I've been looking at lighter weight wheelset options for a while now, and I'm having a hard time deciding what I want / what's really best for what I want to do. So I'm hoping that opening up the discussion will get me some recommendations I haven't thought of, or some feedback on sets I am considering.
The wheelset is for my Mash, but I'm turning it more into a distance machine as I begin training for longer rides in the coming months. My steel frames will keep their cheapish wheels.
1> Novatec to A23 / Aerohead or Fusion build.
Probably my lightest option without getting ridiculous. Should be good for keeping it light and normal riding too. Something boring about it for me though, stupid I know. I was also looking at chub hubs lately, though the rear hub is probably more than I want to spend, since I can't/won't wheelbuild myself
2> Mavic Ellipse front (20h - $230) - Custom Built Rear Wheel (Probably Novatec to Fusions or Kinlin 300s)
I like the idea of having a lower spoke front wheel, but I'm just over 2 spins so I don't feel comfortable getting the entire set, since the rear is 20h too. Lowest I probably want to go in the rear is 28h. Not sure how practical an sram s60 or similar would be on the front either, if I don't grab something nice for the rear as well.
3> Reynolds Recon (20h front / 24h rear)
I probably would've already bought these if I could find them anywhere. I realize carbon clinchers on the road sounds a bit silly but chrisss and others I've talked to seem to think they hold up just fine, plus they're sexy and pretty affordable considering.
TL;DR version: recommend me a lightweight wheelset for <$700. I'm not really interesting in Dura Ace hubs, but I could be swayed.