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Orion II vs ROL Race-RL vs Cane Creek Volos TI

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Orion II vs ROL Race-RL vs Cane Creek Volos TI

Old 10-10-07, 02:56 PM
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rainman
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Orion II vs ROL Race-RL vs Cane Creek Volos TI

Help! I'm stuck in analysis paralysis. I have a buldge in the rim of my Ksyrium Elites and am using that as a reason to upgrade my wheels. I'm a club rider, 180 lbs, don't race but ride pretty hard & fast, and do about 4,500 miles/year (~130 miles/week). I have a $600 budget (give or take) and have been bouncing between the Easton Orion II, the ROL Race-SL, and the Cane Creek Volos Team Issue. I ride in the Northeast (Boston area) on a variety of roads - some good, some not-so-good - with a mix of rolling hills and some decent hills. All 3 of those wheels get great reviews. What to do?!

I'm sure some will suggest I go w/ custom wheels. I'm no opposed to that but have no clue which parts (rims, hubs, spokes, nipples) to choose and which go best with which. I'm not interested in doing the actual wheel building myself.

Thanks for any help! I want to buy new wheels and want them to be fast!

-RainMan
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Old 10-10-07, 02:59 PM
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I've got about 600 miles on my Orion IIs, they're great. That said, I think Easton is revaming their lineup, so you might be able to get a good deal on them.
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Old 10-10-07, 05:09 PM
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I really dig the Orion II set I've had for a few hundred miles. They were quite noticeably different from the Aksiums on the bike before that (no surprise there). Not sure how much of an upgrade they are over Elites.
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Old 10-10-07, 05:41 PM
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I have no experience with any of these wheelsets and am generally an ignorant blowhard, but were it my money, I'd get the Orion II's. Ringing endorsements be damned, I say.
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Old 10-10-07, 06:06 PM
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I have over 3,200 miles on my Orion II's, and I really, really like them. Great wheel. I also use Maxxis Columbiere (sp?) tires. Light enough and bullet proof for urban riding. Together, they're a great team. BTW, Easton has a wheel replacement program where, if you break a wheel in an accident, they'll let you swap it out for a rebuilt wheel for a very reasonable price. Trying to get a live body when you call their service department can be difficult, but when you do get someone, they're very helpful.
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Old 10-10-07, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by rainman View Post
I'm sure some will suggest I go w/ custom wheels. I'm no opposed to that but have no clue which parts (rims, hubs, spokes, nipples) to choose and which go best with which. I'm not interested in doing the actual wheel building myself.
The Orion IIs are actually built on Velocity Aerohead and Aerohead O/C rims, with the equivalent of DT Swiss Revolution spokes. If you built them 24 front/28 rear (as the Orions are) with Chris King hubs (which will last your lifetime times two with minimal maintenance), you're looking at 20 g lighter than the Orions with more reliable hubs and simple rebuildability. Using DT Swiss 240s hubs will get you down to 1406 g. Both options will run you on the other side of $700, but are probably worth it for the longevity if built by a reputable wheelbuilder. You could sacrifice some weight by adding spokes, going maybe 28 f/32 r since you're a heavier guy like me.
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Old 10-10-07, 08:45 PM
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A guy at my club has the Rol's and likes them real well.

Here is a source for the Velocity rims and you could get White Industries (a little over your budget) or Ultegra (under budget) hubs. I have a pair that I bought used and I like them. They are fast and really absorb the road chatter and bumps. But I upgraded from Shimano 550's so there is a dramatic difference.

I was considering the same wheels you are, and more talking about analysis paralysis, and finally decided on the Speed Dreams. I was lucky enough to find a lightly used pair for half price.

It seems like the Cane Creek are good wheels but maintaining them may be difficult if you ever have a problem.

