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  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Velocity A23 Pro Build wheels?

    I'm looking to replace my wheels with a tubeless specific rim wheelset. These would be rim braked.

    I'm looking at the Velocity A23 Pro build wheelset that can be got online for about $625. This is about the limit of my budget - actually I have no budget but my current wheelset has been taco'd for a couple of months and I'm getting desperate and I don't want to invest much if anything into it as it's heavy

    Velocity claims this to be 635g front, 840g rear to total 1475g. Is this excluding included skewers and sans tape/values? I'm assuming it is..

    Also does anyone have experience on the Velocity Race hub quality. There is no mention on degrees of engagement (or whatever it is called) and the free hub mechanism. I'm not particularly tough on hubs and I am fairly light so it shouldn't be an issue but real world feedback would be good.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    I'm looking to replace my wheels with a tubeless specific rim wheelset. These would be rim braked.

    I'm looking at the Velocity A23 Pro build wheelset that can be got online for about $625. This is about the limit of my budget - actually I have no budget but my current wheelset has been taco'd for a couple of months and I'm getting desperate and I don't want to invest much if anything into it as it's heavy

    Velocity claims this to be 635g front, 840g rear to total 1475g. Is this excluding included skewers and sans tape/values? I'm assuming it is..

    Also does anyone have experience on the Velocity Race hub quality. There is no mention on degrees of engagement (or whatever it is called) and the free hub mechanism. I'm not particularly tough on hubs and I am fairly light so it shouldn't be an issue but real world feedback would be good.
    I am a huge fan of A23 rims, have 4 sets of wheels with those rims. I've had a set of the Comp wheels for 3+ years and just late last year replaced the bearings in the rear hub. These were my training/road racing/cross racing wheels. Never a problem with the hubs, beyond the normal wear and tear. The difference between the Pro and Comp builds is just spoke count. You would be happy with the wheels, I bet.

  3. #3
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    Why not just replace the rims/spokes on your current wheels? I tweaked my rear wheel so I'm having it replaced with a WTB ChrisCross rim.
    Atomic batteries to power...turbines to speed...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by gddyap View Post
    Why not just replace the rims/spokes on your current wheels? I tweaked my rear wheel so I'm having it replaced with a WTB ChrisCross rim.
    That is an option. I just didn't think my current hubs were all that great so was looking for a overall better wheel set. I may still go that way though.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudge View Post
    I am a huge fan of A23 rims, have 4 sets of wheels with those rims. I've had a set of the Comp wheels for 3+ years and just late last year replaced the bearings in the rear hub. These were my training/road racing/cross racing wheels. Never a problem with the hubs, beyond the normal wear and tear. The difference between the Pro and Comp builds is just spoke count. You would be happy with the wheels, I bet.
    Actually, if you're talking about our "house" builds, our Comp sets come with DT double butted spokes and brass nips, and our Pro sets use Sapim CX-Ray bladed spokes and DT Alloy nips.

    If you have any specific requests (brass to alloy upgrade, colored nips, etc.) we can accommodate just about anything.

    As far as our hubs, we very rarely see warranty or service issues with our Race hub, even under the stress of our sponsored elite 'cross racers.

    Velocity Wheels

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  6. #6
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    At that price I would consider one of the notubes wheelsets as well - I think the comp builds are $635 or so. 625 seems like a pretty excellent deal for the pro wheelset though, might be hard to pass up if you can deal with the lower spoke counts.

    I have a cheapo set of a23's laced to ultegra hubs (can find them everywhere for about $300) and I have not been terribly impressed with the finish. I really like what they do for my tires, and they have held up to a good deal of abuse but the seam in the brake track is noticeable and I get a fair amount of pulsing on steep descents. It is off a bit vertically as well. I guess this *could* be a build issue but I think I probably would have toasted the rims by now if they were weak enough for spoke tension (which was abysmally low when I got the wheels) to have pulled the seam out of alignment. Its possible that these cheap a23 wheelsets were built with a bad run of rims, but I would be upset if I paid $600+ for a set of wheels that had this issue with the brake track. I should have an eccentric wheel built with an a23 OC rim in hand some time soon, this one was built by Velocity and I will report back if it looks better. If it does, I will probably be asking Velocity to build me a matching front and selling my stans wheels just so I don't have to fiddle with brakes when moving wheels between bikes.

    If you aren't terribly concerned with weight this looks like a pretty good deal: Velocity a23 Black White Industries T11 Silver Hubs Wheels SHI [a23 white t11 SHIMANO] - $650.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike - they're heavier but those hubs should last you through your next 5 sets of rims.
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  7. #7
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    I'm not sure I'm worried to much about spoke count. The current wheel set is 20 front 24 rear, much like the pro build. If I were to rebuild my wheels then I would be on the same spoke count which limits the choice of rims - I considered the WTN ChrisCross but I believe the only come in higher spoke counts. The current wheels have been quite heavily abused - bashed through rock gardens and all sorts of "intermediate" trail. They're about four years old. Ironically it was on the road where they finally gave up.

    My intent is to get a tubeless set up (I'm currently running Cafelatex inside a latex tube and it's a pain but better that the flats that I were getting before) and to fix the current wheel set myself (I have a wheel building stand) then sell it on Craigslist....

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    I have a cheapo set of a23's laced to ultegra hubs (can find them everywhere for about $300) and I have not been terribly impressed with the finish. I really like what they do for my tires, and they have held up to a good deal of abuse but the seam in the brake track is noticeable and I get a fair amount of pulsing on steep descents.
    I think one of the differences between the pro build and the cheaper sets is that the pro build has a machined braking service whereas the cheaper ones do not.

