Neil is the first SWW sponsored rider, starting back in 2015, and the tradition continues into 2017! Neil was recently also sponsored by Salsa Cycles, and they provided him with a sweet Mukluk for his upcoming winter races, where Neil plans to race both the Fat Pursuit and the Iditarod.
His bike came with a nice set of Whisky No 9 rims – they’re a carbon double-wall rims, tubeless ready, 100mm wide to make the most of those huge tires. With a weight of 750g per rim they’re not that light, but any alloy rim at a similar weight will have lots of cutouts to keep weight down, and those cutouts reduce the stiffness of the rim as well as open the potential for more flat tires since a stick could go through the cut out and pierce the rim strip.
We took the stock wheels apart and I rebuilt them to a set of blue Industry Nine hubs. The hubs are light weight, have super fast engagement with 120 points, and they’re easily serviced.
The stock wheel build used DT Swiss Competition spokes and brass nipples. With rims this stiff there’s no need for beefy spokes, so I rebuilt it with the lighter Sapim Lasers – the smaller diameter also means less surface area for snow to cling to. We used alloy nipples to cut a little more weight. All in the wheelset weighed in at 2,399g including rim tape – 218g lighter than the stock set up.
Good luck this winter Neil!