So I just put my nice new Durano tyres on the Tricross, gave the back wheel a quick spin once remounted to make sure it was true, and something looked wrong, quite badly wrong. So I checked to see if I had any broken spokes (I heard something ping on my recent 200k brevet but nothing was obviously wrong, so I figured it was just a bit of crud off the road), and I didn't. What I do have is what looks like a split in the metal, perpendicular to the line of the spokes and about 3/4 inside the rim wall from where the spoke enters the rim.
I figure that almost certainly means I need to be getting a new rear wheel and sooner rather than later. I had been considering a set of Mavic Ksyrium Elite S wheels but wasn't sure about spending that much money, or how well they'd support my 250lb frame. A friend of mine rides Mavic Aksiums and they look rather nice, but dropping from a 32-spoke wheel to a 20-spoke wheel concerns me a little, especially if bladed straight-pull spokes aren't all that easy to come by (and I'd hazard a guess they aren't the kind of thing any bike shop would keep in stock).
The vast majority of the riding I do is on the road but I do occasionally take the bike on gravel paths. It's not like I'm riding on hardcore mountain biking trails but obviously a gravel path is nowhere near as smooth as a road.
Budget-wise, Mavic Ksyrium Elite S is pretty much top-end of what I'm interested in spending, and ideally I'd rather keep it to more like Mavic Cosmic money or less. That said I'd rather spend a little bit more and get something that will last than fiddling around with the false economics of something cheap and nasty that will break in no time flat.
Thoughts etc appreciated, in the meantime I'll dust off the trusty MTB...