A reader named Alex asked if I would give an update on the bdopcycling.com wheel kit that I put together last Spring and I’m happy to oblige. I’m not entirely sure how many miles they have, but it has to be at least around four thousand. About a thousand on them so far this year and about three on them last year. A few important things to note, I’ve ridden them in the rain maybe twice, and not used them on any gravel or harsh condition riding. I’ve weighed around 235 most of the time I’ve used them and went with the 32 rear spoke and 28 front. For more details on the wheel kit and build check out my original post.
I guess the first thing to say is that the wheels are holding true very well. I’m not a master wheel builder, but these wheels were very easy to put together and easy to true. Since building them I’ve never had to true them and they are still as straight as they were when I built them. When I built them I didn’t expect to be upgrading to 11 speed any time soon, but I just did and I’m super glad that these hubs come with an 11 seed hub carrier.
I think the BDOP wheels look great on the Tarmac.
After a year of riding them I’m still sold on the performance gains of the wider wheel. I don’t have any hard data to prove it but they seem to roll faster and definitely handle better in cross winds then any other wheel I’ve used. I’ve had a few flats on the wheels but I’m far less likely to pinch flat with the wider rim. Ride quality seems better then the Ksyriums on my other bike. They feel super stiff under power when sprinting climbing or whatever.
There are three negatives to bring up, first the rear hub has developed a tiny amount of lateral play in the bearings. It’s just barely noticeable and doesn’t seem to be a concern. Secondly the rear hub carrier should really not be used with lower end steel cassettes. The anti-bite guard does help but after four thousand miles there were some deep gouges cut into the splines of the hub carrier. I had to use a couple chain whips to rotate the individual cogs back out of the gouges so they would slide off. The Anti-bite guard was a bit loose and I don’t expect the hub carrier to last the life of the wheel if I continue to use steel cassettes, but I am. New free hub bodies are available from bdop for 45 bucks.
The last negative is the rear rim’s brake track. It’s not completely flush and I’m told that this is a common problem with Kinlin wheels. I sanded on it a tiny bit and I figured it would just smooth out as I rode it. The brake tracks has smoothed out some but it still has a slight thump as it goes around. It’s never really bothered me and I think if I did a bit more sanding I could fix the problem.
I guess my final thoughts would be that I’m very pleased with this wheel kit and my choice of 32/28 spokes. I’m sure I could have gone lower, but I’d much rather have the super stiff reliable wheel built with 32 spokes then be worrying about a lower spoke count. There are great deals out there on budget performance wheels like these but you often get cheaper hubs and spokes. With BDOP you know exactly what parts you’re getting. If you’re looking for wheels like these then I’d say go for it.