Fred at large
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Roads of Ventura County Ca
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Vuelta XRP pro wheelset review
Well, they came finally. My new Vuelta Wheels.
I did the "buy it now" on fleabay for ~ $220 shipped.
I checked them over when they came and they looked OK. The packaging is a bit wimpy as the front wheel moved in the carton and tore the cardboard "separator" between the wheels. No damage to spokes but it must have been a heckofa blow to get the wheel/axle to move far enough and fast enough to tear the cardboard. UPS is no friend to fragile packages (but we all know that anyway).
Rim strips were pre-installed. Pretty red ones with Vuelta logo's all over the place. I guess they are there so everything matches the stickers on the rim.
I removed the old wheels and installed the old tire on the new front wheel then slipped it into the fork. No problems. The rear wheel, OTOH, gave me some problems. Apparently the spacing between my dropouts is exactly 130mm and the spacing cones on the new hub is a bit wider than that. And SHARP! It peeled the paint on the inner left dropout and I had to pull the stays apart a bit to get it into place. It was a trial and I was about ready to start cussing. Once in place, the derailleur adjustments were checked and a minor barrel nut twist was required to get things back on track. The skewers look pretty but aren't as nice as Shimano because of the way they fold. The Vuelta skewers put the lever in the center instead of off to the side and parallel to the frame/fork rail. The skewers ARE very pretty though.
I took the alum framed Trek 1100 Fredsicle out for a short 15 mile spin. The new rims are incredibly stiff. My old Matrix wheels did nothing for the ride quality. Every bump, rut, dip, hole, etc was transmitted directly to the frame (and my butt & wrists). You could hear the tools in my seat wedge jingle fairly often because of the ride. The new wheels are stiff enough that the tires are now working to absorb the bumps and the ride quality is hugely different. No more harsh ride! No more jingle bells from the wedge bag either.
One high gear "stand and mash the pedals" event showed me that my FRAME can flex enough to allow a brake pad to rub the rim. My old wheels did not have this problem. Presumably because the wheels also flexed with the frame under high force loads. This is a good thing because it will remind me to shift to a lower gear and spare my frame from fatigue and stress.
The only drawback I have is that the rear rim and the rear brake pads don't seem to like each other. Braking at speed has a horrible grinding sound until the pad warms up then it stops. Until the next time you apply the rear brake. The front brake is fine and there is no galling or scoring on the rear rim to indicate why it's so noisy under braking. I'm going to try and scotchbrite the rear braking surface and clean the pads. If that doesn't work I'll change the pads to something else.
Overall I'm impressed at the improved ride quality. I haven't ridden the new wheels enough to say how well they'll hold up but they seem to be acceptable wheels for replacing the wimpy low-end factory Shimano wheels. The rims aren't welded (you can see the splice) but they seem to be stiff enough that even under my fat butt they should hold up for several seasons. Long enough that the rest of the bike will be tired and ready for replacement/upgrade I think. For the price, these seem to be a pretty good deal.
Last edited by Rob P.; 09-19-08 at 06:00 PM.
Reason: lost my presta adaptor