Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Wheel Shopping

We went to the bike store last night to ask about my rear wheel and what they thought I should do - fix it, replace the wheel only, or replace the whole wheelset?

So the guy at the store, who was super-helpful as always, had a few suggestions. He nixed the idea of fixing the cracked hub; he didn't think it would be worth trying to find a new hub and getting it fixed when a new rear wheel wouldn't cost too much more. So he suggested the Mavic Aksium, which is Mavic's entry-level wheel and about $140. He then went on to give me some more options, including the Zipp 404 and the Mavic Cosmic Carbone, both of which are more than ten times what the Aksium costs.

Now, don't think I didn't oh-so-briefly consider it. The idea of riding Zipp 404s is really freaking appealing. But really, I'm not riding a P3C or anything like that, I'm riding a second-hand steel-frame bike, and the Zipps and Mavic Cosmic Carbones are nearing 3x what I paid for my entire bike. If I actually had disposable income that would allow me to really contemplate buying one of those wheelsets, I'd be so much better served putting the money towards a new frame, right?

So I'm getting the Mavic Aksium rear wheel, and it will certainly serve me well for the rest of the season and on the trainer this winter. It won't match my front wheel, but that's okay. That just means I have to go fast enough that people won't notice my wheels :)

And maybe once I start working and (gasp!) getting paid, the new bike and wheelset will be a more realistic option.


Curly Su said...

yeah, i know what you mean. i got some new wheels by chance, but i feel silly riding them at 15mph...with my mid-low-range bike...

alas, we're out there, so no complaints... :)

paul said...

so you mean you didn't get the 404's??? that's too bad, they would have looked so pretty...


Jessi said...

Zipp Flashpoints are a good option, when you do decide to buy race wheels.

Also, have you considered Open Pros or Ksyriums? Just an idea. Good training wheels are as important as race wheels, and honestly I find it easier to justify a set of higher end training wheels - at least you use them more than 6-10 times per year! It's all about dollars per use. :)