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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    J2 Velosport wheels

    So I've been riding for several years, got into racing this year. I'm small (5'3", 120) and love climbing. Well, love may be overstating it, but I'm certainly built for it and seem to go up better than some (as opposed to time trialing, at which I'm worse than almost all). Good thing, too, since I live in Colorado.

    Been looking at wheelsets. The name brands are really spendy, even used. Then I found J2 Velosport J2-50 Carbon Tubular Wheelsets. Essentially, they're somewhat heavier 303s, but still quite a bit lighter than my Fulcrum 5s, more aero, tubular, etc. And only $750 for the set, putting me around $1,100 all in (wheels, cassette, tires, tire goo) vs. $2,300 for new 303s alone.

    Anyone have any experience with these wheels? I figure the rims are Chinese, maybe built by the guy in Palatine (who has been very responsive to my questions). All things being equal, these wheels split the difference weight-wise between my Fulcrums and 303s, at a third the price of the new 303s. Not looking for anyone to tell me why I absolutely must ride the new Firecrest shape (sorry, not gonna spend two large on wheels unless they come with a Swedish masseuse), just some feedback on J2.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Can't give you feedback specifically on those wheels.
    I am 5'8" 140 lbs and also decent at climbing and terrible at TT.
    First off do you really want tubulars?
    I am thinking 50mm deep rims are not ideal for climbing but will help on flats at higher speeds.
    However you might be fighting them in crosswinds.
    If it was me I would probably go with the 38mm.
    The J2 web site says the spokes are bladed straight pull, I would ask what brand they are.
    Also they might be a pain to replace.
    The hubs are lower end but not necessarily bad.
    You could build a really light weight wheel using alloy rims like Kinlin XR200 and use some higher quality hubs like White Industries and you still be spending less money.
    It depends on the tradeoff you want to make being light or being aero and cost.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. I considered the crosswinds issue, too. I've got a set of 606s on my TT bike and got hammered by winds a couple of weeks ago and considered the 38 mm wheels for that reason. But much as I wish it weren't the case, life is more than just going uphill, no? I figure a 50 mm wheel is a good compromise between weight and aero, and both my lbs and Peter (who owns J2) have recommended 303/50mm wheels.

    I'm also aware of the spoke situation, but I've never broken a spoke before, probably because I'm fairly light weight and cry like a little girl on descents. (I go s-l-o-o-o-o-o-w downhill.) These wheels do come with a two-year warranty, and I'm not sure a custom build would? But that's good advice and gives me just what I need -- more to think about! Ugh.

  4. #4
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    Have you used full carbon wheels before? You mention you go slow down the hills. If you ride the brakes or don't modulate them properly and alternate you will destroy the wheels quickly. It's much easier on these generic carbon rims re-branded to delam them. They are fine on flats but I would not use them on extended downhill sections. Go with something from Boyd for a minimal increase in price. Or stick with aluminum. Enve/Zipp/lightweight/madfiber and majority of the top brands have updated the resins used to prevent this. Also working hard to test with specific pads to ensure cooler braking surfaces.

  5. #5
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    Good point. I am aware of the issue of heat buildup in carbon rims. While I don't descend fast, it's not like I ride the brakes. I feather when braking at all times and almost never hit the brakes hard. (Almost, as in once a year, max.) And with a two-year warranty, if the rims disintegrate under normal use, I should be covered. I know there are no guarantees, but still. Thanks for your input.

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