Advice for new wheel upgrades?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by FloydianAlp, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. FloydianAlp

    FloydianAlp New Member

    Jul 29, 2013
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    I'm a relatively new cyclist, and have a Trek Madone 4.5 that I bought 2 years and have been very happy with it.
    So far it is as it came and I have not made any upgrades. A good mate of mine said I should think at getting some upgrades and suggested I start with the wheels.

    Seems there is a whole world of choice and being a technical idiot, I am looking for some guidance as to what people recommend would be a practical sensible upgrade for wheels.

    My cycling is recreational, and generally confined to weekends, when I can squeeze in a 70-100k ride between family duties. I tend to do a couple of charity long distance events a year, such as 800ks in 4 days sort of thing. So I'm not looking for Froome-esque race performance, but something that is practical and will see me notice a difference.

    Suggestions would be welcomed and appreciated.

  2. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2008
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    The biggest upgrade is to the nut that's holding on the handlebars - the rider.

    Wheels - they are one of the best upgrade options but upgrading won't take you from being a duffer to Lance Armstrong on a freshly injected bag of blood. Most wheels are similar in terms of performance unless you get to the aero wheels like those offered by HED, Zipp, Mavic etc that are great on the flatter roads and climbs upto 7%. On the steeper roads, I'd stay with what you have. There are advantages to upgrading to a much lighter wheel set but the gains are fairly small even on steep hills.

    Unless you're racing I'd stay with what you have and think about getting a powermeter for training. Whether you buy a wheel based (powertap) or crank based (SRM or Quarq) system is up to you. If you are racing then I'd go with a powermeter as a 'must have' before going for fancy wheels.

    If you are looking for an upgrade then rims from HED, Zipp and Enve are worth a look.