Echappe Equipment is offering cyclocrossers a chance to ride and race high performance, expensive wheels without having to buy them first with their innovative wheel rental program. Offering six different models of high-end tubular wheelsets suitable for cyclocross, the company will ship you a pair of wheels pre-glued with either Challenge or Tufo tubulars, straight to your doorstep or participating bike shop.

Want to see why pros ride tubulars but don’t want to buy a pair first and deal with gluing? They’ll rent you a set for as long as you need. Prices start at $50 for one day, although we think a one-day rental isn’t really practical for a day of racing. You’ll want to have them longer so you can get them early, make sure they’re set up well on your bike, your shifting is dialed, your pads are changed (for carbon rims), and you have time to get used to the tires.

It’s a neat option to try out higher-end wheels before deciding which model to buy, and could be an interesting service for those who want to either avoid the hassle of gluing or only really care about results in one or two races. And for anyone skeptical of whether high-end carbon wheels are worth it, it’s a bit of insurance before taking out the second mortgage to buy a product you haven’t tried. Like what you’re riding? You have an option to buy it. Want to try something else or not convinced? Return it.

And while you may not think you need pro-level wheels right now, you never know. You just might be just a few points from clinching the sandbagger series title in December. Then you’ll want all the help you can get.

Stay tuned for a full review of Echappe Equipment’s wheel rental service.

For more info: www.echappeonline.com