Best Cyclocross Wheels Review 2023 – Buyer’s Guide
Maintaining good control over a cyclocross bike is hard work in itself, given the mostly rough terrain that the cyclocross course takes you through. But a good cyclocross tire may render some relief. An ideal cyclocross wheel would combine qualities needed for both off-road and on-road cycling in one, to put them in a better position and control.
We have reviewed 10 top cyclocross wheels for you and by the end of the review, we believe you’ll be able to choose the top-rated cyclocross wheel that fits your purpose. Choosing the best cyclocross wheels would give you a smooth ride regardless of what you are using your bike for. There will also be all the necessary information to help you choose the best one easily.
Check out this review if you want to buy a single speed bike.
Best Cyclocross Wheelset Review 2023
The wheels of your bike would have a tremendous effect on speed, handling, weight, speed, and general performance to make it effective on the road. Here are some of the good options you have. These suggestions are based on our research and experience with the product, though.
1. AERO 45 Disc DT240s/350s
Not all discs are for enthusiastic riders, get this fact very straight. If you want to enjoy those sweet rides on a winter afternoon, sit down tight and check out the best products on our list. First, we are looking at an extraordinary resistance to puncture. Now, which ones, are traditional or tubeless? Well, with both of them, sir.
Yes, versatile, I know. Then, you look at the rim tech and realize that it’s no toy you are dealing with. It’s 25mm wide, which is amazing. And it gets only better with the stability and neat airflow the rim tech has to offer. See, nothing beats aerodynamics, and if you agree with this, then nothing even comes close to competing with our homeboy here, let alone beating it.
Now, not a big fan of attrition, are you? Good, because there will be less of it with this model. What’s also crazy is that they chose Sapim CX-RAY for the disciplinary work on your bike, and they couldn’t have chosen more wisely. However, the valve extenders could have been better. And you might want better traction.
2. 35C DT240s/350s Disc Wheels
It’s not a very easy job to choose between this and the former to top the list. And in a while, you will well know why. Firstly, this one has ultra-light rims that will offer you a fantastic climbing experience. Now, it’s the stiffness it comes with that will perform the magic. With these best-value cyclocross wheels, I would’ve lowered my PSI by a fraction and set out to explore the mountains.
And you should also check out the carbon fiber they’ve used on it. Don’t forget to appreciate this excellent material while loving the aerodynamics it offers you. As far as the spokes go, you, as a rider, must be already familiar with CX-RAY spokes. Never forget that it’s the best spokes ever. Ask anyone, they will admonish you for not knowing it to be a fact.
As for cons, I’m not certain if the traction on extremely wet tracks will be satisfactory or not. But, if you are more into climbing, this is your go-to disc wheelset, period.
3. Sunrise Bike 88mm Wheelset Clincher 700c Carbon Cyclocross Rim
Sunrise clincher 700c Carbon Cyclocross wheels are your choice if you are looking for elegant and vibrant rims. The vibrant nature of SunRise Cyclocross wheels put these on the list of the most ideal cyclocross wheels. These rims can carry up to 120kgs. Best road bike wheels are determined based on their stopping power and some other criteria.
For utmost stopping performance, SunRise Cylinder Cyclocross wheels are outfitted with a 12-layer carbon-on-brake track. The obvious feature that makes this wheel ideal is its make- the wheelset comes in Carbon Fiber-Toray T700. Carbon fiber does a good job of increasing durability and strength while cutting back on weight.
The most interesting aspect of these wheels is that you’re getting all these features for a pretty decent and affordable price, unlike other wheels. The rims have a 3K sleek finish for a sporty look and can be compared with Shimano 8/9/10/11. Other accessories of these wheels are powerful brake pads and black skewers.
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4. Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST Wheel
If you are looking for user-friendly tubeless cyclocross wheels, then you probably wouldn’t need to look any further than Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST Wheel. These wheels offer a high degree of performance associated with the Ksyrium Elite wheels. The Mavic UST technology now makes the wheels to be set up tubeless.
It increases the rolling efficiency of the wheels, decreases the wheel’s rotational weight, and gets rid of the likelihood of getting a puncture in the middle of a race or during a cycling journey. Inter Spoke Milling 4 Dimensions (ISM 4D) Superlight Rim keeps the weight of the rim down without having to sacrifice strength.
