Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Phoenix Project - Velocity Synergy Rims And Fixings

Background on The Phoenix Project is available here and here.

The rims selected for The Phoenix Project are 700c Velocity Synergy with 36 holes.

Velocity has gone a little uptown on their label, the last ones I bought had a rather humdrum blue decal:

I chose 36 holes for tradition and strength. I also chose the off center rear rim for strength as well:

These are single eyelet box rims, 23mm wide, machined side walls, reputedly 486 grams:

All in all, these are good all-rounder rims, tough, appropriate for moderate loads on rough roads.

The two other rims in contention were the Velocity Dyad and the Mavic A719.  These models are true heavy duty rims for heavily loaded touring in Patagonia.  While I liked the idea of that, the Mavic A719 is pretty heavy at about 590 grams.

The Dyad is lighter than the Mavic A719 and was a much closer call, but has a fixie-redolent aero profile, no spoke eyelets.  This was bad enough, but the third strike was 24mm width.  I like wider rims, but in this case I know that I am going to need every millimeter that I can get when it comes time to set up the cantilever brakes.

I also purchased Wheelsmith DB14 spokes and Velox rim tape at the same time from Peter White Cycles.  Yes, Mr. White was as grumpy and taciturn as he normally is every time I order there.

Street Cred

Synergy makes great rims way down under.  But they haven't been around for decades.  And it is going to take them decades to live down their pimping of vile candy colored Deep V's to fixie riders.

Gizmo Lust

One point for the Off Center rear. Some folks think this looks funny, but not only do I not agree with this, I'm very pleased with the more even rear spoke tension I get.

Another point for the mirror like machined sidewall. Yes, it will be gone the first time I hit the brakes but it is a nice touch, gives an aura of quality.


Off center rims for some reason don't get the respect they deserve. A lot of people seem to think they are something loony and quackish like Earth shoes.

But I'm not going to let that slow me down.

Tweed Factor

Pretty much any product Riv sells on their site gets the full 5 cycling rain ponchos. Even worse, this is the only rim they sell.

But fret not, Riv is regressing so quickly, what with double top tubes and old style straight seat posts with detachable clamps, pretty soon they'll be back to chromed steel rims and castigating anyone who purchases alloy rims as brainwashed by BS marketing ploys.

Phony Accent

Most of Velocity's products have aero-ish profiles and no eyelets.  Methinks the Synergy's inclusion of a low, boxy profile and eyelets was a self conscious attempt to produce a retro-esque rim.

So even though I like eyelets and low profile, one beret for each count.

Lily Gilding

While the Velocity Synergy is not extravagantly priced, I could easily have gone with the eternal Sun CR18 rims for half or less of the cost. They aren't quite as nice, most notably at the rim joint, but I've gotten years of tough duty out of them without ever a hitch.

Honorable Mention

I really like the specs and looks of the H Plus Son TB14. However, this is a brand new product from a brand new company. So beyond the general bias of The Phoenix Project to go with established products, there is not much operating history on these rims as to reliability and so forth.

Maybe my next set of wheels:

Running Tally

$1910 USD

We carry forward $1664 from the Royce Titan Venus episode.  To that we add the $246 USD given to Peter White Cycles for Velocity Rims, 72 Wheelsmith DB14 spokes, and 2 roles of Velox rim tape.

I'm hoping he spends a little bit of it on some of those happy pills that are forever being advertised on the tube.

Organ Sales

$21 USD

The original matching Blackburn rear rack brought in a walloping $21 USD.  I suspected this would go either rather high or rather low and the latter option is what played out.

The Sausage Factory

Along with the wheelbuilding supplies is my brand spanking new Park Tool TS2.2 truing stand.  After years and years of using bike frames as truing stands, I finally coughed up.

The Phoenix Project wheelset are the first wheels built on this new stand:


Anonymous said...

What's that bianchi in the background? Just found your blog yesterday and have found it captivating.

robatsu said...

It is a 1987 Bianchi Grizzly

john c said...

I had an off-set 700c Velocity Synergy with 36 holes that developed cracks near several of the spoke holes. It was replaced under warrantee, but with a Velocity Dyad. Seems like I was not the only one having trouble with the off-set Synergy. Good in theory, but poor in practice in this case?