Wheel upgrade advice


New Member
Oct 27, 2020
Wanted some advice on upgrading my wheels. I’m still riding my tarmac sl2 comp because I absolutely still love it but I’m looking to upgrade my wheels from the stock Fulcrum Racing 6. The bike is a 10 speed, rim break and I weight about 200lbs. I ride mostly flats with moderate cross winds but do take some trips out to big climbs. My concern with the trend towards wider wheels and tires is finding something that’ll fit. Looking for something fast and keep it below $1500 for the set. Really appreciate any advice.

You are only interested in fast and not durable for street use?

I've seen those fast carbon wheels crack on our potholed and cracked up roads, I've seen cyclists having to carry their bikes over railroad tracks so as not to damage their carbon rims.

A good tough rim is DT Swiss 1600 Spline, it's reasonably fast yet durable and way under your budget!

Another option if you want tubeless, which I don't see the point, but anyways are the Hunt Race Season Aero wide tubeless ready rims.

If you're saying "I don't give a rats **** about reliability on the street, and I want a carbon wheelset, and I want a fast racing wheelset", then consider Campy Bora 45 WTO wheelset.

There is a middle of the road wheelset, it's the Mavic Ksyrium Pro UST.

Of course, there are thousands of wheelsets, I don't have the time to list more good prospects, I'll let others list some more for you. So I listed just a few very good candidates for you to research and consider.
I am a Clyde rider and will say I use strong wheels. 32 spoke Deep V rims because I have thrashed too many hand built wheels in lower profile rims like Mavic Open Pro. I get about 2,000 miles out of low profile rims. The 30 mm deep v rims give me great mileage and are very durable. I can't afford to have wheels built every 2000 mile looking to go light.

FTR, I would do a lot of climbing preparing for big rides and timed events consisting of 100 miles and 12,000 ft of gain.

The thing to me is that I have had a ton of friends tell me that I should go with a lighter faster low spoke count aerodynamic set of wheels. But yet, when I ride, they still suck my wheel even after they swear that they get a 2 mph increase of speed out of the wheel.

I think more the placebo effect. The strong fast guys are going to be fast and strong no matter what. I will say too, that if I train, my wheels feel much lighter when I am in shape. I never noticed any kind of drag with my wheels. I have even been climbing in the mountains, catching guys then having them preach to me that I need lighter wheels. WTH, I just caught and passed you on a 20 mile mountain climb of 5,000 ft. :D One guy was telling me such nonsense when his front wheel fell apart ha ha ha! (Mavic Ksyrium). I found it funny he was telling me to ditch my Ultegra hubs too saying they were to heavy. WTH! I think these guys have more money than brains ha ha ha! Mine didn't fall apart on the ride. :p

Then I have a really super duper climbing friend that was posting on a local forum. Super fast guy, super climber. Guy was climbing 7,000 ft on every ride, and fast. He had a Specialized bike, not sure of model but a nice one. He invested $2000 into some higher end light climbing wheels. Really cool looking. I ran into him on the mountain one day and asked about his wheels that he had posted on the forum. He said he wasted his money. Said they felt really cool on his first ride but that his times on Strava were not any faster than the stock wheels that came on his bike. You would think a fast guy would notice a benefit vs us average Joe types. But he said he liked them because they looked cool but he was bummed that it didn't make any difference at all.

This is the guy right here. Got plenty of cyclists friends and forum posters on my blog so I can't make this stuff up. Got a few pics of him on my blog with the stories. This is at the start of one of his 7000 ft training rides.

This guy is going to kick butt no matter what wheels he rides as long as they are decent wheels. Fulcrum, Mavic, down the list.

My Lynskey came with 30mm Shimano RS500 wheels, while not the near the lightest or near the most expensive...did I say expensive? try $280 for the wheelset! But the good people at Adrenalin Bikes said that those wheels would be great for the rough roads I ride on and they were right, 7 years and over 8,000 later I haven't had to even true those wheels.
I built Deep V's with 32 spoke. My first build lasted 20,000+ miles with one minor true after 14,000. Don't really think it needed it but I did just to keep them good.

Brake surface wore out at 20,000 miles so I retired the rim as it developed a blister meaning a thin wall after too much wear.

But the rim was still straight. Just worried about a blistered rim. I've built like 15 more wheels and not one has worn out yet.

I built the wheels on my Madone back in 2014 maybe. After 15,000 miles, still no problems.

I built these wheels back in 05. Rear 32 spoke Deep V with Ultegra hub. The front lower profile Mavic CXP 30 also 32 spoke 3 cross pattern on both.

These wheels are still on that bike I ride on many recent rides. But since 2012, I have only put 4,000 miles on this bike. I put all the wear on my other bikes. :D

This was 2005 on a training ride, 60 miles with 7,000 ft of gain. One a standard crank 53/39 and a 12/26 rear cassette. I mention that because I read on this forum the other day that 52/39 cranks are for people under 40 years old haha. I was 42 in the pic and used that same crank on timed events consisting of 114 miles with 12,000 ft of climbing till 2009 when I was 46. :D

But I was a skinny 230 pounds. :p
If you're riding Campagnolo their Zonda, Eurus, Shamal wheels are all strong. Also the Fulcrum wheelsets are strong and can be used with Shimano too..
Not to hijack this thread or anything, but November bicycles has some carbon wheel sets for <$1500. Has anybody tries their all road or cafe racer wheels?