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mosca
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On a bit of a whim I bought a pair of these rims(NOS) for what seemed like a really good deal. I've wanted to try out the tubular world for a while now. I've ridden clinchers for years but that's all I've ever known, or my friends. I'd like to build my first wheelset, the idea of personalizing one's bike by building the wheels with my own hands and truing and tensioning them without relying on a factory or shop appeals to me. plus, it seems like a more economical way of dropping wheel weight without canceling our family vacation so I can buy a carbon wheelset.

are these rims a good fit for me or are these for flyweight climbers and special events? 5-9, 165lbs. doing some crits and hilly circuits with short, steep hills. I run Campy, these rims are 28 hole. Campy doesn't make 28 hole hubs. was considering shimano hubs with a conversion cassette. I already have a set of clinchers I can fall back on.

should I go with Mavic Reflex? Velocity Escape? Ambrosio Nemesis?

would appreciate any constructive feedback. thanks.
 

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Wow, I used to sell those back in the 80's. Good ol' Wobblers. Nice midweight rim, nothing super special but solid enough for a box section. You can get 28h hubs with a Campy freehub (DT is nice); wouldn't recommend the conversion route.
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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Yes, they are just a little heavier than GL330's
On smooth crits, I use a 28 hole Aspin in front, and a 32 hole Aubisque in back.
On rougher roads, I use an 32 hole Aubisque in front, also.
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hubs

Can't help you with the specific rims. I can tell you I've been burned using older rims that weren't intended for modern rear hub dishing, particularly with campy. I'm also heavier than you and a bit of a goon on the road, but the type of power climbing and accelerating you are proposing can be hard on rims, particularly in 28 hole. Still, this sounds like a fun project. I'd probably build them and see what happens. GL330's, which are lighter than what you have seem to have 2 camps - those that are utterly reliable, and those that are lemons from the beginning. I've had a couple lemons. Some friends have had good ones that stayed dead true until hitting them wrong just once. Heard mixed reviews about Mavic Reflex rims - a lot of mediocre ones, a few really bad ones, nothing really good. Not much information on the web about the Escapes - although I know a couple people who really like theirs (built by Excel Sports). No personal experience with Ambrosios.

For hubs, use a Shimano front. I'm with beecharmer on avoiding the conversion route - fiddling with spacers is a pain in the a$$ and quite often just doesn't seem to shift quite right despite the math working out correctly. Until fairly recently, some 9/10 speed record hubs were drilled for 28 - bet you can find used or NOS sitting around somewhere, or just get a campy-compatible off-brand hub.

Another thing to think about is that nice hubs are sexy, but unless it's going to be a placebo thing for you, race hubs don't really have to be all that durable or special, since most people don't put that many miles on true "race wheels." Provided that whatever you find for hubs will function well enough (freehub isn't going to strip out, cheap axle won't flex and destroy bearings in 5 races, etc.) and not weigh 300 pounds, I'd argue that wheel aerodynamics and rim reliability are more important concerns during the actual racing.

So, build your budget wheelset, but invest in good tires as they will make the biggest perfomance difference. probikekit.com is a reliable mail order company with good deals on Vittoria Corsa CX or KS tubulars, which I think are currently the best bang for the buck. If you're racing on really crappy roads, consider a Conti Gatorskin or Conti Competition instead.
 

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mosca
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168 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks a lot for the input. perhaps I'll just use one Wolber for a front build and find something else (32 hole) for the rear. that makes sense in terms of the number of spokes per wheel and the dish issue. I might add I was planning on DT 14/15 g. spokes 3x.

as far as hubs, I'm a little skeptical on finding 28 hole Records but I'll give it a shot. for the front I could find 28h 6600 or 7700 Shimano hubs to use. I'll still have to find a quality rear rim.

it makes sense on the tire investment. but I thought I'd read Veloflex were now what Vittoria used to be in terms of quality. the roads are kind of crummy chip and seal for the most part, perhaps Contis are the best route. I've always had good luck with their clinchers, (Gran Prix). would you not reccomend the Conti Sprinter?
 

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Banned forever.....or not
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Sprinters have put on weight in the last 5 years. They used to be a race/training tire. They are pretty much a training tire now.
If you are using these wheels for training, the Sprinters will be fine. If you plan to race on them, I would recomend the Veloflex.
The Aubisques make a great rear wheel. (I've never had trouble with them on 130mm spacing)......(I bought a box of them back when they were on close-out for $20 a pop)
 

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Old, slow, and fat.
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Never run them, but I did run some GL330s on a cross bike. Had a bear of a time keepin em true even JRA.

Went to something 'semi-aero' (aka Velocity Escapes) and haven't had any problems. If you want to keep it retro, the pros used to run box-section rims in the front with 'semi-aero' rims in the back for 'better handling.' Oh the things we used to worry about!!

M
 

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veloflex

I love veloflex criteriums (and the re-labeled "Hutchinsons") and am still using a pair, but the price is getting a bit ridiculous. Nothing floats down the road or rolls like them, but you'll cry if you slice a sidewall on a new $90 tire. I have actually never flatted one despite them lookin fragile and racing on some rough chipseal and crits, guess that's what hand-glued rubber and supple casings are for, but remember Murphy's Law???

Have also used a lot of the current Vittorias, and for the price at probikekit, they're close enough to the Veloflexes in performance and theoretically have a little more puncture resistance, though I've had very few problems with either while racing at 175lbs. If you want a little cushier Vittoria (more like the Veloflex criterium/carbon), I think probikekit still has the 24mm Pave on sale for a reasonable price - a little more rubber and air volume works wonders on rough roads and rainy early-season crits. They're pretty heavy for such an expensive tire though, which will negate most of your circumferential weight savings from trying tubulars.

I kept flatting on an older pair of standard Sprinter 250s. Perhaps that's because I got them cheap and beat them up on training rides. Some friends have also found them to be less reliable than the gatorskin, competition, or even Vittoria and veloflex. You might get away with a standard Sprinter in the front. I'd probably run a Gatorskin or Competition in the rear. It's generally best to stick with the same brand front and rear though because the different rubber compounds and profiles can make for some interesting handling. Again, for the price, I'd go for the Vittorias. Yes, they're made in Thailand and it's no longer a pure 300tpi cotton casing, but they're still very good and have the QC issues of the late 90's worked out....just one dude's unqualified opinion Have fun.
 
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