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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi.
I'm a 40 years old recreational rider with some racing background, both road and mountain. 145 lbs. I don't ride races anymore but I certainly enjoy a good ride on quality equipement. Not something the average human being can understand, but I also enjoy climbing a lot. Call me an old man who never accepted the fact that racing was YEARS ago!
Last winter, I was diagnosed (and succesfully treated) with cancer and I missed a long planned 40th anniversery riding trip to spain. I'm well today and I decided to treat myself with a pair of wheels to help me forget about this aborted trip...
I'm in a moderately hilly area with not so good paving. I ride Mavic Ksyrium Elites at the moment and I'd like to treat myself with carbon wheels. I'm leaning towards Easton EC90 sl's. I know it does not make sense to buy these just for club riding (no racing), but I'm at this age where I'm lucky enough I can afford it. All I'm looking for is the feeling of a performant bike. (Like what you feeled the first time you switched from steel to carbon, remember?)
My questions:
Do you think I can actually feel a difference between the two sets?(aprox same weight, so climbing should not be very different. Certainly a difference in aero advantage on the flats?...)
How stiff are they, compared to the Mavic's?
Do you feel like those wheels are durable enough to act as primary wheels? I've read so much about them delaminating, heating, melting, exploding...
My other choice is a pair of Mavic Ksyrium SL's, wich are just a bit lighter and a bit more aero than the Elites. Probably thougher then the Easton, though. My guess is that they are not a significant improvement over the ones I own. I'm I right?
Again, what I want is to feel a difference in riding the bike. I don't need the wheels, I want them.
Long question... Your opinion? Comments? Thank you.
 

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I would go for the Eastons. You will notice the comfort of the carbon wheels, and the Eastons are much more aero than the Ksyrium SL's. You want to new wheels, can afford them, so I say go for it. At your weight the Easton wheels will be plenty durable.
 

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I don't think the mid 30s carbon clinchers do anything excessively well other than looking sharp on the bike. They are not deep enough to offer the benefits of a true aero wheel like the Enve 6.7 which would have been my choice and they are not light enough to be a dedicated climbing wheel. As far as increase in performance goes regarding the carbon aero, maybe enough to make a difference on a pro level but meaningless for a club riding environment.

The Ksyrium SL are box rims and the furthest away from aero. The Elite are preferred by many over the Ksyrium SL because of the spokes.
If you can afford it, why don't you get two sets. One aero for the flats and one climber for the hills.
 

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45-50mm of depth is where you are going to start gaining a major aero advantage. I'd only go for the Eastons if you find them for the right price. I have a set of tubular ec90 sl's that I got almost brand new for $800. Zipp and enve are the two companies that probably have what your looking for. Either the 303 or the ses 3.4.
 

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You are definitely due for a treat, glad to hear things are going well for you.
Have you thought of having a set custom built? There are some good builders on this forum.
 

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I'm not drinking the Wheels forum Kool Aid. Have fun with your new wheels. The differences will be largely cosmetic and illusory. Nothing wrong with that, as that's often the case for the more upscale things we opt to buy.
 

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quote: "Last winter, I was diagnosed (and succesfully treated) with cancer and I missed a long planned 40th anniversery riding trip to spain. I'm well today and I decided to treat myself with a pair of wheels to help me forget about this aborted trip..."

Glad your doing well.
My choice would be to take the money you're thinking of using on the Eastons and start planning a 41st anniversery riding trip to spain.
That aside though, I think you can do better than those Eastons. And no matter what you get, don't get your expectations to high regarding the difference you'll feel. I've test ridden a $4000ish set of carbon tubulars and honestly didn't notice much difference between those and my aluminum clinchers.

Don't get me wrong, there are differences between various wheels but it sounds like you're expecting a big ride transforming change by going carbon. Carbon rims aren't popular because they ride great simply because they are made of carbon. They are popular because they can be made deeper/more aero without the big weights that alloy would have by makeing the same profile.
They might feel a little better than what you have. But esentially you'd be trading on decent wheel for another decent wheel. I'd take a flight to Spain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Maybe I overstated a bit by saying ''I can afford it''! I've found both sets for around 1000$, wich I'm willing to spend, knowing this is absolutely not a smart buy. But two sets may be too much. Plus the area around is always a mix of climbs and flats. With both sets, it would be hard to choose the right wheel for the ride. I'm after an all-around kind of wheel, wich I know can't be very performant in either terrain.
Maybe I should stick with my current set of all-rounders...
And I'm going to spain next year anyways!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
''The difference will be mostly about cosmetic and motivation...'

This, I know very well and I assume it. But I thought I could upgrade and feel a ''good ride'' (more responsive bike in the climbs, faster on the flat) although I know it is not at all necessary for my riding style. If I can't get some shivers out of the new equipement, it becomes a lot less interesting.
I'd like to feel like I bought a ferrari simply for driving it to the grocery store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
45-50mm of depth is where you are going to start gaining a major aero advantage. I'd only go for the Eastons if you find them for the right price. I have a set of tubular ec90 sl's that I got almost brand new for $800. Zipp and enve are the two companies that probably have what your looking for. Either the 303 or the ses 3.4.
Isn't a 45mm deep wheel inadequate in the climbs and crosswinds? My impression was that anything deeper than around 35mm might be too much.
Never ridden them, but there has to be an aero advantage between the Mavic Ksyrium Elites and any 35mm deep wheel???

And just to trow some more stuff in the soup, I've considered a pair of Reynolds 46 tubulars for the same price. But they are tubulars... Not sure I want to ride them for everyday ride. I'm I starting a new thread?
 

