Wow, two media mentions in a month. My sincere apologies to the two writers involved. You know, articles on identical "new" subjects in competing magazines are the journalistic equivalent to a fender bender. Well, let's just enjoy the exposure.
In Road Bike Action (pg 94, Nov-Dec '08 issue), bike design and writing legend Richard Cunningham lavishes attention on Ghisallo rims in 2-1/2 colorful pages. Good observations throughout and a nice tip-of-the-hat to the tradition these wonderful wheels represent. There's an especially good image of a rider cornering on a pair of Elegant rims.
Some quotes: "Smooth is the correct...word to describe way our Ghisallo-equipped wheels rolled."
"...they don't have the snappy acceleration of a Zipp 202...but, man, do they roll!"
"The combination was magical. With 120psi in the tires, the wheels roll silently over cracks and broken pavement, absorbing road noise and muting substantial impacts to an extent that defies any modern wheel we have ridden."
There's much more. I wish I could quote you the whole article. Read it here.
Equally resplendent is the piece by bicycle tech guru Lennard Zinn in the September issue of VeloNews. This is their Olympics edition and features gold medallist Kristin Armstrong on the cover with an ear-to-ear grin. Page 57 is devoted to two beautiful images by Chris Wright (www.seldomwright.com) in an article entitled "Generation Gap." Like Richard of RBA, Lennard rode the rims extensively, but being the active framebuilder he also is, took a real close look:
"They are carefully finished and look great: I defy you to find where any wood strip starts and ends. This is true handmade artisan work."
"I rode these a lot on rough, washboard dirt roads, and they live up to their billing. Spoke tension is very low, yet they maintain their trueness despite harsh abuse. There is significant advantage to these rims on rough roads, because they are very elastic and absorb road vibration well."
Lennard has other great observations and pointers, but you'll need to buy the issue to get all the details.
Thanks, guys, for helping to illuminate this overlooked corner of our wonderful sport. And, especially, thanks to the Cermenati family in Italy who have kept the tradition of wood rims alive so we can enjoy them today, enhanced with modern wood joinery, paired with today's superior tubular tires, and mounted to some of the best bicycles ever built.