Blog: 2013

22 Dec 2013

Carbon rims China direct

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A trend I’ve been watching is direct sales of carbon rims from China. It’s an idea with pros and cons. The main pro is price. When you buy direct you are effectively a wholesale customer; they offer no better terms for dealers. You have probably seen them on small brand wheels, which are often based on this idea — just add logos, the promise of testing and a little markup. If you purchase rims China direct, I can get them built. If you want to talk about the idea, get in touch.

These rims were supplied by the rider. Weight is the focus with a Tune King 15 front hub, DT Swiss 240S rear and CX-Ray spokes. Total wheelset weight is 1470 grams (29er, 32h). Wow!

Happy holidays all.

09 Dec 2013

Clydesdale wheel love

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Heavier riders can be hard on wheels. Clydesdale/Athena riders need to look at a few factors when choosing wheels: get a strong rim, build with more spokes, select butted spokes and use brass nipples. I sometimes hear the suggestion that straight gauge spokes are better for these applications but untrue! Spokes break from fatigue and breakage usually occurs near the elbow. A butted spoke has a thinner middle section, which is more elastic. This redirects flex from the danger zone to a less risky part of the spoke. This means better durability even though weight is lower.

Here’s a classic example: Velocity Deep V rims in 32f/36r, Shimano 105 hubs, and butted spokes.

24 Nov 2013

Maybe my next wheelset

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Check out these wheels: DT Swiss 350 hubs laced to H Plus Son Archetype rims. The quality of the hubs is tops — spending more money buys lower weight but not tougher stuff. The rims are very strong. This wheelset uses 28 butted spokes front and rear paired with aluminum nipples to keep weight in check. I think everyone should own a wheelset like this. Fun, durable and good looking. I’m tempted to build a set for myself perhaps with Sapim CX-Ray spokes for the bling factor.

I like silver components because they look better with wear. This job used old stock Shimano hubs a customer found and mailed in for wheelbuilding. On one hand the hubs are showing their age, which is to say they’ve developed some patina. They look great. On the other hand I found a dented dustcover on the front hub, which prevented ideal adjustment. Nothing I haven’t seen before — I was able to repair the hub and finish the build. The rims are H Plus Son Archetypes in polished silver. These rims are a little bright but will wear to look just like the hubs. I recently compared box section polished rims but Archetypes are my jam. They’re lighter and stronger and look sweet.

But wait there’s more! This is another take on the same rim. I built this wheelset using lighter White Industries T11 hubs, fewer butted spokes and orange aluminum nipples.