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Velocity A23 questions

Old 03-28-16, 01:31 PM
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tarwheel 
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Velocity A23 questions

I recently bought a Velocity A23 - Shimano 105 wheelset for my cross bike but I'm having some issues. When I received the wheelset, the rear wheel had a spacer where the cassette attaches. Since none of my other wheelsets (all with 9-speed Shimano hubs) use spacers between the cassette and the hub, I left the spacer off. However, the bike was shifting erratically, so I contacted the seller to see if perhaps I should have used the spacer. They told me to use the spacer. So, I installed the spacer, but then the cassette lockring wouldn't thread. Not sure what to do now.

I am also a little baffled by some other observations. One of the main reasons why I ordered the A23 wheels is that I wanted a wider profile on my tires. However, I installed two different sets of tires on the A23 wheels and they are scarcely wider than they were on the previous wheelset with Mavic Open Pro rims. Eg, Jack Brown tires measured about 34 mm wide on Open Pros and 35 mm wide on A23s. Clement LAS tires measured about 35-36 mm wide on both sets of rims. Big whoop.

Another reason for buying the wheelset was to make it easier to swap wheelsets with different types of tires. I already had a Velocity Dyad - Ultegra wheelset and wrongly assumed that I could simply swap wheelsets on my cross bike without having to readjust my brakes, since the advertised rim widths are 23 vs 24 mm. Not so. When I adjusted my brakes for the A23 rims, the pads rubbed when I installed the wheels with Dyad rims.

Finally, tires are much harder to install and remove on the A23s. I dread the thought of fixing a flat during a ride. These rims could very soon be posted on Craigslist.
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Old 03-28-16, 01:42 PM
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You may not need the spacer as some Shimano cassettes have a spacer machined into the cluster and some don't. Often different wheels will have just slightly different spacing of the cassette as it sits in the frame and requires a minor derailleur adjustment to compensate. If the spacing is the issue you can use thin axle washers on the drive side to make spacing exactly the same for your different wheelsets.
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Old 03-28-16, 01:48 PM
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I'm a big fan of the A23 rims but they're tough to mount tires on. But then my experience with most newer 700c tires is that they're pretty tough to mount on most rims. I carry, in addition to tire irons, a kool stop tire bead jack.
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Old 03-28-16, 02:23 PM
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Do your wheels have the 5800 or 5700 105 hubs?

With a 5700 hub and a 105 or Ultegra 10-speed cassette, you need a small spacer (I think it's 1mm) that usually comes with the cassette. Tiagra 10-speed cassettes and all 9-speed cassettes don't need this spacer. If you have a 5800 hub, you'll need a 1.85 mm spacer (in addition to any spacer the 10-speed cassette may require).

The tire width difference you are seeing is about what I'd expect. It doesn't make a huge difference.

The tires being harder to mount is an artifact of the rims being tubeless ready. Push the bead to the center all the way around the tire and it will get a little easier. A Kool Stop tire jack will help immensely.

As to the brake adjustment, 1mm difference can be pretty significant, depending on the types of brakes you are using.
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Old 03-28-16, 02:30 PM
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The new A23 wheels have Shimano 5800 - 105 hubs. The cassette that I tried to install is an Ultegra 9-speed.

The brake alignment issue seems to be related to the amount of dishing in the rear wheel rather than the rim width. So, the rim on one side is much closer to the brake pad.
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Old 03-28-16, 02:39 PM
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The new A23 wheels have Shimano 5800 - 105 hubs. The cassette that I tried to install is an Ultegra 9-speed.

The brake alignment issue seems to be related to the amount of dishing in the rear wheel rather than the rim width. So, the rim on one side is much closer to the brake pad.
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Old 03-28-16, 02:44 PM
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The 9-speed Ultegra cassette should work with the single 1.85mm spacer. I'd measure to make sure they gave you the right one.

The spacing on 11-speed Shimano hubs is very slightly different (I think I read that they're 131mm OLD), but if they were centered correctly that shouldn't matter. Center is still center. That's fixable, but obviously it would be annoying to have to do so.

