Cole Wheels and Richard Sachs Get Fat for Cyclocross

Cyclocross Magazine got an exclusive first look at the upcoming Cole alloy tubular wheelset specifically made for cyclocross. The wheels were designed with significant input from Richard Sachs (Cole is a wheel sponsor for the Richard Sachs cyclocross team), and the end result is that Cole has added a few mm of width for our cold-weather discipline.

Cole cyclocross wheels, 23mm alloy tubular wheelset

An early look at the new Cole cyclocross 23mm wide alloy tubular wheelset that Richard Sachs helped design

The new Cole tubular cyclocross wheels aim to provide a wider, cyclocross-specific tubular rim that is designed for both better glue adhesion and better cornering. Cole’s new alloy cyclocross rim measures nearly 23mm wide, a good three to four mm wider than their standard road tubular wheels. But it’s not only the width that differs from a typical road wheelset;  the rim’s shallow radius bed contour and tubular seam channel are designed to keep tires on securely.

Cole has followed a similar path to companies like Zipp, NoTubes.com and HED in offering a wider 700c rim (see our search for the perfect cyclocross wheel in Issue 8 of our print and digital magazine), and whether in clincher or tubular formats, our experience with wider rims has been positive. While wider clincher rims add volume to the tire and flattens its profile, wider tubular rims can provide better support the carcass of a wider tubular tire, offering more gluing surface, and if contoured well to match a tire’s shape and base tape, a better overall glue bond.

The new cyclocross wheels we saw still utilize the Cole’s proprietary Dynamic Spoke Alignment (DSA) spoke and hub system that avoids J-bend spokes and instead utilizes double-threaded spokes that are said to be more durable and allow for higher tension.

Expected retail is $695 and they won’t be available until August, but you can be sure we’ll give an early set a beating before then. Stay tuned.