these rims were among the best, tho' not the lightest. perhaps that's why. the heft of these rims were, in the day, a real departure from sub 300gm rims. the trend of lighter and lighter rims and a constant spoke count was being supplanted by heavier rims with fewer spokes. thus, building these rims with a typical 32 or 26 count would produce a wheel that could take almost anything. in my opinion, the added strength came not from the weight or the material, but from the added width; 21.5mm versus the typical 20mm rims then available. the campagnolo strada and pave rims of the 90s, both available in the record and sigma designations were also among the best. these were 350-400gms, (yikes!), but were 22mm. i race exclusively on these in 28 spoke drilling. e-RICHIE wheelie, no joke!
On Mon, 21 Jan 2002 18:51:20 -0800 Bill Bryant <Bill_Bryant@prodigy.net>
> They were ~excellent~ rims. From the wheel-builder's perspective, the
> extrusion was very round and built up easily nearly every time. (As
> compared to many other
> rims of the era which usually had some lumps and bumps, or uneven
> joints that could adversely affect uniform spoke tension.)
> From the riders, nothing but great reports following tough racing
> usage. The SSC was a long-lasting rim that took a ton of abuse well,
> such as racing over
> cobbles. I forget their weight in grams, but they were pretty
> hefty--one reason they held up so well. Not really a rim desired by
> most climbing specialists,
> they were great all-around rims that wouldn't fail when others did.
> The Mavic GP-4 was also very good. Similar weight and cross section
> and gave excellent
> service. Nice to build with, but on balance though, I'd opine that
> the SSC were slightly better quality. But then I never had to shell
> out the big bucks for the
> SSCs; I just laced 'em up. Individual customers and team sponsors
> had that unpleasant duty. Based on cost and overall service, the
> GP-4 was the better deal,
> I don't know if they were the best tubular rim ever made, but
> nothing better comes to mind in terms of overall quality when you
> look at mass quantities of each
> model. However, it might be more useful to compare rims of similar
> weights to make such claims. It would be unfair to compare a burly
> SSC to a 290 gram rim,
> obviously the former would hold up better, while the lightweight one
> would offer improved performance (unless it failed on rough roads.)
> The nature of the race
> course would be the determining factor as to which rim was "best".
> Have been out of the race service game some years now, so can't help
> with any modern equivalent. Hopefully others will chime in.
> Bill Bryant
> Santa Cruz, California
> wart Barrie wrote:
> > Anyone any thoughts on the Mavic SSC rims from the mid 70s through
> early 80's. Frequently described as the best rims ever made, is
> there a modern equivalent?
> > Anyone using these at the moment. Anyone got any to sell?
> > Cheers
> > Stewart Barrie
> > London, UK