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  1. #1
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    Tour magazine test 2011: 4 hand built wheels pitched against 12 factory built ones

    I posted this in another thread. However, it might get overlooked because of the older thread time stamp.

    Some numbers for 2011.

    The German "Tour" (issue 2011/3: "Vorsprung mit System", p. 112-122) magazine tested 4 hand built wheels againts 12 factory built ones.

    The following is for the year 2011 (all the wheels are from 2011), (mm) = millimetres, (N) = Newton, lateral stiffness (front/rear).

    In terms of aerodynamics only the Mavic Kysrium SR and one of the hand built wheels (28/32 spokes) do not cut the mustard. The wheels were tested with Continental GP 4000 S tyres. Aerodynamics is being tested by means of a wind tunnel where the angle of the oncoming wind in relation to the FRONT wheel is being altered from 0 to 25 degrees in steps of 2.5 degrees. The unit of this measurement exercise is Watts.

    The wind tunnel (CMEFE) is located within the technical university of Bern in Switzerland.

    ===================
    FULCRUM RACING 3:
    spokes: 18/20 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 6.8/16.1/31.4
    inertia (Joule): 119
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 51/48
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 20.6 x 23.3 (27.3)
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 659/900/121


    FULCRUM RACING 7:
    spokes: 20/24 round
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 8.2/19/37.9
    inertia (Joule): 140
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 62/55
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 21 x 24.6
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 870/1.108/124


    EASTON EA 90 Aero:
    spokes: 18/20 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 6.5/15.4/30.1
    inertia (Joule): 123
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 61/45
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 19.3 x 28.7
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 681/932/121

    MAVIC Cosmic Elite:
    spokes: 20/20 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 6.4/15.2/29.8
    inertia (Joule): 130
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 65/51
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 19.3 x 30.1
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 822/979/122

    AMERICAN CLASSICS ALX 730 Tubeless:
    spokes: 20/24 round
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 6.3/15/29.4
    inertia (Joule): 116
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 55/32
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 21.9 x 23.2
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 685/863/119

    CAMPAGNOLO Shamal Ultra 2 Way Fit:
    spokes: 16/21 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 7.2/17.1/33.5
    inertia (Joule): 109
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 47/44
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 20.7 x 23.3 (28 rear)
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 618/829/121

    CAMPAGNOLO Zonda:
    spokes: 16/21 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 6.9/16.3/31.8
    inertia (Joule): 117
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 50/49
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 20.5 x 23.5 (27.6 rear)
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 660/835/121

    CITEC 3000 S Aero Carbon:
    spokes: 20/24 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 6.2/14.6/28.5
    inertia (Joule): 122
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 53/48
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 19 x 32
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 692/887/?

    MAVIC Ksyrium Elite:
    spokes: 18/20 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 7.7/18.2/35.6
    inertia (Joule): 119
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 53/50
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 19.7 x 20.5 (23.3 rear)
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 695/885/117

    MAVIC Ksyrium SR:
    spokes: 18/20 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 8.8/20.9/40.8
    inertia (Joule): 111
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 51/58
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 19.6 x 20.4 (23.3 rear)
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 694/795/110

    SHIMANO WH RS 30:
    spokes: 16/20 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 6.4/15.3/29.8
    inertia (Joule): 143
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 57/48
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 21 x 29.5
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 877/1134/123

    VELTEC Speed 4.0 RC:
    spokes: 20/24 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 6.3/14.9/29
    inertia (Joule): 129
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 53/43
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 19.7 x 38
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 777/936/119


    FULCRUM RACING 7:
    spokes: 20/24 round
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 8.2/19/37.9
    inertia (Joule): 140
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 62/55
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 21 x 24.6
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 870/1.108/124

    4 classical hand built Wheel sets:

    KOMPONENTIX Aero:
    spokes: 16/24 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 6/14.1/27.6
    inertia (Joule): 122
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 41/38
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 18.3 x 31
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 668/922/?


    KOMPONENTIX Allwetter:
    spokes: 32/32
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 10.2/24.1/47.1
    inertia (Joule): 123
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 62/46
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 19.7 x 18.8
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 705/926/?

    WHIZZ WHEELS Leicht:
    spokes: 28/32 bladed
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 7.3/17.3/33.8
    inertia (Joule): 118
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 58/37
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 19.5 x 20.8
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 692/872/?

