Any recommendations on where to go to get PowerTap laced to a new wheel?
I have a wheel rebuilt at The Bike Rack.
You may also want to check out Bill Mould.
He is renowned wheel builder based in Alexandria. He also runs a wheel-building class. I don't know if there is anything special to PowerTap hubs that require special building knowledge though.
I just got a PowerTap hub laced into a wheel a few months back and it has been working great. The bike mechanic who built it up is a friend and former coworker who parted ways with Conte's and decided to start his own business:
He provides top-notch / professional service, accepts credit cards, and is conveniently located 2 blocks from the Clarendon metro station.
I've referred many club members to him and they've all had great results as well.
Are there any other non-high end wheel building options in the area? I am looking to buy/build some alloy wheels equivilent to Specialized Roval Rapid SL 35s, http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftb/wheels/roval-road-aeroefficient/roval-rapide-sl-35#features. Most of the less expensive aero or aero(ish) wheels do not seem really built for a larger rider and budget is a concern. Basically I am looking for the best deal and bang for the buck on upgrading my wheels, but not on a Zip Firecrest budget. Let me know if anyone recomends any custom wheel builders they have had good experiences with. Thanks.
Check out SRAM wheels. The S80's are pretty inexpensive. I'd be surprised if you couldn't find a set of them for under or around $1000 and they are bullet proof. Brady rides them on a daily basis.
It doesn't look like SRAM makes wheels anymore. Looking for Clydesdale wheels has actually been rather a pain. So far based on Trifecta Tuning's recomendation the Flo30s are out in the lead of everything I have seen because they will be easier to repair than the Rapid SL-35s, and they offer a clydesdale specific rear wheel. I was looking at Prowheelbuilder.com, but they don't offer any rims that are both wide (+23mm) and deep (+30mm or deaper). So far the Flo-30s have the best combination. Since I am leaning toward alloys wider seems more important than deeper although I don't think there is any specific aero data to back that up. There are so many different wheels out there, it's hard to find reviews for anything except carbon wheels.
Mark, you may want to check out Swissside Hadron wheels. They are based in Switzerland and I read some solid community reviews on Slowtwitch (and some very bold claims from the designers, basically that they are more aero than Zipp 808 FCs). They have an aluminum brake track with carbon fairing. They are 62.5mm deep and 27mm wide max, 23mm at the brake track.
Also the female champion at IM Wisconsin rode these wheels at that race.
Thanks Johnson, perhaps I should describe my rather OCD process for why I'm now wheel shopping and what I'm looking for. It started with looking for winter tires and seeing the specs on what came with my bike and the criticisms of my stock wheels. So I started looking for "basic" wheels that were quantifiably "better" (faster) than the stock Specialized wheels that came with my bike and are 19mm wide and about 2,000g (including skewers). This means I was not looking for this to be my big carbon race wheels with power tap purchase, I am still probably a couple years away from dropping that kind of cash, so I was looking for something alloy that would have some sort of advantage over what I have, but that wouldn't be so delicate I was afraid to use them. The first thing I saw was the Specialized Roval Rapide SL 35's ($550), that led me to consider the 3T Accelero pro 40s, but they apparently fill up with water in rain or wet conditions and it has rained before or during a majority of races I have done. At that point I was looking for the deepest alloy wheels I could find so I started reading articles on semi-custom wheels and wheel builders. At that point I got paranoid about spoke count because everyone was saying with my size I absolutely need at least 28 spokes in the rear and they should be Sapim CX-Ray spokes otherwise my wheels would brake spokes, potato chip or worse. So I emailed some builders and they said they couldn't build deep (+30mm) alloy wheels with high spoke counts (+28 spokes) for less than $700 or $800 which is getting close to what I would pay for Reynolds Assaults at Performace Bikes when they go on sale or Profile Designs carbon/semi-carbon Wheels from Left Lane Sports, but neither of them get great reviews. So I started messing around with the wheel builder sites to see if I could build Clydesdale wheels with deep rims and aero spokes. About that time was looking for data on whether or not rim depth or spoke shape was more important aerodynamically (something I still have not established), when I found articles indicating that rim width is probably as important or more important than depth especially with alloys since they don't make alloys deeper than about 40mm. So that led me to the decision what I want are deep (+30mm), wide (+23mm), high aero spoke count (+28 aero spokes in rear) alloy wheels preferably for <$550, but $700 max otherwise I get back into carbon territory and I have decided what I want now are good alloy wheels rather than bad carbon wheels. So far the wheels that tick my boxes the best are the Flo 30s, but I am totally open to other suggestions for either factory or semi-custom wheels. And I'm not in a rush, my next Tri is not until May and I intend to make the stock wheels my winter wheels.