I found a deal that I could not pass up through Performance for a front wheel, an Open Pro, laced with double butted spokes to the new 7900 Dura-Ace hub front wheel for $59 (with Dura-ace Skewer).
Now I am trying to decide if I should keep it for cross and if so, what rear should I pair it with. I currently have Ultegra 10 speeds hubs on CXP 23 rims. Are the Dura-Ace better for cross, or are they lighter and less durable? If I am having a matching rear built, should I go with Ultegra or is the step up for Dura-Ace worth the price difference?
I am looking for a second set of wheels in part to make tire swapping a little easier. My cross bike is also my rain road bike and even for cross, I find myself switching tires a fair amount. Another set of wheels is something I have thought about for a little while.
Money is an issue and I am a 180 pound rider who favors durability and ride over weight, but would still like to save some weight wherever possible.
The DA hubs differ from Ult hubs in bearing selection and freehub material. The DAs use a more precise laser selection for the bearings,meaning that all the bearings have a very precise roundness from ball to ball making the wheel very smooth. The freehub uses more titanium making it lighter.
Its hard to believe you found a DA front hub laced to a rim for $59. Thats less than the cost of the hub! Good find!
Really, your resale value is going to be most affected by the hub mismatch if you don't run a rear DA hub. The Ult will probably suit you fine for 'cross and commuting. If you were looking at Shimano complete builds, however, I would recommend the full DuraAce wheels over the Ultegra wheels so you can get the stiffness of the Shimano build along with the smoothness of the DA hub. However, for an at-home build I would say that the quality and build you need from an Ultegra hub.
If you have more specific questions it would be better to just contact us at Echappe Equipment. Click my username and it'll take you there.
No, i think it looks like a pretty solid wheel to me.
"The wheel was hand built in a strong 3 cross pattern and trued to pro perfection here in the USA, and carries the guarantee of our shop."
Triple cross for these wheels is what you want and you get the nice DA hub. You can always find a skewer lying around that will work and when the time's right you can track down a matching titanium DA skewer. Salsa skewers are good for 'cross, btw.