If you want some versatility regarding a bike (I have a Fuji sportif) what sort of wheels should I be looking into? I know there is some technicalities regarding road vs cx riding but if the bike can do both what could I use as a global use?

  • It is not CX frame. I cannot do both. – paparazzo Nov 15 '15 at 21:31
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    I think you could improve this question, for example if you were to ask something along the lines "are there any specific qualities I should I look for in a 700c wheel, if I intend to use the wheel for cx rather than on the road?" This is basically the same question, asked in a more general way. You might also want to say whether you're thinking of "real world" things, or whether you're thinking in terms of maybe satisfying rules for cx competition (or something equally abstract) – PeteH Nov 15 '15 at 21:50
  • What model of Sportif? I see some have disc brakes and some don't. – Bikebum Nov 16 '15 at 12:55
  • In your other question you say it's disk: so there are disk brake CX wheels available. But the rims and tyres are wider so you'll need to check for good tyre clearance allowing for some mud to collect at the crown of the fork and next to the bottom bracket. – Carel Nov 16 '15 at 13:13

Since no-one has written an answerr for this yet, I will have a go, but be warned I've never done any cyclocross so I'm no expert. So a lot of this is based on gut feel.

The main difference between road and cx are the tyres, in particular their width. Typically on the road you'll ride 23 or 25mm slick tyres, for cyclocross, you're looking more at 35mm or so, with a tread pattern on them.

This can have a knock-on effect with the width of your rim, as a rim will have a range of compatible tyre widths.

So, first thing, decide what tyres you want to run, and choose your rim accordingly.

You'll need to take account of possible clearance issues between frame/brakes/wheel also - it might well be that the frame you have restricts what tyres you can use, so bear this in mind.

Aside from this, on road wheels you frequently find deep rims, which help with aerodynamics (in particularly for things like time trials). I'm guessing that such rims would be no use whatsoever when you're riding cyclocross, in fact I'd go so far as to say that shallow rims would likely be an advantage. (You can also ride on the road with shallow rims, and in fact they offer better stability in crosswinds, so they are a lowest common denominator,m if you like.)

Does a wheel designed for cx need to be stronger than a wheel designed for the road? I'm not sure about this, but I'd certainly have thought that riding through a field would be more stressful on the wheel than riding on a road. In general, at least. So you might want to look at "sturdier" wheels, for example something with lots of spokes and a strong tangential lacing. I'd certainly be wary of wheels with fancy radial patterns.

You can get bladed spokes on high-end road wheels, the thinking being that the blade faces forward and gives you lower wind resistance. Again, when you come to talk about cx, I can't see how you'd get any gain from this approach, and again I'd be tempted to go for strength over performance.

Lastly, I very much doubt that your choice of hub would make any difference between road and cx.

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    CX is more in the 33-35 range and always with tread. I think the official UCI rule is 33 max but in local races they don't enforce it in the lower classes. That is an endurance bike - seriously doubt it will take 35-40. – paparazzo Nov 16 '15 at 15:14
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    Many ride deep dish in CX as the steep sides shed mud. Most shallow rims use a flat section to connect the sides and really holds onto the mud. – Glenn Gervais Nov 16 '15 at 16:41
  • thanks @Frisbee, if you don't mind I'll incorporate that info into the answer. You're probably right about the bike, I just didn't want to focus on that too much, for when the next guy comes along asking about what type of wheels are best for cyclocross.... – PeteH Nov 17 '15 at 15:07
  • thanks @GlennGervais, that makes perfect sense, I stand corrected – PeteH Nov 17 '15 at 15:08
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    @PeteH Incorporate what you want. My personal opinion is answering the question does not help the next guy. CX is not the right wheel for that bike. Someone may get the impression you can make an endrance bike into a CX. – paparazzo Nov 17 '15 at 15:25

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