>I am looking to put together a new bike after this season and I am in
>the process of saving and selecting components. I was wondering what
>wheels you all have on your bike for both racing and training. I am
>everyday wheels: something that will not break is the bottom line as
>well as cost. Weight and aerodynamics are secondary. I want a quality
>wheel that is worth every penny and can breeze through everyday training
>but will also be dependable for racing in an emergency. What are you
Here are bulletproof training wheels: Mavic MA-2 rims laced using 36
DT 15-16-16 butted spokes with brass ***s on the major-brand hub of
your choice. If you are light, 32 spokes are fine. Mavic MA-2's are
still available, and are the non-anodized version of MA-40's. The lack
of anodizing makes them more durable, because anodizing is brittle and
can cause microcracks in the surface that eventually become fatigue
cracks around the spoke holes. The newer rims with the machined
sidewalls create a rim with variable wall thickness--if it were not
so, then the machining would be irrelevant (but still expensive). Bad
either way, so the most durable rims will have non-machined sideways.
Butted spokes allow the spokes to give a little in the strong middle
part to save fatigue stress on the fatigue-prone ends.
Such wheels appropriately tensioned and stress relieved will last the
life of the rim (with reasonable pot-hole avoidance, the end of that
life is when the brakes wear through the sidewalls) with minimal
truing. Spoke breakage will only occur with defective spokes, which is
to say maybe one in the life of the rims. When the rims are dead, you
can lace new rims on the old spokes--they are still strong. I know
people who have laced many rims on the same wheels, and they are still
You can build these wheels yourself if you have the time and
inclination. It's not hard, but it requires patience and knowledge.
The knowledge comes from Jobst Brandt's book _The Bicycle Wheel_,
published by Avocet Press, and available at real big bookstores (but
not the chains) or from Colorado Cyclist. That book will tell you how
to lace, tension, stress-relieve, and true the wheel.
>race wheels: I am open to suggestions. Aerodynamics and weight are
>important as well as durability. If it breaks then it isn't gonna help
>me go fast is it? :) Cost is not so important as I can always buy these
>later. What is RST racing on?
For triathlon, aerodynamic efficiency is much more important than
weight. I have two sets of Spinergy's: Aerodynamic, moderate weight,
and durable for me. But others report a variety of durability and
possibly quality-control problems. Specialized tri-spoke wheels are
also aero. Some will argue, and will back it up with their data, that
HED Deep rims with bladed spokes are the way to go, but I'm not a big
fan of bladed spokes. If cost is no object, the Nimble wheels seem to
be the lightest and most aero wheels around (if you believe their test
results), but durability is still an unknown.
Once you see the prices, you might find out that cost is more of an
object than you think. In which case, look for a used set of
Spinergy's, and use them only for racing. You might have to have new
bearings pressed into the hubs, but this is only about a $75 job from
what I understand. With with new bearings, you should be able to get a
set of race wheels for under $500.
>BTW almost every penny i have earned at my new job has been saved so
>that one day I can get a new bike. IT's looking like a fun christmas!
>P.S. boy am I glad I work in a bike shop
Take what you want and leave the rest.