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  1. #1
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    Handbuilt vs. Factory Campagnolo Zonda

    I need a new wheelset for my campy 11 bike. I've been planning on building a BHS/Hed C2 wheelset 24/28 myself, but for slightly less money, I can get a set of Zonda 2-way fit (not planning on going tubeless so the 2-way isn't much of a selling point). I'm 195 lbs.

    The way i see it, hand building gets me a 23mm wide rim that's custom built to my preferences. it'll be slightly lighter (60-ish grams) but i'm not that concerned with that. It's also easy to repair if i pop a spoke, and I don't have to pay exorbitant amounts for replacement parts.

    But, I know people are generally very positive on campagnolo's factory wheels, and I'm presuming the hubs on the Zonda are probably "nicer."

    Any reason why I should go with one over the other?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlox5 View Post
    Any reason why I should go with one over the other?
    Your 2nd paragraph is all the reason you should need to hand-build those wheels.
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  3. #3
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    Not a fan of two way fit, not always easy to mount tyres
    Go for the hand built for the reasons stated by you and Mike T

  4. #4
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    The paired spokes on the Campys seem impractical. I like that it has triplet lacing though, and the Campy hubs seem to be pretty durable. However, I think that you will find the learning process of a wheelbuild to be far more valuable than simply buying some premade.

    Your not going to regret building your own. You may regret not taking a shot though..

  5. #5
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    The campys do use commercially available spokes (Sapim blades?).

    I bought this wheelset a couple of weeks ago. It's really nice, and it's fairly easy to mount a clincher tire on it except that the bead is so snug that I can't get the bead to seat evenly if it's dry. I'm sure out on the road I can find a way to wet the bead but it's one thing to consider.

    The other concern I have with this type of lacing is if a spoke goes out the wheel becomes a potato chip and won't even roll forward without getting it stuck in the frame. Traditional spoke counts and lacing won't end your ride if one lets go.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen Cyclery View Post
    The paired spokes on the Campys seem impractical. I like that it has triplet lacing though, and the Campy hubs seem to be pretty durable. However, I think that you will find the learning process of a wheelbuild to be far more valuable than simply buying some premade.

    Your not going to regret building your own. You may regret not taking a shot though..
    I've built 1 wheelset so far. it was a BHS/Kinlin XR380 build that i think went pretty well for my first shot, and has me pretty excited to try it again. I know that the spoke tension could probably be more consistent on that wheelset, but they are true and ride pretty nicely so I'm excited to improve, especially with a nicer rim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dgeesaman View Post
    The campys do use commercially available spokes (Sapim blades?).

    I bought this wheelset a couple of weeks ago. It's really nice, and it's fairly easy to mount a clincher tire on it except that the bead is so snug that I can't get the bead to seat evenly if it's dry. I'm sure out on the road I can find a way to wet the bead but it's one thing to consider.

    The other concern I have with this type of lacing is if a spoke goes out the wheel becomes a potato chip and won't even roll forward without getting it stuck in the frame. Traditional spoke counts and lacing won't end your ride if one lets go.
    Thanks for the input. I know people are generally happy with their campy wheels so I think I could do worse if i were deadset on buying factory wheels. But for the same amount of money I think I'll try build #2.

    If ribble still had the non-2-way fit Zonda in stock still (which is $120 cheaper) it might be a closer race.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlox5 View Post
    I've built 1 wheelset so far. it was a BHS/Kinlin XR380 build that i think went pretty well for my first shot, and has me pretty excited to try it again. I know that the spoke tension could probably be more consistent on that wheelset, but they are true and ride pretty nicely so I'm excited to improve, especially with a nicer rim.
    Sounds like a good opportunity to improve. Keep us posted as to how the build ends up going and be sure to post pictures!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlox5 View Post

    The way i see it, hand building gets me a 23mm wide rim that's custom built to my preferences. it'll be slightly lighter (60-ish grams) but i'm not that concerned with that.
    If weight is not a concern,,, why not go ahead and get the BHS 472 rim while your there ordering hubs. It is a little heavier but it is 28mm tall and less expensive than the Hed. It should make a nice robust build.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch562 View Post
    If weight is not a concern,,, why not go ahead and get the BHS 472 rim while your there ordering hubs. It is a little heavier but it is 28mm tall and less expensive than the Hed. It should make a nice robust build.
    The 472 was under strong consideration, but from my experience with the Kinlin Rim, the unlaced rim was out of round and out of true by a good enough amount that I'm hoping the HED's show up rounder and truer and make truing the wheel a little easier. Not that BHS = Kinlin, but I figured that the build quality and consistency of the HED will probably be a little bit nicer. Of course I may be way off, I've never seen a 472w in person. Also of minor, but real concern is that I simply like the way the C2's look.

