mjdwyer23 wrote on forums.roadbikereview.com:
I took the leap and ordered a set of carbon clinchers from Yishun through AliBaba. In the past, I've tried Zipp clinchers and tubulars from the 303 to 808 range. I have been posting my experience in the China Carbon Wheel thread, but wanted to have my own post to post up my experiences and a review. I ordered the wheels on June 18. I was told there was at least a 30 day wait time for them, but they shipped on June 30 and showed up on July 6th. I received the wheelset this morning from the post office. The box was a little banged up, but the wheels seem to be in ok shape upon cursory initial inspection. I will be mounting tires, swapping pads, and getting my first ride tomorrow. I have a 100 miler coming up on Sunday on which I will give them a good thrashing.
I went for my first ride this afternoon, a quick 25 miles at 19.5 mph with 1500 feet elevation gain. Today was hot, 97* with humidity. Wind was 10mph with gusts up to 25 in the flat areas. My first impression of the wheels is that they are fast, smooth, and predictable. The hubs roll nicely, and the wheels were true with good spoke tension out of the box (had my LBS scope them out just in case). My route includes a couple of 1 mile climbs with grades up to 16%. I climbed as fast as I do with my normal wheelset, Neuvation R28SL's.
I expected the wheels to make braking noise and to have very different braking characteristics. The difference in braking is only slightly noticeable compared to my Neuvations. I used Swisstop Yellow pads instead of the supplied ones as suggested to me earlier.
I don't know why everyone makes such a big stink about a few hundred grams, I have broken personal course records several times on wheelsets weighing up to 2100 grams (Zipp 808 clinchers).
So far, I like the wheels a lot. I have a 100 miler coming up Sunday, so time will tell. I will update this thread as I get more miles on the wheels. Oh, and I took a pic or two before I went out today
Also, as far as comparing it to other wheelsets I've ridden, they feel very much like my Sram S60/S80 combo that I had on my Tarmac. They haul on the flats and climb ok. Granted, I have an 11-21 cassette out back, so I'm not giving myself much help anyway on the hills.
I'm 155 lbs. The wheels definitely soak up vibrations as can be expected with a rim this deep. I don't know about cracking, I'll keep posting up as I rack up the miles.
I rode a flat century today (ACS bike-a-thon in Philly). The wheels felt great, averaged 24mph over almost entirely flat but windy terrain. There were several train track crossings and a ton of rough Jersey roads and pot holes. I hit a bunch of stuff today, but the wheels performed flawlessly and were comfortable and smooth. There were lots of fast brakes due to sketchy riders, but the braking was smooth and quiet. At speed, the wheels definitely roll fast and hold their momentum. Great day to be on the bike, and I'm glad I had my new wheels in time!
Back to my wheel story...
I have 300 miles on the wheels so far. Yesterday, we did a 30 miler from the office. 1300 feet climbing in the first 20, then flat for the remaining 10. About 5 miles in we caught up with a road crew that was cleaning up a road that they had prepped for resurfacing. After a ROUGH 4 miles of gravelly, scraped road, we got back on the usual pot-hole ridden (but smooth in comparison) road. The wheels felt great over the rough stretch. We were all over the place with the gravel, but the wheels were smooth and predictable (a theme in this review). The braking is still excellent, with no noticeable wear on the rim. On the last 10, we got stuck in a downpour. The braking performance was worse than dry, but it wasn't so bad that I was unable to stop appropriately. I NAILED a pothole on the way in and also hit a lip on a manhole cover during the construction section, but the wheels are still smooth and true.
So far, so good.