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Another Alloy Wheel Thread! Campy Zondos or DT Swiss PR1600?

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Another Alloy Wheel Thread! Campy Zondos or DT Swiss PR1600?

Old 10-22-23, 10:53 AM
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Another Alloy Wheel Thread! Campy Zondos or DT Swiss PR1600?

Hi everyone,

TL; DR: Want a decently nice rim brake wheelset for an older, but much loved bike that still gets significant use. PR1600 23mm, or Zondas?

---

Allow me to introduce the veteran in my stable, a 2004 Bianchi Vigorelli. Her name is Vicky.



She's got more miles than I've ever counted - since I joined Strava in 2018, she's gotten 2,300 mi; no idea how many were logged in the 13 years before that (she was NOS in 2005). Since 2019, she's actually spent most of her time in my sister's garage on the SF Peninsula, which allowed me to go riding whenever I came out to visit from NYC. Now that I'm out here for the next year, she's sharing space with my much younger Lynskey, and I rotate between the two. In the past four months, the Lynskey's gotten about 1100 miles, the Bianchi, about 600 miles.

A few years back, the freehub on her Mavic Ksyrium Equipes started making a different noise when freewheeling, eventually failing to engage reliably. I took the wheel to the shop, where the diagnosed it as a failing freehub (naturally), and basically for the cost of labor put a used, but not yet failing freehub on the wheel, and I was on my merry way. While they were at it, the shop pointed out to me that while my rims still had some life left in them, all the wear markers were getting pretty worn out. They expected maybe an additional 500-1000 mi out of the wheels before they'd be concerned.

Well, now it's about 800 or so miles later, and the repurposed freehub feels like it's getting sticky - pedaling backwards, even just a few revolutions, causes massive slack in the top of the chain, which causes the bike to want to shift. Not the greatest sensation. By feel, the rims are fairly concave, and I can tell that now when I'm cleaning the bike. So no point faffing about with trying to repair these, time for new wheels. But what?

Campy Zondas are the default recommendation around here. I have them on a different bike that stayed on the east coast, and I don't have a bad word to say about them. But while looking around online, I noticed something else that caught my eye.
DT Swiss PR1600 (either in 23mm or 32mm variations) are about the same price as the Zondas (Bike24 vs Merlin).

Pros for Zonda:
- Quiet freehub
- Cool spoke lacing
Cons:
- Based on my luggage scale, Campy is definitely taking liberties with '1540g.' I weighed mine without skewers, and they were a smidge over 1700g
- C17 rim width is advertised at 17mm. Certainly wider than the Ksyrium's 15mm, but the DT Swiss comes in at 18mm

Pros for PR1600:
- I think I might trust their 1591g advertised weight (23mm) more
- More traditional look, doesn't call attention to itself
Cons :
- The DT350 based hubs will certainly be louder than the Zonda - but maybe quieter than the DT240s on my Lynskey?

Both wheelsets appear to have freehub bodies replaceable with Campy, which might be an interesting endeavor - Bike24 has 12-spd Chorus for ~800 Euro shipped, and her Ultegra 6500 drivetrain is pretty worn out (though still running - mostly - like a champ).

The Lynskey, with her 45mm deep carbon wheels, takes care of the 'flash looking bike' duty, so I have no need to go deep dish, carbon, or anything too fancy for the Bianchi. Her current triple crank (and possible eventual 34x34 Chorus gearing) will help me get up hills, so don't want to put anything that's too much of a boat anchor on her, either (for reference, the Ksyriums were advertised as 1690g, based on Mavic's website).

Would love thoughts and opinions - thanks!

Edit: used the wrong ‘their.’

Last edited by aliasfox; 10-22-23 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 10-22-23, 05:47 PM
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Maybe I am going deaf in my middle age, but the DT Swiss freehub (36T) on my Roval Terra CL wheels are quieter than my Mavic Ksyrium Elite and Aksium wheels, and also the 36T ratchet freehub on my FFWD wheels, which are the loudest.

Among the two wheels you listed, I would go for the DT Swiss set for the increased width and to avoid cup and cone bearings. But make sure you have sufficient clearance for your intended wheel and tire combination. Going from an internal width of 15 mm to 18 mm would increase the measured width of your tires by roughly 0.75 mm on each side.
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Old 10-22-23, 10:13 PM
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Thanks. Why would you want to avoid cup and cone bearings?
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Old 10-23-23, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
Thanks. Why would you want to avoid cup and cone bearings?
Well established tech that requires maintenance, even if its only once every couple years based on your use since 2018, scares many people.

