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deh men

deh men

deh men

deh menwrote a review of on July 26, 2015

Performance worth the bargain price
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This is my first set of full carbon clinchers, so keep that in mind when reading this review. I got my set of Mercury M5s off this site on sale for $1000. After 1800 miles and a successful Spring racing season, I definitely feel like I have gotten my money's worth. These wheels are noticeably stiffer/less flexy than my 1550g aluminum clinchers (both my Rol Race SLs and my American Classic Victory 30 tubeless). This is very important to me as a 170+ lbs sprinter, because I am able to flex a lot of wheels and I find it annoying. I also feel like these wheel hold speed better than my 30mm aluminum clinchers, although I don't have a wind tunnel to verify it. As far as cross wind susceptibility is concerned these do get pushed lightly in the wind, but the feel is similar to my dad's HED Jet 6 FR wheelset (which is supposed to be pretty good in that regard). Many of the smaller riders I know prefer 35-48mm wheels because it is harder for them to control deep wheels, while I see a greater percentage of larger riders on deeper wheels.

I have had some issues with the wheels, and if I did not get them for so cheap (relative to other carbon clinchers) I may have given then a lower rating. First of all, I had to get the wheelset re-tensioned after delivery because it kept coming out of true. It's annoying that wasn't caught in the factory. Another "problem" is people are saying that the set weight is significantly higher than claimed. Manufacturers lie about weight all the time, but it's still annoying. Finally, you can only use Mercury's brakepads, which squeal and wear down too quickly. At least they have decent stopping power (comparable to Shimano pads on aluminum, but not as good as Kool Stop Salmons or Serfas triple compound pads).

Despite these problems, I do like this wheelset a lot for its stiffness, good looks, and aero benefit (or maybe it's placebo). Speaking of aero, an article I read in Velo showed the difference between the "best" aero wheelsets and the others (including old school narrow ones) is much less than the difference between an aero wheelset and a non aero wheelset. So you get like 90% aero benefit you would get with Zipp, HED, Enve, etc. I pulled that number out of thin air, but the point is the article reckoned there is little difference between most deep carbon clincher wheelsets.

Again, overall, I would recommend these wheels for $1000. My impression is that you are not going to get much more benefit by upgrading to a "better" wheelset for twice as much. It seems you get a significant aero and stiffness benefit for the price. If you have a little more money and/or these wheels are not on sale, another cheap, but good performing wheelset to consider is the November Rail 52 for $1385. The advantages to them are you get wind tunnel tested rims (with the drag sweeps are viewable on the website), high quality White Industries hubs, and they are pretty light at 1570g. That is the wheelset I had planned to buy (back when they were $1500) until I saw these on sale.

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deh men

deh menwrote a review of on July 26, 2015

The best racing tire
5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Without a doubt, these are the best racing tires I have used. I have put 1600 miles on my current pair of 25mm Schwalbe Ones without a single flat. This is incredible considering that it includes riding and racing in March and April when the Ohio roads were still covered in cinders and salt from all the snow. I am guessing that I will be able to squeeze 2000 miles out of my first pair, which is a lot more miles than I can usually get out of a non endurance/training tire. The tire rides phenomenally, with low rolling resistance, good road "feel," and great traction/cornering in the wet or dry. My previous go to tire was the 4000s, but I ended up buying these tires because I had 4 different 4000s II tires (won or purchased at different times both 23 and 25mm) fail on me with sidewall cuts (the tube would stick out of the hole). This tire rides just as well as the 4000s with much better flat protection. The flat protection is good enough that I trust this tire to train and race on in early Spring, whereas, in the past I would keep running my winter 4seasons tires until May because of flats from cinders (small, sharp rocks put down on country roads to increase grip in the snow). This is the best all around tire I have ever used. I plan to use it in all but the dead of winter. In winter I switch back to conti 4seasons for even more flat and sidewall protection at the price of much higher rolling resistance.

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deh men

deh menwrote a review of on July 26, 2015

So many side wall failures
2 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

The 4000s was my go to racing tire in the past. It rolled well and had adequate flat protection. The 4000s II has been nothing but a disappointment. I have had 4 of these tires fail due to cuts in the sidewall that ruin the tire. I am not sure what changed, but the lack of reliability of this tire compared to the original is appalling. Other people I ride with have been experiencing the same problems. The only positive for this situation is that I have discovered the Schwalbe One, which rolls very well and has had phenomenal flat protection for a racing tire. 0 flats in 1600 miles of gravel and cinder covered Ohio roads, including during early Spring when the roads were frequently being treated for snow. The 4000s II rides well while intact, but so does the One. Note the tube popping through the hole in the photo. That happened last Fall, before there was a lot of crap on the roads.

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