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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 11-03-12, 07:01 PM   #1
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disc wheelset options?

I recently got a 2013 Kona Jake, with only a bit over 100 miles on it (mostly commuter), and one CX race.

I bought this planning to use it as both a commuter and CX race bike, and am already wondering what the best options are for a relatively-budget-but-still-worth-the-upgrade second (disc) wheelset? The stock tires are essentially for urban/dirt/gravel so I'm thinking I should get a second set for races and the stock set could be my pit backups/commuters. I have BB7s on the bike (160/140 F/R) and 105 brifters.

Stock tires: http://www.freedombicycle.com/project/ryder/ in 32s
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Old 11-03-12, 10:06 PM   #2
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I've been eyeing the Handspun Peleton series wheels with SRAM X.9 hubs and Velocity A23 rims for my Jake. This weekend I'm putting on a set of wheels I built myself a few years ago with X.9 hubs and Salsa Delgado Cross rims. Those hubs are exceptionally smooth, even after a a few thousand miles including many, many rainy commutes. As for the rims, the Delgados aren't bad, but I've been racing on A23's this season on another bike and they're great rims. Since the combination of X.9's and A23's is available off the shelf, I think it's the way to go -- assuming you can find them anywhere. The front wheel seems to be out of stock at most internet sites.
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Old 11-04-12, 04:18 PM   #3
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If you are looking for a race set... PSIMET 38W Tubulars come in a disc hub (add $50 i believe). White industries t11 hub, bomber carbon rim (only true 38mm width wheel on the market), and angular contact bearings.
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Old 11-04-12, 06:42 PM   #4
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would this NoTubes set be OK?
http://www.notubes.com/Alpha-340-Dis...e-P551C58.aspx
I think the weight and price is right
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Old 11-05-12, 11:06 AM   #5
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I've been eyeing the Handspun Peleton series wheels with SRAM X.9 hubs and Velocity A23 rims for my Jake. This weekend I'm putting on a set of wheels I built myself a few years ago with X.9 hubs and Salsa Delgado Cross rims. Those hubs are exceptionally smooth, even after a a few thousand miles including many, many rainy commutes. As for the rims, the Delgados aren't bad, but I've been racing on A23's this season on another bike and they're great rims. Since the combination of X.9's and A23's is available off the shelf, I think it's the way to go -- assuming you can find them anywhere. The front wheel seems to be out of stock at most internet sites.
Thanks, that looks like a decent option although at around 1800g it seems a little heavy (though not for the price). Let us know how the fit goes and if you have to adjust the brakes or not. Ideally I want something where it's a straight swap with no caliper adjustments. That's more important to me than weight.

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If you are looking for a race set... PSIMET 38W Tubulars come in a disc hub (add $50 i believe). White industries t11 hub, bomber carbon rim (only true 38mm width wheel on the market), and angular contact bearings.
Thanks, I checked the PSIMET website before and I didn't know they had a disc hub option. But out of my price range for now... I'm only doing Cat 4 beginner races so far.

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would this NoTubes set be OK?
http://www.notubes.com/Alpha-340-Dis...e-P551C58.aspx
I think the weight and price is right
Thanks. I did look at those (and the Iron Cross), but wanted to see if there were other options too.
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Old 11-05-12, 11:33 AM   #6
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Are the unmachined A23s available in prebuilt wheelsets now?

I built a set with some NOS Mavic tubulars to WTB Laser Disc Lite disc hubs for racing. Like them a lot. Tubulars can often be found pretty cheap in the off season (bike swaps, etc...). If racing is all you're using the wheels for I'd recommend going that way.
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Old 11-09-12, 07:39 PM   #7
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Anyone tried the SRAM X7 or X9 based builds on cyclocrossworld? They're cheap but decently well spec'ed - wondering about durability and weight.
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Old 11-15-12, 02:32 PM   #8
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Following up on the wheelset change on my 2013 Jake (stock Alex Black Dragon wheels to SRAM X.9/Salsa Delgado Cross)....

I didn't get it done until this week. I'm sure there's some placebo effect here, but the bike just feels sooooo smooth with the new wheels. It's like buttah. I also cleaned and lubed the chain, but there's definitely a real difference in how well these wheels spin. I can see it when I have the bike in the workstand and give the wheel a spin. And let me emphasize that this is comparing two and a half year old Delgado/X.9 wheels that have over 3500 miles on them, mostly rainy commutes, with no hub service to the three month old stock wheels. I really like these X.9 hubs!