    WHIZZ WHEELS Robust:
    spokes: 28/32 round
    aerodynamics (30/40/50 km/h) in (Watts): 8.7/20/7.40.4
    inertia (Joule): 140
    lateral stiffness (N/mm): 80/56
    dimension (width x height) in (mm): 19.5 x 30.5
    weight (front/rear/quick release) in (gramms): 891/1054/?
    ==============================
    Last edited by dracula; 09-21-2011 at 02:58 AM.

  2. #2
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    Sooo... The Zonda clinchers I got for a very low price at Wiggle today are measureably both a bit more aerodynamic and stiffer than the Shamal Ultra 2WF. Cool.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    Sooo... The Zonda clinchers I got for a very low price at Wiggle today are measureably both a bit more aerodynamic and stiffer than the Shamal Ultra 2WF. Cool.
    Oh well if yet "measurably" would ever translate into a 1 km/h higher average speed.

    Anyway, I was interested in the test because I for myself cannot decide which one would better serve me: Fulcrum racing 3 or Mavic Ksyrium Elites.

    Not sure if I would get nervous thinking of having only 16 spokes in the front wheel.

    Pros Fulcrum racing 3: they sell those mini spoke kits in the UK. Also the Fulcrum rim is wider by 1 mm.

    Cons: They don't sell those mini spoke kits for the Mavic Ksyrium Elite (however, you get them easily on the continent in Germany or Austria).

    I do not know if one would notice a harsh ride on either of these 2 wheel sets. My current ones are Fulcrum racing 3 in combination with Michelin Krylion 700x23c tyres.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    Sooo... The Zonda clinchers I got for a very low price at Wiggle today are measureably both a bit more aerodynamic and stiffer than the Shamal Ultra 2WF. Cool.
    The wheel test from last year 2010. I copy and paste my postings from rec.bicycle.tech on over to here:

    =================
    Would have been interesting to see the test on a number of wheels in
    terms of standard error and consistency and error bars.

    Tour magazine June/2010. This is for the year 2010 (all wheels are from 2010):

    ==
    Model: A CLASS alx 680
    spokes: 20/24
    size (width x height): 19.1 x 40.8 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 5.6/13.2/25.8 Watts
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 139 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 62/43 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 847/1029/-- gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: Campagnolo Zonda
    spokes: 16/21
    size (width x height): 20.5 x 25.6 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 6.4/15.1/29.5 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 117 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 50/52 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 661/852/120 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: DT Swiss RR-1450 Tricom
    spokes: 18/24
    size (width x height): 19.7 x 21 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 6.9/16.2/31.7 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 120 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 47/39 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 690/855/93 gramms
    weight limit: 90 kg
    ==

    ==
    Model: Easton EA90 TT
    spokes: 16/20
    size (width x height): 19.2 x 31.7 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 5.5/13.2/25.7 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 124 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 31/43 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 714/912/120 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: Mavic Aksium
    spokes: 20/20
    size (width x height): 20.1 x 20.9 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 7.2/17.2/35.5 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 133 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 56/44 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 830/991/149 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: Mavic Ksyrium Elite
    spokes: 20/20
    size (width x height): 19.5 x 22 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 7.2/17.2/33.5 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 119 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 51/51 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 694/879/126 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: Mavic Ksyrium R-Sys SL
    spokes: 20/20
    size (width x height): 19.5 x 22 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 9.6/22.7/44.2 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 108 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 50/50 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 574/767/109 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: Reynolds Solitude
    spokes: 20/24
    size (width x height): 19.3 x 30.4 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 6.6/15.5/30.3 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 122 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 49/45 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 689/889/-- gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: Ricthey WCS Zeta
    spokes: 20/24
    size (width x height): 19.2 x 23.5 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 6.3/14.9/29.1 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 124 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 41/42 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 689/954/82 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: Shimano Ultegra WH-6700
    spokes: 16/20
    size (width x height): 21.2 x 22.8 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 6.3/15/29.2 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 119 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 42/43 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 692/972/122 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: SRAM S27 Al Comp
    spokes: 20/20
    size (width x height): 19.3 x 26.5 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 6/14.2/27.8 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 126 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 69/48 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 760/898/117 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: SRAM S30 Al Comp
    spokes: 20/20
    size (width x height): 19.5 x 29.8 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 5.7/13.5/26.4 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 121 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 60/39 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 711/840/117 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: TUNE Edelweisz
    spokes: 28/28
    size (width x height): 19.3 x 20.8 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 6.9/16.4/32 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 118 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 49/37 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 685/804/-- gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: VELTEC Typhus
    spokes: 24/28
    size (width x height): 19.7 x 41.6 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 6.3/15/29.4 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 141 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 58/46 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 883/1052/117 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: VISION Trimax Pro
    spokes: 20/24
    size (width x height): 18.4 x 30.1 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 6.3/15/29.3 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 120 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 56/30 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 704/866/108 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ==

