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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 02-26-05, 01:20 PM   #1
pjherron
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I'm new to this list but realize I'm perhaps recycling a recurring theme on this discussion list: which wheelset?

To be specific, I'm building up a planet-x kaffenback to serve as a multipurpose bike: I want a bike that will serve as a commuter, a fire road & trail bike, and a night-time & crappy weather trainer. I have an airborne zeppelin I hate to ride in the rain and I certainly won't commute with. And I certainly won't put lights on it for nighttime rides. and I have a cheapo fuji "mountain bike" that's crappy and won't take fenders or racks.

enter the kaffenback. I'm trying to pick a wheelset that will fit a pair of 700x28s, a wheelset that will take the occasional pothole and fire road. the bike will end up with fenders and a rear rack, so it won't exactly look sexy. I weigh about 180. anyway, I picked up a new pair of vueltas on ebay for $100. they looked quite slick but I had to send them back immediately: the hubs were sooooo cheap, as they spun like the bearings were as smooth as talus, and the outer bearing shield was made of an incredibly soft rubber that wouldn't have protected those, ahem, bearings from a sneeze much less rain.

the wheelsets I'm considering include:
- bontrager select
- alex 300s
- mavic a719 w/ 105 hubs
- open pro w/ ultegra hubs
- open pro cd w/ ultegra hubs
- shimano wh-r500
- performance forte gemini
- Cane Creek Aerohead AG

I'm not sure whether some of these hubsets won't take rain, or some of these wheels won't withstand the occasional rock or curb, or whether they're just plain crappy or way too heavy.

Which sound good? Which would just be plain stupid? Obviously I'll need to compromise one way or another.

Thanks in advance for the advice.
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Old 02-26-05, 05:52 PM   #2
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open pro w/ ultegra hubs is easily your best bet: light, tough, fixable, the cd rims are nice, but the anodizing will wear away on the brake surface due to mud and grit.
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Old 02-27-05, 05:59 PM   #3
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I agree with previous poster. When I do a wheelbuilding seminar I have the attendees build their wheelset with Open Pro rims and their choice of 105/Ultegra/DA. Most choose Ultegra. Open Pros are a great all purpose rim. You can even put 30mm tires on them if you have the clearance.

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Old 03-01-05, 11:54 PM   #4
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I ended up going a bit cheaper than the Open Pros by opting to purchase a pair of Mavic CXP22s paired w/105 hubs. I had already broken my budget on the bike.... I'm quite happy with the pair of Open Pros I already have, and think Open Pros will make an excellent upgrade when budget will permit it.

When the bike's built I'll post pics. But, velocipedio, I won't argue about whether it is truly a cyclocross bike or not, since I'll never (never say never, right?) race it. Does that mean I should post the pics elsewhere, on another section of the forum?

Just pulling your chain.
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Old 03-02-05, 11:30 AM   #5
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Thread hi-jack alert!
For a CX-capable, OP/105 or Ultegra wheel, I assume you'd use butted spokes. Would a 32 spoke build be adequate, or would you go for a 36?

Indeed, would you mount an 700x32 on an OP? (I have, just not sure if it was a prudent decision). Would an MA-3 be a better choice?

Thanx....
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Old 03-02-05, 05:56 PM   #6
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People mount tires that wide on OPs all of the time, but I don't believe that it is a good fit with sidewalls protruding like that. The manufacturer agrees. I know some will tell you otherwise. I'm going with 28s on the CXP22s, which I think is about as wide as I should go with those rims, and if I am not mistaken, the CXP22s are a little wider than the Open Pros.

I don't think the spokes are double butted. It's what I get for being cheap. The wheels weren't a custom order.
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Old 03-02-05, 06:08 PM   #7
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i have ridden 30s, 32s and even 35s on open pros. no problems in four years of racing.
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