I suffered through a flu during the week and was busy at work as well, so couldnâ€™t really get a ride done. However today I finally managed to get 40kâ€™s of casual spinning done.
This is what I have experience with (what I compare these to):
Easton EC90 SL tubular on my Specialized Tarmac
FFWD F5R + F5C tubular on my Specialized Tarmac
Zipp 808 + Zipp 900 disc tubular on my Scott Plasma 2
Novatec 30 Disc tubeless (OEM wheels on Felt F4x)
If you want to make a cyclocross bike fast on the road, these wheels are a solution. In general I think that every bike build has a certain â€ťstructural velocityâ€ť, which I mean speed that is relatively easy to maintain. These wheels definetly improve that. Iâ€™m not going to disclose any speeds as they are always relative to the route and conditions, but Iâ€™m leaning towards these being on par or even a little faster than my Tarmac on the EC90s. This was a very casual ride and I wasnâ€™t hunting KOMâ€™s or anything like that, but the potential was there to be felt.
There is something in the front end handling I donâ€™t like. The bike feels hesitant to lean into a corner. I suspect itâ€™s either the front tireâ€™s shape (as it is so bowed out) which is making the transition from center tread to the treadâ€™s side feel laborsome, or itâ€™s just the tireâ€™s width which is adding inertia. It would be interesting to throw a 28mm tire on the front wheel and see whether that makes it worse or not. I didnâ€™t try any serious sprints, just a couple of short efforts over rolling hills. Through those efforts the wheels felt very solid and on point.
So far the KCNC Razor discs do not seem suitable for prolonged braking. I didnâ€™t make adjustments to the brake calipers when changing wheels which could help things, as they didnâ€™t rub. The braking feel is quite close to how the discs look like - quite a lot of air between the pads and not much material to hold on to. Braking feels like the pads are hitting the edges in the discs continously, and the edges may be chipping material away from the pads. That could be remedied by sanding the leading edges of the pads to an angle, but Iâ€™m not fussed enough to go through that.
It may just be the general feeling of 25mm to 28mm tubeless road tires, but so far Iâ€™m not a fan of the riding feel of the Schwalbe Pro Ones. There is this distinct vagueness in them. I prefer the planted and more direct feel of 22-24mm tubulars. Then again my favourite tubular of all time has been the Schwalbe One, so I think Schwalbe knows how to manufacture tires with good riding feel. On less than ideal road surfaces, a certain level of â€ťdisconnectâ€ť may be very welcome.