Matt had decided that one road/gravel bike was needed to replace multiple big wheeled bikes he owned. He was planning to ride this new OPEN Upper for a long time, and approached us to discuss an absolutely "no compromises" build.
Specifically - light, strong, fast and able to manage up to a 44c tyre (and also back down to a 28c for the occasional bunch ride).
As we often do, we met face to face and discussed the options, starting with hubs. DT Swiss and White Industries nearly made the cut, Project 321 almost got there too, but in the end, Matt just wanted the best.
Carbon-Ti make the finest hubs on the market. They might not be the best at marketing their product, but (being part of the aerospace industry) the quality of alloys used is absolute premium, their machining tolerances are better than anyone, and they use the finest quality bearings available.
As for rims, we think the WheelTec Tailwind series offers equal best quality, at a very reasonable price. The Tailwind 40D was selected. 40mm deep, 30mm at their widest, with a 22mm internal width. Absolutely perfect for tyres 28mm and wider, and with a carbon layup that is specifically designed for off bitumen use. Aero too.
Being a bigger guy, super light spokes were any really going to lighten his wallet, and make the wheels more flexible. Not on our watch! We laced his wheels up with custom cut Sapim Race spokes, and (being carbon rims) brass nipples completing the package.
We completed the wheels with some tubeless ready tape, and a subtle XLR8 decal. What a cool build!