**Update 4/25/14** David Reid has completed his trip through the Arctic and you can get a lot more details here An Arctic First
This was a fun project, building a set of wheels heading to the Arctic Circle for a pretty epic adventure. Not sure how much detail I can go into so I will just leave it at, this will actually live up to the word epic, despite how over used it is. I will update with more details once I know if it is OK.
The build is pretty much our standard build at Borealis except instead of aluminum nipples I used brass. It was Turnagain FR-80 rims, Borealis hubs, double butted Wheelsmith spokes. Even though it is a standard build, it should be more than up to the task, our Turnagain rims have been super solid as are Wheelsmith spokes and our hubs worked well all the way to the South Pole so I have lots of confidence in their ability to handle this trip.
Spring is here and I decided it was time to finally clean all the winter gunk off the Xtracycle and put my Schwalbe Big Apples back on and take the winter tires off, along with replacing all that winter has destroyed like cables and brake pads. Since I have yet to see much in the way of a review for these rims online I figured now would be a great time to write one myself.
It has been just over 6 months since I mounted these on my Xtracycle and so far they have been fantastic. Despite my best efforts to break them they still have not been knocked out of true in the slightest, they have not seen a spoke wrench since the day they were built.
Since my main motivation in building these for myself was simply to test them out as a potential touring rim for customers because I want something that builds a little better than the durable but not always round Rhyno Lite I really have tried my best to break them.
Some of what these wheels have been through are:
My only real gripe is I wish this rim was offered in black. Some people would complain about this rim not having eyelets but it built just fine without them and is designed around not needing them so I would not worry too much about that. If you must have eyelets they offer what is basically the same rim but with eyelets, it goes under the name, Atlas and comes in a pretty sweet polished version.
For reference, I paid for these rims completely out of pocket and am doing my best to give a fair review, I am just genuinely very happy with these rims.
We just had this picture posted to our company facebook of the wheel I built for Daniel Burton's South Pole expedition. Not only did the wheel I built for him make it there fine but he also liked the little note of encouragement I threw on at the last minute so much that he kept it on the entire way.
This is what he said about it in one of the comments:
"I thought it was pretty cool so I left it on the wheel. It is really quiet biking in Antarctica. One of the few sounds was that tag hitting the derailleur as the wheel went around."
It always feels good knowing you helped on an expedition of this magnitude, even if just a little.
Obsession, or passion? Who am I to judge? Either way I simply love building wheels for those who appreciate quality!