Where did you find DT PR1600 rim brake wheels for about the same cost as Zondas?


In that $450 or less category, here is another option...
https://boydcycling.com/products/rou...brake-wheelset $425, handbuilt, 1650g, 19mm internal 24mm external, 26mm deep.
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Old 10-23-23, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Well established tech that requires maintenance, even if its only once every couple years based on your use since 2018, scares many people.

Where did you find DT PR1600 rim brake wheels for about the same cost as Zondas?


In that $450 or less category, here is another option...
https://boydcycling.com/products/rou...brake-wheelset $425, handbuilt, 1650g, 19mm internal 24mm external, 26mm deep.
Merlin has a set of the PR1600 23mm (demo) for just over $400, and new 32mm for $10 more. It looks like the PR1600 rim brake model is discontinued, so this might be the last of their stock.
Thanks for the additional recommendation - I had thought Boyds would be in the same price range as HEDs (I guess the Altamont and Ardennes are pretty close). I'll try to read up on these. At first glance, I like the wide rims, but, j-bend and non-bladed spokes are distinctly old school (not that it really matters). Gotta weigh the vanity of a boutique brand (Boyd) against cool looking stuff - knowing that neither really makes a difference.

As for periodic maintenance, I'm not too fussed about doing that at this point. I have my own stand and two road bikes, so taking one out of commission for a couple of weekends won't be the end of the world. The only thing that I hate doing is wrapping bar tape...
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Old 10-23-23, 10:29 AM
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I wouldn’t rule out boyd, but the zondas still have my vote. My rule for upgrades. Aero first weight second. Aero wise they are about the same. Weight wise I believe the zondas win.
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Old 10-23-23, 10:31 AM
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I also wouldn’t rule these out. I can vouch for superteam wheels. Own two sets and have put 11,000 on one of them no issues.
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Old 10-23-23, 10:50 AM
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The Superteams are interesting, but I think I'll stick with plain old alloy wheels for this bike, and leave the aero wheels to the Lynskey - she runs Light Bicycle 45mm deep rims on DT240s.

I might default to the Zondas - Bike24 has them, shipped, for $383 USD. The PR1600 32mm comes in about $100 more ($470), and the Boyds would probably be a bit more (their checkout is down right now).

Unless, of course, I hear that the other options are worth the extra $100?
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Old 10-23-23, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Well established tech that requires maintenance, even if its only once every couple years based on your use since 2018, scares many people.
Not "scare[d]" per se, but given that (1) I have not had any cup-and-cone wheels, and (2) wheels with replaceable cartridge bearings have worked well for me and have not been shown to be worse, why bother with a technology that the industry seem to be moving away from?
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Old 10-23-23, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Not "scare[d]" per se, but given that (1) I have not had any cup-and-cone wheels, and (2) wheels with replaceable cartridge bearings have worked well for me and have not been shown to be worse, why bother with a technology that the industry seem to be moving away from?
Yeah, 'scared' is a loaded term for sure. Based on the OP's comments about changing groups, I dont take him to be one that is new to maintenance or has only worked on new tech(the Venn for someone thats only worked on new tech and also considers Campy has to be small) which is why I didnt think twice about cup and cone being a valid option.

Fully agree the industry has largely moved away from cup and cone loose ball hubs. Heck, my last 3 wheelsets have been cartridge and me next will likely be the same. I certainly am not dying on that hill. It also just isnt something that I take into account when considering wheels. I certainly care about hub reviews/reliability/design, but the manner in which that reliability is created doesnt matter to me.
Totally get that it may matter to others though.
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Old 10-23-23, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
The Superteams are interesting, but I think I'll stick with plain old alloy wheels for this bike, and leave the aero wheels to the Lynskey - she runs Light Bicycle 45mm deep rims on DT240s.

I might default to the Zondas - Bike24 has them, shipped, for $383 USD. The PR1600 32mm comes in about $100 more ($470), and the Boyds would probably be a bit more (their checkout is down right now).

Unless, of course, I hear that the other options are worth the extra $100?

FWIW...Boyd built their own alloy rim manufacturing facilities. Made in the USA.
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Old 10-23-23, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Yeah, 'scared' is a loaded term for sure. Based on the OP's comments about changing groups, I dont take him to be one that is new to maintenance or has only worked on new tech(the Venn for someone thats only worked on new tech and also considers Campy has to be small) which is why I didnt think twice about cup and cone being a valid option.

