Monthly Archives: March 2017

New Mavic Open Pro rim

The ‘reference’ rim up until the past decade, the Mavic Open Pro rim finally gets an update. Last year, Mavic revamped their Ksyrium endurance wheelset range with wider, lighter rims and this year it appears as though their Open Pro rim is getting the same treatment.

Spotted on Instagram, Team Dream Team leaked a photo of the new Open Pro rim, claiming that it’s lighter and wider than the previous iteration. Judging by their Ksyrium rims, I expect the Open Pro rim to have a 17mm internal width. Also evident is the ISM4D milling pattern, and Exalith brake surface.

Image courtesy of Team Dream Team Instagram

The built rim appears to be a 32 spoke rim, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mavic only made 32/36 drillings. I think this drilling range is adequate, though I would like to see a 28h rim so lighter riders have the option of 28/32. Having said that, a 32/32 wheel would be great for riders looking for peace of mind and don’t mind the weight penalty of an extra 8-20 spokes. Judging by the low profile the rim will hopefully be lighter than the H plus Son Archetype, Hed Belgium etc but perhaps not as light as a Stans ZTR Alpha 340.

Image courtesy of Team Dream Team Instagram

Personally, I’ve been reluctant to recommend Mavic rims to people who are looking at building custom wheels. However if Mavic manage to hit 420g (or lighter) I expect this rim to be a great option (especially if the current Open Pro price remains). That said, the rim market has plenty of options for wide, light rims, most of which available in more drillings (e.g. DT Swiss RR411). I expect these rims to be more popular since they’re available in more drilling options but that’s not to say the Open Pro doesn’t have a place.

Image courtesy of jonesprecisionwheels instagram

For someone looking for exalith, 32h/36h rim, and perhaps a (slightly) lower weight than the RR411 this rim should tick all the boxes. I’d suggest that this rim would be perfect for anything inbetween touring and big races, a perfect wheel to take on cycling holidays, training and maybe lower priority races.

Looking towards the future I would not be surprised if Mavic also updated their CXP range. A 33mm deep, 23-25mm rim weighing 490g or less available in 20/24/28/32 would be an excellent ‘Light and Fast’ compliment to the revamped Open Pro. Though such a rim already exists… (just not from Mavic)

 

Update: According to social media the rims are claimed to be 435g, 19mm internal and will eventually become available in 24/28/32 source: https://www.instagram.com/p/BRY9NsPAPsL/

I’ll be trying to get this rim in for review when it becomes available.

Ding Bike Lights – a first look

It’s not everyday you come across a novel idea: Ding have produced a light that projects both forwards and downwards!

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Image courtesy of Ding

So why am I so excited about this new light? If you’ve ridden at night or in the early hours of the morning without the aid of street lights you’ll know the importance of a good headlight. Ding takes this one step further, not only does the light offer an excellent front beam, it also projects light around you, illuminating obstacles and improving your visibility.

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Image courtesy of Ding

The light itself is a competitive weight with other dedicated front lights, weighing in at 178g, just 2g heavier than the well regarded Supernova Airstream 2 light. In terms of brightness, both lights provided similar levels of forward illumination however Ding eclipses Supernova for side illumination.

In terms of bulk, this is where the Ding light loses out to the Airstream. The Ding light is much bulkier and is quite difficult to mount under the handlebars of typical road handlebars. Unlike the Airstream, which has a mount which ‘lowers’ the light under your cables, the Ding light attempts to ‘directly’ mount to your bars, and competes with your brake/gear cables for space.

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Even though on their kickstarter campaign they claim that this light can be mounted in complete darkness, I found it difficult to mount to 3 bikes of different sizes. The only solution which I found acceptable was the GoPro mount. Due to the downwards projecting light, you’re forced to mount the light under your handlebars (or stem), where your cables get in the way. I feel that this aspect of the design was missed by the design team and clearly requires a better approach.

Ding mount

Image courtesy of Ding

Ding’s solution to this issue is just to mount it close to, or over the bar tape, but with my cable routing I still found issues with cable clearance. If I mounted it over the bar tape, away from the cables the downward lighting was asymmetrical, which annoyed me more than it should have. Finally, due to the bulk, you can feel the light next to your fingers when you’re riding on the tops, even on 44cm bars.

However, if you have a GoPro compatible Garmin mount, or some sort of BDOP Dashboard Genie (or flat bars with plenty of space) this light will work fine. The GoPro mount weighs an additional 5g, and would be my suggested mounting method.IMG_1349If like me you don’t have a GoPro compatible out front mount etc. you’ll probably be severely disappointed that this light won’t fit your bike, but this light has huge potential to be a market leader, provided they sort out the mounting issues.IMG_1354

 

For $120 AUD this light is substantially cheaper than other market leaders and arguably offers better illumination. However, what this light lacks is the big budget testing bigger brands such as Supernova have. Unlike an Airstream I cannot confidently state that this light will fit your bike and perform as advertised (you can mount it on your bartape section but that defeats the purpose of the side illumination).

Finally, my pet annoyance with riding at night is other cyclists users using super bright lights which blind oncoming traffic, and since Ding make no claims about how much light is directed at the ground (vs directly ahead) I can only assume Ding would fail StVZO testing. Still, it’s exciting to see new ideas come out, and provided Ding can sort out the above issues, this light will certainly be an excellent product. I’ll be following their future developments closely.