Kurt is an old friend from some years back, who moved away from “the big smoke” about the same time XLR8 did. He lives up near the extinct super volcano that is now a myriad of National Parks and State Forests in the northernmost part of New South Wales.
He has a nice Kona 700c Urban/Commuting rig, and sought our advice on how to toughen it up for rough fire trail duties and adventure riding. Some testing showed that 29er and CX tyres were going to be too big, there just wasn’t enough clearance at the top of the tyre.
The next best choice was a new set of 650b hoops and tyres. The external diameter (with 2.1″ tyres) would be close to what the bike came with from the factory, so the confident handling would not be compromised. The extra “cush”of the MTB tyres will be useful, and so will the grip and traction.
The Alex XD-Lite rim is a great compromise between weight, strength, “tubelessability” and price. A good choice for this application.
Shimano Deore M475 series hubs are cheap, super reliable, and very hard to kill. It can be said that they are not very light, but it’s less of an issue than heavy rims, as the weight is non rotational.
Of course (irrespective of component spec) we only use the highest quality spokes and nipples on all our builds. In this case, double butted Sapim Race spokes and Polyax nipples.