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Any feedback on Real Design wheels?

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Any feedback on Real Design wheels?

Old 09-04-06, 07:25 PM
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Any feedback on Real Design wheels?

I'm considering buying a really lightweight set of wheels for racing and I came across Real Designs.

The SEARCH didn't bring back much since they're fairly new.

Roadbikereview.com came up dry as well.

Anyway, they offer two traditional wheelsets.

The Supersphere comes in at 1430g and are only $350 a pair.



The Ultrasphere comes in at only 1365g per wheelset and are only $450 a set.



Real Designs supplies the forks and wheels on Litespeed bikes nowadays, so how bad can they be?

Seems very economical for some lightweight wheels.

Any feedback would be appreciated.
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Old 09-04-06, 08:44 PM
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Are you sure that is not per wheel?
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Old 09-04-06, 09:09 PM
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You can buy the wheels directly from Litespeed here. Go to page 2. They only give weights per wheelset, and you can't choose either front or rear when you add them to the cart. After you add "1" to the cart, your cart at checkout says WHEEL SET, so I'm presuming that is the price for a complete set.

Again, I'm impressed with the pricing as probably you are, but haven't yet heard anything about them. My guess is that they only started stocking them on bikes recently, possibly 2005 forward.
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Old 09-05-06, 09:44 AM
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No love?

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Old 09-06-06, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jdgreen
Are you sure that is not per wheel?
Sometimes seen on scambay for much less.
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Old 09-06-06, 10:46 AM
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I see that the team issued Merlin Works bikes have them as well. I guess the parent company, ABG, owns Real Designs?
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Old 09-06-06, 10:55 AM
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I know that QR tri bikes come with real design wheels.
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Old 09-06-06, 11:06 AM
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maybe the litespeed site is messed up or something, everywhere else i look they are around $750 for a set. look like nice wheels though..
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Old 09-06-06, 12:36 PM
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My LBS proclaims the crappiness of the Ultraspheres. I've seen atleast 2 sets in the shop that were broken and were being discarded
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Old 09-06-06, 03:09 PM
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Okay the Ultraspheres are out then. I kinda thought they were pushing the envelope at 1365g. They even use carbon fiber in the hub bodies apparently.

However the Supershere at $350 a set (hopefully) look incredibly desirable. I'll call Lightspeed and get the scoop. Otherwise its back to Neuvation as my primary contender for a set of race wheels.
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Old 09-06-06, 03:34 PM
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Just got off the phone with Litespeed.

I didn't ask if American Bicycle (parent company of Merlin and Litespeed) also owns Real Design, but apparently they're getting some volume advantage, because....

OHMIGSH!!!! The $350 price is in fact for the complete FRONT AND REAR wheelset for the Superspheres!

$350 for a complete 1430g wheelset! Too bad noone's got any feedback. I may have to be a guinea pig.
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Old 09-06-06, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Drag
Just got off the phone with Litespeed.

I didn't ask if American Bicycle (parent company of Merlin and Litespeed) also owns Real Design, but apparently they're getting some volume advantage, because....

OHMIGSH!!!! The $350 price is in fact for the complete FRONT AND REAR wheelset for the Superspheres!

$350 for a complete 1430g wheelset! Too bad noone's got any feedback. I may have to be a guinea pig.
just remember...the super spheres and ultraspheres are only 65 grams in difference. I don't think that says to much about the super spheres if the ultraspheres suck...it is probably the same wheel with slightly different materials in the hub body. But at $350 you might as well try it
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Old 09-06-06, 04:14 PM
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Thanks for the cautionary tip. Chances are it's all in the hub body as you said. The contact at Litespeed did say that they are handmade, but that means squat if the materials can't hold up. As an aside, I weigh less than 140 pounds, and I'd only consider these wheels if it were doable and it does seem my weight should be a non-issue. My fallback is the Neuvation R28 SL2 set which are on sale for $300 nowadays, but I'll continue to scour to see if I can find any feedback on the Reals. Thanks.
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Old 09-06-06, 11:44 PM
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i wonder if my 175 lbs would crush these or not... i have been wanting to replace my alx 330's .. even if just for hill climbs
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Old 09-07-06, 07:43 AM
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Probably best to call Litespeed or Real Designs directly and ask what their opinion is. I also need to find out what the warranty is like. IOW, am I screwed if I true them myself? If anything it does sound like Neuvation has really good customer service, so that's a plus for them..
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Old 11-20-06, 07:34 AM
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So I'm digging this thread up because I just want to rant..

