I've been trying to figure out the different gruppos and their hierarchy, I have finally figured out the hierarchy within Shimano/SRAM/Campagnolo within each company, although I'm not always sure where they stack up cross company, especially as Shimano and Campy seem to make more gruppos than SRAM.
But this is about wheels. I'm struggling even moreso with rims/hubs/wheelsets. Mavic vs. Zipp vs. Alex vs. Ritchey vs. Vuelta and so on.
I'm still a clyde as my weight has been staying around 225-230 (I'm 5'9") so should there be wheelsets to look for or stay away from, or am I not heavy enough to worry about it. I'm talking for a road bike.
I'm about the same size/weight as you and most people are going to recommend "sensible" 32-spoke wheels laced 2 or 3X for you. Mavic Open Pros laced on Ultegra or 105 hubs are kind of the "standard". You can use wheels with fewer spokes but many people feel that you will be more at risk from potholes and general fatigue from a setup like that. Some premium wheels like the Mavic Kysirium Elite or SLC may be the exception, but low-priced wheels with low spoke count are probably not for you.
I went away from the traditional 32-spoke wheels on this recent bike build.
Further thought: I don't think you can classify wheels as easily as you can rank the quality of groupos.
If you are considering high-end wheels, check out HED. They started the "wider rim" trend, which creates a nice transition from the rim to the tire. That is especially great when there is added weight. Good handling and more aero. They do an increased spoke count wheel for heavier riders. I almost ordered some made with Power Tap rims, but went with a crank-based power meter. "C2" is their wide rim alloy wheel.
I've had success (no broken spokes) with Torelli Bormio SL, which are light for the price. The Bormio SL is their "Clyde" wheel. Only 28 spokes, but they are great spokes. I've ridden them a year as I went from almost 230 to ~202. I was skeptical when they were suggested by the LBS putting together my bike, but they've panned out. Went out of true from a crash against a curb, but couldn't blame them for that. Got them trued (and the brake surface ground back smooth), then trued again a bit after that, and they have been straight since then.
Next bike, I want HED... :-)
But of you really want to drool, check these out - 1085 grams per set:
My Felt has black Mavik Ksyrium Elites. I put 25 tires on them. It originally came with silver Elites, but I wanted to switch them for the black. My husbands bike had the stock wheels, which I thought were nice, but he loved the way mine looked and wanted them. My biking brother said my wheels were good and his were 'fine'. When my black ones arrived, as a surprise I traded my husbands stock wheels for my silver Ksyrium Elites and saved a ton doing that. His bike is about 3/4 of a pound lighter than it was, big whoop, but he loves the way they look and says it rides nicer than it did. I can't see how the wheels made that much difference and it may all be in his head, but he says so. Since mine have only had the Elites on them, I can't say if they made a difference on the two long rides we have taken so far, but I do know we rode further with much more ease than we did on the hybrids! Plus, I think they look cool.
You can get the Ksyrium Equipe's for less money.
If you are buying them for a new bike you save a lot upgrading before you take the new bike home. Do I think they are that important or that much better than stock wheels? I don't know. It is a bit of hype, me thinks. But, maybe I am wrong.
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