Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Wheel System 19 review by Michael Hernandez

Overall impressions, fantastic wheels. Actually, they might be the best wheelset I've ridden thus far. I won Snelling this weekend in a 50+ mile break and got to feel them in the crosswinds, on the central valley cobbles ;), and in another sprint. With the wheels, I've won 2 races (Dinuba crit 35+, Snelling 35+), lapped a field (Dinuba p1/2), and placed top 10 in two road races (Cantua & Pine Flat 35+). Not a bad way to get the wheels rolling. Impressions: rolling resistance is phenomenal. The hubs are spot on glassy. Nothing I can do but say, those work.

Lateral stiffness - I don't even know if such a term is correctly used, but ... the wheels accelerate incredibly well. I've used the same steel frame for the past 4 racing seasons and have logged Alpine climbs with it, won crits and road races on it ... basically, I know every molecule of the frame. Thusly, I feel i'm a good judge of how wheels feel underneath me. I've ridden carbon Lews, Rolf pro's (not the newer generations), 32-spoke standards, American Classic 420's and 350s (non-carbon), Easton Ascent IIs and Orions, Krysiums, and an assortment of old school Mavic's and Spynergies.

Straight up, your 19's are superior in bike handling, acceleration, and thus far quality of construction. At Dinuba, I hit those things hard through the lipped corners, gapping off Wohlberg and Copeland something fierce. I tested them hard, and they are just fine through it. I haven't tested them through the big rains yet, though.

Performance-wise: I really haven't ridden a better set of wheels. I'm a 150-pounder, but ride hard on my materials. I'm a crit and big-wind road race specialist. I don't ride deep dish wheels because of the disadvantages to be had, often times, in stiff cross-winds and (sometimes) lesser handling qualities of the wheels. I'll never ride the Lews again because they handled extremely poorly. In your marketing, I would suggest emphasizing that this is a performance wheelset ... one that offers riders utter confidence in braking ability, handling in corners, and superior acceleration. These are the qualities that save energy while racing AND give an edge during those critical moments in races, those micro-seconds that can often dictate who wins and who loses.

Michael Hernandez - Cat 1

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