Any owners of carbon wheels from any of these brands care to offer their thoughts/quick reviews? All seem to have very similarly priced offerings with minimal differences in claimed weight, spokes, internal width. Most if not all have unbranded hubs (though Vel from Sigma Sports uses DT Swiss 240). Most range from about £800 - £1,000. Warranties seem to vary. Parcours offers a lifetime warranty on its more expensive wheels(£1,049) but hard to know what a lifetime warranty is really worth. Is it worth taking a punt on these brands to save £4-500 (or a bit more) over the likes of Zipp, Campag, etc? I only say not Hunt because I don't care for their graphics.
I've been looking at the Vel ones online recently. there are two tiers and the top level ones have CX Ray spokes as well as the 240 hubs. Some of them are in the black friday sale as well although that's a bit soon for me.
Yes, those are quite tempting. I notice they have the RL, the RSL and then (not in the Black Friday offer) the RSL2. In the crazy world of bike bits, £849.00 for the 38 RSL seems pretty reasonable for a sub-1500g wheelset with branded hub and spokes and a 3-year warranty/crash replacement.
Your best bet by far would be getting some rims from lightbicycle, some Bitex hubs, and going to someone like Arcane wheelworks to build them up.
The rims are top quality and you can choose your ideal width and depth. I think they have a warranty as well. Then for value, performance and serviceability you'd be hard pushed to do better than Bitex. And going with an actual wheel builder rather than factory built will always be far higher quality and you know who to call if anything goes wrong.
FWIW, I did this and got a beautiful rock solid set of 45mm carbon clinchers (rim brake) with Bitex RA12s and a blend of Sapim d-lights and race for just under £600. Wouldn't ever think of going with the big brands.
Check these out:
Thanks, that looks like a good suggestion. I did start looking at Light Bicycle wheels but the stock in the European warehouse was very limited then I was put off by the global delivery costs. But would not be averse to thus option (esp. as I need an offset rear wheel - though Scribe/Parcours/Zed will do that at no charge and Sigma will do it for £50).
Light bicycle have 15% off rims too at the mo.
Yep, I can understand that buying something off the peg is a quick fix but would say that going custom is worth the effort and can also save money in getting a far better end product. Have a look on the Chinese carbon thread as there are often quite a few forum members doing group orders and getting discounts (I did this and we all saved on postage and customs).
Thanks for the tip. Also I have dropped Martin at Arkane a line so I will await his thoughts! Cheers!
I’m sitting on these Bitex hubs from shelved projects. 24h rear, 20h fronts. PM if you need them.
Ahh, these were exactly what I went with in the end. Had I known...
Thank you...if I am not mistaken*, these are for rim brake? I am after disc.
*I may well be
He's the boss, definitely worth talking it through. My mate Pierre at A1 bikeworks has an insane attention to detail and builds awesome wheels too. Not London-based but posting isn't a problem.
I’ll probably go down the light bicycle route for my next set of wheels but a set of Zipp 303 S wheels appears to be £785 on Bikeinn.com at the moment which isn’t a bad deal at all (depending on where they ship from)
Obviously Zipp is tempting as a brand but I cannot help but think there must be something not quite right with the 303s wheelset as it’s just so cheap compared to their other models!
We have a lot of people riding the Zipps here, including mechanics and serious cyclists and got no problems so far, if you don't mind hookless rims.
Bikeinn is located in Girona, so maybe there's some brexit tax.
I have a set of Parcours - they are great, I've given them zero love and they still roll exceptionally well and have taken a fairly decent amount of abuse.
I definitely prefer the wheel sets I've had built but that's pretty much solely because I felt involved in selecting the parts.
Good to know...
Also good to know!
think 785 is per wheel, at least from what I can see on bikeinn...
I’ve been riding a set of the 303 S on road and gravel for the last year and like them. Price difference is due to them not being made in the USA. They’re not featherweight and I’m not completely sold on hookless but I’m still tempted by another set to avoid switching over tyres between road and off road
@Albb think you may be looking at the 303 wheels rather than the 303 S
I have the Parcours Strade wheelset which came on my new bike. They seem to be really well built, and are very fast. I ended up spending a fair bit of time off road on them by mistake on holiday and was not concerned, as they really do seem super robust. I have approx 2.5k km on them and they've not missed a beat and have remained true.
I used to have boras on my old rim braked bike which I absolutely loved (though I definitely would've been concerned off road on those, largely due to them having much thinner walls,) and while the newer disc bike perhaps does not have the same sense of snappiness as the old, the newer bike on the Parcours wheels is in fact faster overall and I attribute this largely to the wheels. This of course is impossible to quantify as there are a number of other differences between the two bikes including going from 25s to 28s, qr to TA, old frame shape to new etcetc.
Either way I'm very pleased with the Parcours wheels and cannot imagine wanting another wheelset. No idea who makes the hubs, probably rebranded novatec or some such. I will probably strip them down and inspect the bearings after the winter. I would've been more at ease with the boras (or indeed on DT Swiss for example) in this respect, but am not massively concerned. I really liked the specs of these - but equally would not hesitate to go LB rims / CX rays and have them built up locally per previous suggestions, if these hadn't come on the bike I bought. I hope that my impressions of the wheels may be of some help
Oh and two of my friends ride the scribe wheels and they also seem very, very nice. I will say however that the hubs, are LOUD. Like, the loudest I've ever come across, by a long shot. May not bother you but worth being aware of
Stayer is a good option if you want something handmade from LB rims and identifiable parts with a great afterservice.
Also worth saying that both of those friends (if they are who I think they are) have steered me away from scribe. They said they would go Chinese direct if they bought again
Compared to my circa 2012 zip 303s (no longer with us as the brake track died after 33000 ish km) I got some token 45mm wheels. Very quick but a bit twitchy in crosswinds, totally manageable though. Braking (rim brakes) is nice and progressive. Hubs are free spinning(better than the hope ones I had on the 303s), but I’m only 4 months into owning them…
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