We’ve known Steve since the turn off the century when both he and XLR8 worked as bike messengers in Sydney. He’s a big unit and got in contact to discuss some new carbon hoops for his road bike, to service him on the rural roads of mid western New South Wales.
Those roads are somewhere between awful and terrible, and Steve wanted a shallow depth carbon wheel that would still be stiff to accomodate his considerable power output. Having owned a retail bike store, and currently working as a mobile mechanic, he knows his stuff but appreciated our spec advice.
Bigger guys need more and thicker spokes to address lateral flex. In this case, we suggested a 24h front and 28h rear build. The extra weight of 8 extra spokes is really minor, and the affect on aero is barely measurable (most aero gains are in the rim depth). We also suggested a thicker plain gauge spoke on the drive side to equalise the lateral flex characteristics of the asymmetric spoke angles.
The rim choice was pretty easy. A new XLR8 rim that we are testing has proven to a wise choice, and whilst we are still finalising licensing details, Steve was happy to go with undecalled rims. These rims are great - a high T800 and T700 carbon content, high Tg resins, offset rear spoke drilling (further equalising lateral wheel stiffness) and nice and wide at 26mm. 35mm deep front and 40mm deep rear.
Being on a budget, the Bitex A713SB and RAR13 hubs are a logical choice - easy to service, light and robust, they work well. Sapim Race double butted spokes were laced 2x on the front, and the rear (using Leader plain gauge spokes on the drive side) was laced 2x also.