The silver Delgado rims don't look as sharp on this bike as the Black Dragons did once I de-stickered them, but they've been a solid rim. The Delgados are a couple of millimeters wider than the Black Dragons, but still work with a 28mm tire. If I were starting over, the all-black non-machined Velocity A23's would definitely be my choice, and as I said before I may still go that way when I have a little spare cash.

While making this change I also bumped up the rotor size (now 180/160 vs. the stock 140/140) so I didn't bother trying to see how the rotor alignment was between the wheels. However, while refreshing my knowledge base for the brake swap I came across a tip that said if you are going to be swapping wheels with different hubs you should figure out which hub puts the rotor farthest out and then use spacers to get the rotor on the other hubs to match that.
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Old 11-15-12, 03:08 PM   #9
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These look promising in a prebuilt set. 1,620 grams isn't bad. $900 MSRP is definitely steep for alloy wheels though.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/...ability_265099

I recommend STRONGLY against buying Salsa Delgado Race 29er rims. Cross tires will not seat properly on them for me. I have tried a few different sets.

Unmachined A23 or H+Son Archetype would be good choices for a clincher build.

I wish there were better hub options out there. Hopefully that's coming soon.
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Old 11-15-12, 03:25 PM   #10
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Lots of old Freewheel sew up wheels out there, to buy cheap,
de-tension the spokes , so the rim stays round,
and build up a few pairs with Cheap Disc MTB hubs .
so You have a couple Sets of tires Glued and ready when You puncture one.
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Old 11-15-12, 03:38 PM   #11
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Lots of old Freewheel sew up wheels out there, to buy cheap,
de-tension the spokes , so the rim stays round,
and build up a few pairs with Cheap Disc MTB hubs .
so You have a couple Sets of tires Glued and ready when You puncture one.
For racing I totally agree. In some areas people are practically giving away alloy tubular rims and wheels.

My next wheels will probably be Circus Monkey disc hubs to some scavenged tub rims.
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Old 11-15-12, 03:58 PM   #12
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These look promising in a prebuilt set. 1,620 grams isn't bad. $900 MSRP is definitely steep for alloy wheels though.
I've definitely become skeptical about wheel weight. It's true that with 'cross you've got to actually lift the bike once in a while so weight matters a little bit more than in other disciplines, but just a little. You frequently hear about the acceleration advantages of light wheels, but the physics doesn't quite back it up on paper and my experience is that once you leave the realm of carbon rims the weight savings is almost all at the hubs where the rotating weight argument doesn't work anyway. Those 1800+ gram A23/X9 wheels, for instance, have 426 gram rims. You can get lighter than that, but at the risk of the rims being floppy. Low spoke count will save a marginal amount of weight (while again jeopardizing durability).

But if you look at most really light wheelsets, you find that the hubs are light. Shimano hubs are notorious for being heavy (and durable!) and the SRAM hubs are in that ballpark. A lot of that weight is the steel freehub. That's a trade-off I'm happy to make. I know that people everywhere are happy with ultra-light hubs, but I'm just not convinced that it's the way to go.

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I recommend STRONGLY against buying Salsa Delgado Race 29er rims. Cross tires will not seat properly on them for me. I have tried a few different sets.
Yeah, I have heard bad things about those. It looks like Salsa dropped them. I'm actually using the boxy Delgado Cross rims. They're made for rim brakes and are fairly heavy (515 grams), but they've been really tough. I've used them with everything from 700x28 Conti GP 4 seasons, 700x30 Michelin Mud2's and 700x50 Schwalbe Marathon Supremes -- all without issue. They aren't as wide as the other Salsa 29er rims (23.5mm OD, I think). I'd say they're a good rim for training or commuting, but probably not so much for racing.
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Old 11-16-12, 10:31 AM   #13
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I don't want tubulars at this point since I'm only racing occasionally, I just want something better rolling than the stock Alex Black Dragons, and lighter too, and something where I can mount CX tires for dirt/gravel excursions/CX races, whilst leaving smoother/cheaper tires on the stock wheelset for my commute. I put quite a few miles on my bikes so even if it doesn't make a difference in a race, it makes a difference day-to-day.

