The pre-built wheelset phenomena continues in 2000. Many pre-built wheels offer a good, light wheelset in a convenient one-stop, no-think package. Unfortunately, they cost you more, on average, than if you built a wheelset from individual components.
A Shimano XTR/Mavic 517 wheelset will run you about $400. It might not have the flash of a color-coordinated package, but its the same wheelset countless pro racers ride. Its light, durable and easily serviceable.
Perhaps the biggest news of 2000? Tubeless. Though still in its infancy, the Mavic UST system has performed well for us. The main advantage to a tubeless system is the ability to run lower air-pressure with reduced fear of pinch flats.
However, tubeless systems suffer from limited replacement parts, are harder to mount and remove, and still prone to punctures and are expensive.
Also consider that one of the downsides of running low air pressure is rim damage too many dings and the rim wont hold pressure or stay true, in which case it will have to be replaced.
If youre a hard-core whos willing to spend any amount of money to prevent a flat from ruining a race, tubeless is something to think about. Otherwise, sit this concept out until its more refined and a broader spectrum of parts are available.