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  1. #1
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    Building up a cyclocross wheel/tire arsenal - advice requested

    So I'm planning on doing some cross racing this coming season, and while I have raced cross a few times before I have never put much thought or effort into my tire selection, i.e. I have pretty much run what ever I could get for free or cheap.

    I have a number of clincher wheels available to me that I plan of using for myself as training and pit wheels, also as they are tubeless ready my wife might use them as tubeless race sets. In addition I plan on having at least one set of tubular race wheels with some race only tubular (these are the tires I would most like advice on).

    I weigh about 178-180lbs (my weight makes me think that tubeless would be a bad choice for me). The wife is about 118 so I'm thinking that tubeless might work for her, she also tends to be light on equipment. We would be racing in the Norcal races which I have no experience terrain wise with having moved from North Carolina.

    What I already have:

    Challenge Grifo 32mm clinchers (I raced these a few times and liked them)
    Hutchinson Bulldogs Tubeless 34s - these would be the wife's
    Hutchinson Piranas Tubeless 34s - These are also the wife's tho she never rode them.
    Ritchey Speed Maxes 30mm - there were my training tires and prolly will still be.

    I have access to excellent prices on the Challenge line of tires so I'm inclined to stay with that line for the tubulars. I have Grifo clinchers and they seem to have a rep as a good all around tire but would the Fangos be better for the Norcal courses and if I got a second set would the Grigo XS be the right choice? Also should I stick to the 32 width? Not that it matters (or maybe it does) for wheelsets I have a set of Mavic GP4 (32 hole) on Dura Ace hubs and am considering either build another set of tubbies or buying the Williams alloy set.

    Sorry for the long post but advice is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    yes build tubulars

    Quote Originally Posted by 32and3cross
    So I'm planning on doing some cross racing this coming season, and while I have raced cross a few times before I have never put much thought or effort into my tire selection, i.e. I have pretty much run what ever I could get for free or cheap.

    I have a number of clincher wheels available to me that I plan of using for myself as training and pit wheels, also as they are tubeless ready my wife might use them as tubeless race sets. In addition I plan on having at least one set of tubular race wheels with some race only tubular (these are the tires I would most like advice on).

    I weigh about 178-180lbs (my weight makes me think that tubeless would be a bad choice for me). The wife is about 118 so I'm thinking that tubeless might work for her, she also tends to be light on equipment. We would be racing in the Norcal races which I have no experience terrain wise with having moved from North Carolina.

    What I already have:

    Challenge Grifo 32mm clinchers (I raced these a few times and liked them)
    Hutchinson Bulldogs Tubeless 34s - these would be the wife's
    Hutchinson Piranas Tubeless 34s - These are also the wife's tho she never rode them.
    Ritchey Speed Maxes 30mm - there were my training tires and prolly will still be.

    I have access to excellent prices on the Challenge line of tires so I'm inclined to stay with that line for the tubulars. I have Grifo clinchers and they seem to have a rep as a good all around tire but would the Fangos be better for the Norcal courses and if I got a second set would the Grigo XS be the right choice? Also should I stick to the 32 width? Not that it matters (or maybe it does) for wheelsets I have a set of Mavic GP4 (32 hole) on Dura Ace hubs and am considering either build another set of tubbies or buying the Williams alloy set.

    Sorry for the long post but advice is appreciated.
    build up the GP 4 D/A that is an awesome cx wheelset.
    I'd go fangos, I think it is a better all around than the grigo (Which is a great tire so you can go grifo as well if you want as you like them) get a second back wheel and have a Grifo file tread. That way for fast courses you can just swap out the back wheel.
    use the Grifo Clinchers as pit wheels.

    and let your Mrs rock the tubless, do one for mud and one for fast
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    still not figgering on biggering

  3. #3
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    if you are not restricted in width due to racing uci or national elite events, the wider challenge tubulars are nice all around race day tires, i ended up applying mine with the tape plus glue method last year to keep them on the rims where they belong. On a rocky course the challenges are more prone to sidewall tears, so just run your clinchers that day. The bulldogs are a decent training tire if they will fit on your frame OK, you can run tubeless but need to keep them over 45 psi or they will burp.

    The michelin mud is a popular clincher tire also.

    The tufo cubos is a nice durable training or rough course tubular if you have a second set of wheels, i put stans in mine and beat the snot out of them.

  4. #4
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    IMHO, YMMV, etc, but cross tubeless meh. Heard/seen too many instances of tubeless setups failing for no apparent reason at the worst possible time. You trade the risk of pinch-flatting for the risk of catastrophic failure, for no advantage in handling, weight, or tire pressure. Latex tubes are lighter and more resistant to pinch-flatting than butyl. Squirt a little Stans in there for the goatheads.
    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/pr...8123.40.1.html

  5. #5
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    On the tubular front

    If you will not be racing outside Nor Cal, where the UCI currently does not exist, go with the 34 griffos. Good solid tire and the wider footprint will smooth out some of the bumpy courses, and give you plenty of traction in the typically dry conditions. Last season had more rain than the prior 5 seasons combined, so we got to experiment with more grippy options like the rhino or the cubus.

    I have no experience with the tubeless and would be considered a luddite on that front. The ol trusty micheln mud is also a tried and true clincher here as well.

    Lastly, the comment about adding some sealant is a good one. Not really a problem with goat heads here, but some courses can have flat inducing junk. I've had good success with Cafe latex, but others use Stans and have good results as well.

