Strengths: ** amazingly durable, maintenance-free, robust and long-lived
** as aero as any no-profile wheel
** rides as well over rough roads as any race-worthy wheel I've tried (old Spinergy Spox excepted)
** certainly as laterally stiff as any no-profile wheel out there
** precise steering accuracy
** top-quality hardware and hubs
** no wear on the brake tracks after 30,000 gritty miles!
** low-key stealth appearance
** paid $525 new! (in 2001)
** trapezoidal rims, offset spokes, aero low-spoke-count, no external spoke nipple drag have stood the test of time as best practices in making a stiff durable low-profile aero-ish smooth-riding wheelset.
** the fact the 2015 Neutrons are essentially the identical wheel proves the above points...
Weaknesses: ** they are a couple mm larger in diameter making some tire brands a bear to fit, Michelins especially
This is a review of my 2001 Campy Nucleons. The current Neutron is essentially the same wheel with some carbon replacing some aluminum in the hubs and further cutouts in the rims to save weight. My posting my Nucleon experience should add to the legacy and durability of those considering more-current Neutrons.
I wrote a review for my Nucleons soon after I bought them in 2001 to replace some Spinergy Spox, a rather unique, long-discontinued, wheelset. I wasn't thrilled by all aspects of the Nucleons, especially compared to the Spox, at the time, and said I'd reconsider if they last forever.
14 years later and about 30,000 miles on the same pair without needing any kind of adjustment aside from greasing the hubs (with external grease ports), riding a lot of other newer 'fancier' wheels to compare, and considering I bought them for $525 new, I'm finally revising my post to 5 stars for value and overall. They last forever.
Compared to the Spox they ride rougher and don't have the immediate directional response. Compared to any other road wheel they ride as well as my 32-spoke open-pros but are much torsionally stiffer and more-aerodynamic for a no-profile wheel. Even today a 1550 gram *metal* wheelset is competitive, especially when you consider their spectacular durability.
As mentioned, in 30,000 miles they have needed NO attention beyond new rim strips and occasional external greasing. The brake track has no cupping and is like-new. The entire rim, including the stickers. still look fresh out of the box. They're as straight and true as the day I bought them. They've hit big holes (even blowing out a tire in one case), plenty of muck on the brake pads on rainy days, changing cassettes frequently, swapping wheels regularly. They put the power down better than my other wheels, don't beat me up on New England roads, banzai descents with full confidence and tracking, and feel great out of the saddle.
Did I mention they seem like they'll last forever?
Similar Products Used: Various Ksyriums and Heliums; Mavic Cosmic Equipe; Chorus hubs + Mavic Open Pro 32 3X 14/17F, 14/15R; borrowed full-on time trial wheels, Zipp 404, 808, Specialized Royale 40; Bontrager Select;
Bike Setup: 1999 custom Spectrum Ti, Time Equipe fork, '99/'01 Campy Chorus. Kind of old school vs today's plastic fantastic bikes, but if the geometry and fit are perfect, and the Ti ride unchanged, then that can overlook a couple extra pounds and some frame flex at 500+ watts.
Date Reviewed: May 14, 2012
Strengths: Very strong. Great for climbing.
I just had to replace my neutron wheelset ...after 6 years. I had the rims trued once during that time. I ride Ultra and Rando and the road conditions can be dicey at times. They are the only wheels I have. I weigh over 200 lbs.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: April 11, 2012
Strengths: Light, low rotational weight - fast spin up, smooth and quiet, very low maintenance.
Weaknesses: Spoke placement will make truing a challenge - academic at this point as I have not had to.
Looked at Zipps, Reynolds, Mavics etc etc. Chose these due to the general reviews of light weight as good climbing wheels, low maintenance needs.
The low rotational weight, bladed spokes and slim profile make them good all-round condition wheels.
Paired them with Vittoria Open Corsas and light weight tubes so they ride very nicely and comfortably while being easy to accelerate.
I weigh 150 lbs, only have slightly over 1K miles on them, so they are relatively new and I cannot speak to real longevity.
Strengths: Trouble free, durable, and stable at high speeds.
Weaknesses: I really don't know of any at this time.
I bought these wheels used on ebay, so who knows how many original miles were already on them, but they were clean, and true.
I have since put over 12,000 miles on them, and have ridden them over some pretty bad stretches of road, and they are still true.
Every 6,000 miles I have broken the hubs down, cleaned, and regreased the bearings, with Phil Woods green grease. These wheels have been bomb proof and trouble free for me. I have hit speeds of 50 mph coming down Hwy 74, and they track and corner like they on are rails.
I can detect no signs of them wearing out yet.
There might be lighter wheels out there, but I think you would be hard pressed to find a more trouble free, and durable set.
Bought these based on reviews here for my new Colnago Master Frame. Wanted Mavic's but got the Campy based on reviews here. Am just under 100 kg (215 lb) and pretty much destroy wheels. In six months they are still true and roll great. Rode them up Alp Du Huez last summer and some climbing in the region. Roll fantastic