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Review - Reveries of a Cyclopath

Reveries of a Cyclopath Blog site recently did a full product review of EnergyLab Race Wheels along with the Schwalbe tires

 

EnergyLab Wheels Review

 

The opportunity arose to test  EnergyLab‘s line up of carbon clincher road wheels and I was all too happy to take it.

Let’s start with the basics, I tested the VC40, VC60, and VC90 and right out of the box, they look great. The graphics are subtle, original, and leave a lasting impression. The color details worked nicely with my personal bike and the gloss finish is a nice touch.

EnergyLab wheels  1

The decals are not an after-process stick on, they are actually set underneath the lacquer. It might be subtle, but it gives the impression that the decals are imbedded into the carbon.

EnergyLab wheels  2

The second thing I noticed were the quick release skewers. They are machined from 7075 aluminum, well made, and easy on the hands. The ‘energy’ logo on the handle is another indication of the attention to detail, little things that I expect when buying premium products.

EnergyLab Quick Release Skewer

The weight of the VC 60 is 1688g, which is comparable to other top brands (Zipp’s 404 weigh in at 1615g).

The hubs are made by EnergyLab’s Force (F=ma). It’s impressive to see a new wheel company with their own hubs. The hubs have 12 points of engagement and a 6 pawl drive system. Maintenance is made easy by all of the torque specifications set at ‘hand strength’. In other words, no need for a torque wrench. In my opinion, the less tools required the better. When testing the wheels I liked how smooth and quiet they were. The power transfer is efficient and the rolling resistance is minimal. I was actually impressed by these hubs.

EnergyLab wheels Hub 2

I put on a collective 200 km on these wheels to get a real sense of how they perform. When I was setting them up, I loved how easy it was to remove the tire from the rim. I HATE it when I have to wrench the skin off of my thumbs just to get a tire on and off the rim. The wide rim track is the reason for this nice surprise. However, happy thumbs and less foul language during set up aren’t the only benefits from this design. With narrow clinchers, the tire ends up having a ‘light bulb’ geometry with a sharp dip in the tire before the rim. This can significantly create more drag as it disrupts the streamlines flowing around the wheel, negating much of the aerodynamic properties of the rim itself (not the case with these wheels).

The instant power transfer, low weight, and stability were prevalent characteristics of the ride. They were actually quite comfortable without losing the sensation of immediacy when sprinting out of the saddle. When gliding downhill, I was able to effortlessly catch riders ahead of me in full aero tucks. The benefits are noticeable.

I asked a mechanic at the local bike shop about his opinion on the wheels, and of any history of customer dissatisfaction. His response was very positive, noting how easy it was to work with the wheels and how well built they were. This gave me further confidence and enjoyment when out on rides. I was able to bunny hop over potholes without thinking to myself “oh no did I break them?! Are they out of true??”

Overall, I like them. They are light, efficient, and well built. They don’t break the bank either with prices at $1,299 for a set of VC40 wheels,  $1,399 for the VC60′s,  and $1,599 for the VC90′s. You can mix and match the VC60 & VC90 for $1499.

EnergyLab wheels 3

 

Review retrieved from: http://reveriesofacyclopath.com/2014/02/19/energylab-wheels-review/

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