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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well well, I've written my thoughts about the Blackset Race in the thread "BWW Blackset Race - review to come soon", but they were mostly initial impressions/early reviews.

I'll have to say that a year later, with perhaps 2000 miles and a crit on these wheels, everything I said and expected about these wheels holds true.. Just to keep things in perspective, I want to remind you all that I'm a light guy. My weight oscillates between 140 and 145 pounds, so the clides out there might want another point of view... But anyway, here's my summary :

-The finish of the wheel is very nice. The rim's anodizing is as well done as anything from the big manufacturers, the hubs are nice and and the wheels are well built. They were true out of the box and have stayed true despite much abuse. And the finish still looks good, too!

-The wheels have very good lateral stiffness. They inspire confidence in cornering. I can throw everything I've got at them and they don't flex in corners, unlike my Easton Vista SL's. I was glad to have them under me in the last crit I've been to.

-There's no perceptible deflection under power. Even though I keep my brake pads within a millimeter of the rim, I've never had the wheels rub against the brakes, not even when grinding big gears on hard climbs.

-The hubs still spin very smoothly, even more so than when I opened the box. Nothing surprising there, it would've been a severe flaw if it had been otherwise...

-The aluminium cassette body does get gouged by individual sprockets. At a certain point, it stops, but it makes changing cassettes a bit of a pain. The 19t sprocket on my 11-26 cassette, in particular, left a pretty big mark in the soft aluminium...

-Under a lightweight guy, these are friggin' bulletproof, much more than I ever expect. I've used them as my main wheels during both fall and spring... and they've endured the crap that daily-use wheels have to face. I've hit potholdes, railways, uneven road surfaces and gravel roads without any problem. Better yet, I had a crash where my front tire was destroyed, but the front wheel was STILL true. I was outright impressed.

Bottom line, these are awesome wheels for the money. Since last year, the wheels have changed in name and price : BWW now calls them "Blackset Race Ten 1451g" and offers them at 329$ rather than 275$, but I believe they're still an incredible value at that price. I'm just glad I didn't wait and got them at last year's price :D
 

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My findings exactly except for two differences - approx three months of use from me and my 170lbs. A true bargain especially compared to Boutique wheels which are almost always heavier and certainly always more money.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
cmg said:
what's the opinion of the hubs? is the rear wider spaced than an American classics hub?
The ratcheting mechanism is solid. It uses 6 steel pawls and they engage real fast. I haven't counted the number of engagement points, but it's at least 18 and possibly more. And yes, the flanges are more widely spaced than AM Classic hubs. The flange spacing makes for a good bracing angle and results in a laterally stiff wheel. The hub has 4 cartridge bearings and it's claimed weight is 241 grams - not bad!

The front hub also has widely spaced flanges, it's super light (claimed at 70 grams) and it rolls well. The hub shell's diameter is much larger at the bearings than the AC hubs so they presumably use larger and more durable bearings. I'd need to verify what size they are, but anyway, I've got no prob so far and I'm convinced they'll last for a while.

All in all, it's a very solid set of hubs. I honestly doubt you can get much better hubs without paying as much for a pair of hubs as you would for the complete BWW wheelset.
 

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Svooterz said:
All in all, it's a very solid set of hubs. I honestly doubt you can get much better hubs without paying as much for a pair of hubs as you would for the complete BWW wheelset.
I was just talking about this same fact this morning. The BWW Blackset Race wheels are $330.

For an article I'm writing I just got some hub prices for the "really good" hubs. They are -
DT240 - $510.
Dura Ace 7900 - $540.
White Industries - $395.
Chris King R45 - $498.
(I trolled a few mailorder sites for those prices. I'm sure prices vary).

I'd be a fool to claim that the BWW hubs were as "good" as any of the above hubs but when you can get a whole wheelset for less than their price and for it to be a good performing wheelset (mine are)......well, I'm just sayin'.
 

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I should relate a near catastrophe that I had with my BWW Race wheels on Saturday. I was on a 100km organized ride and I was whizzing down a hill and across a river bridge at about 30-40mph. I didn't see a good size pothole on the bridge and I hit it head-on. "BUNNNNGGGGG" chimed the front wheel as the tire bottomed out and the rim contacted the hole. Something flew off my bike with the impact. I braked to a halt fearing exploded tire or wrecked rim and found neither. What jettisoned from the bike because of the impact was a large full waterbottle. I retraced and couldn't find the bottle and assumed it went off the bridge into the river. I was left with just an empty bottle on a 90 degree day. Luckily a rest & refuel stop was five miles up the road.

The force of the blow was enough to swivel my (correctly torqued) handlebars down.

I didn't feel any brake pulsing on the remainder of the ride so I assumed there was no rim sidewall damage. I checked the rim properly when I got home and it's just fine. The wheel is still dead true.

The specs are -
BWW Blackset Race rim (advertised at 383 grams)
24 spoke front wheel, radial, CX-ray.
My weight - 170lbs.

BWW - an incredibly strong wheelset for its 1410 gram weight.
 

