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I am new to cycling and to CX as well. I recently picked up a Salsa Chili with SRAM components and am entertaining a second set of wheels and more road worthy tires. I ride the bike daily some in the trails and gravel roads but also have days where I commute to work and then do just long road rides without any sight of dirt or gravel so I would like to have a faster rolling tire on those days.

I guess my question is how do I know what wheels are compatable with my bike. I assume I have to get a wheel that SRAM compatable so I can buy a second cassette for the replacement wheels. But I am having a time trying to decipher what is compatable with what.

I want to stay fairly inexpensive so I looked on ebay and see all kinds of wheels on there for sale but have no real clue what I should purchase.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

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Congrats and welcome to the mayhem. 

 

Yes, SRAM or Shimano compatible wheels and cassettes (just be on the look out for the Shimano 10-speed only wheels from a few years back, they only accept Shimano 10 speed cassettes).  So you could be looking for 8,9,10 speed hubs, they will all fit a 10 speed cassette.

 

If you aren't racing and looking for something durable, I'd probably stick to a 32 spoke, 3 cross traditional wheel build front and back.  Mavic Open Pro (or similar) are very popular rims for that type of set-up.  Low spoke count wheels are going to be less durable usually and if they weigh similar to a 32 spoke, it means all the weight is in the rim to balance out the fewer spokes, and that is the place you DO NOT want alot of weight.  Ideally, get the lightest rim you can afford/that is suitable for your weight, riding style and terrain. 

 

Some suggestioned rims:

Mavic Open Pro

DT Swiss RR415 or RR465

Velocity Aerohead or Fusion

 

Factory built wheels:

Anything with the above rims or similar

Easton Curcuits/EA70

 

Those are just my suggestions and input, others will hopefully chime in as well.

All good suggestions. One other thing to look at is rim width. I have two sets of wheels, one came stock with the Croix and a set of A-320 that are narrower than my other three rims - Velocity Aeroheads, Fulcrum Racing 7s and MAvix CXP-21s. So I have to have one bike set up for the slightly wider rims, and one set up for the narrower rims. Otherwise I have issues with the brakes being too close or too far away from the rim.

Thanks to you both for your input. That really helps me a ton !!!

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