I've been looking around for a spare set of wheels for my cross bike. The stock shimano ones are lightish for the price but I'm concerned about durability. I will be using the new wheels for cross/off road use, and the stock wheels will get a set of road tires.
Thing is, I'm very much on a budget, so I'd like to keep the wheelset down around 200 dollars. I have no unreasonable expectations about how a wheelset at this price will perform, but I do want something reasonably durable, as I like to take my cross bike on longer trail rides.
REI has a bit of a sale right now, and I can order Mavic Aksiums for about 180. All the reviews say these are heavy but durable, so pretty much what I'm looking for. I also have a 40 dollar gift certificate to REI, meaning I could get the wheels and cassette for well under 200 dollars, though it's not like I won't spend the 40 dollars on something else later if I don't use it on the wheels.
A local bike shop (River City), however, has Ultegra Hubs laced to Mavic CXP 23 rims for 200 bucks. I'm drawn to these by the lack of proprietary spokes. They are slightly heavier than the aksiums, I think.
Also, if anyone has any pointers to good deals by any shop in the Portland area I'd very much appreciate it.
Finally though, am I better off not spending any money on a wheelset on this pricepoint and saving up for a few months?