    And fwiw, BHS is awesome. I placed my order for the SL218/SLF85W, spokes, nipples, and plugs literally 40 minutes ago, and just recieved notice that brandon has already shipped my order out.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by charlox5 View Post
    The 472 was under strong consideration, but from my experience with the Kinlin Rim, the unlaced rim was out of round and out of true by a good enough amount that I'm hoping the HED's show up rounder and truer and make truing the wheel a little easier. Not that BHS = Kinlin, but I figured that the build quality and consistency of the HED will probably be a little bit nicer. Of course I may be way off, I've never seen a 472w in person. Also of minor, but real concern is that I simply like the way the C2's look.

    And fwiw, BHS is awesome. I placed my order for the SL218/SLF85W, spokes, nipples, and plugs literally 40 minutes ago, and just recieved notice that brandon has already shipped my order out.
    You're probably right. In my experience kinlin rims are a little shakey as far as being perfect goes and C2's have a good reputation for that (though I've no direct experience myself).

    Another option to consider if you are interested in a C2 type rim is the H Plus Son Archetype. I went from Kinlin to those and they were a big improvement. The specs are pretty much (if not exactly) the same as C2's and a little cheaper.

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    Jay Strongbow,
    i am looking into a pair of black anodized H Plus Son Archetype rims and based on the pictures i have seen, they even have the braking track anodized in black. that is exactly what i want, but, i tried contacting them on that subject and i have not received a reply. this is why i am asking you , hoping you might have soem feedback on that.

    let me know.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloci1 View Post
    Jay Strongbow,
    i am looking into a pair of black anodized H Plus Son Archetype rims and based on the pictures i have seen, they even have the braking track anodized in black. that is exactly what i want, but, i tried contacting them on that subject and i have not received a reply. this is why i am asking you , hoping you might have soem feedback on that.

    let me know.
    I don't understand what the question is. But if it is: is the brake track black like the pictures show, yes it is. After a while though the black wears off and they become silver. Braking with these rims is very good.

  14. #14
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    Charlox
    I have a pair of Zondas, not the 2 way fit, On a 180K ride the one of the rear spokes broke, wheel stayed true but the spoke got wrapped around the cassette, stopped the freewheel from being free so ended up with a fixed wheel, wasOK but made it a little hard going down the mountains.
    Tried some Mavix Rsys, not compatible with 11 speed (at the time) and got a little nervous about riding them.
    I tried some 2wayfit shamal, could not seat my Vittoria CX tyres so sold them.
    Settled on Racing Zeros, which I like a lot
    I now have C2Ardennes rims with CK hubs and Cxray spokes 28(3cross)X24(2cross).
    I think I may stop there.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eyorerox View Post
    Charlox
    I have a pair of Zondas, not the 2 way fit, On a 180K ride the one of the rear spokes broke, wheel stayed true but the spoke got wrapped around the cassette, stopped the freewheel from being free so ended up with a fixed wheel, wasOK but made it a little hard going down the mountains.
    Tried some Mavix Rsys, not compatible with 11 speed (at the time) and got a little nervous about riding them.
    I tried some 2wayfit shamal, could not seat my Vittoria CX tyres so sold them.
    Settled on Racing Zeros, which I like a lot
    I now have C2Ardennes rims with CK hubs and Cxray spokes 28(3cross)X24(2cross).
    I think I may stop there.
    thanks for the feedback! I just put my order in for the C2's today, though treefort is backordered for a couple of weeks. excited to get this build underway!

  16. #16
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    Go Campy. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by charlox5 View Post
    But, I know people are generally very positive on campagnolo's factory wheels, and I'm presuming the hubs on the Zonda are probably "nicer."

    Any reason why I should go with one over the other?
    I have both hand built (Wheelbuilder) and 3 sets of Campy wheels. You can't go wrong with Campy wheels, they are insanely durable and just work. The only reason to buy a hand-built set would be if you get is way cheaper than the Zondas. And no matter what, no clowns chiming in on this thread build a bettter wheel than Campy.

