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Wheelset upgrade: Axis 2.0 to Campagnolo Zonda = "Heavier" ride?

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Wheelset upgrade: Axis 2.0 to Campagnolo Zonda = "Heavier" ride?

Old 08-09-19, 09:31 PM
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Ataylor
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Wheelset upgrade: Axis 2.0 to Campagnolo Zonda = "Heavier" ride?

Some background. I installed the wheels today. Had to take the cassette off of the old Axis wheel and install it on the Zonda myself. Not a pro, it was my first time installing a cassette and though it seems to ride without any major hangups, I'm not entirely sure if I've installed everything properly. Why? Because the chain won't actually go to the last cog. Never paid attention to whether or not it did this with the Axis wheels, but I know for sure it's doing it with the Zondas.

Now when I was pedaling using my hands (just to see if it the wheel would spin correctly and that the tires were trued), I noticed that it felt heavy. Meaning, there was a touch of resistance when I was spinning the crankset - it felt a bit more difficult to spin than it did with the Axis wheels I owned and rode on for the past three years.

I also noticed two other things when I took the bike for a spin. The "explosiveness" of the initial start wasn't there. Meaning, when I was on the Axis wheels, as soon as I got on the bike and began to pedal, it just flew and continued to fly until I got tired. Now it just drags a bit. The other thing is with the rolling resistance. I don't know if it's all in my head or what, but it doesn't seem to roll as long as it did before. I'm suing the same wheels, same inner tubes and even tried different PSI's (i.e. 85/90 and 90/100) and it still felt the same.

That said, I was convinced that "better" wheels would mean everything I had with the Axis wheels x 2. Or at the very least they would feel the same as my older wheels, but they don't.

So do you guys know what the problem could be here? Is it possible that something I did could have caused this issue? Is it the wheels and that's just the way they feel/ride? Is it in my head? All of the above? Any advice or comments anyone could share would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-10-19, 05:42 AM
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You will very likely have to readjust your rear derailleur when you swap wheels, both limits and indexing, unless you are very lucky and the wheels' cassette positions match exactly; unlikely.

https://www.parktool.com/blog/repair...eur-adjustment

As to performance, perhaps your expectations are unrealistic. New wheels will often have slightly more resistance due to seal drag, but it is all but unnoticeable when riding. Make certain the the tire is not dragging against anything.
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Old 08-10-19, 05:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Ataylor View Post
Some background. I installed the wheels today. Had to take the cassette off of the old Axis wheel and install it on the Zonda myself. Not a pro, it was my first time installing a cassette and though it seems to ride without any major hangups, I'm not entirely sure if I've installed everything properly. Why? Because the chain won't actually go to the last cog. Never paid attention to whether or not it did this with the Axis wheels, but I know for sure it's doing it with the Zondas.

Now when I was pedaling using my hands (just to see if it the wheel would spin correctly and that the tires were trued), I noticed that it felt heavy. Meaning, there was a touch of resistance when I was spinning the crankset - it felt a bit more difficult to spin than it did with the Axis wheels I owned and rode on for the past three years.

I also noticed two other things when I took the bike for a spin. The "explosiveness" of the initial start wasn't there. Meaning, when I was on the Axis wheels, as soon as I got on the bike and began to pedal, it just flew and continued to fly until I got tired. Now it just drags a bit. The other thing is with the rolling resistance. I don't know if it's all in my head or what, but it doesn't seem to roll as long as it did before. I'm suing the same wheels, same inner tubes and even tried different PSI's (i.e. 85/90 and 90/100) and it still felt the same.

That said, I was convinced that "better" wheels would mean everything I had with the Axis wheels x 2. Or at the very least they would feel the same as my older wheels, but they don't.

So do you guys know what the problem could be here? Is it possible that something I did could have caused this issue? Is it the wheels and that's just the way they feel/ride? Is it in my head? All of the above? Any advice or comments anyone could share would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Access to the last sprocket:
Diferent wheel maufacturers put their cassette bodies slightly differing distances from the rear drop out. I don't know what dimension the AXIS wheels use for this but the problem there may be down to rear derailleur set up for the Zonda vs your Axis wheels. I'd do a careful "from scratch" set up on the rear derailleur, including the limit screws, to make sure that the limits are correctly set up.

