Are you searching for a wheel (real) love? It takes time. I believe you should fall in love with all the equipment you ride, especially if you ride a lot, but how do you know if it’s WHEEL (REAL)? You must endure pain, overcome challenges and learn to trust your equipment. Ya’ll, I’ve logged over 15,000 miles in 3 continents, 5 states, in countless races, into deafening headwinds, through powerful cross winds, over chip seal, gravel, cobbles, potholes, up hot, relentless climbs and down wet, sketchy descents since Spring 2016—all on the same set of wheels. I’ve grown to love them because they have never let me down despite the times I’ve abused them, blamed them and even doubted them. My bet is, if they are consistent enough, fast enough and durable enough for this Texas girl, you will love them too.
Here’s a look into why I love them. Please note that these wheels are a custom build and cannot be purchased anywhere online. Only through your local bike shop are wheels like this made possible:
RIMS: Zipp 303 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers
- I train and race in these because they are practically bomb proof and not so deep that I get pushed around in a crosswind (I just swap out the tires for race-day)
- 45mm rim-depth
- 50mm width
- Dimpled surface
- Special heat-resistant resin on braking surfaces
- Unique combination of woven and unidirectional carbon fibers to optimize durability, stiffness and weight
HUBS: Purple Road Onyx hubs – Sprag Clutch System
*Made in USA
- Ceramic hybrid bearings
- 7075 Aluminum alloy hub shell
- Titanium bolts
- (Rear hub) Instant engagement when pedaling and instant disengagement and silent operation when coasting
- (Rear hub) Heat-treated stainless steel driver
- (Rear Hub) adjustable side load
- (Rear Hub) 11 speed
SPOKES: DT Swiss DT AERO SPEED
TIRES: Michelin Power Competition Tires
- I use these for races in all conditions. They feel supple and grippy when I run 80-90 PSI (I weigh 135-140 lbs). When I want to go fast (for a smooth road race) I’ll run 100 PSI. Even with the higher pressure, they feel stable and luxurious.
- “The best, fastest performance clincher we have tested” –Bike Radar http://www.bikeradar.com/us/road/gear/category/components/tyres/road/product/michelin-power-competition-50156/
- 215 g
- Race Compound for grip and speed
- Aramid Protek technology for durability
and…Michelin Power Endurance Tires
- I use these when I train in all conditions because they are a little heavier and even more durable. I like the tread because it makes me feel more stable when I turn. They are not as fast as the competition tires, however they aint slow! I’ll run 80 psi in the rain, 90 psi for rough country roads and 100 psi for dry, smooth roads. They still feel like a fancy, supple tire and I’m pretty sure I’ve accidentally raced on these and did just fine.
- 230 g
- X-Miles Compound for performance
- Aramid Protek+ technology for extra durability
- GRIP DESIGN tread for cornering
SKEWERS: Green Salsa Ti Flip-Off Skewers
- 40 g (front) 44g (rear)
I realize that this custom build is not attainable for every one, however, if you are looking for an upgrade, you should visit your local bike shop and check out the Zipp 303’s because they are (IMO) the best everyday wheel set for racers or serious riders. I own a set of Zipp 30 Course wheels and Zipp 808’s, but my 303’s are almost always on my bike. I can roll around downtown Austin, ride all day in the country, race at the Circuit of the Americas and crush a 100 mi. grand fondo with the same wheels (maybe not all in the same day). As long as you take really good care of your equipment and swap out the tires, you’re GTG.
Still too much? Just upgrade the tires. It’s the most bang for your buck when you’re on a budget. Rad tires always elevate any set of wheels. Also, I hold regular tire giveaways on my IG page so be sure to participate in them for your chance to win some Michelin swag.
My wheels look badass and they feel amazing. When I actually stop and think about all the love that went into them, it’s a bit overwhelming. These wheels tell a story about people, passion and power! NOW I gotta head out to the bike shop to pick them up—just had the hubs overhauled. Remember to love what you ride! FIND WHEEL LOVE.