Sweet Wheels

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I started using a test set of RFSW wheels on Tuesday and used them through Giro di Coppi.  They roll really nicely, and they're very sure footed.  Banking through the downhill right (turn 3) on the Coppi course was really fun, and they were aero enough that I was able to initiate several moves on downhills and then press the gap open on the subsequent riser.  Though they're deep and aero, they're still absolutely light enough for climbing, at nearly 100 grams lighter than Mavic Ksyrium SLs (and also a couple of hundred bucks less espensive).  

One easy observation to make after short test period is that the difference between a good tubular tire and a not so great tubular is profound.  The rear tire I used was a Vittoria Corsa Evo CX, while I had a Vittoria Rally on the front.  The rear was BUTTER smooth, like Mel Torme on methadone.  The front, not so much.  It very, very obviously felt like the training tire that it's billed as.  I hadn't meant to use the Rally as a "real" tire, it just wound up that way due to getting wheels earlier than expected and wanting to test them.  We're working on plans to get you access to excellent tires and save you the hassle of gluing them on. 

The other thing that became evident when I switched back to the aluminum FSW wheelset for yesterday's ride is how stiff the RFSW rims are.  The tubular tires give a suppleness to the road contact, but the underlying structure of the wheel is extremely stiff.  Switching to the FSW, which is still plenty stiff that I could no way rub the brake track against the pads even with the pads set to very close adjustment, I could feel a noticeably softer ride.  With 50mm carbon rims versus 27mm aluminum ones, this is hardly a newsflash.

We will also be testing different brake pads with the RFSW.  Shimano cork pads provided very secure braking, but I don't normally like to alert everyone in the county that I'm on the brakes.  They are LOUD. 

So if the case of strep throat I've developed (which I think is entirely unrelated to my week spent on carbon tubulars) subsides in time for Lost River (and, by the way, I am overjoyed that NCVC is promoting the race again this year, and even more overjoyed not to have all of that responsibility on my shoulders) , I'm excited to jump back onto the RFSWs and have at it. 


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