Back to the future (sort of)

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Hey there, handsomeWe admit it. We're shallow. Kinlin XR31s are great rims. Deep enough to be fast, light enough to be snappy, strong like what, stiff like huh, tubeless yes but also easy to install tires on, and of an appropriate width. There's been, however, one small issue with them. They're shiny, and that makes them not look as good as they should. And we're fully willing to admit that that's made us less enthusiastic about them than we might otherwise have been. Shallow. I know. 

Subtle. Tasteful.

But an old boss (and what a peach he was) used to tell me not to bring him any problems unless I also brought him some well considered possible solutions, so we're doing the same here. We've ordered a run with a matte sand blast finish, which stone cold solves that problem. It may or may not show in the photos here (our studio lighting setup and photography skills leave something to be desired), but it makes a huge difference. 

You may also notice another old friend, the hub. The Novatec F482 makes a comeback (yes, you can call it a comeback) here. The simple thing is that the majority of the multitudes for whom we've built wheels with these have had a great ownership experience with them. They may miss some of the sex appeal of the other hubs we use, but not everyone wants that or needs an investment-grade hub set. These are really good, and it's easy enough to find them or slightly modified versions of them in expensive and super fancy wheels (I could be wrong but I think Tony Martin's TT Worlds-winning rear wheel has a Novatec hub), so it's kind of dumb not to use them. They will be tastefully branded as ours, but as ever we're not going to bluff about where they came from.

Assembled here by hand, with the usual spoke options, they'll be a great value and every bit the equivalent of stuff you could easily spend north of a grand on. 20/24 and 24/28 lacing options (which covers a huge weight range thanks to the rim strength/depth/stiffness), 31mm deep, 24mm wide outside, 19mm internal, 1540g for 20/24 lacing with brass nipples... and all dressed up and ready to go.

And of course there's a disc version. Fully anodized finish, with center lock hubs, in any lacing you want as long as you want 24/28. 

You'll also have the option to mix and match the rims and hubs with other rims and hubs as you like (like Al33s, on which we just got a "no news is good news" s update).

They arrive in limited availability in time for real Black Friday (not the fake Black Friday which seems to have started yesterday). 


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  • Wilson Tran on

    I'm a proud owner of original pre-order rail 52's from 2013 with these hubs. My rails have seen, I will guess, around 18000km's on them. Still the original bearings, and still smooth! (I did admittedly ride them predominantly in fair weather)

  • Mike on

    The "November by Novatec" red hubs (on my Rail34s) have at least 6K miles on them by this point. They just work.

  • Five-O on

    I'm glad you posted that photo of the Novatec F482 rear hub. I have Novatecs on my 2013 Rail 52s. I've questioned my choice not to upgrade to the White Industry hubs ever since I ordered them from November three years ago. I remember you saying that they were plenty good. But my real point in this comment is that I just pulled the cassette off this week to clean the cogs and noticed the little notch on the end of the black spline and thought that it might have lost some of the material. I perform maintenance on my bike every 200 miles. I usually just clean my cassette with a rag without pulling the wheel and getting out my chain whip to remove the cassette. So, I had ridden more than a thousand miles since I replaced the cassette and looked at the hub. I frankly didn't remember the notch being on the spline. Now that I think of it, do you know what the purpose of this little notch is?

  • dave on

    Wilson and Mike – You and many others, too. That's why this makes sense. ThanksFive-O – The notch on the end is just a keeper, to prevent the ABG from coming off when outward pressure is put against it, as when you are taking a cassette off. The whole thing is actually quite well designed.


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