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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Any opinions on the following three tire selections for fast, fairly smooth and dry courses:

Michelin Jet
Ritchey Speedmax Pro
Kenda Kwick

Any combinations that anyone would recommend?

And a follow-up question . . . . Is it wrong or stupid to have a radially laced front wheel (15 gauge spokes, clinchers, 32 holes, 420 gram rims)? I ask because the bike I am looking at purchasing (and upgrading a few bits) comes with some fairly inexpensive . . . okay downright cheap wheels that have machine built radial spoking on the front. Will I be re-building them after the first race into 2 X or 3X 14 gauge DTs? I am 5'11, 158 lbs and throw caution to the wind on race day.
 

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Assuming the wheels are well built, they should be fine. The build quality will be the determining factor, you aren't that heavy.

Tires: I've not used the Kendas. The other two are nice semi-slicks. You'll likely also want a set of tires with tread. Check the archives for recommmendations, but Michelin Muds are a board favorite.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks

Thanks for the responses. I'm going to have three sets of wheels (yes three sets) for my 'cross race bike. One set with Hutchinson knobby tires for mud / rough courses, one set with either the ritchey pros or the Kwicks (already have the tires) for fast dry courses, and one set of something semi-slick (probably the Michelin jets front and rear fur uber-fast courses, courses with lots of tarmac, or road races that have gravel or cobbles.

BTW, the bike I am strongly considering is the IBEX X-Ray. It is Shimano 105 10 speed and it's $934 delivered. I'll change-out the stem (probably the wrong size), seatpost, saddle and a few other bits (carbon HS spacers, egg beaters, etc) for about $250, so the total cost of a fairly light 10 speed equipped rig will be around $1200. I already have two handbuilt (by me) sets of wheels to go with it. I'm also planning on using my Jamis Nova (with a single speed ultegra set-up) for my pit bike.
 

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Roger-

I purchased and raced an IBEX X-Ray last season - it's a good solid bike. I'm 185 lbs and a masters racer, so I wasn't looking for an ultralight designer frame. The IBEX with stock fork doesn't flex much (stiff, all about power transfer to the wheels) so don't expect a soft flexy ride. I run Ritchey Speedmax tires on dry hardpack, Michlein Mud's for really loose or wet courses, and they both work great. I have a set of Kenda's and they seem slower than the Richeys on pavement and hardpack but have a little more bite in looser stuff.
 

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RogerDeVlaeminck said:
Will I be re-building them after the first race into 2 X or 3X 14 gauge DTs?
You can take the radial laced machine-built wheels and give them a good going over and even out the tension (or have a shop do it) and they'll probably be useful.

Definitely don't rebuild them with a different lacing pattern. Because the hub flanges have been stressed one way by the radial build, if you build them up with the spokes laying on the hub flange in a different direction (2x or 3x) the flange will often break after the newly built wheel has been ridden a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Seems like good advice and I probably read it in the Jobst Brandt book . . . 20 years ago. Thanks for reminding me. If I do re-build them, it'll be in the same pattern, and then only if they won't stay true. Yeah - I figure I'll put them in my truing stand and work them over anyway as you suggest - maybe loosen everything first, then re-tension and hand-true.

I only vist a bike shop if I need them to do some frame prep procedure that I wouldn't buy an outrageously expensive tool to do myself. I couldn't imagine being a bike racer and not being a good mechanic too. I guess some guys go to bike shops for everything -- it must cost a fortune in dollars and lost training time.

I suspect the spokes and hubs are throw-aways on the bike in question, but maybe I'll be surprised. I think the Sun rims are supposed to be pretty good though. Thanks again.
 
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