Thoughts on Zipp's Firecrest 808s?
Upgraded to a Cervelo S5 Aero Frame recently and would like to replace the wheels as the stock shoes are... lacking. After exhaustive research on a variety of aero wheel manufacturers, I've decided on the Zipp 808 Firecrest model. I plan to use them all the time, not just for racing. I like Zipp's warranty and crash replacement policy, and have heard that the new Zipp's can handle quite a lot in terms of abuse.
The standard Tubular/Carbon Clichers are 16/20 spoke front/rear. I'm 6'0 and weigh between 205 - 210 on average, but am more stocky than anything. As a result, I tend to put a lot of power down when I ride. The standard (non-track) 808s have a weight limit of 250 lbs., so I'm well below this. What I am concerned about, is wheel flex. Even Zipp has research demonstrating higher stiffness as spoke count increases. So while I may be able to comfortably ride these wheels without damaging them for years to come, I worry about losing power while climbing, sprinting, etc.
I contacted Zipp directly about my concerns, and they weren't a whole lot of help. They indicated that their standard wheels would handle my weight fine, but if I was concerned about flex, I could buy the rim and have additional spokes added as part of their MAX wheelset (24/28 front/rear), which is not advertised on their website. They do have Track Tubulars listed with 20/24 spoke count, but the weight limit on these is actually LESS at 225 lbs. I don't understand this at all. Additionally, I would really prefer clinchers since tubulars seem like a pain in the butt to deal with.
Anyway, I was hoping to get some thoughts from you more powerful, heavier riders. Thanks in Advance.