Okay, so before I go any further, I promised Jason (aka “MadCow“) of Fairwheel Bikes, that I wouldn’t gloat over building a set of wheels lighter than his 718 gram wheels. We didn’t do anything differently than Jason, we just got lucky used a set of rims that were 3 grams lighter than the ones he used. The rims are the newly introduced EDGE 1.25 tubular rims, 20 hole for the front and 24 hole for the rear, and we laced them into an M5 flanged 33 gram front hub and an ExtraLite SX 133 gram rear hub. The spokes are Pillar 1422 titanium bladed spokes and the nipples are Pillar internal aluminum nipples.
The last set of uber-light wheels we built came out at 776 grams and were very similar except that the rims were the original EDGE 1.24 rims and the front hub was an ExtraLite SX rather than the M5 flanged. I can’t comment on how those wheels rode, as they were for a customer, and I can’t comment on how these new wheels ride because we just boxed them up and sent them to another customer, but I will say that these new rims look better to me, and they are definitely lighter. The first generation 1.24 rims were 212 grams each, and these rims were 186 and 195 grams. The ExtraLite front hub on the first set of wheels was 50 grams, and this M5 front hub is 33 grams. That said, I feel like this M5 front hub might be pushing things a bit too far — it feels pretty flimsy. But I suppose that if your goal is the absolute lightest, and you’re not a huge person, and you’re planning on using the wheels for only going up, and you don’t plan to put tens of thousands of miles on the hub, then maybe it’s fine.
It’s also worth noting that we have 8 of these rims in stock, and the average weight is 200 grams — some are a little over and some a little under. While I like the idea of having the lightest, I also like the idea of having a somewhat reliable wheel, so I’d personally gravitate toward the 200 gram rims for my personal wheels. But again, let’s wait a year or two and see how well these rims hold up. They sure do look amazing!
It’s hard to describe what 715 grams feels like, but let’s just say that some “light” front wheels weigh that much alone.
And I should mention again, these wheels are not for sale — they’ve already been sold. But we do have more rims in stock, and plenty of ExtraLite, Tune and M5 hub options, and we’d be glad to make you a custom set. Just contact us and let us know what you’re looking for.
Here are some photos we took before boxing them up and shipping them off: