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Old 08-12-08, 04:42 PM   #1
kwrides
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Ksyrium Equipes vs ALEX AT-450

I recently ordered a 2008 Kona Jake that comes with ALEX AT-450 wheels. I have read a few negative things about these wheels on the forums.

I'm currently commuting on a Windsor the Hour singlespeed with 32 spoke wheels and a backpack and haven't had any problems with spokes breaking.

On the Jake, I will be commuting with 10-20 pounds in a pannier and I weigh between 190-200 depending on when you ask me. I am a bit worried that these new wheels will be breaking spokes. I have a set of Ksyrium Equipes sitting around that were a takeoff from a road bike that I put ES's on. I LOVE my ES's. I have many miles on them and they have never gone out of true, so I am inclined to try the Equipes.

Considering the commute with up to 220 pounds on the bike, would I be better off with the Equipes, the ALEX's, or should I maybe sell the Equipes and ALEX's on ebay to get something built? I don't want to sell because I want to ride the new bike immediately, but neither the Equipes or ALEX's have ever been used, so if I need to sell them, it would be nice to sell them brand new!

What do you think?
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Old 08-12-08, 04:53 PM   #2
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Are you telling me your Jake still hasn't come in? It must be killing you by now.

I also tend to weigh between 190-200 (sometimes a little over), and when I have my laptop in the pannier the pannier weighs in around 25 pounds. I've ridden over 1600 miles on my Jake with the Alex wheels, mostly with my tire pressure at 90-100 psi, and I haven't broken a spoke yet.

That said, I am curious to hear what others have to say about these wheels.
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Old 08-12-08, 05:59 PM   #3
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The AT450's should be a fine set of wheels. Just make sure they're properly tensioned by a human being, not just the stock build from the factory.

Personally I wouldn't use them as a commuter rim, but that's because I'm 25 pounds heavier than you and your gear, then I load another 15-20 pounds of junk on the bike... More if I'm on a grocery run. The AT450 is a 13.5mm inner width rim, so the max tire size you can safely put on there is going to be a 25mm, and I prefer to run 28mm.
Alex Rims get a bad rap for some reason, but I like mine. I'm rolling a DA16 on the rear of my Cross Check, and it's held up fine. (I swapped my DA16 stock wheel up front for a handbuilt DT RR1.1 on a generator hub, but that rim was picked based on weight, not anything against the stock DA16s) I still use the stock wheel when I don't need the generator up front.
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Old 08-12-08, 06:19 PM   #4
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The AT450's should be a fine set of wheels. Just make sure they're properly tensioned by a human being, not just the stock build from the factory.

Personally I wouldn't use them as a commuter rim, but that's because I'm 25 pounds heavier than you and your gear, then I load another 15-20 pounds of junk on the bike... More if I'm on a grocery run.
The AT450 is a 13.5mm inner width rim, so the max tire size you can safely put on there is going to be a 25mm, and I prefer to run 28mm.
Alex Rims get a bad rap for some reason, but I like mine. I'm rolling a DA16 on the rear of my Cross Check, and it's held up fine. (I swapped my DA16 stock wheel up front for a handbuilt DT RR1.1 on a generator hub, but that rim was picked based on weight, not anything against the stock DA16s) I still use the stock wheel when I don't need the generator up front.
Are you sure about that? I ask because it comes with Maxxis Locust CX 700x35c tires. (sorry, I know it sounds like I'm being a wiseass...I'm not, I'm just wondering what gives with such a big difference)
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Old 08-12-08, 06:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
Are you telling me your Jake still hasn't come in? It must be killing you by now.

I also tend to weigh between 190-200 (sometimes a little over), and when I have my laptop in the pannier the pannier weighs in around 25 pounds. I've ridden over 1600 miles on my Jake with the Alex wheels, mostly with my tire pressure at 90-100 psi, and I haven't broken a spoke yet.

