Guy is a Brit who has settled in SW France. After explaining he was after strong road wheels for his daily ride we settled on comfy A23 rims with classy Dura-Ace hubs, Sapim Race double butted spokes and brass nipples for his Enigma Ethos. Guy emailed me a review and some photos but this was in the email and I did not want to miss this “I am really pleased with the wheels, so thanks very much – it has made a nice bike a brilliant bike.” Here is Guy’s full review.
“Why should the race bike get all the good kit? I ride three times more miles in a year on the commuter – pretty much every day, come rain or shine. The roads here vary from just laid lovely stuff, to neglected potholed gravel strewn paths through a wood, so wheels get a bit of a battering.
After having some trouble with my old, and increasingly knackered, wheels I was looking about for some wheels that would be comfy, durable, serviceable and quiet. I called Strada, and spoke to Jonathan; we had a very nice chat about what I was looking for, what I was going to use the wheels for and so on. By the end of the call we had specified a set A23’s on Dura-Ace hubs with lots and lots of Sapim race spokes. A few weeks later they arrived, very well packaged and with a nice message in the box.
I have now ridden about 200km on these wheels, mostly on my commute and I am enjoying them more and more as the mileage goes up. They have changed the way the bike feels, accelerates and rolls; all for the better. The hubs are very smooth and essentially silent, and the freewheel is very quiet too, which I love.
I have experimented with a few different tyres, all of which are more comfortable on the wider rim than on the 19mm I was using before. 23mm GP4000’s tyres in particular gave astounding feel when cornering. I was slightly taken aback by this as I never felt the bike handled badly, or that the tyres had grip issues, but now the bike felt ‘glued to the ground’ going round sharp corners – more like I was driving a car than on the bike. I have since put my old 25mm Gatorskin tyres back on – the bigger volume is really appreciated from a comfort point of view, and in town there is too much glass on the roads to ride GP4000’s all the time. There are a few rough bits of broken tarmac that I would ride around previously, and now feel quite happy riding on through. OK, it’s not like putting mountain bike tyres on, these are still fast wheels with skinny tyres, I can’t just plough through anything – just a lot more than I could before!
Overall, very smooth, and a significant improvement in comfort and handling feel than 19mm rims, and a very friendly and personable service – Super!”
Thanks Guy and enjoy the commute!