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A new season and some new wheels – literally!

May 22, 2012 - Triathlon Gear

Now I love my trusty Boardman, but like most guys I want to be able to squeeze every ounce of power out of it that I can.

After doing a bit of research on the web, reading the triathlon press and speaking to those in some trusted triathlon shops it seems upgraded wheels is the best way to go. Pound for pound, I’m told, is where the best performance increase is going to come from.

There’s a ton of different wheels out there and I’m not the expert here but in the end I went for a Planet X 52mm carbon clincher wheelset.

So why did I go for this wheelset?

If money had been no object then maybe I’d have chosen something else, but essentially I had about £500, give or take £100, to spend so that narrowed things down quite a bit. Then I had to think ‘clincher’ or ‘tubs’ and then full carbon or carbon with alloy rims.

I guess for the time being, the clincher vs. tubs debate will go on and on. I settled on a simple question. If I’m in a race and I have a puncture am I going to be carrying a spare tub and all I need to replace the punctured one or am I going to be able to whip out the spare tube that I’ve been used to carrying and fit it in the clincher tyre? Bailing out because of a puncture is not an option!

Hmmm, maybe in the future tubs will be the way to go, but for now, I’ll stick with a clincher!

So then it’s down to full carbon or carbon with an alloy rim?

Now I’m not going to be keeping these wheels on the bike all year round and once I’ve broken them the idea is that I swap them in and out for races and training. Not that I’m lazy, but I just don’t want the added hassle of having to keep swapping brake blocks too – standard brake blocks will wreck carbon rims, so they would have to be changed each time I swap the wheels over. I have stumbled across some blocks that will handle both type of wheels but at about £40 that’s some expensive rubber! So it’s an alloy rim for me.

All in all then I was looking for a carbon clinger wheelset with an alloy rim for about £500. After much searching and comparing specs I settled on the Planet X.

They look damn good on the bike too!

One thought on “A new season and some new wheels – literally!

Kenneth

Like already said tulaburs are glued on, they look like a tube and fully enclose the tube inside. They were the ONLY high performance tire 25 years ago. They are also very difficult to repair and usually have latex tubes which you must refill with air almost daily.Light, high pressure clinchers have been around for a couple decades. They can be nearly as light and often lighter then heavier sewups. They are generally cheaper, much easier to repair and used by 98% of high performance riders. In many club races, (my club for sure) tulaburs are not allowed because they can roll off the rim if not glued properly, clinchers will not. The glue dries out after a while and must be cleaned and reglued. Many riders felt sewups offfered a better feel but with high thread count clinchers the feel is very similar. High end clichers (and tubes) offer almost (very, very close) the same performance as a tubular with less cost, more safety and much easier maintenance. The wheels are very similar as well. At the very high end sewups are a little lighter, but in general thats not the case anymore.

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