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Upgrading wheels for racing

ilav84ilav84 Posts: 124
edited February 2016 in Road buying advice
Couple of questions lads. I am starting to race this year and was looking to upgrade my wheels. I am currently riding ksyrium Elite S wheels with my shimano groupset. Changing my groupset to campag - are these wheels compatible? Would ideally like to keep these and use for training and bad weather.

- My budget is around 800 euro or £650. Is hand built better to go with?
- Looking something lighter and something that run a little smoother.
- Im around 90kg and 6ft so they need to be strong enough for my frame.
- Something for racing but also able to use for the odd sportive.
- Something that looks nice as well would be a bonus. I have a matt black bianchi sempre pro so would like maybe plain black semi deep section stealth wheels

Any recommendations or advice would be appreciated.


  • Don't get anything you couldn't replace if some idiot were to wipe you out.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Dont expect wheels to turn a bunch finisher into a winner either. What wheels does depends kn what gains you hope for.

    Something as aero and stiff is more important than vety light. Wide carbon is possible at that price and you can use tubs. For alloy rims 30mm is about the deepest available with getting heavy. You can soend £300 or £600 on alloy clinchers and have eheelsets that perform very similiarly in reality (in terms of where you finish). What money can buy is lower weight and bling. Nothing wrong with those two either. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,667
    Don't get anything you couldn't replace if some idiot were to wipe you out.


    If you are starting out racing, you will no doubt be in the CAT4 which can be full of maniacs. You really don't need top top wheels to race well in this category. Money would be better invested in a power meter if you don't already have one as a better engine will serve you better in the lower CATS.
  • ilav84ilav84 Posts: 124
    Don't get anything you couldn't replace if some idiot were to wipe you out.

    This is a good point! I might just ride my current wheels and try get out of cat4!
  • For road racing, especially crits, I really doubt it makes any difference. Being comfortable sat closer to the wheel in front, or knowing which way to rotate through in a cross wind, or recognizing which other riders efforts to follow will outstrip any aero gain from wheels.

    Road racing is really about tactics and having the fitness and bike handling to execute those tactics. Equipment doesn't really come in to it.

    If your target is to perform in road racing and you have some money to spend to help then look at things that will enable you to train better or for longer first (power meter, training software, coaching, winter clothing, turbo trainer).

    Obviously if you're already spending out on the above, then it's your money and sure buy a set of nice wheels, just don't expect it to make you race any better (confidence / psychological boost may help?).

    p.s. the ksyrium Elite S you have are pretty decent wheels already, unless they're worn out I wouldn't replace them.
  • I might be inclined to see upgrade sideways. There are some good wheels (aero) to look at at Hunt Wheels. I say this because, if you are racing, they are decent wheels and, if you do crash, you're going to find them much easier to get fixed.
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  • MatthewfalleMatthewfalle Posts: 17,380
    As above re crash ability/progression through the ranks, but if you want something nice but affordable and won't break the bank if you get taken out have a look at Planet X or Carbonzone: I've raced for a few years on both makes and never had a problem.

    If you pop on a Shimano splined Campagnolo cassette you'll be able to use your current Shimano wheels on your new gruppo. £30ish at (I think offhand, but do a Google to double check) SJS cycles.
    Postby team47b » Sun Jun 28, 2015 11:53 am

    De Sisti wrote:
    This is one of the silliest threads I've come across. :lol:

    Recognition at last Matthew, well done!, a justified honour :D
    smithy21 wrote:

    He's right you know.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 6,077
    ilav84 wrote:
    Don't get anything you couldn't replace if some idiot were to wipe you out.

    This is a good point! I might just ride my current wheels and try get out of cat4!
    I used to race on Kysriums when they first came out, I thought they were much better than stuff like Cosmics.
  • ilav84ilav84 Posts: 124
    Going from what I have read here and a few other places I think I should maybe just stick to what I have at the minute and invest in a bit of coaching or training plan.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    Did a set of cheap kinlin xc279 rims on novatec hubs with sapim laser spokes for a rider who kept on winning and ended up cat 1.

    Cheap is fine for racing. Even chepaer to use what you have and ride lots but then your food bill goes up. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • I managed a 4th in a cat4 race last season riding a pair of Ksyrium Elite S. No need to upgrade yet, if anything they are too good and should be changed for something cheaper to replace.
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 5,992
    Keep what you have.
    You can use an 11spd Shimano cassette with 11spd Campag.
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