Thursday, 27 August 2015

TIL - My Sicasso S55C Wheels

Another Things I Like (TIL) post. This time it is all about the hoops... and pictures. Lots of pictures!

Two months ago the team at Sicasso asked me if I'd like to demo their wheels to see what I thought of them. Over lunch we talked almost everything bikes except the wheels themselves. They wanted me to give them a solid work out with an unbiased view. They'd read a few of my raw honest reviews of other gear and had enough confidence in their wheels to put a demo set on my bike.

The delivery came with more than I expected. Padded double wheel bag, skewers, carbon specific brake pads, everything to get rolling right away.

With new rubber and sweet watt saving latex tubes installed, the first impression was they felt like a set of tubulars. Partly thanks to the latex tubes I was running, but also the fact these carbon clinchers don't have a dropped/bulky braking surface on them weighing them down where it matters most, the outer rim. Carbon clinchers from a few years back used a dropped braking surface design to keep the braking heat away from the clincher/tyre itself. Advancements in design and materials mean this isn't the case anymore.

Now, it wasn't all roses. The first grab of the brakes was initially cause for concern. The combination of new brake pads and an untouched braking surface on the rims made them squeal. After a few good kms the pads had bedded in and it was all smooth sailing, or braking so to speak. In fairness to Sicasso they do make the rider aware of this and provide a “user guide” for these reasons but I guess like an IKEA instruction booklet that is only for checking at the end! I think a quick scrub of the new pads would eliminate this altogether.

The performance - Speed wise these things roll very well. The S55c are deeper than what I normally use as my everyday wheels. Since my task was to give these a good work-out, these have been my everything wheels. From time trials, to road races, and jumping a gutter or two on training rides.

Braking - The supplied brake pads are a little softer and a LOT grippier than any carbon pads I've used before. They also wear a little faster, however pads are cheap, chewing into the breaking surface and replacing rims isn't.

Durability - Racing, training, and gutter jumps, they're still dead straight. A huge tick as I'm all for things being low maintenance. They've held up to everything I've thrown at them, so far. Yet to run over any small animals with them, so I can't report on their ability to slice though the local fauna. No doubt they'd be like a hot knife though butter.

So in short - Rock solid wheels for both racing and training, braking performance that I'm confident with in any situation, and performance to match. (See examples 1, 2, and 3)

Disclaimer - I've just realised I've written a wheel review without any technical specs and that is in part deliberate. I wanted to judge the wheels at face value without any influence or preconceptions. Therefore to be honest, I haven't even looked into those details (they're on the Sicasso website, along with warranty info, FAQ, etc). I’ve let the riding do the talking - I put the wheels on my bike and have ridden them ever since. I actually sold my other 50mm carbon clincher wheel-set a few weeks after getting the S55c set as I wasn't going back. They're also the only wheels I brought over for a three month stint in Perth.

Sicasso wheels are now available for demo’ so don't just take my word, go check them out! Apparently you can contact Sicasso direct or they are available at selected Retail Partners throughout Australia. Tell them you've read about them here and they'll look after you. :)

Twitter: @Sicasso_Aus
Or find them on Facebook: Sicasso

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