A few weeks ago I finally got my hands on a set of Ritchey Zeta 2 wheelsets. I really have been looking forward to these wheels and I’m glad I got them right before a sweet ride through the Santa Cruz mountains.
There are quite a few reasons why I was really looking forward to these wheels. For one, these wheels are light. Claimed weight is 1444g. That is WAY lighter than the training wheels I had been using. The Strava KOM scene here in the Bay Area is pretty serious. There are a lot of fast guys and training with a 2,000g wheelset ain’t going to cut it when it comes to trying to take come KOMs.
Another thing I really like about these wheels is the width. My past training wheelset had a wider rim as well, and I have really grown accustomed to the benefits of a rider rim. For me, the main benefit is how a wider rim shapes the profile of a tire. I am not the fastest descender, but having a better contact patch is really noticeable, especially compared to my narrow racing tubulars. Improving the contact patch of the tire is a big confidence boost on technical descents.
Running a wider rim with a 25c tire can turn any super stiff race bike into a comfortable ride for those long distance days. Ride on crappy roads often? Do races like Copperopolis?
These wheels are really going to be an advantage to the team come the races known for their rough roads and they make those longer miles days that much easier on the body.
If I had one word to describe these wheels it would be versatile. Looking for a comfortable wheel set? Run a 25c tire, or even better set these up tubeless! Looking for a wheel set to make you faster? At 1444g these wheels are about as light as aluminum wheels get and running a 23c tire will match the tire shape to the rim and give you some aero benefits. Looking for a bomb proof training wheel set to also run as a back up set at races? Light, aero, really stiff. I don’t feel bad throwing these into the pit knowing that if I get a flat, I won’t be loosing performance if I need to put these on. Plus, the 20/24 spoke lacing with the Phantom Flange hubs really do feel impervious to crosswinds. Racing, cyclocross, training, whatever. These wheels are awesome.
From the first pedal stroke I was impressed with the wheels. They roll really smooth and have a wonderfully machined braking surface. Braking surface may not be something that most people think about, but when you get on a set of wheels that actually have a good braking surface, the performance really is apparent. The stiffness was really apparent as I stood up on Empire Grade. A lot of people mainly pay attention to the bike, but forget that the wheels can really make or break how a bike rides. Thanks Tom!