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Hot bikes with fresh wheels

By Bruce Lin

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Hot bikes with carbon wheel upgrades Cervelo R5If you’re a gear geek, you know the performance benefits of carbon wheels. I like upgrading and optimizing my bikes and have a set of carbon wheels on every bike I own. 

But what happens if your dream bike is stuck with a set of uninspiring alloy wheels? Our mechanics get it. So they decided to spice up a few of our favorite bikes with carbon hoops from the wheel experts at Mavic. They picked a few rigs and added Mavic’s Ksyrium Pro SL Carbon road wheels or XA Elite Carbon mountain bike wheels. Now you can get a pro-worthy bike delivered to your door, no upgrades needed!

Let’s take a closer look at these stunning dream bikes. 

Cervelo R5 DiscCervélo R5 Disc - 2019, 54cm - $7,339.98

This is the bike that Wout van Aert used to light up the 2021 Tour de France, piloting it to the first of 3 wins on stage 11. The R5 is the lightest and stiffest road bike Cervélo makes — the ultimate climbing weapon. The aerodynamic “Squoval Max” tubes make it even more deadly with a mix square and oval cross-sections that cheat the wind. With the addition of lightweight Ksyrium Pro SL Carbon wheels (MSRP $2,100, offered as a $1,135 upgrade), maybe you can attack HC climbs just like van Aert. 

Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL5Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL5 - 2016, 52cm - $6,229.98

The Tarmac SL5 was the first major redesign of Specialized’s flagship race bike since 2008. The California brand tested extensively with Alberto Contador and used strain gauges to perfect its Rider First concept, dialing in the ideal frame stiffness for every size. The result was a bike that felt supremely stiff under power but compliant over bumpy roads. The carbon Mavic Ksyriums (MSRP $2,100, offered as a $1,135 upgrade), have these same qualities — stiff but compliant — and take this bike to the next level. 

Santa Cruz Hightower LT CCSanta Cruz Hightower LT CC - 2018, Small - $8,595.97

The Hightower LT souped up the beloved Hightower with 150mm of travel. It quickly became one of the most popular mountain bikes of 2018. I even bought one myself. The first-gen Hightower’s VPP suspension gave the bike a snappy and responsive character. The carbon Mavic XA Elites (MSRP $1,700, offered as a $700 upgrade) will bring out its playful precision, while also providing a supple ride that won’t leave you feeling battered after gnarly rock gardens.   

Yeti SB100 Turq2019 Yeti SB100 Turq - 2019, Medium - $7,846.97

With the SB100, Yeti flexed its muscles to show just how capable a 100mm travel bike can be. It started with a lightweight (under six pounds) carbon frame and Yeti’s efficient Switch Infinity suspension to make a bike that can climb with the fastest XC whippets. But then it gave the bike progressive, downhill-focused geometry with longer reach and a slacker head tube. With the versatile 1,660 gram XA Elite wheels (MSRP $1,700, offered as a $700 upgrade), you have the perfect do-it-all bike for all-day adventures.

 

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