Unless you are a racer is it really worth upgrading wheels ?

Serious Cat
Serious Cat Posts: 489
edited December 2013 in Road buying advice
Like lots of others here at this site ive been considering wheelset upgrade probably to mavic ksyriums . Issue is that ive been doing quite a bit of background research and here is what ive found so far.

Ive been speaking to lots of guys at the club who ride very nice wheels , I asked do those bling wheels make you climb hills faster and the answer is a resounding no , they all say when you are riding at 25mph then the difference will be obvious, but as for hills , no difference whatsoever. Before anyone criticises the riders ive been talking to, a fair few of them are cat 1 riders with years of experience.

In the uk we don't have roads like you find on Majorca, instead we have some of the most neglected and dreadful condition surfaces in Europe that are pothole feasts which the guys who ride the nice wheels spend more swerving to avoid and worrying about knocking the wheels out of true and breaking spokes. I asked if those nice wheels are impervious to a good bump from a classic british pothole and the answer was another resounding no.

So when it came down to why they bought those real nice wheels it seems the genuine reasons for the purchases where that they could afford them , why not and don't they look very nice indeed. The guys said for the racing fraternity riding on very good roads or endorsed teams where a wheel getting trashed aint no biggie then the super wheels are a no brainer and are mandatory purchases, but for the non-racer riding on british , potholed rubbish roads then hundreds of pounds spent on wheels doesn't make the same degree of sense. A fair percentage of guys (just like me ) are interested in getting tasty wheels whilst thinking they will assist with hill climbing performance, when this appears to be not the case at all and as such ive kept my bank card in my wallet.

For some of the roads I have to negotiate a 32/32 or 36/36 wheelset are a must otherwise wheelsets with 16/20 or 20/24 configurations run the risk of getting banged well out of shape and never being off the truing machine. In the long run then, unless you are a racing cyclist is a big money spend on lighter and less spoke wheelsets all pie in the sky ? If somebody convinced me a 20/24 set was absolutely bombproof and could take all that our Beirut standard potholed roads could throw at them then perhaps I might prise my debit card from my wallet and pay a visit to LBS to check those wheels out.
This serious internet site..............I serious cat