Grant’s Hplusson Hydra on Novatec

Cyclocross Gravel Hplusson Novatec Sapim Specials Wheel Builds

Picture of custom handmade gravel road cyclocross disc wheelset by XLR8 wheels using Hplusson Hydra tubeless rims on Novatec 771 and 772 hubs.

Grant came to us after a recommendation from another customer, seeking some quality wheels for his gravel bike, that would be sexy, reliable, and light. He was on a bit of a budget, so sought our advice.

We recommended the Novatec 771 hubs which are inexpensive, have convertible axles, are proven to be very robust, and parts are widely available.

Picture of custom handmade gravel road cyclocross disc wheelset by XLR8 wheels using Hplusson Hydra tubeless rims on Novatec rear 772 hub.

At this time, the new Hplusson Hydra tubeless ready CX/Gravel/Disc Road rim is setting a standard for others to follow. Quality is the usual high standard from Hplusson with a lovely shot peened and anodised finish, and quality welded join. Weight is a very competitive 446g (measured average).

Image of custom handmade gravel road cyclocross disc wheelset by XLR8 wheels using Hplusson Hydra tubeless rims on Novatec 771 and 772 hubs.

Expecting to hammer these wheels, we specced Sapim Race double butted spokes, with the exception of the rear drive side. Here, we used a plain gauge spoke to further equalise the differential in lateral stiffness due to spoke angle. A wise idea considering the very light weight of the rim. Sapim 14mm brass nipples ensure ongoing reliability. To finish them off, Stan’s tubeless tape is applied, to enable the use of wide/fat CX or gravel tyres at comfy pressures – not only enhancing shock absorption, but also cornering grip and tyre traction.

Picture of custom handmade gravel road cyclocross disc wheelset by XLR8 wheels using Hplusson Hydra tubeless rims on Novatec 771 front hub.


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