I finished out the cyclocross season on a set of Tufo Flexus tires glued up to Hed Stinger4 wheels. I had a Tufo’s all-conditions “Primus” tread on the back and the mud-specific “Cubus” up front. I really liked that combination. I like the front to have a lot of traction and my cornering technique has inexplicably sharpened (historically I sucked at mtb riding) to the point where I actually slide my rear tire on purpose in the turns. Deep mud was the only thing that overwhelmed the Primus tread on the rear, but my relatively light weight and technique compensates. The Hed Stinger4 wheels are NOT designed for cyclocross, but I loved them. The new Stinger5 is specifically cleared for cross; I wouldn’t have problems recommending that rim to anyone. However, Hed’s fat, toroid shape (like the latest from Zipp) that works so great for aerodynamics with skinny road tires complicates brake setup for cross bike; I had to belt sand my pads down so that the cantilever brakes could open up enough for mud clearance.
Yet next cross season may potentially be the year that disc-brakes take over, in which case setting up rim brakes will be irrelevant. And Hed is ready: these pix are from Interbike. That’s a Stinger5 with my fave Tufo tires and Center-lock type disc mounts. Actually, I’m terribly pleased that Hed chose to go with Center-lock. Six-bolt seems stupid in comparison to the ease/speed of installation of Center-lock.
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