well are carbon wheels for cross really worth it? or do they just get trashed fast?
i'm thinking of a set of carbon wheels for dry days and a set of alloy for the mud, but they come in at the same weight? i would plan on using the carbons for summer road use so the 50mm rim would be an aero advantage.
so what do you think?
I'm new to cross after a long time spent racing road. I've heard that tubie is the way to go for cross, so am considering some. I can get alloy tubies for <$400 as Dennis mentioned. Or I can get Neuvation carbon tubies for $600 or Williams for $1000. The advantage with the carbon option is that I could have aero wheels for the quiver of road wheels. So I guess the ultimate question [for me, perhaps not for Dan's original post] is if one is going to buy a set of tubies, are the carbon wheels good enough for cross that they can be doubled up for the road season, or should one stick to alloy tubies for cross and treat them as cross-only?
the biggest hurdle for me would be re-gluing for each season. it is as big a pain as you have probably read, especially getting the tires off, cleaning everything up to an acceptable level and then gluing on the new tires. i'm not sure it would be worth saving $400 to not just buy another set of wheels especially with the cost of glue, tape, good chance of damaging expensive tires during removal so they are not reusable and not least of all time. after all the work to get those nice typhoons glued up and rock solid i would have a hard time ripping them off knowing i'd just be gluing them up again in 6 months.
it's really no prob to glue and reglue tire, in fact to look at Velonews.com today on the tech page it's on taking off cross tubulars for the summer. plus gluing sawup's always makes me feel like a real cyclist!
i have had sawups in the past and really liked them so this will be my second go at it. i had used tufo tape last time and it turn out it's not the best thinkg to use. so i would not let that stop you.
Just to be clear, if there is one religious debate in cycling I feel strongly about it is that tubulars for cross are superior to clinchers. the low pressure, lack of pinch flats and additional traction with super-supple casings is hard to deny (although as with any religious debate i'm sure some will). On every other bike I own I run clinchers but I would never go back on my cross bike. I'm simply commenting on using a single wheelset for cross during the winter and road during the summer. You can certainly do it - I'm just not sure that the cost savings outweighs the extra work. And yes, it is recommended to re-glue your tires every year but my take is if the glue job is still solid, i'm not going to mess with it. Of course that leads to a great forums question - how many people remove tubular tires for the summer and re-glue and how many just leave them for next season? I could be totally wrong on that and just haven't had the massive mechanical to get me to change my ways. Oh, and when i said tape - i meant belgian tape NOT tufo tape. I'm sure Tufo tape is fine for some applications but I have heard nothing but horror stories on a cross bike. I have followed Stu Thornes recommendations on gluing and have not had any issues. Rock solid.