The carbon creators at CADEX officially entered the gravel/all-road wheel market with one of the lightest wheelsets we’ve seen — CADEX AR 35 DISC. That’s not all, though, as we saw with the CADEX 36 DISC road wheels. CADEX prefers to offer “wheel systems,” including tires, and the CADEX AR 35 DISC is no different. Launching alongside the new carbon wheels is a line of high-performance gravel tires, with treads for many conditions.
Like the others in the CADEX wheel line, the CADEX AR 35 DISC has its roots in performance and competition. For CADEX, the performance of their wheels hinges upon their trademark wide hookless rims. CADEX, since their jump into the tubeless (and hookless) world, has touted the benefit of lower tire pressures, wider rims, and stiffer builds. That means keeping the weight low, performance high, and taking a good hit when the road gets rocky.
What is it? CADEX AR 35 DISC ALL ROAD
The CADEX AR is a lightweight all road wheel with a 25mm inner rim width and hookless-bead style rims. The wheels come with the podium in mind, packed with ceramic bearings, a 60 tooth freehub body, and are light enough to make your road bike blush at 1270g.
The launch of the CADEX AR 35 DISC along with CADEX tires unveils a clear vision for the CADEX AR line, previously limited to the lone CADEX AR Gravel handlebar.
Ceramic bearings, carbon spokes, and carbon rims for gravel?
Like the CADEX 36 DISC, the new CADEX 35 AR DISC comes with the same super-strong hookless rim.
The spokes are CADEX’ in-house carbon aero spokes. The same high tensile-strength carbon spoke are used on the CADEX 36 DISC road wheel. CADEX employs Dynamic Balanced Lacing (DBL) technology to achieve superior lateral stiffness and a stiffness-to-weight ratio that moves the CADEX AR 35 to the front of the all-road peloton.
How strong is the CADEX 35 AR DISC rim?
CADEX claims the hookless 35 AR DISC rim provides the same impact resistance as an XC mountain bike wheel at a significantly lighter weight. After the rides and rocks we put them through, we have to agree.
The CADEX 35 AR DISC rim inner width is 25mm, slightly larger than the 22.5mm CADEX 36 DISC.
This width cradles tires anywhere from 28c to 45c, creating a solid contact patch and allowing for lower tire pressures.
Introducing the CADEX R2-C60 Hub R-Drive freehub
The CADEX R-Drive freehub is the second-generation CADEX hub and features ultra-smooth CADEX ceramic bearings and a 60 tooth ratchet driver with a flattened coil spring and redesigned dust cover.
CADEX R2-C60 front hub has an integrated axle and eliminates play by replacing the end cap, bearing, and bushing interface with an integrated axle that runs the length of the hub.
The hubs are center lock specific and are available in Shimano 11-12 / SRAM XDR 12 / Campagnolo freehub bodies.
CADEX 35 AR DISC Technical Specifications:
Rim Height: 35mm
Rim Outer Width: 31mm
Rim Inner Width: 25mm
Front Hub: CADEX R2-C60 Hub, Centerlock
Rear Hub: CADEX R2-C60 Hub, 60T Ratchet Driver, Centerlock
Axle Spacing: 12x100mm Thru (Front), 12×142 Thru (Rear)
Spokes: Aero Carbon Spokes (Front & Rear)
Lacing: 21H (Front), 24H (Rear)
Recommended Tire Width: 700 x 28c – 700 x 45c
Weight: 1270g (Pair no tape or valve stems)
Price: Front: $1400 | Rear $1600 | Pair: $3000
CADEX AR and GX Tubeless tires
CADEX prefers to control the wheel system and performance when they can. This control allows them to introduce tires and compounds that best represent the overall CADEX wheel experience. The new CADEX AR and GX tires aim to take riders off-road and even into the forest with new treads and updated compounds that excel in less than ideal conditions.
CADEX AR all-road tires
The CADEX AR tires use CADEX exclusive AR-S dual compound to combine compact diamond-shaped knobs on the centerline and tall trapezoidal side knobs. Think of this as you’re dry weather, sandy conditions tire. Since this is a gravel tire we were talking about, CADEX gave it an updated Dual Shield Puncture Protection (DSPP) and all-new X-Shield coverage on the sidewall and 170TPI tubeless casing.
CADEX GX Gravel tires
The CADEX GX tires use CADEX exclusive GX-S dual compound, designed with short centerline knobs for speed and chunky outer knobs for cornering control — like a cross country mountain bike tire. The CADEX GX employs the same Dual Shield Puncture Protection, Race Shield+ protection over the center, and all-new X-Shield coverage on the sidewall — all on a 170TPI casing.
CADEX AR/GX Tire Technical Specifications:
Size: 700x40c (AR/GX)
Max Pressure: 60 PSI / 4.1 BAR
Min Pressure: 25 PSI / 1.7 BAR
Casing: 170 TPI supple casing
Compound: AR-S Dual Compound
Weight: 425g (AR) 445g (GX)
First ride impressions —CADEX 35 AR DISC
The presentation of the CADEX wheels is something to behold, they package them like a premium product, and it’s very nice to see.
The package comes with wheel bags, owner cards, and some nice boxes, maybe for selling your old wheels after buying these — because they are not cheap.
That being said, they are very high quality out of the box; I had to double-check these were the “gravel wheel” when I opened the bag because the weight took me by surprise.
The CADEX 35 AR DISCs are light but have a robust feel.
The tires have a supple feel, similar to high-end mountain bike tires but a bit more pliable. The tread on the AR is very cyclocross-file-tread reminiscent, and the GX is more of a fast cross-country tire. They feel fast and supple, and the weight is respectable if they live up to the protection hype. Fast tires are great, but you can’t win a race on the side of the road.
Inflating the first batch of tires was easy. They mounted up quickly without a tire lever and inflated with a floor pump. I maxed them out at 50psi to get the bead to sit correctly and then deflated to a softer 35psi for my ride.
When I changed tires from the AR to the GX, I experienced some issues inflating. The tire went on the rim as quickly as before, but the bead skipped the rim and blew off upon inflation. I double-checked the tires and noticed a small dent (for lack of a better word) in the tire’s bead. Upon consulting with the team at CADEX, the determination was made it could have happened during transport. CADEX packages their tires in thick cardboard packages to preserve the tire and bead from outside interference. Our review tires were packaged in with the wheels, folding the bead and possibly compromising the tire.
How do CADEX 35 AR DISCs ride?
My first journeys were on classic east coast winter roads and frozen gravel. The wheels felt incredibly responsive and stiff considering the wider tires. CADEX goes through some lengths to explain the wheel’s stiffness and how it compares to others on the market. The problem with overly stiff or rigid wheels is they can feel like crap on rough services — these do not.
The CADEX 35 AR DISC spin up quickly and maintain speed on the flats effortlessly, we can’t say for sure if it was the ceramic bearings, the tires, the rims, or all three, but they fly. It felt odd riding such a pair of wheels on unmaintained winter roads, but they kept up with what the east coast dished out.
The wider footprint paired with the 40mm CADEX AR is an excellent combo for the road and transferring to the gravel. The tread rolls fast, and the side knobs are enough to get you out of any trouble or mud that thaws. The wide rim offers compliance but isn’t bouncy or off-putting in turns.
In less than friendly gravel (i.e., boulders), the CADEX 35 AR DISC wheels held their ground. I hit bottom many (many) times and came back with nothing more than a scratch. I am very impressed with the resilience of the wheels thus far.
We’ll have a full in-depth review in the future, so keep an eye out!
For more information, check out: Cadex-cycling.com