For Reasons that are not to be discussed here i did choose a cyclocross frame without disc brakes mounts and i am going to train/compete with Canti Lever Brakes.

Obviously, with all the mud and dirt that gets stuck to the wheels, the rims will wear off a lot quicker than the ones one my road bike (which maily rides pavement).

What are precaution i could take to prevent the rims from lasting less than one season? Are there any recommendable cyclocross wheels where i can more or less easily exchange the rim once it is worn off?

  • Since you are your own support crew, how about a blast at the brakes from your water bottle when you sip? Would clear wet brakes be better than gummed up brakes? Then again, a mere splash may not be enough to clear the blockage. What about bigger tyres to keep the brake surface fractionally higher ?
    – Criggie
    Oct 19, 2015 at 0:48

2 Answers 2


Option 1: Mid-race bike change

Many cyclocross riders switch bikes mid-race due to build-up of mud and debris and the dirt emulsion which accumulates on braking surfaces. Ideally you would have an assistant to supervise your belongings in the pit/service area and rinse the bike you've returned to prepare it for another bike change later in the race.

Option 2: Thicker rim-walls

Some rims claim to have thicker braking surfaces. You may identify these based on the difference between the external rim width and the ETRTO bead width (e.g 622-17 indicates a 17mm bead width)

Option 3: Brake less

Improving your cornering at speed so you don't need to brake so much.

  • 3
    Note: Option 3 is cheaper and more fun.
    – Emyr
    Mar 13, 2014 at 10:59
  • 1
    Option 1 and 2 both require new equipment. If you're going to buy new equipment, you could also replace the front fork and hub and install a disk brake. At least that's one less rim to worry about wearing down.
    – Kibbee
    Mar 13, 2014 at 11:04
  • I really like Option 3. Having thicker walls might add to stability, so i like that option as well. Unfortunately i am not PRO enough to have someone holding an exchange bike for me. Not that i have one anyway :D Mar 13, 2014 at 12:05

Pay attention when buying brake pads. For me, salmon Kool Stops have worked for winter commuting. The things to look for are some kind of plow-like design that directs mud away instead of packing it between pad and rim and rubber compound that does not embed debris easily. The latter is hard to find by just looking :)


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