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Following up on the wheelset change on my 2013 Jake (stock Alex Black Dragon wheels to SRAM X.9/Salsa Delgado Cross)....
Thanks for the info! Good to hear it was a worthy upgrade. Pictures?

You have the Tektro Lyras on the 53cm Jake right? I have BB7s on mine but the LBS couldn't fit a 160mm on the back... so it's 140mm! I don't care that much about braking power in the rear (and it's obviously lighter), but I do care that if I want spare wheels I need to buy different size rotors (since I have 160mm up front).
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Old 11-16-12, 06:35 PM   #14
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You have the Tektro Lyras on the 53cm Jake right? I have BB7s on mine but the LBS couldn't fit a 160mm on the back... so it's 140mm! I don't care that much about braking power in the rear (and it's obviously lighter), but I do care that if I want spare wheels I need to buy different size rotors (since I have 160mm up front).
I switched over to BB7's as part of this swap. The 180mm rotor in front looks huge, but I'm a heavy guy with small hands so the extra leverage is nice -- probably more than I needed, but nice.

Strangely, I didn't have any problems with 160 in the back. What size is your Jake?

I'll try to take some pictures this weekend.
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Old 11-16-12, 10:32 PM   #15
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Thanks, I'd appreciate it. I have a 53cm.

Here's the rear BB7 140mm:
http://imgur.com/hbXz8
http://imgur.com/p3Xbu
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Old 11-19-12, 12:09 PM   #16
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How I laughed as I first read through this thread. My first thought was why on earth anyone would want to put a pair of discs on their cross bike.

Clearly I haven't had enough coffee this morning.
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Old 11-25-12, 06:09 PM   #17
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Sorry, I'm a week late on the pics. I actually took these last weekend, but I forgot to post them.









Attached Images
File Type: jpg Jake with BB7s.jpg (94.8 KB, 47 views)
File Type: jpg Front Brake.jpg (94.6 KB, 28 views)
File Type: jpg Rear Brake.jpg (99.8 KB, 40 views)
File Type: jpg Rear Clearance.jpg (58.0 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg Front Wheel.jpg (74.6 KB, 35 views)
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Old 11-26-12, 08:21 AM   #18
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Sorry, I'm a week late on the pics. I actually took these last weekend, but I forgot to post them.
Thanks a lot! That's a 53cm too right? Looks like you have plenty of room back there for the rear caliper... I wonder if I should go back to the LBS. I'd rather have 160 front + rear mostly for ease of buying parts etc.

Nice Crank Bros QR levers!
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Old 11-26-12, 10:01 AM   #19
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Yeah, it's a 53. I'd at least ask the LBS about it next time I was in if I were you.
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Old 11-26-12, 10:02 PM   #20
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How I laughed as I first read through this thread. My first thought was why on earth anyone would want to put a pair of discs on their cross bike.

Clearly I haven't had enough coffee this morning.
Paul Curley isn't laughing.


Of course, he does use a spoked wheel in front.
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Old 03-03-16, 11:32 AM   #21
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Yeah, it's a 53. I'd at least ask the LBS about it next time I was in if I were you.
Zombie thread I know, but I finally got around to switching it! I just bought an adapter an ebay and it fit fine... I have 4300+ miles on the Jake now. Will test ride it later today probably.

FWIW I did get an Iron Cross wheelset and love it although they're now serving time on a different bike.
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Old 03-03-16, 01:30 PM   #22
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Ah, a blast from the past! I'm at 5500 miles on my Jake now and am on my fourth wheelset and fourth set of brakes. I've also upgraded the fork, headset, brifters and derailleurs. I thought I was over my upgraditis, but the pursuit of better braking has brought it back. The only stock parts I have left on there are the frame, seat post, bottom bracket, crankset (now with one less chainring) and handlebars. It's now a 20% better bike at only slightly more than twice the cost.

The rear Salsa Delgado Cross rim cracked at around 7800 miles. Those X.9 hubs are still spinning like the day I bought them. I rebuilt them with WTB Frequency i23 Race rims but haven't found a use for those wheels yet.

I built a set of wheels for the Jake with HED Belgium Black rims and M785 Deore XT hubs. I love those wheels (though they weigh in over 1800 grams, so I guess I haven't changed my stance on that issue). I recently bought a 2015 Jake the Snake and swapped the Belgium/XT wheels over to that bike and put the AClass CXD6 wheels from the JtS on my 2013 Jake. The CXD6's only have 24-spokes so I'm not convinced that they'll be up to the abuse of daily commuting, but we'll see.

