Well, when you figure that the wheel-set on my road bike has 10,000 miles on it, I guess I can’t complain too badly that it’s starting to show it’s age. The front wheel suffered damage in the form of deep scratches and a dent during Oklahoma Freewheel 2008, and I noticed a crack in the rear rim last August.
I had been toying with trying to find different rims for the road bike for a couple of years already because I’m convinced that the low spoke count on the stock rims (20 & 24) on that bike contribute to it’s rough ride. I’ve been told by folks who seem to know about all things cycling that more spokes contribute to a softer ride so I wasn’t too upset when I found the crack.
Neuvation Cycling had caught my attention earlier in the year as appearing to be a great value for decent wheels. For a cheap sucker like me, the price of a decent wheel-set was a real issue. It seemed like even a mid-level wheel-set was going to set me back several hundred dollars, so I was very interested after I Googled them and found pretty glowing reviews of their products. Neuvation buys components in bulk from Asia and assembles them. They don’t really offer much variety, primarily a few options in wheels and some mid-range bikes. The thing about them that is a little unique is their business model. They don’t use distributers or have their products in bike stores, claiming that doing those things jacks up prices. They only sell over the net, directly to the consumer, and seem to stand behind their merchandise.
After a lot of deliberation, I decided to get the Neuvation R28XL series wheels. I caught them on sale for 10% off prior to Christmas, and managed to get them delivered to my door for $296, which is quite a bargain! Their aero wheels are a little cooler looking, but weighing in at only 1,520 grams, these are their lightest clincher wheels, and to my untrained eyes, appear to be pretty race worthy. When I pulled the first one out of the box, I was actually pretty surprised at how light it felt in my hand! I’m a pretty decent climber already, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to tell a difference on some of the bigger uphill climbs out of our river valley.
I’m off work tomorrow, but it looks like it will be a day that is too jam-packed to get them installed and given a test ride. It should be a fairly quick effort to mount the new tires and swap the cassette over, but I also want to do a complete stripping and cleaning of the drive train, so that adds time. Beyond tomorrow, it looks like the weather is going to crash down around us again, so I’m not sure if I’ll get anything accomplished this weekend or not.
If not, I’ll just console myself by picking one up every time I pass through the garage and think to myself, “Gosh! That thing is light!”
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