  9. #9
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    The set I've got definitely has a machined braking surface - maybe the pro build includes taking some sandpaper to the seam and touching it up though.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  10. #10
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    Well hopefully my Pros will be okay as I went ahead and ordered them...

    Also ordered new pads, velotape and new shift/brake cables. Also have new bar tape waiting to go on. I'm looking forward to giving my bike a spring clean up and getting rid of the boat anchors I have for wheels now!

  11. #11
    jrm
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    You might consider using rims with a braking surface laced to disc hubs so your covering all your options. Im in a23s laced to dt swiss 350 disc hubs. Ive used cantis/ v-brakes and currently discs. I think that if you pieced the wheelset together you might end up with better quality @ a cheaper price.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    Well hopefully my Pros will be okay as I went ahead and ordered them...
    I'm sure you will be fine - despite my griping about the seam, the a23's I have are far FAR FAR better than any stock wheelset I've ever ridden
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  13. #13
    jrm
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    Ive rode open pros for some 7 years using darn near every size tire between a 23 - 35c. The open pros narrow width limits a larger tires (30c+) profile allowing it laterally roll off the rim bead. The a23 widens the tires profile on the rim due to its wider width.

  14. #14
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    The eccentric a23 got here today - rim itself is pretty beat up but the brake track alignment looks good. Maybe the $300 sets floating around are rims that velocity rejects for retail or their own use and sells on the cheap to the wheelmasters of the world.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  15. #15
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    The set I bought would seem to be the same Pro build as built by Velocity itself shipped out through the distributor to resellers. There was a question as to whether for the price I am getting if I was getting old stock that did not have the new tubeless rim but a quick call to ModernBike this morning confirmed that it is the current rim.

    Well it ships today so next week when it turns up I will know for sure and post results.



    Edit: I just noticed that since this morning the price has jumped from the $623 I paid up to $809. Looks like they decided to revise it after checking into my order... I got a good price! I only hope they honor it now and don't pull any funny business..

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexCuse View Post
    The eccentric a23 got here today - rim itself is pretty beat up but the brake track alignment looks good. Maybe the $300 sets floating around are rims that velocity rejects for retail or their own use and sells on the cheap to the wheelmasters of the world.
    Out of curiosity, who did you order through? We don't typically release second-rate rims into the wild.
    bike dude, velocity employee (this is my personal account)

  17. #17
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    I believe they were these: Wheel Master Shimano Ultegra 6800/Velocity A23 Wheelset at BikeTiresDirect

    I'm not sure I would call them second rate - for the money I still think its a pretty nice set of wheels (if anyone considers getting them make sure to include time or money in your budget to tension relieve, bring the spoke tension up and possibly redish the rear). I needed something quickly to get some big tires mounted on so the guy building my frame would have something in hand to check clearances and they certainly did that. They just had the little lip in the seam (that will probably get worn down by the time they get to 1000 miles or so anyway). I would just be bummed if I got a $600+ set of wheels that had that lip present, because it gets kind of annoying going down steep descents - the best wheel is the one you don't think about, and all that. Going to be switching wheels for a little bit in the near future, I will probably use that opportunity to take some sandpaper to the seam.

    The a23 that got in today is looking fantastic though. Could barely find the seam, and allegedly this wheel only has about as many miles on it as I've put on mine. If the eccentric hub works with my aluminum frame I will probably be contacting the wheel department to build me a matching front
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  18. #18
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    Thoughts on Velocity A23 Pro Build wheels?

    I got my wheels over the weekend and finally got them out of the box (proudly built by The Wheel Department).

    First impressions are that they are a nice set of wheels. The spin nicely and the rims are unblemished. I've yet to check spoke tension or put them on my wheel stand but initial weighs look good against the claimed weights.

    Front wheel 626g (630g claimed)
    Rear wheel 827g (820g claimed)

    So that's only 3g over claimed. Honestly I think that is the most accurate claimed weight I've ever seen!

    The skewers come in at 55g for the front and 60g for the rear. For an all in weight of 1568g.

    Now I haven't put tape on yet but my old wheel set (with tape and skewers) was 2060g. That nearly a 500g (over a lb) reduction in wheel weight. I'm going to enjoy this!!!!


  19. #19
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    Thoughts on Velocity A23 Pro Build wheels?

    I put the wheels on my stand.

    Front:
    Perfectly round except for about a 0.25-0.5 mm deviation right on the join. Trueness is within approx +/-0.1 mm. Dish is within about 0.2mm. It is all very close.

    Spoke tension (on my TM-1) is around 17 +0.5 / -1.5. That's 163 +8/-24 on the deflection chart. Is that good?

    Rear:
    The rear is almost identical to the front. The wheel is mostly round but exhibits a bit more wonkiness on the join. The join is similarly out of round as the front (about 0.25-0.5mm) but the braking surface also indents about 0.2mm in compared to the trueness of the rest of the wheel.

    Dish on the rear is a bit more out. Interestingly it is about 1.2mm more to the drive side. I would have thought it'll be the other way. Also braking surface is perfectly true on the non drive side and it is perfect round as well. So the join "issues" are only on the drive side.

    Spoke tension is more consistent than the front. Drive side is mostly 17.5 +0.5/-1. Non drive side is around 12.5 -0.5/+1.5.

    Considering that the rim is dished a little over to the drive side I may get a few rides in to settle the wheel and then tweak it to tighten up the non drive side and loosen the drive side to redish it.

    Caveat: I've never tested any other wheels I've had so I'm not sure if this is good or bad but I'm leaning towards decent so for now I'll give the wheels an A-. The slight dish errors and the join wonkiness are livable and are the only things that mar an otherwise excellent wheel set. The dish I may correct down the road. For now I don't care.

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