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.
Richard from Gloucestershire was interested in having two identical hand-built wheelsets for two of his bikes and opted for Shimano CX-75 28-spoke hubs laced to the new DT Swiss R421 asymmetric endurance disc-specific rims using Sapim Race spokes. I built them up using a 3X pattern throughout for extra strength and they weighed in at 1803g per set.
John from Lincolnshire wanted a dynamo front wheel for audaxing and general night riding, and went with a black SON Delux 32-spoke dynamo hub laced to a Mavic CXP Pro rim using Sapim Laser spokes. The wheel came out weighing a tad over a kilogram.
Andy from Nottingham wanted a light set of tubeless carbon wheels for racing on next year and chose a set of Light Bicycle 25mm front and 35mm rear rims laced to a set of super-light Bitex hubs. I used Sapim Laser spokes on the front to keep both costs and weight down, but used Sapim CX-Ray on the rear and brass nipples throughout. I also fitted for Andy a set of Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyres with Stans valves and sealant. The set without tyres ended up weighing 1356g.
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.
David from London asked me to build him a wheelset around a set of Hope Mono RS hubs he owned. The hubs needed the freehub changed and the internals cleaned and re-lubed. I built them on the new Mavic Open Pro UST rims using Sapim Race spokes laced 3X rear 32H and 2X front 28H.
Jon from Bristol went for a superb winter / audax combination of a rock solid DT Swiss 350 Classic ‘Hugi’ rear hub and SP Dynamo PD-8 front dynamo hub laced to DT Swiss RR440 rims using Sapim D-Light spokes and brass nipples. Total build weight came to under 2kg.