|Look, it's a tiny 4.3mm wrench! What could it be for? Low torque, I hope.|
Completely coincidentally, some big, lightweight boxes arrived at my door the same day limom posted about his shiny new hoops. I have been looking for a road wheel upgrade for a while, out of curiosity more than anything else: when you read wheel reviews, they often sound so hyped up that it's hard to judge if there would be any advantage at all in reality. So, rather than dropping the cost of a new bicycle for a really expensive set of wheels, I have been keeping my eyes open for a solid set that would represent a step or two up from the Bontrager Race wheels that came with my bike, without breaking into the kids' college funds, or setting expectations that I will now rocket up mountains, or sprint like a top fuel dragster, with the added stiffness, wind-slicing aerodynamics, and reduced rotating mass.
After shopping around, I purchased the Shimano Ultegra WH-6600 wheels, which looked like exactly what I was looking for, maybe except for the weird spokes-- butted bladed straight-pull spokes with 4.3mm nipples and fastened at the hub instead of the rim. Oh yeah, also low spoke count 16/20, which I will admit runs counter to my deep-seated love and confidence in higher spoke counts. With that, though, these wheels did look like exactly the kind of step-up upgrade I was looking for, so I bought. Still waiting for the new tires to arrive though, so today only pictures for the blog, and some spinning in the truing stand to see how they came out of the box. Get up. Go ride.