CX-ifying a 29er, save 500g on wheels or 1kg on fork?

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  • CX-ifying a 29er, save 500g on wheels or 1kg on fork?
  • Just had an opportunity to weigh the wheels on my Trek Superfly, which stands in as a gravel bike and CX bike depending on what bars I put on it.

    Considering what improvements I could make for next CX season, thankfully it wouldn’t take much to shed some considerable weight.

    I could either fit some Hunt Gravel wheels, apparently 1.6kg versus the stock 2.1kg Bontrager wheels. This seems like the sensible option considering the amount of accelerations and corners in a CX race.

    But on the other hand, for £50 less I could fit some 3T carbon forks instead of the stock Rebas and save the best part of 900g/1kg. Obvious drawback is loss of suspension but I’m practically the only guy on the course with suspension!

    If you believe the old adage of ‘rotating weight counts double’ then I’m thinking keeping the benefit of suspension but saving weight on the wheels is the best choice.

    Where else would you spend £300 – £500 on a 29er to make it more CX-worthy? (bearing in mind it’s already 1x, and I already have some nice Challenge Limus tyres)

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager

    A rigid bike is going to make a difference CX racing, but wouldn’t it be better to just get a get a secondhand cross bike for £500 than arse around buying and swapping forks around?

    See some decent bikes go on our league’s facebook buy/sell page for fair prices. Then you’ll have a better bike for racing, wheels probably not good but better than what you have now, and you can slot a set of hunts in there at a later date.

    Are they suspension corrected forks? Rebas to a stock cx fork could make the steering pretty interesting.

    Premier Icon funkmasterp

    I’d go with Garry’s suggestion. Pick up a secondhand CX bike. Other than that I’d say go for the wheels.

    Aye, the forks are 29er forks, i.e. a/c measurement of 500mm.

    Hadn’t considered second hand. I’d lazily written off ‘new bike’ as buying new for the sort of money I could afford barely offered any weight savings and usually a lower spec than the Superfly. Will go check out the local pages…

    Premier Icon cynic-al

    Wheels will make the biggest difference to the feel of the bike. Neither will make any measurable difference to speed/times.

    Premier Icon neila

    Cheeky bump, but I have a 54cm CAADX in the classifieds at the moment, if it’s your size have a look. I am open to offers.

    Premier Icon schmiken

    I have some tubular wheels and tyres I’d gladly sell you for £175 posted..

    I run a rigid carbon 29er as my CX/gravel/go-anywhere bike. Prefer the ergos to a traditional CXer/dropbar gravel bike – more stable, better control, just as light (sub 9kg). I’d fit the forks then embrace a journey of weenieing it. You’ll need longer forks than ‘CX’ though. Exotic plus others do 490mm carbon forks.

    Neila/Schmiken, thanks, but I’m a 58 in Cannondale and a serial tyre swapper, don’t fancy tubs.

    Reggie, in general I’m not fussed about the geometry, the extra mud clearance seems like a massive benefit, and if it’s slower through tight corners it hasn’t stopped me getting in amongst it at races so far!

    Doubt I’d get sub-9kg without buying wheels AND new forks, could probably justify the outlay as it would still be lighter than a comparable new CX bike, and better than anything second hand that I’ve seen for the money…

    Keep looking at replacing the stock aluminium seatpost with carbon, but there’s an awful lot of exposed post and I’m just not comfortable with landing flying re-mounts on ~300mm of exposed carbon post…

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