Zipp 303 tubular, good choice for all round use and racing?

Everything about building wheels, glueing tubs, etc.
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by ichobi

Hi, i'm in the process of building up my new bike - The steel Condor Super Acciaio with Campy Chorus/Record and Easton Super logic components.

Can't decide which wheels to go for. I will be using this bike for both training and racing amateur level in Thailand. Race courses are generally rolling terrain. Some events have short steep climb (10-20%), but all involve good amount of flat.

I basically want one carbon wheelset that can be decent in all application. (don't have to be the best.) I already have Campagnolo Shamal on order for training on bad weather days.

I'm thinking carbon wheels with about 45-50mm depth and durable enough for everyday use. Should be tubular to save some weight as I am using quite a heavy frame (approx 1500g without fork). Within 1600 USD budget. I'm 5'5" and weight 143lbs all year round.

Zipp 303 seems to fit the bill. It's light, aero and seems to be durable (If Boonen is using the same wheels sold on the market). I can get a pair of these for 1550 USD in Thailand brand new.

Are there any wheels within above parameters that fit the budget? For the same price here I can get?
Bora One
Easton EC90 Aero 55 (The new version)
Corima Aero
Reynolds Assault / Strike
Local build OEM wheels with King/Tune Hubs and Sapim CX Ray. The rim is strong and wide profile but may be not as aero as other options.
ENVE is out of the budget. They are expensive here.

Any help is appreciated.

by Weenie

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by cwdzoot

I think it comes down to the 303 and the Bora one for you. I have both and prefer the ride of the Bora, might be the hub quality.
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by ichobi

Thanks, can you elaborate a bit more in what ways do you like Bora better? They roll better? I tried both shortly and felt Bora was a stiffer ride though I am not at the weight and power to bend these hoops.

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by Stefano

I think 303 or easton are the best bets aerodynamically. Boras definitely have the best hubs but in my opinion are way behind on the aero game. I'd personally go with zipps because they consistently test really well and are obviously durable. Just confirm that they have the new V9 hub before you buy them. If you wanted something a little deeper, the easton's sound interesting, although I didn't like the R4 hub design, not sure how much better the new ones are.

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by Posix1b

These guys offer custom Zipp 303 with hubs from other manufacturers. ... wheel.html

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by NealH

I recommend buying new Zipps as they come with the V9 hub. You get a good warranty and a very good wheel set.

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by Zigmeister

If you aren't getting the latest v9 hub, then get a used set , and have the rear restrung with something like Alchemy UL or similar 2x both sides. Stock older has issues and terrible design and lacing concept. I sold mine and just got some generic chinese aero and run alchemy hubs and sapim cxrays..wheels rides great. Train and race them.

The other thing I was going to do was relace the Zipp 303 rear, but said the heck with all the idea of putting more money into getting a good set of wheels on top of the $$$ they cost, they should have come that way originally. Zipp kind of lost me forever on that idea. Truly hated that 303 FC rear hub and flex with the older hub. Hence my suggestion above.

Front Zipp and 88 hub rides nice, about as good as anything else I've ridden.

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by ichobi

I am definitely getting the v9 hub. Still, no one knows how better it is compared to the previous version! And i agree getting them rehub and relace is too expensive. It will be either the Zipp or Bora. I will wait to see the v9 hub in person.

by Weenie

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by wynkendeword

Zipp 303 is great all-around, but my vote is something slightly better, the 404. In the end, aero trumps weight—to an extent, of course, but that extent is way, way beyond the weight penalty of a 404 over a 303, even in hilly Thailand. The aero advantage is just so much greater, while still being shallow enough to keep you in control in the nastiest of cross winds (particularly with a 404 Firecrest). You might get a bit more stiffness and durability with the 404, too, another plus for racing.

I race Cat 1 on a budget and can only have / afford one set of race wheels, so I choose a 404 (or equivalent depth) for every single race I do—crits, road races, time trials—even 8% hill climbs for 10km. But really, even if I had all the money, I'd still use a 404 for almost everything but time trials (where a disc and/or 808 is preferred). Because Every. Watt. Counts.

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