I eat carbide.
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Elgin, IL
Bikes: Lots. Van Dessel and Squid Dealer
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HA!...just stumbled on this in the search. Don't want to come in here and do a commercial as that's usually frowned on, but as far as cross goes: there is no other builder out there who has cross squarely in their wheelhouse. I can say it is roughly 50%-60% of my business. There are a ton of references out there as well.
The house branded hubs are import level quality. Means they're great and useful for almost any use...just like everyone else's import brand hub. The upgraded hubs have a marked track record of being much more durable over the long haul. I like to say that the entry level hubs (house branded with just about everyone) wear out while hubs like White Industries tend to "wear in". It's all about how long you plan on having them. The nicer hubs will be moved to a new wheelset when your existing rims wear out while the house branded ones will in general be pitched with the bathwater so to speak.
The 38W cross specific rim is in fact our own mold and designed specifically for use in cyclocross applications. Without going overboard on what that means I'll boil it down to some basics: It has a gluing profile that is designed to be used only with cross tires. It allows you to glue the tire from edge to edge of the base tape instead of having basetape overhang each side with rims designed to be used on the road primarily. It also has a shallower curve to the gluing surface meaning its tons easier to get the tire to contact it from edge to edge as well when gluing. This all adds up to little to much easier gluing, more stable feel in the tires at low pressure, roughly 10%-30% more actual contact surface between the rim and the tire - working to hold on the tire. Means NO Belgium tape use is needed even for a novice gluer.
The other benefit is that they are stronger. I was waiting for more data on it but quite simply in 3 years we have seen a total of 3 rims total that have failed/cracked. In the first case they were my personal wheels that I put under any racer that would ride them in all conditions regardless of what brake pads they were using. The final user was Chad Hartley who wore the last bit of brake track out in a super muddy race in Wisconsin last year. A couple of threads of carbon started to peel from the surface of the rim. So....this year I made them into disc brake wheels. Been racing on them all season with now issues whatsoever.
Today we have seen #2
. Both have seen a ton of use and were both used at the same race this weekend with sharp barrier edge bunny hops. 1 guy drilled it so hard the rest of his bike is in shambles. I found a tiny crack in the rim and am replacing it to have him running by this weekend for our crash replacement cost $200 including re-gluing his tire as well....well he DID bring me a bag of bacon this weekend. The second guy just came by and dropped his off. He slammed the same barrier - took a chunk out of it, got off the ground and threw his bike as hard as he could into the second barrier in disgust. Picked his bike back up and finished the race...with a small crack in the rim. In both cases these guys are on their 4th season with the same rims. Both are amazed they lasted as long as they did.
To put this into perspective....the mechanic on a pro cross team I sponsor (not hard to figure out) sent me a text the other day telling me how amazed he was at how well the wheels hold up through UCI race abuse. Time to take a swipe at another product which is not normally what I do but it illustrates the whole built for road vs built for cross thing....his text:" ...the wheels are holding up fantastic by the way. Cannondale has 6 broken Zipps in their trailer. Ours look brand new."
You can't put knobbies on a corvette and expect it to race off-road.