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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so for my next bike I would like to get a set of Zipp 303s with a Powertap hub. I'm considering buying a used set and having someone install the power meter for me, as opposed to buying a new set with the hub already installed in the hopes that I can save a couple bucks. Good idea? Bad idea? Any advice is welcome. Thanks.
 

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Ok, so for my next bike I would like to get a set of Zipp 303s with a Powertap hub. I'm considering buying a used set and having someone install the power meter for me, as opposed to buying a new set with the hub already installed in the hopes that I can save a couple bucks. Good idea? Bad idea? Any advice is welcome. Thanks.
You do understand that 'installing the power meter' means a complete rebuild of the rear wheel w/ new spokes and nipples, right?
 

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Why would you buy a set of Zipps only to have it dismantled and buy all new spokes and then pay to have it built?

Why are you even going with 303s with a pt hub? Have you explored other options?

Personally, Zipps are NOT something I'd want to train on day in and day out because they're quite a bit more fragile and a helluva lot more expensive to replace (I've cracked two rims on two sewer covers in races).
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes and no. I'm not currently even an amateur bicycle mechanic, so I do not have a functional knowledge of how to rebuild a wheel. However, I would assume that replacing the hub of a wheel would necessitate rebuilding the wheel, including the use of new spokes if the hubs are different sizes. I would not have guessed that this would mean new nipples. However, even armed with this new information I still do not have a cost/benefit analysis of purchasing new or used. I don't know how hard or costly it is to rebuild a wheel, and I don't have any practical experience with carbon wheels at all, including whether or not it's a good idea to buy them used. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Why would you buy a set of Zipps only to have it dismantled and buy all new spokes and then pay to have it built?

Why are you even going with 303s with a pt hub? Have you explored other options?

Personally, Zipps are NOT something I'd want to train on day in and day out because they're quite a bit more fragile and a helluva lot more expensive to replace (I've cracked two rims on two sewer covers in races).
I may not use them day in day out. The guy that owns one of my LBS' has 404s with a Powertap hub. I was talking to him the other day about the power meter built into the new Dura Ace crankset. By the time I buy this bike it will have probably made it into the Ultegra kit. He said he prefers the hub style meter because he feels you lose some power between the crank and the wheel. *shrugs* Made sense to me.

In the limited amount of time I've been researching carbon wheel sets, Zipp has stood out as making excellent wheels. I picked 303s because (I believe) those are the ones designed to work with disc brakes.

I don't do a lot of treacherous riding. If I upgrade the wheels I'll still have the stock wheels that came with the bike. Also this is a fact-finding mission. If it's a bad idea, that's what I came here to learn. :). Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
God I hate Tapatalk. Now that I'm back at my computer where I can type with both hands, I want to make sure I was clear before.

Powertap sells a new set of ZIPP 303s with a Powertap hub at this link for $2700. The wheels they sell are actually built by wheelbuilder.com, which also sells wheels built with Powertap hub to the public. This is what made me think this was a good idea. Now, let's say I can get a set of 303s on ebay for $1200 bucks, and a new Powertap hub for $600, I was thinking I might could end up saving a little money and get the wheelset I want. Maybe I didn't do the math right. How did my LBS owner end up with a Powertap hub on his 404s? There must be a path to this end result that makes sense. Perhaps used just won't work.
 

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How did my LBS owner end up with a Powertap hub on his 404s? There must be a path to this end result that makes sense. Perhaps used just won't work.
You can definitely have the rear wheel rebuilt with a Powertap but comparing used prices to new isn't an apples-to-apples comparison. With used you likely won't know the history of the wheel. You can definitely save money on normal Zipps by shopping around. Since Wheelbuilder is the only Zipp authorized dealer that can offer custom Zipp wheel builds you can't really save money by shopping around. I can highly recommend Wheelbuilder though, they do excellent work.

Have you considered a crank based PM? I like Powertap (and own one myself) but don't think it makes a lot of sense to spend an extra $800-900 to install one on a set of Zipps. The amount of power lost between the crank and wheel is miniscule (and it's moot when it comes to training with power.) There are several crank based PM options available in the $800-1000 price range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You can definitely have the rear wheel rebuilt with a Powertap but comparing used prices to new isn't an apples-to-apples comparison. With used you likely won't know the history of the wheel. You can definitely save money on normal Zipps by shopping around. Since Wheelbuilder is the only Zipp authorized dealer that can offer custom Zipp wheel builds you can't really save money by shopping around. I can highly recommend Wheelbuilder though, they do excellent work.

Have you considered a crank based PM? I like Powertap (and own one myself) but don't think it makes a lot of sense to spend an extra $800-900 to install one on a set of Zipps. The amount of power lost between the crank and wheel is miniscule (and it's moot when it comes to training with power.) There are several crank based PM options available in the $800-1000 price range.
See this is why I came here in the first place. One LBS guy tells me he prefers the hub style and off I go. He doesn't bother to tell me that getting there is a major PITA.

