My New Wheel

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.

It took longer than I was hoping for, but I got my new wheel last Tuesday, and have had a chance to ride it several times since then. I must say I’m very pleased.

My choice was a Mavic Open Sport. Now, this wheel has been around for awhile. It’s one of Mavic’s “Open” series of wheels, with the Open Pro probably the better-known one among cyclists. The Open Sport, like the Open Pro, is a box styled rim — old school, a lot of cyclists would say, in this day of carbon fiber and deep dish wheels. But I made the choice for several reasons.

First, I was fed up with the long wait for the wheel I had originally ordered, a Mavic Aksium. Second, since I was making the purchase from a Performance gift card, I felt obligated to buy from Performance, so I was limited to what they had in stock. Third, the Open Sport has some features I like: 32 spokes, which gives me confidence that the wheel will hold up under my Clydesdale body type, and a low profile, which makes it somewhat easier to mount tires. Finally, it’s a popular rim with a good reputation.

One side benefit was that it was less expensive than the Aksium, so I’ve got some more money on the gift card for future purchases, if I want.

So, how is it?

Smooth. I mentioned in the last post that my bike is utterly silent now. In fact, on our Sunday club ride, several members mentioned in passing that they weren’t hearing any odd noises coming from the bike. When other cyclists comment on your noisy bike, you know you’ve got problems.

We headed out on a round trip to Creedmoor, about a 35-mile jaunt. The day was warm and very humid. I set the pace from time to time, and felt (imagined?) that there was less drag on the rear wheel. When we reached our turnaround point, I had averaged 15.1 mph for the16-miles. Not bad.

Two weeks ago, on that same trip, I had been left far behind by my co-riders. I thought it might have been because I had ridden hard the day before, but now I’m not so sure. I rode hard yesterday, too, but felt that I could keep up with other B-level riders today. I think that lack of drag may have something to do with how I felt.

On the other hand, just as a clean car always run better, my new wheel and cassette could also have teamed up to make my bike run better (or is it all in my head?).

As it stands now, I have mismatched wheels on my bike, since I only bought the rear. My front is fine. But it’s one of those deep dish wheels, and looks a little odd paired with the old school rim. That’s okay. I’ve ridden mismatched wheels before, and I can’t see replacing a perfectly good wheel just so my bike is cosmetically sound.

Things are back to normal now in Bike Noob land.

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