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Road wheels on a cross bike (for cross use)

b0redomb0redom Posts: 21
edited March 2014 in Cyclocross
Hi All,
I've got a Specialized Tricross. I took it to the LBS expecting that the rear wheel needed a replacement spoke and truing, and was told the wheel has actually cracked, and the front is grinding, oh and the brakes need looking at. :shock:

I've got some Giant P-SL1s which I took off my road bike to replace with deep section rims. I'm not going to be doing anything insane, but would like to ride the tricross on some trails to break up my ironman training. Can I just stick fat tyres on the Giant wheels?

It seems that Ultegra cantis can be had for about 30 quid. Will these be a worthwhile upgrade to the tektro cantis it was built with?

Anything else I need to consider?


  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    Depends how fat. Most road wheels will take a 32mm tyre without problems. Some will do 35 or even 38mm.

    Where are you seeing brakes that cheap? Ultegra level cantis are called CX70s, and cost about £40 per brake. They would almost certainly count as an upgrade. (I haven't ridden them, but I've set them up on a bike and they are nice. Sven Nys races on them.)
  • b0redomb0redom Posts: 21
    Ooops looks like I was getting 105 and Ultegra mixed up. I've found 105 (CX50) for £25. Ultegra worth the 15 quid a pair over 105?

    A different LBS fitted 38mm tyres for me, but I'm told that I shouldn't be running anything higher than a 32mm on road wheels anyway, so I'll either go with that or 28s. I have a matching pair of 28s, but a mixed pair of 32s. Not sure yet. :?
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    Not sure how different the CX50s and CX70s are to be honest. I suspect it's mostly down to finish and the CX70s may age more gracefully, but that's speculation.

    Bigger tyres are better if you're riding trails. 32mm is a good all-round size that won't be too slow on tarmac as well.
  • b0redomb0redom Posts: 21

    Any idea how I can tell if 32mm tyres will fit in the P-SL1s? Looks like they have a 21mm rim if that helps? ... /#overview
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    They'll be fine. You can easily put a 32 on a rim that's 2mm narrower than that.
  • b0redomb0redom Posts: 21
    Thanks for all the help so far.

    Assuming I'm going to fit new brakes to my tricross (with cheater levers as well as the normal shifter brakes), do I need anything apart from:

    a new set of brake cables
    the brakes obviously
    a cable puller

    I'm a complete mechanical novice!

    Are brake cables much of a muchness? I was thinking of getting Shimano road cables like this: ... -prod19054

    I presume the CX50/CX70s come with brake pads?


  • devhadsdevhads Posts: 236
    If you're doing particularly muddy trails you might want to get sealed cables. Jagwire do some for road bikes. Those ones should be fine though.

    The brakes should come with pads, again you may want to upgrade. If you're riding in filthy conditions the stock Shimano pads may not last very long. Swissstop greens are well worth the extra, really powerful and long lasting.

    If you want some cross top levers, I have some for sale. Crane Creek, used for one season by my son.
  • b0redomb0redom Posts: 21
    I've already got the cross top levers. I'm more interested in how I attach the brake cables to them and the drop brakes. I've googled, but I can't find anything.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    b0redom wrote:
    I've already got the cross top levers. I'm more interested in how I attach the brake cables to them and the drop brakes. I've googled, but I can't find anything.
    I believe the cable passes right through the top levers with no attachment. The levers essentially lengthen the cable housing when you pull the lever and actuates the brake that way. Like a lever actuated barrel adjuster if that helps?
    So you cable the bike just like a road bike.
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