Q. My best bike is now ten years old and fitted with a Campagnolo Chorus 8 speed groupset. The bike was originally fitted with 32-spoke wheels built with Mavic CXP30 rims.
However, I did not get on with these because of the very harsh ride, impact on steering in crosswinds and the tendency for the rims to fill with water in heavy rain. I therefore changed the wheels to the 32-spoke Mavic Reflex, which have been fine, and consigned the CXPs to the back of the garage. I am now doing more racing (duathlons) with up to 40km bike stages and want a pair of fast, light wheels. What would you recommend?
I don't want to change the groupset or end up with too harsh a ride. I'm only 9.5 stone so I presume I could get away with fewer spokes. One easy option would be to upgrade just the front wheel - is this worth considering? Cost is not too much of a problem, as I just won't tell the wife.
Simon Broomhead, email
A. A deep section rim will create a smaller disturbance to the air flow and thus will use less of your energy when racing, but by reverting to deep section wheels you will once again experience the handling anomalies in crosswinds that caused you to consign the old CXP30s to the back of the shed in the first place.
As duathlons are generally staged on level roads you aren't going to see any advantage by fitting lighter wheels, so my advice is to continue using your existing Mavic Reflex wheels and roll out your old CXP30 front wheel for use in still conditions.