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yet another thread about wheels, hanbduilt vs racing 3's

SteveR_100MilersSteveR_100Milers Posts: 5,987
edited January 2008 in Workshop
I'm a big heavy rider 6ft1 at just over 90 kgs (15 st or thereabouts) so a decent pair of stiff, though not necassarily featherweight wheels are required for this seasons racing and sportiving, and TT ing as I aint got a TT bike yet.

I am undecided between handbuilt wheels, specifically Mavic CXP33 rims on ultegra hubs, either 32 or maybe 36 would be better given my weight. Its that or a pair of Fulcrum racing 3's which had a good rep for being stiff, if the lightest wheel around. However, when comparing cost, the latter are circa £350 or so a pair, whereas handbuilts around £170-£180
I am struggling to see where the extra £180 or so for the racing 3's is spent, and what benefit it might have apart frpom fewer bladed spokes, and may be lighter than the handbuilts. MOre blingy for sure, and possibly a bit more aero, but not enough to have a big difference on my TT times. anyone else doe this comparison? or is there anything else to consider?


  • Steve, if it helps sway you, Ribble do CXP33/Ultegra for about £145... And if you order this weekend, there's 10% off plus a free set of wheel bags! So tempted myself for an upgrade from the ALex270s that came with my Felt last easter...
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • or you could try getting the racing 3's from - the antidote to rip off Britain.
  • pedladpedlad Posts: 127
    I was having the same debate with myself about handbuilts as I'm more substantial build than the average cyclist (83kg) and thought handbuilts would be the stronger bet, even thought I like the look of the factory wheels.

    I've been told by two very good LBS' now that the off the shelf wheels (obviously not the ultra expensive ultra lights) are very stiff and strong - rated for riders up to 15-16 st.

    Fulcrum's especially are seen to be almost bombproof and if they do go, easy enough to repair. Not the lightest though and I'm still tempted by these ... heels-8973
  • BuglyBugly Posts: 520
    my mate who owns a bike store here in Australia (and raced at the international level in the 80s) has a similiar view about wheels. He told me that modern factory wheels are stronger then 'hand bui;t' wheels also the building of quality wheels is becoming a dieing art to some extent as younger wrenches dont build up those skills.. Also the variety of rims to build on is diminishing. His final point is that (here in Oz at least) there is insufficient margin in building a wheell - to be competitive with a siimilar priced factory wheel he would not be making money on the build.

    From my perspecitve (I used to build wheels in the 80s when my wife was racing at national level) I find the new wheels incredibly light and strong. It took me a while to trust the smaller spoke counts and funky lacing patterns but I would not go back.

    Again another perspective.
  • I've also read/heard that the racing 3's are prone to the bladed spokes rotating, anyone had this experience?
  • andy_wrxandy_wrx Posts: 3,396
    CycleSuperstore in ROI as an alternative to ComoBike - their prices include postage, which was rather stiff last time I looked at Como ... oduct=4508
  • Before I burn my CC yet again, I'll be replacing a pair of FSA RD220D wheels that came with my Focus Cayo Expert. Light they are, stiff not so sure, so am expecting to feel a huge difference in sprinting and climbing....anyone else got any experiences of the FSA wheels? and how big a difference can I expect.
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