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AM classics 350 Vs 420s...

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AM classics 350 Vs 420s...

Old 08-30-05, 11:09 PM
  #1  
skinnyone
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AM classics 350 Vs 420s...

Well I am looking for dirt... Any opinions...

I am surprised that the 350s are so much lighter considering that the spoke count is high...

The 420s are deeper section, 34 mms or so, lower spoke count and yet 100 odd gms heavier than the 350s...

If I get the 420s I can use them for TTs and Crits(next year)...

Those damn recalls and the question of warranties on wheels sold on Ebay...

The good news both are easily 500+gms lighter than my current wheels..
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Old 08-30-05, 11:22 PM
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55/Rad has a set of 350's. He hasn't seemed to have been very impressed with them. I think he mentioned they just seemd too flimsy and not tough enough. You may want to ask him. I have heard better things about the 420's though.

I personally am a Rolf Prima man. I have a set of Elan Aeros (1295g), and they are light, but feel very tough. I have over 1000mi on them, and no signs of out of true yet. I would also love a set of Vigors, or even the Echelons for a bike used for centuries.
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Old 08-30-05, 11:35 PM
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I looked at them Vigors... Kick A... Although they use the same rims as the 420s they have a different hub and spoke pattern I think...

Those Elans.. are beautiful... Wait a minute are those on trinity??...

At this point I am debating between ebaying the AM classics or Rolfs or if I should part the aero route and go with semi aero Niobium30s/nimble spider rims with Speedcific hubs and have Mike Garica build a low weight custom wheelset ..
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Old 08-30-05, 11:52 PM
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Some of the older Rolfs have had some recall sas well. The new ones though are top notch, no problems what so ever. If I was going to get a set of AM's, I'd definitely get the 420's, since they have a good rim. the hubs though apparently fixed, still have me a bit worried. Thus, the Rolf Vigors. Rolfs have nice hubs with a Ti freehub. Sweet.

What bike are these going on? Is it worthy of a set of Rolfs? If you want Aero, that can still climb, but are willing to go a little heavier, the Rolf Echelons appear to be a good all around wheel at 1640g. They go for around $500 or so. A little mroe affordable.
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Old 08-31-05, 12:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Patriot
Some of the older Rolfs have had some recall sas well. The new ones though are top notch, no problems what so ever. If I was going to get a set of AM's, I'd definitely get the 420's, since they have a good rim. the hubs though apparently fixed, still have me a bit worried. Thus, the Rolf Vigors. Rolfs have nice hubs with a Ti freehub. Sweet.

What bike are these going on? Is it worthy of a set of Rolfs? If you want Aero, that can still climb, but are willing to go a little heavier, the Rolf Echelons appear to be a good all around wheel at 1640g. They go for around $500 or so. A little mroe affordable.
The wheels would go on my F70 and my TT project which will happen next year.. The Echelons add another variable..Thanks Patriot.. Oh and Trinity's lookin as sweet as ever ...
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Old 08-31-05, 05:46 AM
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I have about 500 miles on the 350s and they had to be trued once (they arrived out of true). I weigh in at 193, and the weight limit is 200 lbs. and they have seemed to have held up well for me. They're not great in the flats, but they climb well. I've been very happy with them. Plus, the AC hubs are really nice.
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Old 08-31-05, 06:27 AM
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I have nearly 1000km on a set of 420 with the DT aero spokes. No problems so far, they are still as true as the day I got them. They are spoked 20 front/ 24 rear. I'm 5'11, 200 lbs.

The 350s, are a lighter wheel because it has a smaller rim section and the rim is made of Magnesium, verses the aluminum of the 420,

I bought my wheels off ebay, and was told they were fixed at the factory already for the cam plate recall. Just to be sure I called AM and gave them my serial number and they sent me a cam plate, with instructions and the LBS service Voucher. I checked the hubs myself as per the instructions, and sure enough, they have been fixed. So it would seem the warranty is a non issue, as were my cam plates. What are some other possible warranty issues you have heard of the ebay wheels?

