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Old deep-rim HED carbon good for CX? (Deep carbon in general a good idea?)

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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 : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Old deep-rim HED carbon good for CX? (Deep carbon in general a good idea?)

Old 06-27-13, 01:34 PM
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Old deep-rim HED carbon good for CX? (Deep carbon in general a good idea?)

I just started enjoying CX after doing a lot of other racing over the decades. I have 2 bikes now that I'm trying. I have an old '76 Nishiki sport tourer that is a blast. Sure, it weighs 24 lbs even with old sewups, but it's fun. I'm also testing my older road Giant TCR. 28mm CX tires seem to fit OK -- no room for mud but for a dry course, might be fun!

I've learned enough to get close to the front in C's events.

So...an old pal retired a pair of carbon TT's wheels and gave them to me some years ago. I just realized that the front wheel looks like "hot" wheels I see top racers sporting. It's a HED carbon tubie with 60mm rims and 18 bladed spokes. It makes me chuckle to think of slapping it on either my Nishiki or Giant! It's probably an early gen of such wheel.

It came with a full rear HED carbon tubie disc! 6 speed. So that means it dates back awhile.

Neither wheel looks ridden much. They both have aluminum rims bonded to the carbon.

I'm wondering if the front would be fast and strong enough for CX.

I'm also thinking of using it on the road. My road wheels just aren't aero enough, methinks. I need an edge! All my roadie pals ride a lot more than me and ride carbon with aero wheels. I figured an easy upgrade to wheels for both my road riding and my CX might be fun.

The front weighs the same as my regular road front.

I'm going to sell the rear disc. Don't use it. I'd like to replace it (via trading or buying) with a fast rear deep rim rear with bladed spokes.

I dunno if I should try to trade/sell them both as a set to some TT/tri person or just focus on the rear. Well, we'll see. I wanted to see if anyone had feedback on my situation.
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Old 06-27-13, 02:02 PM
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If the older front wheel carbon is not any lighter than your current alloy wheel, I see no reason to subject it to CX. The aero benefit is probably non-existant at CX speeds, the reason some CX racers use carbon rims is more for the weight savings and stiffness than to be aero. At the pro level, i have noticed that the height of carbon rims being used for CX has come way down from the tall carbon rims that were being used several years ago.

I think you would get a lot more CX performance benefit from selling the TT wheelset and investing the $ in a purpose built CX frame.
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Old 06-27-13, 03:16 PM
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Thanks. Yeah, frame might be place to start.

Don't they also like deep rims for mud/sand shedding? ...But it's certainly heavier than my current sewup wheel. On par with my fast road clincher. The sewups I have set up for CX now are light but oldschool 32 spokers. They feel good CXing!

Maybe I should get a TCX frame and use it for my road fun AND cx fun. Seems to be somewhat the same frame as my TCR only with more clearance (it does weigh more, tho).
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Old 06-28-13, 03:30 PM
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Theory is that really deep rims (like 60mm+ tall) can be a help in sand/mud to keep the bike going strait, because when they sink down a bit, the rim is still not covered over. Downside is that all the additional surface area of the tall rim sides can create additional friction-drag as it moves through the deep mud/sand. Aero rims will shed mud better than box rims, but you can probably get all the same shedding benefit from a fairly low height aero profile rim (such as aluminum major tom or carbon rims <35mm height).

For an amature racer on a finite equipment budget, I think I am much better served by having several less expensive aluminum rim wheelsets, each setup with different tires for different conditions than just having one expensive carbon wheelset. Having the right tire for the days conditions can make much more difference than what rim it is on.

For CX, it is also worth noting that test have shown the bond strength of tubular glue to carbon rims is lower than for aluminum rims. A wheel with the tire rolled-off is definitly a slower option.
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