This is another build using China-direct carbon rims. These are tubulars from Light-Bicycle, a brand featured on this blog a few times. They’re nice rims. The new infosheet from LB says special skills are required to build carbon rims but I completely disagree. If you’re smart enough to use a tensiometer, you can build carbon. I like nipple washers with carbon but otherwise my process is the same.
White Industries T11 hubs mated to Stan’s Alpha 400 rims is a combination I’ve built (and ridden) in more than one incarnation. This set is put together with Sapim Laser spokes in the front and rear non-drive side, Sapim Race rounding out the rear. That puts total weight a hair over 1500 grams while remaining stiff enough for the rider. These wheels are setup tubeless with Stan’s tape and valves supporting Schwalbe Pro One tires in 700×28. A perfect combination top to bottom.
What is hex about? Hexagonal head nipples have an additional wrench surface on the rear. With more contact points and a larger contact surface, higher torque is permitted. Higher torque can help free seized nipples down the road and keeps the finish of the front tool flats pristine when building in the first place. Some wheelbuilders may find the wrench turning direction more intuitive from the rear however hex drive nipples retain regular wrench flats for day-to-day truing as needed.
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