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I'm looking to upgrade the wheels on my girlfriend's bike and can get a really nice deal on Ritchey and American Classic wheels. I'm wondering if anybody can give some insight as to how these product lines compare and offer some guidance as to which I should choose. Of particular interest is how the hubs compare because I'm not too worried about truing/tensioning out of the box wheels (I've read some reviews noting this as an issue with AC wheels.)

Here's the deal... These will be the training wheels for a 110# girl who rides 3-4 times a week and usually 20-50 miles per ride. She's into triathlons and they'll also be her race day wheels about once a month while in season. Currently she's doing sprints and olympic distance races, so I'm not sure she'd realize the benefits of a super aero wheelset (at least not enough to justify the cost.) I'm thinking it'll be either the WCS Protocol wheels or the AC 320 or 420. 420's might be nice because they do have a little more aero profile than the others, but the protocol's and 320's are pretty light. Additionally, there aren't really any hills where we live. Most of our rides will be gently rolling hills, with a couple rides that are moderatley hilly... no mountains. The longest hill that she'll see is maybe 3/4 of a mile long and that will be scarce.

I can probably do Mavics or a custom wheelset but they wont be nearly as deep of a discount which is why Ritchey and AC are so attractive to me.

Thoughts?
 

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Sometimes a good deal isn't...
@ 110 pounds and not riding them much, she'll be okay with either. That being said, neither are very stiff, nor do they have the rep for a long life expectancy.
 

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she's a tri girl, and as you say no hills? if it really is a good deal, ac420s... its deeper, not heavy by any means, has a weight limit around 220-40lbs (she's safe!), and the major down side, the narrow rear hub, probably wont impact her riding smoothly and steadily @ 110lbs.
 

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Old, slow, and fat.
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I have a pair of Ritchey Pro wheels. I'm 195-ish and don't have issues with em. Not the most aero, not the lightest, but ride fast enough to be noticeable.

I DID break a few spokes over the years (I've had em 5?) so I relaced the rear wheel with CX-Rays.

Either way, you're really not gonna go 'wrong.'

M
 

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monkey with flamethrower
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The Ritchey WCS is by far and away a better wheel than American Classic wheels. AC has the worst hubs on the market and are well known to need frequent bearing and freehub replacements. Far too many issues with AC wheels for most people to consider them. If you don't believe me, search around. Lot's of AC problems.
Ritchey uses a relaible, but generic hub from Taiwan.
Get the Ritchey. They are known to be a bit flexy, but with her weight it won't be an issue.
 
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