I bought a tuscany two months ago which came with the superspheres. I love the bike, hate the wheels.

The hubs suck. I mean they really suck. They have to be barely finger tight in the body otherwise they won't freewheel. Not that I'd ever want to coast mind you...

And maybe I'm just gifted with a bad set of nipples or something, but I've broken 3 nipples on the non-drive side rear wheel (two yesterday, one three weeks ago).

Yes, at 200lbs I'm a big boy, but ABG swore to me the wheels would be fine with my weight. After DNF'ing on the horrible hundred due to mechanical problems with the rear wheel yesterday, I'm going to contact ABG this morning and see if I can get them to buy them back so I can go ahead and just buy a set of ksyrium elites.
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Old 11-20-06, 09:24 AM
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Holy crap, $450 is a hell of a price. My LBS wants around $700! I have never ridden these wheels but I have held them, and they are incredibly light. The spokes they use, Sapim cx-rays, are also realy neat. The hubs are realy realy pretty also. Too bad they dont hold up and I already have a set of clinchers.
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Old 11-20-06, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by kensuf
So I'm digging this thread up because I just want to rant..

I bought a tuscany two months ago which came with the superspheres. I love the bike, hate the wheels.

The hubs suck. I mean they really suck. They have to be barely finger tight in the body otherwise they won't freewheel. Not that I'd ever want to coast mind you...

And maybe I'm just gifted with a bad set of nipples or something, but I've broken 3 nipples on the non-drive side rear wheel (two yesterday, one three weeks ago).

Yes, at 200lbs I'm a big boy, but ABG swore to me the wheels would be fine with my weight. After DNF'ing on the horrible hundred due to mechanical problems with the rear wheel yesterday, I'm going to contact ABG this morning and see if I can get them to buy them back so I can go ahead and just buy a set of ksyrium elites.
Your rant may have some basis. Read in another post that there were a ton of warranty claims on these wheels and the forks they make also.
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Old 11-20-06, 11:12 AM
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I am 230 pounds and I ride a litespeed vortex with ultraspheres. I have so far over 700 miles in two months with this bike and wheels and so far had no problems at all except the front wheel needing to be trued at about 200 miles.
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Old 11-20-06, 11:24 AM
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Every Real Design wheel I have ever seen/ridden, has had terrible hubs. A few of them would stop after 6-8 revolutions if you turned them by hand. These were all in their deep aero wheels.
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Old 11-20-06, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by kensuf
So I'm digging this thread up because I just want to rant..

I bought a tuscany two months ago which came with the superspheres. I love the bike, hate the wheels.

The hubs suck. I mean they really suck. They have to be barely finger tight in the body otherwise they won't freewheel. Not that I'd ever want to coast mind you...

And maybe I'm just gifted with a bad set of nipples or something, but I've broken 3 nipples on the non-drive side rear wheel (two yesterday, one three weeks ago).

Yes, at 200lbs I'm a big boy, but ABG swore to me the wheels would be fine with my weight. After DNF'ing on the horrible hundred due to mechanical problems with the rear wheel yesterday, I'm going to contact ABG this morning and see if I can get them to buy them back so I can go ahead and just buy a set of ksyrium elites.
Just a follow-up...

ABG's replacing the wheel. They're standing behind their product and trying to take care of me. I can't complain about the quick response and customer service, kudos to them.

Ken
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Old 04-07-07, 03:19 PM
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Any new updates after people have 6 months on em? I found a set for 200 that have 500 miles on them with a 150lb rider (I am 160)
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Old 04-07-07, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by anomaly
Any new updates after people have 6 months on em? I found a set for 200 that have 500 miles on them with a 150lb rider (I am 160)
I bought the ksyriums and have just left the superspheres in the closet as a spare set. I recently met another guy who couldn't weigh more than 160lbs that had the same problems I had, his solution was to just have the wheel rebuilt by a local wheelsmith.
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Old 04-07-07, 07:22 PM
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I have a Merlin CR 3/2.5 with Superpheres on it. After 1000 mi I have had three rear spokes break on the non drive side. However, since then(1000 mi) I have had no trouble with them. They have stayed true and have been very pleased with them.
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Old 04-08-07, 05:53 PM
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I have a 2006 Litespeed Firenze with SuperSphere wheels. The rear hub failed on me but otherwise the wheels are fine. Rear ones don't freewheel quite as much as other wheels, but I don't think that's much of a practical problem. The rear hub does have loud pawls, which I don't like but it's a personal thing. I'm a 140 lb male for reference.
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