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I am riding a set of 2004 Ksyrium SL wheels that have served me well but at just over 1600g they are heavier than some of the custom offerings. Is there anything about the Ksyrium design that makes them a better wheel than a set of custom built wheels with all the best parts? There are some custom built wheels (you choose the hubs spokes and rims) that are under $700 and in the 1200g to 1300g range. Will I regret selling my Mavics for these backyard wheels? The SLs are good and stiff and have never bent with my 200# on top of them but lighter wheels would be nice....hmmmmm......?
 

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The Ksyriums are a strong wheel, but by far not the lightest on the market. As the last reply said, they have a huge marketing budget which gives them a greater market share.

Customs built wheels are nice. Just make sure they know that you are a 200lb rider. A lot of the lighter pre-build wheels do have weight limits, so I am sure th custom ones will. Research around to find a good builder and I am sure you will be satified.
 

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my advice

i have ridden almost entirely on custom built wheels of varrying quality (cxp33s to ultegra hubs, deep vs to kings, aeroheads to custom fixed hubs, etc) and i also have a pair of ksyriums i got for free on my road bike. the ksyriums are really pretty amazing, stiffness and aero to weight, and i always heard they sucked, but the opposite in my experience. i'd say you're best bet is to try something else and keep the ksyriums, and then sell whichever one you don't like if you need to. nothing wrong with an extra wheelset lying around. if you really want to lighten up you can think about tubies too.
 

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ringmaster said:
I am riding a set of 2004 Ksyrium SL wheels that have served me well but at just over 1600g they are heavier than some of the custom offerings. Is there anything about the Ksyrium design that makes them a better wheel than a set of custom built wheels with all the best parts? There are some custom built wheels (you choose the hubs spokes and rims) that are under $700 and in the 1200g to 1300g range. Will I regret selling my Mavics for these backyard wheels? The SLs are good and stiff and have never bent with my 200# on top of them but lighter wheels would be nice....hmmmmm......?
I have several sets of wheels. My customs require the most attention as far a truing. The rear is always 3 to 6mm out. The rim is a Velocity which is right on once its trued. I had a good experience with Ks also.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
hairscrambled said:
I have several sets of wheels. My customs require the most attention as far a truing. The rear is always 3 to 6mm out. The rim is a Velocity which is right on once its trued. I had a good experience with Ks also.
This is what I am afraid of.....having to spend lots of time tinkering with the wheels rather than riding my bike!!!!!!!!! My Ksyriums have been perfect for two seasons but they are a bit heavy. Who out these has custom light wheels that don't need constant attention :confused:
 

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Quality of hand-built wheels

ringmaster said:
This is what I am afraid of.....having to spend lots of time tinkering with the wheels rather than riding my bike!!!!!!!!! My Ksyriums have been perfect for two seasons but they are a bit heavy. Who out these has custom light wheels that don't need constant attention :confused:
The quality of hand-built wheels depends largely on the whose hands are doing the building. There are far more people out there who can slap together a wheel that appears round than there are people who know how to actually build a reliable wheel. Building a reliable wheel is not black art, even though many people seem to think it is. It just takes a little practice and following some basic wheel building procedures. Unfortunately, too many builders have relied on workshop myth and folklore, and consequently have not learned basic sound building practices.

I have several hand-built wheels are lighter and far less expensive than Ksyriums, that have seen many thousands of miles without needing to be touched.
 

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hand built depends on builder

agreed. but here ya go. Have a quality builder build an all DT wheelset. 240 hubs, 32 spoke 3x with DT butted spokes and DT Rev Rims. lighter and cheaper than K's.
oh and as for spending time riding. wait til you have to fix your K's. I tore a spoke through the rim wall. took 2 months and $170 to get the wheel rebuilt.
 

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Wrong question

There is nothing wrong with your wheels. It's not a question of what's better than the K's but rather that the K's cost too much for the performance delivered. Anyone who says they suck is talking out of their a$$. What does suck about boutique wheels is the price/performance ratio. At 200 lb, you probably should not be looking at 1300 gm wheel sets. They won't make you any faster, but they could result in a lot of maintenance issues for you. Your current wheels ain't broke, and don't need fixin'.
 

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Ksyriums are OK

I have about 20 000km on a set of Ksyriums and I've only had to true them once...and that was when I crashed. The most amazing thing for me was that I was able to true them at all given the low spoke count. They are strong, relatively light, and as stiff as anything I have ridden...ever. I think they're great wheels and every bit worth their price tag. Having said that I have also got a couple of pairs of custom wheels, but I always look forward to riding my Ksyriums.
 

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at 200 lb's, anything lighter may result in durability issues. besides, the K's are not bad climbing wheels anyway (plenty of guys ride them up the big cols in the Tour). If you are looking to improve the K's climbing performance, look at the veloflex pave tires. they will save you 30 grams or so of rotational weight per wheel over most other clinchers, which probably equates to what you'd experience with those lighter wheels.
 

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Stiffness (or lack there of ) of Ksyrium wheels

gizzard said:
I have about 20 000km on a set of Ksyriums and I've only had to true them once...and that was when I crashed. The most amazing thing for me was that I was able to true them at all given the low spoke count. They are strong, relatively light, and as stiff as anything I have ridden...ever.
This is an odd thing to hear, since direct measurements of Ksyriums show that they are less stiff than most "standard" wheels - for example, about 40% less stiff than a 32 spoke wheel with an Mavic Open Pro rim. I guess if the Ksyriums are the stiffest wheels you've ridden, you've been riding a lot of very flexible wheels.

Rinard wheel test
Wheel deflection data
 

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atpjunkie said:
Have a quality builder build an all DT wheelset. 240 hubs, 32 spoke 3x with DT butted spokes and DT Rev Rims. lighter and cheaper than K's.

I built this same set of wheels for myself:
240 (non S) hubs
32 * 3 DT Competition 2.0 / 1.8 / 2.0
DT Alu nipples
DT RR1.1 rims

The pair weighted 84grams more than some Kysrium SL's on the shop-floor, plus they need about 20 grams worth of rimtape.

They were a great set of wheels until the rear rim started cracking on driveside spokes. Apparently the first batch of silver rims were anodized inncorrectly which made the rim too brittle and caused them to crack. Replaced with a (warrenty) rim from the second batch and havn't had any problems since. Tension was no more than 1200n.

If you're wanting to play the lightweight and aero game, you might want to look at either Sapim CXRay or DT Aerolite spokes. The Aerolites are the spoke that come with the DT RR1450 wheelset (laced 28x0 front, 28x2 rear.
 
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