Monday, June 8, 2015

That's How We Roll: Top Picks for Upgrading Your Wheels

If you're looking to upgrade your ride experience, wheels are the biggest change you can make to your bike. It is your connection to the road, the final point of transfer for torque and the only weight that reacts differently to the forward momentum of the bike.

Want to improve your aerodynamics? Want a drastic change in weight? How about upping your average speed? The best answer to all these steps up is wheels.

The problem is, after market wheels can range from $350 to over $3,000. Where to make your mark? What's the best bang for your buck? Here are a few options that get our stamp of approval for good money spent to really get you rolling.

Please Note:

When somebody is looking at wheels, I often tell them, don't look to upgrade from what's on your bike now, look for an upgrade for your next bike. This way, your wheels will gain a longer lifespan because they will be an upgrade that lasts longer than one bike.

Understand the purpose of the wheels you are looking for. If you are predominantly climbing hills, weight should be a higher priority than aerodynamics. If you are mainly in flat areas you may want a deeper profile wheel to cut through wind resistance.

Beat the competition, not your
wallet with the Rapide CLX 60's
The Aero Approach

When you think of a deep-dish wheel options one name comes to mind: Zipp. They are fantastic wheels, but not everyone is ready to spend $2,800. Fear not, Roval is here to help you out. With the Roval Rapide CLX 60 you get a comparable carbon aero profile, with an overall lighter weight and
much better bearings for $2,200. In fact, Rapide CLX's come with ceramic bearings (a $600 upgrade on Zipps, bringing their price to $3400). For a full carbon, aero shaped, ceramic bearing wheel, it's hard to beat the Rovals at $2,200.

For the KOM

The unique 3-sided cut out profile of the
Ksyrium SL S
Want to trade your bike in for a billy goat? Think about the Mavic Ksyrium SL S's instead. The weight and stiffness combination makes Ksyriums feel like they would rather roll up a hill than down. 3D inter spoke milling cuts out any unnecessary weight between the spokes. The Mavic's
aluminum rims have a history of reliability so you won't get stranded on top of the mountain.  Being that this is an aluminum wheel, the price point is a little cheaper to turn your bike into a mountain killer, $1150 (with tires!).


Wheels are a huge step. Don't be afraid to spend some money to get a set that will last you a long time. It is better to save up some money and get too much wheel than buy a lower priced set that is going to make you want to upgrade again.

If you have any more questions about wheels or any other bike-related topic, please come by the shop and let us talk your ear off.