Icons of cycling: Ambrosio Nemesis rims

The golden ticket to success at Paris-Roubaix for many years was a cobble-specific alu rim

A gold valve plate marked out Ambrosio’s Classics wheelset. Photo: Daniel Gould

While composites technology made wheels lighter, stiffer and more aerodynamic, it took a long time before teams dared to use them for Paris-Roubaix and even longer before somebody actually won the ‘Hell of the North’ on them.

This legendary race, which is older than the Tour de France, had always demanded legendary wheels. The Ambrosio Nemesis was the epic final chapter in the story of wheels specifically designed and handbuilt for the cobbled Classics.

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Simon Smythe

Simon Smythe is a hugely experienced cycling tech writer, who has been writing for Cycling Weekly since 2003. Until recently he was our senior tech writer. In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends most of his time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.