I bought these through my LBS (sorry Comp) and I don't even know where to start with them. Aesthetically they're stunning, the stealthy black, on black, on black, on black is low profile, yet will definitely catch the eye of the trained enthusiast. The hubs are the usual HED silkiness, and spin up and roll for days. But here's what makes these wheels and puts them completely in a class of their own, the braking. The surface, it has a half moon ))))))))) texture to it that feels like the grittiest sandpaper or nail file you can find. Really unique, and even just feeling and seeing it makes sense that you're gonna be stopping in a hurry with these wheels. My first thought was a bit of concern (alongside awesomeness) that these would literally just eat my pads to shreds. I have 400+ miles on them so far with SwissStop FlashPro BXP's and although there is more than the usual wear (as expected) I can probably get another couple hundred out of them. I imagine someone living more mountainous will go through these quicker. Now the actual braking. Holy. Mother. I was genuinely intimidated to pull the lever on these the first time out so I played with them in the driveway for a bit and all I will say is, wow. Literally you can stop on a dime with these, they are glorious in rain with absolutely zero loss of power. Truly confidence and awe inspiring. I'm really interested where this technology will (or maybe won't) go. I know Zipp is playing around with a motorsport inspired SiC (Showstopper) braking surface but I have yet to hear anything about that anywhere, or, from anyone who has actually used it. These would have been incredible on trips in the mountains to Colorado and Arizona I have previously taken, I can only imagine their performance for someone who lives there is without equal. I'm also going to throw canti brakes back on my CX bike and test these out, from what I've experienced on the road these may have me going backwards from discs come CX season.
Enough raving though, you just have to experience these for yourself. They're on the very high end of the Alu wheel price bracket, true. But I've found it a worthwhile investment, and have no worries these will last me a good long while...as long as the braking surface does.
One note: HED, Comp, and my LBS all mentioned to me to pay extra attention to keeping the pads clean, and check for metal
bits. Metal fragments could damage the braking surface, and ruin the )))))) pattern. I've been checking the pads post every ride. I'm waiting on a word back from HED if they recommend a specific pad, or changing interval.