General advice before you do that is:
1. Make sure that in taking the rear wheel out and putting the new one in that you do it with the bike on the floor so that the rear wheel goes all the way into the dropouts.
2. Make sure that if for any reason you pushed the rear derailleur "inwards" when doing the wheel change, the rear derailleur cable didn't pop out of it's final cable stop and is now sitting with the edge of the ferrule against the stop, rather than the ferrule sitting "into" the stop - that'd prevent you getting to the last (smallest) sprocket and in general the tension on the gear cable is enought to stop the cable just dropping back into the position it should be in.

Turning resistance:
Most of that sounds like it could be down to either bearing tightness (i.e. the Zonda bearings are binding) or in the case of rim brake, light brake block friction - although were it the latter I'd have thought you'd have seen and heard that - I am assuming that you are not on discs? If you are on discs, then the same is true of the discs as it is of the cassette - there are small differences in the exact position that the disc ends up relative to the brake caliper between wheel manufacturers which can cause rub. Additionally with discs, wheels not in dead straight and / or the actual tightness of the wheel fixing can all slightly affect whether the disc rubs or not - you only have a couple of 10ths of a mm to play with between the brake pad and the rotor and that can be influenced by the QR or bolt-through tightness.

Bearing tightness would have to be fairly appreciable for it to be perceptible when riding - but sure, when just spinning the wheel with the bike on the stand, it will slow the wheels down, or rather,they'll wind down to a stop faster from any given initial spin speed / amount of effort put in to spin them.

The Zondas have class-leading, open bearings which should spin very freely when correctly set up with the QR or bolt-through done up - but like all bearings, you can compress the bearing and therefore tighten it and increase it's resistance to movement by either putting it into the bike with it set exactly correctly with no end-load on it, or by drastically over-doing the tightness of yor QRs or bolt-throughs.

The Zondas have alloy axles and so we recommend that the bearings are set very slightly loose when out of the bike and so, when correct QR pressure is applied to the axle, that very small amount of free play is taken up by the end-load supplied by the QR.

One check you can do, without removing the wheels from your bike, is where they settle. It's not a conclusive test for bearing tightness but it's a good indicator. Lift the wheel off the floor and slowly spin it - wait for it to stop moving of it's own accord and notice where some fixed point on the wheel is - the valve is usually a good indicator to use. Do the same again - does the wheel settle in the same place, or somewhere else? If you do that a few times, to eliminate co-incidence, if generally the wheel settles in the same place (often with the valve at the bottom), the beraings are turning very freely. On the other hand, if the wheel settles in lots of different places, the bearing is probably very tight or you have that in bike-world mythical beast, the perfectly-balanced wheel, tyre and tube combibation).

It sounds from your comments about transferring the cassette as if you may not be a particularly experienced cycle mechanic, so you may want to ask your LBS to look at some of these issues for you, as whilst for an experienced mechanic they are all fairly quick and simple things to look at and sort out, for a less experienced or home mechanic, they might be more challenging.

Once you have them set right, you should find the Zondas are really reactive, light-feeling ride. They are the training wheel of choice for many Campagnolo riders, both those who are sponsored and those who but their own kit. A good many riders race on them too, as a good "do anything" option.

Last edited by gfk_velo; 08-10-19 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 08-10-19, 10:07 AM
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Take the wheel off and turn the axle between your fingers. If it turns freely, there is no bearing tightness. To check for slop, put the wheel back on and gently try to move the rim from side to side in the area between the brake pads. Only a tiny amount of free play should be felt.

Your old heavy wheels might roll longer, but a lighter wheel will accelerate faster. Lighter is better.

The zondas are great wheels for the money.
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Old 08-10-19, 07:06 PM
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One thing is that the fresh factory grease in the hubs might be causing a bit of resistance, and will need to work its way out a bit over a few hundred miles. Your Zondas will go from nearly silent to having a light/normal freehub noise as this happens and they may loosen up a bit and feel better.

I have Zondas also. When the bike is upside down and I pedal with my hands, they roll forever compared to the boat anchor Shimano RS010 wheels they replaced. However on the road, I'd say they roll for about the same amount of time - a heavier wheel will actually usually roll longer I find - my hybrid bike speeds up much quicker coasting down a small hill and rolls forever, because that bike and its wheels are a good bit heavier (more momentum I guess?), and that makes that bike fun. The Zondas on the other hand that I have on my road bike (also new with a couple hundred miles on them) do accelerate faster and climb better.

