… than having a ride on a new set of custom hoops.
Our cyclocross test “mule” was looking a little sad in the corner of the workshop, sans wheels. This bike has tested a progression of wheels over recent months, alloy and carbon, and they have all moved to new homes now. But owning a CX bike, and not being able to ride it is a sin! So we decided to sort this predictament out with a wheelset that would err of the side of reliability – considering the soft sand and rooty coastal tracks it get used on. It really gets used more like an MTB than a CX bike.
A Deore XT front hub was selected, due to the nice wide flanges, and known ability to take a pounding (lots of road front hubs are a little underbuilt/light for CX applications). A mid level Novatec was selected for the rear. They are a proven performer for heavier riders and applications, and well sealed from the elements, without being too much of an anchor. Perfect in this case!
Velocity A23s suit this application well. They are a light rim, that is laterally stiff in higher spoke counts, yet still have a nice vertical compliance about them. But the really great thing about the A23 is how easily it can be used tubeless, both for road and CX use. At road pressures, only tubeless specific tyres should be used. For CX pressures (<60psi), just about any quality CX tyre will inflate easily.