Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thinking more and more about CX

With CX season closing in faster than I'd care to think, new bits are beginning to pop up for the new season. First up is Challenge's new monster mudder tire, the Limus.

The new Challenge Limus
Photo: Bill Marshall
It's sounding like it will only be available in tubular format this season, which is lucky for me as I've decided to set up two sets of tubular wheels this fall. The plan is to have one tubular and one clincher pair set up for mud and one tubular and one clincher set up for dry.

With the Limus only being available as a tubular, I'll be sticking with the Clement PDX on the clincher set. The side and intermediate knobs are very similar between the two tires but the Limus will have much more bite with it's 3.1mm tread depth and blockier center knobs. Pretty excited to give this a go.

In other news, I've decided that the Shimano C-35 carbon tubulars aren't going to happen this season. Too steep a price tag and honestly I can probably get away without racing on carbon. And should I get tangled in a crash, my pocket book will probably thank me. Instead, I've decided to go hand-built. Starting with Shimano Dura-Ace hubs. I'll probably rebuild them from the get go with ceramic loose ball bearings and use Dumonde Techs liquid grease instead of a thicker paste type. This should create about the least rolling resistance set-up out there. I'll lace them up to Mavic Reflex tubular rims with my trusted and loved Wheelsmith double-butted spokes. My loose calculations will have these 28 spoke gems coming in at around 100 grams lighter than the C-35's and way less expensive too. They'll make a nice match to my Bontrager Race X Lites I picked up this past spring. There's something to be said for the braking power of aluminum rims instead of carbon as well.

What's interesting nowadays is nobody that I found is making a pre-built aluminum rimmed tubular. Guess I didn't check Hed but the big four, Mavic, Bontrager, Shimano and Zipp only make carbon rim options now, crazy.


jonathan neve said...

Velocity has been selling their Major Tom as a complete build for CX use this year, but I can't think of anybody else. I think your set up will be just about perfect.

mathguy said...

Neuvation and Williams are making sets as well. The custom Dura Ace/Mavic is the better option anyway (not that you need my opinion).

Rad-Renner said...

What about the HED Belgium tubular cross rims? 24mm height and 23mm wide; sounds perfect for cross.