Howard ordered a pair of wheels for his disc based cyclocross bike. We opted for 23mm wide Major Tom tubular rims, Sapim D-Light spokes combined with Sapim Race on the rear drive side and Novatec XC hubs. A light good value package indeed. Here is Howard’s report and a photo –
“I wanted an additional set of tubular CX race wheels to run intermediate condition tubs on the dryer grassy / multi-surface courses we have in the South East, where Challenge Limus are overkill but a diamond tread isn’t enough. They wouldn’t be used in deep mud, so I was looking for an intermediate profile rim. I run a disc brake on the front of this year’s cross rig and will run full disc next year, so a custom build with lightweight road disc hubs was required.
Typically I buy the parts I need for wheels and ask a local wheelbuilder to build them, but this time I decided to try Strada as I’d heard good things about them online and the convenience of having the full wheel build shipped to my door can’t be overlooked.
After a chat with Jonathan online and on the phone we decided to go with Velocity Major Toms on Novatec hubs with Sapim D-light & Race spokes. Novatecs were used to keep the costs sensible and to keep things consistent with my existing wheels – always nice being able to swap a disc wheel out without having to adjust the brake for a slightly different rotor placement.
The wheels arrived well packed and I was immediately impressed by the finish and quality of the build – a quick spin in a stand revealed a faultlessly true wheel. Weight was also competitive for a 32h alu rim build, around 1600g , and should be comparatively bomb proof.
The Major Tom rim features a very wide gluing surface – 23mm of it – so I opted to glue the tubs on without adding belgian tape at the final stage. A week and three coats of Vittoria later and a pair of Specialized 33mm Tracers were glued on.
The initial test run was as expected – the wheels pick up quick and give the bike a sprightly feel. The glue job held up to some aggressive cornering at 20psi which is probably a testament to the Tom’s huge surface area rather than my mounting technique.
I raced the wheels at Hillingdon in the Central Cross League and they provided a very sprightly and confidence inspiring ride. They are certainly a better wheelset than I am a cross rider, and were notably comfortable over a lumpy, grassy course with just 33mm of rubber on them.
Overall, I’m impressed with the Strada’s flexibility, speed of turnaround, shipping, price and overall build quality and would recommend them if you are looking for a complete custom CX wheel package. A+.”
Howard S, London.