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Definitive Race Wheels(6 posts)

Definitive Race WheelsLeGrimper
Aug 7, 2002 3:03 AM
After a few successful races I got an upgrade last weekend and suffered accordingly. Coupled with a tax rebate it is time for a spend-up by way of a reward. Time for some new road wheels.

I have always hankered after a set of Zipp 404s but wonder what else you guys may like the look of. These would be for best, race only wheels. I have 32h OP trainers and AmClassic 350s for racing currently. (Plus access to Spinegy Rev-X and Mavic Cosmic) These are fine really and work well, however, you know how it is.

I also noticed a few of the high profile peloton in the TDF where using deep section carbon rims this year, even for climbing. They all seem to check in around the 1300g mark for a set and would have to fly due to the aero design and low mass. Can this light AND aero combination be improved upon?

For road racing what do you currently use? What would you buy given a choice?

Opinions appreciated.

re: Definitive Race Wheelsbrider
Aug 7, 2002 5:32 AM
My first consideration, especially with wheels, is durability. Gossamar wheels are great, until you break a spoke. Sure, you can swap out a wheel from the follow car, or get a free lap in a crit, but how does that affect your overall race (many times I've been given wheels that were incorrectly dished, had loose cogs, etc from the follow car and it SCREWED my race)? In order to finish first, you have to first finish. Equipment has to hold up. To that end, I mostly raced on 32-spoke Open 4CDs (precursor to Open Pros) on Ultegra hubs. Occasionallly I'd use the Specialized TriSpoke rear, or a 28-spoke front.

With all that said, I have no experience with the Zipps. Many people love them.
Price no object?shirt
Aug 7, 2002 12:52 PM
Check out Lew Composites: 404s are nice, but these make a set of Zipps look like lawn mower wheels.
Price no object?Sherpa23
Aug 8, 2002 12:28 PM
Lews are the best wheels. They are no longer being made by Lew, though and are now owned by Maclean Quality Composites. This is good news, so don't worry. They have done a slight redesign of some of the wheels and will launch them at Interbike. I have a set of prototypes (I guess they are technically pre-production) and they are so killer. These are the best wheels available by far.
303 or 404DougSloan
Aug 8, 2002 12:31 PM
303's or 404's are great race wheels; I'd use 303's if you race mountains or have tons of gusting crosswinds; 404's for everything else.

404 tubulars are light by any standards, and really light for deep section. I think they use fewer spokes than 303's, too. If I had to have only one set of race wheels, though, it would be 303's. Hard to imigine a situation in which they would be a disadvantage.

re: Definitive Race WheelsCharlesTT
Aug 10, 2002 12:11 AM
Your all crazy, forget lew. It's all about Fir or Zipp, they might weigh a little more but they are much stronger. There are no pro teams using lews anyway. Thats all I need to hear.