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  1. #1
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    Ride Report: Ambrosio Nemesis Tubular

    So I bought a tubular wheelset off of the bay in order to complete my cross bike build. My thought: Why not get a bomb-proof high quality tubular set that's cheap to fix, strong, and still reasonably light?

    So I found a set of Ambrosio Nemesis Tubular rims laced to Campy Record hubs, 32 3x with Sapim Race spokes. $350 shipped with wheel bags and glued with Challenge Criterium tubular tires. Sold as used but in like-new condition, and that's exactly what they were. True, unblemished, classic. So I was excited to try them out at the races this past weekend; ITT, criterium, and road race.

    I'm 140 lbs, 5'8", a climber if anything but I'm just a middling collegiate rider who loves riding his bike. These wheels are way more than I deserve. First off, I'm sold on tubular. If you're using them for racing only, man, it's hard to beat the ride. Smooth, fast, and unbelievable in corners. I don't know if all tubies are like this, or if it's just my tires, but I was GLUED to the road in some really sketchy corners that had other guys skidding/crashing. I could have pushed them even harder, and felt incredibly confident on these wheels.

    This is apparently a carbon copy of the sets that pros lace up for Paris-Roubaix and other cobbled classics. I can imagine why. Lighter than my record/open pros, just as strong, faster, corner better, more puncture resistant, sexyyyyyyy, the list goes on.

    I'm a 100% satisfied rider, and I encourage anyone to consider the virtues of keeping a nice tubie wheelset like this that can be kept for race day (and double as a race set for cyclocross in the off season, or on season if you prefer).

    +10000 for the Ambrosio Nemesis/Record Hub combo.
    Last edited by DM.Aelis; 03-09-2009 at 09:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    thanks for the report. they have long been on my list of dream wheels. seeing all the pros break their contracts so they can ride them at paris-roubaix certainly makes you take a second look at them.

  3. #3
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    I built up a set last season from suggestions on this forum. Just with DT Comps instead.

    I can agree with you 100%.

    I have been riding tubulars for 26yrs (yikes, has it been that long?) and these are my favorite wheels by far.

    I wanted the Paris-Roubaix set-up as well, but stopped short of tieing, soldering, and painting. I'm a heavier rider, 6' 195lbs, and these are remarkably nice wheels and go well with my '06 Colnago Master XL with Chorus.

    I would recommend them to anybody.

  4. #4
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    I just got an e-mail from Comp. Cyclist today about these exact wheels already glued up w/ Vittoria Pave CG's, but at a much higher price. Looks like you scored pretty good.

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/ro...Nemesis+092209

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by kupe
    I just got an e-mail from Comp. Cyclist today about these exact wheels already glued up w/ Vittoria Pave CG's, but at a much higher price. Looks like you scored pretty good.

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/ro...Nemesis+092209

    I'm sure that is a nice set of wheels but at that price there are WAY better alternatives. Their copy is entertaining though....

    I mean you could get Kinlin 25 mm tubular, sapim spokes 20/24 and Alchemy hubs, and be way lighter/ aero.

  6. #6
    cmg
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    so how light is the Ambrosio/campy/sapim wheelset? How light is the entire tubular tire wheelset combo? Just trying to comapre overall wheel weight between clincher/tire-tube and tubular wheelset/ glued tire setups.

  7. #7
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    ive just committed to a dura ace/nemesis wheel build and this thread makes me very happy about my decision.

    do you guys have a good source for challenge tubulars as i have been looking to try this tyre as well.
    LANCE ARMSTRONG 2009 NEVADA CITY CHAMPION

  8. #8
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    I just took the leap. You can find the Nemesis on ebay for around $200. Some Italian-o-phile shop in NY. Also got DA 7900 hubset for $200 from them. Doing a fairly standard build with DT aero spokes. Should be fun. After pulling my hair out building carbon wheels the last couple weeks, looking forward to a classic build. May even tie and soder them just for grins.
    p.s anyone know how to tie and soder? I have it in a book somewhere but never actually did it. Hey what can go wrong, putting a hot torch to your wheels?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmg
    so how light is the Ambrosio/campy/sapim wheelset? How light is the entire tubular tire wheelset combo? Just trying to comapre overall wheel weight between clincher/tire-tube and tubular wheelset/ glued tire setups.
    If i get access to a scale I'll let you know in a jiffy!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by kupe
    I just got an e-mail from Comp. Cyclist today about these exact wheels already glued up w/ Vittoria Pave CG's, but at a much higher price. Looks like you scored pretty good.

