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Wheel upgrade for Specialized Tarmac?

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Wheel upgrade for Specialized Tarmac?

Old 04-13-10, 02:27 PM
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smessvader
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Wheel upgrade for Specialized Tarmac?

I got a Specialized Tarmac 09 with stock Mavic CXP22 wheels, and I'm wondering whether it's worth upgrading the wheels by spending $400-500 -- i.e. will I see a real improvement at that price? I'm not a racer, just a century rider, but I've heard that getting lighter and stronger wheels is one of the best ways to upgrade a stock bike. Other than the main manufacturers -- Mavic, Shimano, Fulcrum, etc -- I'm pretty ignorant as to which one to go with. Any recommendations?
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Old 04-13-10, 02:39 PM
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there will always be some improvement in getting lighter wheels, etc... technically speaking. the placebo effect is just as real as any real gains anyways.

empirically speaking though, you would be hard pressed to show it makes an significant difference in speed or acceleration, especially if you aren't a racer.

that said, you'll probably get a lot of people suggesting wheels anyways ("bombproof, i love them, spin up fast" or whatever improvement they feel with them), but my suggestion is save your money for something that will actually matter a little more.
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Old 04-13-10, 02:41 PM
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in other words, i would save that $400-500 on clothing, pro-fitting, powertap, etc... most likely you're wheels are fine especially if you percieve no problem with them in the first place.
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Old 04-13-10, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by smessvader View Post
I'm not a racer, just a century rider, but I've heard that getting lighter and stronger wheels is one of the best ways to upgrade a stock bike.
Upgrade for what purpose? Is there something specific you want to be "better" about your bike or your wheels?
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Old 04-13-10, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by umd View Post
Upgrade for what purpose? Is there something specific you want to be "better" about your bike or your wheels?
Faster. It's always "faster", right.
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Old 04-14-10, 12:36 AM
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I went from AlexRim DA16 (cheap stock wheels on an Allez) to Aksiums. I done this for two reasons:
1. Just wanted to try something newer and see how they felt.
2. Wanted something that didn't require truing too often.

I succeeded in both. But I dont think I noticed any speed improvement. They're definitely a lot stronger ("bomb proof" ) though.
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Old 04-14-10, 01:27 AM
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Get the wheels! If the weight savings is large enough you will notice a difference, more so on climbs. I "Upgraded" my Tarmac wheels this year from the stock Ultegra clinchers to Neuvation C50 tubs. They are about 500gm lighter which has translated (dare I say) to faster spin up and easier climbing. If you do make the change, make it large enough (weight savings) to be worth while. The Neuvations have so far been very reliable after the first four races of the season and for $600 (on sale) you can't beat them.
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Old 04-14-10, 02:25 AM
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a tarmac is a racing bike right? even if you don't race, you race. on training days, go with a heavier wheelset. training days is when you ride by yourself or just a few people during the week for a short ride. on longer weekend rides, ride your lightest wheels.

the cxp wheelset should come in around 1,900 grams depending on the hubs. if you can get a 1,500 gram wheelset you will notice quicker accelerations and more speed climbing. that would be almost a pound of rotating weight. remember rotating weight at the rims pretty much counts for double...its like the ice skater spinning with hands out = spin slow, hands in = spin fast. my race wheels are carbon rim tubulars, 1,125 grams for the wheelset...stand on the pedals and its like I was 20 years younger as the bike accelerates and I put 50 feet on the group before anyone can even respond.
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Old 04-14-10, 07:07 AM
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you ride a specialized tarmac and "only a century rider" ?

This answer depends upon what kind of riding you presently do.
Are there climbs on your rides or flats?
What are the roads like?

In the midwest for example, the mavic CXP22 would get eaten up quickly.
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Old 04-14-10, 09:15 AM
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I'd save the money and spend it on something more worthy. Light wheels for racing, sure as they'd be good for climbing and accelerations. For century rides, I don't see how it'd make a difference. Unless you have a lot of climbing.
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Old 04-14-10, 09:26 AM
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Save your dough. I'm not sure you would really feel a difference by spending that much/little on new wheels.

People go fast on 32-spoked Open Pros (e.g. basic wheels) every day, and so can you.

However, I understand the feeling of money burning a hole in your pocket..
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Old 04-14-10, 11:07 AM
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I thought about this and ... if you're patient you can get Mavic Ksyrium Elites off ebay for around $400. That'd be a worthy upgrade.
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Old 04-14-10, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by bloomieracer View Post
I thought about this and ... if you're patient you can get Mavic Ksyrium Elites off ebay for around $400. That'd be a worthy upgrade.
+1!!!!
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Old 04-14-10, 10:53 PM
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I use the Ksyrium Elites and they are def. a noticeable upgrade over the Aksiums that I was riding before. And the Aksium makes for a great cross wheel btw.
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Old 04-14-10, 11:04 PM
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Open Pros + Ultegra @ BWW

If you have the brakes I think you have, I'd get new brakes too.
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Old 04-14-10, 11:25 PM
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brakes won't make you go faster! but then, my zero Gs saves weight.
Originally Posted by Val23708 View Post
Open Pros + Ultegra @ BWW

If you have the brakes I think you have, I'd get new brakes too.
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Old 04-15-10, 05:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Val23708 View Post
Open Pros + Ultegra @ BWW

If you have the brakes I think you have, I'd get new brakes too.
+1

I've purchased a few wheelsets from BWW and have been nothing but happy with them!
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Old 04-15-10, 05:27 AM
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well built cpx-22's are very durable wheels. i have them on my Fuji now, and they have gone through countless pothole mishaps, and are still perfectly true.
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Old 04-15-10, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by smessvader View Post
will I see a real improvement at that price?
no.
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Old 04-15-10, 09:25 AM
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Mavic CXP22 are good wheels for bumming around on. But a $2000 bike is a lot of little things that are slightly better (and lighter) than what's on a $1000 bike that all add up. You could stash that cash for your next ride but Tarmac is a frame worthy of high end components and nothing wrong with starting with the wheels. Start working on Ultegra too and in the end you'll have a noticeably better bike for dragging your butt up hills on those centuries. Plus you'll be helping the economy ahah.
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Old 04-17-10, 09:17 PM
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Thanks for all the input! As usual, lots of different opinions. I decided to get a set of Ultegra 6700 wheels -- normally $650 but got them for about $375, so I figure that's not too expensive, and I can shift my Mavics to my other bike so it's like 2 upgrades for one Ksyrium Elites look like they're going for closer to $500 on ebay these days, and all things considered, I'd rather get new wheels.

Anyway, the detractors may be right that it won't make that much difference -- we'll see. One advantage of the Ultegras is that they can run tubeless tires, which I've heard can make for a smoother ride (but there's probably a difference of opinion there too!). I'll update the list with my impressions.
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