The SL23 is a new road rim. It was co-developed by Troy Watson (formerly of Ligero and Fairwheel) and Kirk Pacenti. For those who don’t know Kirk is the man behind 650b’s revitalization in the cycling world and it’s upcoming popularity in mountain bikes.
The SL23 is very stiff both laterally and vertically. It’s “tubeless friendly” clincher rim and has a small shelf for RoadTubeless tyres. The joint is pinned and welded and is very tidy. The brake track is machined and has two wear indicator holes drilled.
Width at brakepads: 24.0mm
Width internally: 18.0mm
Weight: Average 450 grams.
Drillings: 20, 24, 28, 32 hole
Here is a visual look at a Campangolo (left) and Shimano (right) 11 speed cassette. The short story: These two cassettes should be interchangeable giving Campagnolo riders more cassette size options. It could also mean people with wheelsets where there will be no 11 speed Shimano option could use the Campagnolo conversion and run a Campangolo cassette with their Shimano 11 speed drivetrain.
Measuring cassettes is hard work – the tapered and shaped cogs mean it’s hard to find a consistent reference point. Instead I thought a visual comparison would be easier – this is taken with the longest lens I have (150mm) to reduce lens curve as much as possible, and is inline with the top two cogs. The two parallels which the cassettes are resting on are not square to the camera because they need to support the 25t Campagnolo cassette cog and the 11t Shimano. Both cassettes are fitted to freehub bodies and torqued to spec to ensure they’re suitably compressed.
I’ve got a fascination with interchangeability between different brands and models and went so far as to put together a drivetrain calculator website which currently works with 551124 possible combinations, however is a little out of date and needs some time to bring it into the 11 speed era.
One of my glider instructors used to tell me “your chances of getting what you want increase greatly if you ask.” I thought it was a long shot but I asked White Ind if they’d be able to supply a Shimano 11 speed hub – and here is the world’s first hub off the production line.
For the hub geeks: The good news is that the H3 shell is the same as the Shimano 10 and Campagnolo 11 version, so old hubs will be convertable. A quick measure-up shows the NDS endcap is slightly different to the Campagnolo 11 speed version, but not by much, and over-locknut has increased to 131mm. When I get a bit more time I’ll dissemble and do a comparison between the Shimano 10, Campagnolo 11 and Shimano 11 version.
There was an article on Cycling News early this week about the wheels used by Wiggins’ in the Dauphine’s mountainous stage 5. A few years ago custom stuff used to be common place in the professional peloton but increasing sponsorship money, high-resolution cameras and the Internet have, for the most part, stopped this practise.
There were a few things I found interesting about the wheels covered in the article, especially the ‘spare’ set atop the team car which I don’t think were ridden in the stage. The Tune Mig 45 / Mag 150 hubs are exceptionally light but for some reason Sky choose to use DuraAce quick release levers which weigh 86 grams more than, say, the Tune DC16 skewers even in their (heavier) mountain bike version with a titanium front shaft. It interests me that hub weight was prioritized over skewer weight, despite the Tune skewers working well and being very safe (I use them on a couple of my personal bikes)
Another interesting observation is that the spare wheels don’t meet the UCI’s wheel rules which disallow handbuilt wheels with rims over 25mm in depth. The Hed S3 rims (which are not sold as rim-only by the way) are 33mm deep and not really that light.
The wheels which were used (or the elliptical chainrings) on Wiggins’ bike are not legal either since the UCI doesn’t allow any modification to components, even removing decals.
But do these UCI rules mean much? HTC used an array of non-standard wheels and illegal wheels such as Cavendish’s DuraAce hubs laced to Zipp rims and illegal helmets like the one used to win the Worlds. At the Dauphine Saur-Sojasun’s Corima wheels are not on the list either.
But back to Wiggin’s wheels. I think this is the first time Chris King hubs have been used in a ProTour event. United Health Care use a similar combination but only at a domestic level, and Santa Cruz Syndicate use King hubs and Enve rims on their downhill bikes. I can’t see what spokes are used but they look like DT Swiss’s bladed Aerolites.
This fascination with light wheels is especially interesting considering the current market trend towards aero rather than weight. In my opinion many ‘aero’ parts are just an marketing excuse for making things heavier. Sky has put a lot of money into aero research so there must have been a reason for the light but non-aero Enve25 rims?
Stan’s have added a new hub to their lineup – the HD rear hub. This hub is offered in two variants: a 150mm version for DH bikes, and a 142 / 135mm for XC and trail bikes.
HD stands for ‘heavy duty’ and you can see by the thicker flanges and thicker disc tabs that there is extra material in the shell.
The 135mm hub can be converted to the following:
- 10x135mm thru-axle
- 10x135mm quick release
- 12x135mm thru-axle
- 12x142mm thru-axle
The freehub body is the same 30-point engagement as the non-HD hubs. “3.30″ stands for “3 pawls, 30 engagement points” and most of the ZTR hub range is being converted to this naming scheme. Flange spacing and diameters are the same between the HD and non-HD hubs.
There is a 52 gram weight penalty over the non-HD hubs.
These hubs are in stock now and I’ll be building the first wheelset with them either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.