The great thing about Ksyrium Elite is that it is extremely dependable all the way, and has become tubeless. Even at that, these wheels have actually maintained their durable persona and lightweight, making them great to ride on, whether you are tackling the club run or racing.
With a good reputation for quality, reliability, and easy servicing, Mavic Ksyrium Elite wheels are one of the best upgrades cyclocross wheels around.
Key Features of Mavic Ksyrium Elite UST Wheel
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5. Shimano 700C Alloy Clincher Road Bike Wheelset
Shimano 700c Alloy Clincher is the most affordable cyclocross wheel for riders on a budget or entry-level riders. The wheels are long-lasting, safe, authentic, and reliable, and guarantees that all its components work perfectly for maximum security, longevity, and performance. Shimano 700c uses straight-pull spokes, and a steel blade to enhance your general pedaling power and make the most of rigidity.
In addition, it features premium aluminum rims, making it one of the perfect cyclocross wheels. Shimano 700c Alloy Clincher wheelset comes with double-walled, deep V rims, 20 spokes for the frontage wheel, and 24 for the back to ensure a clean, modern appearance and perfect strength and rigidity. In addition, they are pretty lightweight.
There are sealed angular contact bearings located in the hub. These bearings give the hubs greater support and durability. And, the contact sealing prevents mud, water, and dirt from accumulating in the rims, guaranteeing high performance and rotational smoothness in all cycling conditions. If you are one of the Shimano enthusiasts, these incredible wheels will save you some money.
Key Features of Shimano 700C Alloy Clincher Road Bike Wheelset
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6. ICAN Carbon Cyclocross Bike Wheels
ICAN Carbon Cyclocross Bike wheels are do-it-all wheelsets. When it comes to balance, weight, and aerodynamics, these wheels offer the best. They are suitable and ideal for long flats and climbs. The wheelset not only provides you with better aerodynamics, but the depth rims also provide its users with great crosswind stability when riding against the wind.
These wheels feature a 50mm Rim which is the widest rim ever bringing comfort to the wheels and offering the whole bicycle sparkling crosswind stability. Also, the aero-bladed sapim spokes are there to increase the strength of the wheels and enhance the aerodynamic speed of the bike. There are 20 of them to maximize the aerodynamic speed and maximum strength.
ICAN Carbon Cyclocross Bike Wheels are the right wheels for sprinting and climbing due to their advanced features. The ICAN normal hub is a lightweight alloy hub shell. Many bikers have lauded the durability and high performance of ICAN cyclocross wheels. For the best cx wheelset, you can trust these tires with your soul.
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Key Features of ICAN Carbon Cyclocross Bike Wheels
7. Clement/Donnelly Cycling X’PLOR USH Clincher
X’Plor USH Clincher is a 700 x 35mm adventure tire made for mixed conditions. Therefore, if mixed but not tremendous conditions are part of riding, then Clement’s/Donnelly Cycling X’Plor USH Clincher is certainly worthy of your consideration. It is an all-rounder wheel that doesn’t compromise ride quality for versatility.
With durable smooth-rolling treads and three different widths to choose from, this is one of the best wheels for cyclocross available. The Clement/Donnelly X’Plor USH does give outstanding versatility which is exactly what all bike riders are looking for. USH is reliable and perfect for touring, loose dirt trails, and urban assault.
This choice of wheelset will fit your commuter, cyclocross bike, or touring rig. The combination and arrangement of diamond-shaped side knobs and firm center ridge provide X’PLOR USH Clincher with great cornering control and low rolling resistance.
Riding cyclocross is absolutely fun but it requires good-quality wheels. This one on our list would make your ride comfortable and exciting and there is no doubt about it.
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Key Features of Clement/Donnelly Cycling X’PLOR USH Clincher
8. AERO 35 Disc
Here’s another genius we should talk a bit about. This one will quench your thirst for exploring the beautiful countryside, be it that you are a gravel freak or a cyclocross enthusiast. They have found a way of making this product suitable for both types of riding. The 35mm deep carbon fiber wheels had everything to do with it.
21.5mm internal width offers numerous options regarding tires and I am also counting on the puncture resistance of this bad boy. The hubs this unit comes with are a fine addition undoubtedly. Last but not least is the Sapim CX-RAY spokes we’ve been talking about. We’ve already praised Its lightweight and stiffness. So it can’t get any better.
