So, I will start with ï¿½I love this wheelsetï¿½. Only 5 rides in, they are the perfect complement to my latest build. Without validating, they feel lighter than my 5 year set on my previous bike. Coupled with the ENVE tubeless tires, I feel confident with cornering and rolling wide open in descents.
It is impossible to provide a like for like as I am running on a completely different bike. However, I am not wondering if I should have selected a different set and I donï¿½t regret the investment.
Bought these as a wider gravel wheel and an aero road wheel for 28mm plus tires. Have carbon wheel experience with several versions of Reynolds Assault and Attacks. I liked them... but the Zipps are SOOOO easy to set up, the hookless rim with Panaracer gravel or Pirelli road tubeless tires. After struggling so much with the Reynolds over the years, these are pure pleasure. Hookless has changed my mind about the hassel of tubeless. Now I have no problem going back and forth from gravel tires to road. The 303 Firecrests are light and climb well, responsive, and comfortable. In hilly New England gravel rides they are an asset. 500 + miles so far, no issues and trust it will stay that way. Make sure you check your front thruaxle size to insure the hub inserts shipped with wheels (15mm?) are the right size for your bike. I needed 12mm and had to order them after the wheels arrived. Cheers!
Man, why did I wait so long to start rolling on carbon hoops?!
I love the fast acceleration that these wheels provide and so far, there is nothing that I donï¿½t love about themï¿½well, aside from the loud ratchet sound when you roll on the WI CLD hubs(Iï¿½m used to my old quiet DT Swiss 240ï¿½s). First world problem!
That aside, when you get up to speed they roll fast and I noticed that on a recent regular decent, before I knew it, I was rolling about 5mph faster than usual. I love doing business with WBW and a small PNW company like Astral - I also have their Wanderlust alloy wheels for gravel.
I keep coming back to WBW for their great selection, service and very competitive prices.
My Zipp 101s, with over 43,000 miles, finally developed a stress fracture on the rear rim. And I am surprised that filtering the searches with rim brake (even including carbon) returned so few options. I guess there is no future in making high performance rim brake wheels anymore. I would have gotten another set of ZIPP 101s if they were still available. The Astral Solstice checked all the boxes on my list of features: rim brake, not carbon and light enough at 1481g actual weight. The wider rim at 19.23mm inner width is a bonus because my Michelin Pro4 Service Course 25mm tires now measures 28.8mm when inflated. The hubs have very good reputation but this is my first experience with White Industries hubs so time will tell. The Zipps 88/188 hubs were super easy to service but the White Industries look to be much more fussy.
The wheels were built with care, including the signed warranty by the builder. There is definitely a premium feel to them. I also like that they use top of the line Sapim CX Ray spokes are the same as my Zipp 101s. I checked the wheels on a truing stand and they are perfect (I rechecked them after 600 miles and they are good as well). The brake tracks are very nicely machined so braking is very smooth.
So what's not to like? The bearings were a bit noisy for the first few hundred miles but they roll better now with about 800 miles. Spoke counts are 24/28! And that's a bit overkill compared to Zipp 101s 18/20. Maybe the Astral Solstices are designed for much heavier riders? Until I switch to a disc brake frame set, these will have to do for now.