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Best wheels for road racing in rolling terrain?(18 posts)

Best wheels for road racing in rolling terrain?niteschaos
Jul 24, 2002 11:47 AM
I think that all around, and for under 1000 bucks, Zipp 404s are best. What do you guys think? I'm saving up for some race wheels.
either those or 303's nmDougSloan
Jul 24, 2002 12:02 PM
Velomax Ascent ProsNo_sprint
Jul 24, 2002 12:07 PM
If you're able to get 303s for under $1000, you can probably swing the Ascent Pros for that as well.
Velomax Ascent ProsDougSloan
Jul 24, 2002 12:11 PM
I have a set of both. The Velomax carbon wheels are much narrower and not nearly as laterally stiff as the Zipps. The Velomax (Lew) carbon rims are several mm's narrower than even 21 mm tubular tires, so it likely screws up the air flow. The braking surfaces are horrid, too, unless they have improved in the last year or so. Really grabby. Won't work with Campy 10, either.

Velomax Ascent ProsNo_sprint
Jul 24, 2002 12:30 PM
Thanks for the info. I've seen them and talked with them at a show, however, I really didn't inspect them closely. Knowing this info now, they're off my *want* list.
What about?filtersweep
Jul 24, 2002 3:23 PM
Ksyrium SSC SLs? I know "everyone" already has them, but they are the same weight as the 404s, and I don't know if I'd go "half-way" with some "aero" feature like on the 404- you'll either be drafting or climbing, so what is the point? The 404s still have spokes. Also, if it becomes "about the weight," you can start getting into stupid light wheels at around $1000... like a <1100g set.

I really don't know that much about the Zipps... but I did have a set of Velomax Ascent Comps that seemed fragile and spongey- and I switched to the SLs and they are quite stiff.

I'd at least look into finding a way to "test ride" the wheels if you are getting into that kind of money...

(caveat: I'm a bit biased against Zipps. I rode with a tri guy who was into Zipps and every bit of "Tri-gimmickry"- and I'm regarded Zipps as a "gimmick wheel." I could be completely underestimating their products.)
404's vs. SL'sDougSloan
Jul 24, 2002 3:28 PM
Zipp 404 tubulars: 1275 grams

Ksyrium SL tubulars: 1510 grams

(both according to manufacturers) That's a significant difference.

The Zipps are lighter and more aero. Probably not nearly as durable, though. For all around I'd still pick the Ksyriums. For dedicated racing wheels, though, I'd pick the Zipps every time.

404's vs. SL'sfiltersweep
Jul 24, 2002 4:28 PM
404 clinchers: 700c / 1537g
If you want really light...Jon Billheimer
Jul 24, 2002 5:06 PM
Actual weight of my Zipp 303s w/out skewers is 1085 gms! I couldn't believe my eyes when we actually hung them on the scale.
Jul 25, 2002 5:56 AM
For racing (Climb to Kaiser) I'm using a 303 on the rear and 404 on the front, tubulars. Might be the best combination of light/aero, effectively.

Ummm, rolling wheels?grzy
Jul 24, 2002 5:10 PM
If we give the seal of approval will you feel better?
Think of it this way:aeon
Jul 24, 2002 7:47 PM
Really, the most advantage out of an aero wheel is had when you're riding alone, fast (ie. not climbing). If you do a lot of solo breakaways, the 404's would be to your advantage. If however you're in a pack most of the time, and/or your races involve a lot of climbing, the lighter 303's would fit better. In a sprint finish especially, you want a wheel that will accelerate faster. The 404 rim is 75 grams heavier than the 303, which could make the difference.

To the guy who doesn't believe in these wheels, you should really take a look. The 303's are crazy light (1140 grams for tubulars vs. 1510 grams for Ksyrium tubulars), more aero than the Ksyrium's, and have a stellar track record for durability. They're really in another league, IMHO.

Or, If you want REALLY aero, and still reasonably light (1550 grams) You could try some Nimble Crosswinds. Direct from Nimble they cost $1200, so I imagine you could find some cheaper.
The latest trend in the peloton...TPC
Jul 24, 2002 11:48 PM
seems to be the aero wheels, even on the mountain stages.
Here's a pic of Lance from today, notice the wheels. And if you check photo's from previous mountain stages, you'll see the same thing.

BTW...anyone know what wheels Lance is it the Bonty's with the labels removed?
and those aero wheels are very light nmDougSloan
Jul 25, 2002 5:58 AM
The thing is thoughaeon
Jul 25, 2002 1:53 PM
Those wheels are made by a company called Lightweight. They cost $3000, which Lance would have had to pay personally, cause they don't do sponsorships.

They also weigh around 1000 grams. That's lighter than almost any other wheel, carbon or not, you'll ever find.

Check out all the superlight climbing wheels available. Zipp 303, Lew Sydney, Lightweight, ADA, Bonty carbon, etc. Almost all use a deep profile Carbon rim. The only difference with the 404's is they are a bit deeper, thus a bit heavier. The 303's have a 38 mm rim depth, more than most conventional wheels like Ksyriums. Aero and Light at once.
aero almost always winsDougSloan
Jul 25, 2002 5:58 AM
at least according to this analysis:

Also see:
Well.... there goes my theory...aeon
Jul 25, 2002 9:38 PM
I bow to your superior number crunching =)
Where can you find 404's for under $1000?!Roadfrog
Jul 24, 2002 9:16 PM
If they were new...