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Just got a pair of Ksyrium Equipe with a second hand Sworks Tarmac. Thinking of putting them on my Ridley for some Cyclocross action. Has any one used these wheels for this purpose before? I have use Mavic wheels in the past and find they have a tendency to buckle or break spokes quite easily. Will I just be destroying a set of decent wheels?

Thanks

  • I'd guess the wheels on a Tarmac would be designed for significantly smaller tires than what you'd want for cyclocross. – Batman Jun 3 '15 at 13:49
  • They fit ok. I'm more worried about keeping them true. – Robaggs Jun 3 '15 at 14:14
  • No they don't fit OK. Those are road wheels. Why not just leave them on the road bike? – paparazzo Jun 3 '15 at 20:51
  • Because I have a set of custom wheels on my road bike. – Robaggs Jun 4 '15 at 1:12
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It's probably not a great idea, although they might not be a terrible option as pit wheels (where the choice is finishing in less-than-ideal conditions or DNFing). The Equipes I've seen have fairly low spoke counts (20 or 24) and are narrow by contemporary road wheel standards (19mm). There's no reason to go with such low spoke counts for CX even if you're pretty small, and as Zippy The Pinhead mentions, the spokes are nonstandard. (IME, almost everything about midrange and lower-end Mavic wheels is unnecessarily difficult to service, though.)

Mavic claims you can mount a 32mm tire on these rims but the sidewalls will stick so far out from the edges of the rim that you'll have a crummy contact patch and will need to run awfully high pressures to avoid pinch flatting.

The good news is that you can probably sell these Equipes (if you have no other use for them and they're in good shape) for $300 and then get a set of decent CX wheels built up with Major Tom rims, midrange hubs, and all-around tires for around $500.

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I put a good number of miles on a set of Ksyrium Equipes, and got weary of paying my LBS to replace broken spokes. Mavic uses a proprietary spoke, meaning my LBS does not keep them in stock, so I ended up buying them and kept a supply of spokes. After three broken spokes-- always rear wheel, always non-drive side-- I had enough. Admittedly, I weigh around 200 lbs (91 kg), so I'm sure that was part of it, but publicly Mavic does not provide any weight limits for their wheels, though privately they apparently do.

That said, I did not use the wheels for cyclocross... just regular road riding. You did not mention how much you weigh; without knowing that, and based just on my own experience, I'd encourage you to find a more durable wheel that doesn't require as much maintenance.

  • I am 82 kilograms and have destroyed 3 pairs on aksiums commuting/cx/ road riding. Got sick of braking mavics so I got a pair of custom white industry hubs with Hplus son rims. When I bought my new bike there was no way I was going to go on bunch rides or up some serious climbs on a set of sub par wheels. I was hoping the equiped would be a little sturdier but sounds like a resounding no. Think I'll just sell them. – Robaggs Jun 4 '15 at 11:14

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