We tested the Grail builds fairly thoroughly this week. Two sets got built for testing, a set of 24/28 with some old house mtb hubs, and a set of 24/24 on White Industries CLDs. The 24/28 got one wrap of tape and was used with Kenda Kwickers, while the 24/24 got two wraps and a Maxxis Padrone 23 on the front and a Hutchinson Intensive 25 on the rear.
The rims are quite stiff. Weights on the ones we got were a bit higher than advertised - our average of 6 rims was 482g each, against an advertised 465. Aluminum rims can vary quite a bit as the die wears. We don't freak out about differences of this magnitude, but we do note it. Finish quality was very good, with one superficial flaw in the whole lot.
Thanks to the benefit of 135mm spacing, 24h rears are an option. I still prefer 28 since there's only 20g of downside and you get a stiffer and stronger wheel with 28, but for people who don't weigh a ton and aren't going to flog them around off road, 24 is an option.
Tubeless setup is outstanding. I put a few good rides in on the Kwickers including yesterday's race. We set these up exactly per the Stan's team setup, and I have utter confidence that you can use as low a pressure as you want. Interestingly, maybe Kwickers are just very supple, but I actually wanted to use more pressure than what I thought the bottom limit was. I used 27f/30r, and it just felt like less than that.
Road tubeless setup was great until...
Apparently I ran over Freddie Kreuger about 1/4 mile away from home, after about 30 miles of riding. Yoinks. For the record, sealant doesn't help with a slash that big.
We also got to test the 2:1 lacing, with 16 drive-side and 8 non-drive spokes. Immediately apparent is how much this balances tension. You get about an 80% non-drive to drive side tension balance with this setup. That's awesome. Unfortunately, stiffness-wise, 24 spokes is still 24 spokes. The Kinlin rims are stiff enough that there was no appreciable difference between measurements at the spokes and measurements between spoke groups. We will have to try it again on an 18:9 setup. The tension balance is attractive and offers a lot of promise, but the stiffness measurements at 24 total spokes are less than what we like to see.