However, we’d suggest, inquiring about the guarantee they provide and seeing if the deal sounds pleasing or not. But, there’s one issue. It’s regarding the brake pads. In terms of quality, the best probably isn’t offered. Nevertheless, they should do the job. However, make sure that they are included in the package unless you are cool with buying them on your own.
9. AERO 40 Disc
The company seems to have a mission of making incredible wheel sets for harsh conditions. And, this tells a lot about it. But, isn’t it the performance that speaks louder than the claims? Now, here’s what is assuring, the brand showed consistent performance with different models that didn’t talk, they screamed!
We are talking about outrageously lessened wind resistance, thanks to the shape it comes in. As if this wasn’t smart enough, the wheelset will blow your mind with a disc braking system. I mean, who could deny the pleasure of seeing the braking surface free from any annoying mud? Then you have this surprisingly easy tire installation facility and the double-way clincher finish of this product.
Now, will there be punctures? No, tubeless tires do not have that stuff. Furthermore, as much as we would’ve liked to talk about the drawbacks and keep you properly informed, we didn’t come across any significant one stated by the customers. You can only hope that the brakes do not fail you. They usually don’t, anyway.
10. AERO 40 Disc DT240s/350s
Let’s finish it off with an amazingly versatile option. It will please you if you are one for speed. Be it gravel or muddy roads, you won’t be disappointed in the least. Its lightness speaks for the speed it has in store for you. If you are working on those abs of yours, these are the best wheels for cyclocross and you will get ridiculous strength in them.
Our guy will also delight you with the wheel profile it has. You will experience extreme rolling resistance with such a feature in place. And like any other product from this brand, you are assured of incredible puncture resistance. So, this wheel with a 25mm wide frame should be of help in winning that race you might be looking forward to.
Moreover, you need to check out the hubs this gentleman comes with. It can’t be that you have one of these hubs and you go about being unsatisfied with the wheel motion. Now, there was one complaint about the build of the rear wheel where some reviewers weren’t happy with the tensioning of the spokes.
How Wide Are Cyclocross Tires?
The range of cyclocross tire width is 28-35 millimeters. However, UCI races, as well as US national championships, have limited the tire width to a maximum of 33 millimeters. Unofficial races allow for widths anywhere within 28-35 millimeters, so the tire width you should get depends on your needs.
What’s Your Purpose?
The width you choose for your tire is very important in terms of your purpose. Thinner tires mean less weight, making you faster, which is great for racing. However, it’s not quite so simple as picking the lightest tire if you want to win races. You see, factors such as aerodynamics, rolling resistance, as well as puncture resistance, come into play here.
The right combination of these factors, along with the tire width, will yield the best results. Having said that, it is also very important not to go purchase the heaviest of tires. Even though some thicker tires will make for more comfortable rides due to increased dampening, most come with stiff cases. These actually give the opposite effect and make for harsher rides, not to mention slowing you down due to the weight.
As for the aerodynamics, you need to be sure of matching the tire width with the rim on which it is mounted. Even though narrow tires mean better aerodynamics, unless they are coupled with a narrow rim, they will not yield the best result. Similarly, a wider tire must also be coupled with a wide rim for the best aerodynamics. The same principle also works for ease of removing your tire from the bike.
So the closer your tire width to the rim, the easier it will be to remove the tire for changing or cleaning purposes.
Pressure You Are Gonna Use
Another thing you need to keep in mind about tire widths is that the pressure you use can make a lot of difference. It is very important to use higher pressure with narrower tires, while wider ones require lower pressure. As lower pressure lowers the tire’s spring rate, it is more comfortable to ride on wider tires with low pressure.
The rolling resistance is also an important factor to consider in relation to the width of the tire. You see, the wider the tire, the better the rolling resistance, even if the difference is slight. As for deciding what width tire to actually get, there are a few points of consideration. If you are new to cyclocross and would like to undergo training, then wider tires are the best choice. As for racing purposes, you need to pick the best combination of the above-mentioned factors for your particular needs.
One thing to keep in mind would be the road you will be riding on as rougher roads will be better coupled with wider tires.
