“My winter bike is a lovely Kinesis Gran Fondo Ti + Ultegra. I’m running Ksyrium Elites which I don’t get on with – my favoured roads tend to be pretty snotty and the hubs seem devoid of seals so often run rough.
What to replace them with? Black brake track rule = Exaliths (nope – lost faith in the brand) or carbon (nope – often damp/wet roads).
I’m thinking handbuilt King R45 in blue with black CX Ray spokes and H+ Son Archetype rims in black, or save some cash and get Hope hubs (they’ve never missed a beat on my MTB). Thoughts?”
I bet you’re not the only one planning winter wheels right now Jon…
The H+Son Archetype is a popular rim at the moment – it’ll be interesting to know what they come out at weight-wise, but they’re quite nice looking which is a good start.
I’m not sure how long that brake track coating will last in a UK winter though – like the Mavic Open Pro CD, it’s just a hard anodised treatment and is likely to budge at the merest hint of dampness combined with a bit of road grit.
To be honest the biggest surprise to me is the negativity with the Mavic bearings. I’ve never known of such an issue, and have seen Ksyriums that are literally years old with numerous winters behind them that still spin as free as the day they left the shop. There’s also the fact that they’re actually cartridge bearings so as long as you buy replacement bearings with a decent seal they should be fine.
For me the Exalith brake surface is perfect for a UK winter too – nothing else on the market will give you the braking control that the Exalith surface will offer. Personally I think it’s a mistake to discount them. In fact I’d gladly petition Mavic to release Exalith Open Pro and Reflex rims. Worth noting though that whilst it’s a surface treatment that will last a lot longer than hard anodising, it is still just a surface treatment and does scratch.
As for the carbon argument, most carbon clinchers now have some kind of brake surface treatment to make the brakes less grabby, less temperature affected and more efficient. Something like the Tune Schwarzbrenner or Xentis carbon clincher rim also has a fancy surface that doesn’t even need carbon-specific pads. The new Enve-Smart SES range have a molded brake surface which is textured and would probably perform perfectly well in the wet. That said even I think carbon for winter wheels is extreme.
What would Bike Tart do in your position Jon? I’d probably go with the Archetypes, but do yourself a favour and stick with Chris King – nothing wrong with Hope (aside from a b*stard-noisy freehub), but the Chris King buzz is just soooooo delicious!
That, or take a leap of faith on Mavic and run the Ksyrium SLR.
Tags:ask the bike tart,wwbtd
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