    ==
    Model: XTREME Aero Wheels III
    spokes: 20/20
    size (width x height): 18.3 x 30.6 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 6.5/15.4/30.1 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 127 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 61/41 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 778/911/136 gramms
    weight limit: none
    ========================

  5. #5
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    The Racing 3 and the Zonda is almost the same wheel (different rear spoke angles), or at least it was in 2010 before the Campagnolo wheel was lightened.

    I'd keep Fulcrums if I were you. Campagnolo has a much better track record for hub quality than Mavic.

    There are some reports that Eurus/Shamal/Racing 1/Racing 0 ride harsher than Zonda/Racing 3, but I do not know if that is because riders know that they are on aluminium spokes.

    FWIW I am still riding a set of 2003 Eurus. The front and rear rims have equal 27mm profile on those, and the nipples are internal, but they've never needed truing. Spokes are 16/21 f/r bladed steel.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    The Racing 3 and the Zonda is almost the same wheel (different rear spoke angles), or at least it was in 2010 before the Campagnolo wheel was lightened.

    I'd keep Fulcrums if I were you. Campagnolo has a much better track record for hub quality than Mavic.

    There are some reports that Eurus/Shamal/Racing 1/Racing 0 ride harsher than Zonda/Racing 3, but I do not know if that is because riders know that they are on aluminium spokes.

    FWIW I am still riding a set of 2003 Eurus. The front and rear rims have equal 27mm profile on those, and the nipples are internal, but they've never needed truing. Spokes are 16/21 f/r bladed steel.
    Maybe hubs are better for higher specced Fulcrum wheels. However, all my cartridge bearings of my 2 sets Mavic Aksiums and 1 set Mavic Ksyrium Euipe wheels are still going smooth. By comparison the rear bearings in my Fulcrum racing 5s run fairly rough now and may yet need a replacement.

    By the way: I had one of those early high rim profile 38mm Campa Zonda wheels from 1995 with 20/24 spokes. Spoke nipples were internal but man they were crap. Every other ride a spoke snapped. I had then the rear wheel re-built for 2 times with no avail. HOWEVER, even after on broken spoke I could always complete my home journy even though I had a race ready Moser steel bike and rear tire clearance was indeed small (Michelin 700x23c is the widest I can install on that bike which now serves me as my daily commuter). The 38mm alu rim was very stiff.

    However, I have rarely ever seen a bad word of the newest breed of Campa Zonda wheels. They seem to be very stiff and durable.
    Last edited by dracula; 09-21-2011 at 02:56 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dracula View Post
    Not sure if I would get nervous thinking of having only 16 spokes in the front wheel.
    I'm still using my 1997 front shamal 12 HPW wheel. The rear wheel also add 12 spokes initially but the rim was busted back in the days in a bunch sprint and was replaced under warranty by a 16 spoke wheel. The spokes were actually stonger than the rims. A front wheel doesn't get a lot of stress.

  8. #8
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    Anyone know if the this testing protocol is comparable to other Tour tests of aero wheels (e.g. 60+mm rim depths)?

  9. #9
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    Campagnolo Shamals. .

    Wonder if they tested the new Shamals (grey label) with taller D/S flange. Surprised to see it was the the most easily deflected laterally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QQUIKM3 View Post
    Wonder if they tested the new Shamals (grey label) with taller D/S flange. Surprised to see it was the the most easily deflected laterally.
    Don;t know.

    Maybe it is worth the mention that the winner of the test was the Mavic R-Sys. I din't post the final results because to be honest the Tour rankings are useless.

    By the way: they tried to simulate a broken Mavic R-Sys front wheel failure (some time back it received a bad press due to broken front wheel spokes on Ben Delaney's R-Sys wheel) in kind of a dodgy experiment and according to Tour it is impossible to replicate this kind of failure. They cracked one of the front spokes and and tested if the front wheel will fail under external force of 300 Newton. It didn't

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    Damn. . .

    Quote Originally Posted by dracula View Post
    Don;t know.

