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Wheelset recommendations


As you can see, first post on this site, although been browsing for a while.

I recently purchased a new bike on Cyclescheme with a view to entering some triathlons later on in the year. I am currently entered in a sprint tri @ westonbirt at the end of may and in the ballot for the london triathlon.

I also have my first event, a duathlon in less than 4 weeks.

Anyway, I know a fair bit about mountain bikes, but very little when it comes to road bikes and I am looking for an upgrade to the (very) basic wheelset on my bike. Unfortuantely, I am unable to link to them as they no longer sell the model that I have. They were included on my Planet X Sram Red Team Alu and from what I saw retailed at £79.99.

I am looking to upgrade these along with a bike setup, clip-on bars and have a budget of up to around £400 for a set of wheels. The wheels I have been looking at are ;

Sram AL 30 Sprint (heard a few stories about hub problems)
Fulcrum Racing 3
Shimano RS80 Carbon Laminate
Easton EA90

Anyone care to comment on the above or perhaps throw something else in the mix?

Thanks in advance



  • jn46jn46 Posts: 7
    Hi there. All the sets you mention would be good for general road riding and sportive type events and would be an upgrade in terms of weight on hills and quicker acceleration, but not particularly aerodynamic. If you could stretch a bit further have a look at the planet x 52 mm clinchers. You could use them in the summer and for racing, then put your current wheels back on for the winter months. Lighter wheels would be unlikely to increase your speed, it's generally accepted that deep section wheels will raise it by 1 to 2 mph for the same effort. If it's between the wheels you mention, then the srams would be the most aerodynamic. Whereas weight is king when mtbing, aerodynamics is for solo road riding. I doubt there are many courses in the UK where a light bike would be faster than a much heavier aero one. There's a different thread running on the PX wheels.
  • Thanks for the response.

    If the money were available, do you think it would be the better long-term option to buy these;

    http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/WPP ... ace_wheels

    rather than the standard 52mm carbon clinchers you mentioned.

    My first event is also at Castle Combe race course, am I still going to get the benefit of these types of wheels on a course that is basically just going round and round, rather than having nice long straight sections (therefore being able to get into a more aero position more of the time)

  • jn46jn46 Posts: 7
    Base your kit choice on your current ability/experience level and aspirations. With the R50s you get aerodynamics as well as light weight for steep hills and accelerating. However tubular tyres are a more specialised product. As a dedicated race wheel I'd always choose tubulars. I find they roll quicker and the ride just feels more supple. However you'd be advised to only use them for racing and a few key training rides. Tubs cost a lot more to replace if you flat (you can get sealant to fix small holes, but this is double the price of an inner tube), and fitting and changing them well takes practice. The braking is also not as good due to the carbon rims and you have to change your brake blocks when you use them. I would say they are faster though.
    So if you want a wheel purely for going faster in races, get the R50's. If you want to go faster in races/training and be able to use the wheels on a regular basis without the worry of expensive tyre repairs get some deep section carbon clinchers, but pay a weight penalty on steep hills. If you just want a wheelset that will feel more lively and provide a marginal speed increase get an alloy wheel with something like a 30mm rim (such as the Srams you mention). As you are new to the sport I'd suggest waiting to get the tubulars until you come to inevitably upgrade your bike in the future as you get more serious. Carbon clinchers hold their value quite wheel on the secondhand market if you come to sell them.
    As for courses, as long as your speed is in double figures aero wheels will keep your speed up and be faster, they dont just benefit you on the flat sections. There's an interesting article I read on the web which says weight only becomes more important than aerodynamics on long climbs with a gradient of over 8%, such as alpine climbs.We dont have many of them in the UK!
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    I have the R50s and love them.

    Lighter than my previous clincher wheels by at least 500gm. Very nice on flats, corners, hills, soaks up the road buzz so comfy and manageable in the wind and feature here:
    http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/article/b ... els-31023/

    Use Continental Competition 22s, done about 1500Km on them racing and training; smooth, nice grip, no heart stopping moments, very little wear evident, keep the pressure up throughout a race, not raced in wet so can't give opinion on that.

    My post on similar thread here:
  • jn46jn46 Posts: 7
    Definately second the use of conti competitions if you go tubular. only ever punctured on them once in a sportive on horrendous roads when the torrential rain had flushed grit everywhere. very reliable otherwise. i tried vittoria triathlon tubs once looking for a marginal increase in speed and reduction in weight. punctured both within 3 outings. pretty poor considering i puncture, on average, about twice a year!
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