Wednesday, May 4, 2011 9.00am
By Warren Rossiter, Cycling Plus
SRAM’S S60 wheels feature a 60mm-deep carbon rim with an aluminium braking surface, carbon centred hubs with straight-pull ﬂanges, and aerodynamic spokes – 18 radial on the front and 20 on the rear, crossed on the non-drive side, radial on the drive side.
That 60mm rim depth is greater than the 52mm of their main competitor, Mavic’s Cosmic SLs, but with their rounded cross-section, a design borrowed from sister company and aero specialists Zipp, the S60s are noticeably better at handling crosswinds.
What could be perceived as a downside with the S60s is their weight: at 840g for the front and 1,030g for the rear they’re around 100g heavier than the Mavics, but we were hard pushed to feel any weight difference when using both wheelsets shod with the same tyre and tube combo.
A wheelset at nearly 1,900g – over 2kg once you factor in tyres, tubes and a cassette – is never going to feel as good as a standard set of light wheels when the road starts to rise, but on the ﬂat the S60s are quick to wind up to pace and they hold onto that speed with the tenacity of a terrier at a rabbit hole.
And when the climbing’s over and the downward journey begins, the S60s’ deep section rims and large ﬂanged hubs create a strong, stiff set of wheels that remain stable and straight at frankly dangerous speeds, encouraging lean angles that a MotoGP rider would be proud of.
Weight weenies might complain about the S60s, and they are around 400g heavier than a standard wheelset of similar value, but when you consider the way they hold onto the speed you’ve put in and how rewarding they are when descending, we’ll take that weight penalty any day.
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