Austin Tri-Cyclist Blog

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wheels, Wheels, Wheels!

I love new wheels! Wheels are the biggest upgrade you can make on a bike. A good set of them can turn an average bike into a fast work of art. Why do you think every time a bike is photographed they have a wicked fast set of race wheels on it. So with this post I want to go over some of the best wheels out there.

Everyone knows zipp wheels. They are by far the most popular race wheel out there. Why is that? Answer: THEY ARE FREAKIN' FAST. Zipp boldly states that you can drop over a minute in a 40k time trial just by using a set of 404s. I have raced on many different set of zipp race wheels and here is my take....Zipp tells the truth. My favorite race set is a pair of Zed 808 tubulars. Second favorite is a Disc and 808 front.

Pros: Freakin fast

Cons: Freakin Expensive $2000+ for a set.

This wheels don't seem to get the credit they deserve. I have ridden a pair of 420s and thought they were an excellent TT training/race wheel. I will say I dont think they are great (just good) for the pedal mashing type or crit racer. They changed the hubs for 2009 and made some improvements. The 6 paws in the hub release and catch at the same time opposed to other hubs that release one at a time. I think the Mag Wheels are the next on my list of wheels to get...can't argue with a 1255 gram clincher wheelset. Also for 2009 they are making a Disc and deep dish wheelset. The disc is a rebadged Zipp for less that means it must be fast for less money. Sounds good to me.

My current wheelset is a Reynolds Attack. I have been using these as my training wheels and they have stood the test. In 2009 they are coming out with the Reynolds Strikes. These wheels are going to awesome.
1. Cheaper than most others

2. Carbon Clinchers

3. Cool Hubs and roll smooth (very very important...always feels a wheels hubs before you buy)

We have in stock a Reynolds Element which I think has the best graphics of any wheel.

I can't say I care too much for the TT line, mainly due to price, but the roadie line is awesome. If you want to make a solid upgrade on your bike get a pair of Kysrium SL's. Light, fast, and sturdy as hell. I dare someone to try and break those. The R-SYS makes every bike a light plush ride. If you get a Cervelo RS with Mavic R-SYS wheels you will have the most plush bike on the market not to mention it will be light. A Cervelo RS frame weighs 1000 grams and the R-SYS are 1360 grams. Thats a light combo.

So in short...

Zipp = The standard in FAST, but pricey

American Classic = New hubs, New graphics, the new hot wheelset

Reynolds = The best in full carbon clinchers

Mavic = Best in training wheels or race wheels if you are a roadie

So if you want to improve your speed just try a nice wheelset and I guarantee you will never go back. Remember: one can always buy a little speed.


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