Andrew from Hertfordshire wanted two wheelsets that had the same spec hubs for each of his touring / gravel / adventure bikes – one had standard 700c wheels and the other, 27.5 / 650b wheels. They needed to be be strong enough to carry rider and gear for multi-day long distance riding on poor road surfaces.
The 700c wheelset was built on DT Swiss RR 421 DB asymmetric disc brake rims with White Industries CLD 142 x 12 thru axle rear hub and SRAM XD driver on the rear and SON Delux 12 thru axle dynamo hub. Laced 28/32 with Sapim CX-Ray spokes and black brass nipples the wheels weighed in at 1913g.
The 650b wheelset was built on DT Swiss R500 gravel-specific rims with the same hubs and spokes as the 700c wheelset and weighed in at 1972g.
Mark from London was after a build for his Cannondale SuperX cross bike and needed the wheels to be dished according to Cannondale’s specifications for their AI frame settings. The point of this is to un-naturally give the non-drive side extra tension to bring it closer to the tension of the drive side and compensate for the odd dish from an 10/11-speed freehub.
The build was a little tricky to get spot on, but with a bit of instruction directly from Cannondale, I managed to offset the rear wheel spot on for Mark. It was built with DT Swiss components – 350 hubs and the new RR421 rims with 20mm internal width. Laced up with the Sapim CX-Ray spokes 28/28, they weighed in at 1626g.
Liam from Nottingham wanted a semi-deep yet light carbon build on quality hubs. I suggested going for a set of tubeless ready 50mm XCS Carbon rims (25mm wide) laced up to DT Swiss 240s hubs with Sapim CX-Ray spokes. He agreed and I built them up during December – 20-spokes front radial lacing and 24-spokes rear with 2X lacing.
Despite using brass nipples for longevity, the build came out to a featherweight 1530g before fitting tyres and only cost Liam £1000. I also fitted a set of Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyres with Stans sealant ready for collection.
Arnaud from Grenoble in France ordered a very continental build from me – rims from his home country, hubs from Italy and spokes from Belgium. Long live the EU! The wheelset consisted of the new Mavic Open Pro UST rim-brake rims laced to a pair of Miche Primato Syntesi hubs using Sapim CX-Ray spokes and black brass nipples. The wheels were laced up 2X front and 3X rear and weighed in at 1558g.
Steve from Norfolk went with a classy alloy build using Hope RS4 road hubs laced to HED Belgium Plus rims using Sapim CX-Ray spokes in a 28/32 configuration laced 2X front and 3X rear. Total weight was 1694g.
Mark from London wanted a high end alloy wheelset for his classic 90’s Bianchi steel frame. The build was Chris King R45 silver hubs with ceramic bearings laced to a set of HED Belgium Plus rims using silver Sapim CX-Ray spokes in a 24/28 configuration. The build weighed in at 1566g.
Sam from Surrey was looking to replace the stock wheels on his Giant Contend SL 1 Disc. He went with my recommendation of Pacenti Forza disc rims laced in a 28h/28h configuration to a set of DT Swiss 240s centerlock hubs using Sapim CX-Ray spokes. Total weight came to 1635g.
John from Bristol wanted a top-end alloy build and went with a set of Pacenti Forza rims laced to a set of Shimano Dura-Ace hubs with Sapim CX-Ray spokes in a 24/28 configuration. Total weight was 1630g.
Steve from London went with a seriously light set of carbon clinchers (tubeless ready) – my XCS 38mm rims (U-shaped and 25mm wide) laced to Bitex R9/10 hubs. I used Sapim CX-Ray spokes radially front and 2X rear for a 20/24 configuration. They came out at 1390g and cost Steve just £690 (5% off and £655 if you’re a previous 23mm customer).
Russell from Aberdeenshire wanted a solid set of disc-brake wheels for commuting and gravel riding. He went with a set of Ryde Pulse Comp disc rims laced up with Sapim CX-Ray silver spokes in a 28H/28H configuration to a Hope Pro4 rear hub with 142 x 12mm thru axle and SON 28 dynamo 15mm thru axle. The build came in under 2kg.