The Giant needed a group of moonshots, and Cadex was the answer to that need. Then the brand disappeared until 2019. This time with a range of wheels, but with an unchanged mission. Described in their own words: “CADEX is the pursuit of what many consider improbable or even impossible.” As the range expanded from its first release, it continued to stand for stunningly light and highly aerodynamic.
Cadex wheels are one of our favorites and we included a depth of 65mm in our list the best wheels for road bikes. So far, however, there is a hole in the brand’s offer at the most popular contemporary depth, and today’s premiere changes that. The Cadex 50 Ultra Disc Wheelsystem is an extension of the available wheel depth. It launches the latest aerodynamic tricks and a new aerodynamically optimized tire for the complete wheel system.
Cadex Aero Tubeless Tire
Starting with the tire makes sense as it also affects the design of the wheel. As with all Cadex wheels, the latest iteration uses a hookless design and focuses on lightness and aerodynamics. To push these parameters as far as possible means to consider the wheel in the context of the system. Cadex already has general driving tires on the market, but to move the goal posts even further, the Cadex Aero tubeless tire has been designed specifically for cutting through air.
Cadex found that the more oval shape of the tire improves aerodynamics. The new tires blend in with the wide 22.4mm inner profile of the latest wheels to provide a more oval shape when inflated. For those looking for an advantage over other wheels, the brand states that “the optimized aerodynamic profile improves the overall aerodynamic performance of many wheels on the market.”
Of course, aerodynamics is only a small part of the equation for a tire. Cadex Aero Tubeless Tires use a microplate tread and combine with RR-A Compound Rubber. RR-A is a silica-based tire compound with a claimed 15% reduction in rolling resistance compared to previous Cadex tires, as well as improved wet and dry grip. Single-layer “Supple Race Casing (SRC)” ensures a comfortable ride, while “Race Shield Puncture Protection” deals with punctures thanks to cut-resistant Kevlar material built into the housing.
When it comes to aerodynamics, each new wheel has claims to be the fastest, but Cadex has a fairly transparent and rigorous testing procedure to share with the declarations. It is a four-step process where Cadex products are tested against industry leaders in controlled tests. The first step is to use the same Cadex aero tires in conjunction with the Cadex 50 Ultra Disc, Enve SES 5.6, Zipp 454 NSW, DTSwiss 50 Arc 1100 and Roval Rapide CLX. In the next test, the same wheels are taken and combined with different tires. The third test used a Giant Propel Advanced SL Disc and measured the aerodynamics of the entire system. In a recent test, wheels and tires are Cadex components, while three industry-leading racing bikes swap the Giant Propel. While used wheels are not all the latest versions, Cadex shows improvements in all cases.
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To achieve these results, the Cadex 50 Ultra Disc wheel set relies on several innovations. Nothing is more conspicuous than a redesigned carbon fiber spoke system. Carbon spokes are not a new innovation in the Cadex wheel line-up, but have expanded significantly in this generation. The basic structure with the bonded alloy nipple remains the same, but the “Super Aero Carbon Spoke” design is not only more aerodynamic, but also provides the basis for increased stiffness.
Less visible, but equally important, the hub used on the Cadex 50 Ultra Disc wheelset will also receive an update. It’s still a ratchet system and is visually similar to the Cadex 65 hub, but the Cadex R3-C40 represents the third generation Cadex hub design. It has been optimized externally for aerodynamics and internally is coupled to 40 teeth with Cadex ceramic bearings. For those who care, beating even Chris King in this respect is extremely loud.
Rigidity and performance
With a wheelset weighing 1,349 grams measured at 1,316 grams for our test specimen, Cadex is quick to point out that their new wheelset is not the flexible lightweight wheelsets of the past. Updated hubs and spokes contribute to this with Dynamic Balanced Lacing (DBL) technology. The system uses a wider brace angle that equalizes the tension in the spokes under the influence of pedaling forces. The end result is the declared “highest lateral stiffness among competitors”. For the front wheel, the numbers for the rear are similar, beating the Zipp 454 NSW by 18.8% and the Roval Rapide CLX by 40.6%, still weighing less.
While the lateral stiffness determines the lateral deflection of the wheel in response to the lateral load, the transmission stiffness determines the response. Applying force to pedal causes the wheel to deflect, and the resistance to this determines the response of the wheel. Cadex again claims an advantage here, stating that “CADEX 50 Ultra Disc beats the next best by over 27%”.
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Today marks a global premiere and we are soon looking for availability with select Cadex dealers around the world and throughout the world www.cadex-cycling.com
Specifications: Cadex Aero Tubeless Tire
- Price: £ 64.99 / $ 100
- Size: 700x25c
- Maximum pressure: 115 PSI / 7.9 BAR
- Minimum pressure: 70 PSI / 4.8 BAR
- Case: 170 TPI Flexible Racing Case (SRC)
- Mixture: RR-A Compound with low rolling resistance
- Puncture Protection: Race Shield
- Libra: 290g
Specifications: Cadex 50 Ultra Disc Wheelset
- Price: £ 2,649.98 / $ 3,500.00
- Rim Height: 50mm
- Rim outer width: 30mm
- The inner width of the rim: 22.4 mm
- Front hub: CADEX R3-C Aero Hub, Centerlock
- Rear hub: Aero CADEX R3-C40 low friction hub, 40T pawl, Centerlock
- Wheelbase: 12x100mm Thru (front), 12×142 Thru (rear)
- Spokes: Super Aero Carbon Spokes (Front & Rear)
- Lacing: DBL, 21H (front), DBL, 24H (rear)
- Recommended tire width: 700 x 25c – 700 x 32c
- Libra: 1349g (pair), 595g (front), 754g (rear)