07 April 2008

Gravity Zero Wheels

When I met David Marx at the Tour de Noto last year, he used this nice gravity-zero wheels on his bike which were really sharp looking. Later I visited his booth at the cycling fair in Makuhari and I could make a test ride with these wheels. They come from Australia and you can read all about them on the official web site, but there are two main points :
  • First, the rear wheel hub, called X-hub, as it comes directly from the x files, has a special kind of clutch, which eliminates any form of backlash/lag at the hub or pedal. The pedal power is transmitted directly to the rear wheel as if pedal and rearwheel are connected by a fixed gear - but with a free wheel.

  • Second, the levers on the tensioners can be removed so it is harder to steal the wheels and you can shave off another 10 grams of weight (provided you leave them at home and do not carry them in your repair kit as I do.

  • Third, they look sharp and the have a nice logo, although not in orange but in red.
So I wanted to have them for my new Cervelo bike, but David didn't had clinchers on stock and it was doubtful when they would arrive so I opted for something else in the first place. But just like a miracle I had the sudden chance to purchase one pair of 50 mm carbon wheels with aluminium rims through an obscure channel and I couldn't resist.

After fixing the wheels yesterday, I took them on a test ride to work (30 km) this morning. They feel very good. Once you ride them you notice just how often you stop pedaling and re-start again. Every time you restart pedaling you have the full power at your command, this is particular nice if you shift gears (and you apply less torque during the shifting) and even more when you accelerate exiting a curve. This wheel should give an old man like myself an unfair competitive advantage against all the thirteen and fourteen years old riders kicking my ass at Shuzenji.

Of course, to be fair, there are also two disadvantages : There is no clicking of the clutch of the back wheel hub audible any longer, I am missing this clickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklickclickclickclickclickcklick sound when riding in a group. When I hear it I know I have to be careful and prepare to brake.
And these wheels need a high degree of maintenance The rear hub needs to be de-assembled at greased after every ride in the rain.

Really I would like to spend as much time on the bike as possible and not spend too much time cleaning it and so on. even to update this blog cost a lot of time, but luckily I can do it at work.

In any case, they really look sharp.

2 comments:

TOM said...

Yes they do look sharp! 50mm with aluminium rims for tubulars or clinchers? Sure they are not carbon rims? If they are, don't forget to change your brake pads Michael!

Anonymous said...

This wheels are very nice for flat course, heavy on edge (aluminium rim+carbon). HED propose the same type with click, click, click from freehub!!!


Thierry