SD AR-20
https://speeddream.com/road.php
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Old 10-12-07, 08:36 AM
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Great input all - much appreciated. Really thinking of going w/ a custom wheel. Velocity Aerohead rims, White Industries H1 hubs, DT Swiss Revolution spokes. 28 spoke radial front - 28 spoke 2x rear. Looks like that'll be about 1,425g and around $550. What are the thoughts on this configuration? Also, need to find a good wheel builder. Would love to find one in the great Boston area (or at least New England) - any suggestions?
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Old 10-12-07, 09:18 AM
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Great idea. You might want to consider going DT Competition on your drive side rear... you're a bigger guy (as I am), and it would help stiffness. You might also want to think about 32 hole rear. Regardless, they'll be great wheels, and your builder will help you make these choices.
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Old 10-12-07, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by rainman View Post
Great input all - much appreciated. Really thinking of going w/ a custom wheel. Velocity Aerohead rims, White Industries H1 hubs, DT Swiss Revolution spokes. 28 spoke radial front - 28 spoke 2x rear. Looks like that'll be about 1,425g and around $550. What are the thoughts on this configuration? Also, need to find a good wheel builder. Would love to find one in the great Boston area (or at least New England) - any suggestions?
Repeat, Dave Thomas at Speeddream.com builds the SD AR-20. Just what you are looking for only 20 spokes in front. If you get the same spokes in the front and back, either your front wheel is too strong or your back wheel is too weak. He will tweak this design to accomodate your weight, riding, etc.
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Old 10-12-07, 11:31 AM
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The Orion II and Volos TI use the same rims (Velocity Aerohead front and Aerohead OC rear). I, however, like the Volos TI over the Orion, because I don't like having spokes with threads on both ends. I don't know if Easton has changed the rear design or not, but it's 4 sealed cartridge bearings on the Volos vs. 2 on the Orion II (one way to shave off some weight). The Volos are a bit harder to true, though mine hasn't needed any truing for a few thousand miles already.
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Old 10-12-07, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelmc View Post
The Orion IIs are actually built on Velocity Aerohead and Aerohead O/C rims, with the equivalent of DT Swiss Revolution spokes. If you built them 24 front/28 rear (as the Orions are) with Chris King hubs (which will last your lifetime times two with minimal maintenance), you're looking at 20 g lighter than the Orions with more reliable hubs and simple rebuildability. Using DT Swiss 240s hubs will get you down to 1406 g. Both options will run you on the other side of $700, but are probably worth it for the longevity if built by a reputable wheelbuilder. You could sacrifice some weight by adding spokes, going maybe 28 f/32 r since you're a heavier guy like me.
go White Industries H1 front and D-A rear...it's about the same weight but the White Ind rear makes a racket.
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Old 10-12-07, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rainman View Post
Great input all - much appreciated. Really thinking of going w/ a custom wheel. Velocity Aerohead rims, White Industries H1 hubs, DT Swiss Revolution spokes. 28 spoke radial front - 28 spoke 2x rear. Looks like that'll be about 1,425g and around $550. What are the thoughts on this configuration? Also, need to find a good wheel builder. Would love to find one in the great Boston area (or at least New England) - any suggestions?
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Mike Garcia at www.oddsandendos.com

I just ordered a set of wheels from him with the following specs (I'm 6'-4", 185# and race):

- Velocity Aerohead front, Aerohead O/C rear, red powdercoat
- Speedcific Serenity hubset
- 28 Wheelsmith AE15 elliptical spokes 2x front, alu nipples
- 14 Wheelsmith AE15 elliptical spokes 2x non-drive rear, alu nipples
- 14 Sapim CX-Ray elliptical spokes 2x drive rear, brass nipples

Total price comes to $450 shipped and should weigh around 1450 grams, FYI.
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Old 10-12-07, 03:18 PM
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I just received my Orion IIs, and mine weigh 1560 grams without skewers but with rim tape, FWIW. The published weight on the Easton web site was 1477 grams...but that probably didn't include the rim tape.

Looks like a good wheelset...

I weigh 180 pounds...

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Old 10-15-07, 12:24 PM
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rainman
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Questions re: custom wheels that have been bugging me:

(1) After some research it really does seem you get more wheel for a lower price w/ custom built wheels even when someone else does the built for you. How is that? Economically, it seems like the bigger guys would be able to buy in bulk and save labor costs using machine's to build their wheels. How is it that custom builds are cheaper and better?
(2) Most production wheels in my price range ($500-$700) and weight range (~1,500g) have considerably less spokes that custom builts. Why is that? The builders I talk to say that you need 24, 28, 32 even 26 spokes for a strong wheel but many "bullet-proof" production wheels have many fewer spokes (think Mavic Ksyrium -18f/20r). And again, the custom wheels are lighter even w/ more spokes.

Seems almost too good to be true - lighter, stronger, stiffer, more durable, AND cheaper?!? How can that be?
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Old 10-15-07, 01:58 PM
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1) Upper-end boutique wheels (think Ksyriums) are actually usually handbuilt. That adds to the cost. But what REALLY adds to the cost is the name. You're not buying a bunch of parts, you're buying a WHEEL. A MAVIC (or BONTRAGER or EASTON or etc.) wheel. Hence, $$$. Seriously.

2) Fewer spokes require heavier rims for equal strength, or often have heavier hubs than you'd put on an aftermarket wheel.
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Old 10-24-07, 08:56 AM
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Well I'm very close to pulling the trigger on the following custom build from Mike Garcia...

* Hubs: Speedcific Serenity front and rear (Shimano 10 speed)
* Rims: Speedcific Niobium 30 Aero front and rear (700c)
* Spokes: DT Swiss Super Comp, 24 front/28 rear
* Spoke lacing: radial front, 2x/2x rear
* Nipples: Black aluminum (maybe silver)

I'm still on-the-fence about whether to go with the Speedcific Serenity or the DT Swiss 240s for the rear hub. Either way, Mike says I'll come in under 1500g. Thoughts on the rear hub choice and on the overall wheel configuration?
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Old 10-24-07, 03:35 PM
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Is there a reason why you didnt go with the combo he has listed on the website? Looks like you are going with different hubs and spokes.

How much is he charging for this wheelset?
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Old 10-24-07, 03:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Electric_Elvis View Post
Is there a reason why you didnt go with the combo he has listed on the website? Looks like you are going with different hubs and spokes.

How much is he charging for this wheelset?
I spoke to Mike G at length re: my riding style and needs and this is what he suggested. I don't have the exact weight or price yet.
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Old 10-24-07, 07:10 PM
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I went with the Rol Race SL's
They are in the mail, and hopefully I will get to test them in the next couple weeks.

A few things swayed me, their backing of warranty, the weights, use of quality components like Sapim CX Ray spokes.

If your looking for a semi-aero wheelset, this one is the one that came out on top on my evaluation.
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