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Remerx Alcyon wheels Preview

 

Entry-level price and presentation, high-end ride

 

Posted 3 September 2012

 

Words by Richard Hallett

 


Priced at £285 for the pair, Remerx Alycon wheels can fairly be described as “affordable”, which is a term usually employed as an alternative to “budget” or even “inexpensive”. They don’t cost a lot – and their overall presentation reflects the fact. But they do pack a lot of interesting technology of the sort that would be attractive in wheels at three times the price.

 
So, the buyer gets 20 front and 24 rear aluminium spokes – and ‘aero’ ones too in that they are flattened to make them pass more readily through the air than would round-section ones. There’s an aluminium freehub body splined for Shimano and SRAM cassettes, aluminium nipples and even differentially-profiled rims. And there’s an impressive weight for clinchers of 1565g per pair.

 


 

The difference between the rims is barely visible but it is important in that it is intended to allow the rear wheel to take higher spoke tension – and hence provide better power transfer – than would be the case were the rear the same as the front. Instead, the hub-side wall, or “supporting ridge”, of the rear rim is thicker than that of the front.
 

Plucking the spokes reveals that those at the back do, indeed, hold a higher tension; they are laced tangentially in both sides of the wheel into a hub with the sort of lobes that allow the use – vital with aluminium – of straight-pull spoke heads. There’s not much dish; the flanges are fairly close together, which makes for a narrow spoke triangle but one with the spokes on both sides well-tensioned.
 


 

As is almost universal in today’s market, the rims feature a machined braking surface. They locate the large-diameter aluminium nipples needed to thread on to the fat aluminium spokes via suitably large diameter drillings through both hub-side and tyre-side walls.
 

Neither rim on these Remerx Alcyon wheels was as true as might be hoped, with both showing about 0.4mm axial distortion while the rear had several radial “hops” of the same magnitude. While barely noticeable with the wheels in the bike, it could be better and must, pace Dave Brailsford’s comments during the Olympics on wheel roundness, slow the wheels’ rolling performance, even if only marginally.
 

 
On inspection, the rims appear to be extruded to a section with slender walls – the rear, as noted, less so the front – and are in large part responsible for the impressive weight Remerx has achieved. We note that the angle of the drillings does not align the nipples of the front wheel with the hub spoke holes, so there is a residual curve along the length of the spokes. As this will allow them to flex in use, it may have an effect on wheel longevity.

 

 

It surely has an effect on the ride, which on first acquaintance is astonishingly plush. Astonishing, that is, to anyone expecting the usual aluminium-spoke ride. These wheels don’t roll that way; thanks, perhaps, to lightweight, pliable rims that deflect readily over bumps, they feel more like a pair of old-school handbuilts. It’s a confident ride, though, with good steering precision and eager response in a sprint for traffic lights.
 

 

And the finish of these Remerx Alcyon wheels? Well, the hubs and spokes are painted in a way that leaves the outer edges of corners with a thinner layer than elsewhere. This uneven, high-gloss finish may be in keeping with the price, but not with the ride. Maybe the red and black version looks better.
 

More soon on CycleTechReview.

 

Remerx Alcyon wheels £285

 

sihelcycling.com

 




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