Cyclocross Magazine

Cyclocross Community, Forums, Classifieds, Photos and Videos

I am looking for a good set of wheels on a budget.  I am running clinchers.  Looking to spend $300.00 - $600.00.  I have an old pair of Mavic Cosmics now and need to be put int he pit as a back up along with a set of Open Pros.  I have Kysirium SLs already but looking for pair of training racing wheels for Cross.  Any opionins on the Aksiriums?



Views: 1998

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

There are some fantastic choices out there, if you look around these forums you'll find this a usual topic.

Williams Cycling -- this links to their tubulars, but their clincher are great too:


Also, your Kysirium SL with a good clincher (ieChallenge Grifo) would be as awesome as it gets.
i'd agree - the williams wheels (tubular) that we tested held up very well - and they have great support for their products.

$300-600 buys quite a lot, even if you built something custom through a LBS. If it's mostly for cyclocross, and you're on the lighter side, you could consider getting some of the light stans 29er wheels and try tubeless as well - they'll work with tubes fine but the wider width and rim profile make tubeless conversions easy. that way, they can be your training and race wheels.

good luck.
Check out the Revolution wheels - made right there in Philly. The Rev-30's are a great clincher for 'cross or step up and get a Rev-25x wheelset and throw on a pair of sew-ups. You won't be sorry you did.
I read the article on the Williams and that is a good deal. Thanks for the feedback. I will check out other links as well. I have a set of Salsa Degado CX that are on a 29er and they are pretty good wheel. I have a Surley Flip Flop SS hub on the rear and a XT on the front since its on a Surley KM, it is a SS CX bike in fall.
So interesting question that I just conquered... I did a test over the last 2 weeks, looking for a fast, and stiff pair of racing wheels, I did this test on both of my bikes, a Ridley x-fire and a Ridley Crosswind, on the same road with the same tires when I could. I was only testing for lateral flex on the rear, and vertical and lateral on the front I was in a gear that allowed me to sustain about 650 watts for about 15 seconds on a sprint and I gauged my "scientific" test with TRP rear brakes at 6mm and if there was rub they were out immediately... I then went to 4mm and 2mm and finally 1mm... I am 6'3 225.

I have been using Mavic Reflex tubulars, for my entire racing career, but having a set of clinchers is helpful when there are last minute tire changes.

Kysirium sl and loved them, but the front wheel was not vertically stiff as I was able to loosen the spokes pn the down stroke and hear them rattle the rear flexed at 4mm.

I found that the 2 sets of reflex 32 spoke double butted (Ultegra and Dura Ace) were very stiff laterally, and vertically, as well as my old SUP GP4's with 105, these are heavy but stiff and when it comes to sprints out of the corner, this is helpful, all 4 flexed at 1mm and the fronts felt dead but stiff.

Bontrager race Lites (2009) flex at 4mm, and the front was very stiff

Zipp 303 these looked awesome, felt awesome until the test, they bent faster than the Ksyriums, the front was a bit more stiff, and as much as I wanted to love these, they flexed at 4mm... which again isn't horrible, but in this VERY scientific test and at a 2300 cost i felt like they could have been a bit stiffer.

rear WH535 (2003) and it felt very stiff but flexed at 4mm

Front Forte Titan, this was very stiff and ran very true, and was the cheapest wheel of the test, I am curious of the rear

Askium Race 2010 this was by far the stiffest set of the test, also one of the heaviest, no flex down to 1mm and the front felt like a spring on the bike, I was amazingly impressed with these and Performance price matches, and I picked up a set for just over $250.

Final wheel we a Powertap rim on a Velocity fusion 32 spoke, straight gauge spokes, this was the weakest wheel and flexed at 6mm, but it is a power tap and has its own function...

So that is my experience with some current wheels, I think for the money a set of Mavic or Velocity tubulars is the way to go, but for a training set or race day emergency set the Askiums rock, and if you are not a weight weenie and care more about performance, they are a great value...

BTW out on the practice course with my Fango clinchers the Askium's were amazing, they handle great, they stop fast, with salmon pads... and hold corners better than what I am used to, I still will race the important races on Tubulars but these are slowly becoming my favorite, the Fango 32's with the challenge latex tubes, at 40 psi, I am a Clydesdale... are awesome...

I have also spec'ed out a set of ultra light wheels... that has the following spec, but not sure whether to get them this season or next.

AC micro 58
Velocity escapes
24 spoke sapim Cxray
front weight 553g

AC road 205 rear
Velocity escapes
28 spoke sapim cxray
rear weight 717g

total weight 1270g total cost $730... much less with DT revolutions or double butted spokes
If you want to go tubies, I'd check out this thread. I have a set of these from Britton and they seem terrific. Only 40-ish grams heavier than 303s, but if you trash a rim, you're out $50. The Zipp replacements cost a bit more!
So you don't want to train on the Kysrium SLs? Mine came with Askiums and I put Kysirium SLs with Challenge Grifo clinchers on them. Like very much. The Askiums were heavy but, hey, I might have a pair to sell!
The K-SLs are on my road bike for racing and training. I love them but can't afford to use them for CX. I am not a weight weenie (185lbs), I want a tough wheel that will be good for racing and training and taking off road, I ride lots of single track on the CX bike in Colorado. I have never run sew ups and I am on the fence, because the Williams with new tires put me into the far end of my budget and I finallay kicked my glue sniffing habbit of 6 years (LOL). . I have new Maxxis CX tires unpacked ready for next season. Can you run a stans set up with the Aksiriums?
Hey PhillyBoop,

One of the most reliable tubeless setups I have had is a Michelin Mud2 with a Stans strip on a Aksium front wheel. Down to 20 psi with no burps (160 lbs) . It's a few years old but worked well - a friend is riding it now with good luck too.

Good luck.
Hey, keep me in mind if you decide to sell the Aksiums!
Not sure, I have heard bad things about tubeless, but have never run them, seems like a good idea for MTB but not cross. I think with a quality tire, like challenge or schwable, and a CX tube... you are going to get similar results and weight as you will with heavier tires, tubeless, and goop...
Don't believe the negative stuff you hear or read about tubeless. From my experience it appears to be written by people who don't know what they are doing. In my opinion tubeless is the way to go. Last season I saw many riders miss the podium because of pinch flats while running clinchers. I did over 20 races last season running Ksyrium SL's and Stan's sealant without one problem and if you do some research you will find that many riders are happy with a tubeless set up. Why do you think it's ok for MTB but not cross? Like any bike related experience, you gotta be your own best mechanic and you can have alot of success going tubeless. Personally I am not into the ghetto tubeless setups. The best thing is to keep it simple, this year I will be using Shimano Ultegra 6700 (only $375 per set!) and Dura Ace 7850 wheels and Hutchinson tires. Also I am running these tubeless on the road as well and have not had a flat in over 4 months. The secret to mounting your tires is to run a few ounces of Stan's, make sure your valve stem is securely mounted and use plenty of soapy water to get a good seal. A floor pump has worked every time. If you run tubeless rims and tires technically you don't need any sealant but I use it anyways becuase of it's ability to seal small puncures. For me, going tubeless has been like seeing the light. I have gotten rid of all of my wheels that involve a tube. I gotta stop, I feel like a sales person and I hate retail!


Sold something in our classifieds? Find this site valuable?

Consider a donation to the cause. We're cheaper than eBay fees, and it helps us here at CXM keep the lights on!

Enter any amount below, and click on the cow for some good karma. Thanks!




© 2023   Created by Cyclocross Magazine.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service