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mkadam68 10-14-09 08:20 AM

Quick & Dirty Wheel Report
I came across Fuzion Wheels on somebody else's post on the road forum. As a "solid-clyde" (not an "uber-clyde" at 300+ lbs., nor a "jr-clyde" at 200-225 lbs., but in the middle), I'm always on the lookout for some new wheels that'll work well under me. Fuzion has two variations: the F1 and M1. They're laced to standard, house-brand hubs, or also available with PowerTap hubs.

The F1's & M1's both sell for $175 a set. It's listed as a "sale" price, with retail at $449. But it doesn't look like any sort of temporary sale that I've seen before, so make of that what you will. At any rate, it's a great price as my standby--32h OpenPro w/Ultegra hubs--cost me close to $275 (bought individually) at the local Performance. And even these, despite their universal acclaim, aren't bomb-proof. I've heard too many reports from a couple LBS' that Mavics are known for spoke pull-through, something I myself have experienced with them (CXP-33 rims and also some OpenPro's). I was in the market for a set of "race" wheels as my Ksyrium's rear hub cracked, so I took a gamble and picked up a pair of the M1's.

Both are road wheels, with the only difference being the number of spokes. The M1's have 24/28 spokes and the F1 have 20/24. However, this is not a light-weight wheelset as it's nearly the same as the OpenPros, but if nothing else, they do look nice and stealth. They came in a nice sturdy box and arrived within two weeks of ordering. Quick-release skewers and rim tape are included. Spokes are black, standard 14g (2.0mm) so replacing them or adjusting tension is easily accomplished with a standard spoke-wrench. They seemed extremely solid to me out-of-the-box, but then I don't handle new wheels often so maybe it was just them being new.

This is a "quick & dirty" report because in the two weeks I've had them, I've only put on about 350 miles. But, some of those miles have been over rough roads at a fairly good pace (Levi's King Ridge Gran Fondo), something that--due to my experience with the OpenPros--caused me to check them for side-side trueness as soon as the ride was over. Much to my astonishment, the Fuzions were not out of true at all. I might be able to detect a 1/2-mm wobble, but that's nothing really.

I then used these wheels during a fast group training ride, again with a few sections of not-too-seriously-bad pavement and, a couple days later during a 60-minute criterium featuring the small lip and bounce of a rain-gutter every lap (33 laps in all). Again, their trueness is impressing me. I thought for sure they'd at least have a wobble by now, but if anything, the slight, 1/2-mm wobble I thought I saw previously has disappeared (did the surrounding spokes settle?).

They're not strictly racing wheels as they don't seem to have the get-up-and-go jump of say, some deep-rim carbon Zipp's, but so far, they're solid, reliable, and comfortable. Out of the saddle, I can't induce any side-to-side flex that I notice.

The only problem I have had was in mounting the tires: they were extremely tight. So tight, in fact, that I broke two nylon tire irons getting them on. I ended up using a flat-bladed metal tool (not the greatest idea, I know, but I was extremely careful). One caveat in this criticism: I had never used the brand/model of tires before (Vittoria Open Corsa EVO-CX). My previous tires, Michelin Pro3Race's, are getting too expensive and the Vittoria's were a great deal. It's very possible the tightness was due to the tires and not the wheel, or more likely, the combination. YMMV.

The jury's still out as--like I said--I've only got very limited mileage on them. But, so far, I like them well enough. I'm hoping they'll just be a reliable, sturdy wheel that last a good long time.

CliftonGK1 10-14-09 09:11 AM

They sound pretty nice; looking forward to following the progress as you get more miles on them.

As for the tires, I think Vittoria tires run on the tight side of specifications. Mounting my Rando-Crossers was a Herculean feat, and I've got a buddy who gave up on trying to mount a pair of them on his Mavic SpeedCity wheels. He's also had issues mounting the Pave and Zaffiro (iirc) on those rims, but switching out to a pair of Schwalbes solved the problem.

Mr. Beanz 10-14-09 02:17 PM


Originally Posted by mkadam68 (Post 9855567)
And even these, despite their universal acclaim, aren't bomb-proof. I've heard too many reports from a couple LBS' that Mavics are known for spoke pull-through, something I myself have experienced with them (CXP-33 rims and also some OpenPro's). I was in the market for a set of "race" wheels as my Ksyrium's rear hub cracked, so I took a gamble and picked up a pair of the M1's.

Well, more notes in my box, my mental data box. I keep all my info there cause I'm mental!:D

More marks against the OP and Ksyriums added to my collection. The CXP does suprise me though., Well it does and it doesn't. Another double century rider (Bigkahuna) had plenty of trouble with his CXP33's as we did a few centuries together. He was 230 lbs and could not keep the rear 36 spoke wheel straight. Rebuilt by the shop then ended up breaking the hub flange between holes (Ultegra). So not totally shocked. I was planning to someday build a set to use on climbing rides (I use one on the front), gotta be lighter than my Deep V's. But now, I'll stick with what I got for the rear, you know me!:D

As far as the new wheels, nice write up! I saw the thread, nice price nice looking. Sometimes the sweet deals end up being the best. I know quite a few riders that have better luck with Korso wheels (Supergo/Performance brand) at $129 a set than they did with more expensive wheels. Some of them race!;)

The Fuzion look nice but again, you know me. I'll stick with my Fred'ish wheels. They do the job fer me!:p

But those do look pretty darn sweet!:thumb:

