I give a fair amount of support to my LBS. He's a good guy, has given me good service, and isn't afraid to teach me things even when it means he might lose some service work down the road). But for some commodity (ish) items, I'll go generic overseas (whether ebay or other channel). Carbon wheels and lights are my big generic buy buckets.
I bought 2 sets of carbon wheels from this ebay seller in China: http://tinyurl.com/aba82cm
60mm clinchers, and 88mm tubular for the track. I now have 8 teammates who have bought from same guy. If you're looking for cheap, and likely zero warranty/support (though they are very responsive), it's a pretty good option.
Thanks, guys. I was just looking to expand the discussion on this topic a bit. I'm not looking to buy wheelsets for a while - my Subaru needs tires first!
Estaban, I've had good luck with eBay, but then I've been pretty careful. AzT, I agree on the risk, but I like what VanceMac said about the Chinese wheels he has experience with. That said, I support my LBS faithfully, too - and that's important to me.
I bought a lightly used set here. No problems. If you go with name brand components built by someone with a good rep amongst racers it's hard to go wrong.
I went with Mavic Cosmic Carbone SL's. I bought the Mavic warranty, too (MP3). They're not the lightest things around, but they are strong, and oh do they ride well! I was surprised at how well they performed in a cross wind - the bike didn't move around much at all, at least it wasn't a concern. I supported my LBS - I got them there.
Sara - Good wheels, and they look great on your bike. :thumb:
I might purchase a pair of tubular carbon aero wheels for the Felt B2 to use for the SG TT's. It's 650c, and it's been hard to find good used wheels in that size. I am on a pretty strict budget. These Corimas fit in that budget. Does anyone know anything about Corima wheels?
The spoke count seems odd. 24 on the rear and 12 on the front. No decal on the rear. They are probably heavy. Just a guess.
Nice price, but if you're looking for aero TT wheels, you probably want deeper than that. Unless you already have a deep set, and you need these for windier conditions?
Why the 650 wheels?
During riding, it is a lovely wheel. Very stable and predictable. The G3 spoking pattern makes a lot of sense due to the much higher tension on the drive side than the non-drive side.
The only downside was despite the wheel being relatively new, upon me taking it apart before riding, I found the internals to be a filthy mess - packed with dirt. I am glad I took it completely apart - both the bearing side and the freehub. The outer cartridge bearing in the freehub was particulalry messy; I figure if I had ridden this for a few more weeks without cleaning, it would have failed, and the freehub pawls would have gone next.
These hubs only take 15 minutes or so to service, so doing this a couple of times per year is not too bad. The only way to purge the freehub cartridge bearings is the handy grease port, which should be used regularly as well. Make sure you have a small grease *** handy.
I would dump the 650 tt bike and get something that is aero and put on a set of deep section 700 TT wheels. And you have more flexibility to borrow wheels and trade wheels. 650 is a non starter and buying more equipment, IMO, is good money after bad.
Those are nice wheels, Dave. I have a set on my Bianchi L'una. They really are a smooth wheel, and they're fast. I love mine, that's for sure. Congrats on the great find!
Some people just don't like doing them. TTs definitely aren't as "exciting" as mass start races.
If you can tolerate TTs, there's a big benefit as a Masters woman. TTs are almost always part of championship events (Districts, Nationals, Senior Games, etc). If you don't do TTs you're missing a lot of chances to race with your peers. Regardless of how many women show up, you get to race in your age grade and get whatever position you deserve. None of this 30th overall but I was the first woman over 60. (BTW, I hear some guys say this in Masters races, "I was 15th but I was the first Cat 3." That and $5.75 will get you a latte at Starbucks. ;)) Additionally, many TT organizers have a Masters Women category (usually 45+) instead of placing you in a Women Cat 3/4, for example.
Also, while you are at the Pasadena Senior Games, talk with my former teammate, Pat B., and my buddy's wife, Kati J. They will give you some perspectives on Masters Women races and TTs. I'll introduce you to both of them.
Finally, regarding your bike, run what you brung. If you like it, then as Hermes notes, get a TT bike with 700C wheels that fits you. You can always start off buying a frame and fork and moving your parts over and using your Mavic wheels.
The only time that makes sense is in a mixed field with separate scoring. But I will give Sarah a ton of credit for gutting it out.
I don't think that came out how I wanted it to come out. Maybe this is more clear. sarals has to look at the results and figure out where she finished relative to others of similar ability or age. If she does a Women 1/2/3/4 race she has to figure out the ages and category of her competitors. In TTs, at least in SoCal, there is generally at least one Masters Women category, even if only one Masters woman shows up. None of these combined results.
However, I was hating on VanceMac. ;) :D