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  1. #1
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    Best wheels under 1500 to start racing on

    Current I have spinergy Xero lites. WHich are great wheels for comfort and training, or lots of miles. But I am looking for something with some snappy feel to it. Possibly aero? I am not sure what I should go with. My LBS has a 2010 set of 404's that they will rent me for races. but they are tubbies and I have never ran tubbies before. Please help-David
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  2. #2
    fair weather cyclist pjcampbell's Avatar
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    Zipp 303 or 404 old stock or slightly used. clincher. Here's one for $1350, "The wheels, cassette, and tires have about 200 miles on them. "

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ZIPP-404-Cli...item232c6b33d9
    Last edited by pjcampbell; 06-29-13 at 03:32 AM.

  3. #3
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    Based upon my extremely limited experience, IMHO the last thing you need is aero wheels to start out on. I'm unfamiliar with the Spinergy wheels you have, so I looked them up, and the main complaint about them is lateral flex. I'd get a set of something stiff like Mavic Kysrium Elites for ~$5-600 and put good tires on them, and use the rest of the money for entrance fees and gas and motel expenses.
    Regards,
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  4. #4
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    You've never raced before? The wheels you own.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tyrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    You've never raced before? The wheels you own.
    +1

  6. #6
    avatar by Sean Powers mike868y's Avatar
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    where do people get this notion that you need such high end equipment to start racing?
    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    it depends

  7. #7
    Senior Member zitter's Avatar
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    wait until cat 3's to get race wheels, and if you're lucky you might have a team by then to provide them instead of having to purchase out of pocket

  8. #8
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
    where do people get this notion that you need such high end equipment to start racing?
    41 ? Bike Magazines ? I dunno.

    I put together a decent race bike with careful shopping. Total cost about $1300 including 50mm carbon tubulars. Now I just need a crit bike.

    Also, OP provides no personal/racing details to help in the type of appropriate wheels.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  9. #9
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Race wheels provided as a cat three? Nice stroke of luck. Get a powerball ticket while you're at it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zitter's Avatar
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    well there certainly aren't team bikes for cat 3's unless you're a junior, but I've seen some teams with wheel sponsors that have their 3's team on them, albeit they aren't zipp or big name, usually smaller independent makers. best I get as a 3 is two free kits, partial reg reimbursement and occasional sponsor swag

  11. #11
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    Race wheels provided as a cat three? Nice stroke of luck. Get a powerball ticket while you're at it.
    Thats it. I'm downgrading.

  12. #12
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    If you're dying to spend that money then so be it. If I were in your position, looking to unload $1500 on wheels only, I'd be looking for some used HEDs or Zipps. In Escondido area I'd be looking for all-round wheels that were more aero inclined. 404s, Stinger 6. I'd save your other wheels as spares but also the front for use in very windy races or very fast descents. For example descending down Cole Grade I felt uncomfortable with a 46 mm front rim because it caught a lot of wind. Ditto when descending near Harrahs or down the wide road in Torrey Pines - trucks flying past at 60 mph makes for a very gusty descent. With a normal non-aero front wheel I felt much more comfortable.

    Also, at least initially, I'd try and stay under a certain weight for the wheels, maybe 1600g. Having some 1900g aero clinchers I can tell you that those things take forever to get up to speed. I'd rather race 1500g wheels (the Bastognes I have, which are now one of many Ardennes wheel sets), and in fact I haven't ridden my heavier aero clinchers for a while.

    If you get clincher wheels don't get super light clincher tires to save weight. The 30-50 grams may feel nice but when you cut or otherwise puncture your tire you'll be bummed out. I cut four Pro3s in your area in less than two weeks, and on slightly heavier Krylions I only flatted after I wore the tires down to unsafe margins. If you want to save some weight you can get the lighter butyl tubes (they seem to be just as reliable and about 30g lighter) and lighter rim strips (the Ritchey super thin rim strips were 3g per rim, so light I'd double up for reliability.

    Tubulars are tires that require much more diligence from the user, require more mechanical common-sense, etc. If you are one of those that others turn to when little weird things break then you're perfect for tubulars. If you have a flat and pull out your phone to call for a ride then you may not be the best tubular type rider. If you're in-between, like most people, then tubulars are good if you are diligent in maintenance, merciless when checking your own equipment, and willing to spend some more money (budget $80-100 per tire, including glue and such, and you'll be at the mid-range of the scale). Figure you should buy minimum 3 tires, maybe 4, because you don't fix a flat tubular, you glue another one on, and you pay a premium for immediate access to a tire.

    With tubulars your wheel budget will drop a bit, by $300 or so, because you'll need to buy 3-4 tires.

    I'd consider wheels only after making sure that the bike fits (bar/stem/saddle), that you have good shoes and pedals, and you have some reasonable clothing for yourself (jersey, shorts, helmet, long finger gloves, socks).

    I've placed as high as 3rd in a summer race on non-aero clincher wheels, won a training race, etc. I've gotten annihilated by riders on regular box section aluminum wheels. However I also like using aero tubulars - they're light for their shape, they're fast, and they're fun. Since I race for fun my equipment is part of that equation. Right now I may not be good after 20-30 minutes in a race but I'll have fun for those 20-30 minutes.

  13. #13
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I have had good luck with my generic 50 mm carbon wheels (Gigantex rims/joytech hubs/pillar spokes). You could get several pairs for $1500.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  14. #14
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike868y View Post
    where do people get this notion that you need such high end equipment to start racing?
    They appear to believe that it's the equipment that makes people fast, as opposed to giving a marginal edge to people who have already trained their guts out to get fast.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  15. #15
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    You've never raced before? The wheels you own.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrell View Post
    +1
    +n

    I got to Cat 2 on aluminum 32h clinchers...

  16. #16
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Next year when you decide you don't want to race, then your $1500 wheels will get you to the coffee shop a bit faster.

    My sponsorship is a pair of bibs that are the wrong size. Any skinny guys need some bibs ?
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    +n

    I got to Cat 2 on aluminum 32h clinchers...
    So there's hope for me and my Open Pros yet? Awesome!
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Homebrew01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
    So there's hope for me and my Open Pros yet? Awesome!
    As long as they don't crack at the spoke hole.
    Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
    As long as they don't crack at the spoke hole.
    I'm aware of that possibility and check them regularly. Keeping my fingers crossed...
    Regards,
    Chuck

    Demain, on roule!

  20. #20
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    I won an NCC criterium on Ksyrium Elites.

  21. #21
    Senior Member rankin116's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    They appear to believe that it's the equipment that makes people fast, as opposed to giving a marginal edge to people who have already trained their guts out to get fast.
    Advertising works, that's why companies spend so damn much on it.

  22. #22
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    I got to Cat 2 on aluminum 32h clinchers...
    +1, ceramic Open Pros
    pro-meter: lol

    blog

  23. #23
    ride lots be safe Creakyknees's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zitter View Post
    well there certainly aren't team bikes for cat 3's unless you're a junior
    incorrect
    "have fun and be kind"
    - an internet post

  24. #24
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    I think the worst thing about brand-new racers jumping into the fray with expensive wheels is a bunch of Cat 5s with Cat 5 skills with inconsistent braking because they're riding carbon fiber rims. I'm a 3 now, but even so, I'm maybe a tiny bit sad about my aluminum wheels on the way up hills, and incredibly grateful for them on the way down. Except I'm lying, because I'm never actually thinking about my wheels on the way up climbs.

  25. #25
    . botto's Avatar
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    thank you to the voices of reason within this thread of fail.

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