Paul is local rider who excels in the hills. He's very light and climbs like a "mountain goat". After hearing about our wheels from other riders in his training group, he approached us to help him with some aero hoops.
As with many pure climbers, their power to weight ratio may be strong, but their power to frontal area (aero coefficient) may not be as high. They can suffer on the flats and in headwinds. This often explains why the big guys can mash on the flats (high power to frontal area), but suffer in the hills (low power to weight).
So Paul asked for some help building an aero bicycle wheelset that is super aero to assist with keeping up with the big gear mashing flatland flyers.
Paul came into the workshop for a coffee and a consultation. We took our time with him to discuss the relative pros and cons of different carbon rims that we have available. Not being very heavy, Paul decided that a shallow section toroidal carbon rim would be best up front, with a deeper section on the rear (where more strength is required, and the affect of cross winds less of an issue).
The Nextie range of carbon toroidal racing bike rims was selected. An easy choice, as for a budget set of carbon wheels they are tough, light enough, full of the latest technology, and have a smart profile that is virtually unaffected by cross winds. Nextie have been prevalent in the MTB carbon rim world for some time now, and their road rims are easily as good.
Specially the Nextie NXT32RC was chosen for the front, 32mm deep, 27mm wide, with a 20 hole drilling. A deeper NXT45RC was chosen for the rear, 45mm deep, again 27mm wide and in a 24 hole drilling.
The XLR8 MD hubs were selected for this build. They are very light, reliable and inexpensive. Paul uses 10 speed, but selected the 11 speed freehub version for some future proofing.
As these wheels will be riding in the crazy crosswinds that we often experience around these parts, a round spoke is preferable - they perform better than most aero spokes in crosswinds. The super light Sapim Laser spoke was used for the front radially laced wheel. Being very light himslef, light spokes will work just fine on a stiff rim, for Paul.
On the rear wheel, we used Sapim Lasers on the non drive side, and the thicker Sapim Race on the drive side. A thicker spoke helps to retain more equal left to right lateral stiffness, as the drive side has a much steeper spoke angle than the non drive side, and would flex more unless a thicker spoke is used. Just one of the subtle tweaks we use at XLR8 to build the best wheels for you.
Top shelf anodised DT Swiss Alloy nipples were used to reduce rotating weight.