One bike, two sets of wheels

Spring has sprung a leak. We in New England briefly saw the sun on Sunday (I was in Maine, it was still cold), and that's been about it since forever. The poor people riding Rasputitsa on Saturday got slaughtered with cold, rain, and snow. Enough with the hard-o stuff, us softies need some warmth and sun, please. 

Though my interactions with cyclists and cycling in general are of the "all day, every day" variety, they're mostly virtual. The weather and my weird schedule and everything else mean that my Strava log is filled with solo rides. Despite this, my equipment choices are normalized to what it seems everyone else is doing - a wide tire compatible drop bar bike (my 8 year old HOT BUNS CX bike) with two sets of wheels (which in my case is actually 3, since I keep one set for the rollers). Set 1 is RCGs with 28mm GP4000s (tubed), set 2 is GOATs with 35mm Schwalbe G-One All Arounds (tubeless). My mountain bike also gets two sets of wheels, but that's somewhat of a luxury and an accommodation to my conceit/fantasy of doing some fun mountain bike events later in the summer and the corresponding need to get a bunch of time in on that bike. 

While I wouldn't necessarily want to go race Speed Week on my cross bike, I can certainly drop into group rides or our local Wednesday night crit series and do as well/have as much fun as I'd have on another bike. You might choose different rims for your budget/preference/tire choice, but the concept works really really well. 

Since we managed to ship all of the orders from the last preorder (late April shipping start) before the month had closed, we're going to hold the current 'late May shipping start' preorder open through the weekend. The All Road 38s and 50s will likely be to the end of that window, but everything else is in the place we'd hoped to get - well stocked shelves and the ability to start shipping builds before the preorder rims actually hit. It'll take a few cycles to get the All Roads stocked up and on the same program as the other wheels. 

Speaking of All Roads, here are some pics of the new Hotfoot rims, which have the same molding and finish as the All Roads. Bluntly, we've never seen rims molded this well, anywhere. There's no filler or paint on them. The molds, materials, and processes are all more exacting in order to get to this, but Lordy the end result. 

These rims really prove out what we'd predicted last fall - that the era of proprietary rims was waning. We're pretty aggressively priced on these, but that's where things are headed in the market and we want to lead. Although everyone has a reason for making his or her own choices, we just can't see what these won't do for you that a set costing twice as much for an equivalent build would. The product element is there, you can customize until you're blue in the face, and we're here for the build and the support. No pay to play media reviews or team sponsorship or ambassador programs, though. You've got to go elsewhere for those. 

Now I have to go punch the weatherman in the face. This just isn't okay. 


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  • Dave on

    Bob – Operators are standing by…

  • Bob Meuller on

    I am desperate to put these on my Stigmata running Specialized Roubaix Pro gumwall 30/32s measuring 35mm on Stan’s Grails.

  • Dave on

    Well it’s nice to see virtual validation of this concept.

    Jim – Glad the spacers worked for you! They’re very effective, and we include a set with each disc build.

    another dave – The stability of a set of wheels is largely governed by the front wheel. Some have credibly but not conclusively advanced that too big a split from front to rear creates unwanted handing characteristics. Anecdotally, I’ve ridden 46s in windy windy conditions and they’re tame. One of the things that the wind tunnel has shown* is that stability decreases as the tire becomes wider than the rim. This comports with my experience on 46s – their outside width matches well with the 26mm Compass tires (actual width close to 28) I’ve had on them since forever. I’d expect slightly less mannered handling in big wind with a 35mm tire, and probably notably less well mannered handling with like a 38, so for exclusive use with 38mm tires, I’d go with All Road 38s over All Road 50s.

    The aerodynamic benefit of a mullet is debatable. The rear wheel’s benefit contribution is 50% of what it would be as a front wheel. If you want to do it, we’ll happily make a set (“you can customize until you’re blue in the face”).

    *the wind tunnel is good for giving you a good “the shape of things” feel for how things stack up, but it’s a tool and not the god that I often see it portrayed as

  • another dave on

    Just posting to give a big, fat, “hell, yeah!” to this post and all the comments.

    Nearly 20 years ago, I had the pleasure of owning an Indy Fab steel Planet X cyclocross bike, and I had 2 wheelsets for that frame—one for dirt and another for the road. And it felt just as sweet on the road with lightweight wheels shod and narrow racing tires as it did in the dirt with 32mm ’cross tires.

    And I don’t think one gives up very much if anything today, in order to get a very capable disc brake frameset that can accommodate wide 27.5" x ~2.1" XC tires for dirt or gravel, as well as road rubber up to 700C x ~42mm, depending on the frame and tires of course—maybe a one pays a small penalty by gaining < 200 g of frameset weight, and/or slightly increased aerodynamic drag from the frameset (when comparing a ’cross/gravel/all-road/endurance road frameset to a bonafide roadracing frameset; but not comparing the increased weight or aero drag of a 27.5″×2.1″ wheel/tire combo to a 700Cx28mm wheel/tire combo). So it makes a lot of sense to me to get a second premium lightweight aero wheelset for fast road riding, and essentially have 1 bike that can cover a very wide range of riding by simply swapping wheels.

    And I completely agree with the post’s statement that the All Road wheels will likely deliver performance on par with wheels costing twice as much. Enve’s SES 3.4 AR Disc Wheels are probably at/near the top of the foodchain for wheels having rims with ~25mm inner widths, that are aerodynamically optimized for road tires 28 to 32 mm wide; and those Enves retail for ~$2550. November’s All Road wheels built around Aivee hubs are currently $1150, and are slightly heavier than the Enves. But they are also less than half the Enve’s price, and based on dimensions and rim cross sections, etc., I’m guessing the All Roads will deliver performance that is in the same ballpark as the Enves.

    Damn, I kinda want these All Road wheels for my Haanjo Carbon in a very bad way now.

    I apologize in advance and hate to even bring this up, but you know, Enquiring minds might wanna know… You guys blogged about the “Mullet” wheelset (34 mm deep Rail up front, mated to a 52 mm deep Rail in back) back in the day here: https://novemberbicycles.com/blogs/blog/business-in-the-front . To summarize, the aerodynamic benefit was: 52/52 > 34/52 > 34/34, with the 34/52 being closer to the 34/34 than it was to the 52/52. While the question of whether the 34/52 Mullet provided more crosswind stability than the 52/52 seemed less clear.

    I don’t remember if the Rails’ cross sections were more V shaped or U shaped (and if I recall correctly, a toroidal or U shaped cross section should provide more crosswind stability than V shaped section, right?). And since the difference between All Roads’ depths (38mm vs 50mm) is less than the difference between the Rails’ depths (34mm vs 52mm), is there any reason to suspect the 38mm All Roads would handle crosswinds significantly better than the 50mm All Roads (significantly being the keyword there)? And if so, is a 38/50 All Road Mullet wheelset an option?

  • Hellyer David on

    My Goat wheels had to “endure” below 40’ temps a few times this past winter here in California



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