This week's featured build highlights how changing one component element can create a much different wheel. Our similar previous feature build, with Pacenti SL23 rims, Bitex hubs, and Sapim CX Ray and CX Sprint spokes (18h front and 24h rear), was a lightweight wheel for lightweight riders. Our current feature build subs the SL23 rim out for a Kinlin XR31T, turning it into a racing and training hammer for riders with a little more juice in the caboose. What causes that?
The big difference right away is the rim depth. Depth creates a bunch of benefits to wheel stability. The spokes get shorter, which increases the bracing angle from the hub flanges to the rim spoke holes. The rim exhibits higher radial stability, which lets it resist internal (from your pedaling) and external loads (from road "events") better. And of course it takes a little weight to make the deeper rim, but where the Pacenti is a very light rim for its depth, at 485g per rim the XR31T has some more structural muscle to it.
The best feature of the Bitex front hub is the flange spread, which gives the spokes a great bracing angle and makes for a very stiff and stable wheel. The rear wheel, between the hub's geometry and the rim's depth and stiffness, acts more like a lot of the better shallow carbon rims in terms of suitability for bigger and more powerful riders.
The net result of all this is a wheel set that's stiff and, did we mention, pretty darn fast. And we're still being typically November conservative when we say that this set is fully suitable for riders up to 190 pounds.
Components really do change the recipe.