I would try and get 200-300 miles on them as quick as possible and see how they feel at that point once the hub starts making some noise - they are a great wheel and can't be beat for the price.
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Old 08-12-19, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Take the wheel off and turn the axle between your fingers. If it turns freely, there is no bearing tightness. To check for slop, put the wheel back on and gently try to move the rim from side to side in the area between the brake pads. Only a tiny amount of free play should be felt.

Your old heavy wheels might roll longer, but a lighter wheel will accelerate faster. Lighter is better.

The zondas are great wheels for the money.
Just a quick note - correctly set cup and cone, or open bearings, such as Campagnolo use in the Zonda should have no free play when in the bike but will have slight "slop" out of the bike.
They are set in the bike with the QR done up (and the hub design is made to facilitate that) precisely so that it is possible to "only just" eliminate the free play at the rim when the axle is fully compressed by the QR.

Cartridge wheel bearings sometimes have slight free play in the bike, even with the QR done up, because the design of a cartridge bearing designed predominantly for radial loads (which is what is often used) carries the balls in a groove, rather than in a cup-and-cone where the balls are effectively "trapped" between the cup and the cone. The best example of wheel bearings designed to have a tiny amount of lateral play at the rim when correctly set is Zipp, who specify that as the correct assembly.
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Old 08-12-19, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
One thing is that the fresh factory grease in the hubs might be causing a bit of resistance, and will need to work its way out a bit over a few hundred miles. Your Zondas will go from nearly silent to having a light/normal freehub noise as this happens and they may loosen up a bit and feel better.

I have Zondas also. When the bike is upside down and I pedal with my hands, they roll forever compared to the boat anchor Shimano RS010 wheels they replaced. However on the road, I'd say they roll for about the same amount of time - a heavier wheel will actually usually roll longer I find - my hybrid bike speeds up much quicker coasting down a small hill and rolls forever, because that bike and its wheels are a good bit heavier (more momentum I guess?), and that makes that bike fun. The Zondas on the other hand that I have on my road bike (also new with a couple hundred miles on them) do accelerate faster and climb better.

I would try and get 200-300 miles on them as quick as possible and see how they feel at that point once the hub starts making some noise - they are a great wheel and can't be beat for the price.
At the risk od diagnosing blind but with the experience of several score Zondas behind us (it's one of the wheels we most use on our Campag demo fleet) my opinion is that the issue shouldn't be (and I don't think it is) grease viscosity or viscous resistance.

Campagnolo use Kluber Isoflex NB52 Topas as the factory grease in hubs (and several other applications where low rolling resistance and high resistance to mechanical displacement are required), a very low viscosity Barium soap grease - and are fairly sparing with it, as it's main job is corrosion control rather than lubrication, as such ... the balls are retained in Delrin cages which are themselves extremely low friction against the ballbearings and there is no lubrication required between the balls and the cups / cones themselves.

A lubricant film is also useful under the lip of the lip seals and where the cone passes through the lip seals. New seals might be tight enough, when absolutely pristine, to give noticeable rolling resistance on a "by-hand-axle-twist-test" but that wouldn't be perceptible when riding, or even on a spin test in the forks. That seal tightness would be gone in very few - 50-100? - km, though.

Cassette body noise is simply damped by the grease - initially a pad of grease rests on the ratchet of the drive ring and where the pawls are forced out onto that pad, the grease decelerates them so that they don't, crudely, hit as hard, so they don't make as much noise. Displacement and mechanical damage to the soap quite quickly reduces the cushion effect, so the drive ratchet gets "noisier" when freewheeling. There should be no additional viscous resistance under drive and only a negligibale amount of pawl-to-drive-ring stiction when freewheeling.

Last edited by gfk_velo; 08-12-19 at 12:26 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 08-12-19, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
You will very likely have to readjust your rear derailleur when you swap wheels, both limits and indexing, unless you are very lucky and the wheels' cassette positions match exactly; unlikely.
I had them checked out and thankfully (luckily?) there were no issues.

Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
As to performance, perhaps your expectations are unrealistic. New wheels will often have slightly more resistance due to seal drag, but it is all but unnoticeable when riding. Make certain the the tire is not dragging against anything.
They're definitely not dragging towards anything (the LBS checked and confirmed this) and they're still noticeably slower.