    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/ro...Nemesis+092209

    He did score and that CC price is way over the top. I recently had a set built with new style/black 32h Record hubs and black Sapim CX-Ray spokes 3X for much less money than what CC is charging... and the spokes CC specs aren't even as nice, IMO.
    Last edited by rocco; 09-24-2009 at 12:47 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kef3844
    I'm sure that is a nice set of wheels but at that price there are WAY better alternatives. Their copy is entertaining though....

    I mean you could get Kinlin 25 mm tubular, sapim spokes 20/24 and Alchemy hubs, and be way lighter/ aero.

    I'd rather have Nemesis rims and Campy Record hubs plus they can be had for significantly less than CC's price.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoikz
    I just took the leap. You can find the Nemesis on ebay for around $200. Some Italian-o-phile shop in NY.
    Ital-Tecno (the same shop in Niagara Falls, NY) sells them on their own site for $80 each.

    Quote Originally Posted by zoikz
    May even tie and soder them just for grins.
    p.s anyone know how to tie and soder? I have it in a book somewhere but never actually did it. Hey what can go wrong, putting a hot torch to your wheels?
    Tying and soldering spokes essentially serves no other purpose than to keep spokes in place if they break. The only spokes I've had break (2 ever in more than 25 years) were on the rear drive side and those wheels went so far out of true that I couldn't ride home even if those broken spokes were tied in place so as to not flop around.

  13. #13
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    its very simple to do: just wrap around beekeeper wire in a figure eight pattern to start, and then wrap around for an even finsih, touch hot soldering iron to the outside wrap to heat up the wire, apply solder and it fills itself in nicely

    estimate cx-rays+record+nemisis to be around 1520g on the nose...

    personally, don't understand using cxrays in such a build, but to each their own...
    Last edited by wankski; 09-24-2009 at 04:18 PM.

  14. #14
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    craaap. got ripped off. website is $80 a pop and I paid over 200 on e-bay to buy them from the same guys. groan. so much for doing homework.
    soldering just sounded cool. those aero spokes are craazy expensive. may just go with the DT DB, keep it simple and save $150.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocco
    Ital-Tecno (the same shop in Niagara Falls, NY) sells them on their own site for $80 each.
    i have bought a few things from ital tecno's ebay store without problems but i am having a lot of problems trying to get in contact with them about the nemesis rims

    have any of you guys had any issues with getting hold of them? need to get a shipping quote as i am outside the US.
    LANCE ARMSTRONG 2009 NEVADA CITY CHAMPION

  16. #16
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    yep, that would be my choice as well.. nemesis is neither WW nor aero, so skip the cx-rays and go with the ubiquitous, cheaper and stiffer dt comp or sapim race...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexb618
    i have bought a few things from ital tecno's ebay store without problems but i am having a lot of problems trying to get in contact with them about the nemesis rims

    have any of you guys had any issues with getting hold of them? need to get a shipping quote as i am outside the US.

    Contacting them can be spotty. They don't answer their phone some times and their voice mail boxes are usually full. I even tried calling them on their 800 number once and got a message saying it was not in service.

    If you're outside of the US then why not order them from somewhere else like All 4 Cycling in Italy?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wankski
    its very simple to do: just wrap around beekeeper wire in a figure eight pattern to start, and then wrap around for an even finsih, touch hot soldering iron to the outside wrap to heat up the wire, apply solder and it fills itself in nicely

    estimate cx-rays+record+nemisis to be around 1520g on the nose...

    personally, don't understand using cxrays in such a build, but to each their own...

    Personally, I don't understand why anyone would bother tying and soldering their spokes. It does little if anything to make the wheel anymore stiff or durable. At best it does keep a spoke from flopping around in the rare event one breaks and even that can be pointless if it's on the rear drive side. To top it off it only complicates replacing the broken spoke.

    Sapim spokes are the spoke of preference with my wheel builder and I've been quite pleased with them on the various Campy wheels I've used over the years.

    CX-Rays are light, very strong and reputedly are good for building laterally stiff wheels. They were also readily available at the time and they look great.

    The aero advantage of CX-Rays in of itself doesn't hurt nor as far as I know is it canceled out by the traditional box section rim... Campy certainly doesn't think so considering they use them on their Hyperon wheels.

    When available George Noyes certainly prefers to use aero spokes (DT or Sapim) on the wheels he builds with Nemesis rims... On the other hand, he is so old school that he also prefers lower spoke tension and tying and soldering the spokes on the rear wheel. So yeah, to each their own.

