The Rhyno Lite/Deore/DT Alpine combo is a great option for nearly bombproof touring wheels on a budget. A set like this only runs around $250. Remember, this is not one of those XT/Rhyno Lite close out wheelsets you see for $150, this set his hand built using the nicest touring spokes on the market, not a machine built wheel with bargain basement spokes that are likely to break after a couple thousand miles.
These wheels will soon be rolling from Seattle towards the Panama Canal and possibly beyond! If it sounds like something you are interested in following you can follow Kim's trip at her Crazy Guy On A Bike journal here.
We all know, if you race cross, you like pain. Well, going SS will not only save you from replacing expensive shifty bits after one too many crashes into mud but it will give you just a little more pain since clearly you can not get enough if you make it past a race or two.
The White Industries ENO eccentric hubs are the most elegant and durable solution to the question of how to tension your chain on a bike with vertical dropouts when you go single speed. Throw a WI trials freewheel, DT Competition spokes, Velocity A23 rims and a fixed cog in case you really feel the need for pain and you have one hell of a cross set up.
Having fun geeking out over this find. "Building Bicycle Wheels" by Robert Wright A book written about building wheels back when 27" wheels were the standard for road wheels and stainless spokes were considered inferior. It is surprising how little has changed in the art/science that is wheel building.
Talk about bang for your buck. Road bikes are notoriously easy on hubs but we all want light/fast/good riding/durable wheels for not a lot of money. Remember that light strong cheap, pick 2, saying? Well, with these wheels you get a pretty light wheelset that is also strong and reasonably priced. Tiagra hubs to keep cost low but are good for tens of thousands of miles with proper care, laced to Velocity A23 rims with double butted DT spokes and alloy nipples make for a very solid wheelset. These specific wheels are for a super friendly regular at the shop who is looking for an edge to help him make his ascent on Pikes Peak (14,100 ft) before this season is over. Best of luck Bob, I expect to see these on the summit!
Obsession, or passion? Who am I to judge? Either way I simply love building wheels for those who appreciate quality!