Cadex releases ultra-light gravel wheels under 1300 grams

Giant’s sub-brand introduces an all-road and gravel lineup that includes AR 35 carbon wheels and two tires with tread patterns designed for dirt
As part of its new line of all-road and gravel components, Cadex introduces the ultralight AR 35 wheelset with accompanying AR and GX tires.The range will expand later this year with the introduction of composite handlebars.
Weighing only 1270 grams and with a rim depth of 35mm, the AR 35s are one of the lightest all-road and gravel wheelsets currently available.Cadex also claims that the hookless rims offer “best-in-class stiffness-to-weight ratio.”
AR and GX are high-volume tires designed to handle tough all-road and gravel conditions.Both tread patterns are currently only available in the 700x40c size.
While Cadex may seem rather late to the gravel party, its entry into this competitive market seems well thought out.
“At Cadex, we spend a lot of time riding on gravel,” said Jeff Schneider, head of product and marketing for American Brands.“From backcountry roads in California to mixed terrain adventures in Asia and Europe to participating in events like the Belgian Waffle Ride, we knew we could improve some aspects of the riding experience. So, over the past two-plus years Here, we combined our real-world experience with our time in the test lab to develop a wheel system that we are proud of.”
The weight of the AR 35s is sure to grab the headlines.They’re 26 grams lighter than Roval’s Terra CLX wheels.Zipp’s Firecrest 303 and Bontager’s Aeolus RSL 37V weigh 82 grams and 85 grams.Enve’s 3.4 AR Disc comes in its lightest configuration, nearly 130 grams more than the AR 35s advertised.All of these rival wheels are praised for their light weight.
“We’re most proud of our new wheel and what it brings to the gravel,” he said. “We set out to redesign everything from the shell to the teeth to create something that’s super responsive and optimizes power transfer. . As we’ve been saying: Work hard. Get up to speed.
The precision machined R2-C60 hub features a unique 60-tooth ratchet hub and flat coil spring designed to provide instant engagement, reacting in “milliseconds”.Cadex says its ceramic bearings further improve the wheel’s responsiveness and efficiency.
The small engagement angle offered by the ratchet is certainly relevant for gravel riding on technical terrain, especially steep climbs.However, this is usually less important on the road.For comparison, DT Swiss usually has 36-ton ratchets for its hubs.
In such a lightweight wheelset, the hub shell is optimized to be as light as possible, while a proprietary heat-treated surface ensures “maximum wear resistance,” according to Cadex.
The internal rim width of gravel wheels seems to expand as rapidly as the discipline itself.The internal dimensions of the AR 35s are 25mm.Combined with a hookless bead design, Cadex says it provides “maximum strength and smooth handling.”
While hookless rims currently somewhat limit your tire choices, Cadex believes it can “create a rounder, more uniform tire shape, increase sidewall support for cornering, and create a wider, shorter ground contact. area.” It says “minimizes rolling resistance and improves shock absorption for a smoother ride quality.”
Cadex also believes that the hookless technology enables a “stronger, more consistent” carbon fiber construction.It says it allows the AR35s to offer the same impact resistance as XC mountain bike wheels, while producing a lighter product than the competition.
Cadex also won in AR 35s stiffness.During testing, it reported that it exhibited improved lateral and transmission stiffness compared to the aforementioned Roval, Zipp, Bontrager and Enve products.The brand also says its creation beats them in a stiffness-to-weight ratio comparison.Transmission stiffness is determined by how much torsional flex the wheel exhibits under load and is used to simulate the pedaling torque at the wheel flywheel.Lateral stiffness determines how much the wheel bends under side load.This simulates the forces that arise when, for example, climbing out of the saddle or turning.
Other notable details of the AR 35 include Cadex Aero carbon spokes.It says the use of its “custom-tuned Dynamic Balance lacing technology” allows the spokes to be set at a wider angle of support, which helps balance tension under stress.The result, it believes, is “stronger, more efficient wheels with excellent power delivery.”
Conventional wisdom tells us that wide rims need to be paired with high-volume tires for best results.Cadex created two new tubeless tires to match the AR 35 wheels.
AR is its hybrid terrain product.It combines a 170 TPI shell with what Cadex says is a tread pattern optimized for fast gravel riding and racing as well as road efficiency.To achieve this, it opted for low-profile diamond-shaped knobs on the tire’s centerline and larger “trapezoidal” knobs on the outer edges for improved grip.
The GX improves off-road performance with a more aggressive tread pattern that includes a short centerline knob for “speed” and chunky outer knobs for control when cornering.It also uses a 170 TPI enclosure.While it’s impossible to report the Cadex’s “soft” claim without riding the tires, the high TPI count does indicate a likely comfortable ride.
Both tires are designed to provide tire-to-tire puncture protection by combining a Cadex Race Shield+ layer in the center of the tire and X-shield technology in the sidewall.The result, it says, is “excellent” protection against sharp objects and abrasive surfaces.The 40mm-wide tires weigh 425g and 445g respectively.
It will be interesting to see if Cadex expands the gravel range beyond single size products.The current 700 x 40mm standard points to its “wheel system” being primarily aimed at fast riding and racing, rather than technical terrain or bike-packed touring, which may require a more aggressive tread pattern and wider width.
The Cadex AR 35 is priced at £1,099.99/$1,400/€1,250 front, while the rear with Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM XDR hubs is £1,399.99/$1,600/€1,500.
Luke Friend has been a writer, editor and copywriter for the past two decades.He has worked on books, magazines and websites on a wide range of topics for a range of clients including Major League Baseball, the National Trust and the NHS.He holds an MA in Professional Writing from Falmouth University and is a qualified bicycle mechanic.He fell in love with cycling as a child, in part because of watching the Tour de France on TV.To this day, he is an avid follower of bike racing and an avid road and gravel rider.
The Welshman has revealed on Twitter that he will return to racing after failing to defend his road race title in 2018
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Post time: Mar-04-2022
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