The Trans-Sylvania Epic is a race that actually deserves the title; some unholy number of miles over a week, with no rest for the wicked or their gear. It's about a lifetime's worth of mountain biking shoved into seven days. The competition is ferocious, with people like Jeremiah Bishop, Barry Wicks and Sue Haywood taking part. It's a notable test for racers and their gear.
When a friend ordered a set of wheels for TSE, I was both excited for the opportunity and a little bit anxious. It's been some time since I used to get nervous on weekends, waiting for confirmation that all the races that people did on our wheels went according to plan, but the TSE is no office park circuit race. If you send a deficient piece of gear there, you'll find out quickly and likely with extreme prejudice (both from the gear and the rider).
The wheels we sent off are standard production for us - Blunt SL rims, 32 Sapim Race spokes, King ISO hubs. Built just like we'd build them for anyone. They weighed a shade north of 1600 grams with the valves and tape, which is pretty neat considering that 1600 grams would have been considered a light set of road wheels really recently - and it's still FAR from heavy. He's set them up tubeless with WTB tires, a wrap of Velocity blue tape, Velocity valve stems, and Stan's sealant. Communication has been sparse but we did get a "the wheels rock" across the wire a couple of stages in, and his results have been rock steady.
We also had the annual scariest neutral rollout in America at the Tour of Tucker County this past weekend, where at least one set of our carbon clinchers was used (despite entreaties that this is perhaps the least appropriate race of all for carbon clinchers - some people can't be convinced not to race on their favorite wheels). They made it through the rollout no problems (and all reports from people I know who raced, as well as from the blogosphere, was that there were plenty of people at the bottom patching up tubes they'd popped on the way down the rollout) but the puncture flat at pace on rugged roads and subsequent extended jam of carbon on not quite tarmac wasn't too kind. Good thing we offer that crash replacement deal, huh?
Hopefully everyone got a lot of riding in this weekend and is headed for a great summer. And please remember, even though it is now past Memorial Day and you may wear white, that still doesn't make white bibs a good idea.