Far away from asiatic plants, Lars Van Beurden owner of Speedcomposites improves again his product for 2007 using Sapim cx-ray spokes as an option on his Sinus tubulars wheels.
Lighter and lighter, this wheelset was originnaly destinated for the Cyclo-cross, so it will also be suitable for road use even through they hit the scale at only 1002gr (fr 439, re 563) with 24 spokes in, both the front and rear wheel. The set would definitely be under a kilogramm with a 20 spoke front wheel.
front wheel 439 gr
rear wheel 563 gr
We will firstly detail each component of the wheel before reviewing the set.
The dutch wheel maker trusts Sapim spokes and now proposes his wheels with the bladed Cx-ray spokes after requests made by some racers – It makes the wheels slightly stiffer. Beside this change, the specific shortened hidden nipples are filled with nylock that uses the principle of nylstop to prevent any tension loss of tension. The straight pull head of the spokes reduces the risk of failure and they are easier to hold and tighten because of their flat shape.
|Spécific nipples and black anodized spokes|
The hubs are machinned out of an aluminium block. Upgraded for 2006, they are now even more reliable thanks to extra seals (seen in blue on the picture). The rear hub has 4 cartridge bearings, 2 of them are in the rotor and 2 in the hub body. Still looking for the best performance, the spokes are crossed on the non-drive side and touch each other; there is also the option to tie the spokes to add some extra stiffness.
Rear hub 201 gr
Front hub 81 gr
The freehub body is light – it weights only 74gr including the bearings and the fitting is here awesome. There is no setting required, every parts fit each other perfectly, the play setting is the work of the craftsman who win recognition here. There are 3 wide free-hub pawls that guarantee a perfect torque transfer.
The dismantling requires a 10mm hex key. It saves again a few grams since it's more machined than traditionnal axles.
Front hub details
The rims are full carbon. Unidirectionnal fibre provides the rim with its finish, with discreet and well-finished stickers placed underneath glossy clearcoat so there is no need to worry about peeling them off after a few cleans. The bracking track has a matt finish and is machinned for better bracking performance. The rims are hollow, there is no additionnal foam inside that could certainly be useless since the size of the rim is quite small (width 21mm, height 25mm). The join is invisible, we guess this manufacturer secret will stay unknown for a while. The same rim is the same for both wheels and has a very nice, discreet, and slightly aerodynamical shape.
The spokes holes provided the most difficult part to achieve because of the strain concentration at the nipple. The solution used here to realize a strong and light rim (mean weight is 245-258gr) is to drill a very narrow hole (2.5mm) to let the spoke transfer most of the strain without weakening the rim.
We have detailed each part of the wheels, now we are going to analyse them. These wheels with their sharp finish and interesting look will best match dark carbon fibre bikes.
The front spoke pattern is radial and the hub has small flanges to reduce the material quantity used and therefore its weight. The distance between both flanges is 83mm which is a lot compared to 72-73mm for Shimano Dura-Ace, Campagnolo Record, DT Swiss 240 or Mavic Ksyrium ES. This width will increase the bracing angle of the wheel and so the lateral stiffness as well. On the other hand, this big bracing angle will make the wheel less aero. The spoke tension is 80-90kg.
The rear spoke pattern is radial for the drive side and 2 times crossed for the opposite side, this solution is already used by Shimano and by Mavic who refer as IsoPulse. The solidity of the components and especially the rims allow an optimal spoke tension close to 70-110kg.
The built quality and the components used promise a strong wheel. These light wheels will allow you to accelerate quickly. The very light Cx-ray spokes bring some comfort to the wheel. With some good tubulars, the wheels will also absorb the imperfections of the road. In addition to this ride quality, the low inertia of the wheels is a great advantage at high speed when combined to a good stiffness. On the other side, it's a disadvantage when cruising. Speedcomposites wheels give their best when the rider is accelerating or is climbing any kind of hill or mountain. The lightness will always outweight any disadvantadges, and will remain so.
About the braking power, it is better to use special brake pads. When the wheather is dry, a normal compound is suitable, it could even apply too much braking force and the wheel could block easily. The contrary would happen under wet conditions.
We have not been able to test the long-term reliability yet, but we will present you a long term test in a few months.
Lightweight on the scale but heavy performance
Whereas art and craft seems to be disappearing day by day in preference to marketing hype behalf, a brand new European artisanal firm producing in Europa and only thinking about the quality of its products is a good new for us.
Considering the product quality, we can expect a great reliability from the mechanical parts (hubs, free-wheel). The components machinning precision is so high that the wear will proportionnaly be lower. Afterwards low quantities productions give the builder a total control of his process and a perfect knowledge of his product. This wheelset will fit any kind of rider because it keeps comfort, strength but also efficiency regarding the weight to rigidity ratio. They perfectly compete with Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra, Zipp 202...etc with a superior finish, lighter and furthermore with an incredible price (about 1000 € the wheelset !!!).
Weight of similar wheels:
|Lightweight Ventoux (DT Swiss)|| |
1020 gr (claimed weight)
|Zipp 202|| |
1032 gr (claimed weight)
|Campagnolo Hyperon Ultra|| |
1220 gr (claimed weight)
|Shimano Dura-ace 7801 carbone|| |
1310 gr (claimed weight)