Citec 3000 Classic Wheelset first look - Road Cycling UK

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Citec 3000 Classic Wheelset first look

Citec wheels at rest

Contemporary spoke layout

After some two months and 500 miles of commuting, the Mavic R-Sys wheels initially fitted to our 66cm Cannnondale have been given a much-needed reprieve with the arrival at RCUK Towers of a Citec 3000 Classic wheelset.

This German brand may not be that well-known in the UK, but it has been around for two decades now and, amongst those who have ridden Citec wheels, has a reputation for durability second to none. How much of this can be ascribed to the company’s patented Power Block System of spoke location at the hub is hard to say, since Citec spokes never seem to break. That very durability is, of course, just what is needed when a cyclist weighs over 110kg with not just the power to match but a downhill mtb racer’s indifference to rough surfaces.

Power Block Sytem locates spokes in hub

Semi-deep rim has smooth profile

Advised of the test rider’s particular requirements, Citec supplied the standard 3000 Classic rear clincher wheel, which has 20 spokes in a now-familiar radial pattern on the gear side and tangent layout on the non-drive side. At the front, however, Citec went from the standard 16 spokes to a count of 20 in order to guarantee steering stability. Current price per pair is £399.95, although this may change according to currency exchange rates.

The freehub body is a DT Swiss 240 aluminium item with Shimano low-spline pattern; a Campagnolo pattern freehub body is also available at extra cost.

At both ends, a semi-deep section rim backed up by bladed stainless steel spokes offers something approaching decent aerodynamic penetration. The Power Block System comprises a brass socket per spoke that threads into the hub, with the spoke then threading into the socket. Since the thread on the outside of the socket is larger than that of the spoke, the aluminium hub can take a higher spoke tension than if the spoke were threaded directly into it.

Exceptionally high spoke tension minimises spoke flex and the associated fatigue. RCUK knows of one set of Citec wheels that has been in regular use for more than 10 years without the need for attention, after having had impact damage repaired.
Whether these wheels will last as long remains to be seen, but if they remain untroubled for more than two months they will have outdone the R-Sys hoops, which have needed a rebuild by Mavic (article coming soon). Watch this space.

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