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Wheel Upgrade

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Wheel Upgrade

Old 10-06-15, 06:59 PM
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Wheel Upgrade

I am looking at buying a new wheelset (currently on Rol Volants, nice wheels I just want something aero) and I'm trying to get some opinions to verify the research I've been doing before I pull the trigger. I'm 5'10 and 145lbs...on a good day. I'm looking for a great all around racing wheelset for both crits and road races. I live and train in Texas, for the most part its flat but depending on where I go to ride I can have some decent climbs. There are heavy winds where I live and crosswinds are definitely a concern. Do you have any experiences or opinions on the wheels below???

HED Jet 5 Express- I like the fact that these wheels are the cheapest out of the bunch, the idea of the aluminum track for braking in all kinds of conditions and the deeper wheels providing more aero benefit over the other ones below (potentially). The aluminum brake track also allows me to switch between my training wheelset and these for races without having to change my brake pads. I'm a little concerned with how much of a weight penalty I'll have to take based on these being a solid half a pound over the Boyd's at 1681g. With these being the deepest wheels I'm wondering if I'll get tossed around in cross winds based on the fact that I still wear baby gap shirts from middle school...

Boyd 44s- Great reviews from every source I've read. Customer service is on point and Boyd has answered all of my emails personally in a very short period of time. I like the 44s because they seem like the best all around wheelset in the bunch, even over the zipps based on pricing and customer service. I know they've got nice hubs on the their wheels but I'm still worried about the wheels delaminating or the carbon braking service. From what I've seen on his website they are fairly aero and I shouldn't have any real crosswind issues and they're pretty light at 1475g (if I can add right). Though they are about $500 more than the HED's.

Zipp 303s- Up and down reviews depending on where you look. They've had some hub issues in the past but the 77/177 hub on the 303s are supposed to be pretty solid. Again, concerned about the braking surface, having to change the brake pads when I want to use them and they are also pretty heavy at 1625. They are almost as much as the HED's but way more than the Boyd's and are obviously the most expensive.

November Rail 52s- Another small company with solid reviews and good customer service from what I hear. The wheels are a little deeper than the Boyd's and the 303 presumably making them more aero...who knows. But they are 1600g so fairly more than the Boyd's and they still the carbon brake track. I'm not sure if I would get smoked on crosswinds with them being 52mm but I guess it depends.

Any suggestions or spears would be great.
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Old 10-06-15, 07:27 PM
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Zipps. No matter what you get you'll have to make sure your brakes are aligned properly, which is way more work than 4 screws to change pads. You may also have to tune your rear derailleur when you change wheelsets so it's not as simple as throw them on and go. So of the choices you have us, Zipp. Also, you owe me $500 and that's at a rate of $10/hr for actually reading your post.
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Old 10-06-15, 07:37 PM
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I am much bigger than you, but live in Oklahoma so I deal with the crosswinds as well. I have a pair of the November 52s and love them. I got them with Chris King hubs and they became my everyday wheels. My wife also uses them for triathlon races and has not had any stability problems in the wind with them. The only thing I didn't like about them were the skewers. I ended up replacing those with some internal cam bontrager skewers.
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