  17. #17
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    I have two sets of handbuilts - Record hubs, RR 1.1 and Open Pros with slightly different lacing that are very plush and a six year old set or Protons that I love but are now having a hard time staying true... Zondas are on my list for replacing them, but I find myself really drawn to the Racing Zeros or Ones depending on my budget come the Spring.

  18. #18
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    Another person with Zonda AND handbuilts.

    I've built two sets of wheels around Record hubs (32 3x DT Swiss RR1.1 rims; DT Swiss Supercomp spokes on the latest build). With latex innertubes and a set of Veloflex Master tires, the ride is beyond wonderful.

    I also decided to get a set of Zondas. For the price, the Zondas represents an excellent value IMO. They're a very nice set of wheels. Now, with that being said....

    As was mentioned earlier, there's something to be said about riding a set of wheels you built up yourself. First of all, there's a sense of pride. And for me, having gone through the process of researching each and every component that went into my wheelsets, I feel like I have a better understanding and appreciation of its ride characteristics. Also, there's no set of wheels I've ever ridden that ride nearly as nice as the set I built, that's a combination of spoke type, lacing pattern, proper tension, rim selection, and tire & tube selection.

    I'm certainly not disappointed in having bought a set of Zondas, but I feel greater satisfaction and feel the ride is simply better on my handbuilts.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Star View Post
    I have two sets of handbuilts - Record hubs, RR 1.1 and Open Pros with slightly different lacing that are very plush and a six year old set or Protons that I love but are now having a hard time staying true... Zondas are on my list for replacing them, but I find myself really drawn to the Racing Zeros or Ones depending on my budget come the Spring.
    I could've went for a set of Eurus, but instead decided on Zonda. The main reason was the Zonda had steel spokes, which seemed to lend to a less harsh ride compared to alum spokes (as is on the Eurus/Shamal). But as usual, YMMV...

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgeesaman View Post
    The campys do use commercially available spokes (Sapim blades?).

    I bought this wheelset a couple of weeks ago. It's really nice, and it's fairly easy to mount a clincher tire on it except that the bead is so snug that I can't get the bead to seat evenly if it's dry. I'm sure out on the road I can find a way to wet the bead but it's one thing to consider.

    The other concern I have with this type of lacing is if a spoke goes out the wheel becomes a potato chip and won't even roll forward without getting it stuck in the frame. Traditional spoke counts and lacing won't end your ride if one lets go.
    Keep in mind that as the tire stretches from being on the rim it will be easier to bead up evenly without worrying about if the tire is dry. If you haven't already due to a flat, for fun, since it's been on now for a few weeks, take one off and put it back on dry and see if it's easier than when the tire was new. The longer the tires stay on the easier they get to take on and off, but the hassle returns with new tires. Also it's a good thing that tires are difficult to go on because that means should you experience a blow out the tire will not likely come off the rim like a tire that was easy to go on could.

    If a spoke breaks on the Shamal wheels you will be walking, one of the drawbacks of high tension low spoke count wheels. But the Shamal wheels are built very good and have plenty of consumer feedback of being very reliable and bomb proof. Personally I wouldn't buy them because I like to ride into remote areas and would hate the idea of a long walk...though I've only ever broke one spoke on a ride in over 40 years of riding so I don't think it's a huge concern, but never the less a potential problem. I ride on nothing but 36 spoke wheels and the instance where a spoke broke I simply twisted the spoke around a nearby spoke and rode it home, didn't even have to adjust the other spokes to get it to clear brakes or take out and excessive rim wobble.
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  21. #21
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    So I recieved the parts from BHS and treefort, and put my wheels together over the last few days. This wheelset built up much easier than the kinlins i built the first time around. much easier to true and get pretty even spoke tension all the way around.

    Specs:
    BHS SLF85W/SL218 hubs
    Sapim Lasers
    HED C2 24/28
    radial Front; 2x/2x rear
    Veloplugs
    Sapim 14mm alu nipples

    I don't have the most accurate scale, but the wheels weighed in at 660 g front/830 g rear, 1490 g total weight. I mounted some Rubino Pro's in 25c. Pix are forthcoming.

    Now, when i installed the campy 11 12-27, i had issues with the cassette rubbing on the outbound ds spokes. An email to brandon and some spacers are on their way to me, free of charge! Really happy with BHS, once again.

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