One of the key elements of building a Rohloff hub is that the large flange diameter means the spokes enter the rim at a very steep angle. Some spoke are better than other at coping with these angles, and while I’ve felt this difference I’d never measured it before. So out of curiosity I did this quick test:
An old rim was clamped to the bench on top of a sheet of A3 paper. This particular rim is an old American Classic CR350 which should be representative of most rims.
I used a big ol’ hunk of aluminium square bar to hook the spoke’s end and keep it straight.
Using a sharp pencil I scribed a line along the paper.
Then using a protractor did my best to measure the angles.
Ladies and Gentleman: your podium
1st: Wheelsmith with 19 degrees included angle.
2nd: DT Swiss with 15 degrees
3rd: Sapim with 14 degrees
Not a perfect scientific test but it backs up what I felt from using each of these nipples.
I’ve just replaced a broken Sapim CX-Ray spoke on a wheel I built in September 2009. I don’t have an explanation for why the spoke broke: it failed at the j-bend for seemingly no reason.
It’s extremely rare that I see spoke or nipple failures on the wheels I’ve built but 100% of them have been with Sapim spokes or nipples: this is the second broken spoke and I’ve replaced 4 broken nipples. It’s important to note these account for a very small percentage of the past 5 years business and hundreds of wheels.
I stand 100% behind my work and the wheels I sell. I’m confident in my work and I offer a 3 year grantee against broken spokes. Should there be a problem, as in this case, I’ll organize for the wheel to be couriered back to me, repaired, and returned – all at my expense.
I’ve used Sapim spokes in about 2% of the wheels I’ve built, and spoke nipples in approx 5%. The rest have been with DT Swiss spokes and a combination of DT Swiss and Wheelsmith spoke nipples and I have not had a reported failure with either brand’s products.
If you have a wheel built by me with Sapim spokes or nipples there is no need to panic…the likelihood of a failure is remote. If you have any questions about your wheels please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
These failures cost me a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of frustration. Unless it’s a special case I won’t be using Sapim spokes or spoke nipples from now on.
Thanks for reading.
I recently gave Andy the use of the Stan’s tubeless road wheels to compare to his existing Wheelworks wheels and the other wheelsets he’s owned and ridden. Andy is a Wellington-based rider who has competed at the top levels of NZ cycling including the Tour of Southland, Tour of Wellington and National Champs. He’s very fit, extremely strong, and averages 400-500km / week this time of year.
Tubeless road wheels review
It’s fair to say I was a bit sceptical on the road tubeless concept before I tried it. The benefits that tubeless offers to MTB riders, the ability to run tyres at low pressure without the risk of pinch flats, didn’t seem to be particularly applicable on the road. Even NZ’s roads aren’t rough enough to cause pinch flats on road tyres! Once I found out the tubeless tyre comes at a weight premium to a standard clincher (330g for the Hutchinson training tyres on the road tubeless versus apx. 280g for a light clincher/tube combo), thus mitigating any rotating weight advantage that removing a tube offered, I was even less convinced.
All of this changed pretty quickly though.
Even on my first ride on them, a 20 minute roll home, I could tell there was something about these wheels. Further riding confirmed my initial instincts.
First off, the wheels are super comfortable. Running the 25mm tyres at 90psi makes for an unbelievably comfortable riding experience. On the newly surfaced but unbelievably rough Miramar peninsular road I glided over the bumps smoothly. When using a more traditional wheel set I would find myself bumping and bouncing over the surface. When you’re doing a long ride this additional comfort is a big plus.
More impressively though, in addition to being comfortable, the lower pressure paradoxically makes the wheels easier to spin on rough surfaces. Rather than having to use energy to propel the bike forward after it lost momentum bouncing around, the bike smoothly rolls over any bumps. This energy saving was really noticeable on rough surfaces. At times I found myself deliberately riding on rough surfaces just because I could. I especially enjoyed this when riding with others who were on traditional wheels. Even on smooth tarmac the wheels rolled well, perhaps not as well as 120psi tyres but not dramatically worse. Regardless, in Wellington most of the time the road isn’t tarmac so the benefit heavily outweighs this.
The rims (and total weight) of the tubeless wheels are very light which helps these wheels spin and accelerate quickly. I was very impressed here, especially given the weight of the tyre being used. Running a softer and wider tyre also helps with grip. Something much appreciated during Wellington’s cold and wet winter. These tyres certainly felt stable in corners. Something that I can’t always say about others I use.
In addition to training, I used the wheels for a race down to the Wainui coast and back. This stretch of road is pretty rough so was a good opportunity to test the wheels. I raced with the tyres at 90psi, significantly lower than I would normally. I was a bit worried that the (lack of) pressure might be more noticeable in a race but the wheels performed admirably, rolling well and (as you would expect) smoothly on the rough surfaces. The wheels were plenty stiff enough for my 70(ish) kg frame under the accelerations, attacks and sprints that the race demanded.
Overall, despite my initial reservations I was well impressed by the wheels. So much so that I am reluctant to give them back. I would love to try them out with Hutchinson’s racing tubeless tyre which would shave another 60 grams per wheel of rotating weight off the package. Without doubt this would make them spin and accelerate better without compromising comfort.
You really should try these for yourself.
36 grams – titanium skewer, carbon handle, aluminium knuckle. Gorgeous.