Fully agree the industry has largely moved away from cup and cone loose ball hubs. Heck, my last 3 wheelsets have been cartridge and me next will likely be the same. I certainly am not dying on that hill. It also just isnt something that I take into account when considering wheels. I certainly care about hub reviews/reliability/design, but the manner in which that reliability is created doesnt matter to me.
Totally get that it may matter to others though.
I worked as a shop monkey back in high school and college (20 or so years ago at this point), so if anything, it's newer tech that trips me up more. That said, I built up a SRAM equipped CAAD as a pandemic project (just to see if I liked SRAM mechanical shifting - I don't), and built up a 105 equipped gravel bike that serves mostly as a glorified commuter out here. Along the way, I've read manuals, watched YouTube videos, and have hopefully gotten caught up on most recent tech.

I'm considering putting Campy on this bike for a few reasons:
- A slightly different technical challenge
- Always heard that people like Campy, and I've never had a chance to try it
- The availability of an 11-34 12 speed cassette that still has an 11-17 corncob (something Shimano lacks)
- The amount of wear on the existing Ultegra 6500 drivetrain. At minimum, the current drivetrain could use a new chain, cassette, rings, and cables, which may still be what I end up doing (assuming I can find equivalent parts).
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Old 10-23-23, 03:01 PM
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I would advice a Mavic Cosmic Pro or a Mavic Cosmic Expert pairs of wheels, they are very reliable and durable.They also have the sup and UB control caracteristics which made them superior to Campy. The Mavic 571 hubs are solid and bulletproof hubs.I still have my 1997 Mavic Cosmic Expert which are in perfectly fine condition
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Old 10-23-23, 04:11 PM
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How about Mavic Ksyrium S: Mavic Ksyrium S Clincher Road Wheelset | Merlin Cycles

Slightly wider, slightly lighter, and slightly more expensive than the DT Swiss Spline 23.

The current DT Swiss 350 (36T) is a sweet freehub, BUT if it is the older version with the 18T ratchet, then I would rather have the Mavic ID 360 (40T) freehub. That said, DT Swiss replacement spokes may be easier to source.
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Old 10-23-23, 04:43 PM
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While I like Boyd's story, the lack of an available Campy freehub takes it out of the running.

I think I came across the Ksyrium S wheels at the same time as SoSmellyAir. They're actually comparably priced to the Zondas on Bike24, so definitely in contention. I had originally skipped them as I (for some reason) assumed Ksyriums were all still on 15mm internal width. I'm honestly more concerned about the hubs than the spokes - my Equipes have stayed true (and no broken spokes so far), but the freehub's gone.

Given the 20 euro price difference between the Zondas and the Ksyrium S, and the $70-90 gap to the PR1600s... is there one of these options that stands out?
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Old 10-23-23, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
While I like Boyd's story, the lack of an available Campy freehub takes it out of the running.

I think I came across the Ksyrium S wheels at the same time as SoSmellyAir. They're actually comparably priced to the Zondas on Bike24, so definitely in contention. I had originally skipped them as I (for some reason) assumed Ksyriums were all still on 15mm internal width. I'm honestly more concerned about the hubs than the spokes - my Equipes have stayed true (and no broken spokes so far), but the freehub's gone.

Given the 20 euro price difference between the Zondas and the Ksyrium S, and the $70-90 gap to the PR1600s... is there one of these options that stands out?
There are very few factory rim brake wheels with a 15 mm ID still on the market, at least not from the big brands. Shimano RS500 may be the exception:

Shimano WH-RS500 Tubeless Wheelset [EWHRS500FRM] (biketiresdirect.com)

As for the freehub failure on your Ksyrium Equipes, which has pawls, not sure that is at all comparable to the current Mavic ID360 freehub, which has a ratchet like DT Swiss 350. Not that I am saying one is more or less reliable than the other. If you plan to run tubeless, Mavic Ksyrium wheels do not come with or need rim tape.
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Old 10-23-23, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
How about Mavic Ksyrium S: Mavic Ksyrium S Clincher Road Wheelset | Merlin Cycles

Slightly wider, slightly lighter, and slightly more expensive than the DT Swiss Spline 23.

