May 10, 2010

Velocity A23 Wheelset/Rim Review

If you've seen any of the photos of my Nature Boy on this or the AC site, you've probably (maybe) noticed that I've been rolling a set of low spoke count Velocity wheels built around their new hub and A23 wide rim.

The A23 is a 23mm wide lightweight road racing rim that is Velocity's answer to Hed's Ardennes rim.

The front wheel is a 24 hole radial built with Velocity's own bladed spokes and alloy nips

front hub

The rear is 28 hole, same spokes and nips, radial non drive, two cross drive

rear hub

To be upfront about this, the wheels were freebies given to me to test by Dave over at Handspun, and as you may know I have a tight relationship with the dudes over at Velocity. Let's not beat around the bush, I'm a huge Velocity advocate. They support the hell out of the alleycat racing scene, make great products, and have amazing customer service. To say I'm a fan of the company is an understatement. They are a shining example of awesomeness in the sometimes dark world of the bike industry. As a fan of the company, I'm always eager to beat the hell out their new stuff, so here's how my experience has been with this A23 wheelset.

These are by far the lightest wheels I own, or have ever owned. They are low spoke count, bladed with alloy nips, the rear hub has an alloy cassette body and aggressive cutouts, and the rim is pretty light.

I have been riding this set since the end of February on my cross bike. I have ridden trails, pulled the trailer, commuted, ran them into potholes and generally kicked the crap out of them for three months. I have trued the front exactly zero times and have only trued the rear once. The rear had some pretty good side to side action, but you have to remember that I would never ever build myself a set of wheels two cross/radial rear, unless they were strictly for racing. So given that, I feel like the rear has stood up to the beatings pretty well given that these wheels were definitely not intended for what I'm doing with them. I was riding a fat tire (38c) which I'm sure helped protect the rim, but still, for a lightweight road racing wheelset they've taken the abuse very well.

They're rock solid, super fast, and I think pretty darn sexy. So sexy in fact that I plan on buying (with my own money) another pair (likely 24 hole front two cross, 28 rear three cross drive, two non drive) for my forthcoming Peacock Groove. Or I may just swap these over to that bike.

These things are amazing, and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a lightweight road rim, that can be used as an all-arounder as well as for racing. As for the hubs I've had no issues with them either.


Tom said...

Neil @ Cycle Monkey in Albany, CA let me ride a set of A23s laced to Hope hubs for a week. I did Levi's GranFondo with them on my Cervelo RS. Really, really awesome. Accelration was great, fun on descents, look great on a "cobbles" bike like mine. I'm pretty confident he'll be building me a set. All they'll need is a set of green Vittoria Paves.

charpez said...

thanks for the review - good info.

i'm building up a new set and am on the fence between a set of A23's or a set of DT 465's. any comparisons?