We've known Hugh for years. He and XLR8 have been riding MTB together since Uni. That's coming up on 30 years! He's an experienced campaigner, and having worked in the bike industry for much of his life, he knows his stuff. He also know's how to build wheels, so we were honoured when he asked us to put together his wheel rebuild.
Many years ago, he had laced some deep Light Bicycle carbon rims to a Shutter Precision dynamo front hub, and a DT Swiss 180 Ceramic rear hub. These wheels were used for a while on his Kona CX/Gravel Grinder - however he always thought they were too harsh. Deep carbon does not have the inherent elasticity of alloy - it does not bend subtly and return to original shape like alloy does. As a result, we have recently seen a lot of MTB XC and CX/Gravel riders move back to alloy from carbon, chasing more vibration absorption from their wheels.
The disc brake specific Hplusson HYDRA is the perfect rim for this task. It's light at 470g, very tough, and tubeless ready. Plus they look great with a lovely shot peened finish.
We laced these up with DT Swiss Competition spokes, and black brass nipples, in a classic 3x pattern on the rear, and 2x on the front. The result is a solid yet light wheelset, that will be much more comfortable to ride.