I was originally excited by the fact that the new Dura Ace comes with a power meter integrated into the crank set. By the time I get around to buying this kit it will have probably trickled down to the Ultegra kit and maybe I'll get it then. Who knows? I'm really having a hard time getting up to speed with current cycling tech. I'll probably change my mind 50 times between now and then.

thanks,

Josh
 

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The Pioneer power meter comes with Shimano cranks. I think it goes for $1000 but there was a sale recently for $800. I run a Power2Max which is another option but requires you use a third party crank.
 

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The Pioneer power meter comes with Shimano cranks. I think it goes for $1000 but there was a sale recently for $800. I run a Power2Max which is another option but requires you use a third party crank.
I have both of these, and both are very nice. I moved away from wheel based PM so I'm not stuck with a particular set of wheels - I can move cranks from one bike to another easily if I want because they all use a Shimano Hollowtech 2 style BB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have both of these, and both are very nice. I moved away from wheel based PM so I'm not stuck with a particular set of wheels - I can move cranks from one bike to another easily if I want because they all use a Shimano Hollowtech 2 style BB.
AH. Good point.
 

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I use a pedal based system (BePro). I would respectfully disagree that Zipp carbon is fragile but I still wouldn't want any type of hub based system. I don't understand why you would spend $$ for a light weight wheel and then instantly add weight to it. As noted above also you are then stuck with that wheel, if it's a training wheel like an open pro, then you don't have it when you race or you're stuck training on your race wheel.
 

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I use a pedal based system (BePro). I would respectfully disagree that Zipp carbon is fragile but I still wouldn't want any type of hub based system.
What would you disagree with? It's sort of a fact that those rims crack and break (as will any carbon rim, though seems more common with zipp vs, say shimano ). Like I said, I've cracked two and know four other people off the top of my head that have done the same on potholes and the like. Thats two separate wheels in roughly 5000 race miles, compared to zero broken al rims in 100000 plus miles. That's not even getting into the exploding (and subsequently recalled) hubs.
 

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What would you disagree with? It's sort of a fact that those rims crack and break (as will any carbon rim, though seems more common with zipp vs, say shimano ). Like I said, I've cracked two and know four other people off the top of my head that have done the same on potholes and the like. Thats two separate wheels in roughly 5000 race miles, compared to zero broken al rims in 100000 plus miles. That's not even getting into the exploding (and subsequently recalled) hubs.
Dude you do know that 303s are what guys like Cancellara, Boonen, et al ride in Paris-Roubaix, right? Not small guys and WAY bigger impacts than manhole covers. You either have counterfeit Zipps, are *really* big guys or have potholes/manhole covers worse than the Arenberg forest. Hard to believe.
 

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Dude you do know that 303s are what guys like Cancellara, Boonen, et al ride in Paris-Roubaix, right? Not small guys and WAY bigger impacts than manhole covers. You either have counterfeit Zipps, are *really* big guys or have potholes/manhole covers worse than the Arenberg forest. Hard to believe.
Actually, according to that carbon repair expert guy, Zipp has some of the most fragile rims in the business, them and Lightweight. It's because they use a "defense grade" version of resin/epoxy that has a higher melting point but it's more brittle. He said that he's fixed a lot of them, and that he continues to do so. They certainly do break often.

This isn't a bad thing though really. He can fix cracked or broken carbon no problem at all. Once the resin/epoxy overheats, the rim is dead, nothing he can do. It's much better to be heat resistant and brittle than the other way around in terms of carbon rims. Can't have it both ways.
 

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. I don't understand why you would spend $$ for a light weight wheel and then instantly add weight to it. As noted above also you are then stuck with that wheel, if it's a training wheel like an open pro, then you don't have it when you race or you're stuck training on your race wheel.
Same could be said for any power meter, they all add weight to a bike. Adding it to the hub is no different than adding it to a crank, or chainring (and possibly less detrimental than adding it to a pedal) A powertap hub adds roughly 120 grams to a "light" rear hub, and less than that if you are including things like DT 240s. I still maintain that if someone is already building up a wheelset, and doesn't have a power meter, its one of the more cost effective ways to do it.
 

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What would you disagree with? It's sort of a fact that those rims crack and break (as will any carbon rim, though seems more common with zipp vs, say shimano ). Like I said, I've cracked two and know four other people off the top of my head that have done the same on potholes and the like. Thats two separate wheels in roughly 5000 race miles, compared to zero broken al rims in 100000 plus miles. That's not even getting into the exploding (and subsequently recalled) hubs.
I disagree that they're fragile. I've owned a set of 202 and 303's ( both Firecrest clincher) for about 3 years and have had no problems. I not infrequently ride them on gravel and a couple of weeks ago I hit a nasty pothole on a downhill (on the 202's) at about 28-30 mph. It popped both the front and rear tubes and blew out the sidewall on the front tire. Wheels are fine and after a close inspection I've ridden them twice without problems. Here's a pic of the tire damage with the undamaged rim. The little red spot is the Gu pack I used to patch the sidewall so I could get home. One pic is the rear tire/wheel - what the tire looked like before the blow out.
 

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