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  1. #1
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    How do you justify spending more for next season's race upgrades?

    Are you staying on the same equipment or will you be spending quite a bit of money to get a result or reach a personal goal? New training bike, new race bike, new coach, etc.

    I ask because there is a wheelset which weighs an honest 200 grams less than my current one. It'll cost me about $700 when all is said and done. I know about the $1/gram weight weenie rule, but having said that...

    I can afford the wheels.
    I am too frugal and suffer from paralysis by analysis.
    I'm a decent Cat 1 racer, but I race for personal goals.

    I don't think shaving 200 grams off a wheelset on an already light carbon 29 HT race bike is going to vault me into the #1 podium step. I never finished a race and said "crap, if only my wheels were a bit lighter." The racers who whipped me did so for many other reasons beside wheel weight.

    Just thinking aloud.

  2. #2
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    Win or get podium placings. Easiest way to justify/encourage yourself to spend more ... even just set some PRs. Prove to yourself that you're worth it, it's really not fair to compare yourself to other riders and think "they don't need it, so I must not." That said, $700 for a wheelset that will cut 200g is not too shabby. If you're racing Cat 1, it's totally justified to splurge on yourself once in a while.

  3. #3
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    Will you be going from alloy to carbon hoops? If not, then you are missing something there. You can order a great set of carbon hoops direct from China and have them laced to some decent hubs here in the USA for around $700.

    Super light and they handle great compared to the noodly alloy rims out there. Hands down, one of the best upgrade I have ever made in over 25 years or riding/racing...

  4. #4
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    Don't justify, just do.

  5. #5
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    My carbon 29 HT race bike has the Chinese carbon hoops, and from Crest it was a huge improvement. Just as light, worlds stiffer, price was about $560.

    The wheels in question are for a FS short travel and I felt carbon wouldn't be that big of a bonus since it has more suspension than the HT front and rear. The weight of the Chinese 650b rims combined with the cost and price of new hubs and spokes doesn't make it "worthwhile" compared to the 1650 grams wheels I paid $450.

    The wheels in question are wide and I presumed not very stiff, but the American Classic RACE 650b are getting good reviews for being not only light but as stiff as much heavier rims. I also know wheel tension has a lot to do with it, but then again they are 350 gram rims. Cost for the wheels' weight is better than what I can do for the Chinese carbon. I don't build wheels and the labor and spoke cost for light spokes would be out of my budget I think.

  6. #6
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    200 grams is less than a half of pound. If you want a kick ass wheel set then do it, but I don't think you are gonna gain much in performance. Especially if your wheels are decent anyway. If you do think a psychological gain is what you need, then I say go for it. Sometimes new equipment is a great motivator. For me, its turned out to be just more stuff and no real gains in performance. in fact, I believe I do better knowing I have sub par stuff and I am being competitive with those $9,000-$10,000 machines others are racing. Good luck. Its a tough spot running on the hedonistic treadmill. I get stuck there all the time.
    ATV = fat A$$

  7. #7
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    Clearly the best justification now is that the mtbr forums told you to treat yourself

  8. #8
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    I usually get cool stuff after my old stuff is worn out. Mainly because I know it doesn't make that much of a difference.

    I'll probably get some Carbon hoops but not until after my Stans Crest 29er wear out. They already have 3 seasons.
    Head Coach, Ben Lomond HS MTB Team
    www.utahmtb.org
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    http://www.roostersbikersedge.com/

  9. #9
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    My rule of thumb is 20sec faster per pound of weight reduction for a 90min race. It's a rough guide but has correlated well for me the last few years. This lets me know how much it's going to cost to improve finishing position. If I'm consistently missing the podium by 20s or so then ill think about whether its worth the $1000 (my max $/lb metric) to shave a pound.

  10. #10
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    Man, now I feel like making a thread so everyone can convince me to get a new bike..

  11. #11
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    Re: How do you justify spending more for next season's race upgrades?

    Crazy bike purchases won't make you happier.... Or will they?

  12. #12
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    Get a new bike SandSpur!

    I use whatever metric works to justify new stuff (as long as I have the $$). Win a race - give yourself a reward. Spouse gets a new bike - I get a new bike (this one works in reverse too). Raced on my friend's Specialized Fate with carbon wheels and increased my speed by about 3% compared to my bike (and had a ton of fun on that bike) - saving my pennies for a 2014 Specialized Fate.

    The big question is whether the new stuff will make a sufficient difference to put a huge smile on your face. I can't answer that one.

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