Also, the wheels on the Roubaix were new, too, and yet still the very first ride was magical. In fact, the selling point for me literally boiled down to one thing: How absolutely responsive and quick they were right off the bat and they stayed that way until I just recently exchanged them. So when I "upgraded" the wheels, I guess my expectations were, as I mentioned above, that at the very least I would experience a similar ride, not a "lesser-quality" one, and that (for whatever reason) didn't happen. I'm not saying that the wheels are to blame (though they might be). All I'm saying is that I notice a difference and I don't know why.

Originally Posted by gfk_velo View Post
Access to the last sprocket...
Thank you for the detailed reply. I appreciate it. I'm not on disc brakes and the spin test landed the wheel (or the valve rather) at difference places. It seems to be rolling just fine (even when I'm riding), but I can just tell that they're not as quick as my other wheels.

That said, I'm not a pro mechanic by any means, so I wound up taking the bike into my LBS and even mentioned some of the things you said and they couldn't find anything wrong. There was an issue with the actual shifter itself, but that had nothing to do with the ride. So I still don't know for sure what may be causing this drag.

Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Take the wheel off and turn the axle between your fingers. If it turns freely, there is no bearing tightness. To check for slop, put the wheel back on and gently try to move the rim from side to side in the area between the brake pads. Only a tiny amount of free play should be felt.
Thanks. Rolling is fine and there's only a sliver of give, so neither of the things you mentioned are an issue.

Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
One thing is that the fresh factory grease in the hubs might be causing a bit of resistance, and will need to work its way out a bit over a few hundred miles.
I think that pretty much might be the only option I'm left with at this point. It's either that or return them, but I don't know if I want to go through the hassle of sending them back. Plus, I'm not entirely sure the shop would accept them, since I've installed and ridden them already.

Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
Your Zondas will go from nearly silent to having a light/normal freehub noise as this happens and they may loosen up a bit and feel better.
I was wondering about that. I almost didn't want to order them having come from nearly silent Shimano hubs. When I tested the Zonda's at home and even listened during an actual ride, they were super quiet and I was surprised after having read reviews about how "loud" they can be. That said, if that changes with time, I'd be fine with it if they did actually loosen up. If not, a relatively-speaking "slow" and "loud" ride will definitely lead me to sell these things.
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Old 08-14-19, 12:07 PM
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It's all in your imagination, then. I've owned a lot of different wheelsets in the last 25 years. Never once did I think that any of them were noticeably slow. I've had the earliest version of Campy Shamal aero wheels that were quite heavy, with a deep aluminum rim and only 12 or 16 spokes in the front, Mavic Ksyriums, Fulcrum Zeros, hand built DT Swiss 28 spoke wheels and many others. I never got the impression that something was wrong with any of them. Right now I have a set of Zondas and a set of the cheapest Scirocco wheels with cartridge bearings, that are heavier and cheaper, with deeper rims. The Scirocco has to be a little slower to wind up, but how could this possibly be measured?

I'd concentrate on enjoying your ride and leave your imagination at home.
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Old 08-15-19, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
It's all in your imagination, then.
I mean I can understand making the argument that it's all in my head, but to conclude conclusively that that's the case seems a bit premature, no? You don't really know that and despite being convinced that there's a difference, neither do I and as such I can't bring myself to totally dismiss such a possibility. I just don't know if it's possible to tell on an objective level that a slight resistance doesn't actually exist simply by turning the wheels or by insuring that there is no bearing tightness.

Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
The Scirocco has to be a little slower to wind up, but how could this possibly be measured?
A blind test? Not blindfolded, obviously, but perhaps to have someone replace the wheels and not tell you which is which?
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Old 08-15-19, 02:53 AM
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Junk wheels.
You sell to me.
I give $200.
I no mind being slow.
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Old 08-15-19, 03:11 AM
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BTW, now that I think about it, I had a set of DT 2.0s with axis hubs. Specialized take offs.
I had them for about a week. Hubs weren't too bad; nice engagement.
Couldn't wrap my head around spooling up four pounds of wheel.
Sold them to a large fellow to use for CX.
Right now all my wheel sets are in the 1400-1500g range.
I'm not too concerned with how they 'feel.'
Lighter is faster.
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