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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) 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 03-15-13, 11:20 AM   #1
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Pls educate me : Cyclocross Wheelsets?


I am a total newb to cyclocross bikes. i own many a road bike, a track and a mountain bike, but cyclocross is new to me.
however it looks like fun and am toying with the idea of building up a cross bike.

so my question(s) is this:

are there specific wheelsets meant for cyclocross?
or will most/or any road wheelset work?

i do understand the tires are different than a road tire...knobby and typically 700x32 to 38?
so are some road wheelsets totally fine for running these larger tires? and some not? some kind of nominal rim width or something?

any light shed would be appreciated!

oh and i might as well ask while im here:
so i've read the pros/cons in various articles about tubular vs clincher. i happen to have an older pair of tubular mavic cosmics (like in this pic) collecting dust in the garage...

any reason why these would be a bad candidate for a tubular cyclocross wheelset?

ok thats the last question, thanks in advance!
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Old 03-15-13, 12:43 PM   #2
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Q : are these race only Wheels?, will you have a spare set on Hand, in the Pits, for when they are damaged?
or in the case of Tubular tires when you Puncture a tire.
[You will need the rest of the week, to patch, re-sew and re glue the tire on]

The weight of a few more spokes is Not significant, actually.

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-15-13 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 03-15-13, 02:12 PM   #3
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Most any road wheel works fine for CX, just avoid extreme lightweigh/low spoke count. Slightly wider rims definitly benefit clinchers (more air volume) and wider rims offer better roll-off protection for tubulars. I would avoid any road rim that measures less than 20mm for CX. While CX races are held partially off-road, in comparison to road riding the speeds are fairly slow so I find that CX is not as hard on wheels as might be presumed. Hitting a road pothole or RR crossing at 35mph with high-pressure tires does a lot more damage to rims than riding around a grassy field at 15mph with squishy tires.
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