ASK RIDE…Which clincher wheelset on the market today represents the best value for money ?

Which clincher wheelset on the market today represents the best value for
money ?

Sean

Sean,

Value for money wheels can be achieved via two distinct routes.  One way would be to build your own and the alternative is to buy a pre-built wheelset.

Building your own wheels allows you to ensure that the various components used match your needs precisely. This means having spokes and rims that can withstand the sort of riding that you like to do.  For instance you may be 100kg+ and love to hit the cobbles every weekend therefore value for money means your wheelset lasts a season.  For others they are trying to build the lightest possible wheelset for the least price.

Another benefit of prebuilt wheels is the ability to replace parts easily and cheaply if you break a component.  Finding a DT Swiss spoke on a Saturday morning in a regional town is going to be easier than finding a dedicated spoke only used in one particular model of wheel.  With this factor alone in mind – custom built wheels represent excellent value for money.

When building your own custom wheels the wheelbuilder will be able to advise you on the best set-up for the type of riding you do.  Popular rim choices such as Mavic Open Pro are known to be reliable at a decent weight, whereas hubs from Shimano (Dura-Ace) and Campagnolo (Record) will provide many kilometres of hassle free riding.

Clincher wheelsets have seen some big changes in the last few seasons with the arrival of full carbon clincher rims from manufacturers like Zipp, Enve and Reynolds. These wheels have many of the benefits that we only saw previously in tubular rims, with the easy of use of a clincher tire. Although I do enjoy getting out on set of deep carbon rims, and I can see the benefits of riding this type of wheel all the time to become accustomed to them, I still prefer a shallow alloy rim for my everyday or training wheels.

For me value for money means a wheelset that is stiff, reliable and comes at a price that isn’t going to break the bank, this means a wheelset that is priced around the $1500 or less mark.  This can easily be achieved with a pre-built wheelset.

For prebuilt wheels a few of favourites of mine are:

Campagnolo Neutrons – classic wheelset which look great on any Campagnolo build, stiff enough for even heavy or powerful riders and the hubs are just so smooth. Weight 1540grams plus skewers.

Shimano C24 – new offering from Shimano at the top of a very good range of clincher wheels. Featuring a carbon rim with alloy breaking surface these wheels set the standard for modern low profile clinchers. Weight 1513 grams plus skewers

Fulcrum Racing One – These wheels allow you to also run tubeless tyres and feature the same smooth ride as the Neutrons. Fulcrum is owned by Campagnolo and these wheels always represent excellent value for money. 1520 grams plus skewers.

Good luck with your wheels – Toby

Toby Shingleton is General Manager of RIDE Media.

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