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Mike T. said:
I should relate a near catastrophe that I had with my BWW Race wheels on Saturday. I was on a 100km organized ride and I was whizzing down a hill and across a river bridge at about 30-40mph. I didn't see a good size pothole on the bridge and I hit it head-on. "BUNNNNGGGGG" chimed the front wheel as the tire bottomed out and the rim contacted the hole. Something flew off my bike with the impact. I braked to a halt fearing exploded tire or wrecked rim and found neither. What jettisoned from the bike because of the impact was a large full waterbottle. I retraced and couldn't find the bottle and assumed it went off the bridge into the river. I was left with just an empty bottle on a 90 degree day. Luckily a rest & refuel stop was five miles up the road.

The force of the blow was enough to swivel my (correctly torqued) handlebars down.

I didn't feel any brake pulsing on the remainder of the ride so I assumed there was no rim sidewall damage. I checked the rim properly when I got home and it's just fine. The wheel is still dead true.

The specs are -
BWW Blackset Race rim (advertised at 383 grams)
24 spoke front wheel, radial, CX-ray.
My weight - 170lbs.

BWW - an incredibly strong wheelset for its 1410 gram weight.
:eek: Holy crap! I must say that is quite impressive. I am surprised you didn't fall from the bars moving like that. Sounds to me like you need to clamp down those bars just a tad more.
 

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Zen Cyclery said:
:eek: Holy crap! I must say that is quite impressive. I am surprised you didn't fall from the bars moving like that. Sounds to me like you need to clamp down those bars just a tad more.
I was lucky I didn't crash. I was on the brake hoods so that's what contributed to the bar swiveling. The stem is a Thomson torqued to its correct specs and the bars have never moved until this blow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Svooterz said:
I haven't counted the number of engagement points, but it's at least 18 and possibly more.
OK I have counted the number of engagement points. 20 clicks before the freehub returns to it's original position. Nothing exceptional, but not bad...
 

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OK, here's a question for you wheel builders related to this:

Say I don't have a ton of cash right now, so I purchase a set of BWW wheels just for the quality/price ratio. Maybe a year or two later I have money burning a hole in my pocket, and I *REALLY* want a nice set of hubs for the wheels, just for the extra bling factor or whatnot.

How hard is it to lace new hubs into an existing wheel? Does it involve replacing all the spokes? Is this impractical or do people do this often?

I don't think I'd really have this done, I'm more curious than anything.
 

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mcsqueak said:
How hard is it to lace new hubs into an existing wheel?
How hard? There's no way to quantify that. Just read up on wheelbuilding and go for it. The info is in my sig, especially in the links at the end.

Does it involve replacing all the spokes?
The best answer I can give is "probably". There's only one way to know - put the hub and rim specs into a spoke calculator, figure out what's needed and compare the length to what you have. Then you know.

Is this impractical or do people do this often?
Sure it's practical if you decide that it's the best for you.

I don't think I'd really have this done, I'm more curious than anything.
Maybe I wish I had read this sentence first then.
 

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Anybody have a real world picture of the BWW Race on a bike...can't really tell what they look like on their website. Is there any bling factor or are they pretty much plain Jane in the looks department? It's not foremost in my criteria, but it helps :D

**
 

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Erion929 said:
Anybody have a real world picture of the BWW Race on a bike...can't really tell what they look like on their website. Is there any bling factor or are they pretty much plain Jane in the looks department? It's not foremost in my criteria, but it helps :D
**
Bling? Errr no. They're not into that. I think BWW would be honored by the phrase "plain Jane".
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Erion929 said:
Anybody have a real world picture of the BWW Race on a bike...can't really tell what they look like on their website. Is there any bling factor or are they pretty much plain Jane in the looks department? It's not foremost in my criteria, but it helps :D

**
For a few months, I didn't have access to a camera, but now I do. I'll take some pics of the wheels on my bike & post them online. Trust me on this, red nipples do add a bit of bling...
 

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So....I'm about to pull the trigger on this wheelset....Any reason why I should *NOT* get it? You guys have given that wheelset some good reviews, but do you wish you had gotten a different set instead? I'm looking to increase my climbing ability and keep a somewhat stiff wheelset for sprinting. They will replace my 2100 gram Mavic CXP22's.

And what's so special about the Sapim-CX Ray spokes? Are they worth another $145? Lighter? Stiffer?
 

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ncsu said:
And what's so special about the Sapim-CX Ray spokes? Are they worth another $145? Lighter? Stiffer?
They're one of the three lightest spokes. They are forged aero from Sapim Lazer spokes (2.0/1.5/2.0mm) which are the same diameters as DT Revolution spokes. Whether they are worth the upcharge is your decision. I use them (3-4 wheelsets) and I have some wheelsets without them (4 sets). I can't tell a difference in stiffness or speed but then with the small increments of speed that they would potentially provide there are other bigger forces that would change things.

I'll tell ya one thing that is a dead cert - the chicks dig 'em. That's good enough for me. I need all the help I can get.
 
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