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Topic - Road bike wheels

nniff - on 11 Mar 2013
Looking for some help here.

I have about £600 to spend on some new wheels for my bike, which is nothing special - a 105-equiped aluminium Trek, with a carbon fork, of a certain age.

I've been nursing a feeling that I need some lighter/faster/better wheels for some time. Iím very comfortable in the group I go out with usually, and going up to a faster group on the occasions that Iíve done it, is manageable. On Sunday however, I was happy with the advertised pace and so went up a group. However, this weekend there was a race, and so several of the faster riders who weren't racing dropped down a group. Great :o(

So off they go, except the advertised average pace of 17 mph is now 18.5. On the flat I'm OK, working quite hard but within tolerance. However, as soon as we get to a hill they rocket up it and I shoot out of the back as though I were going backwards. I then rupture myself catching up downhill and on the flat, catch my breath, and then it happens all over again.

Leaving aside physical inadequacies for the moment (I was feeling a bit below par before we started - but that was nothing compared to how I was at the end) - the big visible difference is hardware. All the other bikes were bling carbon things (bar one, whose rider had legs twice the size of mine). A new bike is not a viable option, but new wheels are.

So here's the question:

I'm thinking that lighter wheels might help to an extent, but I have no idea which is the sensible thing to do. Should I buy a pair of Fulcrum Racing 3 or Mavic Ksyrium Elite for about £500 (ie main stream manufacturer) or go to and get some Ambrosio Excellite rims on Royce hubs for just shy of £600? Or something else?

I also know that I need to do more hills, but if I haven't got anything to blame but me I know what needs to be done physically with greater clarity.

I'm tending towards the hub and rim option.....

Finally, how much difference do tyres make?
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