January 11, 2011, 9:38 am / Categories: Biking
I blushed nervously as the bike-shop mechanics left their work stands to stroll over and gaze. They proceeded to caress the bladed spokes and CNC machined hubs of my new wheelset, and their oohs and ahhs began to attract the attention of nearby shoppers. My Rolf Prima P-Town singlespeed wheelset — complete with low-count, paired spokes and deep-dish rims — oozed a racy, expensive air.
At $700 for the set, the P-Towns are exotic creatures that embody high-end race wheels but with a shot of bling. They are made for singlespeed bikes, fixies, and embellished everyday riding setups. The hubs come flip-flop-style for fixed and freewheel options.
Out on the streets, the P-Towns (which are named after bike-crazed Portland, Ore.) almost magically turned my bike into an envy-inducing, hipster tamer. With polished aluminum and feathery weight (1,595 grams for the set), the P-Towns accelerate like race wheels but have the durability to hold up to the winter-worn, pothole-riddled streets I roll this time of year.
What really excites true bike nerds (like me) are the 700c wheels’ White Industries CNC’ed aluminum hubs and the 34mm deep section rims, which require only 30 spokes between the two wheels. These are race-spec items but now made for street use.
A deeper look reveals quality in the details. There are reinforced rim strips, CNC machined frame bolts, 14mm custom straight bladed spokes, and a White Industries proprietary spline drive fixed-cog (as opposed to the standard thread-on fixed cog). I’d love to see this last feature become the norm for fixed gear equipment.
In the name of versatility, P-Towns are offered in 120mm or 130mm rear spacing for horizontal track-style frames or with 130mm Eccentric ENO hubs for use with any road frame. (The latter configuration raises the price to $750.) No need for an unsightly chain-tensioner if you want to use them with vertical or semi-vertical dropout frames. But sorry disc-brake fans, P-Towns are rim brake only.
This beautiful whisp of a wheelset is bound to speed up and class up any town ride. But since it isn’t priced for the everyman, it is likely to remain an envy-inducing item for those who can afford such delightful splurges.
- Latest Articles
- 10 Lantern Giveaway: Goal Zero Products Up For Grabs (10 readers will Win!)
- Active Lifestyle Luxury Goods, All Made In USA (major trend in 2014?)
- Carabiner Has Built-In 'Hook'
- American Wins Boston Marathon… Wearing Skechers Shoes
- This Light Powered By Sack Of Rocks
- Boston Marathon Winner Wore Names Of Victims On Bib
- Running Paris: Salomon 'CityTrail' Video
- Can An Innovative Axe From Finland 'Revolutionize' Chopping Wood?
- Huff, Puff And Power Your Gizmos: Portable Wind Turbine Made For Outdoors
- Video Chronicles Intensely Competitive 'Lake Sonoma 50' Ultra Race
- Popular Articles
- Innovative Axe Design Revolutionizes Wood-Chopping Technology
- Not A Mummy: Zipper-less Design Offers New Sleeping Bag Experience
- World's 10 Most Dangerous Mountains
- Taco Cat Is A Bike-Only Taco Delivery Service
- American Wins Boston Marathon… Wearing Skechers shoes
- 1,000-Year-Old Native American Canoe
- The Stoke Factor: Explained
- No Reel Needed: Patagonia Fly Fishing Kit Is Simple, Light And Effective
- 12 Good Boots: Find Your Perfect Hiking Footwear For Spring 2014
- Goal Zero Camp Lantern Provides Light, Built-In Charging Station
- Friends of Gear Junkie
- Monopoint Media
- Adventure Blog
- Adventure Journal
- Outside Online
- Cold Splinters
- Sender Films
- Elevation Outdoors
- Rock and Ice Magazine
- Trail Runner Magazine
- REI Blog
- Weekly E-Newsletter
Sign up for our e-news for a weekly update on new gear, adventure travel, and prize giveaways.