Road Disc brake wheel upgrade

by glewis   February 15, 2014  

I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for upgrading the wheels that came with my Cannondale Synapse Disc for under £500. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of choice without it getting expensive.

I've noticed there are a few Chinese carbon disc wheels on Ebay for around £350, anyone got any experience of these? (

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Have you looked at the Novatec CXD? Less than 1,500 grams for ~ £350.

I'm eyeing them up for my CX bike, just need to find a way of actually ordering them - they seem to be coming (or going to come) to the UK through but I haven't yet found a dealer that carries them.

Alternatively, find a local wheel builder and tell them what you need. You'll certainly get something within your budget and you'll be supporting local business.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [132 posts]
16th February 2014 - 14:57

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I reckon you can have some nice ones built for that. Pick a rim and hub, buy your, own spokes, bung them together loosely and pay your local expert to finish them off.
My plan for the same type of wheels.

posted by mattsccm [218 posts]
16th February 2014 - 21:11

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At the risk of repeating myself, Hope do some cx disc wheels with mavic rims. I have the conventional hubbed versions and really rate them, and English employees will benefit from their purchase, not Chinese ones.

posted by allez neg [399 posts]
16th February 2014 - 21:21

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as I'm putting together a cx disk braked bike I've been looking at wheels a lot recently so excuse me if I bore a bit on this... Anyway, the choice of off-the-shelf stuff is pretty limited and personally I reckon that option only offers value for money at the low end of the price range, once you're spending upwards of £250 then a handbuilt wheel is going to be the best option.

In terms of parts then for rims you should look at Stan's Alpha, Velocity A23, HPlus Son Archetype and actually pretty much any road rim like an Open pro, or something from DTswiss but those first 3 have anodised brake tracks so they look more 'discy'.

There are lots of nominally 29er rims that look like they might also serve as road rims but their compatibility with narrower tyres and higher pressures is not always clear so it's a bit of a minefield that you might want to avoid.

For hubs, shimano now do an Ultegra disc hub (cx75) which is 28h and 11 speed compatible, DT swiss do plenty of lightweight-ish MTB/CX hubs, there's Hope Pro2 Evo, Novatech and so on. The Shimano XT hubs are mtb parts but the same spacing and the same weight as the cx75 but 9/10 speed only.

Personally those Novatech CXD wheels look too lightly spoked to me, looks like they are trying to save weight in the least logical place.

Kinesis do a disc wheel for £300 which got decently reviewed here but I've read mixed reviews elsewhere and it seems like you could get a handbuilt wheel of similar specs for the same price.

In the end, my budget is a bit lower than yours and I'm looking for something I can use off-road as well so am going for Archetype rims on 32h XT hubs.

Let us know what you go with or if you find other options.

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posted by joemmo [694 posts]
17th February 2014 - 14:30

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Yep, I reviewed those Kinesis wheels and in fact they're still on my "cross bike that's only raced cyclocross once", a year and a half later. and I still think they are ace.

Since the review, they've done one cyclocross race, 1500 touring miles fully loaded, the cobbles of the Paris-Roubaix challenge, and thousands of commuter miles (tow-path and road). plus some accidental mountain biking in spain.

the damage? one broken spoke. that was the only time I have *ever* trued them.

i'll be taking the cassette off soon as I've got some Reynolds Assault Disc wheels to test, so it'll be interesting to see whether there are the "extremely deep gouges" in the freehub reported in the comments below my review.

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posted by Jez Ash [66 posts]
17th February 2014 - 21:30

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