I have to ask, Velomine?
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Old 03-28-16, 03:07 PM
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Yes, I got the wheels from Velomine but they have been helpful. We have exchanged several emails but I was having trouble calling them to talk on the phone due to their shop hours and time differences. Finally talked to their mechanic this afternoon and it sounds like perhaps my cassette being dirty was preventing the lock ring from engaging. I confess to not cleaning the cassette before installing it. It also sounds like I will have to have the wheel redished if I want to be able to swap the Dyad and A23 wheelsets.

I'm starting to feel that I might be better off going back to my Open Pro wheelsets, since the A23 rims do not really provide any significant differences in tire width. I've got several sets of Open Pros as well as one set of DT Swiss wheels that I've had no trouble swapping out in the past.
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Old 03-28-16, 03:14 PM
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I just bought some wheels from Velomine, and I'm looking forward to their arrival so I can see what the build quality is like. I suspected that you got yours from them based on having seen what they have on offer right now.

Re-dishing the wheel is actually pretty easy if the tension is reasonably even. It's a bit more work than truing a wheel but, if the wheel was true to start with, easier.
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Old 03-28-16, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
I am also a little baffled by some other observations. One of the main reasons why I ordered the A23 wheels is that I wanted a wider profile on my tires. However, I installed two different sets of tires on the A23 wheels and they are scarcely wider than they were on the previous wheelset
The shift to 23-25mm wide rims isn't so much about increasing tire profile width with wide tires, it's about reducing the "lightbulb" profile with narrow tires. One claimed benefit is that if the tire and rim together form an smooth oval or teardrop profile, it produces less aerodynamic drag than the same tire on a narrower rim. The other claimed benefit is that the wider rim will provide better support to keep the tire from rolling over in hard cornering. (Note: it's the rim vendors, not me, making these claims. I can neither prove, nor disprove them).

In terms of width, the best you can hope for is tire width will increase about 1/3 of the rim width increase. But most tires have different casing stiffness on the tread, shoulders, sidewall, and beads, so often you won't see even the modest theoretical width increase.

Last edited by Kopsis; 03-28-16 at 04:47 PM.
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Old 03-28-16, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I just bought some wheels from Velomine, and I'm looking forward to their arrival so I can see what the build quality is like.
Mine arrived Friday (A23s on Ultegra hubs) and they are nice. Well packed, inside of box flap signed off by person who tensioned and trued them. Only did a quick test ride after getting them on the bike (and getting everything dialed in) but they felt really smooth.
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Old 03-28-16, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
Finally, tires are much harder to install and remove on the A23s. I dread the thought of fixing a flat during a ride. These rims could very soon be posted on Craigslist.
Switch to two wraps of 19mm wide 1 mil Kapton tape. That makes the difference between cussing at tools and comfortably hand-mounting tires due to just .005" total thickness versus .010" for thin rim tapes (or two wraps of Stan's) and .020" for cloth like Velox. It'll also get you more slack than Velocity Velo Plugs which I found insufficient on a pair of powder-coated Velocity Fusions.
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Old 03-28-16, 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
Switch to two wraps of 19mm wide 1 mil Kapton tape. That makes the difference between cussing at tools and comfortably hand-mounting tires due to just .005" total thickness versus .010" for thin rim tapes (or two wraps of Stan's) and .020" for cloth like Velox. It'll also get you more slack than Velocity Velo Plugs which I found insufficient on a pair of powder-coated Velocity Fusions.
Velocity even acknowledges this.
"Tight tolerances require the use of a low profile rim tape like Velotape to avoid tire installation issues. Veloplugs are not recommended on A23 or A23 OC rims."
Velocity Wheels - Hand Made in USA
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Old 03-28-16, 09:47 PM
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I used Stans rim tape and didn't have too much trouble installing tires, but removing them later was much more difficult. I would dread doing that on the side of the road. Beads were really deeply seated and hard to get tire tools under them.
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Old 03-30-16, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
I used Stans rim tape and didn't have too much trouble installing tires, but removing them later was much more difficult. I would dread doing that on the side of the road. Beads were really deeply seated and hard to get tire tools under them.
With any tubeless-ready rim, the key to removal is to squeeze both beads into the center channel of the rim, to get the tire off the "shoulder" of the rim. Then, remove as normal using a tire lever if you have to. Keep the bead of the tire from riding up on the shoulder as you work your way around.

For installation, it's somewhat the opposite. Get the first bead on and down into that center channel, install the tube, and get the second bead on. While working your way around, pay attention to keeping the bead in that center channel and off the shoulders.

