Thoughts sought on a 2nd gravel wheelset please..

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
My CdF came with 37c WTB Riddlers (off-road tyres with small knobbles) which after a few hundred miles got swapped for some fat slick Conti Sport Contacts due to the rapid rate at which they were wearing during my 90% road rides.

The Contis have so far done me proud both on and off road (gravel and dry hard-pack mud), however now the winter is setting in the trails are getting a lot more wet / muddly / slippery and predictably slicks are bloody useless on such terrain. For various reasons I see a lot more off-road riding in my future and plan to re-fit the Riddlers, possibly going for something even more aggressive in future depending on the terrain I find myself on.

The bike was supplied with (IIRC) 622-19c Jalco 32-spoke rims which I hear don't have a great rep (probably just for their mass) however I've found them fine so far; having taken around 2.5k miles of abuse with zero known issues.

To make swapping between tyres easier I'm considering a 2nd wheelset - which need to be aluminium, tubeless ready with 12mm through-axle fitment, compatability with an 11sp Shimano cassette and centrelock discs. Tbh since I'm cheap I'd be happy with a 2nd set of used Jalcos, however I've been keeping an eye on ebay and so far nowt suitable has come up..

I'm also tempted to look at 650b wheelsets so I can go fatter on the knobbly tyres although am a little uncertain in this regard as for my 2020 model Genesis list no 650b campatability; while IIRC the 2021 models state up to a 47mm tyre on 650b and 42mm on 700c. Having studied the promo shots for the latest models I'm struggling to see any frame differences to mine tbh; but without measuring it's hard to tell. In addition I only have 38mm mudguards so going for fatter rubber might not be a great idea from this perspective and I'm wondering if I'd just be better sticking with skinny-ish CX-type tyres.

Anyway, I'd be interested to hear any suggestions as to suitable wheels or any other thoughts anyone might have on the subject - ta :smile:
 

mythste

Veteran
Location
Manchester
Good question!

I would definitely urge caution on the 650B side of things, a lowered BB, especially if you'll be switching wheelsets, can really catch you off guard when leaning. Catching a pedal isn't fun. If you can measure up the same as the new frame however, go for it!

A word on wheelsets. I have a Pair of Hunt X Mason 4 seasons which I love, and the original Alexrims poop that came originally on my 2018 CdF. I had some fun little tours on my CdF so put the "good" wheels on that bike for a while. Now back on commuting duty, I have put the old Alexrims back on.

They feel almost identical, There's certainly no discernible difference when I consider the direction the wind is blowing or how I could really have done with an extra hour in bed.

To which, don't blow a load on a fancy new wheelset if you're seeking performance, especially not on a bike like the CdF.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I'm currently looking at gravel bikes as a winter/gravel bike and recently suggested the idea of two wheel sets to the owner of my LBS where I'll buy the bike. His answer was an unequivocal "no." Keep in mind I would have bought the second set of wheels there as well.

The decision will be influenced by the terrain but this is his reasoning. I will be riding tow paths, gravel tracks (disused railway lines), gravel paths etc. Nothing hard core or extreme.

The LBS is confident they can supply me with two sets of tyres which will adequately set me up for winter and summer riding on both road and gravel. When the seasons change we swap the tyres. His view is repeatedly swapping wheels becomes a PIA. We have three months winter and possibly wet weather and nine months of generally warmer and drier weather.
 

Kestevan

Last of the Summer Winos
Location
Holmfirth.
Just got a pair of hunt all season gravel wheels. Seem to tick all your boxes, and so far (couple of hundred miles) seem to be really rather excellent.
 

Red17

Über Member
Location
South London
I have a couple of sets of kinesis crosslight wheels for my cx bike that have taken a fair beating over the last 2 cx seasons and would buy them again. I have no problem switching disc wheels over, takes less than a minute per wheel.

(Edit that assumes you have discs and cassette mounted to both sets of wheels)
 
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cougie uk

Senior Member
If changing wheels was such a problem - how come the TdF boys are mostly riding discs ?

If you have two sets of wheels it's got to be quicker to swap them over rather than swap tyres.

Or does the LBS do the work for you in which case the tyres would be more lucrative?
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
If changing wheels was such a problem - how come the TdF boys are mostly riding discs ?

If you have two sets of wheels it's got to be quicker to swap them over rather than swap tyres.

Or does the LBS do the work for you in which case the tyres would be more lucrative?
The point is to swap tyres twice a year - winter and summer.
 
OP
wafter

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Thanks guys :smile:

Good question!

I would definitely urge caution on the 650B side of things, a lowered BB, especially if you'll be switching wheelsets, can really catch you off guard when leaning. Catching a pedal isn't fun. If you can measure up the same as the new frame however, go for it!

