Build-track.jpg

    And after 3 times that amount. I've seen that pic a few times and there are others that go with it. One of them shows a huge dent in the rim, another shows a wicked scratch like there was a sharp hard something lodged in the brake pad. So we really have no clue what the use conditions were there, what pads he used, etc. If you try hard enough to wreck anything, you can. Carbon rims have turned into decorations after one cross race. Based on what we've seen, the rim in the above picture has been put through it.

    The owner also needs to raise his brake pads. The big circular score at the bottom of the track is the anodizing having been wiped off.

    I'm not defending anything as perfect, and 10k miles is one hell of a long time to ask the coating to stay intact. If someone told me they'd be disappointed with less than that, I'd say don't get any coated rims then.

    I did way worse damage to a supposedly durable anodized brake track in about .570 miles. Actually more like 1/4 of that.

    The other thing to consider is that once the coating is gone, you still have more or less the entire life span of the normal brake track left.

    Mavic Exalith, DT OXiC, Campy/Fulcrum Mille, and AForce all use very similar coatings. The first three are done in the same exact place by the same exact people, yet the common intel is that Exalith lasts forever and Campy coating rubs off right away. Must be brake pads I think. HED's Turbine tracks are a completely different approach, not even really similar.

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    Thanks.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    I did way worse damage to a supposedly durable anodized brake track in about .570 miles. Actually more like 1/4 of that.

    The other thing to consider is that once the coating is gone, you still have more or less the entire life span of the normal brake track left.
    I'm not sure if you're talking about the same type of coloration/coating as H Plus Son Archetypes have but in the end it's the same 'issue'. I've had and still have several of those over the years and for the life of me can't understand why people get bent about the brake track going from black to silver.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	track.jpg 
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    And after 3 times that amount. I've seen that pic a few times and there are others that go with it. One of them shows a huge dent in the rim, another shows a wicked scratch like there was a sharp hard something lodged in the brake pad. So we really have no clue what the use conditions were there, what pads he used, etc. If you try hard enough to wreck anything, you can. Carbon rims have turned into decorations after one cross race. Based on what we've seen, the rim in the above picture has been put through it.

    The owner also needs to raise his brake pads. The big circular score at the bottom of the track is the anodizing having been wiped off.

    I'm not defending anything as perfect, and 10k miles is one hell of a long time to ask the coating to stay intact. If someone told me they'd be disappointed with less than that, I'd say don't get any coated rims then.

    I did way worse damage to a supposedly durable anodized brake track in about .570 miles. Actually more like 1/4 of that.

    The other thing to consider is that once the coating is gone, you still have more or less the entire life span of the normal brake track left.

    Mavic Exalith, DT OXiC, Campy/Fulcrum Mille, and AForce all use very similar coatings. The first three are done in the same exact place by the same exact people, yet the common intel is that Exalith lasts forever and Campy coating rubs off right away. Must be brake pads I think. HED's Turbine tracks are a completely different approach, not even really similar.
    Are these similar to the anodizing of the H+ Son Archetypes? Unless I am mistaken, this is totally cosmetic. It will look ugly while it's wearing off, but once worn off, looks fine.

    I do like the stealth look and the understated writing on the A-Force.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  18. #18
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    H+ is just anodizing. The rim that I wore the anodizing off of in ".570 miles" was an anodized rim, similar to H+ Son.

    This is a much different thing. Not anodizing. The "body" of the rim is anodized, but the brake track is ceramic coated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    ... yet the common intel is that Exalith lasts forever and Campy coating rubs off right away. Must be brake pads I think. HED's Turbine tracks are a completely different approach, not even really similar.
    I can say from, well second hand experience that the Exalith coating does not last forever. A customer of mine has a set with a little silver showing after the rainy season we just had in the Bay Area (Ca). I'd say 4 months of riding, miles unknown. Not as bad as the pic shown above, but the the leading edge of the machined ridges all had a little shine to them. But again, rainy season. Last time we had that I went through the tracks of on my C2's (cross bike) in one season. Flat to cupped in months and about 4k miles with lots of wet trail miles.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post

    This is a much different thing. Not anodizing. The "body" of the rim is anodized, but the brake track is ceramic coated.
    I see. I thought the industry deemed that a failed experiment years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by November Dave View Post
    perfect, and 10k miles is one hell of a long time to ask the coating to stay intact. If someone told me they'd be disappointed with less than that, I'd say don't get any coated rims then.
    Technologically I'd agree with you that 10K miles probably a tall order for what one could expect for the process. But from a user value perspective, that wear rate is on par with say a chain. To me it's a bit like saying your Garmin bike computer will do everything for 1000 miles but after that you loose heart rate and power monitoring. With such a short lifespan, this really isn't a viable half way solution between using standard rim brakes or disc brakes, it's a temporary sugar high. That's my $0.02, I'm sure many will disagree for purely aesthetic reasons alone.

  22. #22
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    Just buy the silver brake track version. Screw the ceramic.
    use a torque wrench

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMsRepBike View Post
    Just buy the silver brake track version. Screw the ceramic.
    Problem solved!
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Problem solved!
    Yeah I guess that's the simple solution for me. I was hoping that the ceramic option would maybe give me the best of both worlds- having better disc brake like modulation while still being able to keep my standard rim brake wheels and bike.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooskull View Post
    Yeah I guess that's the simple solution for me. I was hoping that the ceramic option would maybe give me the best of both worlds- having better disc brake like modulation while still being able to keep my standard rim brake wheels and bike.
    What type of rim brakes do you have? If they are older or an off-brand, you may be pleasantly surprised how good the modulation is on a set of Shimano Ultegra 6800 rim brakes.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



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