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I am roughly 180lbs. I am considering Zipp 404s (and the clydesdale model), Bontrager xlite aeros, and Mavic Cosmic carbone. Any opinions? Durability is the main considering factor.-John
 

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John, I am bigger than you by almost 40 pounds... I ride American Classic 420's. Bladed spokes, 20 front 24 rear. Just get them with brass nipples instead of alloy. They claim it to be a strong enough build for a 300 pound rider. I love them. They are now my everyday wheels. Light, fast, durable, and most importantly, simple! They are lighter than Ksyriums and were cheaper too.

Russ
 

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I'll second the AC 420's

I too have ordered a pair of American Classic 420's - I weigh about 172 pounds and am having them built with 18 / 24 spokes (Sapin CX Rays). These wheels are aero (34mm rims), are lighter than Kyseriums SL's, are easier to get replacement spokes, have superior hubs and are also cheaper - what more do you need?

Of course, I haven't got em yet - but everything I've seen or heard is good.
 

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I weigh 190 and have ridden on these Nimble Crosswinds for 5 years now with no problems. They aren't the Clydesdale model either. Most wheel builders don't talk about the Clydesdale models for riders under 200 lbs.
 

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Call Zipp

O said:
I am roughly 180lbs. I am considering Zipp 404s (and the clydesdale model), Bontrager xlite aeros, and Mavic Cosmic carbone. Any opinions? Durability is the main considering factor.-John
I weigh 200lbs. I have used the Bontrager xlite carbon with no problems. I don't think that you would have a problem with standard 404, definetly no problem with the clydesdale model.
 

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I weigh 210 lbs and I've ridden Zipp 404's, LEW Composites (16 spoke front wheel) and now I have Reynolds Stratus DV's (16f/20r) and I've never had a problem with any of these wheels. In fact, the LEW and Reynolds wheels are as stiff and solid as my Ksyriums even when I'm climbing out of the saddle.
 

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O said:
I am roughly 180lbs. I am considering Zipp 404s (and the clydesdale model), Bontrager xlite aeros, and Mavic Cosmic carbone. Any opinions? Durability is the main considering factor.-John
I'm about your weight as well. You don't need the clydesdale model, stick with the regular stuff.

If you're racing crits, I'd go 24/24 404s (or 24/28 if you're hard on your wheels). I have a pair of 18/28s 404s I bought from a triathlete and a pair of 24/24 404s I race at the track. Love them both!

Alternatively, I also have a pair of first gen Cosmics (16/16) that are even more aero, even stiffer, and heavier. Like them lots for wide open high speed circuit races that don't have the violent accelerations of twisty crits.

I also have a pair of Ritchey Pro (20/28) wheels that I really like. They end up being ridden more frequently because they're less expensive, lighter than the Cosmics, and clinchers (vs tubulars like my 404s). I ride these in twisty crits where it helps to have a little lighter rim so you can acclerate faster.

That help?

Mike
 

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Reynolds Stratus Clinchers

I'm a heavier, but fit guy at 240lbs and also was in a search for a good areo wheel for events and races. After talking and riding with a few people I made the move toward Reynolds DV Stratus Clinchers for my new Pinarello Prince SL. I have all Campy Record and compact cranks running 50/34 up front and 12/25 in the rear for everyday gearing on mostly flats. So far I have put over 400 miles on the Reynolds and I can attest to their superior strength and stiffness. In the sprints it feels like the bike wants to squirt out ahead and accelerates fast. Sort of like pinching a grape between your fingers. I have had no problems and have had the bike back in the shop twice to check trueness and spoke tension. It's perfect!

The only thing I have noticed is that the brakes are a little softer and sqeal more. That is a pad issue and the LBS had me in carbon Cool Stops so I think I will switch to Zipp Carbon Pads.

Oh and let me add this.... On a new route I hit a raised concrete section rather hard. This square edged concrete panel had lifted about 1-1/2" to 2" higher than the rest of the road. As soon as I saw it I freaked and tried to alleviate the problem by pulling up on the bars to lighten the hit at impact. Everything was fine, but 200 feet later I had a pinch flat up front. I did a field inspection on the rim and everything looked cool. Re-tubed and road on without incident. Later that night I tore the rim down and inspected everything. Again Perfect! You couldn't even see any contact spot on the rim where it took the hit. I was amazed and impressed. Perhaps I was very lucky on that one, but I walked away with a higher degree of respect for the strength and quality of those Reynolds rims!!

Til next time ......
 

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What my local wrench told me

My local mechanic told me something interesting: The Aero spokes actually strengthen the overall wheel vs. regular round spokes, because of the shape. The flat section actually distributes the force over a wider area, reducing strain in the spoke. So you get a double benefit from that.

I just ordered a bike based on that advice with Neuvation Aero wheels.I am 225, and was concerned about my weight on that bike. After talking to their staff, he said that their spokes are actually thicker at the base than most, which also means that they will handle more weight.

So I guess there's no disadvantage, and maybe even a slight advantage, for a heavier rider to use aero wheels.
 

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>>The Aero spokes actually strengthen the overall wheel vs. regular round spokes, because of the shape. The flat section actually distributes the force over a wider area, reducing strain in the spoke<<

That is an interesting observation! The spoke is round where it meets the flange and where the threads are at the nipple end. All of the spoke breakage I have encountered were where the aero spokes were round. Now, the aero spokes on the wheels I am now riding do distribute the load very nicely and I haven't had any spoke breakage for the last 5 years. Of course, these aero spokes have no round sections since they are carbon fibre and molded into the rim and hub.

Jim
 
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