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  1. #1
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    20/24 Wheels for Cross

    Hello,

    I'm 190 pounds and looking for some new wheels for my Crosscheck (which will be set up as a 1x9). I want to try cross racing and plan on using the bike for gravel/minimum maintenance road rides. I'm looking at a set of Easton EA50's with 20/24 spoke count.

    Question 1: Are these wheels up to the task for cross?

    Question 2: I currently have a set of Shimano R500's on my road bike. Would I be better off putting the EA50's on the road bike and swapping the Shimano's to the cross bike?

    Question 3: Would I be limited by either of these wheels in terms of cross tire size?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  2. #2
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    1. Probably. I'd call Easton and ask. At 190#, you might be a bit on the heavy side for them.
    2. Yes
    3. Yes and no. The EA50's are a relatively narrow rim. You can get tires on there, so they wouldn't really limit you, but a wider rim would work better.

  3. #3
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    Fat Boy,

    A few follow-up questions. What makes the Shimano's better for cross? They are also a 20/24 spoke count wheel.

    Also, what would be the advantage of having the wider rim? Just a greater air volume in the tire? Is there any issue with putting wider tires on narrower rims?

    Thanks for the help.

  4. #4
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomJL View Post
    Fat Boy,

    A few follow-up questions. What makes the Shimano's better for cross? They are also a 20/24 spoke count wheel.

    Also, what would be the advantage of having the wider rim? Just a greater air volume in the tire? Is there any issue with putting wider tires on narrower rims?

    Thanks for the help.
    I tend to use my heavier/not as nice stuff for cross and my fancier stuff for road. I assumed the Shimano's had a higher spoke count, I guess they don't. Anyway, that's why I said the Shimano's for cross. They may get knocked out of true easier, I don't know. I believe the Eastons are relatively stable wheels.

    A wider rim gives the tire a better shape and has more air volume (both are a relatively big deal). You can get a 35/38 tire on a 15mm inside width rim. It just might be a little snug, but it'll be fine. These rims were designed for no more than maybe a 28, but I don't think it'll matter.

  5. #5
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    Gee, at 190 pounds and planning to race, I'd suggest a bigger spoke count. The bike takes a beating when you race.

  6. #6
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    In both cases, the rims are quite stout. They are standard road rims, meaning they'll do fine with cross tires.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle View Post
    In both cases, the rims are quite stout. They are standard road rims, meaning they'll do fine with cross tires.
    Do you think the stout rim makes up for a lower spoke count? I've been riding the 20/24 Shimano's on my road bike for ~2 years now and haven't had to true them once.

  8. #8
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    I race at 195. I use 32 spoke wheels... never had a problem, never had an inkling to try something lower. Have you built wheels? I built up a set of major tom's with bikehubstore hubs, 1530g/set, and can't bust em

  9. #9
    Wheelsuck Fat Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle View Post
    In both cases, the rims are quite stout. They are standard road rims, meaning they'll do fine with cross tires.
    While the terrain of CX is rough, you have the advantage of a big tire sidewall and low pressures. In some ways I think it might be easier on the wheel than a high pressure road bike tire hitting a pot hole.

    Minor thread hi-jack. If you run disc brakes should you run the same spoke count front and rear, or can the front still have fewer spokes?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomJL View Post
    Do you think the stout rim makes up for a lower spoke count?
    Yes. The stronger the rim, the greater distance you can have between spokes. That is why deep carbon rims can get away with very low spoke counts.

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Keep a spare set of wheels in the pits, Or just a second bike , Quick swap,
    should they be damaged.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Boy View Post
    If you run disc brakes should you run the same spoke count front and rear, or can the front still have fewer spokes?
    In Jobst Brandt's book he has figures showing how the load on spokes from drive torque is minimal compared with simply supporting rider weight. If I extrapolate that to brake load on a front wheel, I don't see any reason to add spokes.

    OTOH Volagi sells their bikes with equal spokes (24) per wheel, so WTF do I know?

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