2014 top picks

In 2014 H plus Son Archetype established themselves as the rim of choice for pretty much any road based wheel set. The wider profile, great look, moderate weight, great choice of hole counts and robust build, combined with a very reasonable retail price strengthened their position as the benchmark. In my experience they build a great set of road wheels for pretty much all but the heaviest riders out there in 24 front (DT revolution) and 28 holes rear (Dt Competition) hole counts. Combined with Hope Mono RS hubs they’re probably my road bike wheelset of choice, coming at a competitive 1.6-1.7 Kg weight.

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Archetype 24/28 built on red Hope Mono RS hubs with DT swiss spokes

For heavier riders or for touring and winter training, the same rims can be built as a 32/32 combination on Ultegra 6800 hubs. The latter share most of the Dura Ace technology at a fraction of the cost. Sets of 6800 I have built for Dave and Maria have toured across the USA with no issue whatsoever.

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Archetype in grey on Ultegra 6800 hubs with Sapim spokes

Over the past twelve months a healthy number of 25 mm wide tubeless and disc specific rims have cropped up, to cater for the exploding disc road and cyclocross market. I have built HED Belgium plus, Pacenti SL 25, Velocity Aileron and Stans Grail. They are all excellent rims, well built and finished and extremely stiff. Most importantly, they will take any tyre, from road 23 mm all the way to the beefiest cyclocross and 29 inch cross country tyres. Combined with the 11 speed ready Novatec 771/772 hubs and Sapim D-Light spokes they build a fantastic set of tubeless ready wheels weighing in the 1600-1700 grams range For a beefier set of hubs, consider the new Novatec 541/542 or the classic Hope PRO EVO 2, both only supplied with 9/10 speed freehubs.

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Velocity Aileron built on Novatec 771/772 hubs

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My HED Belgium Plus built on Novatec 541/542 hubs

 

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