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  1. #1
    Robbie McEwen Wannabe tbrown524's Avatar
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    How to decide which wheelset to buy?

    This is my first year racing crits and everyone I speak with tells me to invest in a good set of wheels... I've also read it on the boards.

    Here's my question.. How does a person decide on which wheels to purchase?

    First I'm a clydsdale.. 220lbs and quite sure I'll be over 200lbs throughout this year(wannabe bodybuilder). Also, I don't want to spend over $1000.00 especially since I'm just racing Cat V. I was even considering going the ebay route for wheels however I'll be looking at wheels that I've never ridden on before.

    At the races I've seen Zipp, Mavics, Reynolds.. I don't want to decide by which wheels will look the best on my bike... My teammates say Ksyrium... I just want a set that'll be perfect for crits.

    Thanks
    "Meyrueis, Lozere, June 26, 1977. Hot and overcast. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me."

  2. #2
    this portrait of karma transplant's Avatar
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    short answer: ride with what you've got unless they're falling apart and upgrade the engine because that's where your results are going to come from right now.

  3. #3
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbrown524 View Post
    This is my first year racing crits and everyone I speak with tells me to invest in a good set of wheels... I've also read it on the boards.

    Here's my question.. How does a person decide on which wheels to purchase?

    First I'm a clydsdale.. 220lbs and quite sure I'll be over 200lbs throughout this year(wannabe bodybuilder). Also, I don't want to spend over $1000.00 especially since I'm just racing Cat V. I was even considering going the ebay route for wheels however I'll be looking at wheels that I've never ridden on before.

    At the races I've seen Zipp, Mavics, Reynolds.. I don't want to decide by which wheels will look the best on my bike... My teammates say Ksyrium... I just want a set that'll be perfect for crits.

    Thanks
    Get a custom set built just for you. I can recommend Ron Ruff at White Mountain Wheels, and a team-mate swears by Troy at Ligero.
    Putting the Duh in Floriduh.

  4. #4
    Robbie McEwen Wannabe tbrown524's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by transplant View Post
    short answer: ride with what you've got unless they're falling apart and upgrade the engine because that's where your results are going to come from right now.
    That's what I was thinking... Since I've never owned an expensive set a wheels.. I don't know the advantages of having them.
    "Meyrueis, Lozere, June 26, 1977. Hot and overcast. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me."

  5. #5
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    Just my two cents, but don't buy any expensive race wheels for crits, unless you have deep pockets!! Crashes are most likely to happen in crits and you could deffinately toast a good pair of rims! I would just get a sturdy wheel like Mavic Open Pros or something similiar! You won't get any benefit from a deep dish wheel in a crit! Time trials and maybe road races, yes!

  6. #6
    peloton surfing HillMut's Avatar
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    What are you riding now? What kind of bike?

  7. #7
    Robbie McEwen Wannabe tbrown524's Avatar
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    Trek 2200 with Bontrager Race Lites...

    I'm searching for a new bike but I figured even a new bike will come with "stock" wheels..
    "Meyrueis, Lozere, June 26, 1977. Hot and overcast. I take my gear out of the car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me."

  8. #8
    I'm that guy that I am.
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    As a fellow Cat 5 rider, I'd like to echo the suggestions above and NOT recommend you purchase a fancy new set of wheels. In just three starts, I've been close to four accidents, and all of those folks ended up breaking at least one part. Get some used wheels from a local shop or stick to the $300'ish range for a set then once you climb up into cat 4, maybe treat your bike to some fancy wheels. Cheap is definitely the best way to fly with all the new folks around you.
    It's not how many miles you ride, but how hard you ride them. Time trials aren't races.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rizz View Post
    As a fellow Cat 5 rider, I'd like to echo the suggestions above and NOT recommend you purchase a fancy new set of wheels. In just three starts, I've been close to four accidents, and all of those folks ended up breaking at least one part. Get some used wheels from a local shop or stick to the $300'ish range for a set then once you climb up into cat 4, maybe treat your bike to some fancy wheels. Cheap is definitely the best way to fly with all the new folks around you.
    Amen Brother!!!

  10. #10
    Senior Member WCroadie's Avatar
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    I find it funny that people think there are more crashes in crits, in all but 2 cat4 road races I did last year there was at least 1 crash, and I did about 18. I also raced several crits without any crashes. If you ride your bike enough, you will crash and you will see lots of crashes.

    I spoke with both Ron Ruff and Troy from Ligero about wheels last year. I ended up with a set from Troy, white industires hubs (very sweet and great price) Niobium 30 rims with sapim cx-ray spokes. Price was about $500. Great wheels and light enough, I think they weigh 1490 grams, they are plenty durable, spin up fast, smooth and stiff. I weigh 167. I also used several sets of bontrager race x lites which you can get off ebay for 300-400, no complaints about these wheels. If you don't want to get wheels from ebay call Troy or Ron and talk to them. They will build some nice wheels at a great price. Troy may take a while to get back to you though, he's busy but will eventually return your call.

    Or you can ride what you got.

  11. #11
    Writin' stuff ZeCanon's Avatar
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    I built a set of aluminum tubulars for crits using Ambrosio Chrono f20 rims laced onto DA hubs with DT revolutions. Bombproof, light (lighter than ksyriums by a long shot) and you get to run tubulars, which corner better. Not the most aero wheels in the world, but still faster than a any stock wheelset.
    Velo Magazine/VeloNews.com tech guy get in touch or hit me on the tweeter @CaleyFretz

  12. #12
    In beaurocratic limbo urbanknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbrown524 View Post
    That's what I was thinking... Since I've never owned an expensive set a wheels.. I don't know the advantages of having them.
    Yep, until you know the advantages of each and which advantages you want, hold off. Look for deals on what you really want when you figure out what you really want.

    When I was young and stupid, I started off with box rim tubulars, then decided I needed aero wheels for time trials so I bought a rear disk, then realized the front wheel has more of an impact so I got a front Shamal, then realized the state time trial championships were in a place where it's always windy, then I got Specialized trispokes.

  13. #13
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    Agreed with all that was said above, but I wanted to add that having a couple of wheelsets is always a good idea. Typically one set is for training and back up, and the others are race-only. Neither have to be expensive mind you.

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