A word on wheelsets. I have a Pair of Hunt X Mason 4 seasons which I love, and the original Alexrims poop that came originally on my 2018 CdF. I had some fun little tours on my CdF so put the "good" wheels on that bike for a while. Now back on commuting duty, I have put the old Alexrims back on.

They feel almost identical, There's certainly no discernible difference when I consider the direction the wind is blowing or how I could really have done with an extra hour in bed.

To which, don't blow a load on a fancy new wheelset if you're seeking performance, especially not on a bike like the CdF.
Cheers - hadn't considered the rolling radius. It seems that 650B has a 584mm BSD compared to 700C at 622mm; so a difference of 38mm on the diameter meaning I'd (in theory at least) need to run 19mm wider tyres to approximate the RR of the current 700c tyres; and 54mm certainly ain't going to happen so I'd have to accept some drop in ride height.

Thanks for confirming about the wheels - this has generally been my longstanding belief about wheel upgrades too. Again I'd be happy with a used set of Jalcos as per the originals - judging by what others go for I recon I'd score some for around a ton if any were available!


I'm currently looking at gravel bikes as a winter/gravel bike and recently suggested the idea of two wheel sets to the owner of my LBS where I'll buy the bike. His answer was an unequivocal "no." Keep in mind I would have bought the second set of wheels there as well.

The decision will be influenced by the terrain but this is his reasoning. I will be riding tow paths, gravel tracks (disused railway lines), gravel paths etc. Nothing hard core or extreme.

The LBS is confident they can supply me with two sets of tyres which will adequately set me up for winter and summer riding on both road and gravel. When the seasons change we swap the tyres. His view is repeatedly swapping wheels becomes a PIA. We have three months winter and possibly wet weather and nine months of generally warmer and drier weather.
That's an interesting perspective. Thing is, all things being equal surely it has to be a lot easier to swap between complete wheelsets that tyres; especially if you're using a tubeless setup too.

I had originally toyed with the idea of road and off-road wheelsets for the CdF in an effort to replace the road bike, however due to the CdF's geometry this clearly isn't going to happen and I can appreciate how it might be a faff to change the rims before (potentially) each ride, however I'm potentially considering doing similar to what you're suggesting with the tyres; probably changing them more regularly than seasonally but hopefully not a lot.


Just got a pair of hunt all season gravel wheels. Seem to tick all your boxes, and so far (couple of hundred miles) seem to be really rather excellent.
Thanks - I'll take a look :smile:


I hear that is the case - with disk brakes.
I believe you might have to slacken off the caliper mounts and re-centre it to account for variances in disc position which granted isn't great, but it has to be easier than stripping replacing the tyres..


I have a couple of sets of kinesis crosslight wheels for my cx bike that have taken a fair beating over the last 2 cx seasons and would buy them again. I have no problem switching disc wheels over, takes less than a minute per wheel.

(Edit that assumes you have discs and cassette mounted to both sets of wheels)
Thanks - will take a look and yes, I'd be looking to have discs and a cassette already installed on both sets of wheels :smile:
 

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
My mate runs 650b on his 29er mountain bike in winter because that's the size of his studded tyres.

The slightly lower bottom bracket means a slightly increased risk of pedal strike, but not really worth worrying about.

The smaller circumference will probably make the bike about one gear lower.

Shouldn't be a problem unless you are spinning out in top on 700c, and could even be a benefit for serious mud plugging.

I can only speak for hydraulic discs, the calipers of which may need re-centring after a wheel change.

It's the work of seconds, slacken the two mounting bolts, squeeze the lever, then tighten the bolts.

What you may find is the gears won't shift quite as sweetly when you put on the spare rear wheel.

That's more of a faff - if it happens, which it might not.

Not worth sweating about spare wheel choice.

Something built by Rose would do an excellent job.

https://www.rosebikes.co.uk/bike-parts/wheels
 

shep

Senior Member
Location
Wolverhampton
I've got a pair of 700cc Zonda's with a road biased gravel tyre on, smooth centre line, for relatively dry conditions and some Hunt 650B wheels with a few more Knobbles on for when the conditions get worse.

I've invested in a pair of discs and a cassette to make things quicker but to say it's a PITA to swap a pair of wheels over compared to tyres is a bit of an exaggeration in my opinion. My bike has a sort of 'clicker' thing on the front calliper which makes things simple to adjust.

I admit if I had to swap the discs and cassette every time it would be a nause.
 
OP
wafter

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Thanks guys :smile:

As it happens I've just spotted a set of very similar rims to mine on ebay (these are the 28-spoke equivalent to my 32s). Seems I'm not the only one with designs on a 2nd set of rims as they're at £135 with 6 days left, so may well go for more than I want to spend. I guess the others I've seen (similar but usually with QR / bolt-on disc hubs) are less desirable.

Will keep an eye on them but reckon I'll probably balk at the final price as I was kind of hoping to score some for around a ton..
 
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