new price or used price of $400? I picked up some spinergy spox wheels for cross $200 on ebay. Plus you can get the spox w/ tubular rims. So for $400 you can get a wheelset and a couple of Dugast tires. I've used some mavic ksyriums for tandem racing. I havent tried them for cross but they seem strong. I'm not sure what a used set goes for. I've broken a set of spinergy rev-x and a set of rolf vector pros in cross racing. My mavic cxp-33 set just was really bent and heavy. I sold those.
I used open pros all season without a problem, till the last race. The rear tube keeps going flat - something is puncturing it from inside the rim and I can't figure out what the hell it is. If anybody has some ideas please let me know - the rim strip appears intact.
add some more tape to the rim. cloth medical tape works well for a second strip. That works for a cheap fix if it is the rim strip that is bad. Are your tubes going in the same location every time? Do they puncture with one hole like a puncture or two holes like a pinch flat?
Thanks Providence, it's one smooth hole - like a thick pin was pushed in to the tube. I'll try the medical tape. I'm not sure if it is in the same spot because I replaced the tube and, of course, I'm at work.
Wheels can be a tough call since everybody appears to ride a little differently. I have a friend who's had to resort to CPX 33 rims with 36 spokes since he destroys wheels. He's also 6+ and 235, and strong as a ox.
Even if you buy some moderately priced wheels, if you take care of them, they should last you a couple of seasons.
I'm lucky. I can spend the coin, and typically do so. : )