This is our second of two New Product Spotlights on new ‘cross wheels. Our first was the EU Imports SCX Clincher Wheels.
While deep section carbon tubular wheels may grace the bikes of most pros, for many, the benefits of riding a low-pressure tubular makes even a normal alloy tubular wheel a big upgrade from a clincher wheelset. But with carbon all the rage, affordable, pre-built alloy tubular wheels are hard to find. Williams Cycling realizes this, and has just released a new affordable alloy tubular wheel that’s designed specifically for cyclocrossers and priced at $369.
The wheel features a 400 gram, 25 mm-tall aluminum rim with machined brake surfaces. It’s paired with Williams’ sprint hub (available with Shimano/SRAM or Campagnolo alloy freehubs) with 24 spokes in the front in a two cross pattern, with 28 in the rear laced three cross. The advertised weight is 1669 grams for the set without skewers.
Keith Williams of Williams Cycling told Cyclocross Magazine that the wheel has been in development for a year, and that a prototype pair was raced throughout the season last year in Northern California by a 185-pound Cat II racer without a single issue – not even a single truing. Williams’ goal was not to build the lightest wheel, but to build something strong, durable, realiable and affordable for the growing number of ‘cross racers. His weight limit reflects that build philosophy, as it’s a generous 225 pounds.
Initial observations on the set that arrived at our offices is that Williams made some smart choices in putting together this wheelset and has put together an attractive option for a cyclocross racer’s first tubular wheelset. The white-painted rim adds some modern flair, while graphics are not fragile stickers but baked into the rim’s surface. Readily available round spokes are used, as aerodynamics in ‘cross is not a concern. Brass nipples keep everything tight, and are less susceptible to corrosion when things get wet.
Williams chose a standard-width rim for his wheels. While some manufacturers are making wider rims for wider tires, the Williams wheels will not require brake adjustments when you pop them in on your ‘cross bike (or road bike) for race day.
Williams offers a crash replacement discount on all their wheels, and will work with customers on an individual basis depending on the problem.
Stay tuned for a full review.
Williams Cyclo-cross Alloy Tubular Wheel
Spokes: 24 front 2x / 28 rear 3x, stainless steel with brass nipples
Rim: 400 gram aluminum, painted white, with machined braking surfaces, 19mm wide
Hubs: Sprint sealed bearing. Shimano/SRAM 8/9/10 speed compatible, or Campagnolo 10 (355 grams per pair)
Weight: 1669 grams
Weight Limit: 225 pounds
For more info: Williams Cycling