Our cyclocross tech posts this week have had a wheelie common theme. Earlier this week, we reported on two wheelsets we currently are reviewing, the Bontrager Aeolus 3 Pro carbon tubeless clinchers and Alto CTX40 carbon tubulars.

Today, we head back to Interbike 2017 for a look at Williams Cycling’s updated System 45 carbon tubeless clinchers and an update on where to look for the company’s wheels. 


Williams Cycling is in the process of making some major moves, both in product and distribution. The company built its name on its direct-to-consumer, value-oriented products, but now is moving to selling its wares through local bike shops. The company has also has updated its wheels and hubs, and at Interbike 2017, we took a look at the updated System 45 wheels with the new Virgo hubs.

Williams' $1,400, 1,558 gram System 45 Carbon Tubeless Clincher. Interbike 2017. photo: courtesy

Williams’ $1,399, 1,558 gram System 45 Carbon Tubeless Clincher with new Virgo hubs. Interbike 2017. photo: courtesy

A Legacy in Cyclocross

Williams Cycling knows cyclocross. Keith Williams has lined up for more than a few 45-minute sessions of hell and keeps cyclocross and gravel riders in mind when developing new products.

In the past, that’s been evident with the company’s tubular offerings. Williams knows our fat 33mm tubular tires have a different radius from road tubulars and need a shallower rim bed. His alloy cyclocross tubulars offered a shallow-radius gluing surface, not unlike Velocity USA’s heralded Major Tom cyclocross tubular rim.

The company first launched a unique, white-painted rim brake tubular years ago and then updated it for disc brakes.

More recently, the company has embraced tubeless tires and disc brakes, offering a colorful alternative to the me-too OEM and price-point wheels we often see.

Colorful graphics. Front wheel set up as 15mm Thru-Axle

The Williams Prisma Tubeless Disc wheel. © Clifford Lee / Cyclocross Magazine

Williams also offers a set of lightweight, price competitive handlebars we have found to be a good value.

System 45 Carbon Tubular Wheelset

Now the company offers its $1,399 System 45 carbon tubeless wheelset. Built on a 45mm-deep tubeless rim that has an 18.6mm internal (26mm external) width, the wheel is aimed to do it all, including road, cyclocross and gravel.

Williams Cycling's System 45 carbon disc wheels is the company's answer to a disc brake road, cyclocross and gravel wheelset. 26mm wide, 18.6mm internal. Sapim CX Ray spokes. Interbike 2017 © Cyclocross Magazine

Williams Cycling’s System 45 carbon disc wheels are the company’s answer to a disc brake road, cyclocross and gravel wheelset. 26mm wide, 18.6mm internal. Sapim CX-Ray spokes. Interbike 2017 © Cyclocross Magazine

The rim features a raised bead barb for tire bead retention which should help avoid burps in low-pressure situations.

Williams Cycling's System 45 carbon disc wheels feature a wide, deep center channel, but a raised lip lining the channel to help with bead retention in high and low pressure. Williams wheels are available soon in a shop near you as the company makes the move from consumer direct to shops. Interbike 2017 © Cyclocross Magazine

Williams Cycling’s System 45 carbon disc wheels feature a wide, deep center channel and a raised lip lining the channel to help with bead retention in high and low pressure. Williams wheels are available soon in a shop near you as the company makes the move from consumer direct to shops. Interbike 2017 © Cyclocross Magazine

The wheelset is built with Sapim CX-Ray spokes, laced to the company’s new Virgo hubs. into a 1,558g package. Williams has bucked the trend of reducing the degrees of engagement for its freehubs. It went this direction with its Six-Sixty hubs, but the new Virgo hubs move from 6 pawls and 60 ratchets to 3 pawls and 36 ratchets for weight savings and 10 degrees of engagement.

Williams Cycling's Virgo hubs have interchangeable freehub bodies, and an external cam quick release that doesn't rely on a user perfectly aligning a plastic washer to ensure wheel security. Interbike 2017 © Cyclocross Magazine

Williams Cycling’s Virgo hubs have interchangeable freehub bodies and an external cam quick release that doesn’t rely on a user perfectly aligning a plastic washer to ensure wheel security. Interbike 2017 © Cyclocross Magazine

The hubs work with quick release and thru-axles through using different end caps.

Williams Cycling's System 45 carbon disc wheels come with the new Virgo hubs, which boast 3 pawls and 36 ratchets with 10 degrees of engagement, and is said to offer better power transfer. Interbike 2017 © Cyclocross Magazine

Williams Cycling’s System 45 carbon disc wheels come with the new Virgo hubs, which boast 3 pawls and 36 ratchets with 10 degrees of engagement and are claimed to offer better power transfer. Interbike 2017 © Cyclocross Magazine

The new wheels are also available in 60mm and 90mm depths, should your year ‘round use lean more towards time trials, triathlons or road racing.

Williams Cycling's $1399 System 45 carbon disc wheels is the company's do-it-all wheelset. 45mm deep, 18.6mm internal width. 1558 grams per set. Available soon in a shop near you as the company makes the move from consumer direct to shops. Interbike 2017 © Cyclocross Magazine

Williams Cycling’s $1,399 System 45 carbon disc wheels are the company’s do-it-all wheelset. 45mm deep, 18.6mm internal width. 1,558 grams per set. Interbike 2017 © Cyclocross Magazine

Stay tuned as we await a set of System 45 wheels for review.

Williams System 45 Carbon Tubeless Wheelset

MSRP: $1,399
Rim: Carbon; 45mm deep; 18.4mm inside width, 26mm outer width
Hub: Williams Virgo; 36-point engagement, 3-pawl; 24-hole front and rear; 6-bolt disc rotor mounts
Axles: Front: Quick release and 12mm and 15mm thru-axle end caps; Rear: QR and 12x135mm and 12x142mm thru-axle end caps
Spokes: Sapim CX-Ray laced 2x
Weight: 1,558g (claimed); Front: 767g (claimed), Rear: 791g (claimed)
More info: williamscycling.com