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  1. #1
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Rolf Prima Tandem... For Santana

    Yes, it's true.... Rolf is introducing a Santana-compatible 160mm rear-spaced tandem wheelset @ 1768g per set (w/o q.r or rimstrips) vs. Shimano Sweet 16's at 2055g per set (w/o q.r or rimstrips).

    Note the 160mm "Perfect Vision" wheels have 20 spokes front & rear vs. the Santana-Shimano Sweet 16's with 16 front & rear.

    Not cheap, but priced to be competitive with the Sweet 16's.

    Linky



    Note: This is not an endorsement, just information. We own a set of '07 Rolf Prima 20/24 tandem wheels and they seem to be pretty nice for non-technical, performance riding applications and special events... which I maintain is true of all 'racing wheels'.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-23-09 at 12:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Since Dieter Rolf has 'retired' seems that there are some changes, including 160mm spacing now available. This may be a better choice than the S-16s + being over 10 oz. lesss weight.
    Just thinking out loud . . .

  3. #3
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Yes, Rolf Dietrich sold his business to Brian Roddy this past summer. I'm not sure just how many changes Roddy has been able to put forward that weren't already in the works given his short tenture as the majority owner. Again, outfits like Rolf and Topolino are very small firms with just a handful of employees.

    You can read more about the sale of Rolf wheels here:


    Eugene maker of high-end bike wheels gets new owner
    Brian Roddy, one of the first partners in Rolf Prima Wheel Systems, returns to take over the company
    BY TIM CHRISTIE
    The Register-Guard
    Appeared in print: Friday, Aug 21, 2009

    Business: Home: Story
    Brian Roddy, one of the original partners of Rolf Prima Wheel Systems, a Eugene company that builds high-end bicycle wheels, has returned to the business as its new majority owner.

    Founder Rolf Dietrich has sold the company to Roddy, who helped start the company in 2002, for an undisclosed price. Roddy left the company in 2006 to work for Burley Design, a Eugene company that makes bicycle trailers. He left Burley in 2008, and was looking for an opportunity to get back into the bike business when Dietrich called him to see if he was interested in buying Rolf Prima, he said.

    “Rolf was looking to retire,” Roddy said Thursday. “I thought it had a lot of potential. It’s nice being able to keep the business here in Eugene.”

    Rolf Prima makes hand-built, high-end bicycle wheels that start at $550 and top out at $2,200 per wheel. The company is one of the few in the business to build its wheels in the United States, Roddy said. Most wheel builders have their wheels built in Taiwan or China.

    Dietrich owns several patents for his wheel designs, and is best known for his innovation of paired spokes, where two spokes come together at the rim, which enables the wheels to be stiff but lightweight, Roddy said.

    Before forming Rolf Prima Wheel Systems, Dietrich licensed Trek Bicycle Corp. to manufacture and distribute his wheel designs under the “Rolf Wheels” brand name, according to the company Web site.

    The relationship with Trek ended in 2001, and Dietrich started his own company in 2002 with Roddy, Blair Winter and TJ Walsh, each of whom had worked in product development at Trek during the Rolf Wheels years. Roddy was a principal design engineer.

    Rolf Prima rims are made either from aluminum or carbon fiber. The spokes are all stainless steel. The hubs are made from aluminum and titanium.

    The company sells its wheels through bike shops nationally and internationally, including Hutch’s and Life Cycle bike shops in Eugene.

    The company sponsors the Land Rover-Orbea team in Portland, and several professional triathletes, including Olympians Hunter Kemper and Jarrod Shoemaker.

    Rolf Prima has eight employees, and Roddy said he hopes to add several wheel builders to the payroll later this year.

    Business has slowed because of the recession, “but it’s better than we thought it would be,” he said.

    “It hasn’t turned out to be that bad,” he said.

  4. #4
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    Sweet or Sweet(er)

    "Shimano Sweet 16's at 2055g per set (w/o q.r or rimstrips).

    Is this the weight of the Sweet Sixteens, or the newer, Sweet(er) Sixteens?

    Rick
    I'm old enough
    To know the score.
    But I'm young enough
    To holler More, More, More

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeamTi700 View Post
    Is this the weight of the Sweet Sixteens, or the newer, Sweet(er) Sixteens?
    Unfortunately, yes... it is. From a post back in April

    2,207 grams for the Shimano Sweet 16 (160mm, pre '06 models) [16/16 x 28mm deep]
    2,077 grams for the Shimano Sweet 16 (160mm, Current) @ $1,050** [16/16 x 28mm deep]

    Also, since we're on the subject of Sweet 16's, I'm told that Santana will continue to offer the Sweet 16's. I'm not sure what that means, as last time I checked they were only being sold as OEM on new bikes pending the receipt of back orders. Also note that the pricing has change significantly in just the past year. I'm not sure what the deal is there; I thought I was out of my mind when I dropped 14 large ones for the Topolino's. OK, I WAS out of my mind, but still.... Looks like the market is still looking for the price point where tandem buyers scream 'NO MAS' and pull back those greenbacks and charge cards.
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-24-09 at 06:49 PM.

  6. #6
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    My next wheels:

    White industries hubs, Daisy front, Mi6 Rear 32 hole
    CX Ray spokes
    Kinlin XR270 rims

    1728g cost $677
    Plus I get to have have fun building them myself.
    I can break a spoke and still ride.

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