    Welcome to Nor Cal

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretender
    IMHO, YMMV, etc, but cross tubeless meh. Heard/seen too many instances of tubeless setups failing for no apparent reason at the worst possible time. You trade the risk of pinch-flatting for the risk of catastrophic failure, for no advantage in handling, weight, or tire pressure. Latex tubes are lighter and more resistant to pinch-flatting than butyl. Squirt a little Stans in there for the goatheads.
    http://www.competitivecyclist.com/pr...8123.40.1.html
    Kinda agree on the tubless but since they were free and we already have em I figered they can fill the stable out a bit.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    build up the GP 4 D/A that is an awesome cx wheelset.
    I'd go fangos, I think it is a better all around than the grigo (Which is a great tire so you can go grifo as well if you want as you like them) get a second back wheel and have a Grifo file tread. That way for fast courses you can just swap out the back wheel.
    use the Grifo Clinchers as pit wheels.

    and let your Mrs rock the tubless, do one for mud and one for fast
    Do you have any issues with brake dive on the GP4s? Also how wide is the rim bed (mine are still in NC I have to have them mailed out) I have been running lots of wider rims lately (23-24mm) and enjoying that course wider will help the fat tubbie seat better.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 32and3cross
    Kinda agree on the tubless but since they were free and we already have em I figered they can fill the stable out a bit.
    I've used the Hutchinsons for training (with tubes). Frankly I don't think they're very good tires, tubeless or not.

    I used to run Maxxis Raze clinchers, I really liked their rubber and sidewalls, and now they have a couple more tread designs. I'd check those out.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretender
    I've used the Hutchinsons for training (with tubes). Frankly I don't think they're very good tires, tubeless or not.

    I used to run Maxxis Raze clinchers, I really liked their rubber and sidewalls, and now they have a couple more tread designs. I'd check those out.
    I love Hutchinsons road tires no idea about their cross offerings tho and hate Maxxis road tire but once again no idea about their cross stuff. For clinchers I will prolly stick to Challenge and Michelin since I get deals on those.

  10. #10
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    I'll second what atp said; use Fangos in place of the Grifos and have a XS rear tread as a fast course tire. The Fangos will handle everything but the muddiest of courses (I raced exclusively last year on them). With Challenge tires, the actual tread is the same on 32's and 34's, so there is no real reason to go with a 34, except maybe the added volume.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kram
    there is no real reason to go with a 34, except maybe the added volume.
    Um, that's precisely the reason.

  12. #12
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    no not at all

    Quote Originally Posted by 32and3cross
    Do you have any issues with brake dive on the GP4s? Also how wide is the rim bed (mine are still in NC I have to have them mailed out) I have been running lots of wider rims lately (23-24mm) and enjoying that course wider will help the fat tubbie seat better.
    I'm using the older red labels, I'll have to measure the bed
    the bed is pretty wide, plenty of glue space
    one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for few

    still not figgering on biggering

  13. #13
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    Rim width and dish

    make sure your wheelsets have the same rim width, so you don't have to readjust your brakes everytime you change them

    make sure dish is same so shifting is consistent from one wheel to the other.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rollo Tommassi
    make sure your wheelsets have the same rim width, so you don't have to readjust your brakes everytime you change them

    make sure dish is same so shifting is consistent from one wheel to the other.
    What does rim dish have to do with shifting? More like make sure the cassettes on different wheels are in the same place relative to the rear derailleur. That might mean shimming behind the cassette.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    I'm using the older red labels, I'll have to measure the bed
    the bed is pretty wide, plenty of glue space
    My "new label" GL330s are 20.5 mm wide at the braking surface - so about 20 at the gluing surface . I think they are the same form factor as the GP4s, at least approximately. The curvature of the rim is a pretty good fit for CX tubs though.

    The GP4s will work, but IMHO, but that style of rim isn't the ideal alum tubular. They are hard to set up brakes on (brake pads are usually bigger than the braking surface, they don't brake as smoothly as rims with machined sidewalls- sometimes contributing to brake chatter. The brake pads wear unevenly since the pads are bigger than the flat part of the rim. I've had my brakes go under the rims a few times in several seasons of racing- not too bad in terms of probability, but I'm sure the rims makes it more likely to happen. I raced on on them for 3 seasons though- so they certainly work well enough.

    I'll be moving to the 23mm wide Velocity Major Tom next season for the increased strength, better gluing surface (no protruding eyelets and seam recess), and big (tall) machined brake surface. Unfortunately they weigh about 80g more than GL330s - but only 30-40 more than GP4s. I was also thinking about going the Chinese 38mm carbon rim route- but the gluing bed to super narrow and deep (I saw them first hand gluing up my bud's with road tubs).

    As far as tires go, I also believe in the Fango as a great all-around tire.

  16. #16
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    You're right...

    Quote Originally Posted by krisdrum
    What does rim dish have to do with shifting? More like make sure the cassettes on different wheels are in the same place relative to the rear derailleur. That might mean shimming behind the cassette.
    urp....the location of the cassette relative to the rear ders, that's really what I was getting at...thanks!
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  17. #17
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    Thanks for the advice all, sounds like given my choices a set of Fangos and a set Grifos XS will be my picks for tubulars, maybe a thrid set for back and and so the wife can have her own tubbies.

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