At almost any race nowadays, most people seem to have deep carbon rims. Whether they are clinchers or tubeless, it seems fast wheels are ubiquitous. And having quick, light wheels is great–but you should consider putting them aside just for races.
In the days when clinchers and tubulars were normative for amateur racers, you’d never train on your race wheels. Tubulars were (and still are) expensive, and it’s a total pain to change on a training ride. Instead, you’d have an extra set of heavier clinchers that you’d run, swapping in on Saturday night for your fast, light tubs.
Now, before you think this is some marketing ploy by Canadian Cycling Magazine to buy more gear, hear me out: buy another set of wheels for training. They can be less expensive–which might be heavier–which is good. And a slower, thicker tire, even. This will do three things. First off, that means your precious racing tires will last much longer if you only use them once a week. Same with the cassette on your quicker wheels.
Sure, you can change out your expensive tires on your race wheels when they wear out–but by using cheaper, heavier tires on cheaper, heavier wheels, it can last you way longer.
The last thing that makes the Saturday night swap to your race wheels obvious. Ever seen a baseball player warm up on deck before he goes to bat? They will often have weighted donuts on their bat. Then when they are up, that bat feels featherweight.
It’s the same concept by using slower, heavier wheels during the week. When you put on your nice, new wheels with newer tires, on Sunday you’ll notice. Going from those weekday wheels to your race ones will make you feel like a Festina rider in the ‘90s after a trip to the doctor.