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''The difference will be mostly about cosmetic and motivation...'

This, I know very well and I assume it. But I thought I could upgrade and feel a ''good ride'' (more responsive bike in the climbs, faster on the flat) although I know it is not at all necessary for my riding style. If I can't get some shivers out of the new equipement, it becomes a lot less interesting.
I'd like to feel like I bought a ferrari simply for driving it to the grocery store.
I get entirely where you are coming from, while realistically you may not be able to truly feel a measurable difference, you may do better purely on the psychological side.
 

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''The difference will be mostly about cosmetic and motivation...'

This, I know very well and I assume it. But I thought I could upgrade and feel a ''good ride'' (more responsive bike in the climbs, faster on the flat) although I know it is not at all necessary for my riding style. If I can't get some shivers out of the new equipement, it becomes a lot less interesting.
I'd like to feel like I bought a ferrari simply for driving it to the grocery store.
Ferrari's cost a lot. Easton's are definitely more Ford than Ferrari.
Lightweight, Corima, Enve.....those are the Ferrari's.
 

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404s and 808/disc setups have been fine in crosswind gusts for me. It's only when you have a constant crosswind that you notice drag.

Isn't a 45mm deep wheel inadequate in the climbs and crosswinds? My impression was that anything deeper than around 35mm might be too much.
Never ridden them, but there has to be an aero advantage between the Mavic Ksyrium Elites and any 35mm deep wheel???

And just to trow some more stuff in the soup, I've considered a pair of Reynolds 46 tubulars for the same price. But they are tubulars... Not sure I want to ride them for everyday ride. I'm I starting a new thread?
 

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I went with tubular Zipp 303's a couple of years ago (2011) and have enjoyed how they ride. I also have ridden Easton EC 90 SLXs (also tubular). Between the two sets, I found that the Zipp 303's provided a more solid feel on the bike and had better modulation / control when braking. The Zipp rim is also a bit wider than the Easton's. I agree with a previous post that stated the Easton rim is based on "older" aerodynamic technology... Zipp has kept evolving their understanding and application of the rim shape. I also rode an Al clincher 404 wheel set and thought that they felt "heavy" when spinning up to speed & climbing.

Personally, I was looking for a different feel / experience, and a lightweight alternative, which is why I went with tubular and carbon. I also don't mind the preparation or gluing process. I don't race and I also like to climb. I found the 303 to be what I thought it would be - an all-around lightweight carbon tubular wheel set that provided a solid and nimble ride. I know that people say that the hubs are lousy (I actually had problems with my rear Easton hub), but I have found the 303s to be excellent for day-to-day riding. No problems so far after two years of regular use.... Good luck!
 

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I definitely find myself in the same situation as you (no racer, avid trainer, enjoying a good ride...ok i'm 44 not exactly 40...)
I ride in Canada where road conditions aren't the kindest for wheels. With the winters we have, I can push 4000km a year (april-early december).
I weigh 158lbs for 5'9'' and ride a pair of Easton EC90SL tubulars since the start of 2010. I've got over 12000km on them and I do not ride them gently. I never had to true them. I get one flat average per season as I keep them inflated to max 110psi according to my weight. The ride is amazingly comfortable but very stiff and responsive when needed. They are very different feeling than my (Plan B) Ksyrium Elites that I use for a long ride out. No comparison when you push both these wheel sets you will notice the difference. As far as I know, I would replace my prime wheels with the same when time comes. The only concern would be the bearings that could need frequent adjustment and appropriate lube (once per season at least). I had the rear wheel bearings changed last season for the first time after 10000km and the front were checked this year and are still perfect but I still get them cleaned and lubed once a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I definitely find myself in the same situation as you (no racer, avid trainer, enjoying a good ride...ok i'm 44 not exactly 40...)
I ride in Canada where road conditions aren't the kindest for wheels. With the winters we have, I can push 4000km a year (april-early december).
I weigh 158lbs for 5'9'' and ride a pair of Easton EC90SL tubulars since the start of 2010. I've got over 12000km on them and I do not ride them gently. I never had to true them. I get one flat average per season as I keep them inflated to max 110psi according to my weight. The ride is amazingly comfortable but very stiff and responsive when needed. They are very different feeling than my (Plan B) Ksyrium Elites that I use for a long ride out. No comparison when you push both these wheel sets you will notice the difference. As far as I know, I would replace my prime wheels with the same when time comes. The only concern would be the bearings that could need frequent adjustment and appropriate lube (once per season at least). I had the rear wheel bearings changed last season for the first time after 10000km and the front were checked this year and are still perfect but I still get them cleaned and lubed once a year.
From Canada? Are you from Québec? We might want to make it multi-cultural and continue in french!

Why do you go for the Mavic's for longer rides?

Your wheels are tubulars, so I figure they are significantly lighter than the EC90 sl clinchers. This may explain why they are more responsive (?). The clinchers are almost the same weight as my current wheels, so in the climbs, they have to be stiffer in order to let me feel some difference. Are they stiffer? The only advantage they seem to have is the higher profile (i.e. aero advantage), witch some people here say is not significant at 38mm high.

(But the aero geeks claim the aero advantage is also significant when going uphill. Cervelo rep says the S3 is still the bike to pick over the R5 for hills up to 7% grade if I can remember. But this is just to help put some more passion in my thread;)...)

Based on these infos, it seems like the change in the ride feeling I'm after is not likely to happen. But some of you who tried it say there is a difference...
Anyone else who has a hands on experience with similar situation has comments?
 
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