    Maybe it is worth the mention that the winner of the test was the Mavic R-Sys.
    I'd have thought those tree trunk sized spokes would annihilate aerodynamics enough to kill their score.

  12. #12
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    They are very unaero based on the below numbers. 7+ watts variance at 40kph that is a lot in my book.

    Model: Mavic Ksyrium R-Sys SL
    spokes: 20/20
    size (width x height): 19.5 x 22 mm
    aerodynamics 30/40/50 km/h: 9.6/22.7/44.2 W
    required energy acceleration (0 to 30 km/h): 108 Joule
    stiffness front/rear: 50/50 N/mm
    weight front/rear/quick release: 574/767/109 gramms
    weight limit: none

  13. #13
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    Wow, what technobabble.

    Hand built vs factory? I don't think a wheel knows if a machine assembled the parts or a hand did. No difference.
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    More a translation issue. "System wheels" versus "custom" if you like.

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    I would really like to see steering torque for crosswinds added to these tests to demonstrate unequivocally how they fare in crosswinds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kbwh View Post
    Sooo... The Zonda clinchers I got for a very low price at Wiggle today are measureably both a bit more aerodynamic and stiffer than the Shamal Ultra 2WF. Cool.
    Bingo. The Zonda is the real winner in terms of price point. It's heck of a lot cheaper than those Mavic R-Sys wheels. In fact, I might go and get myself a spare Zonda. If only somebody would do a blind test to tell me if it rides any differently than a Shamal on the same tires ;-).

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    That's interesting as the total watts absorbed at 40 km/h is around 30 for most sets, which are generally both low profile and narrow. According to Zipp's unbiased and scientific studies their wheels will save you at least 30 watts, so that only leaves me with one conclusion. Zipp wheels are so aerodynamic they have negative drag coefficients in most conditions , and will actually propel you forward. Thus eliminating the need for pedals all together.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dcl10 View Post
    That's interesting as the total watts absorbed at 40 km/h is around 30 for most sets, which are generally both low profile and narrow. According to Zipp's unbiased and scientific studies their wheels will save you at least 30 watts, so that only leaves me with one conclusion. Zipp wheels are so aerodynamic they have negative drag coefficients in most conditions , and will actually propel you forward. Thus eliminating the need for pedals all together.
    I have never seen a claim like that from Zipp. I have seen their claims stated in seconds over a given distance or in grams.

    Can you provide a link to these claims you speak of?

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    Nobody noticed how "pretty good" the Shimano RS30 are, for <$250?
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  20. #20
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    RS30's are really flimsy if you try and sprint on them. I don't care what the tests say. This is why just looking at numbers does not tell you ride quality. I suppose if you never have to stand up and quickly accelerate on RS30's, they would be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nightfend View Post
    RS30's are really flimsy if you try and sprint on them. I don't care what the tests say. This is why just looking at numbers does not tell you ride quality. I suppose if you never have to stand up and quickly accelerate on RS30's, they would be fine.
    Compared to....?

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    Compared to? I don't know. I suppose a lot of low-end low-spoke count wheels are flexy. I just have experience with the Shimano wheels as they were on a rental bike I road, and when you stand up and sprint, you can get the rear wheel to flex against the brake pads. Not only that, but the radial laced front wheel is not very stiff either. I'd be amazed if their long term durability is very good under continual usage.

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    The reason I ask is because they are really inexpensive but you get a lot of benefits with them. Their 48 N/mm lateral stiffness is slightly above the (combined 2010+2011) test average of 45.3 but yeah, they are still a low spoke count wheel. They are still far stiffer than a Zipp 404 clincher and definitely have better torque application thanks to a double 2-cross lacing (Zipp is radial on drive side which necessitates a super stiff hub shell).

    Still, wheels certainly exist that make a 48N/mm score for lateral stiffness seem low.

    They are, however, the heaviest wheel in the test which would definitely create a feeling of curmudgeonly acceleration.

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    All I can suggest is see/ride a pair in real life and decide for yourself. You'll notice rather quickly that there is no way their lateral stiffness could be as high as the testing shows. I noticed the wheels "flexing" the most when I stood up on climbs. It is fairly obvious then and I weigh 175lbs.

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: nhluhr's Avatar
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    I've ridden the RS10 wheels (swapped from my wife's bike) and although they feel slower than my 7850-C24s I can't say they feel flexy in comparison. They aren't the same rim profile as the RS30 though. Maybe I'll try a set of RS30s under the guise of my search for a durable inexpensive winter wheelset.

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