    P.S. 1520g ain't bad at all for an alloy wheel you can use and abuse every day for years on end. The weight of these wheels probably won't be the cause of a loss in a road race
    Last edited by rocco; 09-24-2009 at 11:18 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocco
    Personally, I don't understand why anyone would bother tying and soldering their spokes. It doesn't make the wheel anymore stiff or durable. At best it keeps a spoke from flopping around in the rare event one breaks and even that can be pointless if it's on the rear drive side. To top it off it only complicates replacing the broken spoke.
    yeah, I only do it on request, which has been once, on a very old school build, and it looked good. IIRC some of the ones in paris-roubaix were tied, and thats a good enuff reason i s'pose if you're going for replicas...
    Quote Originally Posted by rocco
    The aero advantage of CX-Rays in of itself doesn't hurt nor as far as I know is it canceled out by the traditional box section rim... Campy certainly doesn't think so... Sapim spokes are the spoke of preference with my wheel builder, ... George Noyes certainly prefers to use aero spokes (DT or Sapim) on the wheels he builds with Nemesis rims...
    The sapim cx-ray and dt aerolite are simply rolled lazer and revolution spokes - which means they carry the same weight and stiffness as the above spokes... That's it... claimed (small) aero benefit, but otherwise the same. Largely an aesthetic... The main reason builders including myself like to build with them is for a WW spoke, they are easy to tension and true as you can hold them by the blade with the special tool. Round Lazer and Revos are among the worst spokes when it comes to wind up, but for a competent builder its no problem, it just takes longer and is not as fun... personally i'd save the cash.
    Part of the problem with elevating prices in this industry is that someone comes out with a product 3x as costly, and people make the assumption that its 3x better.
    I guess as far as recommendations for Nemesis goes my brain works like this: Its not light, the customer knows its a popular Paris-Roubaix wheel, tough as hell rim and obviously likes that: why not accentuate this by using similar spokes, eg, race and comp... IIRC, almost 40% stiffer than aforementioned WW spokes... (maybe i cant do quick math in my head, IIRC 2.0-1.8 is around 83% as stiff as straight 2.0, and the lighter 2.0-1.5 around 62%...)
    So bugger the weight i think (around 90-100g), save the cash, maximize the stiffness. Of course, if you want that 100g back, you can opt for lazer or revo and achieve the same thing at 1/3 the cost...
    talking about aero is pointless, at 13mm and completely flat, these rims are probably the least aero still in production. (still funny how the pros don't mind!! P-R speeds are still plenty high!)
    cx-rays have their place IMO, eg, edge rims or similar. @ >$800ea cost goes out the window, and aero helps...
    ultimately if trying to claw back weight, the OP may be better served on the cheaper and much lighter crono f20 rim... would build a pretty WW alu set...
    Quote Originally Posted by rocco
    P.S. 1520g ain't bad at all for an alloy wheel you can use and abuse every day for years on end. The weight of these wheels probably won't cause a loss in a race
    word.

    that said my inexpensive 34mm alloy clinchers are the exact same weight coincidentally, and as a race and everyday wheel, work pretty damn well. JMO

    if someone wants the classic 32h 3x pattern, build it strong.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by wankski
    yeah, I only do it on request, which has been once, on a very old school build, and it looked good. IIRC some of the ones in paris-roubaix were tied, and thats a good enuff reason i s'pose if you're going for replicas...

    The sapim cx-ray and dt aerolite are simply rolled lazer and revolution spokes - which means they carry the same weight and stiffness as the above spokes... That's it... claimed (small) aero benefit, but otherwise the same. Largely an aesthetic... The main reason builders including myself like to build with them is for a WW spoke, they are easy to tension and true as you can hold them by the blade with the special tool. Round Lazer and Revos are among the worst spokes when it comes to wind up, but for a competent builder its no problem, it just takes longer and is not as fun... personally i'd save the cash.
    Part of the problem with elevating prices in this industry is that someone comes out with a product 3x as costly, and people make the assumption that its 3x better.
    I guess as far as recommendations for Nemesis goes my brain works like this: Its not light, the customer knows its a popular Paris-Roubaix wheel, tough as hell rim and obviously likes that: why not accentuate this by using similar spokes, eg, race and comp... IIRC, almost 40% stiffer than aforementioned WW spokes... (maybe i cant do quick math in my head, IIRC 2.0-1.8 is around 83% as stiff as straight 2.0, and the lighter 2.0-1.5 around 62%...)
    So bugger the weight i think (around 90-100g), save the cash, maximize the stiffness. Of course, if you want that 100g back, you can opt for lazer or revo and achieve the same thing at 1/3 the cost...
    talking about aero is pointless, at 13mm and completely flat, these rims are probably the least aero still in production. (still funny how the pros don't mind!! P-R speeds are still plenty high!)
    cx-rays have their place IMO, eg, edge rims or similar. @ >$800ea cost goes out the window, and aero helps...
    ultimately if trying to claw back weight, the OP may be better served on the cheaper and much lighter crono f20 rim... would build a pretty WW alu set...

