I have many wheels and the Elites are the best value by far and the wheel by which all others should be compared. Spending more may or may not get you better wheels as I have the R-SYS wheels which are more than double the cost of these and there is negligible difference in speed. The TRACOMP carbon fiber spokes of the R-SYS wheels smooth the ride a little but hardly justify their cost and the weight drop is not really noticeable. Most carbon fiber rim'd wheels at 2 or 3 times the cost weigh as much or more so I have my doubts they are worth it so expect to pay many times more for a wheel that is marginally better and you could easily spend triple for a wheel that is at most equally as good. The durability is as good as the performance of these wheels too, they last forever and I've yet needed to true mine after thousands of miles. Also, my more expensive Easton EA90SLX wheels are good, very aero wheels but still not as good as Elites unless going downhill at max speed is your only concern. Yes, Mavics aren't as aero as other wheels but don't think you are going to win races with more aero wheels unless it is only a downhill race. On the flats and climbing, Elites are just superior or equal to almost all wheels. The Backcountry deal should not be passed up if you are riding on OEM wheels of a bike shop bike that cost less than $6000 as they are significantly inferior to Elites. Also, stay away from the Equipe's which are over priced Aksium's. You either get Aksium's which are the entry level bargain of all time through Backcountry or the Elites, the best choice to go to the next level. PS:The Aksium wheelset blows away all OEM wheels on bike shop bikes that sell for less than $3000.