New wheels for my road bike…

9 04 2011

I got a new set of wheels for the Fuji today. I ordered them on Tuesday, the 5th, and FedEx showed up with them this morning. Needless to say, it took me about two minutes to get to our little shop in the garage and begin installing them.

New Vuelta Corsa HD wheels on the Fuji, April 9, 2011.

Inspecting them right out of the box, they were perfectly true, spoke tension was good, and they looked gorgeous. I knew right away, and when I ordered them, they would look great on the Fuji, because of the graphics on the bike.

First of course, I had to clean the packing gunk off them. Next, I had to remove the old wheels, from which I had to remove the tires, tubes, and cassette, which I then installed on the new wheels. I figured, while I was at it, I’d clean the cassette before installing it on the new wheels so, about an hour later, I had ’em on the bike.

Vuelta Corsa HD rear wheel.
Wow, these babies really spin. With just a flick of the wrist they would spin for more than a minute. Even though I had recently cleaned and repacked the hubs on the original wheels of the Fuji, they don’t spin as smoothly or as long as these wheels do. Plus, I’d recently been having trouble with broken spokes on the original wheels, having broken two in two weeks about a month ago. Since we don’t do wheels yet, that meant 20 bucks to fix ’em every time I broke one. Talk about frustrating…

Vuelta Corsa HD front wheel.

These are the hand-built Vuelta Corsa HD wheel set featured exclusively at Bike Nashbar, a great cycling website. The “HD” stands for Heavy Duty, meaning they have 36 stainless steel spokes per wheel. This makes them a bit heavy by most road bike wheel set standards, about a pound heavier than most in my price range actually, which tend to have 20 spokes up front with 24 in the rear; but at my size and weight that doesn’t really matter. What I was looking for was a wheel set which would not break down on me. I think I’ve found it.

Of course, once I had them installed, it was time for a ride. A relatively quick ten miles later, I couldn’t be happier. I did some pretty good climbing with some fun descents, plus I rode into and out of the wind on some flat ground as well. I also hit some rather rough streets, to test the smoothness of the ride. The trails and streets I used for my first test ride are very familiar to me, as I wanted to test these wheel’s performance against what I am used to riding. They already feel smoother and faster, not to mention stronger, than the original wheels.

Granted, ten miles is not much of a test, but I’ll be putting many more miles on them soon, I’m sure. Plus, it is, and has been, very windy here lately and I wanted to save some energy for the ride I know is coming when Darryl gets home from his Saturday job this evening.

I’ll be posting a review of the wheels at once I’ve put more miles on them. I’ll also review them at soon, as well.

I also have some new tires coming, black and white, which I ordered for a rebuild I’m doing. Now however, I’m thinking about tossing them on the new wheels, which will really add to the already cool look I’ve got going. We’ll see…

Oh, by the way, did I mention they look gorgeous on my bike?


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