At Cyclocross Magazine, we are all about variety in products we review. We understand that different riders have different budgets and needs. While carbon fiber eye candy like the recently-showcased Lightweight Meilenstein Obermayer wheelset is good for some, others may appreciate a more traditional wheelset that retains a focus on high performance, but at a more affordable price point—like this offering from Jones Precision Wheels. [Don't miss our massive cyclocross and gravel wheel round-up in Issue 30, including wheels from NoTubes, Reynolds, Easton, Martindale, Zipp, Alchemist and more.]
Before the Mavic Helium made it over to the U.S. almost 20 years ago, most cyclists, including cyclocrossers were on handbuilt wheels. Riders in need of an upgrade, or a replacement would go to their local shop or wheelbuilder and spec out hubs, rims, spokes and nipples and have the wheel custom built to their needs.
Modern day cycling is dominated by factory-built wheels, so we rarely have a chance to to test wheels that have been custom-built just for us—we've been lucky to recently review two excellent options in custom-built wheels, including an ENVE 45 tubular rims built to White Industries hubs, which we reviewed in Issue 25, and a Martindale wheelset with a carbon tubeless rim paired with White Industries hubs in Issue 29 and 30.
Jones Precision Wheels is run by John Jones, an industry veteran with experience at Outland VPP and Chris King. Jones runs a fully custom wheel shop—he doesn't build stock wheels—each order starts with an order form and questionnaire that asks questions about the rider’s age, weight, expected mileage, budget, planned terrain and riding style, among others.
After filling out the questionnaire, Jones will work with you to build a set of wheels based on your needs. Ours ended up being a combination of Industry Nine Classic CX/Disc hubs laced with DT Aerolite spokes and Wheelsmith alloy nipples to Pacenti SL25 rims, sporting 28 holes front and rear.
The Industry Nine hubs are made in the U.S. and came configured for thru axles—15mm front and 142x12 rear. If your bike sports a different configuration, fret not, the hubs are convertible to: 100mm QR, 9mm, 12mm or 15mm in the front, and 135mm QR, 135x10 or 142x12 in the rear. The hubs weigh 376 grams for the pair.
Already pre-installed with tape and tubeless valves, the Pacenti SL25 rims measure out at 20mm wide internal, 24.5mm external and 25mm deep. Jones said on their scales the rims weighed 452 grams each.
Our wheels came with the new Schwalbe X-One tubeless cyclocross tires, which in our initial rides have proved to be a good match with the Pacenti rims and burp-proof. Stay tuned for more info on the Schwalbe X-One tubeless tire.
As equipped, the Industry Nine / Pacenti SL25 build provided by Jones Precision Wheels weighs 720g front 860g rear, which includes valves and tape for a 1570g total, and costs $1050, labor included.
We think a good wheel is a good wheel, whether it’s built just for you, or just happens to be right for you. Custom-built wheels can help ensure that both happen with your next wheels, and often aren’t any more expensive than pre-built wheels from larger companies.
Stay tuned for our full review of our Jones Precision Wheels custom-built Pacenti / Industry Nine cyclocross wheelset.