Has opinion, will express
Join Date: Jun 2003
If you are new to cycling, I'd forget about spending wasted dollars on something you aren't familiar with and get strong, relaible equipment. After you have been riding for a while, you will get a better understanding of how things work and the results. Then you can make a better judgment on what's good and bad.
Yes, it's like trying to find out what wheels to go on a SUV. You need to decide what use you want to put the item to, and the effects that will have (durability, weight limits, speed, comfort, etc etc).
Oddly, the guy who lent his name to the wheels you refer to, Keith Bontrager, came up with the saying: "Cheap, strong, light -- pick any two". It's sound advice, even though those products with his name are reported frequently not to reflect it.
Paired spokes is a lacing pattern that tries to overcome the apparently inherent weakness in low-spoke counts. If you don't know, I would steer well clear of them and opt for something like a good quality Ultegra hub/Mavic Open Pro or Velocity Aerohead rim at 32H with minnimum two-cross but preferably three cross.