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lostrancosrd said:
it looks like these are available in a couple of places now. has anyone seen or ridden them yet?
What places? many have them Sku'ed up, but not actually in stock.

From the Interbike reports they look promising, haven't seen any reviews yet though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Coolhand said:
What places? many have them Sku'ed up, but not actually in stock.

From the Interbike reports they look promising, haven't seen any reviews yet though.
bulltek (http://www.bullteksports.com/index.htm) lists them as does cbike. i just called bulltek and they say the rd 200, rd400, and rd600 are all available special order to ship w/i 2-3 days. they stressed very limited supply.

do you know anything about the 400s? they look pretty comparable to the bontrager x lite but maybe a little lighter and mayber a little more aero. i am tempted to give them a try instead of getting the x-lites.
 

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Not too much other then the favorable interbike reports. No body has got to play with these yet. But given FSA's quality in the past, I have hopes for these puppies.

You should check these out too (I currently am thinking of getting a set myself):

http://www.rolfwheels.com/products/elan.html

hubba hubba!

Don't forget the old favorites- D/A and Record hub based handbuilt wheels- especially to thr spiffy new DT rims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
fsa rd400s on the way

Coolhand said:
Not too much other then the favorable interbike reports. No body has got to play with these yet. But given FSA's quality in the past, I have hopes for these puppies.

You should check these out too (I currently am thinking of getting a set myself):

http://www.rolfwheels.com/products/elan.html

hubba hubba!

Don't forget the old favorites- D/A and Record hub based handbuilt wheels- especially to thr spiffy new DT rims.
just an update - doug at bicycletires.com has a few sets of he 400s for $378 + shipping mine should ship in a day or two. if you are interested, you should call him asap. everyone i have talked to who carries them says that supply is VERY limited and that they may go on backorder pretty quick. i am going to stick these on my hill bike and probably try to find some campy eurus wheels for my other bike this spring.
 

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lostrancosrd said:
just an update - doug at bicycletires.com has a few sets of he 400s for $378 + shipping mine should ship in a day or two. if you are interested, you should call him asap. everyone i have talked to who carries them says that supply is VERY limited and that they may go on backorder pretty quick. i am going to stick these on my hill bike and probably try to find some campy eurus wheels for my other bike this spring.
Nice! Please update us after you get them. A digital scale based weight would be nice, as well as your ride impressions.

Congrats,

Coolhand
 

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Advertised weight isn't accurate...

Disclaimer: I do custom wheelbuilding, so I am a "competitor" of sorts I suppose.

You can see a nice review of the FSA RD400 here:

https://www.bicycletest.com/absolutenm/templates/bt.asp?articleid=90&zoneid=23

Review is pretty favorable, but they came up with a weight of 1538g for the pair set, including the rim strips. Assuming the rim strips are ~40g, which is a bit generous, that leaves you a weight of 1500g for the pair, not the 1450 they are currently claiming. I say "currently" because their Interbike claimed weight was "1.4kg". So it looks a little like they gave a low weight at Interbike to generate buzz, and are now backing it gradually up to being sorta close to reality.

1500g really isn't that impressive a weight for the money, especially considering how few spokes (20/24) those have! The "Fedellini" spokes are Wheelsmith XE14s, a double-butted 14/16 gauge spoke that has been rolled to flattened the center-section. Should be a nice spoke choice.

For comparison, we offer a wheelset that is built on SpeedCific's new "Perception" light weight hubset, using Velocity rims and either bladed or round Wheelsmith spokes. This is lighter than the FSA wheels, even though it has 8 more spokes (24 front/28 rear). It uses lighter rims which has an asymmetric rear-specific model. It uses lighter hubs. Cost is less than $300 <u>including</u> delivery. They are also individually custom hand-built to order, offering you a selection of 4 rim colors, spoke color, 10 nipple color options, etc. I think some folks are so used to seeing the $850 Mavic wheels that ~$400 delivered looks like a tremendous bargain, but only if you are actually getting the weight you pay for.

