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Saw it briefly mentioned in another thread...

Rolf Wheels is probably the name I'd most associate with low spoke count, paired spoke, aero, low weight racing wheels. Their Vigor model seems like the best bang for the buck in its price range and what not...

case in point, my team was recently considering pursuing a sponsorship from Rolf, to get easier access to their race wheels.

However, I'm concerned about the design of the low spoke count paired-spoke concept. Does this make wheel truing difficult/impossible? Is the wheel more susceptible to permanent damage as a result?

Furthermore, are models like the Vigor SL practical even for racers who meet the weight requirements (160lb limit makes me nervous about putting those into a rough patch at speed)? The weight and design makes me nervous about employing them as race wheels; as was said, if a spoke breaks the wheels are unrideable.

Anyone here have experience with Rolfs or other similar designs? If these are race only wheels, do I have anything to be concerned about?
 

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Design flaw

DM.Aelis said:
I'm concerned about the design of the low spoke count paired-spoke concept. Does this make wheel truing difficult/impossible? Is the wheel more susceptible to permanent damage as a result?
Paired spoke design brings nothing to the party except bling and marketing. Whether it causes a problem depends on how well the concept is executed. One argument is that the distance between spokes is so great that it is hard to make the wheel perfectly round, but if the rim is strong enough, that can be dealt with. The other issues you raise are pretty much common to any low spoke count wheel, whether it is pair spoke or not.
 

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Paired spoking allows the use of fewer spokes without causing lateral waviness, but other than that I don't think they offer any "benefits"... or real problems for that matter, except for what you might expect from any light wheel with so few spokes. I had intended to analyze the paired spoke concept more thoroughly, but never got around to it...

I wouldn't worry about the Rolfs if you can get a good deal... plenty of people seem to like them.
 

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Paired spoke wheels have one blatant flaw for lightweight wheels...they require a rim that must be stiffer, stronger, and HEAVIER than traditional spoke rims. This puts weight in the worst possible area for lightweight wheels.

For aerodynamic TT or Tri wheels, this is less of an issue and the reduced drag of the low spoke count might be an advantage.

As a former mechanic who spent a lot of time working on paired spoked wheels there are good executions of this design (Rolf Prima) and bad executions (any Trek made Rolf or Bontrager). Yes they are harder to true, sometimes with bad executions impossible to true perfectly. Personally, for everyday riding wheels, its hard to beat hand built (I ride my own) 28 or 32 spoked wheels.
 

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i've run a similar design.... campys g3, and its far from impossible to true.... mine are very true, and that is after the rim had been damaged in a crash... 'mechs' said it was unrepairable.... i'd echo what the others have said, there are good and bad designs... i don't especially see a problem with *race* wheels being paired if you are going for low spoke anyway... personally i perfer evenly spaced, but that's just me...

g3 in the front doesnt strike me as a great idea, but that is not the same issue that a *paired* design has.... the empty space between spokes hasn't been much of a factor IME, both rebuilding/tensioning the wheel or truing....
 

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wankski said:
g3 in the front doesnt strike me as a great idea, but that is not the same issue that a *paired* design has...
G3 in the front is extremely silly... all it does is *unbalance* the tension. In the back, G3 makes a lot of sense because it balances the tension. But also note that Rolfs tend to have lower spoke counts so there is a lot of space between spokes.
 

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rruff said:
G3 in the front is extremely silly... all it does is *unbalance* the tension. In the back, G3 makes a lot of sense because it balances the tension. But also note that Rolfs tend to have lower spoke counts so there is a lot of space between spokes.
G3 works up front because they criss-cross the odd spoke. The single spoke is followed by a pair of spokes so that each flange has 9 spokes. It isn't an asymetrical design. They did this so that the front wheel matches the rear wheel in the way the spokes look, despite the fact that the front wheel looks like six triples and the rear looks like seven triples.

In my opinion it's not the best way to lace a wheel but it works. My buddy has a set of Vento G3s and he loves them.
 

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yep, thats not the issue tho... see my post above... where that 1 spoke is followed by a pair further down the same side of the front hub, but even so, at the local level of the group of 3 spokes - that 1 spoke is outnumbered 2:1 in the triplet and as a result to make the wheel laterally true is run at a higher tension than the other two.... break that spoke and i'm not sure the wheel is rideable, which in the case of the vento is silly, b/c 24 spokes in the front ought to be enuff...

you'll have no spoke on the right side for example for like 25% of the rim, compounding that, u have TWO spokes next to each other right in the middle of that empty space pulling in tandem in one direction (to the left)...

that said never broke a front spoke.... breaking (in crashes or chain suck etc) spokes on either side of the rear still allowed for it to be rideable, but that is a 27 spoke rear.... 21 spoke zonda/eurus/shamal is prolly another story altho they run stiffer rims in the back.... guess the only way to settle it is to run a test back to back by taking out the tension in the spoke and comparing the deflection.... meh, can't be bothered.... IME the vento gets the mega thumbs up from me too, the quality of the wheel is astounding for the money.... couldn't buy decent hubs for what i bought the wheels for.. new... when they just came out too.... (RIP 11speed!)
 

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For what it's worth (and I know it's an old post), I had great success riding a Rolf Vector Pro front. I messengered on it in Chicago for about 6 months and never had any problems with it. It never needed truing, and it still rolled beautifully even after a month or so of winter riding in the salt. I heaped untold abuse on that thing for 40 hours a week, week in and week out. I kept waiting and waiting on it to die and it never did. I don't ride as much now and it developed an out-of-true spot between the spokes, which I hear is not fixable, after I rode over an extremely bad pothole not too long ago.

As to any aerodynamic advantages to it, I really couldn't say.

I weigh 165.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a set of Rolf Prima's if I could afford it.
 
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