Novatec CXD wheels review£359.00

Sturdy CX-friendly wheelset

BikeRadar score4/5

Novatec’s great value CXD hoops, which are billed as ideal for both on and off-road use, come ready supplied with lightweight alloy press-in hub end caps for two 12mm thru-axles, 15mm front and 10mm rear thru-axle, or quick-release fitting, plus the skewers, so they will fit any bike with 130mm/135mm hub spacing.

Our tubular CXD’s rim is 23.5mm wide and 24mm tall. The clincher version is 21.3mm wide and 23.4mm tall, and weighs 40g less.

Even so, at 1581g plus 85g for the quick release skewers, our tubular model is hardly heavy. Just 20 front and 24 rear J-bend spokes and large flange Novatec hubs keep the weight reasonable and ensure good rigidity.

With cyclo-cross tubulars stuck on, the wide rim’s concave shape was very supportive for the fat and very round 33mm rubber. After fitting six-bolt disc rotors and quick release skewers, the CXDs slotted straight in to a test machine.

Cyclo-cross tubulars are usually run at ultra-low pressure for grip, and through many muddy races and hundreds of hard accelerations we found the Novatecs consistently responsive, their feel amplified by the squashy tyres. Despite weeks of abuse, the micro-peened rim surface was unmarked, the wheels remained true and gave utterly faultless service.

This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

Robin Wilmott

Tech Writer, Tech Hub, UK,
Robin began road cycling in 1988, and with mountain bikes in their infancy, mixed experimental off-road adventures with club time trials and road races. Cyclocross soon became a winter staple, and has remained his favourite form of competition. Robin has always loved the technical aspect of building and maintaining bikes, and several years working in a good bike shop only amplified that. Ten years as a Forensic Photographer followed, honing his eye for detail in pictures and words. He has shot at the biggest pro events since the '90s, and now he's here, drawing on all those experiences to figure out what makes a bike or component tick.
  • Age: 45
  • Height: 178cm / 5'10"
  • Weight: 75kg / 165lb
  • Discipline: Road, cyclocross, time trials
  • Beer of Choice: Sierra Nevada Pale Ale
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