<a href="https://oddsandendos.safeshopper.com/2/99.htm?473"> Our SpeedCific based front wheel</a> weighs 628g with 24 bladed spokes.
<img src="https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/5462/2h/oddsandendos.safeshopper.com/images/be19rtnu.jpg"

<A href="https://oddsandendos.safeshopper.com/2/100.htm?473">Our SpeedCific based rear wheel</a> weighs 820g with 28 bladed spokes.
<img src="https://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/5462/2h/oddsandendos.safeshopper.com/images/be1aq8bg.jpg">
 

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My (limited) experiences (detailed)

I recently purchased an FSA RD 400 wheelset through my LBS for $400. The first pair was significantly out of true and out of round, and did not come with skewers or the truing tool (internal nipples). To FSA's credit, they quickly shipped out a new pair with no questions asked-- although they left off the freehub (apparently, they were out of Shimano compatible freehubs at the time). Not a problem, as my LBS had the old wheelset and could easily swap it out. Although the new wheels looked good on my truing stand, a quick inspection with the tensiometer revealed an approx 30% variance in spoke tensions-- I don't know how prevalent this is among factory-built wheels, but the few wheels I've built by hand have come much closer to being equally tensioned. I can't tell you anything about the absolute magnitude of spoke tensions since I don't know the tensiometer calibration, but they feel tight.

The hubs roll smoothly-- the rear was a little stiff at first, but has "broken in" nicely. The rims have a beefy cross section and nicely machined braking surfaces, though fitting Michelin Axial Carbons was truly a *****. The prospect of having to repair punctures outside in freezing weather is seriously making me consider changing tires to something with a more compliant bead.

Because of weather and work, I've only been able to manage about 100 outdoor miles since I've gotten them. The wheels have already sustained a few big hits (the roads here in Southern New England are pretty awful) but they're still true and round. Subjectively, I've not noticed any difference between these wheels and the Colorado Cyclist Dura ace/CXP-33 wheels they're replacing.

Preliminary verdict: they're light and look good, but I'm going to put a question mark by durability. The uneven spoke tensioning may not be a huge issue because of the apparent strength of the rim, but I guess only time will tell.

I hope this helps,

Charlie
 

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cbike has them in Shimano and they're expecting Campy in 45 days. Glory Cycles had two pairs of Campy as of yesterday (I bought one pair.) Not sure about Shimano. Mine should be in hand by next Tuesday. We'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
just received the fsa rd400s

first off, i waited a day before mounting them so that i could throw them on a digital scale at a LBS. (which means i didn't get to ride them for my morning ride today!). overall i like them so far and think i got a lot of wheel for the dollar.

keep in mind that this is my first set of boutique wheels. i can compare them to my two other wheels - a pair of 32 spoke DA hubs w/ ceramic rims from a company that no longer exists (i think trek bought them) and a pair of 105 hubs with 32 straight guage spokes to OPs.

first off, they feel light and stiff compared to either other wheels i have - more like a bontrager x-lite. the rim section is more aero than i expected from the pics and overall they are very sharp looking although the big black, yellow and white FSA stickers are kind of cheesy (IMO) and will probably go away this weekend so that they look a little more understated.

the guys in the back of the LBS liked the rim strip and the teardrop wheelsmith spokes. i didn't want to take the rim strips off so we weighed some other rim strips and decided that ~20 gms was fair for each rim strip. therefore correcting for rimstrips and w/o skewers they came out to 645 for the front and 865 for the back for a total of 1510 not knowing how often these guys calibrate their scale, i think it is fair to call them 1500 vs. the advertised weight of 1450. oh well, i will just put 1 inch less water in my water bottle.

on a quick spin up the hill behind the house tonight they defintely felt stiffer than my other wheels, but in a more efficient/quicker way. although they are definitely stiff, they don't seem jarring although i would guess my lightweight steel frame (steelman stagerace) and the carbon fork help with that. the clicking if the freewheel is definitely louder/harsher than my DAs. hopefully that will get quieter as they break in. as it is i won't be sneaking up on anyone if i stop pedaling. hopefully the weather will let me get out for a decent ride this weekend.

like an earlier poster noted, getting the tires on was a complete b*tch. i am using 25mm bontrager x-lites which i don't recall as being that hard to mount on my OPs. hopefully the vittoria open corsa evo cgs i ordered will be better.

oh yeah, they look cool ;)
 
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