Circuits between two and four kilometers on a mix of paved and off-road portions and foot race segments: this is cyclocross. In order to reap the most benefits in sprints when it’s rainy and muddy, it is important to know how to choose the right equipment, naturally starting with a high-performing bike. How do you optimize its smoothness? By choosing the best cyclocross wheels, of course! Here are our tips.
Cyclocross: the importance of performance on a bike
Cyclocross hides many hurdles that can challenge even the most expert bikers. Conceived as a winter training system for road cycling, cyclocross is a discipline where it is fundamental to pair muscular explosiveness to a healthy dose of resistance. This is what makes the difference in various competition situations.
A CX session is a string of different situations which you will repeat for the number of laps required to finish the race. The peculiarity of this discipline is indeed the alternation and succession of cycling segments, both on asphalt and on dirt roads (often muddy), with segments where the competitors must run while carrying the bike on their shoulders uphill, on steps or jumping a series of obstacles. This is why cyclo-crossers know the importance of choosing a bike which will favor them when picking up speed, that is, when the pace changes between different stretches of the race (for example when getting back on the bike or when accelerating after an elbow curve on muddy terrain) can give considerable advantage in a matter of seconds. But how do we obtain this advantage?
Cyclocross: quality wheels can give you the upper hand
Getting back on your bike after a foot race segment; accelerating after an elbow curve on muddy roads: these are two examples of how, during a race, you will need all the watts that your muscles can produce. Of course, by repeating these movements, lap after lap, you will spend a large amount of energy, which will gradually influence negatively on your performance. How can you limit this issue? Perhaps you could work on the structure of your bike.
Two important components in this case are the wheels: with their technical attributes, they can change the performance of your bike.
Professionally, cyclo-crossers tend to choose types of wheels with well-defined general traits: mid to low profile rims (37 mm), strictly in carbon, compatible with disc brakes and equipped with thru axle. These are complemented with tubular tires (you can click here to learn more about the best setup for cyclocross wheels). There are several wheel brands offering infinite models of wheels with these basic features; the differences you will encounter are production-related, a detail which affects product quality and, consequently, performance. For example, a substandard manufacturing of the carbon can result in a pair of wheels that are not very resistant to the external stress encountered in cyclocross races. If a wheel breaks, you can risk getting injured and being forced to quit or stopping for a pit stop in order to change your wheel. This is one of the reasons why we highly recommend you pick a product of guaranteed quality.
Rigid and smooth
The main technical features you should choose for a pair of cyclocross wheels that will truly make a difference for your results are the following:
- Rigidity: as you may already know, cross bikes are not shock-absorbing: the frame is similar to a racing bike, different only in its geometry which adapts it better to the discipline. This proves how manufacturers are trying to prevent the bike from absorbing much of the cyclists’ motion. By using a pair of rigid wheels, you can build a highly reactive bike system for even the most taxing rhythm shifts.
- Smoothness: why transfer the energy as quickly as possible from the pedals to the wheels if the hub doesn’t adequately support its movement? Make sure that the hubs on your bike are as smooth as possible: any mechanical backlash will inevitably slow you down. Our Miura TS37 Evo Disc are among the smoothest hub models on the market.
Lightweight and reliable
When it’s time to buy a new pair of wheels, cyclists usually seek a lightweight model. When it comes to cyclocross, this is definitely a detail to keep in mind; however, it’s very important to choose a product which can combine minimal weight with a high reliability index. These wheels should withstand the typical unevenness of an unpaved terrain, prevent the formation of cracks in the carbon, and guarantee effective braking on the disc.
Wheels for cyclocross bikes, how to choose the best ones? We have looked at the fundamental technical features of a pair of cross wheels, as well as which ones will give you the winning edge on the track. Are you ready to prove your abilities? Then pedal quickly to our online shop.