The wheels seem well built for the weight of them. I was surprised when they arrived at my door. The box they were in seemed empty. The real performance is on the bike. The wheels really make my bike accelerate fast and lively. Not only do they feel fast, they sound fast as well with no wind noise. The only sounds are tire and road contact coming from the wheels.

They feel stiff enough in hard cornering and I have not noticed any loss of stiffness coming from a set of 32 cross 3 wheels. The rear cassette body is silent for my likes, making just enough of a ratchet sound during coasting, not like some other wheels I tested and looked at. During climbing I was getting a slight brake rub on the front wheel until I loosened of the brake cable a touch. That seemed to solve that.

The braking surface seemed a tad narrow and required a bit of fine pad adjustment so as to not drag on the tires, or the lower black portion of the rim. Not a big deal, just a caution during set up, should you go with the 420's

They look pretty good if you can get past the decals, I actually planned to remove mine as soon as I got them. They don't look as sexy as the Rolfs, however if you break a spoke on these, you will not have a wheel taco as you would with a paired spoke wheel like the Rolf. It may not happen, but that was part of my reasoning to go with a more conventional wheel (at this time) over a Rolf or Bontrager with exotic lacing patterns, as much as I love those.

I too have read the Vigors use the same rim as the 420. Looking at pictures, it would seem it is true.


Good luck and have fun with your choices
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Last edited by ViperZ; 08-31-05 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 08-31-05, 09:19 AM
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Viperz,Karma, thanks for your inputs.. Will post as to what happens eventually...
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Old 08-31-05, 09:48 AM
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The 420's are very similar to the Rolf Prima Vigors. Here's a link to a thread I did awhile back about these 2 wheelsets.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=104296

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Old 08-31-05, 10:35 PM
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I've had AC 420's, AC 350's, 2 pairs of Rolf Vector Pro's (original silver, not the crap Trek versions), 3 sets of AC / Velocity Deep V's, a set of Bontrager Aero's, and a set of Rolf Vigor RS's through my many years of serious riding (I have 9 current road bikes).

The 420's I had were crap - bad build from the get go (and they are gone now). Cracked rim lines along the drill-holes does not make for a very sturdy ride.

The 350's are so-so and are used literally 3-4 times per year on serious climbing rides when I travel to Colorado or the local rides in the hills.

The V-Pro's were very nice but heavy and both eventually failed in the rear hub (cracked flanges). One was warratied for Aeros, nice but too heavy. The other was warrantied for X-Lites, not bad, not the best either. As good as 32-hole Wheelsmith standard builds.

The 3 sets of AC / Deep V's (one still brand new), I've put on 10K miles on ones set and 5+K miles on the other. Re-built the 10K rear wheel once (non-drive spokes and bearings). Never touched the other set and still true and smooth.

Rolf Vigor RS - best wheels I own hands down. Best freehub pawl, best weight / aero balance, and wicked fast spin up.

My advice - Rolf Vigor's or a handbuilt set of AC / Deep V's in a 24-spoke lacing front and rear 2-cross DT Revolution spoke / alloy nipple (I have one front radial - too flexy, stick with 2x lacing).
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Old 08-31-05, 10:42 PM
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Thanks for the great write up and advice rob .. Vigors are up there with custom Mike Gracia wheels... I will look into AV deepVs...
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Old 08-31-05, 10:44 PM
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You sure are hard on equipment. I hope I never get that string of bad luck with my crap equipment.
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Old 08-31-05, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by skinnyone
Patriot.. Oh and Trinity's lookin as sweet as ever ...
That might be the kickinest paint job on here
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Old 08-31-05, 11:07 PM
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It sure is a beautiful color
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Old 08-31-05, 11:29 PM
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For the $$$ it's pretty tough to beat the 350's. Just don't pay more that $350 for them on Ebay, including shipping.
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