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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a cat 3 junior who just got selected to do a big uci junior tour race l'abitibi...I am looking to make one big purchase for my cycling this summer. I currently have a new trek madone with 7800 DA. I'm hoping what ever I buy it would make me go some what faster; 1) single-speed mountain bike (to gain better handling skills) 2) cheap cyclocross bike (same reason as before but go anywhere) 3) Ibike power meter (too get crucial training data) 4) neuvation c50 aero wheels (to get an aero advantage)...do note all of these purchases are between $200 an $1,000. I want some guidance and thoughts on each choice or even other options (please don't say training is the best way to go faster...I'M already training...der da der)
 

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Wheels, hands down choice. Maybe someone else that knows more than me about racing can chime in on what kind you should look into. I would think you'd have some decent options at your price point.
 

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hey congrats on getting selected, were you at the furman university camp by chance? getting back to the topic:

If you want something that will make you go faster in terms of speed then wheels are without question (out of the options you listed) the best route for you to go. For your price range the neuvations are definitely a great pick you'll be happy with.

As you made it obvious that you didn't want people to say to simply train more...but try to look at it from another point of view. Train all you want, but unless you're doing the right kind of training you're holding yourself back. If you're serious about getting the most out of your training and plan of having a real coach, a powermeter is the way to go. In the long run, a powermeter would benefit you more.

Going fast is more about your strength than what wheels you have. I'm a cat 2 and prob only a few yrs older than you and I've been beaten more times than I can count by guys who have lesser quality bikes and wheels. Take it how you want it, but I say powermeter. The only exception is if you just have crappy wheels...what are they now?
 

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Powermeter. I'm sorry but wheels will give you a small "quick" benefit, whereas a powermeter will make you spot your limiters and therefore train much more effectively. It will also make you truly accountable for your training and really push you to do your best.

I sold my pair of Zipp 404's to buy a powertap and I don't regret the decision one bit. Within 2 months of training with a powertap I am a full 30 seconds faster over a 10km time trial, and I'm using non-dish wheels now
 

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As they said.....1) Wheels 2) Power Meter and my pick for 3 is........a fixie! You can get them ready to roll for around $500 if you look around a bit, and if you augment your road rides with fixie rides twice a week (flatter routes though), you'll start to notice that your power and technique on flats improves markedly, and I even find that it helps my hill work. It will take a few rides to determine the optimal gear ratio for your routes, but once you get there it's a great tool for rounding out your training. It's a nice diversion as well.
 

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p.s. you can rent wheels for special events... may be lower cost than buying carbon wheels... or as a junior, there are lots of older racers who like to help kids, so ask around your racing area to see if any rich old Masters have a pair of high-zoot wheels they will lend you for Abitibi.
 

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If you don't already have tires on the level of Vittoria Open Corsas, that's on certain way to get some improvement.

You didn't mention what wheels you have now so it's tough to say if you could get a worthwhile improvement there for under $1000.
 

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I was going to say 1) Coach 2) Real powermeter (not the iBike you are looking at), either Powertap or SRM (SRM would be my first choice), 3) wheels. Other than that, maybe a pair of Powercranks. Those would be a highly debatable suggestion though.
 

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I would normally say wheels, but I doubt wheels are holding you back. Which Madone and wheelset are you riding? Having said that, I think the C50 Neuvations are good if you are looking for a deep rim.

You might also want to check out Williams wheels:
http://www.williamscycling.com/38cc/38cc.html
http://www.williamscycling.com/58cc/58cc.html

I personally think you might get better use out of the 38's when you consider some days are just not 58cc deep-deep days. Having said that, your current hoops on your Madone become a great backup (something we can all use.)

I don't personally have a power-meter. However, if you feel your Madone wheels are fine...more data and feedback to analyze will make you a better rider. I like this option because it will show you how to be a smarter rider too. You'll be better at conserving energy.

++ for those who mentioned speaking to your local guys / gals or shop for hooking you up with a borrow for your specific tour. Many have wheels a year or two old that might be exactly what you want.

BTW - Congrats! Find the good wheel to ride behind!

Dave
 

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Originally posted by pakman8u:
I'm hoping what ever I buy it would make me go some what faster; 1) single-speed mountain bike (to gain better handling skills) 2) cheap cyclocross bike (same reason as before but go anywhere) 3) Ibike power meter (too get crucial training data) 4) neuvation c50 aero wheels (to get an aero advantage)...
I'd recommend to anyone serious about racing to read Training and Racing With A Powermeter 2nd ed. by Hunter Allen and Andrew Coggan. Then I'd recommend they stop messing around and train with a powermeter. Bike handling and aero wheels will be important, but honestly, if you can't make the move what good are they?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
thanks for the responses...they are all very helpful (except uncle grumpy's)....Just to let you know i am currently riding bonty rxl wheels which are pretty dependable no matter what the conditions are in the race. I'm now leaning towards getting a power meter because I wouldn't train on the carbon aero wheels and on race day I could just borrow aero wheels from an old geezer (I mean master). I'm not sure which kind of power meter...the ibike is in my price range and I believe it would give me enough accurate data, and while a powertaps can be found in my price range it would most likely be a cheap training wheel and sometimes I've heard the computer won't work. so it's a bit more of a gamble in my mind than the ibike. Then a srm or quarq power meters would be too expensive too afford
 

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Umm guys, L'Abitibi is only a month away. Not enough time for a coach, powercrank, fixie, or power meter to have any effect on his end result at that race. Sure those things will be a benefit to you for the 2011 race, but not this year. I would say buy some wheels for instant effect, or save your money and start looking for a coach/powermeter in November or December.
 
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