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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone on this forum has any prior experiences with the Rolf Elan Aero wheelset. I'm looking to purchase a lite, strong racing wheelset. I'm only 130 lbs. Any sugestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I have the regular Elans with 6K miles on them. I'm 190 lbs so no lightweight. I use them for everyday riding in the dry weather and have been satisfied overall. 2 minor touchups of the rear wheel and replaced the rear bearings set 2 winters ago when one bearing seemed a bit spotty. Hubs are White Industries.

Some have complained about the front rim pulsing when braking. I see this some but overall it's a minor thing. Do a search for more information from others.
 

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Elan Aero reliable light weapon for Italian mountains !

Have ridden a pair on and off since june last year (approx 1500 climbing miles) .. rode the Campag Granfondo with them in the Dolomites which is probably the most demanding race of its kind. They are light at around 1350g per pair inc QR and they are certainly strong and stiff. I also weigh 130lb. They are perfect for climbing however I think the "aero" tag is a marketing ploy as Rolfs tightly paired spoking has come up against criticism recently in so much as paired spoking apparently creates drag. Another roadie on this thread has replaced his Elans with he says a lighter set but I suspect he also replaced them because he wanted to have evenly spaced spokes as well as the lightweight advantage possibly yielding better aerodynamics when decending. The only slight negative I have found with the front wheel is that it judders slightly when braking- not at high speed but it seems to start as you slow down from around 13 mph. I have been told that the Elan rims Rolf use are exclusively custom made but are not machined in the same way as mavics or any other rim manufacturer and may be the reason why this happens: its not at all dangerous.. Having said this I have also heard that their Vigor rims are in fact the American Classic 420 rim! As with so many cycling products although these wheels are carefully constructed I do think they are overpriced for what are essentially one of many aluminium wheels on the market.(at least here in the UK!)
Out on the hills and mountains though the Elan Aero is an excellent choice if you can bare to part with the cash!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, thanks to everyone that shared their experiences, it's appreciated greatly. I will be primarily be riding flats, since there are no hills where i'm living.
Are there any advantages using these wheels on the flats for Crits or roadracing, or should i go for a regular evenly spaced spoked wheel?
 

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Flat riding agvantages with Elan

Spectrum said:
Well, thanks to everyone that shared their experiences, it's appreciated greatly. I will be primarily be riding flats, since there are no hills where i'm living.
Are there any advantages using these wheels on the flats for Crits or roadracing, or should i go for a regular evenly spaced spoked wheel?
As you have read I tend to use these wheels for climbing. They are more aero than a conventional box rim as the Elan rim covers the spoke ends to a greater degree than a box rim (a la Ksyrium for example).. however the paired spoking is suspected to counter balance the slight aero advantage the rim may gain over a box rim. There are many factors concerning this aero subject but a common missconception is that it is the rim v shape that yields the cut in drag when in fact it is the greater depth at which the spokes are hidden from the wind all be it by a deep rim section that gives the slight aero advantage. Having said that Zipp have conjured a rimm with a "golf ball" surface that theoretically allows the wheel to cut through the air cleaner. With the Zipp 404 the rims shape has been designed more to avoid side wind if to act like a sail to the riders advantage when the wind is comming from behind the 90 degree angle from both sides. Check out www.zipp.com for an in depth analysis of aerodynamics.... In short if you want an aero wheel buy the deepest rims you can afford with even spaced aero spokes (dont bother with conventional round ones). Bear in mind that conditions on the road are never the same. Wind speed/direction on any given day always determin weather a deep section "aero" wheel should be used or not. Use it in the wrong conditions and you may find yourself thrashed buy other riders riding a straight box rim wheel while you struggle against your own deep section wheels fighting efectively against themselves.

The 404 would be my choice with Tufo tubular clincher tyres. Good Luck!
 

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Aethestically they are really nice!

Spectrum said:
Does anyone on this forum has any prior experiences with the Rolf Elan Aero wheelset. I'm looking to purchase a lite, strong racing wheelset. I'm only 130 lbs. Any sugestions would be greatly appreciated.

I have been riding the ksyrium sl with the black sidewalls and spokes for many years, and I too weigh about 130 lbs.

I struggled to decide whether to purchase the mavic ksyrium sl or the rolf elan aero, as they are about the same cost. In the end I decided on the Rolfs for the following reasons.

1. I wanted a lightweight clincher (there is a savings of at least 300g vs. my old ksyrium sl)
2. I wanted a silver finish wheelset to match my new titanium frame (elans only became available in silver in 2006).
3. I wanted something unique, the Ksyrium ES would be nice, but too expensive and don't come in silver.

The ride quality has been responsive, and the components used are high quality (custom sapim cx-ray spokes, white industrie hubs, not sure of the rims.) My suggestion is to pair them with Veloflex Corsa tires, they are handmade, lightweight, and ride like tubulars. Get them cheap from probikekit in the UK. The benefit of getting the silver version is the polished mirror finish of the hubs, while the black versions are anodized and may hide surface imperfections.

The only negative is the braking surface on the rolfs. They do shudder on the front, and the rim sidewalls are not welded and machined like mavics, and do have a visible seam. and considering these will be on my summer bike only, braking in the wet will not too much of a concern. For the weight savings alone, its worthwhile to get the elans over the ksyriums.

You may even consider the new dura ace wheelset (7800 or the new 7801 with offset rear rim, sapim cx-ray spokes and high quality hubs.) Considerably cheaper than the rolfs and ksyriums, but the finish is top notch, with an aero rims. Just a bit heavier than the rolfs, but on par with the ksyrium sl's.
 

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Two Sets Of Rolf Elan Aeros

I cuurently run a set of silver elan aeros on a TREK 5900 superlight and set of black elan aeros on a MERCKX AXM. Both sets have been used as daily rides for training and club rides. I have been extremely satisfied with their performance especially when climbing. I have not experienced any front wheel shuddering when breaking and they have stayed true after over 5000 miles of accumulated riding. I only weigh 125 lbs but despite some roads and pot holes they have remained as new. Highly recommended.
 
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