As luck would have it I was home this morning when the UPS guy arrived with two packages from me. One, a jersey I picked up on chainlove.com for a ridiculously low price, the other the much longer awaited new wheelset for the Serotta.
BikeForums member urbanknight announced some time ago that he was looking for a few people to exchange waving the labor charge of a wheel build for honest reviews of his work. I jumped on the opportunity, and then proceeded to drag my feet about what wheels I wanted to build (sorry about that...) All through my indecisiveness, urbanknight was great to work with and responded quickly to all my questions.
At last, it was the decision to rebuild my 83 Gazelle with modern campagnolo parts that finally got the plan finalized. The wheels I had been running on my Serotta (Mavic Open Pros laced to Campagnolo Daytona (aka Centaur) hubs. I was very happy with those wheels and knew I wanted something similar, but different, and I already had a set of NOS Daytona hubs in the spare parts pile. After some research, discussion with urbanknight, and likely one too many threads here on Bikeforums, I decided on Ambrosio Excellight SSC rims, a standard 32h, 3x pattern front and rear. DT Revolution spokes make up the front wheel and non-driveside rear. I went with lightly heavier DT Competition spokes on the rear drive side to help even out tension.
1) Supurb packing. It cost a little more to ship than the barebones minimum to get the job done, but was well worth it. Lots of extra cardboard to secure the wheels in place, shrink wrapped rims to protect the finish should anything rub against them.
2) Spoke tension charts / graphs included for both wheels. More information about the build of the wheels and the tension in the spokes than I should ever need. It was an unexpected but much welcomed addition. I have a spoke tension meter here so I can spot check spokes after a few rides to see if there has been any changes.
3) Sharp looking wheels. Seeing the Ambrosio Excellight in person finally I have to say they are a sharp looking rim, certainly an option for anyone looking for an Open Pro alternative. They're going to look nice paired up with the Conti 4000S tires I plan to order later today for the wheels.
4) Near perfect horizontal and vertical true. A lot closer than I've had wheels come out of the package new from Campagnolo, and closer than I've had wheels come back from a truing at the shop even. And certainly closer than the wheels I tend to build myself have been.
Now, enough talk, how about some photos?
More photos and a full in-depth review of the wheels once I get tires on them and the whole package out on the road.