The current DT Swiss 350 (36T) is a sweet freehub, BUT if it is the older version with the 18T ratchet, then I would rather have the Mavic ID 360 (40T) freehub. That said, DT Swiss replacement spokes may be easier to source.
merlin cycles has some great prices and shipping is reasonable..
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Old 10-23-23, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by jadmt
merlin cycles has some great prices and shipping is reasonable..
Definitely see some good prices at Merlin, but Bike24 seems to do better (but only lists prices in Euros). Anybody have any experience with Bike24? Wouldn’t mind saving a few bucks if they’re legit.
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Old 10-23-23, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
Definitely see some good prices at Merlin, but Bike24 seems to do better (but only lists prices in Euros). Anybody have any experience with Bike24? Wouldn’t mind saving a few bucks if they’re legit.
Yeah I have purchased a couple times from bike24. One precovid and one during/post covid.
Both times were...less than fast delivery.

Yeah it's a real site and what not though.
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Old 10-25-23, 07:37 AM
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Thanks, mstateglfr

Quick update: I think I've made a decision on which wheels to settle on.

Zondas are no longer being advertised as 2-way fit, which limits option value if I ever want to try tubeless. That, and the narrower-than-competition C17 rim makes it less desirable. My other pair of Zondas are 2-way fit, so having two pairs of very similar looking wheels may add to confusion down the line.
PR1600 23mm is only available as a demo pair, so less desireable
PR1600 32mm is heavier than current wheels, so while not a big deal, don't really want to go backwards
Boyd Rouleurs don't have an option for a Campy freehub

Which leaves the Mavic Ksyrium S as the current champion. Wider than all but the Boyds, lighter than my current Equipes, and it sounds like they have hubs of similar quality to the DT350s. All4Cycling has them for $400 (Bike24 won't ship to the US) with free shipping, so I just need to pull the trigger.

Any arguments against the Ksyrium S, or All4Cycling?

Also, I just noticed I called the Campy wheels Zondos in the title... I wonder if that was from autocorrect... lol.
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Old 10-25-23, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
... Which leaves the Mavic Ksyrium S as the current champion. Wider than all but the Boyds, lighter than my current Equipes, and it sounds like they have hubs of similar quality to the DT350s.
To the extent that the "similar quality" assessment is based on my comments above, please let me clarify that it appears to me that the Mavic ID360 freehub and the DT Swiss 350 freehub have similar designs.

Originally Posted by aliasfox
All4Cycling has them for $400 (Bike24 won't ship to the US) with free shipping, so I just need to pull the trigger.

Any arguments against the Ksyrium S, or All4Cycling?
I have ordered two saddles from All4Cycling and both were shipped very quickly. For smaller items the regular shipping is $20 and expedited shipping is only $2 more and so no brainer. This may not apply to bigger things like wheels.
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Old 10-25-23, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
To the extent that the "similar quality" assessment is based on my comments above, please let me clarify that it appears to me that the Mavic ID360 freehub and the DT Swiss 350 freehub have similar designs.



I have ordered two saddles from All4Cycling and both were shipped very quickly. For smaller items the regular shipping is $20 and expedited shipping is only $2 more and so no brainer. This may not apply to bigger things like wheels.
Gotcha. Though as much as I'm harping on hubs, the truth is that the Equipe's hubs weren't especially well regarded when they came out - they were bottom of Mavic's prebuilt barrel, and I believe they were replaced by the Aksiums a few years later. And even these guys lasted me the better part of 20 years (granted, there were a handful of years that they didn't get ridden much/at all). Even the low spoke count design supported my weight when I was closer to 230 lbs, and still run true to this day.

All that to say that maybe I'm not so abusive on my equipment that I need to split hairs too much.
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Old 10-25-23, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by aliasfox
Even the low spoke count design supported my weight when I was closer to 230 lbs, and still run true to this day.
My Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels have 18 front and 20 rear spokes, and they support my almost 200 lbs. with no issues.
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Old 10-25-23, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
To the extent that the "similar quality" assessment is based on my comments above, please let me clarify that it appears to me that the Mavic ID360 freehub and the DT Swiss 350 freehub have similar designs.



I have ordered two saddles from All4Cycling and both were shipped very quickly. For smaller items the regular shipping is $20 and expedited shipping is only $2 more and so no brainer. This may not apply to bigger things like wheels.
I just looked at some wheels and free shipping. makes you wonder how they can sell for considerably cheaper and ship free to the US.
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Old 10-25-23, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by jadmt
I just looked at some wheels and free shipping. makes you wonder how they can sell for considerably cheaper and ship free to the US.
By taking advantage of fluctuations in the exchange rate?
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