Show Me Your Race Wheels

I’m trying to spec my next wheel build.

I’ve narrowed down to three different carbon rims, and have already got my hubs (Onyx, Black Aura). There’s some killer deals on triple butted silver spokes.

Please, if you have race wheels with silver spokes, can I see some pictures?

Googling for silver spokes largely just turned up BMX stuff for me.

Bonus points if your bike is dark coloured.

In the disc brake age, is there still a distinction between race vs. training wheels? You don’t wear them out prematurely by braking and braking performance in the wet is identical to cheaper wheels (with the same rotors), sowhy bother swapping wheels?


I am building an XC Wheelset and have a trail wheelset.

I assume people still save their most aero road wheels for race day too.

Either way, that’s entirely missing what I was after. I should have said, I want to see your race wheels, mostly because they’re more likely to be black rims.


I don’t think so. A few people have a second, deeper wheelset they use depending on the conditions they expect, but they don’t have a training wheelset.

PS I have 3T Discus 45|32 LTD. They are 45 mm and all around great wheels. There are cheaper wheels out there, but I got them with my 3T Strada, so they weren’t that expensive an upgrade.

Saw this on IG that may be helpful:


Perfect :ok_hand:. Exactly what I’d been trying to visualise.

I ended up pulling the trigger on black spokes. Mostly because I went for Pillar 2016 instead of the 2015 that were available in silver.

Bit more waiting, but hopefully I can get the wheels built up for racing next summer, if not the new XC bike.

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Yeah I always feel like having a “race specific” wheel set is a bit strange.

It’s a lot of cash to spend on a set of wheels to only use 10 or so times per year.

I guess the only argument I can think of, is that in the case of XC you could use the race specific wheels to help make sure that your tires are always a bit more fresh than they would be if you used them everyday. I guess though, that’s also why I have two mountain bikes. :smiley:

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I agree and disagree.

I know what you’re saying, and tend to prefer the idea of building / buying parts that are both “race ready” and robust enough for daily use.

My new wheels are going to be hopefully plenty strong for pretty vigorous XC days, but I would probably swap in the other wheels for some of the chunkiest stuff just due to the cost of replacement.

Maybe I’m old school, but when I first started riding aero/carbon wheels were for race day, and box aluminium with Gatorskins was for training.

“Back in my day” you wanted that extra motivation on race day when the wheels went whoosh whoosh and you gained literally km’s per hour for free :joy:

Rim brake wheels are wear items, so it does make some sense. But in the age of disc brakes, rims don’t wear, so I see no reason to baby my wheels.

Why? Either your wheels are up to the job or they are not. And if I pay top ¥/€/$, I expect that they can handle what I throw at them. It’d be different if I rode difficult trails on XC rims, but then the issue isn’t carbon vs. alu, but that you bought the wrong tool for the job.

That was on rim brakes, right? In that case, it does make sense to have a set of training wheels as rims were a wear item. And carbon rims did not have good braking performance in the rain.

With disc brakes none of these reasons apply.

You and I ride different terrain :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:.

I agree, and again, I didn’t actually mean “wheels you only use on race day”. Though even if I did ride road or TT these days, I’d still have “training wheels” and “race wheels” for the mental factor.

It’s not necessary by any stretch, but it’s a mindset thing.

There’s also still plenty of wheels advertised as race day specific (for XC) due to their extreme lightness. It’s a bit like running the thinnest tyres in training. Why would you :man_shrugging:. Deep in the weeds now

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I get what you asking, though, I think. My approach is this: if I pay top yen for a pair of fancy wheels, robustness and reliability is a must. I’m willing to give up some grams, but not being certain I can trust them fully means I can’t ride them as hard.

If you tend to ride rougher terrain on your mountain bike, just go for sturdier rims, I’m sure there are options for the down country crowd.

Only the last bit you mentioned, the feeling of riding your equipment reserved for special days, is something you’d lose. :slightly_smiling_face:

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