Choose the Top-Rated Cyclocross Wheels
When you are looking for top-quality cyclocross wheels, you must bear in mind that the cyclocross wheelsets of your choice must combine performance with durability. The characteristics that cross riders are looking for in CX wheel builds include; meeting the demands of gravel, jarring hard pack, rocks, sand, and goopy mud. That is why all CX riders will probe their cyclocross wheels to the later before making a choice.
Now that you have decided to upgrade, here is how to choose the quality cyclocross wheels that will suit your purpose.
Options and Tips On Deciding
As mentioned earlier, you must identify what you are using your bike to determine the best wheels for your bicycle. There are different types of wheels you can choose from.
Types of Wheels
In actual fact, there are different wheels for different purposes. Therefore, your choice of off-road wheels will depend on your bike, whether they are ready for rim brakes or disc-brake specific. The disparity is that wheels for discs have hubs that allow rotors and normally have rims with no true braking surface, which saves weight at the rim.
On the other hand, Rim-brake wheels have no provision for fixing rotors and come with rim sides made to endure the wear and tear of rim brakes. There are all-round models of wheels for the road, made to offer exceptional ride quality and sturdiness that work great for upgrading an old pair.
On the other hand, models designed to give you some free speed according to how you use them are available. For instance, climbing wheels built lighter for easier ascending are available.
Tube or Tubeless Cyclocross Wheels
You also have the option of buying standard wheel models or tubeless ones. It is tubeless because the rim is designed to offer an airtight seal for use with tubeless tires. This is quite necessary as you operate tubeless tires without inner tubes, which enables you to run lower pressures for more traction, a smoother ride, and more control.
Therefore, you should think about upgrading to tubeless Cyclocross wheels if you enjoy riding tubeless on dirt or pavement.
Tubular Cyclocross Wheels
You may want to choose the tubular wheels if you race on the road. These are the lightest available and quite unusual. They need special tubular tires called sew-ups (since the tire is normally sewn together around the tube).
The Shape of the Rim
The shape of the rim has a great impact on the way the wheel rides because the stiffer the rim of your bicycle, the more you feel the trail and road. Also, the more deep or tall and triangulated a rim is, the more rigid the ride will be. Most of the time, you will notice stiffness on rougher surfaces than you will experience on smooth surfaces.
Nevertheless, stiffness is good for hammering and racing because more of your power makes it to the road.
FAQs for Cyclocross Wheels
1. Can I use road wheels for cyclocross?
Yes, you can. Cyclocross wheels are designed for racing both on and off the road. And, road wheels are generally designed for smooth surfaces like concrete. You can use road wheels for cyclocross as 32/36 spoke hand-built wheelsets can take the challenges of cyclocross racing well. The same goes for most machine-built wheelsets nowadays. Since cyclocross tires are tubular, you can easily glue some cross-tubular on your road wheels to get the job done. Even though having differences in frames, brake mounting, and the setup of the rear derailleur, both contain 700c wheels.
2. What size are cyclocross wheels?
All cyclocross wheels are 700c or 29 inches and the width of tires is 28-35 millimeters, with the thicker tires being beefier. This results in smoother rides over obstacles off-road. Wider tires will give a smoother ride but you will have less acceleration whereas thinner tires are lighter and hence more suited for racing.
The 700c wheels can accommodate taller riders and provide increased ground clearance.
3. Are wider tires better for cyclocross?
The narrower the tire, the more lateral resistance you will face while cornering, and the deeper it digs. Wider tires may help you to skate across muddy terrains with minimal resistance. But. there are rules regarding using wider tires for cyclocross. Maximum tire width of 38cm can be used for National Championships by the Masters competitors. And, for the Masters World Championships, 33cm is the maximum.
So, this article, we hope, did a fine job helping you, at the very least, shortlist the wheels you can seriously consider buying for your cyclocross bikes.
A cyclocross bike is extraordinarily flexible and can make the perfect touring bike, commuter, or for a long ride if it has good cyclocross wheels. If you are a serious rider, then you must be looking for every means and trick to enhance the efficiency and performance of your bike. And, one obvious way to improve the performance is through the wheels.
By choosing some lighter, quality wheelsets for your cyclocross, you can reduce the rotational weight, improve acceleration, and offer you speed advantage. But the question is what makes one wheel preferable for cyclocross over the other? This is not a simple question since when it comes to defining the most ideal cyclocross wheels, different riders have different priorities.