Don't forget the extended time period report!:D

Velo Dog 10-16-09 12:23 PM

I'm eager to see how that works out. I average about 240 pounds, and in 40 years of cycling as an adult, I've been sorry every time I've gone below 36 spokes. A local shop owner, a former pro mechanic (wrenched for Davis Phinney, among others), told me he could build me a lightweight 24/28 wheelset that would stand up . They cost a buttload and lasted about 900 miles (he bought them back). Rivendell finally fixed me up with a stout, not-too-heavy set of 36-spokers that have been true for a couple of thousand miles (I'm a mature rider, BTW--no jumping curbs or catching air).
As for the tight tires, I'd suspect the Vittorias, too. I bought four of them off a clearance table a couple of years ago at a shop that was going out of business, and ruined an entire set of plastic levers trying to mount them. I finally bought a cheap set of steel levers at a supermarket (bike shop didn't have them, but the grocer sold them for 99 cents) and forced them onto the rims. First time I had a flat I had to phone for help--I couldn't get a lever under the bead.

mkadam68 10-16-09 01:52 PM

My Open Pros are 32h with 14/15g spokes. I rode pretty much last year on one, then the rim cracked. I replaced with another this year. So far so good. But I've only popped one spoke between the two wheels. I ride 8,500--9,000 miles per year, of which about 6,000+ miles are on the OpenPros (remainder on other wheelsets). I'm north of 250-lbs.

But, I understand: sometimes, it's so frustrating, I figure if I could get away with only needing one rear wheel per year, I'm good.

mkadam68 05-04-10 11:10 AM

Quick Update...

After maybe about 2-300 miles, my spokes started breaking. Not the spoke itself in the J-bend, but the head of the spoke popped off. I have never seen a spoke break in that location.

I popped about 3 on the back, and when one finally broke on the front, I had had it. So I looked at the spokes: they were some unknown brand. Figuring the company used some generic spoke to cut costs ($175 wheelset--remember?), I ordered new ones from DT, the industry standard, and re-built both wheels.

The first two days out, I developed a slight wobble in the rear, and didn't have a chance to correct it. No big deal, I figured--just a wobble. Well on my 2nd ride out, I had every single spoke on the rear become loose. I almost fainted when I got to the end of the ride and saw how loose they all were. Scary amazing.

I hitched a ride home, re-tightened them & re-trued the wheel, and have been riding it since. A couple hundred miles later, it's still holding up fairly true. There's a slight out-of-round in it, but the lateral true has been spot on.

These wheels are turning into my every-day wheels. Hopefully, I won't start breaking spokes again in another hundred miles. If anything new happens, I'll let y'all know.

Brando_T. 05-04-10 11:29 AM

Thanks for the reviews, mkadam68

Mr. Beanz 05-04-10 12:42 PM

Too bad, those were some nice lookers! Hopefully the new DT's keep it together once they settle. :thumb:

RShea 11-14-10 04:46 PM

Any update on these wheels now that another summer riding season has come and gone? Any issues with the rims and hubs after you did the rebuild with the new spokes?

mtalinm 11-14-10 07:16 PM

the reason you had trouble mounting the tires might have been the Vittorias and not the rims. it was murder getting Vittorias onto my Soho

mkadam68 11-15-10 06:42 AM

After riding the rear for awhile, with not too many problems, I did start developing issues. The non-drive side spokes would become loose, and I'd have to stop every so often to tighten them. They would rub against each other and squeak as a result.

So, smart guy me, I decided to increase the tension on all the spokes to see if that would take care of it. Well, adding tension to the non-drive side forced me to add tension to the drive-side to compensate. This took the spoke tension above the 110 kg/f I had built them with. And, within a week, I had spoke pull-through at the rim, ruining the rear wheel. :shaking head: :face palm: I have kept the hub, and may use it to build another wheel in the future. The front fared much better. Although, I did crash about 6-weeks ago, and bent the rim, so it too, is now out of commission.

Thus ends the $175 experiment and quest for cheap, bling-looking wheels. In the end, I don't think I exactly got my money's worth. If they had come with DT spokes in the beginning and I hadn't had to re-build them, then, yeah, maybe they would have been worth the $175. But the re-build was another $60 (spokes, nipples, s & h).

In my crash (above), i also was riding my Velocity Fusion wheel (rear), and it too was slightly bent. I have not been able since to true it and keep it true, so it eventually is toast as well. A friend (herbm) gave me a couple OpenPro rims that he no longer uses, so I'm building those up and will see how lousy of a wheel builder I am. :D

bradtx 11-15-10 07:35 AM

mkadam68, Thanks for the updates and a good article. I followed it as I was curious about the hub's, primarily the rear's reliability.

Following a friend's advice I had a CXP12/600 (Ultegra) 32H wheelset built w/15-14 DT spokes rather than straight gauge 14 spokes. Many Ks of miles on that set and far fewer truing sessions than a nearly identical CXP10/600 wheelset w/straight gauge 14s. I used those DB spokes on a 28H set of Open Pro CD rims/DA hubs and again excellent through about 1K miles. I don't know why the DB spokes work better for me than the straight gauge spokes.


mkadam68 11-15-10 08:41 AM

My understanding with 14/15g spokes is: there's a little bit more flexing going on, so they can better absorb the forces they're subjected to. The Ultegra/OpenPros I get at Performance are all built with 14/15g spokes. I've never had a problem with the spoke (non have broken): I always end up with rim cracks. I probably should have built up my current project wheels using the 14/15 spokes.

bradtx 11-15-10 09:45 AM

mkadam68, I think you're right about the greater flexability.


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