Reid review: Semi-Deep V, low profile sealed bearing wheels for $60
Blakey & Rolly have done a review (well, mainly Blakey…) on some of the $60 Fixed/Free Reid Cycles wheelsets, which have been advertised on FOA. Here’s what they had to say about them (Rolly’s thoughts are preceded by “R:”)
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Front: 1140g Rear: 1470g including 18T sprocket, lockring & 18T freewheel
32 F&R Generic stainless spokes & brass nipples, 2mm straight gauge.
Alex DA16: Double wall shallow vee, 540g each, silver matt finish with machined braking surface. 22.4mm wide. R: Mine were the Reid Cycles own rim….
High flange Quando (rebranded as QUANTA) sealed bearing, aluminium shell, sealed cartridge bearings, 3/8″ axles F&R. Fixed/free threading. Serrated face axle nuts.
Both were fitted with a generous amount of grease. The sprocket is stamped, chromed steel and the freewheel machined. Both have 18 teeth.
Before I go any further, keep this in mind: This is a $60 wheelset. It is not trying to be a Phil Wood / HPlusson or Dura-Ace / Enve wheelset. These appear to be a screaming deal for a budget wheelset, and with a couple of caveats, they are. Just to replicate this wheelset with the equivalent level parts would cost three to four times the purchase price.
R: As an example, I have a set of Weinmann DP18′s that are pretty much the same, but cost near on $200.
At 2.6kg, the wheelset is considerably heavier than one built with butted spokes and lighter rims, which will be noticeable when accelerating or climbing, but otherwise it’s not that big a deal.
At 22.4mm wide the rims are nearly the same as the current crop of wide rims (Hed Ardennes, Velocity A23, HPlusson Archetype, etc), which give a much better tyre profile, especially with wider tyres. They are heavier than the aforementioned rims by about 100g, but they have a strong shallow vee, double wall profile that won’t collapse on the first pothole.
Back in the day, to use Quando hubs meant you were only one skid away from a stripped lockring thread and a winter away from trashed bearings. However, wIth oval cutouts in the high flanges reminiscent of Campagnolo Nuovo Record or SunTour Sprint, these are a nicely machined hub that takes easily replaceable sealed cartirdge bearings and appears to have better quality threading than the Quandos of the past. The downside is the use of 3/8″x26tpi axles front and rear, rather than the standard 10mm x 1mm rear and 9mm x 1mm front used on most other track hubsets. This can sometimes require filing the fork out a bit if it has 9mm dropouts. The nuts are also plain serrated face nuts rather than ‘track nuts’ with captive washers that come on more expensive hubs. The rear axle is long enough to respace to 126mm in a pinch, but no further.
R: I had the joy of discovering the different size of the front axle AFTER I’d already changed the tyres and tubes over from one wheelset to the new ones. Pretty frustrating at 11pm, but I managed to change out wheels from my wet weather commuter and find a solution. Ran the front on the wet weather bike, rear on the tarck fixed gear. Figured this would also be a good way to test whether I could strip the threads on the notorious Quando/ta hubs. I could not, and that was after a long, downhill bar rooter skid that saw my right knee have some intimate time with my front tyre. Seems they’ve either upped their game or my once over on the cog and lockring was worth the effort. I did have to tighten the lockring significantly before I was willing to put it onto my own bike, I’d say a good 3-4 half turns on my Dura Ace chainwhip saw things right. DEFINITELY worth ensuring the cog and lockring are installed properly before taking them out for sweet bar rooter skidz.
As these are machine built, the first thing I did was to place the wheels on the ground and walk all over the spokes. As expected, there was a chorus of pinging as the spoke windup released and everything settled into place. Afterwards, I checked the spoke tension around the wheel and found it varied from 60 to 120kgf. Consistent tension, as high as the rim will bear is the key to a straight and long lasting wheelset, and with the variation present in these wheels, they definitely need to see a human hand if they’re to last the distance.
R: I can second this. After watching Blakey do this I thought I’d give it a crack. Same result, a plethora of pings sounded out in my living room as I wandered about over the wheels, hoping that my extra weight wouldn’t cause any damage to the wheels I was yet to review! For $60, these are pretty much the best value you’ll get!