Monday, March 16, 2009

Carbon wheel test from VN - gasp!

Here's a link you can follow or not at your whim. It'll take you to a nicely done test from VeloNews Online of a pair of Hutchinson carbon fiber, tube or tubeless clincher rims. 

That's right: you can mount tires on these rims as you would normally, with tubes. Or you can mount them sans tubes; the tires will seal on the rim. They'll seal better if you buy the not-included Euro sealant - at $13/wheel.

Generously, tires for tubeless mounting are included. No cassette is included, but you can buy wheel models suited for Campy or Shimano cogsets.

The front wheel features 18 spokes, the rear 20. The wheels are light and run on good sealed bearings. I'm sure they ride wonderfully, and your bike feels lightfooted as Winged Mercury.

Why would I care about these wheels? Well, they're twenty-five hundred dollars the pair. 

I know that the Hutchinsons are not the most expensive wheels for sale in This Great Land. 

I know that some wheels cost (per pair) twice as much as these Hutchinsons, as much, say, as a restaurant quality Wolf Range for your kitchen - a luxury item I can sorta understand. You don't throw the Wolf Range in the trunk of your car and you'll have it forever, even if you crash.

The people who are buying these Hutchinson wheels and the ones that cost twice as much already own Wolf Ranges, am I right? So there's no conflict. Jeez, guys, This is a Great Land. 


Addison said...

As long as there is the chance of consumers supporting such fine examples of technology they will exist. However, even the technology mad circus of Formula 1 has embarked on a cost reduction path to guarantee the continuance of the sport. Wonder if a price cap will be decreed by the cycliing organization bodies at some time in the future.

Earle said...

Even at my outrageously high build rate, my Campy Record/Mavic Open Pro clinchers with tubes cost about a third of what those wheels cost, and ride just fine, thank you. I put those wheels in the "If you need them, your sponsor will gladly pay for them" class.

philcycles said...

Let's watch that stuff about Wolf Ranges. For years I heard my girlfriend complain every time she stepped up to her not Wolf about how wonderful her Wolf was and how much she missed it since the divorce.
So guess what? Craigslist yielded up a 36" Wolf with 4 burners and a griddle from a residence for $300-about a seventh of what it was worth. Perfect shape, not even dirty. We got it, I traded the griddle-a big bucks item-for a complete 2 burner set up and a bunch of parts and she now has a stove suitable to smelt copper,complete with a big oven.
Of course, this lead to a complete kitchen remodel including blowing out the back wall-the only view in the house with a very small window-and installing a bank of 3 big double hungs. And new cabinets, a new hood-also craigslist at a quarter of retail-lots of new trim etc. Fortunately for her I'm an accomplished carpenter.
When I was in the English car game we had a saying: the most expensive car you'll ever buy is a cheap Jaguar. Same thing about cheap Wolf ranges. But boy, does it-and she-cook.
Phil Brown