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With that context, it's then really dependent on the typical weather and terrain where you ride. The showstopper really, really shines in wet weather (though, again, wider tires for a bigger contact patch in the wet are ideal). And it's also good if you do a lot of descending where you can way more quickly more modulate speed. But, for me, it was the wet weather performance that was the true differentiator.
I ran showstopper with magura rt6 hydraulic brakes and the performance was pretty remarkable. I had a couple instances where I needed to brake hard in training (cars...) and I was pretty blown away by how good the braking was. Likewise, I annoyingly had a spate of races in the rain, and I was again super impressed with the quality of performance. The Zipp team tested showstopper doing big descents in Holualoa in Hawaii (where it's always wet and the roads are steep). Not recommended for fun, but a good idea of the exact type of terrain and environment they were trying to solve for.
Now, with that said, I'm currently riding Zipp's Tangente Cork (old pads; still my favorite) on NON-showstopper rims, and because I live somewhere very dry and pretty warm, the braking is more than sufficient. But if you live somewhere that you'll benefit from additional stopping power, Zipp Tangente Platinum (rubber) pads on showstopper - especially with hydraulic rim brakes - is easily the best braking surface I've ever experienced. I'd actually say it's measurably better than disc braking performance, even in the wet. Just because, as Tom A says, the rim is essentially a huge disc. But in this case, rubber-on-textured-carbon is a pretty phenomenal pairing that makes that huge "disc" a really great brake.
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Hereâ€™s the way I would justify it: if the net cost of upgrading is $500 and the additional braking power saves you from one crash, was it worth it? I would say certainly.
My 404 NSW (non tubeless) is my favorite wheel set by far. Great braking, super stable in the wind, and super easy to change a tire and tube.
I ran showstopper with magura rt6 hydraulic brakes and the performance was pretty remarkable.
When people talk about disc brakes being better than rim, I wonder whether it's actually the hydraulic part that brings the benefits that are being misattributed to discs
Will there be a run on the few remaining showstopper wheels (or equivalents from other companies)?
I think the $2500-3000 rim brake wheels are certainly in their last days. There just arenâ€™t that many companies making and, probably More importantly, selling many high-end rim brake bikes. I have a hard time thinking of companies Other than Pinarello and Bianche. If a companyâ€™s rim brake bikes are just lower end $1500 bikes there arenâ€™t going to be many people putting a set of $3000 wheels on one.
and the aforementioned HED Blacks are terrific as well. No need to spend big $$$ just to stop quickly.