When you’re out riding around, you might notice a lot of road bikers with deep carbon wheels. Hoops like these, made by companies such as Reynolds, Enve or Mavic, are great. But my advice is that if you really want to make the best investment for your new bike, get some hand built wheels.
Our build of choice at Cykel is a set of Chris King hubs laced up to HED Belgium rims. You get a better ride with a set of hand built wheels and if your wheel builder is good then he or she can “tune” the wheels to your riding style.
You also have the option of what spokes to use. I like regular double butted spokes made by a company called Sapim. Once you have a spoke, rim and hub picked out, then the wheel can be laced up and built with a range of spoke tension to accommodate the rider and his or her style of riding.
A hand built wheel set isn’t the cheapest option either, but it is cheaper than a set of ZIPP 404s, and most of us don’t really need a deep carbon wheel.
Along with a great ride, a well built set of wheels will last you a long time. Not to mention, nicer hubs like those built by Chris King can be overhauled and serviced which will help them last forever. Plus, those hubs are fully made in the USA.
Simply put, if you like to accessorize your bike, then do the wheels first. Most of the other stuff you really don’t need.