The team is lucky enough to continue to be sponsored by Token Wheels again in 2018, and we’ll be racing the all-new Konax Pro Wheelset throughout the season. The new shipment of wheels arrived at the service course last week. I’ve put in a few rides on them and want to share my first impressions of the new hoops!
I’ll start with the basics. These new wheels are light, wide, and deep. They have and external/internal rim width of 27.4/20mm. That’s nice and wide. They’re deep and fast rolling with a 52mm rim depth. They’re feather light 1452 grams. They’re built with Sapim CX-Ray spokes with external nipples. This is great, as external nipples make the wheels incredibly easy to service and straighten up if needed.
Unboxing the wheels, everything looks totally dialed. They come well protected in a plastic covering in a solid wheel box. Included with our wheels are the new red carbon brake pads, skewers, and a 70 mm valve stem. The wheels come pre-taped and are ready to be set up tubeless right away. Look for a second post soon about setting the wheels up tubeless with tires from IRC.
The graphics on the wheels are subtle and look sharp. The large token logo is dark and blends in smoothly with the wheel. A small gold leaf logo highlights the model name of Konax Pro. The matte black carbon rim surface is crisscrossed with glossy black stripes. The hubs are gloss black and precisely engineered, looking like a machined military grade part. All together, the wheels look rad. The black on black on black creates a subtle look to the graphics, but a look with plenty of character. It’s an unobtrusive design that will easily blend in with any bike but grab your attention when you look at the details. Kudos to the graphic design team that put this unique look together. When I mounted the wheels on our KTM race bike, the machine looked fierce. There’s something about deep carbon wheels that screams speed.
Out on the road, I loved the feel of the new wheels. The wide rims change the shape of the contact patch of our 25c tires pumped up to 95psi, and this helps smooth out the ride. If you haven’t tried wide rims and tires, you must. When I started to pour on the watts, the light wheels responded instantly and spun up quickly. I loved the characteristic whooshing sound of carbon wheels accelerating up to speed. The squared off top of the rim profile was clearly designed with cross winds in mind, and despite a 20 mph cross wind along the bay the wheels felt completely in control and grounded. And, finally, my favorite aspect of the wheels, their torsional stiffness. They just did not flex laterally. It’s a great feeling when you know all of your power is being transferred into forward momentum, with no energy lost to side to side swaying.
These wheels are top notch. I can’t wait to get them to the guys at training camp next week to see what they think!