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TOUR QTR 4-2011

We compared 12 factory wheelsets with 4 hand built sets of wheels in the lab, on the road and in the wind tunnel

are composed of Halo hubs and rims combined with Sapim’s CX-Ray spokes (16x spokes in the front, 24x in the back). The All-Weather wheels have Mavic Open Pro Ceramic (ceramic-coated) rims and White Industries hubs with 32 spokes each. 48 of Sapim’s Laser spokes (double-butted 2.0/1.5/2.0 mm) are used for the front wheel and the non-drive side of the rear wheel, 16 Sapim Race spokes (double-butted 2.0/1.8/2.0 mm) are utilized for the drive side of the rear wheel, which is subjected to signicantly more stress. The wheel prices go from € 455 to 845 / $ 656 to 1217 / £ 399 to 741. The factory built wheelsets in this test are allrounders and represent a cross section of the current market. The spectrum ranges from Shimano’s RS 30 for € 200 / $ 288 / £ 176 up to the light Campagnolo Shamal for € 1250 / $ 1800 / £ 1096. We tested the aerodynamic characteristics of all wheels in the CMEFE wind tunnel in Geneva, Switzerland, which is attached to two universities. Wheel rigidity and acceleration values were deter- mined in TOUR’s laboratory, after which the road testing took place. In the wind tunnel, only the front wheels were examined, uniformly fitted with Conti- nental GP 4000 S tires. Between the yaw an- gles of 0 and 25 degrees, every 2.5 degrees of wind resistance was measured for each wheel, which turned at 50 km/h - 31 mph. In the test boxes starting on page 92, the calcu- lated aero drag for 30 and 40 km/h (19 + 25 mph) is also listed. The result is surprising: in the end, a handbuilt wheel is in the lead. The Komponentix Aero lands a narrow vic- tory, it costs only 14 watts of effort at 40 km/h - 25 mph. Five wheels follow the lead- ers that have only one watt of aerodynamic difference among them - including the most affordable wheel in the test, from Shimano. The aerodynamically weakest is the All- Weather wheel from Komponentix with 24 watts. The flat Open Pro rims and the double number of spokes cause 10 watts more wind resistance. With 21 watts, the expensive Ma- vic Ksyrium SR is the worst factory wheelset in the aero discipline, but it’s still slightly better than the Komponentix. wheelsets can’t do everything In the lab test, this Mavic wheelset most clearly expresses the idea of a factory con- structed system. Through its mix of special hubs, rims and three different spoke types (aluminum aero, aluminum round and car- bon), the Ksyrium SR attains the best rear wheel rigidity coupled with a weight (for the pair) of only 1449 g - 3.19 lbs. At 1447 grams, Campy’s Shamal is hardly any lighter, but is clearly less rigid. If one puts wheel stiffness in relation to weight - similar to TOUR’s STW value for frame tests - the Ksyrium SR at 73 N/mm•kg is nearly twice as good as the worst wheel in this discipline, the AClass ALX 730 with 37 N/mm•kg. At a clear distance, Campagnolo’s affordable Zonda follows in second place in this rank- ing. In absolute terms, the robust Whizz Wheels rear wheel is hardly inferior to the Ksyrium rear wheel in its rigidity, and the front wheel is clearly more rigid. However, when you factor in weight, the Robust are over 500 g - 1.1 lbs heavier than the Mavic. Our verdict: factory wheelsets are better at combining rigidity with light weight than handbuilt wheels, but not all manufactured wheelsets are good in this discipline. handbuilt Lots of luster, lots of spokes: the White Industries hub (top) in the Komponentix ­All-Weather wheel built in a System In Campagnolo’s Zonda, spokes are grouped into groups of three and meet on a portion of the rim specially strength- ened at the apex T01_11_EN_086_090_Laufraeder.indd 88 25.08.2011 10:48:36 Uhr