With 'cross season just around the corner, now's a great time to check your wheels. If you're racing, having a backup wheelset is pretty much essential, and in any case, it's great to be able to have one set of race-day wheels, and one set of everyday wheels. Not only is a backup set great to have in the pit, but nothing breathes new life into a bike like a new set of wheels. The wheels below are our top picks for this cross season.
If you want the best of the best, it's hard to beat Enve's G-Series rims. Built up with Chris King R45D, Industry Nine, or White Industries hubs, these are simply some of the best all-around cross wheels you can buy. The rim's shape is specifically designed to help reduce the possibility of cutting the tire's sidewall, while also increasing the rim's impact resistance and keeping the rim extremely lightweight at about 330 grams. Designed to be set-up tubeless, these allow for the extremely low pressures that are ideal on some cross courses.
If you're looking for the light weight and durability of carbon, but don't want to spend quite as much, the AR46 rim is an exceptional choice. We love these for just about everything, and that definitely includes cross! At over 400 grams, these rims are definitely heavier than their Enve counterparts, but are still plenty light to race, and the deeper profile makes them a great year-round racing and training rim whether it's cross, gravel, or road season. We offer them with both Chris King R45D and White Industries CLD hubs, but if you want another hub, we can do that too!
With their off-center rim profile, 25mm width, and tubeless-ready profile, these made-in-USA rims are another solid all-around choice for a cross rim. The Eugene, Oregon-based brand builds this rim to be light-enough for racing, but plenty durable for everyday riding and training, so if you're looking for an aluminum rim, and like to support US manufacturing, this should be right at the top of your list. We offer the Wanderlust built on White Industries CLD hubs to create a sweet, made-in-USA wheelset, but if you'd like another build, we're happy to oblige.
HED's Belgium Rims were at the forefront of the wider rim movement for road and CX applications, and today the Belgium Plus rims are still some of the best aluminum rims available for cross. They're lightweight and strong, and importantly, tubeless-ready. We offer these rims built with Chris King R45D hubs, but if you want them built on another hub, just give us a shout.
If you're looking for a classic rim-brake tubular cross race wheelset, Velocity's Made-in-USA Major Tom is just the ticket. At 23mm wide, the rim provides a solid support for a tire, and the tall brake track makes brake setup easy and consistent as pads wear. Paired with White Industries' T11 hubs, this makes a lightweight, but solid raceday wheelset.
There seems to be a lot of coverage right now on sustainability and environmental issues both inside and outside of the bike industry so it's worth taking a look at how what we sell here at AVT impacts this.
This week's wheel build of the week is another stunning pair of Gold Chris King R45D hubs laced to ENVE Foundation 45 rims.
Made in the same Utah facility as ENVE's top of the line SES rims, these Foundation 45's (and the deeper Foundation 65's) represent one of the best value, USA made rims available sharing much of the same technology as ENVE's more expensive rims.