Remember, even in their day Ergals had a well-deserved reputation for brittle failures on the inner face, around the ferrules. They were not well suited for sub-36 hole use or for dish beyond 120mm 5-speed. Modern "heavy" rims are a compromise for the efficiency of 100% more cogs, the aerodynamics 50% fewer spokes, and the huge convenience of clinchers. You take the good with the bad, I guess. I have a friend who has been riding hard since the Ergal days. He's used Ergals, GP-4s, GLs, O4CDs... all the basic stuff as it's evolved. He now has a set of SSC Ksyriums. They are expensive, probably somewhat more than Record/Ergal wheels when you factor in inflation. Supposedly the ride is comfortable, and they are less floppy than old superlight wheels from the 70's. They allow use of 9-cogs while "never" going out of true. By never, I mean that they are truer than any other wheelset I've even seen, came that way right out of the box and he's never touched them. They've only been used a couple thousand miles, but with a 6'3" / 175 pound strong and super-lean rider, this is remakable. Are they necessary for anyone but committed racers? No. Are they cheap relative to used 1970's gear? No. But in the context of all the wheels I've seen and built and owned, they sure seem like nice wheels to me... and relative to many of today's wheels they are cheap, serviceable, and practical. Tom Dalton Bethlehem, PA
firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:Mr. Gadd's comment brought to mind a lovely moment I had awhile back, on a ride with the LA wheelmen. I'm about the only guy in the group who rides sew-ups, and they occasionally marvel at that.
Before the beginning of a ride, a couple of the guys I know were discussing the weight of his new super-duper wheels. I dunno what they were, some ugly high-techie modern stuff. Clincher tires.
I pulled off my front wheel (that day, LF Campagnolo record hub, straight QR, with Clement Criterium Seta on 36 hole Ergal rims with straight guage DT spokes), held it out, and said, "check this out."
You should have seen the look on his face as he took it from me. It was as if he'd been confronted by something utterly impossible. He said "how old is this?" I said "oh, about 25 years old" and the look on his face changed to utter bemusement...he was speechless. My wheel was noticeably lighter than his 400 dollar wonder...made me proud. My rear wheel was probably lighter than his too...although I had only five cogs on mine instead of 10...otoh, my wheels cost me about 100 bucks.
I'll take that set of trade-offs any day.
in perfect SoCal