WHEELS

Triathlon Magazine Canada - - SWIM BIKE RUN TRANSITION -

THE MOST IM­POR­TANT com­po­nent on your bike, other than you as the rider, is your wheels. Once you’ve di­aled in your race po­si­tion, wheels will make the big­gest dif­fer­ence to your over­all time for the sec­ond leg of the race. Over the last few years, com­pa­nies have been mov­ing away from tubu­lar tires which were once a main­stay on high­end rac­ing wheels. These days, wheels set up for clincher tires (which use tubes) have be­come al­most stan­dard and, ac­cord­ing to com­pa­nies like Zipp, ac­tu­ally test faster than their tubu­lar op­tions. Bor­row­ing from moun­tain bike tech­nol­ogy, tube­less tires that don’t use tubes at all are be­com­ing an op­tion when it comes to wheel se­lec­tion now, too. Tube­less wheelsets still al­low you to use a reg­u­lar tube and clincher tire, so, if you like, you can play around with the new tech­nol­ogy with­out hav­ing to com­mit to it if you choose not to.

Another devel­op­ment over the past few years has been with all­car­bon rims. In the past com­pa­nies strug­gled to cre­ate a full-car­bon clincher rim, but once Zipp man­aged to fig­ure the process out, many com­pa­nies have fol­lowed suit. One knock on full-car­bon rims has been that brak­ing in wet con­di­tions can be a chal­lenge, but once again com­pa­nies have worked hard to cre­ate dif­fer­ent fea­tures on the rims that al­le­vi­ate those prob­lems, so it’s not as much of a fac­tor these days.

We’re also fea­tur­ing a few disc wheels in our se­lec­tion this year. These solid rear wheels are typ­i­cally your fastest op­tion, but can be sus­cep­ti­ble to cross winds. (They are not al­lowed at the Iron­man World Cham­pi­onship in Kailua-kona, Hawaii, for that rea­son.)

SHI­MANO WH-R9100-C60-CL

$2,230 To go along with the im­pres­sive Shi­mano Dura Ace group set, the Dura Ace C60 wheelset of­fers out­stand­ing per­for­mance and aero­dy­nam­ics. These car­bon wheels are light, su­per stiff and re­spon­sive, but also man­age to pro­vide a silky-smooth ride. Add to that in­sane dura­bil­ity and the ver­sa­tile 50 mm rim depth and you have a wheel that will serve you well for both train­ing and rac­ing.

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