Café Racer 46 Carbon Disc Wheels

We blame Steve.

During a conversation about the then-upcoming RCG36, Steve asked if we had any plans for a deeper wheel. The concept of adding a different carbon wheel has always been fraught with a bunch of different issues - is the structure good, can we rely on the producer to build a good rim to the design and deliver it in a reasonable time frame, what about the wind tunnel test, etc. So the impulse was to say "no," but then we asked what he was after with a deeper wheel, and he simply said "I love the way my bike looks with wheels that deep." Light bulb - on.


It can be that simple. The producer we're working with on the RCG36 and GX24 continues to impress us. The rims come through with just about shocking quality, the weight variance contained within a box is less than what we've seen other brands vary from rim to rim, and they ship when they say they will, no excuses. So if there's another rim that they're able to supply on those parameters, and it scratches an itch for a bunch of people, why wouldn't we do it. We're not going to do a wind tunnel exercise to prove they're .0X% faster in some situation than a competitor's wheel and then say that cycling is ALL ABOUT that situation. They're plenty fast. They're well mannered in crosswinds (springtime in Newport is a world class place to test that). And they look the absolute business. 

Specs-wise, the inner and outer widths are the same as RCG36 - 21.5mm internal, 28.5mm external. Weight is 436g per rim. Depth is - you guessed it - 46. They're tubeless ready, but you can fit a Compass Cayuse Pass on with no levers quite easily. 

We chose the name Café Racer as a nod to dead sexy road machines, as their depth suits them primarily to a road disc bike that can fit the tires that we're all waking up to these days. That said, they're more than happy on a cross or gravel course (a Zipp 303 is 45mm deep). Ideal road tire match for overall speed is a true 27 to 28mm (and more on these Compass Cayuse tires soon - they make me want to shoop something bad) but they work great down to a true 25 (many current tires marked 23) and up to a 42mm gravel tire. As we've discussed before, the more offroad-y the tire, the higher the tire-to-rim ratio you want for both rim protection and suspension. 

Pricing and options are the same as for the RCG36. Custom builds in a nearly limitless array of options are available, including of course a BYO hub option (tons of OEM wheels are going to come with good donor hubs). As far as we can tell, the 24/24 build is going to be beyond adequate for a rider up to the 240 pound range. 

We should once again stress that this is absolutely NOT us clanging the bell for alloy's funeral. We have a rack of alloy builds (rim and disc) on the order board and they are still 100% an excellent option that keeps getting better all the time. But the calculus of carbon has changed with real disc specific rims, so now our sand box has more fun toys. All to the good. 

While I get to zoom around on our house set, the initial shipment is en route to us and will be available in slightly longer than our usual two week lead time. The first shipment is a limited supply so if you want to get in, get in. The followup restock will be a few weeks after. 

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  • dave on

    Dr_LHA – Thanks. The bike is one of a kind – a Timoneria disc that is now into its fourth year. It’s basically a Sarto Dinamica. An exceptionally nice bike.

  • Dr_LHA on

    Nice wheels.

    Now tell us about that disc frame!

  • Dave on

    Andrew, we don’t want to be making anyone sad. Our job is making people happy.

  • Andrew on

    You know, I’ve been hazzing a sad since you bailed on the Range wheel development. And I’ve held off buying new wheels both because of lack of funds and the lack of a wheel-set that was really compelling. (Y’know, I’d find the funds if I saw a set that did it for me. ) Guess what? You’ve finally put something out that makes my palms all sweaty and my wallet itch like it has a fungus! These wheels look amazing!

    I may not get in on the first round, but soon these shall be MINE!

  • Dave on

    Jesse – Thanks. Cross G+ 23 is 27.3mm, 25 is 29.5, and we haven’t measured a 28mm. It must be enormous. Compass Cayuse Pass 26 is 27.7. Continental GP4000 28 is just shy of 32.

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