I have found myself with a mashup of wheels/tires for cyclocross and I’m hoping to get thoughts and opinions regarding how to pair them up. I realize I’m most likely over thinking things but if nothing else, it’s another excuse to talk bikes.
A few general context points – I’m at the pointy end of cat 2, working on those upgrade points. I’m comfortable using filetreads more than most people (perhaps too much) and I do well on technical courses. I tend to use either filetreads or grifos for probably 70-75% of my races. Typically use mud tires for 1, maybe 2 races a season. Oh, and I don’t have a pit bike but that’s a conversation for another day.
- Enve 3.4 AR (39mm front/43mm rear, 1390 gm, enve hubs)
- DT Swiss CRC 1100 spline Tubular (38mm deep, 1322 gm, SINC ceramic bearings, 240 hub)
- HiFi EPCX tubular (35 mm deep, 1230 gm, HiFi hubs)
- Roval C38 tubeless (38 mm deep, 1560gm, dt swiss 350 hubs)
Tires - I’m not married to challenge tires, just what I have used and liked
- Challenge Chicane
- Challenge Grifo
- Challenge baby Limus or new Flandrien
- Challenge Limus
- Enve 3.4 with chicane – arguably the “best” wheel I have and the most aero. I understand aero is of minimal importance for cx but if there’s a time to have aero benefits, it’ll be the courses I’m running filetreads. Additionally, for the same reasons, the PSI benefits of tubulars seem less important here.
- HiFi with grifos – Although the DT Swiss is probably the better tubular wheelset, it’s hard to pass up the rim depth/weight combo of the HiFi’s paired with the grifos for the bulk of the races I’ll do during a season.
- DT Swiss with baby limus/flandrien – really just a function of the other wheelsets already accounted for above. Oh, if anyone has real world info/thoughts on the new flandrien, I’d love to hear it.
- Rovals with limus – I know I won’t have the most important tubular benefit here in terms of lower PSI but I would find it wasteful to use one of the more expensive wheelsets for basically 1-2 days a year. Plus, if a wheelset/hub is going to get ruined by mud, I’d prefer it be the cheapest wheels I’ve got. Perhaps next year I’ll look into a cheaper set of tubulars such as the Hunt’s or Carver’s specifically for a mud tire.
I feel pretty good about pairings 1 and 4 but I constantly go back and forth with pairings 2 and 3. Again, I realize this is most likely a thought experiment and in reality, I know I’m fortunate to have these options and really can’t go wrong no matter how I pair things up. Curious to hear what you all think!