    word.

    that said my inexpensive 34mm alloy clinchers are the exact same weight coincidentally, and as a race and everyday wheel, work pretty damn well. JMO

    if someone wants the classic 32h 3x pattern, build it strong.
    When I had these wheels built I wanted a strong set that I could enjoy using and abusing every day while bombing down the local twisty, gusty canyon roads without the bad handling characters in cross winds that I experienced with my Bora wheels. I also didn't want to go through the bad experience I had with my last set of POC Mavic Reflexs again... they cracked at the eyelets after less than 2 years of relatively light use.

    Originally I was planning on using black Lazers and maybe Races on the rear DS but when I had these wheels built the black CX-Rays were readily available at that moment. I also like being able to easily take the twist out with the special little slotted wrench when truing them

    IMO, Crono f20 rims aren't much of a money savings compared to Nemesis rims and all reports I've read here, at WW and other sites indicate they aren't nearly as good either.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocco
    Originally I was planning on using black Lazers and maybe Races on the rear DS but when I had these wheels built the black CX-Rays were readily available at that moment. I also like being able to easily take the twist out with the special little slotted wrench when truing them
    fair enuff.
    Quote Originally Posted by rocco
    IMO, Crono f20 rims aren't much of a money savings compared to Nemesis rims and all reports I've read here, at WW and other sites indicate they aren't nearly as good either.
    hmm, probably, certainly not as durable as its 430g brother (vs ~370g), but if you want lighter in the same style, its the only choice... Can't speak from experience, but i'd be surprised if long term truing problems are due to the rim... I've put 70-80kg guys on AC350 rims as everyday and race wheels, and being a clincher and 24mm and the exact same weight, it ostensibly has thinner walls and is more fragile... but they've been great!

    I've read alot against the ACs as well.

  22. #22
    Dr. Flats a lot
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    Thanks for some really smart feedback. I'm a big guy and tend to get a lot of pinch flats, hence the tubulars. Lot's of really nasty roads in the NE. In particular I've flatted out of my favorite race the last 2 years and if nothing else these are going to be the wheels for that race.
    Tire wise I'm pretty sold on the Conti Sprinter Gatorskins. I've been racing them this year and loved their reliability. Didn't like the limited sizes. I don't know of any other tires that have the sidewall protection they have. Plenty of options with good flat protection, but the sidewalls are exposed. Riding the dirt and rocks at Battenkill I got plenty of sidewall cuts, one of which took me out. If anyone knows of a tubie with good sidewall protection in a 25c lemme know.
    Anyone know for sure the spoke lengths for DA 7900, Nemesis, 3 cross, 32 hole?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocco
    Contacting them can be spotty. They don't answer their phone some times and their voice mail boxes are usually full. I even tried calling them on their 800 number once and got a message saying it was not in service.

    If you're outside of the US then why not order them from somewhere else like All 4 Cycling in Italy?
    finally got in touch with them, no stock.

    i always thought all4cycling were crazy with the postage but i just checked and it doesnt look too bad... pretty close to pulling the trigger. thanks for the tip
    LANCE ARMSTRONG 2009 NEVADA CITY CHAMPION

  24. #24
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    made the purchase. build will be dura ace 7800 hubs, 32h nemesis rims, dt comp spokes 2x fromt 3x rear (my standard lacing & spoke setup) and vittoria corsa evo cx 21mm

    now to look for appropriate brake pads so i dont trash the braking surface too much
    LANCE ARMSTRONG 2009 NEVADA CITY CHAMPION

  25. #25
    Dr. Flats a lot
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    Congrats. Just finished my build. Pretty close to what you're doing. DA7800. 2x ft and nondrive, 3x drive side. 32 hole. Sapim laser DB spokes.
    You can tell a lot about a wheel by how easily they built. Once they were tensioned, dished and trued the round was nearly spot on. Very fast build.
    Still mulling over what tires to use. I really want some tires with sidewall protection. Also want a 25c width.

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