I'm in the same shoes.
I currently ride a TIME RXRS, but moving to a 2013 BMC Team Machine di2 as soon as it comes in. Looking for wheels to match that bike. I really like the Enve's 3.4 with most likely Chris King R45's. They weight in at basically 1400 grams, I currently have the Mavic KSyrium SLR (which weighs 1400 grams as well). What am I getting for the $3,000 I'm about to spend on them? Are the Enve's that much better than the Mavics? I tried the Zipps FC 303 .. BLAH! not crazy about them at all. Thanks to Strava, I didn't see any improvement in my riding. Now, I'm being told to look at Fulcrum XLR's and even LW's.
There's a $1,500 difference between the Enve's and the other 2. GULP!
And does anyone know the difference between Alchemy hubs vs. Chris kings?
On another note, we tend to climb a lot around here. So looking for a lightweight wheel to compensate for the weight of the Di2.
Oh. And my local bike shop told me to hold off on buying Enve's till the mid of sept. .. i guess they're roliing out a 2013 model? anyone heard of that?
You're going to see a huge improvement over Ksyriums mainly because they kinda suck- narrow, stiff AL spokes that offer a harsh ride, and the freehub develops significant drag over time, however, you're not going to see huge Strava differences with any wheel most likely. Tire pressure, wind, etc will all affect average moving speed more than you think regardless of wheels.
You will improve your climbing more by the training/riding you do than the wheels you ride. My training wheels now weigh around 1700g and my VAM and times on a local climb that around 60 top local riders have done is sitting right at 5th place, up from my 11th a few months back when I was using lighter tubulars.
I liked my Fulcrum XLRs a lot because they had really smooth hubs, were very stiff, and held speed very well. They're a great all around wheel, but aren't particularly anything. I think they're a great race wheel because they're so well rounded for so many courses and I can't think of a wheel that has won more races if you lump them in with Boras since they're the same thing.
Alchemy hubs offer a greater bracing angle and supposedly build a stiffer wheelset. Lots of watt jockeys on the internet claim they need this as if hub stiffness is their limiting factor but I personally feel that the King hubs can build a super stiff wheelset if the builder uses the right spokes, lacing pattern, and tension. Somehow the pro tour riders manage to do just fine with DA and Zipp hubs, but people on message boards are convinced that they're so mighty that they need that extra bit of stiffness and can actually feel it. Personally speaking, I like the King hubs since they're durable, easy to service, and don't seem to have any problems ever. Alchemy is a smaller niche manufacturer that has had its fair share of issues and while they might be resolving them I personally don't want to deal with sending shit back and forth at any point to fix it. I like to put things on my bike and then not touch them and I have been very happy with my R45s. I've never met a single person that hasn't liked their King hubs, in fact.
Don't take me too seriously. The only person that doesn't hate