I’ve been thinking about getting some new wheels this year. Birthday coming up soon.
–The Fulcrum Racing 1 Tubeless (2 way fit) from beginning of 2009 have had enough issues so that, even though they seem fine now and ride very nicely — light and comfortable … I still don’t trust them much. (A little loctite on the spokes seems to keep them from loosening and the spoke nipple from falling into the rim, where it is almost impossible to dig out.)
–The Open Pro/Ultegra hub 36/32 spoke training wheels are bombproof, but heavy and not aero.
–Then there are my Reynolds DV cyclocross carbon tubulars — my first tubulars, still serviceable after 4-5 years, not used for „everyday“, and very strong with extra spokes, but the rims are not as deep as true TT wheels, the spokes are not bladed, and tubulars are inconvenient for longer, unsupported events where a flat is very possible. They did not work out well on Transalp — but that was mostly due to tire issues, I suspect caused by overheating of the rims on the descents.
What is the solution? Is it time for some deep rim carbon clinchers — James M. almost had me convinced earlier in the year? Which wheelset? How many cyclists have asked the very same question?
Today I was thinking about perhaps the Reynolds Strike all-carbon clinchers — my current Reynolds have been, well, more reliable than any other wheel I’ve had, and these 66mm rims are the real thing — deep rim all-carbon clinchers. They weigh in at just over 1700 grams and are available online from the UK for approximately $1250, or around JPY105,000 (no VAT and free shipping to Japan).
Or I could be an early adapter go for something more expensive and exotic. How about the 1085 gram Mad Fiber tubulars (no rider weight limit)??
Or maybe just some Shimano 7850 C50mm clinchers … about the same price as the Reynolds strike, nice Dura hubs. But I worry about a 50mm rim with 20/16 spokes for me. Though with a 66mm rim like the Reynolds Strike, and its shorter spokes, 20/16 seems quite reasonable.
Or I could splurge and consider some Lightweights (!) in honor of Juliane (but got to go with the tubulars, even though they do make a clincher now for even more money).
Or there are the new Zipp 404/303 models, with a much wider tire bed, lower pressures, more durability, and in general a much better design for someone large/heavy like me (according to all reports). If they could support Cervelo Test Team on the cobbles of Paris Roubaix with 100% reliability …
Zipp seems to be following (copying?) some things that HED has done with its C2 rim/wheel bed — a much wider rim design that actually helps the aerodynamics and rolling characteristics of a 23mm tire. And HED has the „stallion build“ for riders over 190 lbs. Maybe a HED Jet6 — 60mm rim? MSRP $1600 … I see one place that is offering 15% off.
I really like what I read about the Zipp and HED new designs. … and so must a lot of other people, since I don’t see them available online in many places. Hmmm.
I’m leaning toward the HEDs, if I can find them and get the „stallion“ build.