Yesterday, I got a message from a friend, to whom we are about to deliver a set of FSWs with a Powertap, in which she asked if it was weird that she was so psyched to have a new set of alloys. This is nearly in the same breath as when she'd told me she had ridden her Rail 34s outside for the first time in a long time (this winter has SUCKED) and how she'd fallen in love with them all over again. Some women like shoes, I guess...
Anyhow, in our professional opinions, there is categorically nothing wrong with being psyched on alloys. I've been on a set of T11/Grail/Laser road disc wheels, set up tubeless, since the Arizona trip. Couldn't be much happier with them.
Alloy wheels are often an afterthought, or relegated to the wayback machine, with up to date alloy rims not getting their due at all. As we've proven, today's alloy rims are more than aerodynamically competent, and when spec'd, spoked, and built correctly can have stiffness on par with carbon for a small weight penalty.
At this point, we wouldn't be here were it not for carbon and our Rail wheels. They're awesome, we love them, they continue to make tested and proven world class performance accessible to a huge number of people. But we also have a ton of love for a great set of alloys. Whether disc or rim brake, the options available today are fantastic.
And then there's the price. For example, starting today, we're doing a special run of FSW23 wheels with White Industries T11s, Sapim Lasers, and Kinlin XC279 rims, all in black, in 24/28 or 28/32, for $585 plus shipping. This is only possible with an absolutely standardized build, but what you get for that price is quite astonishing - investment grade hubs, world class spokes, one of the most well regarded rims around, and 100% hand built here by us.
Mike – Grails are a better rim, full stop. Stiffer and way more durable. As soon as I tried my first Grail-based wheel I was done with Iron Cross for my use, and I can't see an application other than a pure weighing contest where I'd prefer Iron Cross. Plus you give half the rim savings right back in the extra spokes you need. Grails are awesome.
I noticed that Iron Cross rims are no longer available on the custom alloy store…did you drop them? I could just go with Grails, but for a pure cx tire wheelset would have preferred the lighter Iron Cross.
I've got an Hutchinson Intensive 25 in the front and a Maxxis Padrone 23 in the back. The Padrone is very slightly wider at about 25.2mm. Heights are the same. I like the Padrones very much, they are sticky and soft. I don't love the Intensive but it corners well and rides fine. For an endurance oriented tire it's quite good – beats the snot out of a GatorSkin – from an avowed Conti fan. Just not a fan of GatorSkins
Dave, what tubeless tires are you using on the Grail rims? Rolling the Hutchinson Sectors, here, for "mixed surface" use. Also on Grail rims. You?
Hutchinson Intensive 25mm front, Maxxis Padrone 23mm rear. They both measure 25mm inflated.