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Are HED Alps strong enough for training and racing if you were looking for just one set of wheels?
I had one of the earlier versions in a front wheel. After one season of racing, it started to get side-to-side wobbly from spoke to spoke all the way around the wheel. They exchanged it for on H3 and said they'd fixed that problem in the new wheels. I weigh 185, by the way. I now ride an H3 up front instead of the Alps.
Quid quid latine dictum sit altum videtur
(That which is said in Latin sounds profound)
bought an alps front wheel last summer. i rode the wheel for 3 training rides 100k or so and then raced on it. after one 40k race on fairly hilly, twisty course (carlsbad) my wheel developed a wobble. i sent it back to hed. they were cool and sent me a new wheel no questions asked. haven't really ridden the new wheel because i also have an h3 front.
I've had a set for over 2 years. I use them mainly for racing, but I'll train on them close to race time a few times to get the drivetrain tuned and to get some confidence in them. I've got the titanium spoked 700 clinchers. I have about 1500 miles on them and have never trued them, but I did have to tighten a couple of spokes in the rear that came limp from HED when they were new. There is a small amount of wobble since I've nailed some really good potholes and a couple of mishaps here and there, but not enough to make me worry about it. I do not want to use them every day. I just don't think they are that durable. Get some heavy, cheap 32 spoke Mavic rims with some half-way descent hubs to train with for about $300. You will not find good race wheels that are everyday trainers, can't really have both without compromise. Also, the Alps I have look totally shitty with the bulges in the carbon around the valve stem area and a few other places. It looks like a case of boils or something. HED people said it would not matter and I'm not that picky so I kept them. Other than that, they are pretty good, but as most carbon rims, you have to spread the front brake caliper apart when you climb. Hope this helps. Oh, get steel spokes.
I was a crew member for a two-person RAAM (Race Across AMerica), and one of our riders used a set of Alps for the entire 3,000 mile race. No problems except that on one or two long descents in the Rockies the rims heated up to the point where the tubulars nearly rolled off when cornering (glue, heat, 2,000 vertical feet...not a good thing).
Maybe the bigger issue is one of cost. My opinion on race wheels is that you should be on tubulars (sew-ups) on your race wheels and train on clinchers. Most race wheels are durable enough to train on (if they weren't, I sure wouldn't race on them)but if you have the inevitable chuck hole strike, crash, etc. it is a more costly accident on $60 tubular tires and $500+ wheels. Also, there is that little psychological "edge" in going to a fast, light set of tubulars on race day. I race on Zipps mostly, sometimes Heds but train on Spinergy Xaeros. No problems. Happy New Year!
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