Sometimes newbies ask about cheap rims to try wheelbuilding, which isn’t the right way to think about starting. Rim quality sets the stage so inexpensive rims may serve to frustrate more than anything. If you’re apprehensive about wheelbuilding, and there isn’t any reason to be, stay away from ultralight rims and low spoke count rims. Stay away from ultralight spokes (but don’t go nuts with heavyweight spokes either). Buy a quality rim with the attributes you want to ride and you’ll do fine.
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 can’t agree. 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.