That said, I am curious to hear what others have to say about these wheels.
It was supposed to be in 3 weeks ago...which was almost a month after I ordered it...it's supposed to arrive tomorrow.
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Old 08-13-08, 11:26 AM   #6
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Thanks for the answers Andy_K and CliftonGK1

No one else has an opinion on if either of these wheels make a good commuter?
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Old 08-13-08, 12:47 PM   #7
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Are you sure about that? I ask because it comes with Maxxis Locust CX 700x35c tires. (sorry, I know it sounds like I'm being a wiseass...I'm not, I'm just wondering what gives with such a big difference)
The AlexRims website provides 13.5mm as the interiour width and 18.5 for the exteriour dimension for the AT450 rim.

I'm basing the tire size off the Sheldon Brown Tire Sizing guide, which lists anything up to a 25mm tire as safe on a 13mm inner dimension rim. A 35mm tire shouldn't go on anything less than a 17mm I.D. according to his charts.

The risk you run with a super wide tire on a very narrow rim is poor locking of the tire bead along the rim hook, which could blow the tire off the rim. Another risk is sidewall rolling, which could also unseat the bead.
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Old 08-13-08, 01:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for the answers Andy_K and CliftonGK1

No one else has an opinion on if either of these wheels make a good commuter?
I don't have any experience with either of these wheels but I do agree that Alex is probably a higher quality rim maker than they get credit for.

I often wonder how Bicycle manufacturers decide which rims to put on their lower end models. Obviously price is a factor. My Specialized Allez has Alex DA-16s which are pretty beefy for that style of bike. The stock tires are 23s and they're barely wider than the rims. The upside is that if I forget to put the quick release lever back down after replacing a wheel I still have plenty of braking power ;-)
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Old 08-13-08, 01:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
The AlexRims website provides 13.5mm as the interiour width and 18.5 for the exteriour dimension for the AT450 rim.

I'm basing the tire size off the Sheldon Brown Tire Sizing guide, which lists anything up to a 25mm tire as safe on a 13mm inner dimension rim. A 35mm tire shouldn't go on anything less than a 17mm I.D. according to his charts.

The risk you run with a super wide tire on a very narrow rim is poor locking of the tire bead along the rim hook, which could blow the tire off the rim. Another risk is sidewall rolling, which could also unseat the bead.
Thanks! I hadn't seen this one on Sheldon's site. This actually narrows my choice because I would probably want to run a minimum of 28s. I actually bought some 32s, so maybe I'll see how they do on the Equipes, which the Mavic site says should have a max of 28.
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Old 08-13-08, 01:51 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
I don't have any experience with either of these wheels but I do agree that Alex is probably a higher quality rim maker than they get credit for.

I often wonder how Bicycle manufacturers decide which rims to put on their lower end models. Obviously price is a factor. My Specialized Allez has Alex DA-16s which are pretty beefy for that style of bike. The stock tires are 23s and they're barely wider than the rims. The upside is that if I forget to put the quick release lever back down after replacing a wheel I still have plenty of braking power ;-)
It really surprises me that the Kona comes with a tire so out of line for the recommendation of the rim.
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Old 08-13-08, 06:39 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1 View Post
The AlexRims website provides 13.5mm as the interiour width and 18.5 for the exteriour dimension for the AT450 rim.

I'm basing the tire size off the Sheldon Brown Tire Sizing guide, which lists anything up to a 25mm tire as safe on a 13mm inner dimension rim. A 35mm tire shouldn't go on anything less than a 17mm I.D. according to his charts.

The risk you run with a super wide tire on a very narrow rim is poor locking of the tire bead along the rim hook, which could blow the tire off the rim. Another risk is sidewall rolling, which could also unseat the bead.
No way do I want to imply that Sheldon was wrong when he wrote that, but my Raleigh One way comes with AT400 rims, which have the same sizing as the AT450. The Raleigh comes stock with Vittoria Randonneur Cross in 700x35c. I find it hard to beleive that major bike manufacturers would use a combo tire/rim that sets them up for recalls/lawsuits.
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Old 08-13-08, 07:26 PM   #12
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I've got 2600 miles on a 2006? Ksyrium Equipe rear wheel that I use on my everyday commuter. Still true as new.
The LBS recommended that wheel when I went in to get them to build a new rear. It was older stock that
they wanted to move so I got a deal. I was very skeptical but it's holding up well. FWIW, I'm 250 lbs and I
carry maybe 10-12 pounds of stuff on my commute.
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