Monday, December 26, 2011

Race wheels

When Robert asked what I wanted for Christmas this year, I replied, "nothing, let's just save the money." And I meant it. Gifts are really for the kids and the season is for reflection and the time together anyway. I confess I did buy three glass Pyrex bowls with lids to pack my meals and I wrapped them up for the family to give to me. I thought that was pretty exciting.

So I was surprised to get a homemade "Happy Christmas and Merry Birthday" card from my husband on Christmas Eve after the kids had gone to bed. It was the go-ahead to get carbon race wheels. (My birthday is in March) Actually, the best part of the present was knowing he made this card for me, taking the time to change font colors, figuring out how to print double-sided, and adding in race wheel clip art. He's such a left-brain electrical engineer guy so it was pretty touching that he tapped into his artistic side.

This is a major MAJOR indulgence and does create some internal conflict about the "necessity" of it. Yes, nearly everyone at USAT Nationals had race wheels, but I also kind of eschew the conventional. It feels a bit like giving in. But I will give in and see what happens. I can always re-sell them, right?

The other trouble is, I am not much of a shopper (remember the non-shopping way I got my bike?!) and it's hard to make sense of the carbon wheelset universe.

There are so many brands to choose from...Zipp, Hed, SRAM, DuraAce, Mavic, Reynolds, Easton, ENVE, and smaller up-and-coming shops too. I do know I want clinchers. That's all I know.

The budget isn't endless so I'd like to go with a slightly used set and I am a pretty good eBayer if necessary. But how will I know the hubs and structure are in good shape? There's no sense having an aero wheel if the hubs are grinding, right?

Luckily I have plenty of time to learn a few things, sort it out, and hope that the right set will roll into my path :-) and onto my bike. (Advice and ideas welcome. Please leave comments!!!)

And what did Robert get for Christmas you might ask? A robe, two shirts, and his annual Sudoku calendar. Not quite so exciting. Oh, and the gift of these two loving children, pictured on Christmas Eve!!!  Haha. Classic.