Blog: Stan’s Alpha 400 Rims

12 Jan 2015

Tubeless silver bullets

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Phil Wood makes classic silver hubs but you can save money and weight with White Industries.

This everyday wheelset mates classic-looking White Industries T11 hubs and Stan’s Alpha 400 rims. These rims build light wheels and offer the option of running tubeless or with tubes. With 28 DT Competition spokes per wheel and brass nipples, they’ll be rock solid for years.

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!

Road tubeless has been around for a little while and it has gotten good reviews from the likes of Leonard Zinn. So far I’ve been reticent to try road tubeless but when Schwalbe released their excellent Ultremo ZX tire in a tubeless variant, I figured I’d give it a try.

To make this project work I dug up some NOS Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 hubs. For my first try I turned to my offroad rim vendor, Stan’s Notubes. I got their Alpha 400 rims in 24/28h to match my hubs and put them together with Sapim CX-Ray spokes. The Stan’s rims built up very smoothly and total weight came to 1500g on the nose — plenty respectable. On top of that I installed two layers of Stan’s 21mm yellow tape and 44mm road valves.

Mounting the tires was a little hairy. The Ultremo ZX tires needed levers and I drafted a pair of toe straps to hold the tires in place as I worked their final sections. There’s some skill involved and my speed was better on the second wheel. In the end I found compatibility between tire and rim was excellent. I had my air compressor ready to go but was able to seat the bead with a floor pump. Each tire got 2oz of Stan’s sealant and neither shows signs of leaking air.

Of course it’s all about the ride. My short test ride was very positive — I find the wheels extremely comfortable even with a skinny 23mm tire. Before blabbing too much I want to put more miles on these wheels and play with tire pressure. Details to follow.