Cadex is a brand under the Giant umbrella, but the new Cadex 50 Ultra Disc wheelset is not a Giant house brand wheelset. Although we’ve talked about it in the past, Cadex is a brand with roots that go back to the mid-’80s. At the time, Giant was looking to build a carbon fiber bicycle frame and needed a groupset that could break free from the realities everyday commercials.
Giant needed a moonshot group and Cadex was the answer to the need. The brand then disappeared until 2019. This time with a range of wheels but with a mission statement that hadn’t changed. Described in his own words, “CADEX is the search for what many see as unlikely, even impossible.” As the line has expanded since the initial launch, it continues to mean surprisingly light and highly aerodynamic.
Cadex wheels are some of our favorites and we have included the 65mm depth in our list of the best. best road bike wheels. Although until now there has been a gap in the brand’s lineup right at the most popular modern depth and today’s launch is changing that. The Cadex 50 Ultra Disc wheel system represents an expansion of available wheel depth. It brings to market the latest aerodynamic tricks and a new aerodynamically optimized tire for a complete wheel system.
Cadex Aero Tubeless Tire
It makes sense to start with the tire because it also informs the design of the wheel. As with all Cadex wheels, the latest version uses a hookless design and focuses on lightness and aerodynamics. Pushing those parameters as far as possible means considering the wheel in the context of a system. Cadex already has tires on the market for general riding, but in an effort to move the goalposts even further, the Cadex Aero tubeless tire is specifically designed to cut through the air.
Cadex found that a more oval tire profile improved aerodynamics. The new tires are specifically matched with the 22.4mm wide internal profile of the latest wheels for a more oval tire shape when inflated. For those looking for an advantage over other wheels, the brand claims that the “optimized aero profile improves the overall aerodynamic performance of many wheels available on the market.”
Of course, aerodynamics is only a small part of the equation when it comes to tires. Cadex Aero tubeless tires use a micro file tread and combine it with RR-A Compound rubber. RR-A Compound is a silica-based tire compound with a 15% reduction in rolling resistance compared to previous Cadex tires as well as increased grip in both wet and dry conditions. The single-layer “Flexible Racing Casing (SRC)” helps keep the ride comfortable, while the “Race Shield Puncture Protection” manages punctures with a cut-resistant Kevlar material built into the casing.
When it comes to aerodynamics, every new wheel claims to be the fastest, but Cadex has a pretty transparent and rigorous testing procedure to share along with the claims. It’s a four-step process that tests Cadex products against industry leaders in controlled tests. The first step is to use the same Cadex aero tires combined with the Cadex 50 Ultra Disc, Enve SES 5.6, Zipp 454 NSW, DTSwiss 50 Arc 1100 and Roval Rapide CLX. The following test takes the same wheels and pairs them with different tires. Then the third test uses a Giant Propel Advanced SL disc and measures the aerodynamics of the complete system. For the latest test, the wheels and tires are the Cadex parts, while three industry-leading race bikes swap out the Giant Propel. Although the wheels in use are not all of the latest version, Cadex shows improvements in all cases.
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To get these results, the Cadex 50 Ultra Disc wheelset relies on a couple of innovations. None is more visible than the redesigned carbon spoke system. Carbon spokes are not a new innovation in the Cadex wheel line, but for this generation, they have gotten much wider. The basic bonded alloy nipple construction remains the same, but the “Super Aero Carbon Spoke” design is not only more aerodynamic, it also lays the foundation for increased stiffness.
Less conspicuous but just as important, the hub used on the Ultra Disc Cadex 50 wheelset also sees an update. It is still a ratcheting system and is visually similar to the Cadex 65 hub, but the Cadex R3-C40 represents the third generation of the Cadex hub design. It has been externally optimized for aerodynamic performance and internally it has a 40-tooth gear with Cadex ceramic bearings. For those who care, he’s also exceptionally strong surpassing even Chris King in that regard.
Rigidity and efficiency
With a 1349 gram wheelset, measured at 1316 grams for our test sample, Cadex is quick to point out that its new wheel system is not the light and supple wheelset of the past. Updated hubs and spokes contribute through the use of Dynamic Balanced Lacing (DBL) technology. The system uses a wider bracing angle that equalizes spoke tension under pedaling forces. The end result is a supposed “highest lateral stiffness among its competitors”. With 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%, while still weighing less.
While lateral stiffness determines the side-to-side flex of the wheel in response to lateral loading, it is drivetrain stiffness that determines responsiveness. The application of pedaling force creates a torsional flex in the wheel and the resistance to this determines the responsiveness of the wheel. Cadex again claims an advantage here stating that “the CADEX 50 Ultra Disc outperforms the next best by over 27%”.
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Today marks the global launch and it will soon be available at select Cadex retailers worldwide and at www.cadex-ciclismo.com
Technical 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
- Cash register: 170 TPI Flexible Race Casing (SRC)
- Compound: RR-A Low Rolling Resistance Compound
- Puncture protection: career shield
- Weight: 290g
Tech Specs – Cadex 50 Ultra Disc Wheelset
- Price: £2,649.98 / $3,500.00
- Border height: 50mm
- Outer rim width: 30mm
- Inner rim width: 22.4mm
- Front hub: CADEX R3-C aerodynamic hub, center lock
- Rear hub: CADEX R3-C40 low friction aero hub, 40 tooth ratcheting driver, center lock
- Wheelbase: 12x100mm across (front), 12×142 across (rear)
- Spokes: Super Aero Carbon spokes (front and rear)
- Cord: DBL, 21H (front), DBL, 24H (rear)
- Recommended rim width: 700x25c – 700x32c
- Weight: 1349g (pair), 595g (front), 754g (rear)