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Nov 19, 2015 – Rolf Prima created the paired spoke design in 1997 and has been on a wild ride since – from debuting at Le Tour in 1999 to shuttering back in 2008 after the financial melt down. Rolf Prima came back in 2010 and has been growing rapidly ever since. Evidence to its current health can be seen in its latest release, the new Ares 3.
The Ares 3 is a full carbon clincher and built around Rolf Prima’s paired spoke concept. At 35mm deep and 24.5mm wide they should provide some aero advantage while allowing your tire to spread out for improved handling and road feel, but these wheels are aimed at the climbers, with a claimed weight of only 1340grams a set. That’s lighter than a set of Zipp 202’s and equal to Bontrager’s Aeolus 3 TLR. The hubs, called TdF5.5s, feature titanium freehubs and ceramic bearings. Rolf’s paired spokes allow for a very low spoke count, 16 front and back, using bladed Sapim CX-Ray and CX spokes.
The wheels are hand built in Eugene Oregon and retail for $2400. Rolf Prima offers a version called the Ares 3 ES for $1900 which does without the CX-Ray spokes, Ti or ceramic bearings. The Ares ES weighs 1440grams. Both wheels can be customized with Rolf Prima’s ‘Built On Demand’ decal program allowing riders to choose from a range of decal and hub colors.
Ares 3: 35mm deep, 1340grams – $2400
Ares 3 ES: 35mm deep, 1440grams – $1900