At some point I replaced the Avid BB7's with TRP Hy/Rds and dropped down to a 160mm rotor in the front. I had all sorts of problems with the Hy/Rds initially, but once TRP sent me new and improved calipers they turned out to be great brakes. But this winter I had a bit of extra spending money and couldn't resist satisfying my curiosity about how a full hydraulic setup would work. So last week I installed Shimano's RS785 calipers with the RS685 levers. Since this meant going to 11-speed (a move I'd been resisting) I went ahead and bought Ultegra 6800 front and rear derailleurs. The whole upgrade ended up costing around $600. I've had some trouble getting all the air out of the rear brake hose, but the performance of these brakes is great.

BTW, have you had any problems with your rear shift cable? The stock cable on mine broke off in the shifter at about 2500 miles. Luckily I was able to extract the remnant, but when I replaced the shifters last week I found that several strands on the replacement cable (a good quality Jagwire) had frayed (again inside the shifter).
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Old 03-09-16, 09:46 AM   #23
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Ah, a blast from the past! I'm at 5500 miles on my Jake now and am on my fourth wheelset and fourth set of brakes. I've also upgraded the fork, headset, brifters and derailleurs. I thought I was over my upgraditis, but the pursuit of better braking has brought it back. The only stock parts I have left on there are the frame, seat post, bottom bracket, crankset (now with one less chainring) and handlebars. It's now a 20% better bike at only slightly more than twice the cost.

The rear Salsa Delgado Cross rim cracked at around 7800 miles. Those X.9 hubs are still spinning like the day I bought them. I rebuilt them with WTB Frequency i23 Race rims but haven't found a use for those wheels yet.

I built a set of wheels for the Jake with HED Belgium Black rims and M785 Deore XT hubs. I love those wheels (though they weigh in over 1800 grams, so I guess I haven't changed my stance on that issue). I recently bought a 2015 Jake the Snake and swapped the Belgium/XT wheels over to that bike and put the AClass CXD6 wheels from the JtS on my 2013 Jake. The CXD6's only have 24-spokes so I'm not convinced that they'll be up to the abuse of daily commuting, but we'll see.

At some point I replaced the Avid BB7's with TRP Hy/Rds and dropped down to a 160mm rotor in the front. I had all sorts of problems with the Hy/Rds initially, but once TRP sent me new and improved calipers they turned out to be great brakes. But this winter I had a bit of extra spending money and couldn't resist satisfying my curiosity about how a full hydraulic setup would work. So last week I installed Shimano's RS785 calipers with the RS685 levers. Since this meant going to 11-speed (a move I'd been resisting) I went ahead and bought Ultegra 6800 front and rear derailleurs. The whole upgrade ended up costing around $600. I've had some trouble getting all the air out of the rear brake hose, but the performance of these brakes is great.

BTW, have you had any problems with your rear shift cable? The stock cable on mine broke off in the shifter at about 2500 miles. Luckily I was able to extract the remnant, but when I replaced the shifters last week I found that several strands on the replacement cable (a good quality Jagwire) had frayed (again inside the shifter).
Pretty sure I've had the rear shift cable replaced at least once on the Jake in it's lifetime. Probably the front shift cable too. The rear brake cable has definitely been replaced (started getting frozen during the previous winter, so you couldn't pull the brake lever at all!)

Haha, fully understand the upgrade-itis. I often wish I'd been able to get a lighter disc brake CX bike from the start, although for the 2013 model year this was the only disc brake one Kona made. I'd already had the shop swap out the stock triple for CX70 cranks and FD and the Tiagra shifters for 105 - on top of the BB7 brakes. I never used the stock tires nor saddle for very long, and the stock stem and seatpost ended up being upgraded not long after. With the Iron Cross wheelset I also never used the stock wheels much (I ended up getting two more disc brake 700c wheelsets! One is a road/utility set on H Plus Son rims, the other Stan's Crest which I ran tubeless for CX season.)

I was actually hoping Kona would put out a carbon gravel/CX hydro thru-axle build as I can get a decent discount from my shop (race sponsor) and I have two thru axle disc brake wheelsets now (used on a Raleigh RXS), but Jakes are all still QR.
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