Well, all the parts and pieces finally came together for the wheel build on the Edge Composites XC rims/ American Classic hubs wheels. I had a devil of a time getting the right length spokes, as the combination of the American Classic hubs large diameter flanges and the deeper profile of the Edge rims made for an odd length spoke. I wanted something light, and well…..weight weenie-ish. So, the choices were limited, but I got the job done. Here are the results.
The spokes ended up being DT Swiss Aero Lite spokes. I know, I know! Some of you may think it is a crazy choice, but I was going for a sub 1500 gram build, and that was the only choice in stock at the places I normally deal with in the lengths I needed. I am quite confident that since these are race wheels that they will hold up just fine. Edge touts their rims ability to have higher than normal spoke tensions, and with 32 spokes in each wheel, things should go well. But…….that’s why we test things here! We will certainly find out soon enough. Edge claims these rims are strong. DT Swiss claims those spokes are amongst their strongest ones. So we will see just how it all holds together.
It should be noted that the nipples are a special design that resemble a flange-less alloy type nipple.They seat against a molded pocket in the inside of the rim cavity, so no part of the nipple is exposed outside the rim. This means that you must true and tension the wheels through the spoke holes in the rim well. Fortunately a proper sized nut driver will suffice in getting the job done since the alloy nipples provided were of a hexagonal shape. One end of each nipple is rounded to mate wih the spoke interface on the rim. The other end has an insert, not unlike a DT Swiss Pro-Lock nipple, that resists the spoke wanting to back off and unwind from the nipple after tensioning.
All this means that if your Edge rimmed wheel set needs tensioning, you would have to remove your tire and rim tape to do the job. Same goes for a spoke replacement. Not a huge deal if you are dedicating these to race duty only, but it might be a problem for every day users. This also would not be encouraging for those thinking about converting these to tubeless duty.
All this is a little easier to swallow when you see the weights. Front Wheel: 670 grams, Rear Wheel: 770 grams. Looks like my goal was met for weight! No doubt the American Classic hubs had something to do with this. The whole package is just amazing to hold in your hands. The lack of weight is astounding when put in the context of 29″er wheels.
Now we’ll finish off the ensemble with a cassette, rotors, and some tires and (yes folks) tubes! Then we will be seeing how these ride and perform in a variety of conditions and locations. Stay tuned for another update coming up soon!