Have a look at the Boardman MTR 8.9 Mountain Bike from Halfords – it’s currently their most expensive available MTB. Half of you will roll your eyes and half of you will appreciate the good value a Boardman can offer. Halfords often compromise on wheels to improve their margins.
That’s not to say Halfords are cynical – lots of bike retailers offer a full bike at a decent price in the knowledge that you have the option to upgrade and breathe new life into an old frame. Imagine how great the ride on this Boardman would be with a set of Industry Nine Enduro 310C.
Legend has it that Eddy Merckx took apart his bike to count how many pieces it was made of, and I’ve no reason to doubt this as fact, having watched my brother do the same with a toaster. Sometimes learning how things are put together is a spiritual expression of love. And there’s nothing that says “WeLoveCycling” more than lacing your own wheel.
Does your beloved always insist you read the manual whenever you buy white goods? Then keep him/her occupied with a wheel he/she must build herself. You’re saving costs on parts so don’t skimp on quality – the incentive to have a new set of dice rolling on the tarmac will be more than enough to keep him/her out your hair until New Year’s Eve.
It needn’t break the bank
Zipp 404 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers will feel like an upgrade and, I’m sure, your husband will be chuffed. And so he should be for £2,000. But while spending this much may give him a little more in terms of stiffness to weight ratio, the law of diminishing returns applies. Especially when there are better wheels for a fraction of the cost…
A Google search reveals that these Campagnolo Zonda C17s have garnered great reviews and are comparable to wheelsets 4 times the price. If your husband’s used to expensive wheels, he may notice a difference – but if he’s riding a generic wheelset worth £100, some Zondas will encourage him to burn away the Christmas calories…