For over a year now I have been eying a wheelset upgrade for the roadie commuter, but could never justify the expense while the existing wheelset was rolling just fine (stock Alex R500′s). Performance has always had a great price on their well-reviewed and popular Forte Titan wheels, but I always miss a sale or have another expense to attend to. Last weekend Performance was letting these babies go for $140 a pair, with $25 off for orders over $150, and I needed a chain tool. Perfect. The shop trued them for me and I went home and mounted them immediately.
Now, we all know that the placebo effect can dominate any new bike (or component) purchase, so I went into the experience trying to remain as objective as possible. As of this morning’s commute to work, the wheels have 102 miles on them, surpassing my goal of 100 miles before I write one word about them.
The first word has to be smooth, followed closely by strong, tight, and rigid. The matte black bladed spokes look incredibly hot, and the semi-aero rims are solid. The Alex rims with the Formula hubs on the old wheels still spin well, but coming in at almost a pound lighter for the Titans, I noticed the difference immediately in my climbing. Ascending a steep hill will never be effortless and will always be my weak point, but I found that I was able to spin up to two gears higher during the climb.
for the money, there’s really no comparison. Even professional wheel builders have been seen in forums saying that these are really not a bad wheel, especially for a house brand. some speculate that they are re-branded Neuvations, but I cannot confirm that.
I promise pictures toinight when I have better light and possibly a white garage door. Also need to clean ‘er up a little bit as it has been a bit stormy here lately.
UPDATE WITH PICTURES