AlexRims knows a thing or two about making rims (the clue's in the name), so it's not a surprise that it's moving into the wheelset market. And if these CXD4s are anything to go by, you should definitely look at them as an option if you're upgrading your bike or speccing a new build.
The CXD4 is just one of 16 – count 'em – road wheelsets that Alex is now making, along with 11 mountain bike wheelsets. On the road side there's a broad selection of shallow and deep, alloy and carbon, and disc and rim wheels. The CXD4 is a mid-level alloy disc wheelset that's available in 6-bolt or Centerlock configurations. Weighing in at a very reasonable 1,580g for its £319.99 asking price, it's a chunk lighter than stock wheels you'll find on most bikes under about £2,000.
The rim is a tubeless-ready 23mm alloy extrusion, sleeve-jointed for extra strength. The rim shape is asymmetric to better balance the spoke forces, with the same rim being used front and rear. At the front the spoke holes are offset away from the disc side, and at the rear they're offset towards it, as the freehub moves the hub flange in more than the disc does.
Both front and rear are built up with 24 round stainless steel spokes in a two-cross pattern. The hubs have an alloy body and axle and sealed cartridge bearings: two in the front and four in the rear. As is usual these days, the front is adaptable for quick releases and 12mm and 15mm thru-axles, and the rear is quick release or a 142x12mm thru-axle. The freehub body is alloy and it's a standard pawl setup inside, with the engagement about average: it's not quick, and it's not slow.
I've had these wheels set up with 30mm Schwalbe G-One Speed tyres for the duration of testing. Getting them to seal wasn't a problem and I've had no issues with the tyres losing air more than is normal for a tubeless setup.
On the road the wheels feel nice and stiff, with no obvious flex either from sprint efforts or heavy cornering. The bearings run smoothly, and whipping the cassette off showed that there's not very much notching on the alloy freehub body: the sprockets slid off easily enough. Even so, a steel bite guard would definitely be a worthwhile addition.
The 1,580g all-in weight is pretty good for a disc wheelset at this price. Shimano's RX31s are 380g heavier for the same kind of money, and similar-weight wheelsets from the likes of Cero, Kinesis and Hunt come in at least £50 more expensive.
It's around the right weight for an alloy disc wheelset: enough material in them to make them genuinely multi-surface capable without being overbuilt. I haven't raced any cyclo-cross this season but I have taken the Tripster, wearing these wheels, on a variety of surfaces, some better than others. The 19mm rim width means you really want to be running at least a 28mm tyre, with anything up to a 50mm technically OK if it'll fit in your frame. The CXD4s feel very solid and have taken a decent battering on rougher surfaces with fairly narrow (for off-road) tyres, and they're still running true. I've no doubt they'd be fine for the hustle and bustle of a 'cross race, or a gravel event.
If you're looking to build up a road disc/cyclo-cross/gravel/adventure/etc frame, or you're hunting around for an upgrade to the stock wheels on one you already have, then the CXD4s should be on your shopping list. They've been as good in every way as the Pro-Lite Revo A21W wheels that I've recommended a few times over the past year, and they're a bit lighter and £40 cheaper. They're sturdy without being heavy and they perform extremely well for the money.
Excellent tubeless-ready disc wheelset that's lighter and cheaper than most of its competitors
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road.cc test report
Make and model: AlexRims CXD4 700C Disc TL Ready Centrelock Road Wheelset
Size tested: 700C
Tell us what the wheel is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
From distributor Bob Elliot's website:
You need a road disc wheelset? Tubeless Ready and super light? CXD4 is your first choice!
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the wheel?
Designed disc only -for the latest road and cross bikes
Tubeless ready design
Offset profile – makes a stronger wheel
Stainless steel BLK spokes
24h front wheel – 2 cross lacing
24h rear wheel – 2 cross lacing
Lightweight AL7075 body
Lightweight aluminum axle
Low resistance sealed bearings – 2 in the front hub and 4 in the rear
Compatible with 8, 9, 10 & 11 spd
Front wheel thru axle 12mm 100
Rear wheel thru axle 12mm 142
Did the wheels stay true? Any issues with spoke tension?
How easy did you find it to fit tyres?
Good: pretty easy to fit, and tubeless was easy to set up.
How did the wheel extras (eg skewers and rim tape) perform?
Swapped out the rim tape for tubeless tape. No skewers supplied.
Tell us how the wheel performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the wheel
Sturdy, nicely built, not heavy.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the wheel
Pity there's no anti-bite guard on the freehub.
Did you enjoy using the wheel? Yes
Would you consider buying the wheel? Yes, a good mid-range option.
Would you recommend the wheel to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
These are nicely built wheels that'll be a good upgrade over heavy stock wheels for mid-range bikes.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.