Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Wheels for Cross
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New to the cross world - I do alot of road riding.
The question I have is on whether or not cross requires different or special wheels that what I would use on my road bike. For example, I have the Bontrager Race X Lites and run a 700x23. I know in cross the wheel size would be a 32 or so. Can I still use my Bontrager X Lites?
Seperate but similar question - can anyone recommend a fairly inexpensive cross wheelset? I am thinking less that $500.
11-14-10, 02:37 PM
You can run 32s on any road wheelset.
This table of rim/tire compatibility is very conservative:
11-14-10, 03:11 PM
Also, if you run Michelin Mud2s, which are a very popular clincher cross tire, they're only 30mm.
I run mine on Ksyrium SLs with no problems.
11-14-10, 03:58 PM
People bring spare wheels to races.. you know, stuff happens ..
Sew up Cross tires can run at lower PSI and not pinch flat, due to rim design.
and that the tires are Glued on so won't creep around and shear off valve stems
from the inner tubes..
11-14-10, 04:45 PM
at $500, it's worth talking to psimet (here on BF) for some hand built wheels and see if he can hit that point.
www.psimet.net or .com, can never remember
11-15-10, 04:05 PM
Just had Steve Garro of Coconino Cycles fame build me a set of Velocity 23s and Ultegra hubs for under $500 shipped (including cassette and skewers). Haven't had the chance to ride em yet, but I have no doubt I'll love them.
Check him out:http://www.juniper-solutions.com/coconinocycles/
11-15-10, 07:41 PM
your wheels will take much larger loads racing cross. You should probably ride more spokes in cross that you would on the road. typically people race cross with the wheels you'd think of as the durable training road wheels.
11-15-10, 11:11 PM
Williams Cycling makes some cross tubulars for $400. I haven't ridden them, but I have a set of System 58's and can vouch for the quality.
11-16-10, 09:38 AM
You will fine on those Bonti's, lots of people use them and imo cyclocross is no harder on wheels then regular road riding. Reason I say this is because in cross you got this huge tire to take a lot of the shock. You can bounce over curbs and roots and rocks on a cross tire that would otherwise probably damage a road wheel with a hi-pressure road tire.
11-16-10, 10:00 AM
I do think that having a slightly wider wheel is a good thing for a wider tire. The Salsa Delgado rim is a good compromise of weight and cost. They're strong, not too heavy and cheap. Some people like to have a deeper rim section for getting through sand and mud. These are box section rims, so it may not be what you want.
11-16-10, 04:01 PM
I got a pair of these as an introduction to tubulars:
And they've been fine. Sealed hubs. Plenty of spokes.
11-16-10, 10:45 PM
check out the Velocity Major Tom rims, nice alloy tubulars with a 23c wide rim, which is nice for glueing up 32/34c tires. I have a set with Dugast tires and they are bulletproof. I think my wheels built with DT 240 hubs and Dt comp spokes came in around 1600g without tires glued.
11-17-10, 01:41 AM
How much do you want to pay when you flat your tubular? (Yes, I know there is sealant...I watched a team mate wreck two tubulars in a week) Oh, and you might not be comfortable gluing your own, so you end up paying someone else.
Investigate Tubeless (http://www.notubes.com/home.php)
My team mate with the wrecked tubies went tubelss for the rest of the season. He LOVES it. I haven't flatted in a cross race yet (I REALLY shouldn't have typed that), so I haven't had the incentive to leave clinchers behind.
The OP said he was new to cross: Are you racing cat 2s or A or Bs? How committed are you to cross?
Get some road wheels you don't mind messing up and jump in with clinchers.
That's my 2 cents (and change)
11-17-10, 08:39 AM
One of my teammates blew out a tubless tire last weekend. Nothing is full proof. Tubulars are not that hard to repair and sealant can fix 80% of the flats. I've become a big fan of Tufo tires because they don't have a tube in them per se. The tube is actually laminated to the inside of the tire casing unlike a traditional tubular where the tube is sewn into the casing. I don't think it's possible to pinch flat a Tufo and you will never burp one out. If glued properly it won't roll either. Speaking of which, don't pay some one to glue your tires, do it your self. THe best way to learn is through your own mistakes. If you pay some one to do it and roll a tire you won't know what mistake he made, where as if you do it and roll it then you know to alter your methods and try to iron it down to a method that works.
Basically the proper method is, use a but load of glue, a hell of a lot more then you think.
11-21-10, 01:10 AM
The OP probably should have mentioned if they were interested in tubular or clincher wheels, since the debate could go on for weeks.
But yes, most people race on what would be considered road 'training' wheels. Ksyriums, 32 spoked Open Pros, etc.
Elites use deep carbon tubulars, but they do break them occasionally, and most of us can't afford that.
11-21-10, 08:44 AM
Basically the proper method is, use a but load of glue, a hell of a lot more then you think.Here is IMO the best instructions that exist:
Two huge tricks: (1) stretch the tires before and AFTER the first coats have dried (2) mask the rims with electrical tape. Also, use the Belgie tape, or no tape at all.
I ended up getting a new CX bike (Scott CX Team) that came with DT Swiss R 1700 wheels. They seem pretty decent and I'll keep them for a while and upgrade later if I start doing a ton of racing.
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