Tire installation with our or Stan's tape should be pretty easy for most tires, though tires do vary somewhat.
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Old 03-31-16, 12:49 AM
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I got my wheels from Velomine tonight -- A23 rims with Formula hubs. The rims had this sticker on the inside



and this sticker was on the outside of the box



Mine were pretty well dished and true with good tension. A few of the NDS spokes on the rear wheel had less tension than the others. After I stress relieved the spokes the truing needed a bit of touch up. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the initial quality of the wheels.
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Old 03-31-16, 03:32 PM
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I bought a aet from Velomine a couple of years ago with 105 hubs for commuting which meant 120-150 miles a week. From the get go I had a few really loose spokes after the first week and had to bring them into the LBS to re-tension. Again had an issue a few weeks later and Velomine took them back and re-built the wheels. There was no issue after that with loose spokes but the wheels did not stay true for as long as I had hoped. I did go back to my Open pros for the commuter. What can I say, I had high hopes but I did get what I paid for.
Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
I got my wheels from Velomine tonight -- A23 rims with Formula hubs. The rims had this sticker on the inside



and this sticker was on the outside of the box



Mine were pretty well dished and true with good tension. A few of the NDS spokes on the rear wheel had less tension than the others. After I stress relieved the spokes the truing needed a bit of touch up. Overall, I'm pretty happy with the initial quality of the wheels.
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Old 03-31-16, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Not the Slowest View Post
I bought a aet from Velomine a couple of years ago with 105 hubs for commuting which meant 120-150 miles a week. From the get go I had a few really loose spokes after the first week and had to bring them into the LBS to re-tension. Again had an issue a few weeks later and Velomine took them back and re-built the wheels. There was no issue after that with loose spokes but the wheels did not stay true for as long as I had hoped. I did go back to my Open pros for the commuter. What can I say, I had high hopes but I did get what I paid for.
I'd be hard pressed to find the rims and hubs for what I paid for the whole wheel set, so even if I decide to rebuild them with double-butted spokes I figure I'll be doing OK, but I think they'll be alright. We've had a couple of discussions about Velomine here recently and several people have reported positive experiences. You can't beat the prices.
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Old 03-31-16, 04:39 PM
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You are correct Andy
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Old 04-01-16, 09:00 AM
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Had to return an Archetype/105 wheelset to Velomine a couple weeks ago. I took it to LBS and they were like no way should spokes be "that" uneven - a couple spokes had little to 0 tension. This wheelset was to replace an A23 set that pissed me off from day one. Velomine is a good investment if you know how to retention and true wheels yourself. I think of their wheels as starter kits for folks who know more about wheels than I do.

I'm a big guy and abuse the f out of wheels and the A23 (which may or may not have been properly built) rear couldn't hack it. I may not have understood proper air pressure when I first got the A23s as well. While I had the Velomine Archetypes for a couple days I used Stans tape and was AMAZED at how easy it was to mount tires.

I've had the A23s for a couple years and getting tires on and off SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK SUCK. There's a little trick a LBS taught me - you have to make sure the bead is down down on the lower part of the wheel - if it's up on that top teir lip - it won't go on. If you want 23mm wide clinchers - I'd recommend go with Archetype or HED. The Archetype = from what I've read = has a superior weld too.

I ended up sending back my Velomine Archetypes and investing in handbuilt HED C2s laced to Ultegra hubs. There's a reseller on Amazon who's selling an Ultegra hubset for 120.
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Old 04-01-16, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jason7878 View Post
I ended up sending back my Velomine Archetypes and investing in handbuilt HED C2s laced to Ultegra hubs.
I think you'll be very happy with your investment. I've got one set of wheels with the C2's and 105 hubs and another set with the Belgium Blacks (same rim without the machined braking surface) and Deore XT hubs. Both have been great.

I two wheelsets with A23's before the set I just bought and they've also been very good, but both of them have the older non-tubeless ready profile. I ordered some Kapton tape as @Drew Eckhardt recommended, so I have high hopes.

At least this gives us a test for people who aren't sure whether or not their A23's are tubeless ready. Can you mount a tire without swearing? If so, it must be the non-tubeless version. Though now that I've seen both I can say that the difference is pretty obvious.
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