New Ksyrium Elites - my thoughts.

saunderela Posts: 12
edited May 2011 in Road buying advice
Well after a while of debating whether to get a new bike (lots and lots of money) or just new wheels (lots of money) I decided to get new wheels now and wait for a while then move them on to my new bike when I get it some time in the future.

I currently have a Trek 2.1 and I am very happpy with it and have no real reason to need to change it but as with everything a better bike would make me comfier/faster/happier/poorer etc. Looking at new bike specs and the wheels they came with for about GBP 2-3K it became clear that the usual wheels were Fulcrum Racing 7/5/3/1, Mavic, Simano RS80, Dura Ace level at best and often lower than what I was looking at as wheels for now.

I eventually decided to get the Ksyriums and I thought I would post my initial thoughts

Current wheels are Bontrager SSR with Conti GP4000s tyres
Front - 1340g
Rear - 1875g

Ksyrium Elite with Conti Attack/Force tyres
Front - 1050g
Rear - 1475g

So overal a saving of approx 690g using almost identical tyres tubes and cassette. This actually surprised me as I was always under the impression that the SSR were heavy wheels and I was expecting a bigger saving.

Well I eventually got out to try the new wheels this evening with a quick blast in the gales and have the following initial thoughts -

Looks - yes, they are nicely understated
Stiffness - couldn't say I noticed any difference from the Bonti's and while I am not a heavy rider (~76kg) I often stand up on the hills and give it some beans. Absolutely no complaints as they were more than stiff enough.
Braking - I actually thought they were worse and I had heard that they were meant to be pretty good. I am hoping it may just be surface contamination/newness and a bit more bedding in will improve matters.
Ride Comfort - mmmm hard to say. I thought better but it could be the newer tyres. Certainly thought they rolled better and longer though.
Climbing/Acceleration - now I did notice a bit of a difference here, certainly easier to spin up to speed and slightly easier on the climbs. Now it will not turn me into a whippet climber but it did seem to be almost 1 gear easier - placebo? maybe?

Overall quite happy with them and when I get a chance to try them out for longer over my more familiar routes I may find more to say about them.

And I have to recommend one of my LBS(Velo Ecosse) who did me a great offer on the wheels/tyres and cassette. While I use the interwebby for lots of purchases we all still need to use our LBS or they will all disapear.



  • saunderela
    saunderela Posts: 12
    Maybe my initial post didn't come accross as positive as it should or reflect the fact that I did notice a fair bit of difference. :D

    It was still blowing a fair amount and I was unable to concentrate enough on the wheels being more concerned about struggling in the headwinds and sidewinds.

    Also forgot to mention that moving from the supplied tyres to the Conti's a long time ago was a big improvement in ride and grip and I had forgotten that improvement as well. In terms of bang for buck that was really worth it.

    Like other sports (or hifi which is another passion of mine) it is sometimes difficult to explain or justify to others the gains or differences and how much those actually cost to attain. Most people look at Halfords for their benchmark :shock:
  • carrock
    carrock Posts: 1,103
    biggest gain will be changing wheels AND fitting racing tyres and light tubes at same time

    I did this, saved 1kg and the tyres/tube swap contributed significantly to the very noticeable improvement.

    My 6 stone lighter wife still beats me up hills though.....<sulk>
  • David - did Velo Ecosse price match..or price beat?! I am also in the market for a pair of new wheels and would rather give them my hard earned than go through the web.
    Never mistake motion for action
    Trainerroad - GMan69
  • fleshtuxedo
    fleshtuxedo Posts: 1,853
    Braking will improve with use
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I bet if you now swap and go back to the old wheels you will noticed the change more!
  • saunderela
    saunderela Posts: 12
    Pidgeons in Flight

    I visited a few LBS who stocked the various wheels I had on my short list. I was prepared to pay a little bit above internet prices for the premium of using a physical shop and have the piece of mind/support that they provided. To be fair to the shops they all tried to make attractive package offers and I eventually chose the Mavics/Ultegra cassette/Conti tyre combo for £480.

  • Cheers David - I think you got yourself a deal there!
    Never mistake motion for action
    Trainerroad - GMan69