1st wheel upgrade - Advice?

Mundito
Mundito Posts: 3
edited November 2012 in Road buying advice
Hi

I'm a new poster on the site, but have found people's help on the forum really valuable in the past. I was looking for some advice about a wheel upgrade...

I have a Cannondale CAAD9, which came with the standard Shimano WH-500 wheels. I've not had any complaints, but am considering an upgrade to something a bit better. I have a budget of maximum £500. My aim would be to keep the wheels if and when I upgrade the frame in the future. Most of my riding is either commuting (about 17 miles in each direction) or rides with a few mates at the weekends around the Surrey Hills. But, I also do triathlons (on average around 5 per year, from sprint to half-ironman distance) for a bit of fun in the summer.

I'm torn between the new Mavic Ksyrium Elite S (around £470) and the Planet-X 52mm Carbon Clinchers (currently £399 reduced from £499). Both have received really good reviews on this site, and are at the top of the recommendations in the Best wheel upgrade / Best aero wheel upgrade categories.

I know that this question has been asked before, but which should I give more consideration to - weight or aero? The Kysriums are a bit lighter (1520g vs. 1796g for the P-Xs), but are presumably not as aero as the Planet-X wheels. Am I really going to notice a 270g saving, or the difference in aerodynamics between the two? Is one wheelset going to last longer than the other, on the basis that one is made of aluminium and the other carbon?

I'd definitely like to be as fast as possible during triathlon races, but I'm not exactly Alistair Brownlee so a few seconds is not going to make a huge difference to me. Given the majority of my mileage will not be in a race environment, am I better off going for Ksyriums on the basis that they might be stronger for everyday use and will be lighter going up hills?

Any thoughts gratefully received!

Cheers

Ed

Comments

  • vectra0
    vectra0 Posts: 128
    The px wheels will be faster over a 40k distance. But you wouldn't want to be training on them over winter.
    The mavics are bombproof...
    Speed or practicality is the question you need to answer.
    Personally I would get the px to race on any get some cheap £100 wheels for training on check out px al30. I think they are £150 at the min... Bargin
  • LegendLust
    LegendLust Posts: 1,022
    You could get the best of both worlds. Get some handbuilt 30mm IRD aero alu clincher rims built onto Novatec Superlite hubs with lightweight aero CX Ray spokes. £425 and the beauty is that the wheels are servicable and repairable by your LBS cos the spokes are easy to get hold of.

    The 30mm rims give you some aero advantage and they should weigh about 1400gr

    This guy builds them http://www.wheelsmith.co.uk/

    I have a pair and they're bombproof and roll lovely.
  • Thanks guys - very helpful.

    I guess I need to have a think about whether I want something that I can use every day, all year, or I just want something for racing.

    Interesting about the build option - I'd never considered that, as I assumed that was only for the pros. I'll definitely check that out.

    I think the bottom line is that whatever I choose is going to be a significant upgrade, so I can't really lose out too much!
  • Mundito wrote:
    Thanks guys - very helpful.

    I guess I need to have a think about whether I want something that I can use every day, all year, or I just want something for racing.

    Interesting about the build option - I'd never considered that, as I assumed that was only for the pros. I'll definitely check that out.

    I think the bottom line is that whatever I choose is going to be a significant upgrade, so I can't really lose out too much!

    I think you have to make up your mind... at the moment you want them light, aerodynamically efficient, durable and OK for commuting...
    If you want a performing set of wheels, they won't be very durable, so you might want to consider sticking to what you've got for the daily commute. You can get a set of light responsive wheels for that money.
    Otherwise, if you want a do it all as you value your commute, then consider some quality handbuilts, without being too stressed about the weight, 1.6-1.7 Kg is light enough. The ride quality and performance of a wheel is only marginally related to the total weight... hubs quality is often overlooked and even expensive wheels have shocking hubs (Easton to name one), spoke pattern, count and quality can improve the comfort significantly and ultimately allow you to ride for longer (and faster, as you are less tired), while many radially built wheels with wide aero spokes feel like riding a block of concrete every time you hit rough tarmac, typically after 50 miles your body can't take it any longer.

    For your TT, work on your strength and specific training and maybe consider a set of deep carbon tubulars as a treat for the future, once your results are promising, once you can do an unaided 10 miler in 22 minutes and a 25 in under 1 hour.
    There are plenty of people posting 26 minutes times over a 10 miles TT riding 4-5K worth of time trialling machines and aero helmets and it is all frankly a bit risible
    left the forum March 2023