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I've been talked into building up a tubular wheelset :eek: , by my evil brother. I rode them exclusively back in the early-mid 80's and actually have great memories - going years without flats. In looking around at rim choices, the 2 that seem most appealing are the Ambrosio Chrono F20 and the Mavic Reflex, but I know nothing about either, other than a few bad reviews of the Reflex on this site. Anyone out there have any positive or negative experience with either. I'm especially interested in the Ambrosio, as an Italian rim would "go" better with my otherwise all campy bike.

Thanks,
John
 

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I had a bad experience with Reflex rims, developed cracking around the ferrules after about 1000 miles on the rear wheel. I used them for crit wheels and I think they couldn't handle the stress. I've switched to Velocity Deep V tubular rims and they are fantastic. Lacing them up took more time (fishing the nipples in with a spoke) but I haven't had to even true them since I built them in September. Check out www.worldclasscycles.com for the best price. Give them a call, the owner is very cool to talk to.

chris
 

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I have 2 sets of tubular wheels...one with Mavic Reflex and the other Ambrosio Crono F-20...that being said the Mavic's developed cracks on the drive side...The Ambrosio's have been bullet proof...both were same build on Shimano Dura-Ace 7800 hubs. I would like to try the Velocity Escapes as I have heard they were a great rim to work with. Good luck
 

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Whenever I hear the word "Crono", I think ultra-light weight, and that they are for TT's only. Not sure why Reflex rims crack. All of my tubie wheels are buily with either GL330's or Wolber box rims. They seem to last forever.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
Whenever I hear the word "Crono", I think ultra-light weight, and that they are for TT's only. Not sure why Reflex rims crack. All of my tubie wheels are buily with either GL330's or Wolber box rims. They seem to last forever.
Well, the ambrossio's are heavier than the gl330 rims, so yeah. They just added in the Crono in the last few years, before that they were just the F20. Anyways, I have some F20's and they are good, no problems.
 

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You can add the Fir Isidis to the list as well. Similar to the F20. I'm surprised to hear reports on the reflex. Most people I know who run them for cyclocross have used them for years with no problems.
 

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Reflex OK

euro-trash said:
...I'm surprised to hear reports on the reflex...
No problems with my Reflex tubulars race only wheels. Primarily used in road races for the last two seasons although my son beat on them in crits one summer.
 

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I'm using Mavic Reflex for Cyclocross. After 19 cx races + a few training sessions, they look perfect. I cannot imagine something more reliable
 

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I prefer the Crono over the reflex. I have experience that the mavic starts to 'give' in the joint and that the tension has to be decreased dramatically to maintain a round wheel.

Of course that means that the rim is basically toasted. But I still use it for CX as it is wider that the Crono.

Comparing it to to a rim that's 30% heavier is kinda........well......The Velocity Escape is one yo could consider thou. Just a tad heavier than Reflex and Crono.

One thing to remember about sleeved joint rims is that there will be aprox 10-12 grams weight difference joint/spoke-hole
 
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They're both good rims. IME, the reflex brakes better not much braking surface on the crono f20, the ambrosio wins hands down on looks, I think they're both pretty easy to build up no issues there. I think the Nemesis is a better all rounder than the crono, though heavier the added durability makes it more useful.

Width wise it just depends on the tires you're using, I had 25mm's on my cronos last year for gravel courses and they did just fine, but not every tire is going to sit well on them. My only gripe on the crono is the small brake track, I just don't trust them enough to take them into the hills. Never done it but the feel of the braking on some shorter stuff has led me not to try.
 

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I think the Montreal's would be a good option.
The Crono's seem a little light to me. Depends on your weight.
 

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Despite being heavier, I would go for the Reflex. The F20 chrono don't have a machined braking surface plus I found them to be more prone to going out of true. The reflex's I currently use have been bomb proof. Great all around tubie. However I agreee with kytyree, if you can find a pair of Nemesis go with those. Its what the pro's use for Roubaix.
 

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Ambrosio F20 (Formula 20) Crono Rules

IMHO The F20 has a much, much, much smoother, faster and Firmer ride.
I found the Mavic Reflex to be "clunky" Feeling.
I have been alternating between a set of G.E.L. 280's and a set of F20 lately and decided to build my next set of wheels with the F20's.
I always feel like I am flying with the Ambrosio's, even when the gels are much lighter.

I got's me 1 road bike...a Colnago c40 and a one steel single speed streamliner.

I spent alot of time messing with uppity carbon wheelsets and fancy pants company wheels...but these days 4 me... nuthing beats a nice lite weight set of handbuilt box type tubulars.

I am having Jamie at Alchemy build a set with his new hubs as soon as the 36hole rears come in.

I am done babbling.,. thanks
 

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the quality of the ambrosio rim is absolutely spot on

do not hesitate in going with the F20
 

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Ambrosio Chrono F-20's are one avenue I'm exploring currently. But I'm around 180, will a set with 28F/32R hold up for me? They would not be everyday wheels, I have another bike for that (with clinchers). I'd probably ride them 30% of the season.
 

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No experience with them, but the Kinlin TB25 might be a consideration. Reportedly a strong rim. 440 grams. $60.00 per rim.
 

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Ambrosio Chrono F-20's are one avenue I'm exploring currently. But I'm around 180, will a set with 28F/32R hold up for me? They would not be everyday wheels, I have another bike for that (with clinchers). I'd probably ride them 30% of the season.
I've ridden 32s (f/r) for years, and my weight's gone from 165 to 190 and back down; about 175 atm. My riding's predominantly urban Los Angeles, some bad roads, some good, occasional curb hops & drops.

Personally, I can't make up my mind about rims. I'm building a new set of wheels, was toying with going to clinchers, but there's just something about sew-ups that's always appealed to me. I actually wouldn't mind finding some Campy Record Chronos; from what I understand, Ambrosio Nemesis are exactly the same rim, but with a finished valve-stem hole. If only they came in silver...
 
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