Re: [CR] Wheel weight

Example: Production Builders:Tonard

From: Tom Dalton <>
Subject: Re: [CR] Wheel weight
In-Reply-To: <>
Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2002 12:24:38 -0700 (PDT)

(Then Tom cut out the important bit about being A) able to see the failure coming, just like with NR/SR crank arms, and B) being able to ride it home, unless it was perhaps a 24-spoke wheel).

Sorry about the part I skipped over. I had no comment about it. It was there for everyone to read before. I certainly agree that the cracks in Ergals are generally going to show up before the rim explodes. This is true of many (most?) parts failures. Like I said, Ergals were best in the hands of people who keep a close eye on their equipment. You are also correct about Campy cranks, keep your eyes on 'em and they will be fine. I think it is also true that Ergals can be ridden with a broken spoke, as is true of virtually all wheels if you carry a spoke wrench. I started to do that after I broke a spoke on an 32-holr Omega XL clincher (light 'n' flexy) and it was hitting the stays on my none-too-tight Masi. (FWIW i've seen an Ergal pull through at more than one ferrule.)

Tom opined:
> I'd call that cherry-picking your facts. For one thing, the ADAs are
> currently a mere $2950 per pair ;-). For another, I doubt that one can
> just order up a set of NOS wheels as described. $300 sounds like what
> you'd pay once you tracked down the parts at a fair price and then built
> them yourself.
> Tom:

You are very good at making sweeping generalizations without having facts to support your position.


No, I'd say that was the opposite of what I was doing, or at least what I intended. I thought it was a bit exreme to cite the most expensive example when lots trick modern wheels cost under eight hundred dollars pair. The only reason I knew the numbers on the ADAs was because I couldn't believe Mark's numbers so I looked it up on line. (Interestingly ADAs are not even usable in UCI competition at the moment...might explain the apparent drop in price).

Anyway, I think it IS a generalization to say the a $300 1750 gram wheels set is a bargain relative to a $2950 (or $8,000) 1,200 gram wheelset. There's no simple equation here. Were talking about preference ordering. You want what you want for your own reasons. $300 is a nice price for an NOS high performance wheelset with 126 hubs that serve your particular objective and subjective needs. No arguement. I really don't think that they would suffice for a modern professional cyclist for objective reasons. The huge $2650 gap and the huge 550 gram gap are both immaterial because in some ways we are talking about radically different type of gear.

I think there are a lot of over-equipped recreational riders out there. Heck, I'm over-equipped and my fanciest new wheels are 32-hole open pros! It seems to get worse as the years go by; with more and more "I finished a century!" riders on $6000 bikes. I'm just not sure that they should be necessarily be forgoing the high-dollar modern gear for reasonably priced vintage gear when they could more easily buy reasonably-priced modern gear that would better serve their needs....IMHO.

Can we agree on this?:

1) We both like vintage gear and use our hard earned money to buy it.

2)You think the newer stuff is no better than the older stuff and the the older stuff is a much better value.

3) I think there are advantages to the new stuff, and while there is a lot of over-priced over-hyped junk out there, After using the basic modern stuff I think it performs better than the vintage stuff.

4) For daily use bikes, you think mint NOS vintage bikes are a much better value than new modern bikes.

5) I belive that if one is not obsessed with having the latest new stuff, and not obsessed with having the most desirable mint or NOS vintage stuff, then there are a lot of great bargains to be had in the middle ground.

Greg wrote:

1) I stand by everything I've said thus far. I'll let the facts speak for themselves.


2) I *toured* on Ergals a few times with zero problems.


3) The $8000 figure came directly from Mark Petry's post (2x $4000 each) - I do not have "current pricing" for any of the latest stuff. So my NOS Ergal wheels are only one-tenth the cost of the ADAs - guess that's much closer, huh?

Uhh, Yes, or about the price of very nice current training wheels or half to one third of the price of typical current go-fast wheels.

4) I have all of the components to build up an NOS NRSF/Ergal wheelset in stock; I'd be happy to build you a pair for $300 and have them at your doorstep in a few days.

No thanks. In any case, I'm surprised you have a ready supply to offer at this price. What I said before was that $300 sounds right, but I was also attepmting to convey that search costs and labor costs were also involved, unlike with new wheels. I think that for guys like us, searching is sometimes part of the fun and I certainly like building wheels. I'm looking at things from the perspective of the modern rider. I guess that's what this is all about. You seem to be of the opinion that people are foolish to buy into all the new stuff, or do I misunderstand you? I think they are really not foolish because the readily available gear works at least as well for the same price. We can certainly agree that the new stuff lacks appeal in certain respects.

5) Three failed rims sure is a ton of 'em - I'd say that's almost as bad as Campy crank arms!

I made a point of being clear that I'd only seen three. I did this because I wanted to provide facts rather than just saying "lotsa failures." I still think, that given how uncommon Ergals were (relative to other rims in the early 80's) that's a lot of failures. Of course the 3 (or more) failures it could be coincidence, but given that they were among the lightest rims available, I'd say there was a connection. Unlike Campy arms, which were the standard of the day, Ergals were intended to be SL stuff in their day.

6) Let's take this off-list. We're probably boring some folks nearly to tears at this point!

If you wanted to go off list why didn't YOU do so? Anyway, I really don't think this is boring. The list needs more substantial dialog. I think you're misunderstanding my fundamental points and taking too many things as points of conflict. I have no doubt that in your experienced hands Ergals are great performers when used with other vintage gear. I just think that they don't represent a good choice for most people today, but I get the sense that you do.

I dunno Greg, I try to be objective and through my prose distinguish facts from opinions and conjecture. Yet every time my opinions differ from yours, you seem to suggest that my opionions are wrong and that it is a "fact" that you are correct.




Greg Parker