Wednesday, March 3, 2010 prepares to do a piece on Williams 58's

First look: A sneak peek at upcoming tests
By: James Huang

Williams Cycling switches rim suppliers for 2010 Wheel System 58

Direct-to-consumer wheelhouse Williams Cycling has changed rim suppliers for the 2010 version of its Wheel System 58 carbon tubulars, moving from Zipp to Asian-made Carbotec. Why the change?

Company founder Keith Williams says he was, "at the point now that durability is more important than the lightest carbon wheels I can make," and that the increased weight (430g per rim vs. 397g) was worth the additional impact strength.

Carrying over from the previous edition are the lightweight alloy hubs with hybrid ceramic cartridge bearings, easily interchangeable alloy freehub bodies, and well-proven Pillar triple butted stainless steel spokes with brass nipples. Williams says that he has also switched bearing suppliers this year as well so quality and durability have improved in that area, too.

Our test set is still fairly light at 1,476g for the pair (854g rear, 622g front, plus 117g for skewers) and still refreshingly attainable at a retail cost of US$999 including quick-release skewers, SwissStop Yellow King brake pads and valve extenders.