Blog: 2014

14 Jul 2014

Sweet singlespeed

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This is a photogenic singlespeed cyclocross wheelset. The design is tuned with a lot of coordinated choices specifically for the rider and his needs. Each wheel uses 28 DT Revolution spokes to deliver the desired stiffness at an attractive weight. Brass nipples for reliability in spite of wet, dirty conditions. The rims are H Plus Son Archetypes, which are a nice width for cyclocross tires and strong enough for racing. Hubs are White Industries ENO, which are a basic sealed bearing design with bolt-on attachment and great finishing. The White freewheel is the pièce de résistance.

28 Jun 2014

More road tubeless

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Apologies I’ve been blogging less and Instagramming more. See me on Instagram.

This is a set of wheels similar in many respects to a build blogged previously. The rims are the same but the weight is about 1% more at 1520 grams. That’s in spite of lighter hubs and eight fewer spokes, which goes to show counting grams is not the same as counting spokes. This build uses a mix of Sapim Race and Sapim Laser spokes to deliver the stiffness required.

These wheels will get two layers of Stan’s yellow tape and Stan’s road tubeless valve stems, which I sell. They’re getting the updated Schwalbe One tubeless rubber in a 25mm width. Very nice!

09 Jun 2014

Road disc trend

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We’re seeing more and more road disc bikes on the market. The scene is changing quickly but not all hub manufacturers are on trend. DT Swiss makes excellent hubs that are easily convertible between axle standards and freehub specifications. You can take a DT Swiss mountain hub and swap in a Shimano/SRAM 11 speed freehub body with no fuss. Unfortunately because DT is late to the party, you can’t buy their hubs ready to ride. You have to buy the freehub body separately and do the swap yourself, leaving you with a 10 speed freehub body in hand. Not ideal.

These are photos of a recent wheelset — DT Swiss 350 hubs laced to H Plus Son Achetype rims with DT Swiss Competition double-butted spokes. Freehub swapped to support Shimano 11.

31 May 2014

Lightweight mountain

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These are lightweight wheels designed to rejuvenate a bike that gets a lot of use but has considerable life left. If you’re still using OEM wheels, you’ll be surprised how new hoops transform your ride. Components were chosen for weight and these wheels hit 1500 grams with valves and tape. The front hub is an uncommon 25mm thru axle model, which matches the owner’s fork.

I build wheels for climbing, racing, touring, track, trail and every application. I build wheels for skinny folks and big folks. Everyone is different so can be hard to find the ideal wheel on the shelf.

Clydesdale (heavier) riders are no exception. The wheelset pictured below is particularly strong to meet the needs of a particular rider. It uses Velocity Cliffhanger rims and White Industries MI6 hubs. The 26″ wheel size and wider 135mm rear spacing offer relevant benefits.

Spokes are a key consideration with every build. In this case I’ve chosen 40 spokes per wheel and I’m using single-butted Sapim Strong, which are 2.3mm at the elbow where most breakage occurs. The strength of a spoke is proportional to its cross-sectional area so a 2.3mm section is stronger than you might imagine. Put in other terms, 40 spokes with a 2.3mm diameter offer more strength than 52 spokes with a plain 2.0mm end. Sapim Strong are 32% stronger says (π×(2.3÷2)²) ÷ (π×(2.0÷2)²).

It’s not common practice but I chose nipple washers for this build, which allow me to take tension to the limit of the rim with greater safety. Sapim Polyax washers also allow nipples to re-orient slightly for a better spoke path — I like them when building with single-butted spokes.