I got a bike about two seasons ago off of C/L and have ridden it quite a bit since. It's a carbon frame with Ultegra components. I have a hilly 'training loop' that's roughly 27 miles, on very rough city streets, that I do 2 or 3 times a week. I've never done an official bicycle race but I competed in two sprint tri's this year and plan to do quite a few more next year.
I have Shimano wheels on it now. I looked for a name on them (like Ultegra or something) but there isn't anything other than a Shimano decal, so I'm guess they're pretty low end. If they are low end, they are good wheels. They spin for days and have kept true over 2 years on very rough roads.. and I weigh 205lbs.
Every time I go on the group rides I see guys with the 'areo' wheels, Zipp 404's and the such. I wonder to myself, would I really notice a difference. Do $2k wheels make it THAT much easier to climb? Are they THAT much more aerodynamic? Would I increase much average speed THAT much? (which is low 18mph)
I have felt like I just need to work on my legs... not sink more money into my bike. I'm just wondering, do wheels make THAT much of a difference?